July 11, 2005
Demand for IT in Construction May Link Architecture and Construction
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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The biggest issue for attendees was that the Virtual Construction suite looked great, but who was going to do it? Can my team do it, or must it come from somewhere else?

"Construction companies don't think CAD, " said Gallello, "they estimate, they schedule, procure and manage. We give them a process for those things they do."

Architects can build a virtual building model for their point of view, which entails the shape of the building and drawings that can be generated very efficiently and accurately. But that data may not be good enough to flow to a construction company for coordination - meaning interference checking, estimating and scheduling. "I tried to educate the architects by saying, you are doing 3D already today, you will have to change. It won't be dramatic, but it will be a change. In modeling for design, what kinds of mistakes would that cause in estimating, and then how would you model a little differently so the estimate comes out differently? There isn't an owner on the planet who isn't
interested in knowing what the real cost is going to be."

How your Business Can Change

"I'm not predicting a broad adoption where architectural firms are going to provide models to construction companies that are totally suitable for estimating and scheduling sequencing. But I think there are some that will who want to differentiate themselves and others may be forming consortiums with owners of construction companies early on," said Gallello.

Most owners reported in a recent survey that all their projects were 20-50% over schedule.

The top 5 reasons for this are:
  • incomplete drawings
  • Poor pre-planning
  • Escalating cost of materials
  • lack of timely decisions by owner
  • excessive change owners
  • "If we can do things like get costs really clear early on up front, and get schedule down, it has huge impact on a project,' said Gallello.

    Gallello believes that as hot as BIM is for architects, the motivation of construction companies to change their process is probably higher because they can easily be put out of business by an inaccurate bid or estimate.

    Graphisoft is in the software and services business, which Gallello said is much harder than just selling software. "If you are just trying to sell software to the construction industry, forget it, you must sell software and services. We have to be the technology IT department for these companies. A construction company has their own system for estimating and putting building components together. There are country standards and company standards which we put in for them. We prep the data and the databases so they can use it on multiple projects."

    Illustrative of how important these services are is this customer quote: "I want you to sit with us and do projects until osmosis happens. I don't want to send my people for a training course, I want you here and over time we'll understand it."

    Within the Virtual Construction suite are the following products:
  • The cost of Constructor is $7,000 and Estimator alone is $4,000. DynaProject costs $3,000.


    IMSI®, developer and publisher of consumer, business and precision design software solutions, announced the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary Allume Systems, Inc. ("Allume") for a combination of $11.0 million in cash and 397,547 shares of the common stock of Smith Micro Software, Inc. valued at $1.75 million. Through the utilization of its net operating loss carry forwards, IMSI does not expect to have any tax liability as a result of the sale.


    Primavera Systems, Inc. announced that Gartner has rated the company "Strong Positive" in its report, MarketScope: Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) for Professional Services, 2005, dated June 22, 2005 by Matt Light, Daniel B. Stang and Nicole S. Latimer-Livingston. According to Gartner, a company designated as "Strong Positive" is a solid provider of strategic products, services or solutions. Current customers should continue investments, while potential customers should consider this vendor a strong strategic choice.

    Primavera Systems, Inc., also announced that it has been positioned in the leader quadrant in the Gartner 2005 Magic Quadrant for IT Project and Portfolio Management (PPM). According to Gartner, leaders are vendors who are performing well today, have a clear vision of market direction and are actively building competencies to sustain their leadership position in the market.


    ARCHIBUS, Inc., developer of a Total Infrastructure and Facilities Management (TIFM) solution, recently presented its Application Excellence Award to Tom Harkenrider of Soka University of America.

    Quantapoint, provider of as-built documentation using integrated laser scanningT, is pleased to announce that its web site and FlashPoint e-Newsletter have been selected to receive awards of distinction from the Communicator Awards. The Communicator Awards is an international awards competition that recognizes outstanding work in the communication field. Entries are judged by industry professionals that identify companies whose communications serve as a benchmark for their industry.

    Jordan, Jones & Goulding, Inc., a leading Atlanta-based consulting firm offering a full range of engineering, management and planning services, has won a 2005 BE Award for its F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center project in Georgia. The award category was "Plant: 3D Modeling."

    The BE Awards of Excellence, which are selected by an independent jury of industry experts and presented at an evening ceremony during the annual BE Conference (
    www.be.org), honor the extraordinary work of Bentley users improving the world's infrastructure. These projects set benchmarks for their industries, and showcase the imagination and technical mastery of the organizations that created them.

    New Products

    Canon U.S.A., Inc. announced the addition of three new digital products to its line of enterprise Canon color multifunction systems. Comprised of the Color imageRUNNER(R) C2620 and imageRUNNER C3170 Series (C3170U and C3170i), these multifunction devices achieve a new level of document creation, management and control by dramatically increasing the level of workflow customization, information security and document process control options for customers.

    Axiom, developer of time-saving MicroStation software solutions, announced the release of a new version of Microsoft Office Importer, the MicroStation software utility that imports huge quantities of spreadsheet and word-processing data into MicroStation with precision formatting.

    Trimble introduced a new version of RealWorks Survey software for surveyors and engineers that leverages the rich point-cloud data set provided by today's advanced 3D laser scanners. The new software version incorporates a series of new precision tools and features for civil survey, building, heritage, forensic and other applications, allowing surveyors to produce 2D and 3D information for direct output or export to AutoCAD or MicroStation software design packages.

    DRCAUTO SOFTWARE announced the completion and release of SuperTools AutoCAD LT(r) 2006. SuperTools is a library of additional commands designed to extend the power of AutoCAD LT and enhance productivity across all drafting disciplines. SuperTools is coupled with the already popular drcauto product !SlingShot Max and together introduce more than 50 new commands into AutoCAD LT. 2006. Commands include: Align Object, Explode Selected Text, Toggle Bubble On/Off, Bubble Configuration, Super Revision Cloud, Multiple Polyline Edit, Nested Copy, Nested Extend, Nested Trim, Change Space, Align Space, Text Fit, Text Justify, Edit Text, Text Mask Frame, Join Lines, Polylines and Arcs, Remove
    Duplicate and Overlapping Objects, and many more.

    SuperTools 2006 works seamlessly with AutoCAD LT (r) 2006, with access through toolbars and menu pull downs. A
    free 30-day fully functional tryout version is available for evaluation.

    Around the Web

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    -- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.


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