August 20, 2007
Email, Project Knowledge and Support for BIM in Newforma Project Center Fourth Edition
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each AEC Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the AEC industry, AEC product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

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Remote users of Newforma Project Center can file email messages to project-specific Outlook folders from PDAs, smart phones or Outlook Web Access, or while disconnected from the network. Back in the office, one click of the Project Center add-in for Microsoft Outlook files emails to project folders.

The example given to illustrate the BIM process, a construction drawing documentation process, goes as follows: Howard receives an RFI from Bob. Bob needs to know which of the openings in this facility need to be ADA accessible. Within Outlook he can file this as a new issue, which in essence, is creating an action item. He specifies the project, assigns this to John Doe to get back to Bob on this question. Forms are all customizable. John will get an email with a link in it to take him to the issue. Or if he’s in Project Center, he’ll see an open issue that has been assigned to him. Within Issue Manager he’ll see all the emails that led up to the current state of the
issue. He goes to the document set and can open the file that needs the adjustment made. The Newforma viewer allows him to open any standard AEC file format in the industry, he can then mark it up. “It’s creating a layer on top of the CAD file, so he’s not editing the underlying CAD file. He saves the view as a markup. This will create a thumbnail with a link to this view from the project,” Preger explained.

He will want to save his markup session to the project, and at the same time add the markup session to the RFI. So John can send a PDF of all the markups to Bob and at the same time, fill out a project transmittal so it will record this transaction in the project’s transmittal log. Everyone in the project will know that this occurred.” This gives Bob access to the whole project team. Currently, these steps are all separate, requiring the use of numerous programs.

Preger considers the BIM just another piece of information to take advantage of. He suggests a PIM, or project information management, is bigger than a BIM. And email is another big piece of that picture. “Look at the litigation on it,” Preger pointed out. “A lawyer asks to see every single transmittal in a litigation right away, including all the email, PDFs, transmittal logs, etc. Now it’s all right here, your records are great. You have the files you actually sent.”

“No matter how information is authored, we’re trying to make sure that information can be easily shared, searched, changes are tracked, the use of that information is audited, and in many cases, it can be used effectively downstream,” said Preger. Additionally, there is an audit trail of the exchange of information as a way of discouraging any behavior that otherwise might lead to distrust in a project.

People can apply Newforma Project Center to their existing processes without having to make a huge change. Project Center just overlays existing processes, such as Outlook, PDF, email, and makes the process smoother. Customers can deploy the software in two days. Newforma can install it, configure it and deploy the servers and create the projects in two days. It is an easy entry with just a couple of hours training, allowing customers to make use of all the capabilities. “This is very different from the transition to BIM,” noted Preger.


Autodesk, Inc. announced it has completed the acquisition of NavisWorks for a purchase price of $26 million, plus a working capital adjustment. NavisWorks is a privately-held company based in Sheffield, England, that provides software for 3D coordination, collaboration and sequencing in design and construction. This acquisition extends Autodesk's 3D software leadership in the architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), shipbuilding, and plant design industries.


Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced that Manila Water, one of the largest water and wastewater service providers in the Philippines, has selected WaterGEMS V8 XM Edition, Bentley's water distribution modeling solution, to manage the water network serving more than five million people in the East Zone. This area includes eastern Metro Manila and portions of Rizal province.

For more than two decades, CH2M HILL’s Electronics and Advanced Technology division has planned, designed and built complex technology facilities for leading industry and academic clients. They pride themselves on providing innovative solutions based on experience and insight to help clients optimize performance, production and return on investment.

When CH2M HILL needed help streamlining their estimating processes, they turned to the powerful and reliable estimating solutions included within Sage Timberline Office.

CH2M HILL, a global full-service engineering, construction and operations firm, announced that it plans to add more than 1,000 jobs in California over the next five years, bringing its total California staff to more than 2,500 by 2012.

COADE announced the completion of the first part of the U.S. leg of the COADE Discovery Tour, a series of educational sessions featuring the just-released CADWorx Plant Design Suite 2008 that highlights new capabilities such as tighter integration between CADWorx Plant Professional and CADWorx P&ID Professional, allowing users to see and select components from the process and instrumentation diagram (P&ID) for placement directly into the 3D model. The May 17th Houston session had a record attendance of 65, and the July 18th event in Denver and July 26th event in Tulsa also drew big crowds.

Patti the Architect, a small, all-woman architectural firm based in Florida, is pioneering the use of Apple’s latest technological wonder to make building information modeling (BIM) documents into a productivity-boosting mobile resource for construction-site communications.

With Apple iPhone in tow, architect Patricia “Patti” Stough and her staff can now easily access their full library of design and construction documents and 3D virtual building models wherever they roam. The firm designs all its projects in ArchiCAD on high-performance Mac hardware, making the files effortlessly portable and displayable on iPhone’s high-res widescreen display.

Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) -- The number of industrial plants under construction in the U.S. is currently at 759. As construction is completed and these plants begin operations more than 110,000 new jobs will be created.

announced that Autodesk will be sponsoring the Design World "Leadership in Engineering" program, an industry recognition event to acknowledge engineering leadership across several disciplines. The inaugural program includes over 40 manufacturers and has a featured print promotion along with an online voting site at

, an international wide area networking CAD services company specializing in projects in a broad array of construction building types, announced that its President, Charles Traylor, AIA, NCARB, and Limited Partner, Greg Traylor, will be featured in an exclusive live interview to be broadcast on Market News First ( on Monday, August 13, 2007, at 11:30 AM Central Time.

The Traylors will discuss growth in Archline's first and second quarter 2007 projects and projected 2008 expansion. Highlights will include the growth realized as a result of its present international strategic alliances.

Avolve Software, developers of ProjectDox(R) communication and collaboration software, announced that the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, is deploying Avolve's ProjectDox electronic plan check solution.

Lincoln joins a list of cities and counties across the United States that are utilizing ProjectDox, as well as other web-based technologies, to manage complex internal processes and provide outward-facing tools to better serve their citizens and commercial partners.

New Products

Meridian Systems, provider of enterprise project management software for optimizing capital projects, programs and facilities, announced a new System Integrator (SI) relationship with RealFoundations, a full-service management consultancy focused exclusively on companies in the real estate industry and the real estate function of large corporations. RealFoundations will assist its clients in the deployment of Meridian's Proliance® software solution.

You can find the full AECCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.


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