August 27, 2007
NavisWorks Acquired by Autodesk
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Industry News

NavisWorks Acquired by Autodesk

by Susan Smith

click to enlarge [
Last week, Autodesk completed the
acquisition of NavisWorks for a purchase price of $26 million, plus a working capital adjustment. The Sheffield, UK-based, privately held company is known for its 3D coordination, collaboration and sequencing in design and construction. According to Jay Bhatt, senior vice president, Autodesk AEC Solutions, NavisWorks is a mediation tool of sorts, “it’s an environment that allows for disparate sets of information, particularly for design and CAD information, to be processed by a software technology, irrespective of file formats and data disconnects. It creates a consistent representation of all this design information so that certain kinds of analysis can be run on that set of data. We call it a ‘model mediation tool,’ a tool that mediates a bunch of model information. You can run clash detection, you can do simulation and visualization of a project, you can attach a construction schedule or Excel schedule to the design information and run a sequencing process on your design to show how it could come out of the ground and look over time.”

Bhatt uses a favorite Autodesk concept to describe NavisWorks’ capabilities: it
allows you to experience your design before it’s real in a simulated environment. Moreover, it allows for the construction industry to consolidate disparate forms of information and run analyses and simulations.

As more customers are using modeling tools or Revit, Bhatt said the industry is moving toward a model based environment. Now that model based design makes more processes possible, customers said they now have a dataset and database information that represents the design, but needed to do more with it. NavisWorks allows you to attach to the datasets that are generated in Revit and other products, and has a deeper connection to analysis and high end visualization.

NavisWorks has a neutrality in its ability to support many file formats and disparate sets of information that Autodesk feels is critical to maintain. There is a need for more interoperability between Autodesk’s own products as well as in other products in the industry. Autodesk and NavisWorks plan to jointly develop and deliver an even more comprehensive suite of solutions for design and construction.

The flagship product from NavisWorks is JetStream and Autodesk has no plans to change the name, since it is a strong brand name. The product is used in process and plant design and shipbuilding, where its clash detection capability is used a lot. The product’s largest number of customers come from the commercial building space.

As Autodesk and NavisWorks already share many customers in common, they have had a lot of feedback from customers asking for a more integration between the two technologies. Some customers have even said they would like Autodesk to own NavisWorks so they could coordinate the process better. “They have customers we weren’t able to reach effectively and now we can with NavisWorks at the construction level,” said Bhatt. “Contractors find it very valuable because they can get a lot information from their design professionals and run a simulation and see what that means from a construction project build standpoint. The process and power also opens up areas of new
customers and contractors.”

Autodesk will retain the employee base of NavisWorks and the offices will remain in their current locations in Manchester, UK as well as a sales office in the U.S. They will be integrated into the Autodesk infrastructure. When you buy a company, Bhatt said, the code has to be constantly changed, so you need the people who understand the base of it. Autodesk generally retains almost everyone in companies they buy, as they will do with NavisWorks.

Bhatt said that NavisWorks is a small representation of a big trend in the industry, and that is NavisWorks is so valuable because it acknowledges that the design and construction process need to be coordinated more aggressively. Some people call this design build or integrated practice, or BIM. Tools like NavisWorks complement BIM by providing a visualization tool with applications on the back end to coordinate all the information in the BIM design construction document.


Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of technology and product assets of Opticore, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Design Communication, based in Gothenburg, Sweden. On June 18, 2007, Autodesk announced an agreement to purchase the assets of Opticore, a premier software provider of advanced technology used to produce highly interactive and realistic 3D digital product visualizations and presentations. The acquisition delivers upon the Company's strategy to drive mass adoption of 3D among customers in key industries such as automotive and consumer products, by continually enhancing the depth and breadth of its Digital Prototyping solutions. Terms of
the transaction were not disclosed.


Key players in real estate and construction misjudge the costs and benefits of "green" buildings, creating a major barrier to more energy efficiency in the building sector, a new study by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) reports. Respondents to a 1400 person global survey estimated the additional cost of building green at 17 percent above conventional construction, more than triple the true cost difference of about 5 percent. At the same time, survey respondents put greenhouse gas emissions by buildings at 19 percent of world total, while the actual number of 40 percent is double this.

Research and Markets announced the addition of "Computer Aided Design - Portfolio Analysis" to their offering.

The Portfolio Analysis - Computer Aided Design is a comprehensive evaluation of the UK market. The revised and updated 2007 edition analyses the financial performance of the companies important to the success of your business. Using the most up to date information available, the analysis is ideal both as a tool to benchmark your own company's results and to study the market in more depth. Aimed at the busy manager, the Portfolio Analysis is both quick and easy to use thanks to the unique visual layout.


Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has presented the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) with a Revit BIM Experience Award for its commitment to teaching an entirely digital approach to architecture. NJIT provides students with targeted building information modeling (BIM) classes and has integrated Revit Architecture software into design studios. The Revit BIM Experience Award honors organizations, including commercial architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms, educational institutions, and individuals for their innovation and excellence in implementing the Revit platform for BIM. Candidates are judged on their ability to create quality and complex designs,
collaborate across the building design disciplines, and drive increased productivity in the building design process.

New Products

Primavera Systems, Inc.,
announced its comprehensive Federal enterprise management suite focused on addressing the five dimensions of Federal management - portfolio, project, earned value, resource, and risk management. Focused on delivering the right solutions for Federal agencies wrestling to manage change, reporting, and oversight requirements, Primavera offers Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) capabilities that empower agencies to cross-pollinate best practices and achieve new levels of reporting transparency.

IMSI/Design announced the release of DesignCAD™ 3D Max. v18. Targeted at individuals requiring professional CAD at consumer prices, easy-to-use DesignCAD 3D Max v18 contains almost two dozen new features and performance enhancements.

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-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.


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