January 07, 2008
Top Ten AEC Topics and Trends of 2007
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on AECcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
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 AECCafe.com. 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!



Welcome to AECWeekly! Happy New Year! This issue will feature some of the top topics, announcements and trends AECWeekly touched upon over the past year.


AECWeekly is a news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.


AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Top News of the Week, Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, New Products, Around the Web and Upcoming Events.


AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think.


Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor


Industry News

Top Ten AEC Topics and Trends of 2007

by Susan Smith


The following AEC topics, trends and announcements made our 2007 Top Ten list, many of them chosen by our readers.


1)
The growth of building information modeling (BIM). As a result of that growth, other trends are emerging (according to Autodesk): a) the growth of analysis, b) contractors driving model-based processes, c) MEP users driving BIM adoption, d) the proliferation of third party BIM products.


click to enlarge [
At this writing, there are now over 225,000 Autodesk Revit users, a big jump from the 190,000 users counted in February of 2007.


Autodesk customers are now building a lot more models, and analysis is becoming a very important component. Autodesk’s purchase of Robobat speaks to this trend, and you’ll hear more discussion of Inventor, Autodesk’s 3D mechanical modeling software, being pushed as an important tool for engineers and contractors.


Phil Bernstein, vice president Industry Strategy and Relations, for AEC Solutions, attests to the fact that contractors are using Revit more. “If they don’t get it from designers, they model it themselves or outsource,” Bernstein explained. “We bought NavisWorks and the most enthusiastic endorsers are contractors. They are looking at fundamental problems. They want to conceptualize in 3D so they can see what 2D drawings mean, making stuff not bump into other things and qualify. Contractors are driving model based processes. They won’t do projects unless they model them first. Counting things and measuring things is a key business problem for people who
construct buildings.”


Beau Turner, solutions consulting manager of Building Solutions for Avatech Solutions, an Autodesk reseller and solutions provider, said that the Revit platform with the MEP tool on top of it, has grown the services side of their business to 75% of their total business.


Third party BIM products are also on the rise. Turner noted that “the complete solution isn’t just the one product right now.” Many third party products such as Green Building Studio allow them to take intelligent building models and get downside returns, to see how well a building will perform. In other countries, automated code checking, brought about by third parties, is required, and now in the U.S. GSA projects are requiring it.”


In October, 640 users responded to a blind survey of BIM users conducted by Dr. Lachmi Khemlani working with Bentley Systems as an independent expert. The results of the survey showed that 58 percent of respondents preferred the approach and features of Bentley BIM solutions while 38 percent of all respondents prefer AutoCAD Revit and of the remainder, “strongly preferred” responses, 69 percent chose Bentley BIM solutions and 31 percent chose Revit. The same survey has been placed
online so that other BIM users can take the survey themselves and compare their thoughts to what others have concluded.


Of the 640 respondents, Autodesk respondents were 67% and Bentley were 15%.


2)
Deltek Announced Pricing of IPO


On November 1, Deltek, Inc.
announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 9,000,000 shares of its common stock at $18.00 per share. According to the press release, of the shares offered, 3,009,475 were offered by Deltek and 5,990,525 were offered by selling shareholders. Warren Brown, VP, Strategic Communications for Deltek, said that

“it was a point in time for us to do this. Because of the growth in the company, this will help us look at future acquisitions. We've done five acquisitions in the past two years, so this enables to continue doing that, as well as paying down some debt.


It helps our investment firm, New Mountain Capital, recoup their investment in the company. The product lines will remain the same, it's business as usual.


The prospectus indicates we will use all $42.6M in net proceeds to pay down debt. The vast majority of the debt was incurred during the recapitalization transaction in April of 2005 when New Mountain Capital purchased about 75% of Deltek.


For the metro DC area, it's one of the biggest software IPOs that has happened in recent times, as a result of our growth and our success over the years. We're very specialized in our market and no one does what we do.”


3)
Meridian Offers Role Based Interfaces


Meridian Systems, providers of project management systems, have embraced a development strategy to help firms on the road to adoption. The new strategy is designed to allow users to use their existing technologies and benefit from a new technology without the learning curve.


Customers have come to Meridian Systems with three top needs:


1. They need to differentiate themselves from their peers. Technology has become a need-to-have rather than a luxury item. Prolog continues to be successful in small to medium sized companies.

Proliance is targeted to the enterprise market. Their priorities are improving their project cost control. Best practices have been implemented and many companies are standardizing on one technology so the entire organization can apply their business processes.

2. Improving visibility across their business using business analytics and business intelligence functionality. With project data in a centralized data, the company is in a position to look at performance across a whole company.

3. Customers are interested in how they will be successful with their implementation. The Starter Pack that Meridian released this summer is a series of technical components bundled together to help accelerate implementations for customers. Sue Watkins, director of marketing for Meridian said the Starter Pack was created in response to helping the construction project management business get a head start, using their experience in that field.


A new technology trend Meridian sees is called composite or role based applications, a development strategy being endorsed by Microsoft, designed to help customers be more successful with their implementations. “Getting your end users to adopt is part of that success,” said Watkins. “The composite application strategy enables companies like Meridian to roll out role based interfaces for different types of users.”


4)
Newforma Project Center Fourth Edition Released


The commercial availability of Newforma Project Center Fourth Edition, a project information management software for the AEC market, was announced.


The product is used for mechanical design firms, civil design firms as well as design build and A/E firms.


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-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.


Rating:
Reviews:
Review Article
  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Patrick C. Suermann, P.E.'
    This article is right on the money. As corroborated by nearly everyone who has a pulse on the industry, such as Patrick McLearney, the Director of the AIA, BIM and sustainability will be the primary drivers of change and transformation of the AECO industry in 2008. In 2007, we made tremendous strides towards strategic BIM standards that will help the operational and tactical level BIM implementation and software creation. Addtionally, visionary software firms are meeting the demand for interoperability and high quality information management. As the NBIMS Testing Team Leader and speaking for the team collectively, we hope all these trends continue into 2008 and beyond.

      Was this review helpful to you?   (Report this review as inappropriate)


  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Reza'
    Following items need to be emphasized and discussed in more detail;
    MEP is Essential in the BIM Model, without MEP BIM is not as useful or beneficial
    It is important to discuss the details and the methodology to keep the Model updated constantly and routinely during construction and Deliver the Model Electronically at the same time as the Keys are turned over. Final Payment shall not be made to the contractor without delivering the BIM file to the owner.
    the Model is part of the investment made by the owner for their facility, it will be key for Stewardship of the facility.


      Was this review helpful to you?   (Report this review as inappropriate)


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