[ Back ]   [ More News ]   [ Home ]
April 11, 2005
Create Ductwork without Indepth Knowledge of HVACArchitects Help Assess South Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Structural Damage
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!

About this Issue….

A weekly 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.

Welcome to AECWeekly! Architects and designers that receive simple 2D data from their HVAC consultants can use Ductwork HVAC for ArchiCAD to model that data in their projects and coordinate the systems and visualize the model using ArchiCAD's 3D tools. Interior designers can use HVAC for ArchiCAD to model HVAC systems for their projects, customizing the ductwork's appearance to create designs for their clients. Read about it in this week's Industry News.

Also, find out what architects are doing to help with assessing the damage done by the South Asia earthquake and tsunami in this issue.

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, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, Awards, Appointments, Around the Web, and Upcoming Events.

AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at
Managing Editor

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Create Ductwork without Indepth Knowledge of HVAC

By Susan Smith

This week I spoke with Viktor Bullain, Manager of Architecture and Engineering, for Graphisoft ArchiCAD about Ductwork HVAC for ArchiCAD, which provides ArchiCAD users tools to model ductwork -- without needing an indepth knowledge of HVAC. A/E firms or engineering consultants are the main customers of this tool.

Architects and designers that receive simple 2D data from their HVAC consultants can use this add-on to model that data in their projects and coordinate the systems and visualize the model using ArchiCAD's 3D tools. The architectural, structural and HVAC model are stored in one single file and the architect can easily detect conflicts between these various disciplines using clash detection.

I would guess that HVAC consultants would send in 2D drawings of ductwork in various file formats. How does the product handle these disparate formats?

Bullain: The HVAC duct system is modeled in context with the ArchiCAD 3D building model. The primary focus of the tool is model coordination. 2D documentation is automatically created based on the building model.
ArchiCAD can reference in 2D DWG, DGN, and DXF files. These drawings can be used as an underlay in the model. Each floor for example can have one or more drawings under-laid ( in a non-printing format ). An engineer or an architect can use Ductwork to trace over the drawings. The automatic routing functions and the flexibility of the components speed up the modeling process.

How does this work?

Bullain: HVAC for ArchiCAD includes a parametric GDL object library with more than 300 HVAC and electrical 3D objects and 2D symbols. These can be added to the [ductwork] building model created using the add-on ductwork tool to develop detailed designs for building services applications. Graphisoft's Application Programming Interface allows you to work without having to leave the familiar ArchiCAD workspace. Objects behave as ordinary parametric 3D ArchiCAD library parts and can be edited and modified at will. Each GDL object has an easy to use custom interface to make creating the model as flexible and productive as possible. The Parametric content has rules built in for various design
options, making it easy to select manufacturer specific components.

Is HVAC for ArchiCAD a standalone application?

Bullain: No. HVAC for ArchiCAD is not a standalone application, it can only be run from within ArchiCAD. Facility Management information is also available in each object, allowing the model to be imported into the ArchiFM database.
How do you create the Ductwork systems?

Bullain: You can use the duct routing add-on to create the outline and hatching of a duct in 2D and a solid duct body in 3D. The add-on will recognize any change in direction or level, and automatically size and place the bend of the respective duct section. Tees and shoes can be automatically sized and placed, and all connections are made automatically. Grilles can be connected with user-defined methods.

How do you connect duct elements to form part of a larger system?

Bullain: HVAC for ArchiCAD can automatically connect the duct elements by selecting them and using the Auto-connect command. The auto-connect feature works with both simple two duct systems and more complex arrangements that may involve flexible ductwork, grilles, tees, etc.

Penetrations can be automatically created for all ductwork systems where ductwork passes through internal and external walls and slabs. Users can define the clearances required on each side of the ducts, and minimum distances between penetrations that determine when adjacent penetrations should be combined. As the building model develops, these penetrations can automatically be updated to reflect changes in the project.

System requirements:


Operating System: Macintosh OS 8.6 - 9.x., OSX 10.2-10.3

ArchiCAD: ArchiCAD 7.0 / 8.1 / 9.0


Operating System: Microsoft Windows 95 / 98 / ME / 2000 / NT 4.0 / XP pro

ArchiCAD: ArchiCAD 7.0 / 8.1 / 9.0

Architects Help Assess South Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Structural Damage

The ASCE was one of three technical teams comprised of Institution of Civil Engineers (
ICE) members, and members of the Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI) and the Technical Council on Lifelines Earthquake Engineering (TCLEE) that went to South Asia January 30-31 and returned February 9th to study damage resulting from the recent earthquake and tsunami. The teams investigated specific causes of failure in some structures and the elements that allowed some structures to survive.

The teams' findings will be available to ASCE members in early spring.

article in the Environmental Times speaks to the awareness that architects can contribute to post-disaster recovery and preventing recurrent damage. Architectes de l'Urgence (AU) was formed after flooding of the Somme basin of France in 2001. Oddly architects are all too often notably absent in humanitarian emergency teams, despite the fact that their structural, planning and environmental know-how is generally essential. In some cases they are the only technicians capable of striking a balance between technical and natural factors.

worldchanging.com, a web site covering "Tools, models and ideas for building a better future" jointly launched a reconstruction appeal within hours of the tsunami and earthquake disaster in South Asia.

The Architecture for Humanity / Worldchanging.com Tsunami Reconstruction Appeal has raised more than $225,000 in donations and pro-bono services. Architecture for Humanity has been involved in previous reconstruction efforts in Grenada,
Iran (Bam) and
Kosovo, where transitional structures, permanent homes and community spaces were built for less than $2400 through local relief groups.


AVEVA, supplier of engineering IT systems for the process, power, and marine industries, announced that CB&I, an engineering/procurement/construction (EPC) company, has signed a global license agreement to implement and deploy VANTAGE(R) Project Resource Management (VPRM).

Dexter + Chaney has integrated BMG Seltec's Site Automation truck ticketing software into its Forefront(R) Construction Management Software, giving aggregate and asphalt suppliers and construction companies a seamless quoting-to-invoicing system. Information obtained about jobs, materials and customers is entered only once into the system, where it resides in a single location for invoicing and other purposes. Information flows automatically between Forefront and BMG Seltec's applications.


Dr. Don McLean from Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) Limited is to present at the Building Information Modelling conference, organised jointly by the Georgia Tech College of Architecture and the LaiserinLetterTM technology advisory service in April. For more information on the event visit www.laiserin.com/laiserinlive

Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced that registration is now open for
BE Conference 2005, to be held at the Baltimore Convention Center, May 8-12, 2005.

Oce marks the tenth anniversary of Oce PRISMA(TM) software with a new release of Oce PRISMAproduction(TM), a core component of Oce's workflow and output management architecture. Oce celebrated this milestone at the recent Oce Open House in Poing, Germany by honoring key international Oce PRISMA customers, including Global Document Solutions (GDS), Inc. In using Oce PRISMAproduction software to centrally manage Oce and non-Oce production printers in three states, GDS demonstrates how Oce PRISMA is helping customers gain significant efficiency and productivity improvements.

Cyon Research Corporation, a provider of analysis and consulting for engineering-technology markets, and host of the
COFES (Congress on the Future of Engineering Software) event, is in high gear in its preparations for COFES2005. “Innovation in an Idea Economy” is the COFES2005 theme. It builds on the need to innovate as part of ongoing business strategy, and kicks off the event by examining the role of information and knowledge organization in innovation.

New Products

Fakespace Systems Inc. announced the launch of the WorkZTM Visualization System, a complete cost-effective, real-time computing and active stereoscopic projection system bundle. With a system cost below $50,000, the Fakespace bundle provides all of the computing and hardware components for a large screen immersive display system, with image quality comparable to a 3-chip DLP projector and a list price equivalent to the cost of the DLP projector alone.

Spicer Corporation enhances its online view-markup line-up with the release of ViewCafe 3.3. The new release offers an adaptable license structure, JRE independence, new cache preloading and 3D model publishing, and support for the latest CAD formats.

Open Archive Systems, Inc., a provider of document and drawing management solutions, has developed a way for its customers to make sure they have the latest version of software. A quick click and the latest echive® software is installed and ready for use.

echive Series is a family of software solutions for managing documents and drawings. It provides an affordable way to organize, search, view, redline, print and publish common file formats, including all MS Office, PDF, CAD, and TIFF files. Open Archive Systems, Inc. also released echive® RasterREnew Version 2.7. This update adds symbol support, a highlight tool, enhanced batch handling, mouse right click menu options and keyboard shortcuts. echive RasterREnew is a universal raster editor for making changes to scanned drawings.

Archway Systems Inc. announced that they are shipping VersaCAD 2005 for Mac OS X. VersaCAD 2005 for Macintosh was completely redesigned for the latest Mac OS X operating system (Panther).
VersaCAD 2005 for Macintosh has been in beta for many months and has garnered very positive feedback. VersaCAD 2005 for Macintosh has been specially priced at $629US. Premium Service (software updates, new releases and tech support) is available at $495 per year. Site licenses are available at $1,000 per year for up to five (5) users.


Microsoft Corp. and Dell Inc. awarded the owners of Altman Architectural Group of Beaufort, S.C., the second of two grand prizes in a national Microsoft(R) small-business technology makeover contest. Altman Architectural Group was chosen from among 499 national entries to receive up to $75,000 worth of Dell hardware and Microsoft software, along with local IT consulting services to assist in its business analysis, technology design, installation and training.

Around the Web

Printing on the Road: Portable Solutions by Larry Magid, New York Times, April 7, 2005 --Depending on where you are, getting documents or photographs at a hotel room, a conference room or even in the front seat of a car can be almost as easy as printing them at your home or office. There are a number of options, including portable printers, service bureaus, hotel printers and, for photographs, local drugstores.

Google plans to double Gmail capacity--at least by Evan Hansen, CNET News.com, March 31, 2005 -The Mountain View, Calif.-based Web giant plans to double the free storage on Gmail from 1GB to 2GB, said Georges Harik, Gmail product management director. After that, Google will add a yet-to-be-determined amount of extra storage daily, with no plans to stop.

Upcoming Events
April 12 - 13, 2005
Place: Sheraton Premier at Tysons Corner

8661 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA USA

Our design and construction industry is frequently labeled as an industry slow to change and embrace
new technologies and new processes. We have seen remarkable innovations but they often are
adopted only by one or two sectors, attributed to industry fragmentation. This meeting sets up a
challenge for us to identify ways in which we can transform our industry not only in the extent to which
we embrace innovation, but also in the breadth and depth to which we extend the embrace.
April 13, 2005
Place: Sheraton Premiere

8661 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA USA
Inaugurated last year as the Construction Institute's signature conference, Mega Projects of America is a one-day, two-track event highlighting major achievements in North America. Also featured this year is a session on the Kabul to Kandahar Road in Afghanistan. Included in the schedule is the Peurifoy Award address and a CEO Forum addressing the insurance, surety and claims side of the construction industry. This projects also include the Miami Intermodal Center, Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project, Galveston Causeway, Olivenhaim Dam and much more! Last year's projects include a keynote address by Virginia Governor, The Honorable Mark R. Warner,
the National Air and Space Museum, Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center, and the 10 Best Practices in Construction.
April 14 - 17, 2005
Place: The Scottsdale Plaza Resort

Scottsdale, AZ USA
The 6th annual COFES is the setting for an intense conversation on the future of engineering software within the context of business realities. Join us as we explore seven developments that will have an impact on your company's future survival and success.
April 15 - 19, 2005
Place: Anchorage, AK USA
  • Technical Paper Presentations in Both Oral and Poster Format
  • Plenary Speakers to Entertain and Educate
  • Panel Discussions to Stimulate Thinking
  • Local Tours Designed to Satisfy Everyone
  • Exhibit Hall to Learn About New Products and Services

April 19, 2005
Place: McCormick Place

Chicago, IL USA
Get the latest information on the National CAD Standard (NCS), including the Uniform Drawing System (UDS), and learn how this unique tool dramatically improves the way drawings are produced and used. This workshop will include hands-on exercises and examples of NCS-compliant drawings.

Enrollment is limited to ensure a quality education experience with a low faculty-to-attendee ratio. Register early to secure your space!

All cancellations MUST be submitted to CSI in writing. Cancellations received up to 14 calendar days before the seminar begins are subject to a $75 cancellation fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received less than 14 calendar days before the seminar. Please mail cancellation notifications to CSI Attn: CSI Member Services, 99 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314-1588. If insufficient enrollment necessitates canceling the Academy, all tuition will be refunded. CSI is not responsible for non-refundable airfare or other travel arrangements.

April 19 - 20, 2005
Place: Wyndham Grand Bay Coconut Grove

Miami, FL USA
Influencing the Implementation and Acceptance of Emerging Technologies

At a Glance:

Influencing Change - Art Stout, Intel

Valuing Emerging Technologies - Charles Wood, FIATECH

Leveraging Academic Research to Improve Your Bottom Line - Dr. Jesus de la Garza, NSF; Dr. Jorge Vanegas, Georgia Institute of Technology

Smart Chips: Making Sense with Sensors

Stageworks: Computer-based Project Modeling and Control Methods - Frank Matthewson, Bechtel

Procter & Gamble's Advancement of the Capital Projects Technology Roadmap - Jack DeBrunner, The Procter & Gamble Company; Ray Topping, CH2M HILL

Interoperability Progress and Challenges

Challenges and Rewards in Automating the Engineering and Design Process: A Case Study - Robert Carr, Robertson Ceco Corporation

Implementation of Work Flow Management Technology - A Case Study - Fernando Espana, Strategic Project Solutions; Paul Reiser, The Boldt Company

April 20 - 24, 2005
Place: New York Hilton & Towers

New York, NY USA
TCFE's mission is to apply engineering principles to investigate failures and performance problems of engineered facilities, and develop practices and procedures to reduce the number of future failures. TCFE uses the Forensic Engineering Symposium to disseminate information on failures and practices to mitigate failures, and provide a forum to discuss ethical practice within the field of forensic engineering.

April 20 - 24, 2005
Place: New York Hilton & Towers

New York, NY USA
April 20 - 24, 2005
Place: McCormick Place

Chicago, IL USA
The New World of Master Format at the CSI Show & Convention offers 14 Tracks
of Education Programs for your continuing education and career development.
Earn over 30 LUs and CEUs! Tracks include:
  • MasterFormat 2004 Edition
  • Project Life Cycle
  • Safety & Security
  • OmniClass
  • Case Studies

    April 21 - 22, 2005
    Place: Seattle’s Bell Harbor International Conference Center

    Seatlle, WA USA
    Hundreds of new features have been added to Forefront, and this is your once-a-year opportunity to learn first-hand how they work. Get an inside look at SQL setup and security, prepare for your upgrade to Version 12, gain how-to knowledge of specific features, and gather insight from customers who are already running the software.
    April 26 - 27, 2005
    Place: Holiday Inn Boxborough Woods

    Boxborough, MA USA
    DesignCon has successfully demonstrated the value of a focused, practical educational conference for electronic-design engineers presenting solutions to their most pressing design problems.

    The technical programs and exhibitions at DesignCon East 2005 will address the same areas that have made DesignCon a valuable educational experience for semiconductor and electronic-design engineers, providing a high-quality educational program tailored to meet the needs of engineers working in the Eastern region of the United States.
    April 28, 2005
    Place: Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake

    Houston, TX USA
    Bringing the Best Minds in the Industry Together For You:

    PlantSuccess promises to bring you the latest information about IT integration to help you improve your productivity. We deliver on that promise by assembling leading industry executives and experts to share their experiences with you.

    At PlantSuccess conferences, you’ll hear about what worked and why. You’ll hear about the trends that are about to affect your business and the pressures you may be feeling right now — delivered in an organized, professional format.

    You can find the full AECCafe event calendar here.

    To read more news, click here.

    -- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.