Looking back on 2014, there were a number of important developments that rocked the AEC world. Here are our takes on what were the most telling announcements of the year:
Posts Tagged ‘Bentley Systems’
At Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure 2014 Conference in London in early November, Founder and CTO of Bentley Systems, Keith Bentley spoke on the topic of innovation.
In an interview with AECCafe Voice, John Bacus, director of SketchUp product management at Trimble, discussed the new features of Trimble Connect, that offers a new way for designers, builders, owners and operators to collaborate, share and view project information. It is based on GTeam, the collaboration platform developed by Gehry Technologies.
Bentley’s newly announced CONNECT Edition provides a very complex and deep common environment to extend across work groups and enterprises, without changing the basic file format of the products that users have an investment in already.
Bhupinder Singh, senior vice president at Bentley Systems, gave a keynote Thursday, November 7th at the Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2014 event in which CONNECT Edition was explained to the audience.
Singh began by saying that Bentley’s platform approach is to extend it to include your desktops, servers and handheld devices.
“When you have suites, there is still a disconnect,” said Singh. “A goal was to improve information mobility with CONNECT Edition. When you begin you connect to a project, everyone connects to a project profile, then there is a project playbook, and personal playlist – an individual set of apps for the user.” This is similar to the playlist you get with your Apple iTunes music list.
The benefits are: reducing time it takes to get project started, to get supply chains on board, and the data you have becomes increasingly more valuable.
Bentley Systems reminds us with a visit to London that the areas of government, water, roads and rails, and utilities are front and center, with building and construction the underpinning of every project. London is abustle with huge infrastructure projects, evidenced by the number of cranes grazing the skyline. There are an estimated 400 cranes operating in the city.
Mike Detwiler, Bentley vice president and Rachel Rogers, Bentley director Civil, Geospatial, and Hydraulics & Hydrology, spoke with AECCafe Voice this week about the Bentley acquisition of North Carolina-based BLUERIDGE Analytics, provider of SITEOPS civil engineering cloud software, in August 2014.
Trimble announced this week at a media briefing that it has acquired privately-held Manhattan Software, a real estate and facility management software leader, headquartered in London. The acquisition is not replacing any technology but it does extends Trimble Buildings’ portfolio of design-build-operate (DBO) solutions by providing building owners, facilities and real estate managers with integrated, end-to-end property, asset and facilities management systems.
At AIA, Autodesk’s Phil Bernstein spoke about “Next Era BIM” and how technology is evolving in the building industry. In an example, he said a Chinese developer built a 30-story building in seven days. The same developer wants to build a 202-story building in a week. The delivery implications of this are quite mind-boggling.
“Design became separated from construction in the Renaissance era,” said Bernstein, with Alberti. Now digital technology has drive ideas of construction/architecture with the following concepts:
1) It took analog and translated it to CAD.
2) The transition from electronic drawing to digital – making files into models
3) Context – the advent of the cloud, social networking, design and construction in a systems context.
The evolvement of this went from diagrams to prototypes to integrated simulations. Now we can build new spaces with new types of data, according to Bernstein.
The concept of “archetypal relationships” was touched upon, but I’m not sure what was being referred to here, an Oedipal complex or the relationship between documentation and the way things are connected?
“The way I see it, the computer puts architects back in the driver’s seat, because we can control all that information,” said Frank Gehry.
Anthony Houch of Autodesk introduced Project Skyscraper, a new cloud-based collaboration software for Revit that allows architects, engineers and contractors to collaborate on the Autodesk 360 cloud platform. This allows extended teams to search, view, and provide feedback on project models on any device. The tool is in beta now with full commercial release of the software expected by the end of the year.
In addition Autodesk spotlighted Dynamo at the conference, exploring computational BIM with Dynamo and Revit, as well as generating different design options for varying elements including façade systems.
In discussion about the Case Building, the discussion turned to how architects put data to work. And how do they leverage building data in order to set the bar for future content? Autodesk’s interest in reality capture continues on, while they work on figuring out how to turn that information into something meaningful for architects as well as the movie industry.
Houch said that Autodesk is “agnostic about how people access information.” This appears to extend to the new way that Autodesk is delivering information to the media as well. One PR person said they don’t send out as many press releases; everything is available on their site and on their blogs, and Autodesk Labs. This presumes that we are all going to go looking for press materials rather than them arriving conveniently in the newsfeed.
Perhaps the “new spaces with new types of data” that Bernstein envisions will be places that we will all readily visit, just as we open our email each morning.
In a conversation with Marge Hart, Director of Product Management, Newforma, AECCafe Voice learned about the newest release of Newforma Project Center.
According to the press release, Newforma announced the commercial release of the eleventh edition of Newforma Project Center. New functionality provides support for popular cloud storage providers, enables sharing of documents via Box and Dropbox, integrates with established EDMS solutions, and scales to the needs of large global AECO organizations. New features will allow customers to collaborate more easily and manage workflows for building information management (BIM) more efficiently. Newforma Project Center now integrates with Bentley ProjectWise, Microsoft SharePoint, and IBM FileNet, reinforcing its role as the “single pane of glass” for access to all project information.
The Exhibit Floor tells a part of the story of any architectural conference. At the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Conference in Chicago two weeks ago, you walk in, and the first booths you see contain windows, doors, facades, all necessary features of a built environment. Toward the back are the software vendors, which provide the design and conceptual tools to make the building a reality.