Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Plan, Build, and Operate More Efficiently and Sustainably with Software Solutions from the Nemetschek Group
July 13th, 2022 by Sanjay Gangal
Two megatrends are dominating the current discussion and both present major challenges and opportunities. Alongside digitalization, sustainability is right in the spotlight. Climate targets, circular economy, CO2 pricing, the use of the latest methods and processes – there are countless initiatives and measures across the construction industry to curb climate change and its consequences. Every single one of them is facing challenges. The good news is that significant improvements can be achieved with proven digital solutions. Across the entire life cycle, a building can be planned, built, and managed much more efficiently and thus more sustainably – cost savings included. The following cases demonstrate that sustainability and efficiency go hand in hand – when relying on the right software tools, such as the solutions from the Nemetschek Group
May 19th, 2022 by Sanjay Gangal
The construction industry is one of the world’s biggest emitters of CO2. Of all materials used in construction, 10% are unnecessary or are wasted, and 30% of all construction work is spent fixing errors. Also, 90% of all large construction projects overrun in terms of time or cost. Why is that the case? One of the most important reasons is the urgent need to catch up in terms of digitalization. The Nemetschek Group is driving innovation with their software solutions, combining it with investments in entrepreneurship and young, successful startups.
Driving Innovation within the Construction industry
Even in the planning and construction process, efficiency and sustainability could – and must – be significantly increased through comprehensive digitalization. Fortunately, a rethink is currently taking place among many stakeholders in the construction lifecycle – driven by an innovative, disruptive start-up industry that is providing countless creative ideas for more sustainable construction. The number of startups in the construction industry developing digital solutions to better connect machines, building materials, and people is growing steadily. In addition to know-how and entrepreneurship, these young entrepreneurs bring one crucial quality to the table: the power of persuasion to inspire the rather traditional, conservative, and fragmented construction industry to embrace their solutions. For example, Madaster, based in the Netherlands and Berlin, managed in a very short time to win 33 well-known German companies as supporters for its new online materials register. With Madaster, every registered building receives a so-called material passport, on which the amount of material, reuse potential, material value and the current residual raw material value are shown. This is a highly recent issue; for instance, the German government is planning the introduction of a digital building resource passport. This is also intended to promote a circular economy in the building sector. Madaster has its finger on the pulse here.
Shaping the Experience: Architectural Visualization with Software Solutions from the Nemetschek Group
April 20th, 2022 by Sanjay Gangal
The early stages of a construction project are a bit like selling dreams: sketches and scribbles give a glimpse of how fantastic a piece of architecture will possibly look like one day. However, the further we proceed with a construction project, the less likely it will become that stakeholders and decision-makers will base their decisions and approvals on dreams and ideas alone. This is where visualizations come into play. Essentially, they improve communication by bringing clarity to the project – everyone can see the end result.
Visualization today is an important tool for all stakeholders during the design and construction process – not just for architects and engineers, but also for their clients and for investors. Impressive architectural visualizations of a building or structure can help bring the project to life for clients, during the design stage and prior to awarding a contract. It also offers benefits during the design stage, when the impacts of material and component choices can be easily seen and any issues addressed early, for example. Having powerful visualization tools is therefore of significant benefit to all project stakeholders. The good news is that with professional 3D BIM software, creating stunning imagery and animations is no longer limited to graphic designers.
March 22nd, 2022 by Sanjay Gangal
A self-sufficient, completely demountable, and floating office building – which initially sounded like a dream of the future became reality in the Rotterdam Rjinhaven port. The team of Powerhouse Company, a Rotterdam-based architectural firm, created an off-grid and CO2-neutral office building leveraging software solutions from the Nemetschek Group’s brand Graphisoft. The revolutionary idea behind the special building: If the sea level rises due to climate change, the Floating Office Rotterdam (FOR) will neither sink nor flood.
September 8th, 2021 by Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal interviews Matt Wheelis, VP Build & Construct Division at the Nemetschek Group, and Zak MacRunnels, CEO Reconstruct Inc.
Matt, the Nemetschek Group just recently participated in the Series B financing round of the AI expert, Reconstruct. Why Reconstruct?
Reconstruct has developed advanced technologies to “close the gap” between the planned and actual performance on construction projects. It is very tedious to verify progress in the field, and this was made all the more challenging by the corona-crisis and travel restrictions. Typically, construction managers or their site supervisors walk the jobsite to verify the progress being made. This requires in-depth construction experience to understand the level of completion, compare it to the intended scope of work, and relate it to the schedule. That’s where Reconstruct’s SaaS software can assist, by collating reality capture data – including that collected by off-the-shelf 360-degree photography, drone data, and point clouds captured by laser scanners, comparing it using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to drawings and BIM models, and making intelligent assessments of progress.
Zak, you joined Reconstruct in 2018 as CEO. What is the the company’s mission?
Reconstruct®’s vision is to make the built world a better place to live, work, and play. With Reconstruct’s Visual Command Center™, we bring together reality capture, design, and schedule to provide construction and real estate assets remote quality control and automated progress tracking. Our goal is to become the next ‘verb’ in construction industry vocabulary as we aim to become the global digital standard for all real estate assets in the process of construction, inspection, or renovation.
AECCafe interview with Don Jacob on the status and potential of artificial intelligence in the AEC/O industry
July 27th, 2021 by Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal interviewed Don Jacob, VP Technology, Build & Construction Division of the Nemetschek Group
Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) is a trending topic in the AEC/O industry. Why are you convinced that it is beneficial for stakeholders across the whole building lifecycle?
With Building Information Modeling (BIM) extending further across the project lifecycle, the shift to data-driven design and construction is resulting in increasing amounts of data being generated in all phases of a project. Stakeholders throughout the design and build value chain are spending more and more of their time as information managers, attempting to organize and synthesize the meaning of this information. AI and machine learning (ML) techniques are proving to be powerful tools to maximize the value and realize potential of data to drive timely decisions faster, impacting architecture, engineering, construction, and building operations.
Maybe you can explain this in greater detail? How exactly does AI deliver value?
Data is the fuel that powers AI. Using historical information, machine learning can forecast future results based on past performance, identify patterns, and generate new insights in ways never before imagined. Planning and design are already benefiting from advanced software tools – like those provided by the Nemetschek Group – which help identify rule-based clashes between models, create accurate construction simulations and schedules, and increase the efficiency of the design stage. AI has introduced methodologies such as generative design, creating thousands of options in a fraction of the time which are then refined by the designer to meet client requirements. In the future, the use of AI in design will help to automate traditionally manual tasks, providing assistive technology that enables design and planning to be faster, higher quality, and cost-optimized. The need to deliver projects successfully with fewer resources has driven the need to leverage the insights that AI and machine learning provides.
AECCafe interview with Viktor Várkonyi on the importance of data and the concept of Building Lifecycle Intelligence
May 5th, 2021 by Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal interviewed Viktor Várkonyi, Chief Division Officer, Planning & Design Division, & member of the Executive Board of the Nemetschek Group
The complexity of building projects is ever increasing. BIM is ensuring smoother processes, but many projects still struggle. Why is that the case?
Building Information Modeling, as the name implies, should be all about information. But the reality looks quite different – most BIM processes are centered around model-based workflows. This approach implies that models are designed based on certain requirements, then data is generated and validated. Handing those models over to the next profession within the building lifecycle often generates data losses, which leads to errors. Even more problematic that during the construction, parts are redesigned. Especially for large and complex projects this approach is far from being efficient. But if we instead focus on the data itself and organize this data at a central point for all stakeholders to access, a smooth process can be guaranteed.
The building data follows a data scheme that can be utilized dynamically across different software applications. Non-graphical data can drive the entire value chain. This is what we in the Nemetschek Group call Building Lifecycle Intelligence™. The approach needs an open, connected ecosystem, centered around data that dynamically connects models and documents. Working in an open cloud environment allows anyone to connect and communicate through open protocols and standards, generating real value for all parties.
December 3rd, 2020 by Sanjay Gangal
Wyoming Linz, a steel detailing contractor based in Wyoming, USA, have been using SDS/2 and Bluebeam in conjunction to streamline their drawing management processes. Justin Lind, Office Manager and Estimator at Wyoming Linz, describes how leveraging the powerful automation opportunities offered by these two software packages from the Nemetschek Group portfolio has enabled the company to save significant amounts of time and reduce errors, while also improving their relationships with their project partners.
How do you use Bluebeam and SDS/2 for your drawing management?
While we have been paperless for nearly 20 years using Bluebeam, we have been developing this process over the last two years to create more efficient workflows. We keep all the current contract documents on a Bluebeam Studio Session where they are always accessible. Then we take the time to set up bookmarks and page labels, which makes the documents easier to navigate. The built-in Bluebeam tools make this easy to do, and we also break the contract documents into three color-coded sets – the architectural, structural, and trades drawings. With the labeling set up, we can then use the batch hyperlinking and specific hyperlinking features to quickly create links within the documents.