John S. McCain School: Project Profile

Orcutt |Winslow describes the implementation of AEC technology on its John S. McCain Elementary School project, currently under construction in Buckeye, Arizona.

The most important take-away our team garnered from this project is that AEC technology is not the limiting factor in projects of this complexity. At the end of the day, the biggest hurdles we must cross stem from the development and management of streamlined workflows, both for firm processes and design processes, as well as from communication and coordination amongst individuals, both within our firm and across companies.

https://www.aecbytes.com/profile/2021/ProjectProfile-JohnMcCainSchool.html

VisiLean: BIM Integrated Lean Construction Planning

This review explores VisiLean, a cloud-based construction planning and scheduling application incorporating lean principles, which integrates with BIM. Its strength as a lean planning tool comes from its ability to merge the top-down approach (using, for example, the traditional Gantt Schedule) with the bottom-up approach (using the Last Planner System® that follows lean construction principles). Thus, it can be used for the entire range of scheduling activities, from the high-level planning in the office all the way down to the individual construction tasks in the field, for which there is a VisiLean mobile app. The BIM integration allows the construction schedule — including the individual tasks as well as the overall progress — to be better visualized, providing a clearer understanding of the critical issues and bottlenecks so that they can be dealt with and accounted for as the construction progresses.

URL: https://www.aecbytes.com/review/2021/VisiLean.html

Social Distance Modelling for COVID

On 15 August 2020, the Danish Heath Authority issued regulations, that among other things, required enforcement of physical distancing, both onboard trains and in public facilities. This article describes the research that was conducted by a team at the Technical University of Denmark to study the impact of COVID-19 on the passenger flow in the Copenhagen Metro, using passenger flow data and station floorplan drawings as well as Bentley Legion software for simulation of pedestrian flow.

URL: https://www.aecbytes.com/viewpoint/2021/issue_100.html

BIM Software for Infrastructure

It has been close to seven years that I first wrote about the extension of the BIM concept of model-based design from the building domain to the infrastructure domain. At that time, Autodesk had recently launched InfraWorks as a “BIM-from-the-ground-up” infrastructure design application and was transitioning its flagship civil design application, Civil 3D, from being more CAD-like to BIM-like. Since then, there have been several developments in the field of BIM for infrastructure, including the software that is available for it, the implementation of BIM by infrastructure firms as well as government agencies, and the expansion of the IFC open standard for BIM to include infrastructure elements.

This article is focused on capturing the developments along the software front. As we will see, the field for BIM in infrastructure has expanded beyond the initial offerings that were limited to Autodesk and Bentley solutions. Let’s start by exploring these more recent offerings before going back to look at the solutions from Autodesk and Bentley for infrastructure design using BIM.

URL: https://www.aecbytes.com/feature/2021/BIM-InfrastructureSoftware.html

NVIDIA GTC 2021: The Omniverse

The biggest news out of this year’s annual GTC conference that NVIDIA — best known for its GPUs (graphics processing units) for gaming and professional markets such as AEC — puts together to showcase the latest developments in its products was the Omniverse. It is a 3D virtual world that can contain models created by many different people in many different applications in diverse locations around the world.

This article looks at the Omniverse in more detail, including what it is, how it works, and how it is being used by leading architectural firms like Foster + Partners and KPF (Kohn Pedersen Fox).

URL: https://www.aecbytes.com/newsletter/2021/issue_108.html

The BIM Revolution – What to Expect in 2021 and Beyond

Over the past year, many industries have experienced unprecedented disruption due to the new challenges and uncertainties brought on by the pandemic. In construction, this has meant ongoing projects being paused, new project start dates being delayed, and stalled progress around the digital-driven evolution of some construction practices.

In this article, Frank Weiss, Senior Director, New Products, BIM and Innovation at Oracle Construction and Engineering discusses how the landscape of building information modelling (BIM) will evolve in 2021 and beyond and the four key areas the construction industry needs to address for a successful transition: the common data environment (CDE); data relevance and quality; the adoption of digital twins; and improvements to more industry standardization and openness.

URL: https://www.aecbytes.com/viewpoint/2021/issue_99.html

Understanding BIM (Book Review)

Given the large number of books on BIM that have been — and continue to be — published, what makes Understanding BIM stand out is that it is authored by someone who actually developed the precursor to modern BIM applications. This was an application called SONATA and it was developed by Jonathan Ingram — in true Silicon Valley start-up style — in his attic (rather than a garage as it would be in Silicon Valley!) in England. SONATA became REfLEX, which then became ProReflex, which was acquired by PTC (Parametric Technology Corporation), from which Revit emerged as a start-up, which was then acquired by Autodesk — and then of course, as they say, the rest is history. It is fascinating to be able to look back at the origins of BIM from someone who not only had a front row seat to the game, but who actually played it — and not just played it, but actually drafted many of its rules.

URL: https://www.aecbytes.com/review/2021/UnderstandingBIM-BookReview.html

Sasaki: Firm Profile

Sasaki

Sasaki, an interdisciplinary architecture, planning, landscape, and design firm with offices in Boston, Massachusetts, Shanghai, China, and Denver, Colorado, shares its perspective on AEC technology in this Firm Profile.

Since the start of the pandemic, employees have been working remotely and company leadership wanted to understand their space use options once it is safe to return to the office, recognizing this unique opportunity to rethink where and how their employees work. If, as a company, they want to continue working as they did pre-pandemic, how much additional real estate would they need to lease to accommodate growth? If they want to remain in their current space, in what ways would they need to change their current work model? To help answer some of these questions, Sasaki developed a web-based dashboard that allowed the client to test alternative solutions by adjusting any number of inputs.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/profile/2021/FirmProfile-Sasaki.html

An Overview of buildingSMART Standards

It has been over 15 years since I took an in-depth look at the IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) open standard and my reason for doing so at that time was that with the increasing interest in BIM in the AEC community, “the issue of interoperability as a means to integrate the various model-based applications into a smooth and efficient workflow” had emerged to the forefront of professional attention. Here we are, all these years later, and the interoperability issue is still as critical as ever, if not more so. The number of applications for the AEC industry has exploded, and it is likely to continue to increase. We need all these applications to be able to work together in order for them to be able to do what they need to do — help AEC professionals design, construct, and operate buildings and infrastructure as quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible. And in order to work together, they need to be able to exchange the building data they are creating and using with each other freely using a common standard, which is what the IFC is.

In addition to the IFC, the industry organization, buildingSMART, that develops it also develops several additional standards including BCF (BIM Collaboration Format), MVD (Model View Definition), IDM (Information Delivery Manual), and bsDD (buildingSMART Data Dictionary). What these various standards are and what they do is the subject of this AECbytes article.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/feature/2021/BuildingSMARTstandards.html

How Robotics Impacts Land Surveying

Robotics is still a relatively new addition to the ancient land surveying industry. This article by Jane Marsh, Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co, highlights the many benefits surveying robots bring to the industry, bringing it closer to a monumental shift. When surveying robots become standard, the industry could look entirely different than it does today.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/viewpoint/2021/issue_98.html