While the AEC industry is more than amply served by
solutions for project management (PM), construction management (CM), and team
collaboration for our increasingly complex buildings and infrastructure
projects, the field of project information management (PIM) has, until now,
been relatively sparse. However, the need for a good PIM solution has
intensified, and one of the new solutions that has emerged in this space is
While organizing project information so that it is easier to find and eliminating duplication is the basic function of a PIM solution, it can further streamline many common PM tasks such as creating and tracking submittals and RFIs. While TonicDM provides all these capabilities, what sets it apart is its strong focus on ease of use and the use of smarts to automate many routine tasks, minimizing the work users would have to put in towards managing project information.
This article, which was originally published in the Q3 2014 issue of AECbytes Magazine, looks at the AEC technologies implemented at Nikken Sekkei, a 2,400 person firm providing architecture, engineering, planning, and construction management services around the globe. Ranked as the fourth largest design firm in the world, Nikken Sekkei is headquartered in Tokyo, with additional locations in several cities in Japan as well as in cities throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Paul Seletsky, AIA, an independent Digital Design consultant who was one of the pioneers in the application of AEC technology in architectural practice, shares his experiences and insights in this Profile.
I had the opportunity to return to NVIDIA’s annual GPU Technology Conference (GTC) event that was held in San Jose, California, a few weeks ago, and similar to last year, I was hard pressed to find any AEC-specific technologies. However, I did get the opportunity to learn more about some of the key advances NVIDIA has made in the broader field of graphics-enabled visualization that is also relevant to AEC in addition to other industries such as gaming, media and entertainment, manufacturing, and industrial and product design. I also got a chance to understand why the GTC is billed as a “premier AI and deep learning event” even though NVIDIA is best known as a company that makes graphics processing units (GPUs) for the gaming and professional markets.
This article explores both these aspects of NVIDIA’s technology—AI (artificial intelligence) and graphics—in more detail.
The book, BIM for Facility Managers, was originally reviewed in the Q3 2014 issue of AECbytes Magazine. That review is being republished as it still very applicable and relevant today. We still haven’t seemed to have made much progress in applying BIM in the operations and maintenance phase of a building’s lifecycle, a topic that AECbytes will explore in more detail going forward. Taking a look back at this seminal book, which still seems to be the only one on the topic, seems like a good way to start.
In the absence of open standards to facilitate interoperability between the different applications used by construction firms for project management, ERP (enterprise resource planning), and CRM (customer relationship management), the only solution is middleware that is specifically developed for this integration. This article explores one such integration solution, Frameworks, to see how it works and how it has been implemented by one of its users, Adolfson & Peterson Construction.
If there is one technology trend that stands out for generating the most “buzz” these days, it has to be AI (artificial intelligence). Hardly a day goes by when I don’t read about some interesting implementation of the technology. While the AEC industry can hardly be described as being on the “leading edge” when it comes to adopting new technologies, AI in AEC is starting to see some traction. This article provides an overview of the technology underlying AI so we have a better understanding of it and then compiles what we have so far in terms of the use of AI in AEC applications.
This review explores the new release of 4M’s IDEA, a BIM application for architectural design that is part of 4M’s multi-disciplinary BIM suite which also includes applications for building services and energy analysis. I last reviewed IDEA all the way back in 2010, and the new release, v.19, is a major one, representing a generational change to the 4M suite. Previously, it was based mostly on IntelliCAD, the low-cost DWG alternative to AutoCAD, but in the new release, the code has been completely restructured to work with the ODA (Open Design Alliance) engine, developed by the open-source DWG consortium of which 4M is an active founding member.
Kevin Nute’s Naturally Animated Architecture is a fascinating, cross-disciplinary examination of how contemporary architecture could more naturally integrate its exterior environment with its internal experience. More than simply an aesthetic endeavor, Nute provides a compelling argument for why such integration is important to the performance and wellness of the human beings that inhabit these buildings. It is important, he explains, to see the movements of the wind, see and hear the rain, glance at the shadows the sun casts on walls.
Rather than a year-end review of trends or predictions for 2019 as is common for technology publications at this time of the year, this article is a collection of some interesting news tidbits in the AEC technology field that crossed my way in 2018 which I was not able to cover. It includes key acquisitions by leading technology companies such as Oracle, Trimble, InEight and Hexagon, new products from OpenSpace and NavVis, and some significant developments related to smart cities and city information modeling.