This article provides an overview of the technology applications for architecture that were exhibited at the annual AIA conference last month. Broadly speaking, they fell into the categories of BIM, performance analysis, project information management, specifications, model checking, and, of course—this being an architectural conference—visualization. The products covered include ARCHICAD 23, Twinmotion, OpenBuildings Designer, Vectorworks 2019, IESVE 2019, PlanIT Impact, TonicDM, Newforma Project Center, Deltek PIM, Layer, Overtur, Solibri, Unity Reflect, VIM AEC, and IrisVR Prospect.
GRAPHISOFT’s 2019 KCC event, that was held earlier this month in Las Vegas, included updates from GRAPHISOFT, the global launch of ARCHICAD 23, and presentations from several firms across the world on how they are using GRAPHISOFT solutions. Dubbed the “Reimagine” conference, this event was the first to also introduce GRAPHISOFT’s new CEO, Huw Roberts, an architect and AEC industry veteran who was with Bentley Systems for 18 years. (GRAPHISOFT’s former CEO, Viktor Várkonyi, has moved on to head the Planning and Design Division at GRAPHISOFT’s parent company, Nemetschek.)
The KCC is a small invitation-only event rather than a user conference as such—this year’s roster included about 400 attendees—and it provided me with the opportunity to learn in depth about GRAPHISOFT’s current outlook, upcoming releases, future plans, partner products, and implementation stories. The smaller setting also enabled me to get a better understanding of some of the more technical aspects underlying AEC technology solutions such as the APIs that are used to integrate different applications. I will cover this in a later article, as well as the customer implementations that were presented. For now, a broad overview of the event and the main updates from GRAPHISOFT are presented here.
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 TonicDM.
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.