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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This article by engineers Sorin Ficut and Dan Ferne of INTBS Romania highlights the practical benefits of using FineFIRE, a BIM software for fire protection design, through a real-world case study involving the storage capacity expansion of a bottling plant of Coca-Cola HBC S/E Europe in Timis, Romania.
FineFIRE is a flexible modeling tool for sprinkler installations, practically without any design limits. We can directly get (almost on a real-time basis) the pipe sizing results according to the standards, thus enabling engineers to focus on the substantial aspects of the design. Particularly for medium to large scale projects like the one presented in this article, FineFIRE is the ideal tool to study alternative design solutions/scenarios in order to reach the optimum one.
ZELUS describes the Phase One renovation of the New Orleans Superdome, for which it provided pre-construction services. The Superdome was originally built in the 1970s and has become one of the most iconic sports stadiums in the US. It remains the largest fixed-dome structure in the world.
Using the BIM as-built has proven mission-critical to this project. With a structure as complex, grand in scale, and iconic as the Superdome, everyone working on the project has to know what they’re getting into before construction begins.
With the number of construction projects dwindling as a result of the pandemic, many companies are reimagining their business models to secure their future. While how to increase productivity remains one of the major hurdles that the industry needs to overcome, construction and engineering companies must also look to servitization — the idea that construction organizations compete on full lifecycle support offerings rather than simply the tasks associated with initial build — to attract new business.
In this article, Kenny Ingram, Vice President of Engineering, Construction & Infrastructure at IFS summarizes some key trends that he believes will color 2021 and beyond, including lifecycle management, offsite construction, and 5D BIM.
Fender Katsalidis describes the implementation of AEC technology on the “Merdeka 118” project, a 118-storey, mega-tall skyscraper under construction in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Upon completion, it will become the tallest building in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, and the second-tallest building in the world.
Designing a building as complex as Merdeka 118 required inputs from many different engineers in their individual fields. As architects, we orchestrated and coordinated meetings with an assembly of consultants contributing to the full project model using processes like BIM and software applications including Archicad, Solibri, and Aconex.
This article captures the key AEC industry updates that were shared at the recent Autodesk University, including some new products, most notably Autodesk Tandem for digital twins and Autodesk Build for construction, the acquisition of Spacemaker for generative design in urban planning, and updates to existing products including generative design in Revit and site optimization in Civil 3D.