Technology – A Catalyst for Innovation, Sustainability and Design at Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners is a global studio for sustainable architecture, engineering, urbanism, and industrial design, founded by Norman Foster in 1967. Since then, the firm has established an international practice with a worldwide reputation and is considered one of the leading architectural firms in the world.

In this article, Han Shi, Head of BIM & Design Systems at Foster + Partners, describes how technology forms an integral part of the firm’s workflow, with several interdisciplinary groups at the practice involved in areas such as computational design, building physics, performance analysis, optimisation, fabrication, and interaction design. They conduct state-of-the-art research and development in collaboration with universities and industry partners, exploring far-reaching ideas from bio-inspired engineering to extra-planetary 3D printing.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/feature/2020/Tech-FosterPartners.html

AASHTO National TRAC Bridge Challenge

This article captures the highlights of the National TRAC Bridge Challenge, an annual competition for students in 7th-12th grades organized by AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), which aims to introduce students to the professional world of transportation and civil engineering and inspire them to consider careers in these fields.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/newsletter/2020/issue_105.html

GRAPHISOFT 2020 Product Updates

GRAPHISOFT unveiled the latest versions of its products at a virtual “Building Together” event held last week, including its flagship BIM application, ARCHICAD; its cloud collaboration solution, BIMcloud; and its mobile and web model viewing app, BIMx. Additionally, the event featured several presentations by customers using GRAPHISOFT’s solutions, most notably, the Australian firm, Fender Katsalidis, which used ARCHICAD to design Merdeka 118, a 118-storey skyscraper—the tallest building as of May 2020—currently under construction in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We also learnt more about Nemetschek’s vision of integrated multi-disciplinary building design connecting ARCHICAD with two other products in its portfolio, SCIA and RISA, using OpenBIM.

This article summarizes the key product updates that were shared by GRAPHISOFT at the event.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/newsletter/2020/issue_104.html

AEC (Technology) in the Time of Coronavirus

In the wake of the current coronavirus pandemic, it has been difficult to find something meaningful and relevant to write about in the area of AEC technology, the focus area of AECbytes. The best I have been able to come up with is to highlight the impact of the crisis on the AEC industry so far and the response to it from AEC technology. A pandemic like this also behooves us to look into the future and ask how this might change—if at all—the nature of our industry in terms of what gets built, how it will be designed and constructed, and the technology that will be required to support it.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/newsletter/2020/issue_103.html

 

Rhino Inside Revit

I recently attended an event hosted by the San Francisco Computational Design Institute (SFSDI) in which I learnt about a new initiative by McNeel & Associates, developers of Rhino, to bring the power of Rhino and its Grasshopper add-in to Revit. While Revit already integrates with Autodesk’s own Dynamo application for design scripting, the ability to now also be able to use Grasshopper for this has the potential to dramatically improve Revit’s modeling capabilities, given that Grasshopper is the most well-established, sophisticated, and widely-used algorithmic modeling application currently available.

This article explores this new Rhino.Inside Revit add-in works, along with a broader look at the area of design scripting in AEC and an overview of Rhino and Grasshopper.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/feature/2020/Rhino-Inside-Revit.html

AEC Technology: Hits and Misses

The start of a new decade is a good time to take stock of where we are and where we have been.

I have been in the AEC technology industry for over 15 years, in the course of which I have had the opportunity to observe and study its key trends. I have seen applications that have come and gone, as well as applications that have come and stayed. Often, in the course of my current writing when I have needed to go back and research some of my older articles, I come across an application and I wonder: Is it still around, and if so, how is it doing? A lot of applications seemed very relevant and promising when they were launched. Have they stood the test of time?

Based on my own experience and research, this article captures a summary of what I found.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/feature/2020/AECTech-HitsMisses.html

BIM for FM at UCSF

 A few months ago, the organization, IFMA (International Facility Management Association) presented a webinar on “Integrating BIM and FM: Status, Case Study and Opportunities” which included a case study of how BIM was integrated with FM on the new UCSF (University of California, San Francisco) Medical Center in Mission Bay. Unlike BIM for design and construction which are, by now, well established and understood in the AEC industry, there are no known strategies for implementing BIM for FM, so the UCSF-Mission Bay team had to start from scratch and figure it out. The effort has taken years, but it is finally ready and in use in the real-life operation and maintenance of the hospital. An overview of how the BIM-FM integration was done, as shared in the webinar, is presented in this article.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/feature/2019/BIM4FM-UCSF.html

Autodesk University 2019

This article discusses the main AEC-specific technology updates that were shared at the recent Autodesk University, including:

  • Integration of construction applications into a new Autodesk Connected Cloud
  • Expanded integration of Revit and Civil 3D with ArcGIS online
  • Launch of Project Refinery as a public beta for generative design
  • Integrating Revit with IoT in BIM 360 Ops to create “smart spaces”

It also provides a brief overview of some of the third-party products that were exhibited at the event, including IdeateApps, ElumTools, The Wild, and Newforma.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/newsletter/2019/issue_102.html

Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2019 Conference

Bentley’s signature annual event, The Year in Infrastructure (YII) conference, was held a few weeks ago in Singapore. While I did not attend the event in person this year, the main updates from the event can be distilled from the comprehensive resources about it that Bentley has made available online, including technology and business keynotes from Bentley executives and guest speakers, press releases, product briefings, and project summaries of all the finalists and winners from Bentley’s annual YII awards competition. This article presents a summary of the key technology updates, followed by some additional details about what was shared.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/newsletter/2019/issue_101.html

Mapping with ArcGIS

Since the explosion of professional GIS products in the mid 90s, ArcGIS by Esri has seen a steady rise. The company began in the 1960s as a land use consulting firm and now enjoys the largest share of the GIS market. Notably, the use of ArcGIS in educational settings has been steadily climbing, especially in fields like environmental sciences and history. In the past few years, there has also been a call for architects to further embrace the possibilities of ArcGIS, and especially to begin incorporating it into architecture classrooms. After all, GIS is useful for analyzing any project with a spatial component, making architectural projects a natural fit.

This article describes the use of the online version of ArcGIS for a historical research project exploring the spatial component to revolution in the city of Paris, and how the memory of political conflict helps to inspire and initiate similar actions in new generations.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/tipsandtricks/2019/issue88-arcgis.html