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.
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.
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.
This article discusses key topics from Bentley’s annual Year in Infrastructure (YII) conference that kicked off last week, including digital twins, digital cities, Bentley’s upcoming iTwin Platform and its strategic partnership with Microsoft, and the many updates to Bentley’s existing applications for design integration and project delivery.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.