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.
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.
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.
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.
As the adoption of BIM continues to grow in the AEC industry, slowing but surely phasing out CAD, the importance of applications that can check BIM models for quality assurance and control also increases. Earlier this summer, Solibri, the leading model-checking application, dramatically extended its scope and reach by introducing four different versions of its product, bringing its powerful model-checking, quality control, and quality assurance capabilities to different types of users across the AEC spectrum.
The pace of innovation is continuing to ramp up in the AEC Technology industry, as evidenced by this annual collection of updates, which go all the way from design to construction, not just of buildings but of larger neighborhoods as well as infrastructure. There are updates related to BIM from Ideate, Xinaps, and IMSI Design; developments in laser scanning from Paracosm and Pointfuse; preconstruction and construction updates from Join and Autodesk; a move to apply sustainability principles to larger communities in addition to individual buildings from IES; the start of integrating GIS with BIM from ArcGIS; and the expansion of Transoft’s transportation engineering portfolio with a key acquisition, Keysoft. There is also a simple but important productivity tool launched by 28Hands, a spin-off from Arup.
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.