Rather than a year-end review of trends or predictions for 2019 as is common for technology publications at this time of the year, this article is a collection of some interesting news tidbits in the AEC technology field that crossed my way in 2018 which I was not able to cover. It includes key acquisitions by leading technology companies such as Oracle, Trimble, InEight and Hexagon, new products from OpenSpace and NavVis, and some significant developments related to smart cities and city information modeling.
One of the key acquisitions that Bentley announced at its recent Year in Infrastructure 2018 Conference was LEGION for pedestrian simulation. Given that human behavior is far from predictable, how does pedestrian simulation actually work? This article explores the technology in more detail, looking at other applications in the field and delving deeper into LEGION and the science behind it.
Last week, Bentley held its annual Year in Infrastructure (YII) conference in London, and while the event had a similar format as earlier years—with corporate, technology, and product updates from Bentley in the many infrastructure disciplines it develops software for, and presentations from the finalists vying for the YII 2018 Awards in different project categories—there were so many new developments and updates from Bentley that it was almost impossible to keep them straight. In contrast to previous years where most of the discourse was centered around Bentley’s software, this year’s event had a more visionary tone to it, with the concepts of “digital twins” and “open source” taking center stage. With regard to the software itself, there were acquisitions and integrations galore as well as several brand-new products developed in-house, not to mention a rebranding of many existing solutions.
Innovation remains not just alive and well in the AEC technology industry but is continuing to grow at an increasing pace, as evidenced in this year’s collection of technology updates. We have new releases of several popular applications including Vectorworks, IDEA, dRofus, IESVE, SDS/2, and Twinmotion; new integrations such as IrisVR with Navisworks and Transoft with Vectorworks, which extend their capabilities and make them more powerful; and a host of new solutions in various fields including Overtur from Allegion, BSD Speclink Cloud, BIM & Scan AutoCorr, bim.aero, and BIMserver.center from CYPE Software. Collectively, they span a wide range of disciplines and processes in AEC including BIM, analysis, visualization, objects and specifications, data management, collaboration, laser scanning, and infrastructure design.
This article captures the latest updates on automated code compliance in the AEC industry, with new commercial and research efforts as well as some exploratory efforts in governments to determine how it could be applied to streamline the approvals process by regulatory agencies.
This article discusses the divisive architectural style of New Brutalism, which was developed in European cities in the 1950s and 60s, and asks whether or not our current planning capabilities would have, had they been available at that time, prevented its rise. Had governments and their architects had the capability to use 3D CAD (computer-aided design) or BIM (building information modeling), would they have invented a different, perhaps more indulgent sort of style for the postwar period? Or, was New Brutalism itself a creative choice rather than a utilitarian one, a conscious, definitive break with European architectural style and tradition of the past in the wake of a destructive European war?
Helping underprivileged communities gauge the affordability of clean energy technology is one step in the direction of empowering them to make the investment in it. Solar, in particular, has a lot of promise in certain Global South nations that have high solar availability, with dense populations that require spatial efficiency. It is a simple, elegant, and relatively low-maintenance technology that can serve the needs of many communities and offer exceptional long-term savings via a reduced or eliminated energy bill. Coupled with government subsidies and incentives, the solar market can be an effective solution to the problem of energy poverty for many communities in Global South nations.
This article by Meghna Patnaik, who specializes in Sustainable Environmental Design and is currently a Design Engineer at SunPower, describes a feasibility study she did for the development of solar power as an affordable clean energy technology for one such community—the Purkal Youth Development Society, a nonprofit organization located in Purkal, India, which serves low-income communities from the surrounding villages.
This article summarizes the key technologies relevant to the AEC industry that were exhibited at NVIDIA’s recent GTC (GPU Technology Conference) event, including AI denoising, which uses machine learning to train a renderer to remove noise more quickly from a scene; predictive rendering, which provides quick and highly accurate photorealistic renderings to facilitate decision-making; virtual reality, which enables not only immersive navigation but also collaborative design in a 3D virtual environment; and intelligent video analytics, which uses vision recognition, data analytics, and machine learning to analyze the data captured by the exponentially growing amount of cameras in cities worldwide and turn it into insights for “smart cities.”
Given the increasing use of BIM technology in the AECO industry, it is extremely important to understand and explore the underlying BIM data. In this article, Rashid Siddiqui, BIM Manager and Data Scientist at AECOM, shares some of the internal developments at AECOM to use data science for machine learning, data mining, statistics, and data visualization for BIM, in order to achieve significant time savings and improved accuracy.
Earlier this year, I provided an overview of GRAPHISOFT’s 2017 Key Client Conference (KCC) event that was held in Kyoto, Japan, including the key updates from GRAPHISOFT, the global launch of ARCHICAD 21, and the third party solutions that work with GRAPHISOFT products. The majority of the KCC event, however, was devoted to presentations from GRAPHISOFT customers across the world, sharing their work and how they were using GRAPHISOFT solutions, not just for architecture but also for construction. This article captures some of the main implementation themes common to many of these customers as described in their presentations, including schematic design, algorithmic modeling, the use of OpenBIM, facilitation of downstream processes, and the use of advanced technologies such as virtual and augmented reality.