As with each new release of ARCHICAD, the new version that was released a few weeks ago also revolves around a theme named after a breakthrough improvement. For ARCHICAD 22, the theme is “BIM Inside and Out.” The “inside” in this case refers to the many enhancements for modeling and managing the information within the BIM model, while the “out” refers to the dramatic improvements in the Curtain Wall tool which greatly speed up and simplify the design of building façades, whether they are composed of straight lines or irregular shapes.

These two key features are explored in more detail in this review, along with the many additional improvements related to productivity, workflow, and performance in ARCHICAD 22.


Affordable Clean Energy for Underprivileged Communities: A Case Study

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.


BIM-Integrated Issue Management


In this Viewpoint article, Erik Pijnenburg, CEO of KUBUS BV, discusses the importance of integrated and centralized BIM issue management, not only to improve the quality of BIM data, but also of the design process in AEC.

Integrated issue management enables multi-disciplinary design teams to improve early design knowledge-sharing. In later phases, clash detection or advanced model checking is helpful for quality assurance, but being able to find clashes without a structured way to get them solved does not guarantee high quality model-data. Without integrated BIM issue management, projects will continue to deal with issues on an ad hoc basis and will never reach a point where the data has no defects anymore before construction starts. A dedicated issue-management tool that can organize and help to resolve the large number of issues in AEC projects is essential to creating the high-quality BIM data for successfully executing these projects.


Aditazz Design Synthesis Application


In an AEC technology landscape that has an overall dearth of “smart” tools, the Aditazz Design Synthesis application has the potential to become one. It is focused on creating libraries of rooms for different project types that are pre-validated for code-compliance, which means that when they are used in a project, they can come with the assurance that they already satisfy the internal requirements of that space. Its objective is to make it easier and faster to design projects with highly regulated design requirements such as hospitals, hotels, schools, and so on, using rooms that are already code-compliant. The application comes with a Revit plug-in that has bidirectional integration, allowing the rooms to be placed in a Revit project and still continue to be monitored for code-compliance.

The application is still in a very early stage with several interface enhancements required before it can be commercially released, but the underlying concept is intriguing and represents a unique way of thinking about rule-based design and how it can be applied in AEC.


NVIDIA GTC 2018 Conference


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.”


Solibri Model Checker


Solibri Model Checker, the model-checking application for BIM models, actually pre-dates the term “building information modeling”—I was introduced to it at an “interoperability” workshop all the way back in 2001 when the term “BIM” hadn’t even been introduced yet. Since then, the application’s repertoire has been expanded to include a much wider range of capabilities in addition to model-checking, including multi-disciplinary coordination, clash detection, model comparison, quantity take-off, and issue management. This review takes a detailed look at its interface and functionality, and some examples of how it is being implemented by AEC firms all over the world.


BIM and Data Science


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.


A Legacy of Best Practice in BIM


In this article, Iain Miskimmin, author of the recently published Plain Language BIM book, draws from his extensive experience leading the Crossrail Bentley Information Management Academy and the BIM Advancement Academy program to cull through the complexities of BIM and provide a concise methodology for delivering digital assets of infrastructure projects.