GRAPHISOFT’s BIM 2017 North America User Conference


This article captures the highlights of GRAPHISOFT’s recent conference that is focused on users of its ARCHICAD BIM application and related solutions such as BIMx and BIMcloud. It included keynote presentations by Kai-Uwe Bergmann, a partner at Bjarke Ingels Group, and Marc Kushner, partner at the architectural firm, Hollwich Kushner, and co-founder and CEO of the digital media platform, Architizer; ARCHICAD-focused sessions from power users and experts; as well as updates from GRAPHISOFT, including a sneak peek at some exciting new features in the upcoming version of ARCHICAD.


FenestraPro Premium: A Generative Tool for Façade Design in Architecture


This review explores FenestraPro Premium, an add-in to Revit for façade design whose scope extends to three main energy-related analysis categories—thermal, solar and daylighting—and how they are impacted by the façade design of a building. The tool is positioned as a design tool, in particular as a generative design tool, rather than as an analysis tool for façade design. In addition to exploring FenestraPro Premium and how it works, the review provides a broader commentary on generative design, including the question of “Are We There Yet?”


Autocase: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Sustainable Design


This review explores Autocase, a cloud-based tool that automates the triple bottom line (TBL) cost benefit analysis of buildings and infrastructure projects, with a focus on sustainability. TBL is a general accounting framework that considers three criteria—financial, social, and environmental—when evaluating any business venture, project, or performance, and it provides the analysis results in hard numbers, making it especially pertinent in the AEC industry where every project undeniably has a long-term cost.

Prior to Autocase, TBL analysis for AEC projects was manually done by specialized firms and was prohibitively expensive. Autocase’s automation capability not only makes the analysis more accessible, it also allows many more design alternatives to be tested and trade-offs weighed, helping to arrive at more informed and hopefully better designs.


Selected Projects from Bentley’s 2016 Be Inspired Awards


This article provides an overview of some of the most compelling projects that were nominated for Bentley’s 2016 Be Inspired Awards in different infrastructure categories from around the world, including the Hanking Center Tower in China, 22 Bishopsgate in London, the Oviedo Automatic Parking System in Colombia, Helsinki’s 3D city model enhanced with laser scanned data, and the Ordot Dump Closure project in Guam.


AEC Technology Highlights and Trends: From 2016 to 2017


The start of a new year is a great time to take stock of different aspects of our lives, both on the personal and professional fronts, and for those of us in the business of developing, implementing, and studying AEC technology, it is fascinating to look back at what has been accomplished so far and what we can look forward to in the months to come. What were the main highlights of 2016? Were there some anticipated developments that did not pan out? What is the “state-of-the-art” of AEC technology at the moment? What’s “hot” going forward? What is the state of BIM? How are the leading vendors in the field doing on technology development? In general, is technology living up to its promise or not really? Are we past the “heady” days of technological breakthroughs in the AEC industry and have to now concentrate on the difficult, relatively unexciting, and often mundane, challenge of implementing these technologies?

Of course, it is not possible to answer all these questions, or even to find the answers to all of them, within the scope of an article. But this first AECbytes article of 2017 attempts to summarize the main AEC technology highlights of 2016 and identify the key trends going forward, looking at where we currently are and where we are headed.


AECbytes Magazine Q4 2016


Issue Highlights

  • Year in Infrastructure 2016 Conference
  • IPD and the Cloud
  • People Profile: Laura Kay Smith, ZGF Architects
  • Greenbuild 2016
  • Firm Profile: Gomez Vazquez International Architects

… and more!

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Autodesk University 2016


This article captures the highlights of the recent Autodesk University 2016, which continued with the theme of “The Future of Making Things” introduced last year, but which introduced some more AEC-specific technologies to look forward to, including Project Fractal, a generative design tool; Project IQ, which can mine construction data to show potential project risks; and Project Quantum, a cloud-based multi-disciplinary BIM tool that seems poised to become Autodesk’s next generation “post-Revit” technology. It also provides an overview of the award-winning projects executed using Autodesk’s solutions in its annual AEC Excellence Awards competition.



Perspectives on Historic BIM Developments in Italy


In this article, Stefano Della Torre, Director of the Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy and a specialist in the field of restoration, shares his insights on the application of traditional BIM tools, which are primarily geared for new construction, to the historic preservation of our built cultural heritage.


IPD and the Cloud

Construction site in the city

In this article, Chris France, whose previous articles on BIM and the Cloud in AECbytes were all about cloud technology (high performance workstations in the cloud) being adopted by firms so they could collaborate between all their offices effortlessly, now highlights what has changed with BIM cloud technologies and how they are being used for Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).  He discusses the three main cloud IPD strategies to choose from — Distributed, Hybrid, and Private Cloud — in detail and how they are different from each other. He also provides recommendations and best practices for IPD technology.


Year in Infrastructure 2016 Conference


Bentley’s annual Year in Infrastructure (YII) conference was held earlier this month in London, and as with previous conferences, it was an opportunity to showcase both the range and depth of infrastructure solutions available in Bentley’s portfolio as well as the wide variety of infrastructure projects around the world that are being implemented with the help of these solutions. This article looks at the main updates from Bentley at this year’s YII conference including the continued expansion of its CONNECT edition to several products including its flagship O&M application, AssetWise, the launch of OpenRoads Designer, the advances in its reality modeling product, ContextCapture, and partnerships with Microsoft and Topcon. It also looks at several infrastructure projects from China, Finland, Denmark, and the US that were implemented using Bentley solutions.