Following a year in which the United States saw natural disasters such as Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Sandy, what does 2013 hold for infrastructure construction? Will the industry see more projects coming down the pipeline? Also, what role will BIM (building information modeling) play in infrastructure-construction projects in the year ahead?

Microdesk, www.microdesk.com, Nashua, N.H., a provider of consulting services to construction firms, recently unveiled its list of predictions for infrastructure in the year ahead, suggesting there will be a strong focus on implementing solutions to rebuild the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Here are the top five trends Microdesk identifies:

  • More firms will turn to visualization and collaborative design processes to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure systems.
  • Governments envisioning broader uses of BIM will prompt further adoption in the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry.
  • BIM will make its way into field operations.
  • The use of mobile devices in design, construction, and facilities management will become commonplace in 2013—so much so that Microdesk believes this will be the last year mobile takes a spot in its predictions.
  • A focus on cloud technologies will facilitate improved workflows.

By leveraging technologies, the industry will be able to set new precedents for designing and buildings roads, bridges, and mass transit systems in 2013, according to Microdesk.

These predictions come on the heels of Autodesk, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif., unveiling Autodesk Project Mercury, which combines desktop, cloud, and mobile technology for BIM on infrastructure-construction projects. The software provider says Project Mercury is a step forward when compared to legacy solutions and has the ability to manage large datasets, opening the process to a broader set of stakeholders.

Autodesk recently previewed a beta version of a cloud-based road optimization service for Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler software, which is the first in a series of cloud-based services it plans to deliver as part of Project Mercury. This road optimization service and other Project Mercury solutions will be available in 2013.

As 2013 fast approaches, construction companies working on infrastructure projects might consider using BIM and other collaborative technologies in order to deliver projects on time and on budget, ultimately helping rebuild roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.