As the AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) industry continues to embrace the idea of BIM (building information modeling), construction technology providers are making their best moves in effort to provide the market with a wide set of tools. As we head towards the end of 2011, some technology providers are putting forth efforts that they hope will better position them for 2012 and beyond.

One company looking to stake its claim in more areas of the BIM puzzle is Trimble,www.trimble.com, Sunnyvale, Calif. Making key acquisitions for different stages of the project lifecycle, Trimble is looking to be at the center of the model in more ways than one.

Its latest is a definitive agreement to acquire the StruCad and StruEngineer business from AceCad Software, www.acecadsoftware.com, Exton, Pa., which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012. According to the company, these software products will extend Tekla’s BIM solutions for structural steel contractors, automating project estimating and management, modeling and detailing.

The StruCad product would be an interesting addition to the portfolio, as it encompasses 3D structural detailing for steel detailers and fabricators. The product focuses on detailing automation, automatic fabrication shop drawings, and CNC (computer numeric control) machinery production deliverables. At the heart of this solution is collaboration between engineers, detailers, and fabricators, helping to reduce steelwork design, fabrication, construction schedules and costs.

The other product, StruEngineer, is designed for engineers, helping to enable 3D steelwork modeling and construction management. The product helps compress the structural engineering layout and connection design in the conceptual phase, supporting accurate estimating.

Technology companies continue to jockey for position in the market, either through acquisition or partnership. Earlier this month Trelligence, Inc., www.trelligence.com, Houston, Texas, Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), www.iesve.com, Boston, Mass., and ONUMA, Inc., www.onuma.com, Pasadena, Calif., all came together to support a common BIM Server interface approach with a “mutual intent to keep their respective technologies consistent with the common direction.”

Trelligence provides an architectural programming, design, and data aggregation tool; IES technology helps create early-stage to detailed building performance analysis; and ONUMA provides software and services related to modeling. The companies said part of the motivation for coming together is related to “widespread ambiguity” in the AEC industry related to the concept of a BIM Server. Through their collaborative efforts the companies are hoping to provide an open definition of the concept.

As the market continues to expand and the concept of BIM permeates multiple disciplines of a construction project, expect further consolidation and partnering of key players that hope to provide more of an end-to-end solution for the industry.