Disruptive Technological Innovations
Sarah Hodges, director, construction business line, Autodesk, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif., recently sat down with Constructech to discuss how technological innovations are set to disrupt the construction industry.
Constructech: How has your product evolved in the past year, and what is coming next?
Hodges: As the construction industry embraces more mobile technologies and the digitization of construction processes, BIM 360, our flagship cloud platform for the construction industry, has expanded to meet these growing needs. BIM 360 supports AEC business processes from the earliest conceptual designs through the operation of buildings, and in the coming year we will be adding offerings that connect the phases of design, build, and operate more seamlessly.
The most notable change to the BIM 360 portfolio this year was the addition of BIM 360 Docs, which is designed to serve as the common data environment for all information across a building project. With this, in the coming year, we’ll be bringing new cloud services to construction that are more connected, and leverage the computing power of the cloud, in much more powerful ways.
Constructech: How will your product help builders improve business in 2017?
Hodges: We’ll remain focused on helping contractors improve their business in three key areas: reducing risk, improving quality, and increasing efficiency. This is achieved by helping contractors digitize processes and workflows through the use of cloud and mobile technologies. Many, if not most, jobsites today are still mired in stacks of paper, and full of people moving from the jobsite to the trailer and back to the site to find information and get questions answered. Our products will help teams reduce the time spent looking for information, increase the accuracy and timeliness of how information is shared across teams, and eliminate common causes of rework, disputes, and delays—data errors and omissions.
Constructech: What makes the product unique? How are you different from your competitors?
Hodges: One of the strengths of BIM 360, and of Autodesk software as a whole, is that it spans the entire project lifecycle. Our approach is to put the project in the center, and to build technology solutions that connect the teams and processes that go into designing, building, and operating a construction project. By unifying all project data on a common data environment—BIM 360 Docs—we are able to reduce problems that result from moving data in and out of various point applications, and disconnected processes and teams from the office to the field.