BIM and Geography

BIM (building information modeling) provides a lot of information for construction and maintenance of structures. Computer aided design or CAD has been a major tool in “loading” a BIM project’s database. Now, other tools are being integrated with BIM for increased digital transformation of the industry.

Data-Driven AEC

Architecture, engineering, and construction is increasingly becoming a data-driven field and BIM (building information modeling) is at the heart of that transformation. How architects, engineers, and contractors deploy BIM and how they leverage the data from models and processes to improve decision-making, and how they can effectively power integrated digital workflows among project team members are the critical questions? A report from Dodge Data and Analytics, in cooperation with Autodesk, entitled Accelerating Digital Transformation Through BIM, offers some insight.

One of the most important findings of the study is the correlation between the depth of engagement with data-driven BIM processes, the intensity of BIM use (the share of projects on which BIM is used), and the degree to which the benefits of using BIM are experienced.

Building Better with Better Materials

On Aug. 10, 2021, the U.S. Senate voted 69-30 to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684), bipartisan legislation to invest in the nation's infrastructure, including funding for roads and bridges, rail, transit, ports, airports, electric grid, water systems, broadband, and other priorities. The legislation provides $944 billion in total spending over five years, totaling $550 billion in new spending.

Transportation as Infrastructure

Infrastructure has become a volatile term with politicians, especially, giving new meanings to it. But a constant definition of infrastructure has included transportation in its many forms: rail, road, air, sea and multimodal. Logically, then, a company that is heavily invested in helping companies that build, repair and renovate the physical infrastructure would invest in other companies that deal with transportation.

High(er) Tech on the Jobsite

What was science fiction in the 1980s is everyday technology today, it seems. Even the construction jobsite, long a refuge from high tech applications, is succumbing to the trends. Cameras and smart phone apps, IoT (Internet of Things) and WiFi, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence are providing benefits to contractors and employees.

Triax Technologies’ Spot-r Mesh has been found on a growing number of sites during the past two years. Workers are now able to use the entry and exit timestamps in the Spot-r Mesh dashboard to connect to EarthCam’s high-resolution video cameras and provide realtime, independent visual verification of the check-in/check-out process. This latest integration makes the user experience quicker and more efficient, eliminating the need to log into both the Spot-r and the EarthCam dashboards to see all their data.

Is It 2022 Already?

It’s still 2021, but companies are already looking ahead to 2022 with new releases of flagship products. As an example, design and BIM (building information software) provider Vectorworks released Vectorworks 2022 emphasizing product quality improvements, superior performance and the latest versions of Vectorworks Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Fundamentals, Braceworks, ConnectCAD, and Vision.

With this announcement, Vectorworks reveals its solution for designers working within multiple industries has been renamed to reflect its full range of design and BIM capabilities. Vectorworks Design Suite combines all the features of Vectorworks Fundamentals, Architect, Landmark, and Spotlight, providing what it calls an entire suite of technology in one interface.

Space, Time, BIM, and Twin

The digital revolution often looks like it is over and digital won. It is everywhere and doing just about everything. And that means more companies are looking to join the victors by developing new applications for every segment of the market, construction included.

Take SIMLAB, a technology company that specializes in the digitization of buildings throughout the design and construction phases and also the development of software toolkits to help architecture, engineering, and construction teams communicate more efficiently at every project stage. By partnering with Matterport, a spatial data company focused on the digital transformation of the built world, and using the Matterport platform, the company creates products and features that integrate Matterport digital twins with BIM (building information modeling) and smart-home IoT (Internet of Things) technologies.

Hardhats, Cameras and AI

Augmented or artificial intelligence is often misunderstood to mean “computers taking over jobs.” AI is another tool in the kit of workers in a variety of fields, including construction, and can be a benefit when properly employed. One way it can be used is for associating data with other data to create an overall image or digital twin of a site during construction.

To collect the data necessary to update the twin or BIM (building information molding) program, cameras can be used. As an example, Buildots uses 360-degree cameras mounted on hardhats to capture images and every aspect of the fit-out phase during bi-weekly site walks. Using the data from these captures and the client's BIM model, Buildots can form a continuously updated digital twin of the project.

A New CAT in Town

Herding cats, they say, is impossible. In Canada, a team from architecture and design firm Perkins&Will, in collaboration with C Change Labs and Building Transparency Canada, are working to corral tallyCAT to help reduce the embodied carbon from buildings. The consortium has been awarded a grant to develop Tally Climate Action Tool (tallyCAT), to facilitate the design of low-carbon buildings.

What New Processes Will Emerge?

We are currently embarking on a new blog series to uncover what the construction industry will look like as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically looking to answer: What will work look like in construction after COVID? Today, let’s narrow in on how processes will change.