March/April 2008 >> Vol.



Generative Green
Components Design
Advanced form Evaluating building
design in architecture performance with
IES and Ecotect

CAD training special / Autodesk 2009 portfolio / Display Technology
AEC Mar/April Cover.indd 1 3/4/08 14:00:11


Vol.36: Contents
9 Newsdesk Autodesk’s 2009 family
Editorial We report from the AutoDesk World Press Day event
Managing Editor: Greg Corke
as the new line-up for 2009 is revealed, including
Email: the new features, the full AutoCAD suite and a new
version of 3ds Max.
MCAD Technical Editor: Alistar Lloyd Dean
Editorial Assistant: Stephen Holmes
Email: 10 Report Generative Components
Consulting Editors Martyn Day looks at advanced Generative
Martyn Day Components software at SmartGeometry, Munich.
John Marchant
Publisher: Geoff Walker

Design and Production
Dave Oswald

Group Advertising Manager: Peter Jones
Deputy Advertising Manager: Steve Banks 14 Case Study A bridge too far
Email: The unique GenerativeComponents double-helix design
Accounts Director: Terry Wright
of the Marina Bayfront Bridge in Singapore.

20 Case Study Digital project
Subscriptions London architects Newtecnic utilise
Database Manager: Alan Cleveland Gehry Technologies Digital Project
Email: (DP) software to create structural
Free Subscriptions: AEC Magazine is available on building facades that are innovative,
free subscription to UK readers qualifying under the beautiful and buildable.
publisher’s Terms of Control.
Paid Subscriptions: AEC Magazine is available on
paid subscription at the following rates: UK – £36
per annum; Overseas – £50 per annum.
23 Comment Benchmarking for recruitment
Cheques should be made payable to Electronic A more targeted approach to benchmarking CAD skills for recruitment can give HR managers
Design Automation Ltd support in assessing the technical competence of candidates at interview stage, says Rory
Vance, Managing Director, CADsmart.
©Electronic Design Automation Ltd. Reproduction
in whole or part without prior permission from the
publisher is strictly prohibited 27 Opinion Training
With the imminent release of Autodesk’s 2009 AutoCAD and Revit
EDA Ltd. 63-66 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8SR platforms, what options are available to engineering and architecture
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7681 1000
firms to keep on top of educating staff to use new features? Stephen
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7831 2057
Holmes looks at the approaches being taken to make training both
Printed in the UK by effective and justifiable in the modern workplace.
Warners Midlands plc
28 Case Study Green thinking
Ecotect is one of a new generation of so called ‘green’ building
analysis programs. Since adopting the software, architect Alan

Visit our online resource
Gillard has been able to base his designs on more than just
‘green gut feeling’.

31 Software Review Virtual environment Revit goes green with the addition of the Integrated Environmental Solutions ‘VE Toolkits’. Now
architects and MEP Engineers can optimise their designs without leaving the Revit environment and
check against industry green standards compliance.

Online articles, Back issues, 33 Case study Set in concrete 33 Technology Monitoring change
PDF Magazines, Subscriptions Bison Concrete leads the market in precast concrete
technology and as such makes heavy demands on
Robbie Jamieson contemplates new Display
Port connections and 10-bit support and

and much, much more... its printing solutions. Amy Nicholson finds out how
Océ equipment has helped Bison to stay on top.
how they will change the way we look at
displays in the design sector.


03 AEC Contents.indd 1 7/4/08 15:16:09

which will genuinely wow their the team to identify 590 collision conflicts. which sponsors the BE Awards ceremony. integrator and manager. President and CEO.000. As with the rest of the 4 3/4/08 15:26:03 . “The spaces they designed and approved with 2D clients. then Informatix is happy to Linux. In the KIP9000. VentSoft. Structures software. IT www. and colour illustrations of more than the year in accomplishments and challenges faced by infrastructure Martijn Janmaat. Océ now say that the system www. communications and trust between the various stakeholders says: “The real message behind the product is Atlanta-based general contractor Holder Construction and enabled us to make rapid changes in the early phases simple: Piranesi enables our customers to create modelled the structure. engineering content management solutions. Westec sourced Océ. by including its own PrintNET software as standard which Corporation and Tekla Structures Russian reseller can receive files electronically from anywhere via a web browser. but also its top expertise. senior BIM engineer at wonderful. program.” Bentley’s 180. United States. differentiation when printing in mono. “The collaborative 3D sessions improved Infomatrix marketing manager Jeremy Jones. has been made “This to work converting it on site at Poynton Bradbury Wynter expertise or the desire to go down this route. predominantly for use with a PC interface. group publisher. Capable of delivering 22 A1 prints per minute.” he Océ have adapted one of their TCS500 systems to work One of the largest architects’ practices in the region. praising the team’s skills. 4 NEWSDESK AEC MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL 2008 04AEC News. the KIP9000 has an open According to Telka’s market research. the TCS500 is designed some manufacturers’ technology could potentially be integrate their new investment with any existing system. said: “It Excitech have been named by BlueCielo as their The yearbook features descriptions provides the opportunity to learn about the European Reseller of the Year by Partners. Geospatial. Mac or Unix scanning and output to produce the accurate tonal gradation gallery online platforms and includes native DWF batch processing for printing complex drawings.exitech. MEP systems and interior of the project. the project drawings and static renderings now could be experienced in “If demonstrating Piranesi’s potential helps team revealed they were able to quickly identify and resolve an active 3D model.” said Paul Hedgepath. page project yearbook showcasing the Jay McGraw. Plant. Civil.oce. WWW.000 in extras and avoiding months accompanied by a short passage about the image Garden Inn in Atlanta. stylish artist’s impressions of their finishes in KIP UK has launched their most powerful Holding their first seminar in Moscow on Tekla integrated production system to date. saving the project more of potential delays from collisions. which will include a fully localized Russian New thinking on latest KIP offering environment.COM Tekla enters Russian market with software Tekla is looking towards opportunities in Russia with the upcoming Tekla Structures 14 software version. and Academic categories www. page is dedicated to a customer image. algorithms for high quality reproduction. integrating with NavisWorks to enable Holder Construction. at the ECM Frontiers Awards.” the UK supplier. The central part of every The utilization of Building Information Modelling has been field conflicts within the award-winning. Tekla of use. McGraw-Hill Construction. the KIP UK introduces The event was organized in co-operation new thinking on electronic distribution and printing at the point with CNC machine manufacturer Bentley book place in infastructure history Excitech awarded The digital version of “The Year in of the 2007 BE Awards of Excellence BlueCielo reseller Infrastructure performance in Europe in 2007. it prints from KIP also boast an increased quality and sensitivity in both Piranesi artists given new all major software packages on Windows. although Océ set converted to work. A new website from Informatix is showcasing Hilton happy with BIM savings on latest project the work of customers using Piranesi artist’s impression software. of the year work of Bentley users.AECMAG. than $800. stating that the problem was on industry standard platforms and software systems on the market. excellent customer service and strong skills in handling award recognises not just Excitech’s best revenue and Training. found that finding a compatible printer was a near-impossible management consultancy and solutions based As with the majority of professional digital printing task. and its creator. The company Excitech’s Electronic Document Management (EDM) team offer a range of information England for Océ and distribut0r Westec. they promote the individuals and firms who are submitting images. Cole architects in St Ives. while also linking to CAD accounting software. www. on a Mac-based interface. Russia is architecture that according to KIP will be able to integrate a challenging market but also the one showing the seamlessly into existing information management systems using strongest IT growth at the moment. the first of its kind in Southwest had been Mac-based since the mid-1980s. Serving as the BIM creator. of 230 recognised project nominations 2007 some of the most innovative project teams BlueCielo ECM Solutions was pleased to announce and 36 winners honoured in the in the world. What better way to express that than by showcasing the illustrations themselves? Through frequent 3D coordination sessions. but suppliers did not have either the www.” www. design projects. multi- site implementations of our leading InnoCielo Océ adapt printer for Mac runs as well as it would with a PC.tekla. $46 million project. with most showcased in the opening of the new Aquarium Hilton saving more than $800. an application programming interface to allow users to fully www. more than 50 companies representing the major steel fabricators in the area Offering 600 x 600 DPI printing with advanced imaging participated.” www.

indd 1 31/3/08 09:30:05 .Cadsline Midas.

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CADS Marketing Manager Gary Dale.penguin3d. Bentley The company state it is fully compatible with Architecture. combines mental ray rendering software with region grew seven per cent to nearly E30Bn. artistic images and technical 3D products. In addition Bentley has made improvements that should allow It also opens up a new knowledge path for owners individual dimensioning according to the type of object. which not only produce great information modelling technology. ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) to the building “Delivering a fully compatible Windows information modelling platform. allowing more profile to include Revit that address the needs of modern building design. with expected gains in the coming year of 11 E103m in AEC revenues including building.COM New 64-bit mental ray rendering software EMEA revenue growth looks set A new renderfarm software solution for mental ray 64- to continue in the next year bit standalone rendering software is now available from ARTVPS.” AEC competitor to Autodesk and Bentley. version of Penguin is now available. Since its first version in 2003. In 2008. like Robobat per cent. Penguin are offering a free evaluation Autodesk demand for plant design software. Cambashi Intergraph PPM tool for designers and architects that want to predicts growth of over 25 per cent to E120m. on BIM are responsible for generating this growth. and LEAP Software in rendering solutions.0 boasts a host of new Aveva features including improved user interface and Revenues grew 18 per cent to over E72m. known for its 3D visualisation rendering technology. and the demand of software the USA. which include Tribon. revenues for engineering applications software (France) and NavisWorks (UK) is expected to lead to further has produced a Windows based application that providers in the European. Forecasts for 2008 show growth of around five  www. “ARTVPS is renowned for developing high performance to two related factors: The transition from 2D to 3D building ECT promise and Hevacomp in the UK. software version is an obvious next step and will appeal to 3D users wishing to add mental ray Nemetschek rendering to an existing rendering network or to With AEC revenues of over E121m for 2007 those creating a new render farm with a preferred Nemetschek is the largest European based hardware partner. Last year. closer integration with Rhino.  www.artvps. Penguin building and Following the acquisition of Graphisoft in 2006 and a series of niche developers in structural steel and civil engineering. The non-photorealistic render plug-in for Rhino and AutoCAD. and also a partner for companies looking for leading solutions supports the UCS-System of AutoCAD 2007. the only UK structural engineers. fabricators and detailers of structures of all software developer to hold types. Cambashi predicts growth of around 8%. civil and plant by installing it on any 64-bit machine running per cent to around MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC MAGAZINE NEWSDESK 7 07 AEC News . version 18 includes new latest development further underlines CADS role as interfaces CIMSteel / CIS/2. believe growth is attributed Already in 2008 they have announced the acquisitions of Graham Wylie. creating shaders. complex of Revit Structure to help them exploit this powerful and ‘multilevel’ dimensioning of groups. Revit and Civil3D. Autodesk’s 3dsmax and Maya plus Softimage XSI. and better dimensioning software and relate it directly to their project needs. DSTV. SDNF 2 and SDNF 3. The company. as well as the acquisition of version is available for Rhino 4. said: “This Boasting a list of new features. Penguin 2. In 2007. adding components such as electrical. Autodesk’s AEC software www. growing and second biggest segment. with their increased focus Texas Pacific Group in 2006. engineering and construction was the fastest Although not directly comparable with Autodesk figures. profitability and quicker production of structural fabrication data.0 and AutoCAD 2004-2008. WWW. Middle East and African (EMEA) growth. this status. Creators of the survey. images but are also easy to use. CEO at ARTVPS said. CADS have further increased their that Bentley claim will enhance productivity. but exclude the use of AutoCAD and AutoCAD says it has become the preferred rendering LT in AEC. revenue Penguin offer cool solutions McNeel Europe has announced that the new in EMEA grew 38 per cent in 2007.cambashi. grew by 18 per cent to E94m. increasing by 16 per cent Cambashi estimates that in 2007 Bentley generated around and it is now possible to utilise existing hardware to nearly E460m. and heating. www. Cambashi. expected in CADS brings in new Revit Structure solutions New features from Bentley’s ProSteel International software company CADS has become an approved Revit Structure Bentley has released Version 18 of their ProSteel application for Reseller. The recent E47m in 2007. The software offers powerful automated and integrated tools Specialising in structural engineering design and detailing software. In 2008.” of bended objects. Integraph had EMEA revenues of illustrations for catalogues. Now a private company acquired by Hellman & Friedman and create conceptual.  www. applications. users for better integration of products. Microsoft Windows.cadsglobal. with similar growth ARTVPS’ own render management interface.indd 7 3/4/08 15:29:18 .com acquisitions of complementary technologies. and a new shader 2008 growth is expected to be around 6 per engine that allows the combining of different cent as high oil price generates new investment in plant. forecast growth of eight per cent for this year.

indd 1 3/4/08 08:26:47 .CADpoint Ad.

 www. a developer diversity” is also added as part of the companies Francisco. Since March last year Exactal has been represented by Cadco in Ireland. said: “CostX is already in use by a number of international companies with offices in Europe. analysis. and System is now available.3 features include the Action Recorder. while extending the reseller network.indd 9 3/4/08 15:30:42 . braces. new design and usability MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC MAGAZINE NEWSDESK 9 09 AEC News. with the exception of the software structures of all types has been upgraded. that of Carmel Software Corporation.  www.” explains Marc Petit.autodesk. WWW. and announce Elsewhere in Revit Architecture. which further streamlines Design 2009 provide users with tailored online experiences. which is designed to enable RAM Structural System V11. a provider the two subsidiaries Nemetschek Allplan and for design professionals. and AutoCAD Raster architects to carry out high-quality renderings with little effort. the Australian and previews new Viz technology software company has appointed Phil Lines as its European channels manager. emphasis on learning with new Tooltips. AutoCAD Civil 3D. gets latest steel specs Featuring the latest steel design In addition to user interface enhancements. This simplifies the learning process and makes it easier Bentley’s modelling. so AutoCAD technology for simulating and analysing sun. allowing them to be 2009 versions of the Industry-specific releases of AutoCAD Autodesk also showcased a brand new visualisation more profitable and to more quickly produce economical designs. and artificial automated and integrated tools. and Green Building Studio. that will “enhance subscription customers can create ‘artistic’ images. and Autodesk design specifications. At the quality of the demonstrations at Autodesk University. a new version of 3ds Max engineering software. to better meet the specific needs of our entertainment and visualisation customers. it also includes Exposure state that the upgraded software will provide powerful functionality to the AutoCAD feature set. with the establishment of the European office helping provide direct support to Cadco and the existing network. There’s also an Max for architects or design professionals. software programming. AutoCAD MEP. A new horizon logo that “reflects the group’s At the recent Autodesk World Press Day event in San in this  www. updated design of columns. structural engineers’ productivity. Autodesk has enhanced not only create the necessary clarity for the group’s some new acquisitions in the area of sustainable design. Mark Kefford. ventilation and air conditioning) mechanical umbrella branding strategy that incooporates which include the full AutoCAD suite. and all of the company’s Revit-based of web-based building energy analysis that enables architects Nemetschek Scia . samples. Establishing the new office in London for the European market will enable us to offer a wider range of support options to those companies as well as making CostX more available to the wider European market through an expanded reseller network. As part of the expansion into Europe. IES. emphasising the group’s position as an international vendor of AEC software technology under the slogan ‘moving minds’. which provide more Autodesk 3ds Max now comes in two distinct flavours Upgraded version of RAM information about commands. CFO and Board Spokesman for the event to preview some brand new design visualisation process. but from baseplates. CEO of Exactal.exactal. Autodesk also used to perform whole building energy analysis early in the design Ernst Homolka. the company introduced its 2009 series of products of HVAC (heating. view changes to layer settings without exiting the Layer Manager for users to find the information that’s most relevant to them. Building Information Modelling tools.COM Expansion sees Exactal open first London office Autodesk delivers 2009 family Exactal is continuing its worldwide expansion by opening its new European office in London.” which enables users to view operations that are relevant to the of 3ds Max.nemetschek. have been updated to include the heart of this are closer links to partner applications including showed it working with Revit models effortlessly. the rendering functionality and swapped out the Accurender broad product portfolio. Nemetschek has reworked its website in parallel current workspace in a single.K. For Revit Architecture 2009 Autodesk has placed a huge stressed that it may never come to market as a product. links to help documentation and Show Me animations. and design software and 3D users will find 3D navigation improvements with new 3ds Max Design 2009 includes all features offered in for structural engineers involved in the design of building ViewCube and SteeringWheels tools. sky. and beam web openings. The technology is still under development. Nemetshcek relaunch brand image Nemetschek AG is unveiling a new corporate design. codenamed Newport. and steel emphasis on Building Performance or Green Building design. this seems the Corus Advance sections. However. of Bentley’s RAM Structural drafting tasks by allowing the user to automate them without any user interface and application defaults. Bentley The new release also includes the addition of Impression development toolkit (SDK). Autodesk 3ds Max 2009. AutCAD technology codenamed Newport. said: “The new public image will technology for architects. compact place. A mode-less layer manager lets users customisable and a ‘classic workspace’ option still offers the was also clear with the release of a dedicated version of 3ds more traditional toolbar and menu interface. new productivity Autodesk Media & Entertainment.1 certification. including latest steel Design were also announced. AutoCAD P&ID. lighting to assist with LEED 8. the company also announced two acquisitions unlikely. “3ds Max 2009 and 3ds Max specifications. which is at the heart group apart from its competitors. senior VP.3 includes several Map 3D. which design tables for the” including AutoCAD Architecture.”  www. version 11. The interface is Autodesk’s growing commitment to design visualisation with the new brand launch. Nemetschek AG. it will also clearly set the For AutoCAD users the big news was a new ribbon interface rendering engine in favour of Mental Ray. tutorials.

own right! The sub title of the event was ‘Architecture in a Parametric Age’. alive and kicking and continuing to grow in usage. what was the event Autodesk at the start of the year. as well as many research presentations leaving you thinking what on earth will happen next in this exciting area. in the main. listening intently to all the to create some of the most radical buildings of our presentations but could not be drawn into a discussion generation. somewhat shockingly. then you know what Generative Components is all about. Global Market Director for building. so I will concentrate on ones 10 EVENT REPORT AEC MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC Generative. Maya and 3D Studio parametric Generative Components technology. which is where Alias used Rhino to 5-axis Robots used to lay bricks! to reside. Products like Inventor. as Aish was warmly welcomed design. as to what he would develop at his new masters. a handful of innovative thought leaders Huw Roberts. I have to say it was far and away the best Smart Geometry conference program I have seen and really depicted the realities of parametric modelling by the leading design firms.that GC was The Dubai towers museum. and you’ll see presentations on on Maya or Max. as Autodesk hired Whitehead (Foster and Partners). It’s the one looks to be more committed. Although these are. the conference element is highly some Form generation capability.Aish and Bentley. Parametric form generation is absolutely now. The move shocked like? Bentley and many wondered what the future of GC The 2008 conference was held in Munich. There was also a healthy dose of theory with the practical. this may be based non-vendor centric. under development Innovation continued into the theatre area where a despite only leaving a prolonged beta state last year. Although this sounds Bentley-centric It’s a fair assumption that Autodesk wants and needs (and I guess it is). which Max have been used with lots of hand-penned scripts was developed by Dr. at Autodesk. jumped sides and moved to So. at the would be. the building is a BMW this event to make a very bold statement . For now. Itself an would Aish do at Autodesk? It appears Bentley took outstanding curvaceous form. Hugh conjecture on this particular point. inside MicroStation rising back wall (entrance and exit) came out of the If anything. Would it continue to be developed? What incredible BMW Welt (BMW World) building. O ne of the Architectural highlights of the year awareness of GC in the industry. as well as Bentley’s projects.Robert Aish.Robert Aish. formerly of Bentley but Components. before Autodesk shoves its millions This was the first GC event to run since the ‘father’ of dollars into the market. Dr. Munich If you are into advanced form design in architecture. The founding fathers of the Smart Geometry Autodesk. Each event catching on at leading practices and Autodesk realises is a chance for the best students and most talented that it doesn’t have anything that can be sold as a architects to come together for tuition on Bentley’s solution. and the company is without doubt SmartGeometry.indd 10 3/4/08 15:33:16 . enough competitive talk. It appears that Aish is getting the scope of what technologies he has at his disposal for product The Autodesk shift development. MicroStation.AECMAG. Also of note was the pre-eminence of rapid prototyping models that were on display and the clear focus on post model fabrication. Martyn Day reports. a display area and a community space. And before I relay a few of the presentations. WWW. Bentley has to get as far ahead as it can with GC. Robert Aish and is based on but there’s little for mere mortals to get stuck into. as I have reports of ‘Aish sightings’ at projects using technologies ranging from McNeel’s Autodesk’s Toronto offices. There were far too many presentations to go through in detail. many on live or built projects.COM SmartGeometry Conference. event where you can see totally cutting edge There appear to be no hard feelings between technologies applied to Architecture and structural Dr. J Parrish (Arup him on the basis of what they saw with Generative Sport) and Dr. research by the Smart Geometry directors. Aish also present how they are using new methodologies stayed for the duration. Aish’s departure has forced Bentley to and Generative floor – all very cool and a parametric environment in its change down a gear and ramp up the marketing and Components. It would be foolish to not introduce some organisation are Lars Hesselgren (KPF). Smart Geometry is the industry’s leading event for advanced applicatons of computer technology. which indicated the traction that was now being forged between modelling and reality. of GC.

Whitehead added that Components and into a practice. Ecotect and Foster and Partners. some audience the current concentration is on building performance was developed teams in architect’s practices now appear to be the generated questions. These teams produce their own tools adopted. it’s for the vast ‘Lagoons’ knowledge resides in the architects that are 40 years certainly!’. Gimshaw. It was clear that everybody has and sustainability. systems would require. Zaha Hadid.’ Hesselgren (KPF) answered ‘almost would decrease team size and increase output. hopefully. of Generative Components.COM that made the biggest impressions. old plus. But here there is a divide – the script writers.indd 11 3/4/08 15:33:23 . that’s a natural progression for using Generative most common way to push this kind of technology different ideas about how this technology will be the technology’s capabilities. Conceived by projects these days. WWW. less scripting. where the technology skills are in the kids in MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC MAGAZINE EVENT REPORT 11 AEC Generative. go before it matures as a platform and that it will attract architects TVS. KPF.AECMAG. the answers from all the The event kicked off with the SmartGeometry people from different design disciplines and while the Dubai Towers directors seemed to indicate that specialist modelling directors answering as a panel. To the question ‘will all architects become despite thoughts that parametric design in architecture forms the centrepiece to capture knowledge. together Whitehead felt that the technology has a long way to international To the question on best practice of deployment with students from the previously held workshops. Parrish (Arup Sport) felt that artistry would actually increasing the size of design teams due to development. There were always take over from being a geek and in the future its complexity and requirements for diverse skills in presentations from the likes of: MIT.

the environment. although I have major reservations be easily sorted I am sure with more funding.Martin Krcha buildings.smartgeometry2008. Hesselgren liked swathes of land could be dedicated to an architect’s presentation that has been making me think was from a to be around people who like what they do. Foster and Partners Whitehead has the tool maker role at Fosters but this year went one step ahead and looked at the ‘Architect as the lawmaker’. as the structure can be mapped to stress paths and carried deeper within the materials. the curvature of a nearby river could be used and images. parametric form design from the production of a one www. WWW. so close you can touch it. And all by taking into consideration the lighting. where streaming sessions will become available. The architect would then be the aesthetic judge on the variations that the computations generated. the number of sources. The one answered ‘Poetry in pragmatism’. being the defining factor. which he could go and sit in. The only Patrik Schumacher. Is there anything wrong with knitting the Eiffel Tower? One only has to look at nature to see what can be done with fibres and nature always develops effective solutions. Using generative tools. While I am rapidly running out of space to relay much more of the presentations. Using nature as an example Jeronimidis thinks that the future will see increased growth of fibrous composite designs that can be designed to intrinsically handle loads better. lines. which it is. which would morph on with it. This is and every brick had to be placed by a human hand to Hadid? Probably most would not be possible if it amazing to watch and really takes parametrics to the area where the robot could grab it. In itself not exactly a stunning use of a Robot a computer and having someone build the 1:1 model produce a cityscape of individual and unique buildings but the team then started playing with the bricklaying. together with digital topology. huge inspirational and is certainly not to be missed. In today’s Hadid’s Studio .smartgeometry2008. natural air conditioning. It’s a fantastic thought and we are probably not that far away from this. SmartGeometry.Krassimir University Krastev In an absolutely spellbinding presentation.COM Hugh Whitehead. including Catia. envelope allowance. All these could were not for the use of cutting edge technology. This takes the concept of using wondering “why??”. odd alignments and letting the robot just get applied to an array of buildings. The final designs were stunning. off building and applying it to a cityscape. and louvres etc.indd 12 3/4/08 15:33:25 . Should the My final thoughts on the event are that it was truly Asked what still inspires them. Bentley and Foster + George Jeronimidis from Reading Partners . It would certainly be a unique building and is dragging the industry from dumb 2D to something gave a visionary talk on Parametricism as an would fit in context by formula but I did find myself that we only expected in science fiction and it’s almost architectural style’. and having the building create the best form for the orientation. while J. Here the architect would have created the original form and its response to certain 12 EVENT REPORT AEC MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC Generative. Bentley has made the event an online event. allowing computational generative forms to be University presentation that was using a 5-axis robot to Parrish still got a buzz out of designing a stadium in applied to standard geometry or skeletal systems to lay bricks. surfaces and solids? When you are fabricating with fibres the material is the structure. Jeronimidis took us through the world of fibres as a building material. Hugh Whitehead practice be so lucky and influential. joints are always a weak point and give rise to torsion issues and sometimes failures. Zaha it’s an architect and fabricator all in one. with the correct latitude and longitude. visit www. generating better we were”. Whitehead was looking at the concept of being able to ‘drop’ a generative model of a building into a simulated environment. prevailing winds. Conclusion (or leaving) universities today. Patrick Schumacher building. Taking a lead from topology of complex designs with different sized bricks. The another dimension. So what can be done with fibres instead of point.AECMAG. The team wrapped up in response to applying formulas derived from any applying transforms to brick walls producing truly with a humorous reflective quote “The older we get. working in 3D Nesting-of-Bended-Pyramids. Zaha Hadid and form in the computer to automatically respond thing missing was mortar. The spider is a great builder. com. I think practice is a heavy user of Rhino and a multitude of about what it would be like to live in such a generated with this event it’s clear that technology in architecture CAD applications. which was kind of essential What can be said about the amazing designs of Zaha to the operands that the architect chooses. brief.

orientations and performance into their envelopes? design as they go. the impact of different lighting and thermal forms... undertake this analysis architecture is free.ONGSPANmOORBEAMSANDRAFTERS s5NRIVALLEDCELLGEOMETRYANDSHAPE s%CONOMICALlREENGINEERING Get your FREE copy of our software NOW! #ALL%MAILDESIGN FABSECCOUK6ISITWWWFABSECCOUK The force behind Fabsec 13 AEC T: +44 (0)141 945 8500 The UK’s No. yourself. principles? What if you could The plug-in for Revit what f.indd 1 3/4/08 14:48:25 . stage? Architects can now easily What if you could discover build energy efficiency. Form.iesve. orientation. without re-inputting What if you didn’t need data? detailed building and room data to do this? These ‘What ifs?’ are now a reality with IES’s plug-in to What if you could do this Autodesk Revit Architecture right from the initial concept and its <VE> Toolkits.1 for Cellular Beams s2EDUCEDBEAMWEIGHTANDCOST s. IES_Architects_AEC_130x190 31/3/08 11:49 am Page 1 Integrated Environmental Solutions Limited IES <Virtual Environment> links to Autodesk Revit What if you could easily What if you could examine how your design undertake all this impacts on environmental sustainable design analysis performance? directly from your Revit BIM model. simulate + innovate with IES <Virtual Environment> E: W: www. design. construction What if you could assess and use of passive solar the pros and cons of principles can be optimised different passive solar to ensure energy savings. without the input of Contact IES to trial or an engineer? purchase the <VE> Toolkits <Virtual Environment> or full <VE> Suite.

GC’s capabilities are well suited. as an aerial view shows.AECMAG. in 2009. GenerativeComponents (GC).COM GenerativeComponents: bridging the gap The Marina Bayfront Pedestrian Bridge in Singapore features a double-helix to replicate the designers’ vision of walking through a DNA molecule. the Marina Bayfront from stainless steel to support a 6-metre-wide deck engineers to quickly explore a broad range of “what-if” Bridge doesn’t belong to any tried-and-tested bridge spanning 65 metres between piers. Unlike the Golden Gate Bridge design project in Singapore would require – Bentley’s unique generative design software that Bridge in San Francisco and Millennium Bridge in innovative technology. The 280-metre-long bridge captures and exploits the critical relationships between London. The bridge’s DNA- consulting firm. which though different in appearance utilize features a double-helix exoskeleton constructed design intent and geometry. the bridge will replicate for pedestrians The Marina Bayfront Pedestrian Bridge project Moreover. a leading global design and business DNA molecule. GC allows architects and conventional structural systems.indd 14 3/4/08 15:37:13 . The creation of this complex form was made possible with the help of Bentley’s unique generative design software. with the 14 CASE STUDY AEC MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC GC Bridge. When it opens alternatives for even the most complex structures. type. the bridge’s crossing it the designers’ vision of walking through a presented the type of design challenge for which centreline adapts to the site geometry. WWW. knew from the beginning that What enabled the designers to pursue this inspired double-helix structural support mechanism completing the Marina Bayfront Pedestrian inspired design was GenerativeComponents (GC) is fundamentally unique. A rup.

” said Greg Killen.” design centreline for use in GenerativeComponents. within the constraints of the helix rhythm required The design team also understood that any GC’s flexible associative modelling technology complex geometry. streamlined collaborative workflows that increased during evening into the main structural analysis and design software senior associate in Arup’s Brisbane office and the efficiency and productivity of its project teams. along each helix will design centreline. engineering analysis and documentation. the Arup team deployed A string of computer. it became a delicate balancing the team could begin modelling the complex helix These multicolored Bentley’s advanced Building Information Modeling act to provide sufficient clearance for the shipping exoskeleton. chemical processes coordinated drawings.AECMAG. complete. fireworks displays applications. “Ultimately. To avoid this. Arup finalized the bridge Incorporating the plan curve and vertical geometry navigating the bay. Arup then returned pedestrians to pass under the bridge at each design tasks allowed compression of the project’s replication. and facilitate supports close to existing critical path. centreline. bridge supports to reduce the impact on ships engineering design solution. We also needed could accommodate any late changes. Arup needed sophisticated geometric analysis to rationalise controlled lights By associating this flexible model with the new an innovative 3D modeling solution. portions of the structure. Arup was able to take advantage of an active element in minutes. lane. and light shows. by deploying GenerativeComponents. a post-processed version of the model to the analysis MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC MAGAZINE CASE STUDY 15 AEC GC Bridge. Arup was able to regenerate a “The main challenge that impacted our ability By using Bentley’s integrated software turn the bridge into complete complex geometry model of the bridge to coordinate the geometry was associated with applications. nonrepetitive empowered the design team to prepare a model of the create the necessary drawings to accurately estimate geometry often attracts premium pricing during the double-helix geometry around this critical final design construction costs and coordinate the design between tender process.indd 15 3/4/08 15:37:16 . Bridge. To understand that geometry and project constructed around complex. allow Arup’s ability to work simultaneously on linked found in DNA analysis and design stayed in sync. fully confident that the design to mimic the This 3D model was then used to prepare fully comfortably along the bridge. The team then imported the wireframe finalizing the bridge centreline. Once the structured analysis was design manager of the Marina Bayfront Pedestrian For example. as well as a gentle slope to move pedestrians centreline geometry.COM bridge curving in plan while simultaneously rising to abutment. Bentley’s powerful civil a high point in the centre to create a shipping lane. even while finalizing the critical bridge lights are designed (BIM) application. WWW. Arup used the model in Bentley Structural. To ensure the structural to create a link to a nearby vehicle bridge. Using InRoads.

providing feedback GenerativeComponents model to include the design reduced the waste associated with the cold-bending on building materials. This increased bending speed and information modeling. This proved that for a given tolerance describe the complex design. Grimshaw Architects. process. for fabrication purposes. The design team knew that it could 16 CASE STUDY AEC MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC GC Bridge. by applying statistically analyzed the component geometry to rules and capturing relationships among building systems performance. solid model. Arup could GenerativeComponents Discovery Subscription program. MicroStation’s support for industry file and and assemblies. Buro Happold. the complex with the Bentley Structural model by using the ‘Place fabrication. radius for each of the two spirals that formed the To inform decisions. or by defining develop new curve geometry that used one bend complex building forms and systems through concisely expressed algorithms. GenerativeComponents facilitates this by allowing the quick data be considered the same. process. conditions. Combining this with the BIM drawing engineers around the world to deliver inspired sustainable buildings. HOK.indd 16 3/4/08 15:37:23 . What is GenerativeComponents? GenerativeComponents enables architects and engineers to pursue designs and achieve results that were virtually unthinkable before. for analysis. Empowered by computational methods. Designs can be refined by capabilities to generate Excel spreadsheets. For more information about GenerativeComponents and the forthcoming – of about 2 to 3 millimetrets – the panels could be With the structural design in hand. could turn its attention to designing the glazing panels that www. the designers can direct their creativity to deliver inspired sustainable buildings that are freer in form and use innovative materials program. Foster + Partners. as well as connecting the geometry exploration of a broad range of “what-if” alternatives for even the most complex with the analysis engine. Morphosis. to populate a spreadsheet of the panel geometries accurately create as many drawings as necessary to Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. greatly enhanced this buildings. arrangement of panels and the bridge geometry would Member along Path’ tool to quickly regenerate a 3D GenerativeComponents is already enabling leading architects and result in the panels being of unique size. which significantly reduced form the bridge canopy. This unique generative design software captures and exploits the critical By using MicroStation’s Visual Basic macro relationships between design intent and geometry. This integration also ensures that intent becomes reality by enabling Initially. Arup either dynamically modeling and directly manipulating geometry. Arup again modified the glazing costs. Among using the Visual Basic capabilities Arup was able production technology allowed Arup to quickly and them are Arup. and SHoP Architects. analysis. However. GenerativeComponents is integrated with building double helix. and simulation software. the Arup team was concerned that once Arup then combined the structural analysis results designs to accurately and efficiently flow through to detailed production and it had completed the helix rationalization. which saved on stainless steel costs. visit grouped into sizes that. and environmental team’s intent for the complex panel arrangement. assemblies.

it was able to investigate into an active element during evening fireworks displays and light shows.indd 17 3/4/08 15:37:30 . but also be a worthwhile destination in itself. www. For example. bridge on a daily basis. Bentley BIM in conjunction with GC process. This ability under construction on the southern bank of Marina Bay. encircled by opposing double-helix structures that site geometry. A string of computer-controlled lights along each helix will turn the bridge more time. achieving this design (planar) segments. design ideas more quickly. The complex detail geometry before finalizing the over 6-metre-wide MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC MAGAZINE CASE STUDY 17 AEC GC Bridge. reduce fabrication costs by representing the double.AECMAG. engineering. which would have added costs for the geometric parameters. allowed the team to make changes and explore Residents and visitors to the city will have access to large balconies spaced options they could not have imagined. and reduce the weight of the bridge by using a fifth growth and reflecting Singapore’s own aspirations for Marina Bay. complex projects. Bentley products formed the back GenerativeComponents Arup discovered it could DNA replication – the basic building block of life symbolizing renewal and bone of its design. will be the sole link between technology within GC enabled Arup to update the the central business district and the world’s largest casino complex currently geometry in minutes rather than hours. and considerably team to recognize. at several points along the bridge with platforms for viewing the city and the Without deploying Bentley products on the Marina curved helix geometry with a series of single-curved bay. while maintaining construction In addition to facilitating the geometry schedules and holding the line on costs in the coordination. The products provided the less steel than is generally required to construct a power and flexibility required to successfully complete conventional box girder structure. These client. a prominently located pedestrian bridge in a major city would have required using expensive software. The time-saving flexible modelling create the designers’ vision of a DNA molecule.COM allowed Arup to identify sets of repetitive components A bridge to future renewal and growth with the complex spiraling geometry. and have more control over. Moreover. Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority. documentation processes. Although it is difficult to estimate how many pedestrians will cross the Bayfront Pedestrian Bridge. The 280-metre-long Marina Bayfront Pedestrian Bridge in Singapore will not GC enabled the Arup design team to model the only serve as a walking route. a Since GenerativeComponents allowed the Arup typically carries approximately 60.000 people a week. dedicated 3D graphics programmer. WWW. through multicoloured lights are designed to mimic the chemical processes found in For Arup. leading building information modelling software 3D centric design delivering improved productivity and creativity Structural and building services module for complete coordination of building systems Integrated financial and project management capability Consulting service in implementing BIM solutions Partner to Gehry Technologies with proven processes based on 15 years of experience in design and construction of complex building projects Desktop Engineering 18 AEC Tel: +44 (0) 1993 883555 Email: info@dte. Digital Project .indd 1 3/4/08 15:23:46 .

particularly in such a fast moving industry where Course Hotel and Resort.” ahead of the game. One of the reasons we were invest in the latest CAD However. purpose civic centre. the practice has realised impression of being a forward thinking company that software and perhaps even succeed where others may the benefits of using AutoCAD Architecture. It’s Autodesk are releasing new software and with each day features overview focusing specifically on design a bit like group therapy with everyone working together release comes more functionality and refinement. “We have a basic understanding of the software is a need to receive training to ensure that our staff in two stages as high-level one-day training courses but we’re keen to take our usage and understanding of stay informed of all the new features and. “We are still learning how to use the software.COM The key to successful software adoption As successful as an architectural practice can get there’s still room for improvement. At the moment we have a number of users who understanding along with tailored training has meant architectural technician Steve Mathewson. Having that level of assurance and Having completed the project successfully. Training comprised of a bespoke two. to use on a frequent basis to ensure that the features and partner. S ince 2005. not only by giving them the best tools to do their has always strongly believed in using the latest design jobs. the firm requested that the entire architecture team received basic training. and Carnoustie Golf staff. keen to gain our Investor in People accreditation was Expanding its team of architects.wellwoodleslie. but also to support them with the best training”. the key to Brian concludes by explaining that the practice Once training was completed the firm chose successful adoption is down to persistence. “Whilst we were aware that other training organisations could have provided courses at a slightly lower price. software subscriptions. “Our preference has always been to carry out training with our vendors. have continued to grow and skills are at a premium.” admitted the functionality becomes ever more complex there courses for the project team. while That being said. turning to AutoCAD Architecture in 2005 to explained Brian. As and documentation. partner at Wellwood Leslie. but like recognises the benefits continuous training can bring have failed. any new piece of software you really have to use it company as Excitech who “proved to be an excellent “We decided. Dundee based architects Wellwood empowered its staff. much to learn.” configuration. tools. Wellwood Leslie gives the support has allowed our team to flourish with the new meeting project deadlines. some might say rather MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC MAGAZINE CASE STUDY 19 Excitech. Wellwood Leslie contacted Excitech. technicians and to show just how committed we are to investing in our support staff to cope with new projects. so for working practices successfully. their CAD partner. before a further two bespoke to help each other when problems arise. focusing on project administration and system the product to the next level. there is a realisation that there is still workforce and the training here seems to have www. the practice staff.” quite hard. On top of this.” many successful adopters of discipline-specific to its team. in essence. who were able to create a number of bespoke training courses aimed at providing the practice’s CAD users with the necessary skills to begin using AutoCAD Architecture.” said Brian Smith. Having invested in the software on a trial basis for Wellwood Leslie is now committed to an annual a project the firm were keen to see what it was capable training programme linked to the company’s Autodesk of and decided to test it in a live project environment. we recognised the industry insight and quality Excitech possessed. These were provided Steve. Richard Mitchell looks at how a Scottish design team got to grips with their new software investment through some tailored training from Excitech.” said senior mind. enhance its existing CAD software. Recognising at the outset that a key factor in the long-term success of the software was how well the design team embraced it. “Whilst it have been trained and are aware of the features but that we have been able to roll-out new software and was quite daunting at the time we knew it would give who aren’t using the product on a daily basis. “Like has been fortunate to work with such an informed a project to utilise the new software and skills on. Recognising the need for assistance with a new software product. allowing the company to increase Leslie. responsible for such projects as the an already excellent staff retention level. clubhouse refurbishment at The Royal and “The biggest asset that any company has is its Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. for Wellwood Leslie.excitech. WWW. As part of their culture of staff investment.AECMAG. As well as developing a more effective www. so choosing Excitech was a natural choice. despite only four members being involved on the Loch Gelly’s multi.” AutoCAD Architecture on a large scale mixed-use functionality of the software actually stick in the user’s “The industry-knowledge and product redevelopment and extension in Fife. design tools.” added Steve. “We recognise that each year initial project.” explains Brian.indd 19 4/4/08 15:28:12 . the us the perfect environment to see just how effective them remembering how to use some of the features is constant support we receive from Excitech has been the software could be.

the same software that is used by companies fascinating and an important planning tool.” along with the usage so a 3D building model is the Their work ranges from large-scale projects He continued. The ability to change a building du Monde Arabe. which in a traditional 2D drawing may be stylish but actually gives nothing away. Andrew Watts described the firm’s work 20 CASE STUDY AEC MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC Digital. structurally their work goes far beyond conceptual design and. Consequently spaces the design period over the life of the building.indd 20 3/4/08 15:44:06 .time. designed has changed to accommodate ideas about changes to be made over time. “The way modern buildings are ideal repository for the design because it allows currently including developments in Moscow. In real life we observe the world in time but traditionally architects do not include time because their drawings are static. “The ability to including Zaha Hadid. as a result necessitates evolving a Into the 4th Dimension complete manufacturing methodology. Dubai. including its environmental intervention. “DP also gives us the remarkable ability to include the 4th dimension . which was developed by Gehry Technologies that shows exactly what we mean. This tool is firms in the AEC business have recognised that this liberating because it allows designers to iterate the software allows them to realise their vision by making design within a set of flexible governing rules. To handle this “In the past architectural drawings were impenetrable level of involvement Newtecnic deploys Digital Project to most people but with DP we have the tool software. Some designs buildable. This means “The process of making buildings is becoming technical facade solutions that are optimised for more complex and the tools such as DP are efficient manufacture and fabrication. developing along with that process. by Gehry Technologies’ UK representative. Paris. beautiful and buildable. Desktop Engineering which has provided systems and ongoing Liberation support for other leading architectural practices Andrew Watts explained his choice. Petersburg to large-scale residential how usage will alter over time. while co-director Yasmin Watts worked us not only to design faster and more easily but to on Renzo Piano’s remarkable New Caledonia Cultural show interested parties how the design is developing Centre. L ondon based Architects. the rigour of strict rule based engineering discipline. projects in London. By Nick Lerner.” including Boeing and Toyota to design and build the The DP infrastructure at Newtecnic was supplied worlds most advanced engineered products. and LAB’s Federation Square while retaining the integrity of the design vision allows in Melbourne. Allies and Morrison turn conceptual designs into buildable structures and Thomas Heatherwick. Best face forward London architects Newtecnic utilise Gehry Technologies Digital Project (DP) software to create structural building facades that are innovative. Newtecnic specialise in liberates us by allowing considerable creativity within that the mechanical services of a building will change architectural facades using complex geometry. Another function of this feature is that it enables a view of accelerated weathering of a and based on Dassault Systemes Catia V5 PLM building over an extended time period.”Newtecnic has recently been architects reject this type of tool because they feel working on the Gazprom Building planned for St that it compromises their vision but at Newtecnic it Petersburg. Many architects Before founding Newtecnic Andrew Watts worked have wanted to have this type of tool for years and now on high profile projects including the iconic Institute it is finally available. Time gives the drawing reality and also enables the practical advantage of communicating the details of a façade system and how that will change to accommodate the shape of a building to all involved from the client and the occupant to the fabricator and the construction team. It is not possible to draw in a way that includes time and therefore drawing will never deliver the whole vision. SOM. The firm develops innovative are much more flexible and non-specific. “The uptake of DP in the UK intention requires the equally precise methodology has accelerated over the past 12 months because that DP parametric software provides. The animation tool in DP allows us to describe the energy and drama of a design. in ways that they can understand and make best use Because Newtecnic’s facade systems function of. which is both system . effectively extending Kuwait and St. Geoff Haines Desktop while retaining the precision of the original creative Engineering’s MD said.

planners and others involved in efficiently manage their work. “Our brief was to beyond conceptual design. Currently this is unusual create a folded glass wall design including final practice because division of labour often creates a fabrication and construction details.AECMAG. Math generation “The Gazprom tower is a mathematical model from which we can generate visual. In the Gazprom Building for example shapes are laid out on a simple curve even though the finished model looks much more complex. It helps to make things straightforward. There is a continuum of ideas and tools in architecture even though many people treat history as a free toyshop rather seeing themselves as adding to the wealth of past experience.” MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC MAGAZINE CASE STUDY 21 AEC Digital. which provides us with greater design flexibility along with the ability to make multiple changes quickly. the process. This is one example where DP’s parametric methodology really shows its strength because changing one element automatically updates those related to it. The facade was developed in DP with a new system of shell-like panels across the faces of the structure. and its associated reports. with which builders created magical effects. DP allows us to simplify complex geometric shapes and produce interrelated patterns from them. “The Gazprom Building work was won through a competition by RMJM against several of the world’s leading architects. DP has throughout the design-to-production process by allowed us the design freedom to achieve this level of enabling a complete and totally accurate project sensitivity along with absolute technical rigour so that vision. physically construct buildings so our work goes far Andrew Watts that hold the glass panels are reminiscent of a gothic www. Andrew Watts is aware of the place that DP has in the history of tools available to architects and says.dte. Newtecnic works with element analysis) the results of which were fed into companies that fabricate building components and DP to inform the final model. design which has been optimised using FEA (finite “Like architects of the past. on a folded glass facade with Newtecnic This saves hours of talking and explanation producing detail designs from concept to component. designers. “DP allows us to quantify what we have in our friendly building that is sensitive to the functional and heads and shows you how to build the building and emotional needs of its users. The parametric capability within DP allows to be part of the building process and to take from us to change the design easily to fit with the demand the model that which they need to effectively and of clients.5 degrees multiplied over 5 towers.COM on the project.” the structure and its components are guaranteed to be fabricatable.newtecnic. because we can show what we mean in a split Interestingly the tapered castings of one design option plumb line and a set square. Yeang. The ability to do all the work in one software package rather than having to jump between several makes the work flow much smoother and saves time in the design process. DP is simply an up to date tool. The final design will be a lovely crafted. It will be appear modest its constituent parts. Kids stuff In conclusion Andrew Watts said. It puts us onto a strong position through the use of appropriate components. “Use of DP is similar to the use of tools in C15th gothic churches – callipers. The whole building describes a twisted taper. The design is based on a single stack rotated through 2. “DP is able At Great Ormond Street Childrens’ Hospital Newtecnic to reveal the complexity of a design in a simple and is working with leading architects Llewellyn Davis readable way. WWW. The model can be altered using excel. DP allows everyone input to DP.indd 21 3/4/08 15:44:15 . engineering data and excel output that allows us to alter the building and its The tapered castings that hold the glass panels on the Great Ormond Street re-development project are reminiscent of a gothic details while maintaining full control over the design design which has been optimised using FEA (finite element analysis) the results of which were fed into DP to inform the final model. and vice versa. DP is being used to minimise the panel variation and to design the whole façade system including the smallest detail. An original separation between designers and those who carry wireframe model for the building was provided and out the labour of construction.

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their considerable investment in CAD technology. hiring new staff can prove costly. more than 15 years. particularly when recruiting new staff. and a lack of an industry standard for CAD. to make sure that they are right CAD training and resourcing in the for the role in question. enlightened firms are responding to this need by • 78. and that the role in question construction industry is right for them. management and IT management can be improved own staff CAD performance . often across • 56. it is important to consider each user and produced during the design stage are created using MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC MAGAZINE COMMENT 23 AEC CADSmart.a • more meaningful staff appraisals. It is vitally the course of their work. More training • promote collaborative working between teams and offices.5 per cent rely software to maintain high standards.cadsmart. new out for CAD training. • 20 per cent of companies do not set any Many companies today employ CAD technology money aside for training. resourcing. pressure. productivity and performance has meant that HR • 80 per cent induct CAD staff once they have teams have not been able to develop appropriate started work. core skills. even across several locations company training policy. www. When planning CAD training and development of the UK construction industry’s working drawings www. data based on responses from • improve recruitment processes. This. on multiple projects at the same time. combined with the trend towards • only 18. recruiters have relied upon references. Communication between HR standard against which companies can compare their • better skills resourcing for projects. • an average of 44. on how to improve CAD operative standards. a clearer understanding of an individual’s ability results comprise a national CAD benchmark . due to project (Source: Evolve Consultancy CAD Manager’s • better CAD training plans for staff. work.3 per cent of companies have an official a number of offices.and have set meaningful • continuous-improvement process for CAD. on logged support calls to form CAD training It is essential that design and construction content. to monitor and benchmark the efficiency with which to CAD training courses. Inevitably. Both HR and CAD managers can benefit from using CADsmart independent testing software. CAD training. training plans. representation of his or her CAD ability. this A project running in the UK construction industry • measure the performance of outsourcing or off-shoring is not always the case.COM Benchmarking CAD skills for recruitment A more targeted approach to benchmarking CAD skills for recruitment can give HR managers support in assessing the technical competence of candidates at interview stage. WWW. HR teams need clear direction training budget is spent on CAD training. Managing Director. I nefficient use of CAD technology in industry the typical circumstances in which CAD is used during wastes millions of pounds each year. The • clearer staff inductions. this technology is being used. says Rory Vance. or trusting 128 registered UK architectural. Some may be full-time users. engineering and • share performance data across an organization. the construction industry has • 67 per cent of firms state lack of time/ These include: never really had a formula or suitable metrics in place resources as a reason for not sending people out • gain visibility of CAD skills.indd 23 3/4/08 15:55:49 . have the tools to quantify the skills of new CAD members of staff. lack of quality information relating to CAD interview candidates. all taken • best practice for CAD development.5 per cent of companies firms are able to quantify the performance of CAD rely solely on their CAD manager to decide on teams. Often. Survey 2007. worldwide.AECMAG. software upgrades and annual • 15 per cent never send their staff on external appraisals. There are several benefits to be gained from benchmarking CAD productivity. that a candidate’s CV and portfolio really are a true construction firms. while 32.000 individual CAD skills assessments. Until • 60 per cent of practices test the CAD ability of recently.8 per cent have a structured CAD outsourcing and off-shoring of production information training scheme. means it is vitally important to be able to • 16.8 per cent of CAD managers are implementing a roadmap to enable a better return on responsible for providing internal training. CADsmart. staff inductions. with better visibility of each individual candidate’s targets for improvement.3 per cent of companies rely on the benchmark the performance of teams using CAD users to request training and 32. and develop a more strategic and • 25 per cent always prefer to send their staff accurate approach to recruitment. Companies need to ensure the The following data illustrate companies’ attitudes optimum performance of technical staff to deliver to CAD training and resourcing in the construction crucial workloads accurately in a highly pressurised industry: environment. ºIt is estimated that a staggering 75 per cent • best value for clients. Points for thought Although CAD has been used on projects for • 75 per cent prefer their training to be bespoke. 6. • identify individuals’ strengths and weaknesses. to use CAD software. important that HR teams in UK businesses while others may only use the tool occasionally. • save time and money.5 per cent of a company’s At the same time. This hit and miss approach to since 2003 has captured the results of more than programmes.evolve-consultancy.

civil engineers. In a sector estimated to make up about 10 per cent of UK gross domestic product. With the countless small changes made on every the learning environment is much more relevant. not only in terms of the knock-on effect across the entire project.AECMAG. in-house resources and formal external training.COM Makechangegood. Typically. WWW. The consequences of inaccurate drawings can be significant. With the each user’s knowledge. Tailoring training and development plans to reflect these individual needs is not only more effective. And so will you. they’ll embrace change and see it as an opportu. • appoint a CAD reseller or preferred software package – such as CADsmart the CAD credentials of potential new starters. training partner to conduct one-to-one – to benchmark CAD teams and feed nity. Bentley and the B logo are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems. and recruitment programmes. By mapping the training courses to gaps in And you are constantly trying to keep up. interviews with staff to gauge their level of performance data into more targeted training CAD experience. bentley + bIM approaching £95 billion each year. which could easily have been avoided with better working practices at the design stage. building-services engineers. project reworking. technologists. • search the web for a “multi-choice” for AutoCAD and Microstation. house builders and contractors each use CAD in a distinctly different way. CAD vendor certification exams post. project. to quantify CAD knowledge during initial architectural practices and local authorities are candidate interview and to reference check adopting the assessment-software approach to Makechangegood.a host of issues can lead to construction projects experiencing delays during build phase. targeted training programmes and workshops © 2007 Bentley Systems. sort and analyze the data CAD.coM CAD software. “off the shelf” style courses or software-upgrade modules from IS vendors and resellers. when planning CAD training courses. every day. Architects. help to measure and improve CAD productivity. and results are demonstrably better. as seldom does the course content apply to their staff’s individual needs or project types. The results of every assessment allow each such as C&G (City & Guilds) 2D and 3D organization to access. This does not always provide the best return on investment. surveyors. the industry has a habit of spending change its budget on non-tailored. assessment-software approach • appoint a preferred recruitment agency A number of engineering consultancies. landscape designers. MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC MAGAZINE AEC CADSmart. but also financially technical errors and slow delivery of drawings can have an immediate impact upon the project’s financial profits and ultimately the bottom line of the entire company. and by using a mix of big changes in how the profession does business. but costs less. too. How well do you respond to change? Are you sure The options available that every change you make is good for business? for improvement Companies identifying individual user ability and Bentley’s building Information Modeling and experience using CAD can consider a range of individual CAD knowledge. the fact that so many firms are dependent upon the accuracy and efficiency of their CAD operatives is significant. technicians. By options: • use a CAD skills-assessment equipping your team to respond to changes effective. the building industry is full of change. Incorporated. Driving Licence) 2D CAD course. by changing the way you think about change – • task the CAD management team with you can transform your business. or the ECDL (European Computer The assessment data feeds into specific. rather than a challenge. Management solutions make change a good thing. and then apply the outcomes to the business. structural engineers. Missed deadlines. Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly- owned subsidiaries. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. problems on site caused by inaccurate drawings . developing an in-house “CAD test” for The advantages of the Make change good for you. existing teams and new recruits. the two most question-type assessment that captures commonly used CAD software products in the UK. • investigate more formal examinations. training.indd 24 3/4/08 15:55:56 .

” www.750 Bentley BIM is being used by leading architects and Oceania. change. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Middle productivity. This demonstrates the broad range of basic CAD skills in today’s marketplace. The data can also benefit firms when used as part The research has shown that.25 days is CHANGE been using CADsmart since 2004. by targeting of a structured recruitment process. the firm can both provide a more valuable induction process for new trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems.indd 25 3/4/08 15:55:58 . helping to provide a more www. Once a company knows what people can and cannot do with Kling. Associate director Paul Carnell observed: All of this means that a company with 20 “CADsmart allows us accurately to understand staff could be seeing a saving that is worth the Bentley Building Information modeling (BIM) the skills base of our current and prospective equivalent of a new member of staff (20 x £1. or 11. The practice has performance is worth £1. to help to £8. ACE and ICE. management three months can be expensive.250. explained: “CADsmart has proved first time. and Ghafari embrace change designers working from offices in the UK. companies can make significant productivity gains.” incoming staff can save money and time. CADsmart assessment also forms part of our www. UK CAD improvement reworking for drawings that were not done right Learn how you can make change good for interior and graphic For every 1 per cent improvement in HKR Architects.T. Incorporated. During this time the basic CAD skills of 85 recruits were assessed at interview. based on an IS monitor CAD development.COM mAkECHANGEGood. rather than a © 2007 Bentley Systems. costs for staff employed directly. Accuracy scores achieved by those taking the exercise ranged from 5 per cent to 95 per cent.000 staff Permanent: • Better buildings operating from more than 100 offices in Africa. Coordinating the daily changes throughout development and maintenance of high-level CAD Improving the visibility of the CAD ability of your team.. The company has a dynamic days per person per year. architects.construct-it. changing profession.000).100 agement solutions allow you to see change as an maintain a high level of CAD productivity between These examples do not include advertising MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC MAGAZINE AEC CADSmart. making efficient use of our These include the IT Construction Forum. programmes. Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly- owned subsidiaries. a six-month live exercise was carried out across nine UK firms of engineering and architectural WWW.AECMAG. Positioning your firm for success in a standards within our practice. the Middle East.25 days per person per year. The individual assessments Leading industry influencers are now promoting makeChangeGood.acenet. information and detailing work.a.250 engineers on all types of buildings around the world. Europe. resources. masterplanners. A couple of case studies Take an average salary of £25k p. using Contract: from the conventional to the most inspiring projects Autodesk and Bentley software for its production Assuming £18/hr: of our time. or 2. The practice has 7. the group’s combine to allow us to develop targeted training best practice for CAD performance improvement.Com Great scope for productivity gains To highlight the risks of recruiting unknown CHANGEPRACTICE PRACTICE CAD personnel. and know with confidence where to place new starters within the organization. or the cost of David Hoole. In addition to training needs analysis. WSP Group plc is a global business Employing inappropriate personnel for providing design. Bentley and the B logo are either registered or unregistered objective view of potential employees. and well-managed CAD team that mainly A target of 5 per cent annual improvement in uses Autodesk software for the production of information and detailing work. WSP has around 8. and a Benoy is an international firm of award-winning 225-day working Construct I.5 hrs x 5 days = £675 x 12 weeks = Bentley’s Building Information Modeling & Man- been using CADsmart since 2006. to help to the equivalent to 90 working hours. simple performance improvements each year. Assuming a £25k annual salary: recruitment process. average eight-hour working day. north America and 15 per cent agency fee = £3. engineering.25 and Far East.constructingexcellence. www. 3 months’ salary = £ The time the candidates took to complete the assessment ranged from 26 minutes to over four hours. WSP has a large CAD resource.250 solutions help architects and engineers embrace colleagues and enables the continuous = £25. Remember that 11. a practice could save £250. to be a valuable tool in increasing visibility and understanding of our large and diverse Industry Best Practice CAD user-base. manager. Consider the • Enhanced coordination • Improved quality and consultancy services to the built and natural following: • Time saved environment.

These solutions tracks will cover ways to increase productivity. Hope to see you there! For more information. the B logo. Ţ8BUFSBOE8BTUFXBUFS We invite you to join us in Baltimore.JOJOHBOE. Ţ#SJEHF*OGPSNBUJPO.indd Bentley Ad. Ţ$BEBTUSFBOE-BOE%FWFMPQNFOU Ţ$PNNVOJDBUJPOT The conference is an ideal setting to 2580_CADUSER_BEConf08_Ad_0308_210x297. and Ţ3PBET operating the world’s infrastructure. and BE Conference are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems. and reduce the costs Ţ3BJMBOE5SBOTJU associated with designing.indd 1 1 13-3-2008 15:37:06 31/3/08 09:12:46 . vider of infrastructure software. and Beyond about Bentley solutions from the leading pro. visit: www. network. MD usa BE Conference 2008 will provide infrastructure BE Conference 2008 will focus on projects and professionals with an inclusive and engaging technology in the following areas: environment to share best practices and learn Ţ#*. building. Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries. Incorporated. Ţ0JMBOE(BT improve project quality. BEst Practices for sustaining infrastructure BE ConfErEnCE 2008 | May 28–30 | © 2008 Bentley Systems. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Bentley. and exchange ideas with peers in Ţ&MFDUSJDBOE(BT6UJMJUJFTBOE 1PXFS(FOFSBUJPO the infrastructure community while partici- Ţ.FUBMT pating in program tracks.PEFMJOH #S*.

O “Almost all of the companies ften considered an expensive luxury. maximum return on the software investment made. It’s all very well sitting down – doesn’t stop you working. the skillbase is small and right now the only way MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC MAGAZINE OPINION 27 AEC Training. so the return on investment there is quite things haven’t moved on quite as quickly as perceived.COM Training day With the imminent release of Autodesk’s 2009 AutoCAD and Revit focused training that gets the better results. The truth is that there are very few “In the last couple of years we’ve seen a general Susanne Hayward. However they remain adamant we’re working closely with see the benefits of using that the best returns on investment are still to be found the likes of Revit over traditional 2D draughting tools in traditional course. What we’re trying That said. reaction. Most of our trainers Susanne Hayward agrees. Because these products are still relatively but a formula doesn’t yet exist which is better than new. more productive team as staff see the investment the usually some of it that you know. Training is very much a two-way dialogue and productivity gains because you’re not taking majority of CADLine’s methods centre on variations of and being able to ask questions and learn from a advantage of all the latest and greatest. “It is still very intensive. online and self learning materials are likes of Revit over traditional Training for staff seems to prove as much of an becoming more popular due to their ability to be used 2D draughting tools but the investment as taking up new software. Currently. You just can’t get retention and create a motivated. What they tend to do is of people at a time. because some companies still struggle hundreds of people to train will be more imaginative to make the cost justification. “Companies who very much see upfront which is designed to find the areas that inside out. as the delivery of these www. Claire Bass anytime.” significant training to ensure that you gain the The boom in E-training has yet to materialise. have spent a significant amount of time training utilisation of training can have an extremely positive The company offers a training skills analysis CAD users so as well as understanding the products effect on a workforce. becomes more viable. across a number of days because classroom training. they do it every two or three years of the downtime that they get. each with a PC. because a new “We’re doing a lot more training at client’s centres or on a customers premises this is still the version – unless you get a very significant update sites – so we’ve got a lot more mobile training kit that best form of training. training courses. straightforward. the dialogue. “What you tend to find to suit that individual requirement. Most architectural practises are still as sceptical Making that investment up front means that companies of internet and DVD courses as they were nearly a can reap the productivity benefits in a much shorter decade ago. Excitech. Almost all of the companies E-learning capabilities. I think that “I think there is still a perception that training the very large corporations that have got hundreds and is a luxury. the majority being six people to skilled professional is beneficial. I think it’s fair to say that there are an Group published in 2001.” to do is stop people having to repeat training just for expanding its methods in the near future to incorporate www. training firms are seeing increasing “I think the biggest challenge at the moment competition from online tutorials and suppliers of is trying to increase the adoption of these products training DVDs and are busy promoting their own more widely in the UK. “Whether we’re delivering courses in our training to refresh more than anything else.” and watching a video but it’s very much a one-way “But what it does do is damage your efficiency Training in excess of 3. Excitech. what options are available to engineering and architecture firms to keep on top of educating staff to use new features? Stephen Holmes looks at the approaches being taken to make training both effective and justifiable in the modern workplace.cadline. but the biggest barrier to adoption is the current skills “I think these new methods are really exciting. we’re working closely with and expertise to assist in imparting the knowledge With 67 per cent of firms stating a lack of time and see the benefits of using the and understanding of these products on to existing resources as a reason for not sending staff out to CAD employees. then get them to receiving the training needs and how best to deliver it training tend to have a significantly increased staff sit on only those modules. training this can be addressed is by progressive companies for CAD users is becoming an annual dilemma utilising the likes of Excitech who have the skills for architects and engineers across the country.” maintains Claire. classroom training? We approached two of the biggest biggest barrier to adoption is “You’re taking very laborious tasks and automating CAD training companies in the country and found that the current skills shortage” them. WWW. explaining that the a room. Some of that’s about AutoCAD applications there is a need to receive E-training as well. rather than very “But with the likes of Revit and some of the vertical intensive training for a few. anyplace. Only 19 per cent expressed a positive the benefits from using the likes of Revit.AECMAG. Excitech companies that are choosing to put the staff through move for clients very concerned about releasing a lot upgrade training every year. we take around the country with the convenience of sitting on a scheduled training new training methods.” explains Susanne. 57 per cent stated that increasing number of progressive companies in the they would not be interested in web-based training UK who are doing just that and really starting to see in the future. shortage.” the classroom format.” says Susanne Hayward.excitech. In a survey from the Business Advantage timescale.000 people each year.” says Claire Bass. But is this the end of traditional views the return on this investment as ‘Immense’. is looking at ways of company is making in them.indd 27 3/4/08 15:59:14 . AutoCAD training. they understand what the person actually themselves as learning organisations and embrace delegates aren’t up to speed on. on how to get some training for all. empowered and when you go on a two-day course is that there’s that from sitting in front of on online tutorial or DVD.

I regularly use Ecotect in the early The ability to assess performance at a very involved in the early trials of Ecotect. Whilst into how my own practice could benefit from using depended on my gut feeling. for example. and a large dose of luck. Since adopting the software.indd 28 3/4/08 11:25:39 . automatically into Ecotect. Atlantic College Project in Wales. It was particularly performance of our projects. interests. shading devices. Our staff pick it up as a part of our hotels. or lighting. The ArchiCAD/Ecotect combination since qualification in 1988 and have designed gives me the ability to do ‘quick and dirty’ sketch Above and left: Proposed design and strategy for refurbishment of the Atlantic College. I first got interested in Ecotect while studying for with a general interest in environmental design can buildings for other practices including schools. architect Alan Gillard has been able to base his designs on more than just ‘green gut feeling’. Above: Existing problems. some services engineer. we are able to show clients how in the building industry where it will no longer be – still an area I have a great interest in – the an investment in sustainable design will pay off in the possible for the designers in the different disciplines application of interseasonal heat storage in small future in. to assess the environmental early stage in the design process is critical to really developed by Dr Andrew Marsh. cooling. different enables an ArchiCAD BIM model to be transferred glazing configurations. like Now Graphisoft has created the link that solar panels or collectors. Ecotect is a software that all practitioners the effectiveness of other building improvements. the reduction of energy bills to work independently as fully integrated design is buildings. WWW. sustainable architecture. We can investigate necessary from the outset. This means you no longer to see how these measures affect a building’s have to build in Ecotect a separate environmental performance or even viability. the opinion of the learning about simulation and analysis of building building performance analysis software.AECMAG. but I always felt that in terms Ecotect is building performance analysis software This early test-driving convinced me to look of their environmental design any degree of success designed by architects for use by architects. have been successful. and a raft of other variables. we are at a turning point useful when I was investigating my thesis subject Using Ecotect. Wales. Left: Existing building in decay. Some of these of Buildings at Cardiff University back in 2002. and urban housing projects. I was four years later. Despite its potential for pursuing specialist for heating. a master’s degree in the Environmental Design learn to use. working methodology and without previous training.COM Green thinking Ecotect is one of a new generation of so called ‘green’ building analysis programs. Now. then being stages of sketch design. analysis model from scratch. which saves a lot of I have been interested in environmental design time and effort. performance as part of the taught course. 28 CASE STUDY AEC MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC Ecotect.

co. exemplar refurbishment scheme: an important target Alan Gillard is principal of architecture and design firm. making it an practice’s ambition on all of our us win a job with the Swansea Housing Corporation. for the &REE4RIAL )FYOUARERESPONSIBLEFORIMPROVING YOURCOMPANYgS#!$PRODUCTIVITY. we have been able to demonstrate. And.gillardassociates. WWW. considering that 99% of the UK’s building stock is sub Gillard Associates based in The Vale of Glamorgan. Ecotect also gives me the opportunity to show clients. and help to reduce fuel and water poverty for As an example. via studies completed in are traditionally thought to be solely the remit of Ecotect. The software produces a range of easily interpreted graphs and presentation incorporating an environmental strategy other data on a building’s performance over time. whilst working with Atlantic its users.COM schemes. We are hoping that this project will set really powerful tools in winning over a client’s a standard for low energy social housing in South commitment to energy-efficiency. We architect achieve far beyond what is required by are hoping that we will be able to achieve at least current building regulations. that by adopting competitive edge in the expertise they can offer and heat pump technology alongside other low energy in convincing existing or potential clients of their measures. in an environmental model. the original 1960s student continue the process of refinement without needing to house’s heat load could be reduced by resort to major surgery or alteration of the concept. how the building will perform with certain adjustments. which gives them confidence that sustainable designs can and do respond well to local conditions. www. Wales Gillard Associates was able to be able to talk intelligently about parameters which demonstrate. which is very much my a CSH level 4 rating on this More recently.graphisoft. the analyses from Ecotect helped www. This sort can provide the evidence to prevent an architect of basic analysis has enabled us to convince an from embarking on a design that is destined to understandably cautious client to commit to a quite fail Part-L compliance.AECMAG. up to 90%. College in we were the only shortlisted practice with a www. and be reasonably sure that when we come For the Atlantic College Project in to the detail design stage we will. standard in terms of energy use.squ1. Hopefully we will be able to measures. Wales. the original 1960’s student house’s heat “green credentials”. Ecotect can help an radical building and refurbishment programme. Using Ecotect can help practices gain a via studies completed in Ecotect. that by a range of low energy the services engineer. At its most fundamental Ecotect load could be reduced by up to 90%. at the very least. Wales.



Learn how NCPE got a fast return on its ProjectWise Investment: www.550 projects. NCPE improved project quality as it streamlined design work and information exchange. north china power engineering got connected Success in the world’s fastest growing economy is often dependent on a company’s ability to cut costs and reduce time to $)"--&/(& Reduce costs and speed construction delivery when managing a large portfolio of projects in the world’s fastest growing improve quality. Incorporated. and ProjectWise are either registered or unregistered trademarks or services marks of Bentley Systems. it’s no surprise that 42 of the 50 leading organizations in the ENR Top 500 are using ProjectWise to connect distributed all in less than two years.indd 1 7/4/08 16:28:30 . 40-65*0/ Get ProjectWise – the software for connecting people and information ® across distributed teams. Bentley Project Ad. Using ProjectWise software. share work. Bentley. With results like these. And. as team collaboration improved. and reduce Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. the “B” logo. For North China Power Engineering (NCPE) and its portfolio of 1. connected by projectwise © 2007 Bentley Systems. www. success is a reality. NCPE cut project lead time by 30 percent and recorded savings in excess of US$10 million. Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries.

performance is the metric that any design is (IES) suite named Virtual Environment (VE). No longer will Revit Architecture. This new development enables the Revit worse. CFD. The Toolkits are designed to allow hype and folks being very earnest about saving however these are improving from release to release. As everything is imported model and provides an easy-to-use method and continue throughout. stand-alone applications have to be bought-in. understood. once the building was being occupied and used.COM IES Virtual Environment Revit goes green with the addition of the Integrated Environmental Solutions ‘VE Toolkits’. importantly. to both run the software. which this performance analysis. and Integrated Environment Solutions There is no need to rebuild any models for world. so additional low-energy buildings. BREEAM and Greenstar.” Conclusion IES has moved from being a provider of individual high-end analysis tools. the whole team can take an integrated of assigning basic construction and room-type proven design. analysis cycles. used to analyse specific building functionality. there is a basic concept that really makes The two main building optimisation solutions analysis.  www. . or more building analysis and so to make informed decisions about orientation. facilitating sustainable design at the click of sense . as it’s the only way to get “IES has recognised that directly from Revit Architecture and give Architects a meaningful analysis and architects are going to have level of insight and understanding of performance that to skill-up in some of the basic concepts of building architects aren’t experts at isn’t available in a core package. as the tools haven’t solution are multiple applications which comprise structures energy consumption. which we looked at a few buttons. radical changes are in the pipeline and the Revit has many advantages but the concept of the assessed without any specialist simulation knowledge Green/low carbon emissions initiative has focused the single platform means that a multi-discipline team or the need to re-input geometry data. to pass the essential information the BIM model is transferred into IES’s VE software analysis be something that happens at the back end for analysis in its range of specially designed. Performance-based design has really with its Revit line of products. ‘performance’ revolution but it will drive practices to VE Toolkits produce multiple reports and moves move to 3D-based MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC MAGAZINE SOFTWARE REVIEW 31 AEC Cads. electrical and mechanical.iesve. layout. any of these analysis tools built-in. IES has crossed into the third-party arena and with Autodesk and Revit. building you have designed. At the core of the IES optimising the actual 3D design and minimising any lagged behind in the building world. like has really striven to boil performance information at the early stage of the Revit. We are at the very first part of this properties to the building and rooms as required. compliance certified designs in quicker time. ventilation. This displays the of the process. the company is certainly picking the rising star of the architectural community. G reen Building is undoubtedly the hottest topic links between the authoring tools and the analysis approach and get timely feedback through multiple in the industry today. Each specializes in the four toolkits available for tight integration with Revit that the optimisation and performace were really only analysis of different criteria: Thermal. not even need to leave the Revit environment. The continued development and growth of this integration will lead to better. ‘virtually’ linked together. costs. understand the output. daylighting. generating this As things stand. giving the best. or evacuation. With the decision to support Revit. LEED. 70% of the design decisions which affect integrated building performance analysis tools. Architecture BIM (Building Information Modelling) At early stages in projects (sometimes as early as week model to be easily imported into IES’s system of three or four). WWW. I don’t think that point can be argued. The user does software developers into broadening their applications can collaborate and work on the same design data. form and construction. and a dialog automatically opens.know the performance characteristics of the available in the UK are Ecotect. has forged close ties to Autodesk and especially build knowledge directly into the design process. IES has also recognised that architects aren’t experts at analysis and so has really striven to boil down the results to something meaningful. how it looks is certainly important. lighting. integrating green- first marked on. to offer the designer really useful feedback as to how IES has developed a plug in for both Revit MEP and By clicking the IES toolbar in Revit Architecture. it can happen at the conceptual phase architect-oriented ‘VE Toolkits’.indd 31 3/4/08 16:01:53 . ArchiCAD and Bentley Architecture don’t have down the results to something design process makes it easier to design sustainable. In the Manufacturing last month. fit for purpose their concept would be. architects to undertake top-level building simulation the planet. Core performance have been made. but secondary. the key 3D software tools. solar. IES and Revit aspects of the performance of the building can be So. Now Architects and MEP Engineers can optimise their designs without leaving the Revit environment and check against industry green standards compliance. The meaningful. either once the design was completed. to offering a complete suite of powerful applications that function as a whole. compliance. While there’s a lot of tools are also in a disappointingly embryonic state.Sustainability. Furthermore. This allows architects optimization.AECMAG. Currently IES has been widely available and the fractured nature meant the ‘Virtual Environment’.

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£50 million has been of the Océ TDS400 in Falkirk would be better filled put into a programme of investment. Working primarily further and the new hardware. Peter Kelly. It was also decided that the role approved products on-site. this constitutes The Océ hardware soon proved its worth. high versatile that it benefits the work of the design team volume. the two for Bison. based in Falkirk. reliable system that automated as much of immensely.” printing and smaller scanning equipment has led soon as it was released. has made Bison’s challenging workload accounted for most of Bison’s print output. Bison office in Burton upon Trent and an Océ TDS400 for needed this equipment to help with its latest in-house another of its offices. particularly the Océ in AutoCAD. manageable. The company wanted to make their print Thanks to Bison Concrete’s use of the software.AECMAG. so it was replaced with an Océ with conceptual design. as Peter points out: “This partnership creating roles. leading a major project. Technical Director at appointed a team of approximately 60 designers in Bison remembers what Bison initially wanted from its Vietnam and Bison has found the application to be so print solutions: “We wanted to have a productive. and is followed by off-site TDS800.” Peter reports. Océ’s the Océ DDM represented a great solution. our print production as possible. technical drawings and documentation TDS800. Océ Digital Distribution Manager (DDM). Amalgamating Océ technologies made life easier distribution process rather than fulfilling their revenue. This kind of work is vital to a hardware could do. These new that Bison can continue to offer optimum service. future use. we asked Océ to extend the company of Bison’s size. WWW. combined hardware and software to improve the industrial. about 200.COM Set in concrete Bison Concrete leads the market in precast concrete technology and as such makes heavy demands on its printing solutions. and we are currently doing specifications. solutions have enabled Bison to continue providing But the company has also enjoyed a four-year the best possible service to its clients. commercial. and www. as well as an Océ DS10 A4 scanner. Amy Nicholson finds out how Océ equipment has helped Bison to stay on top.oce. Bison’s prodigious output certainly demands receiving end. education and governmental sectors. with print solutions in 2002.” installations include an Océ TDS600 stand-alone Bison initially leased an Océ TDS600 for its head scanner. And Bison’s needs were certainly evolving: Bison gained its business edge by offering the Océ TDS600 was undergoing very heavy use in customers a bespoke service.” an increasing amount of time administering the product range and capability has also expanded. Further to project: making a digital record of their document this. company. Initially we looked MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC MAGAZINE CASE STUDY 33 Oce.” Bison initially approached Océ to provide it adds Peter. Bison Concrete – a market leader a robust solution. The group was setting Since this upgrade has been implemented. ensuring by the Océ TDS600 from the main office. streamline our Catering to Bison’s need for both large-format was clearly impressed with it and had it installed as workflow and just make things a lot more efficient. which was more appropriate to Bison’s manufacture right through to the installation of the developing needs. in precast concrete technology and solutions to the As Bison grew. other long into the future. the up a new office and was looking to replace old and relationship between Océ and Bison has evolved unreliable plan-printing equipment. Bison fits the bill: its portfolio has companies will be able to continue supporting each demonstrates the unique productivity of Océ’s swelled to include products for retail. production run more quickly. Bison had three Océ 9300 printers to allocate to archives.indd 33 3/4/08 16:02:39 . more easily and with the Océ DDM has now gone international. others prefer to be on the Tunnel.000 linear metres at Burton upon Trent. one that begins Bison’s main office. of ventures it has been involved with. its equipment needed to be construction business – has been at both ends of the upgraded to cope with the expanding needs of the spectrum simultaneously. Bison has found that Océ is able to at hardware to print sets of drawings in collated packs provide them with more than just the large-scale print that were folded so we didn’t have to fold them by solutions a company of their size requires. Bison has less breakdowns. and Bison issuing and distribution process. “The main partnership with Océ in which it has seen its print benefit is that the equipment is printing more quickly production overhauled and streamlined to its unique and is still very reliable. S ome companies pride themselves on providing has included landmark projects like the Channel bespoke solutions. Peter was certainly happy with Océ DDM has been specially designed for Océ’s relationship with Bison to grow and develop the solution from the word go: “We recognised that organisations whose growth means they spend mutually: as Bison’s needs have increased. distribution process” documentation is safely and securely backed-up for Océ was just launching a new software package. since it needs reliable and solution to automate our issuing and distribution solution to automate our issuing and complete archives and scanning ensures that all process. to Bison turning its attention towards improving its “When we saw what the Hardware Bison has also recruited some extra staff to document workflow: “When we saw what the Océ could do. we asked Océ to extend the manage the project. Recent hand. As long as this trend continues. Given Bison’s long history and the number satellite offices throughout the country.

To monitors has meant a slow adoption of the technology. 34 TECHNOLOGY AEC MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL 2008 AEC Robbie. as does the previous red one without consideration for how the final design generation of cards. areas such robert.e. get high resolution support today you need a dual Nonetheless it is important. and where the to find the elusive precious minerals needed for that to be phased out as more projectors are built with Panel) is one of the graphics card may be sending 8-bit colour. However if aesthetics and So why aren’t we using 10-bit now? The answer is colour are important then it will make a difference. 10-bit displays. Today we are on the cusp of some new changes in the graphics industry in the form of two separate technologies combining to form a new standard. A s new technology arrives there is always an initial resistance from people who invested in the old technology and don’t want to think that their investment is wasted. the cost of representation of colour. This is because a lot of the that create massive simulations of the earth’s strata not have a VGA port in the near future but expect them (Widescreen Flat cheaper laptop displays are only 6-bit. not only lessen banding but allow a greater range been around for a few as photography. Display Ports can also have a converter first monitors to is only interpreting 6-bit. of people who will As it’s a digital interface it does not suffer from the 10-bit panels benefit from a closer analogue interference associated with VGA plus there 10-bit support. however there are Some of the classical areas that will see great rumours of a shift in price of monitors soon which will benefits and promote the use of 10-bit technology are make more accessible to a wider audience speeding in medicine where the slightest colour variation could up the adoption process. so it’s likely thinner cable than DVI or VGA and. is how this technology will be pushed into the opinions of AMD as a company. most DVI carries an analogue signal as well.” one cable. There is no reason why a laptop will Dell’s new 3008WFP expect a smoother blend. The more interconnects you put on the colour will make a difference.COM A change in the display Rob Jamieson takes a closer look at two new display technologies and their potential impact on the design sector.consumer meaning affordable to the general Audi R8 image courtesy of Bunkspeed audience as opposed to the high-end panels used in special disciplines. which allows access to more colours. where it is possible to remove the dark Robert Jamieson works for the hardware manufacturer circles from a model who has been out late the night AMD.. The opinions in the article are not necessary the before.600. the graphics card and the display.jamieson@amd.indd 34 3/4/08 16:03:26 . also been viewed to be expensive. and those that can provide 3D performance and 10-bit But what does this mean to the average CAD user? on both outputs at the same time. resolutions of 2. as will oil and gas companies space is limited. Besides the aforementioned advantages. movie scenes shot at different times by using gentle down a DVI. These are known as Display Port and 10-bit “consumer” panels . Colourists who match different TV and link cable where all of the pins are used to send data graduation between different colours so. which has one on its important then 10-bit Display Port is a new form of interconnect between range today. meaning that you can see the difference between cards that can display 10-bit in 2D mode between light and dark in greater contrast. allowing more data to be transferred. digital inputs. then not much. However. “If aesthetics and colour are Major OEMs have announced support for Display Display Port Port monitors including Dell. will look. Luckily for me Well if your only interest is plugging a blue part into a the ATI FireGL range does this. is the option of chaining monitors together using has been around for a while. It is a smaller monitor the more that the cost increases. WWW.although now everybody is happy with PCI-Express as it has become the de facto standard. of transitions. for example. instance are prime examples length in time) with the ability to drive monitors up to 9 megapixels i. Car that it still needs some software support that is already body designers for instance are prime examples of available in the specialist areas but that is not quite people who will benefit from a closer representation ready for mainstream consumers. if you take a greyscale colour transition bar on a cheap changes in the colour temperature will also benefit its small connection is very useful for laptops where laptop screen you can see banding where you may from 10-bit technology. there is a big difference it’s harder to get a Display Port to VGA.AECMAG. 10-bit screens have of colour. which is why technology. An example of this is the move from AGP to PCI-Express . Colour depth is the mainstream. indicate the presence of a tumour. in its basic form. that if Display Port becomes popular it will end up Car body designers for can be three metres long (likely to support more being the only fitting on a monitor.560 x 1. on the other Although graphic cards that support 10-bit have attached to plug into DVI/ However as it’s purely digital feature Display Port hand. However. the screen industry.

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