Going beyond bits and bytes

August 11, 2010

The annual technology conference for the A/E/C community heads back to the West Coast this year, as A/E/C Systems 2002 comes to the Anaheim Convention Center June 3-6. This year's conference promises to have something for everyone, from the small contractor to the largest multi-location design firm. No longer just a CAD show, A/E/C Systems is now a solutions exposition, with less talk about hardware and software and more talk about solutions to everything from project delivery to office management.

Although many of the same vendors that have exhibited in the past will be there once again, the focus will be showing examples of how the latest products and services are being used today to build a whole range of projects, large and small, simple and complex.

With that in mind, the show should not be limited to technology managers, but should also include operations staff and managers who are seeking solutions related to project management, office management and project delivery.

Day in the life of a project

Headlining the show's "solutions" coverage is the "Day in the Life of a Project" series, which is back by popular demand for the third straight year. These sessions, which are scheduled throughout the week on the show floor, offer solutions in the form of case studies on tools from a variety of technology vendors. Participants include:

  • Timberline, Beaverton, Ore., will lead group discussion and examine case studies on how the shared project model saves time and money while optimizing the design/build process;

  • AutoDesk Inc., San Rafael, Calif., which recently announced the purchase of Revit Technology Corp., Waltham, Mass., will be announcing a series of products, including its new Web-based design tool, Architectural Studio, as well as updates to the AutoCAD line;

  • Buzzsaw.com, which is also now part of AutoDesk, will be demonstrating the latest improvements to its online collaboration service, including full support for AutoCAD Reference Files (xrefs) and improved e-mail support functions;

  • Deltek Systems Inc., Herndon, Va., will demonstrate its software for automating the essential business functions of AEC firms, such as proposal generation, client relationship management, Web-based collaboration, project planning and budgeting, human resources management, and government contracting. The company will also exhibit its new Web-based collaboration tool, Vision, which includes functions for managing the entire life cycle of a project;

  • Constructware, Alpharetta, Ga., will show its Internet-based project management and collaboration system, which has been enhanced with the integration of Web4's eReview document collaboration toolset;

  • Primavera, Bala Cynwyd, Pa., will demonstrate Expedition 8.0, Enterprise 3.0 as well as its Mobile Manager program for use with personal digital assistants (PDAs);

  • Meridian Project Systems, Folsom, Calif., will exhibit its Web-based system, Prolog Scheduler, which enables full scheduling and resource management functionality from any computer with an Internet connection;

  • GiveMePower, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, will talk about its line of 2-D, 3-D and Web-based design software geared toward the design/build industry;

  • On the output front, Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, Calif.; Oce, Chicago; and Xerox, Rochester, N.Y., will show the latest selection of black-and-white and color plotters, printers, scanners and digital copiers.

  • ReproMAX, Walnut Creek, Calif., a worldwide network of reprographic firms, will highlight its selection of printing services, from traditional blueprints and CAD plotting to facilities management and online document management. Plans and specs can be transferred electronically among 175 locations, to be printed locally, reducing document shipping costs while improving the timeliness of print productions.

Highlighting the show's keynotes, Thomas Gerlach, senior vice president with Turner Construction, Dallas, will discuss the design and construction of the Washington State Stadium and Exhibition Center in Seattle, future home of the Seahawks professional football team. Gerlach will talk about the collaboration efforts of the project team to execute this large and complex job, which is scheduled for completion in July.

The other keynote will examine the dynamics of how each discipline of the project team — architect, engineer, contractor and owner — impacts and influences the next. Leading the discussion will be Alton B. Cleveland Jr., senior vice president of Bentley Software, Exton, Pa., and Phillip G. Bernstein, vice president of Autodesk.

Intranet summit

In conjunction with A/E/C Systems, business management consultant ZweigWhite, Natick, Mass., will present "AEC Internet Strategies," a day-long summit for A/E/C firms about leveraging new technology.

Last year's event, which drew standing-room crowds in Chicago, focused on extranets and collaboration of the project team. This year's theme is how internal communications and intranets are changing the way design and construction firms do business.

The seminar features speakers from firms that are pioneering the use of technology to their competitive advantage. Among the speakers will be Ken Sanders, chief information officer with Gensler, San Francisco, who will discuss why technology tools have stalled in the design industry, and Larry Rocha, chief information officer with Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo, Honolulu, who will examine the "single building model."

This summit requires separate registration. Visit www.aecinternet2002.com.

For A/E/C Systems registration information, visit www.aecsystems.com.

Tomas Hernandez welcomes comments at thj@panix.com.

         
 

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