• Autodesk, Bentley sign interoperability agreement. San Rafael, Calif.-based Autodesk and Exton, Pa.-based Bentley Systems have agreed to expand interoperability between their architectural, engineering, and construction software portfolios. The companies will exchange software libraries to improve the ability to read and write their DWG and DGN file formats in mixed environments.
In other Autodesk news, the company recently made two acquisitions: Ecotect, which develops software for conceptual building performance analysis, and Green Building Studio, which offers Web-based whole-building energy, water, and carbon-emission analysis software. “The addition of these tools to our technology portfolio will help make it easier for architects, engineers, and designers to understand the impact of their design decisions on building performance earlier in the design process so they can optimize for reduced environmental impact,” says Jay Bhatt, SVP of Autodesk AEC solutions.
• Norwegians take the prize at BIMStorm Build London Live. Team BIM Vikings—a collaboration of 15 Norwegian firms—won the top prize at BIMStorm Build London Live, a 48-hour online contest held June 24-26 that challenged teams to construct a hypothetical mixed-use development in the city using building information modeling software. The event follows other recent challenges in Los Angeles, Boston, and Rotterdam. www.buildlondonlive.com/about.html 
• BIM encourages AEC community to 'proto-build.' John Tobin, principal with EYP Architecture and Engineering PC, tells AECbytes he believes the AEC community will soon move beyond using BIM to simply produce drawings. In fact, he says BIM allows the Building Team to “proto-build—that is, make a first building. In doing so, we will gain an unprecedented advantage over any previous architectural era—the opportunity to build twice.” http://aecbytes.com/buildingthefuture/2008/ProtoBuilding.html 
• Report: CAD industry will grow 15% in 2008. Despite the current economic downturn, the CAD industry is forecast to continue its growth streak this year by increasing 15%, according to Jon Peddie Research's 2008 CAD Report. The continued growth is driven, in part, by smaller businesses investing in new technologies to improve processes and efficiencies. http://www.jonpeddie.com/press-releases .