BIM and Information Technology

BIM and IT are subject matter that every member of the building team should have some kind of handle on, and that everyone can derive some benefit from. Whether it’s an app to help with cost control or an optimized building design achieved through BIM, these technologies can bring your projects to the next level and beyond.
John Caulfield, Senior Editor

Dozens of AEC tech experts, including Nathan Miller, Founder of Proving Ground, gathered recently for Thornton Tomasetti’s AEC Technology Symposium and Hackathon. Images courtesy Thornton Tomasetti

November 24, 2015 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

At a recent Thornton Tomasetti symposium, experts showed how designs and projects can be improved...

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AECOM and Project Frog form partnership for building data centers

Photo: ep_jhu/Creative Commons

November 19, 2015 | BD+C Staff

The Rapid Deployment Team will provide solutions for data centers both small (1 MW) and large (50...

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AIA: Energy modeling key to reaching carbon neutrality in buildings

Nearly half of energy-modeled projects met or came close to meeting 2014 carbon reduction targets. Photo: York Region/Creative Commons

November 18, 2015 | AIA

Energy modeling allows architects to be more ambitious with energy-saving in their design project...

DOE launches new data collaborative to help cities and states boost building efficiency

The SEED Collaborative will partner with a select group of cities, like Philadelphia, and states to help them better collect and manage building energy data. Photo: Peter Miller/Creative Commons

November 17, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

The SEED Standard will help manage, standardize, share performance data.

MIT develops ‘river of 3-D pixels’ to assemble objects

The Kinetic Block by MIT's Tangible Media Group

October 29, 2015 | Adilla Menayang, Asistant Digital Editor

The Kinetic Blocks can manipulate objects into shapes without human interference.

Magic Leap's augmented reality project continues to generate support

Screenshot of a Magic Leap demonstation video

October 27, 2015 | Mike Chamernik, Associate Editor

The company is developing the Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal. It projects images onto the re...

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Image courtesy Vizable

October 26, 2015 | Mike Chamernik, Associate Editor

Everyday users can simplify large amounts of data and sift through it interactively.

4 Building Material Innovations from the Chicago Architecture Biennial

The main exhibit hall is the Chicago Cultural Center, which opened in 1897 and served as the city’s main library until 1977. Photo by Adilla Menayang

October 20, 2015 | Adilla Menayang, Assistant Digital Editor

From lightweight wooden pallets to the largest lengths of CLT-slabs that can be shipped across No...

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A robotic arm can 3D print, etch, solder, and carve from a desktop

The device has an arm with a 180-degree sweep and 10 inches of Z-travel, cantilevered on a column that mounts to a work surface. Photo courtesy of Makerarm via Kickstarter

October 19, 2015 | Adilla Menayang, Assistant Digital Editor

It’s not just a 3D printer. The creators say Makerarm can also etch, solder, and put icing on cak...

New web tool from MIT organizes human movement in interactive graphs

A screenshot of New York City in the web tool, where mobile-phone activity is organized as timelines.

October 19, 2015 | Adilla Menayang, Assistant Digital Editor

Users can explore the mobile phone activities in London, New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong....

NIBS launches effort to develop BIM guideline for owners

Digital model of California's National Ignition Facility. 

October 12, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

Aim is to provide uniformity in the delivery of BIM projects.

VR for all: How AEC teams are benefiting from the commercialization of virtual reality tools

Gilbane’s John Myers (left) demonstrates a detailed virtual reality model of the 75/125 Binney Street project in Cambridge, Mass., for architects Robert Schaeffner, AIA, LEED AP, and Hilary Barlow, both with Payette, the design architect for the 382,000-sf business park.

October 11, 2015 | Jeff Yoders, Contributing Editor

AEC teams are using gaming engines to not just showcase their projects, but to immerse their clie...

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Forest City, N.C. data center facebook

Facebook's data center in Forest City, N.C. The social media giant is investing $200 million to expand the campus with a third, 480,000-sf building. Photos courtesy Facebook.

October 09, 2015 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

Cities are now vying for these facilities with sizable tax incentives.

Skanska and University of Washington offer new BIM program

The University of Washington's student quad. The school now offers a BIM program.

October 07, 2015 | Mike Chamernik, Associate Editor

The 11-week course is available for students and professionals and teaches BIM software skills, v...

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The AMIE building, unveiled by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory at the DOE’s Industry Day event. Images courtesy SOM

September 23, 2015 | Mike Chamernik, Associate Editor

The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) building features a high-performance shell wi...

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Norman Foster proposes Droneports as way to ship goods across Africa

Droneport renderings courstey Foster + Partners (via World Architecture Community)

September 16, 2015 | Mike Chamernik, Associate Editor

The structures would store cargo-shipping drones and serve as community centers.

VIDEO: See how Wiss, Janney, Elstner engineers use drones to perform building inspections

New YouTube video shows how drones can be used for building facade inspections. Screenshot courtesy WJE

September 16, 2015 | Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates

"We believe that drone usage will enable building owners to assess problems quicker and with less...

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Apple Pencil, technology, Architects

Apple promises unprecedented precision for its new stylus. Photo courtesy Apple

September 14, 2015 | Adilla Menayang, Assistant Digital Editor

A stylus, split screen, and improved graphics make designing on the tablet easier.

How is data changing the nature of design?

This visualization of residential unit types shows how different sizes and types of bedrooms are stacked and positioned within the building. 3D model courtesy Kyle Martin

September 09, 2015 | Kyle Martin

Advances in building information modeling allow for more thorough project documentation, but don'...

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The power of data: How AEC firms and owners are using analytics to transform design and construction

Courtesy Foursquare

September 07, 2015 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor 

Case’s bldgs = data conference highlighted how collecting data about personal activities can info...

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MIT Develops 3-D Printer that Prints Glass

The machine in action, up close. Photo screenshot from Mediated Matter via Fast Company Design

August 28, 2015 | Adilla Menayang, Assistant Digital Editor

The machine uses molten glass as its “ink,” contained in a “kiln cartridge” that heats up at 1,90...

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BIM, AEC, Zebra Imaging, Rendering, Architecture, architects

Company promises new product will bring "easy creation process" to holographic imaging in AEC community. Photo courtesy of Zebra Imaging.

August 27, 2015 | Zebra Imaging

Company promises new product will bring "easy creation process" to holographic imaging in AEC com...

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British company OpenDesk offers open-sourced office furniture

By turning furniture into downloadable templates, offices can be in charge of sourcing and manufacturing their own products. Screengrab of

August 24, 2015 | Adilla Menayang, Assistant Digital Editor

Offices can “download” their furniture to be made locally, anywhere.

Google Develops Google Maps for Solar Energy

Users can see an estimate of how much a rooftop receives sunlight year-round. Photo: screenshot via Google/YouTube.

August 24, 2015 | Adilla Menayang, Assistant Digital Editor

The tool offers high-resolution aerial maps, like the one used in Google Earth, to estimate the t...

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Reimagined cursors can change digital imaging

Instead of working on a 2D plane, Hyve3D allows users to work in 3D. Photo courtesy Hyve3D via YouTube

August 17, 2015 | Adilla Menayang, Assistant Digital Editor

A University of Montreal professor has developed a system that elevates 2D cursors for a 3D world...

After refueling is capital tank, WeWork acquires BIM consultant Case

When Case launched in 2008, it was operating out of one of WeWork’s spaces, and the two companies have since been linked at the hip as WeWork has expanded. Photo: courtesy Case

August 06, 2015 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

The merger is expected to help standardize how WeWork designs and builds out office space. 

GIANTS 300 REPORT: Robotic reality capture, gaming systems, virtual reality—AEC Giants continue tech frenzy

Designers in Little’s Charlotte, N.C., office test drive a project design using two virtual reality methods: the Unity gaming engine combined with the Oculus Rift headset, and stereo panoramic renderings viewed on a smartphone using Google Cardboard. Photo: Little

August 06, 2015 | David Barista, Editorial Director

Given their size, AEC Giants possess the resources and scale to research and test the bevy of sof...

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Eight cities win Bloomberg data program award

Chattanooga, Tenn., was selected as a winning city in the "What Works Cities" program. Photo: rjones0856/Creative Commons

August 05, 2015 | Mike Chamernik, Associate Editor

The competition, called "What Works Cities," promotes innovation in city government by making the...

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A new database for tracking commercial and multifamily façade upgrades

Photo: Dallas's Centerpoint Energy Plaza is one of the façade retrofits listed on the site. Ken Lund/Creative Commons

August 05, 2015 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

The site allows users to submit information about new projects, or supplement information on thos...

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Augmented reality app provides step-by-step help for repairing equipment

Screenshot: RemoteAR

August 04, 2015 | Mike Chamernik, Associate Editor

The developers of Remote AR have discovered a new application for AR technology that could apply...

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