The Week in Summary: Autodesk University, Build Copenhagen Live & More

We've made it to yet another Friday, and what a week it's been! Here's a look back at some of what we've been talking about in technology and innovation in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) sector.

What do we love even more than Christmas? Autodesk University, of course, and it's coming up fast. For those who have never been, we've created a guide for newbies with helpful tips on how to survive three days of information overload in the Nevada desert. With so many knowledgeable speakers, a vast array of Autodesk software classes, and the general excitement that comes with being in Sin City, we know it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But with a little preparation, we're certain even first timers can walk away from this event with a sizable amount of new knowledge.

Autodesk University is coming up quick! Make sure to register for classes early. (Source: Autodesk)

Speaking of new knowledge, we've often spoken about the construction industry's resistance to embracing new technology. However, as technology continues to evolve and user interfaces become friendlier, project managers (PMs) are seeing the value in platforms that increase communication and transparency. But with so many applications available, how does a PM decide what's best? Construction Dive suggests letting those on the frontlines decide what's best for them according to what they need and how they work. But they must also make sure they know the system and use it to get the most value for their project: "Project managers looking to get the most from their technologies need to make a concerted effort to drill down into intermediate and advanced level usage to improve collaboration as well as job site productivity and efficiency." There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but a platform aligned with project goals that is intuitive to learn and use will increase communication, efficiency, and in the long run, the ever-elusive ROI.

The best tech for you has to work with your team and job site to be the best fit. (Source: Construction Dive)

Technology for construction also presents significantly different challenges than everyday consumer tech. One thing the two have in common, however, is that all tech seems to move through the Gartner Hype Cycle. We discussed how this cycle works, and how it is different in AEC tech compared to the consumer market. The cycle breaks down to the "Peak of Inflated Expectations" after a product initially launches and moves on to the "Trough of Disillusionment" when we all realize what's wrong with it. Next is the "Slope of Enlightenment" where we learn to move past some of those difficulties, and finally the "Plateau of Productivity" where we embrace and utilize the technology to our greatest advantage. For the consumer market, this cycle is generally moved by improvements in the technology itself; new operating systems or improved hardware might fix some of the challenges of early models. In AEC, the cycle's movement is more influenced by projects. People using the tech start to figure out how to apply it to specific, project-based problems, thereby moving it out of the early phase of disappointment to something worthwhile.

The Gartner Hype Cycle in its full glory. (Source: BuildingSP)

Finally, we are so excited to be involved with Build Copenhagen Live! Along with MT HøjgaardNirasJuul | Frost Architects, and Spæncom, BuildingSP is participating in this innovative open BIM event and competition. Teams from around the world are designing a multi-use community center in Ørestad, Copenhagen, aimed at alleviating some of the stresses involved with the city's affordable housing crisis. The event began Wednesday evening (central European time) and will close with the announcement of the winner later today. Keep tabs on how we're doing on Twitter with #TeamCoolCalmConnected.

Here's Team Cool, Calm, and Connected (in the yellow vests) hard at work at Build Copenhagen Live. (Source: BuildingSP)

What are your weekend plans? For the Marvel geek in all of us, Doctor Strangefinallycomes to the big screen. Or, if you'd prefer to sit at home and brush up on your physics, check out this video which explains some basic properties of physics through skateboard tricks (yes, you read that right). Have a great weekend!  

 

As you may have noticed, we've been doing a lot of writing about the impact of computational BIM, generative design, and the future of how we work. One thing we haven't done is turn some of this thinking into more rigorous analysis. But now we're ready to do that! 

If you work for a general contractor, subcontractor, or design firm and want to collaborate on whitepapers that quantify how computational methods of working will change our industry, reach out to us and let's talk about what we can do. We're open to collaborations worldwide and have lots of ways of measuring performance indicators to gain insight into change in our industry. Contact Brett Young at brett@buildingsp.com.

 

Main image source: Phil Vance via The Cringe Blog

Tags: BIM Autodesk Software Construction Tech

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