The Week in Summary: The Year of BIM, Rave Reviews & Construction Drones

2017 is looking like a busy year here at BuildingSP. As we roll into the second Friday of the new year, here's a look back at what's been going on in the world of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) over the past week.

As usual, the dawn of the new year has brought about myriad predictions for what will shape the AEC industry in 2017. Many people talked about the role of new and evolving technology this year, including the folks at Microdesk. Of particular note, however, is that they see the evolution of new technology being spurred by the broader adoption of building information modeling (BIM), for everything from design to facilities management: "We predict we will begin to see an increase in the number and types of tools and technologies, such as virtual reality, generative design and the Internet of Things, that will be utilized for BIM modeling and management." As the technology useful for design and construction continues its rapid advancement, the adoption of BIM practices should become easier and more cost effective.

As BIM technologies progress and mainstream, they will become more affordable and attainable, not to mention more advanced. (Source: e-architect)

Speaking of BIM, at BuildingSP our goal is to make BIM workflows simpler. Last week, we officially announced the release of ClashMEP, our add-in for Autodesk Revit, and the feedback continues to be overwhelmingly positive. Mark Decker, director of virtual design and construction at Jacobsen Construction, told us, "ClashMEP has the potential to be the smartest coordination tool of our time." Additionally, Aubrey Frederick of iCAD Solutions gave an informative demonstration on how to use ClashMEP with GenMEP for real-time clash detection to streamline mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) modeling workflows. We're very excited by the reception of ClashMEP thus far, and look forward to continuing our work with MEP professionals to make the modeling process smoother.

We've seen the list of uses for drones constantly expanding lately, from action videography to disaster relief to military applications, but their use in construction is set to be the "next big technological boom," according to Combine drones with laser scanning and you can get a high-quality, data-rich survey of a construction site, both before and during the build process. This allows for a great deal of safety planning in addition to design. According to Hunter Cole of Brasfield and Gorrie, "Reality capture gives teams a new perspective to see every detail of a site in its current state and from a remote location... We can plan workflows and develop safety and site logistics plans that identify high traffic areas, crane clearances and areas where material will move in and out." Drones are also excellent for monitoring the progress of Apple's new "spaceship," one sighting we definitely don't want to miss.

A "drone's eye view" of the new Apple campus in Cupertino, Calif. (Source:Recode)

New year, new office. That's the saying, right? In case you're in need of an office refresh, check out these LA offices that got a major design upgrade from architecture studio Tighe Architecture. From futuristic LED displays to rustic wood paneling, this is one office we wouldn't be dreading to go to every day.

It's always the future in this sleek office. (Source: Dezeen)


Cover image: "Generative Design" is a processing bot that takes the latest abstract pictures from Flickr using an API and re-designs them by shifting groups of pixels randomly to the left and right. You can contact Ondina Frate of @GenerativDesign at

If you're in the Bay Area and would like to learn more about ClashMEP and GenMEP, join Navisworks User Group, East Bay next Wednesday, January 18. We will be discussing how ClashMEP adds real-time clash detection to Autodesk's Revit platform, and how GenMEP creates clash-free MEP routes through Revit environments. Register here

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

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