The Week in Summary: BIM for All Industries, 3D Printing Concrete & the South's New Tech Hub

We've made it to Friday yet again. Unless you're a hockey fan, this week of February means a bit of a sports drought, so let's take a look at what's been happening in the world of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC)!

Building information modeling (BIM), as its name would suggest, has revolutionized the way we design and construct buildings. But can BIM shake up the way we view other systems as well? According to a recent post on, it can and it is. BIM methodologies are being embraced for infrastructure projects, transportation, and even power utilities. As the article reports, "The benefits gained from shared, accurate, up-to-date digital 3D data and project information is not limited to any one industry or trade." Digital models that can be shared and updated across platforms prove beneficial to any industry that requires collaboration and coordination.

Here BIM helps route a district's energy networks. (Source:

3D printing has come a long way in recent years, producing everything from bridges to shoes to furniture – even prosthetics. Now many in the construction sector are looking to the technology to change the way we build. Construction giant Vinci announced this week that they are taking a stake in a new French startup in the hopes of moving forward with large-scale 3D printing with concrete. Philippe Morel, president of 3D-printing startup XtreeE, stated, "We strongly believe that our 3D printing technology will be a central part of the next wave of groundbreaking developments in construction." Not only would 3D-printing technology speed up the building process, it would save time and money using local materials as opposed to having those materials shipped long distances.

Are you interested in 3D printing with concrete? (Source: Global Construction Review)

Not long ago, we talked about how software is changing the way we do business, and the folks at Autodesk seem to agree. In a recent Redshift post, they propose that regardless of your business, the digitalization of the globe will make it necessary for all businesses to develop software to some degree, particularly those that involve making or building: "To stay competitive in the future of making things, companies need customized digital solutions to meet their unique production, customization, and supply-chain needs." Particularly with the rapid growth of BIM technologies, AEC firms would find it in their best interest to embrace the software revolution.

All digital everything. (Source: Autodesk)

In that spirit, the city of Atlanta is embracing the world of construction tech with a slew of new startups aimed at streamlining the design and building process. Not many think of Atlanta as a tech hub (especially those of us in such close proximity to Silicon Valley), but as the city's population climbs, so do opportunities for revolutionary businesses: "In a sign that the area's tech start-up frenzy won't be slowing anytime soon, Atlanta's mayor, Kasim Reed, announced January 12 that the city itself is joining forces with Georgia Tech and ten Atlanta-based corporations to launch Engage, an accelerator and $15 million venture fund." It seems ATL may be poised to become the Silicon Valley of the South.

Atlanta's Tech Square district holds promise for the city to become the South's new tech hub. (Source: Builtworlds)

Do you live and breathe AEC? Are you prone to anxiety when you have to leave the office? Now Netflix has you covered! The online streaming service has produced an eight-part documentary series that focuses on design, and one episode is devoted to world-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels. The show premiers today, so don't fear, your design fix is just a click away. Have a great long weekend!

Imagination is key, especially in our surroundings. (Source: ArchDaily)


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 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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Tags: BIM 3d Printing

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