AEC Tech News #183

15 Nov, 2006 By: Kenneth Wong

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Sustainability on Route 99

Design competition yields ideas for a model 'green' rest area

You can still get your kicks on Route 66, but soon, you’ll be able to get your fix on Route 99 -- of sustainable architecture, that is. If you travel northbound to the heart of California’s Central Valley and pull into the Philip S. Raine rest area (located about 2.5 miles outside the city of Tipton in Tulare County), you’ll be greeted by humble amenities: a weathered restroom next to a dirt road, a few picnic tables, some battered payphones, and a wall plastered with improvised advertisements and scribbled notes. It isn’t exactly a green acre right now, but this spot marks the future site of a “GreenStop,” a self-sustaining, off-the-grid roadside rest area.

In 1998, the California Department of Transportation began upgrading the state's highway rest stops to address structural deterioration and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Eventually, Caltrans came to the conclusion that rehabilitating the sites would cost a lot more than demolishing and rebuilding them -- and that it might as well make the most of the opportunity to start fresh. So it plans to convert the utilitarian structures along the highways into something they’ve never been before: appealing oases where people like to linger. In the department's own words, the rest stops will become “attractive places that benefit the local economy.”Read more>>

Collaboration Vital but not Easy for AEC

By Sara Ferris

Collaboration is vital to AEC projects. In a recent survey, 94% of participants said they collaborate with others on project information, and 92% of those said this collaboration occurs at least once a week.

This past spring, Adobe Systems enlisted Harris Interactive to conduct a follow-up poll to a 2004 survey that examined document exchange practices in the AEC community. The 657 participants in the 2006 online survey included 241 identified as architects/engineering professionals, 223 construction/project management professionals and 193 owners/operators/facility managers. These findings reflect only the survey respondents, as the data were not weighted. Adobe was not identified as the survey sponsor.

One of the most interesting findings this year is that CAD files are reviewed in paper format more often now than in 2004 -- despite improvements in digital markup tools such as Adobe's Acrobat and Autodesk's DWF Composer. Review of CAD files solely in electronic format dropped to 23% in 2006, down from 33% in 2004. Read more>>

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Cadalyst'scomplete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.

The Power of Adobe Acrobat 8 Seminar
Various 2006 dates
Various locations
Attendees will learn how Adobe Acrobat 8 can be used to improve workflows, and can choose from 90-minute breakout sessions designed for AEC/manufacturing, creative/marketing, general business/IT, legal and education/e-learning professionals, as well as a developer briefing. Read more

V-STARS International User Group Meeting
January 24-26, 2007
Melbourne, Florida
Geodetic Systems will host its 5th International V-STARS User Group conference with round tables, presentations and Q & A sessions for attendees to learn about advances in non-contact measurement technology and industrial photogrammetry. Read more

Automation Technology Egypt 2007
March 8-11, 2007
Cairo, Egypt
This exhibition focuses on such topics as instrumentation, process, electronics, international industrial control and automation technology. Read more

August 5-9, 2007
San Diego, California
This 34th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques will explore the products, systems, techniques, ideas and inspiration that are creating the next generations of computer graphics and interactive techniques. Read more

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Cadalyst Awards Autodesk Trip to LISP Code Contributor
Cadalyst unveiled the winner of a trip to Autodesk University 2006, the first of two grand prizes to be awarded in its Hot Tip Harry 2006 contest, sponsored by Autodesk. Charles Allred, a steel detailer from Utah and one of many contributors to Cadalyst's Hot Tip Harry column this year, was awarded airfare, lodging and a week-long pass to Autodesk University, to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, November 27-December 1.

Get the Code!
Cadalyst's November code from Hot Tip Harry is now available for download. Michael Kolomiyets earned $100 for this month's top tip, Word Wrap Editor, a text data-manipulation power tool that lets you select a group of text objects and force them to fit into a particular column size.

Cadalyst's November Web Exclusives Now Live Online!
The latest editions of all your favorite Cadalyst tutorials for AutoCAD and other popular CAD software, CAD Cartoon, Dialog Box (letters from readers) -- plus all the content from the November edition of Cadalyst magazine -- are now live on Check it out!

Does Management Support Your CAD Department?
The latest Cadalyst Quick Poll is live online. Your company's management is always looking at you -- so we're turning the tables to see what CAD users think of management. Take the poll (go to any page of and scroll down to find the Quick Poll in the margin), then watch for the results in Cadfidential in the November edition of Cadalyst magazine.

Cadalyst Daily Update
For all the latest news and new products, subscribe to Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every issue includes a feature you won't find anywhere else --hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, AutoCAD tips and much more! Here's a sample of what you missed recently: