AEC Tech News #192

14 Mar, 2007 By: Heather Livingston

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Architecture Ed Changing to Keep Up

BIM and 3D are among the technologies affecting the way architecture schools design their curricula.

Everything changes. It is a universal truism but one that previously was applied very slowly in educational institutions. Not anymore -- at least in architecture school. With the AEC industry moving rapidly to 3D modeling and BIM technologies, universities are nipping at its heels in an attempt to remain viable and keep their students in demand in the marketplace.

"The challenge in architectural education today is that the practice of architecture is changing," said Chuck Eastman, a professor in the Colleges of Architecture and Computer Science at Georgia Institute of Technology. "In the same way that the architectural practice has to adapt, architectural education does too."

According to American Institute of Architecture Students President Jonathan Bahe, most schools are now incorporating 3D modeling and BIM but are, as is true for companies, at different stages of integration depending on budget and interest. Bahe also reports that the schools are applying the new technologies to fit their strengths. For example, architecture schools that are design-focused are using it to explore methodologies and information behind the model as well as how BIM changes fundamental design. Technology-focused institutions are using BIM in the practical application of basic model and building construction.

CAD in the Classroom
Although CAD courses are offered as electives, most schools of architecture don't require CAD for coursework. "We don't teach word processing for people to write," said Eastman. "We assume that people know how to write. It's the same with CAD. At the university level, it's very hard to justify giving course credit toward a professional degree based on how to use a tool." But, Eastman notes, although it is not formally taught, experience in CAD is gained through assigned exercises.
Read more>>

1-2-3 Revit: BIM and Project Planning

By Rick Rundell, AIA, and Kenneth H. Stowe

Gantt charts have long been a staple of project planning, but they leave something to be desired when it comes to visualizing a project schedule. Most builders invested in their first project planning system more than a decade ago, and they've become a vital tool for project management services. BIM (building information modeling) solutions, on the other hand, are relatively new. Rich with information, architects are using BIMs for all sorts of design-centric tasks -- energy analysis, sun studies and specification management to name a few. Read more>>

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Webcast: Autodesk Revit Structure
March 21, 2007 
10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. ET.
Avatech Solutions invites structural engineers and drafters to participate in free webcasts that will introduce the benefits of Autodesk Revit Structure, including how concurrent modeling can improve efficiency and lead to more effective coordination among architects, MEP engineers and contractors. Open to U.S. participants only. Read more

SPAR 2007: Capturing and Documenting Existing-Conditions Data for Design, Construction and Operations
March 26-27, 2007 
Houston, Texas
Industry-focused tracks will feature presentations on such subjects as process and power; urban modeling; construction; geotechnical, mining and tunneling; civil, transportation and building; offshore and marine; forensic; and discrete manufacturing.
Read more

WinEstimator's 2007 User Conference
March 29-30, 2007
Seattle, Washington
Conference attendees will have the opportunity to network with the WinEstimator team as well as with other estimators, builders, general contractors, managers and executives.  This year's conference offers new sessions focused on new software and advanced features to help users turn their vision into reality. Read more

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here.

what's new at

Three-Part Civil 3D CAD Clinic Now Online
All three installments of CAD Clinic: Civil 3Dare now available online. Get all the details about LandXML and the function of the Import LandXML command available from the File pull-down menu; how to transfer LandXML data into and out of survey databases; commands for transferring data directly between Civil 3D and Land Desktop projects; and Civil 3D Vault projects and the Export to AutoCAD feature.

New Quick Poll: Got CAD Training?
The latest Cadalyst Quick Poll is live online. This month, we want to know when (if ever) you last completed a CAD training course that wasn't offered in-house by your employer. Take the poll (go to any page of and scroll down to find the Quick Poll in the margin), then check out how you compare with your CAD peers in "Cadfidential" in the April edition of Cadalyst magazine.

Get the Code!
Cadalyst 's March code from Hot Tip Harry is now available for download. Stahimir Antoljak earned $100 for Polyline Edit Tools in VBA, a Visual Basic routine that contains public functions for inserting and removing vertex points in polylines in AutoCAD.

Cadalyst's March 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 March edition of Cadalyst magazine -- are now live on

Cadalyst Daily Update
For all the latest news and new products and updates about the newest features on, subscribe to the Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every Monday we bring you a full-length feature article you won't find anywhere else -- hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, interviews, event reports, AutoCAD tips and more! Here's a sample of what you missed recently: