AEC Tech News (#229)

11 Jun, 2008 By: Heather Livingston

AIA Showcases New Technologies

This year's product offerings clearly indicated a migration toward integrated planning and design.

By Heather Livingston

Heather Livingston photo

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced that 23,950 registrants and 852 exhibitors attended the AIA National Convention and Design Expo in Boston, May 15-17. The predominant themes this year in the continuing education seminars were diversity and sustainability, with technology taking a back seat. However, it was a different story on the expo floor where the software pavilion was packed with attendees throughout the show. The vendors pulled out all the stops and showed off their wares with top-notch demonstrations and plenty of opportunities for one-on-one presentations. Here's but a sampling of the offerings on display.

The Wares
MADCAD announced the launch of MADCAD v2, a Web-based resource that provides online access to more than 4,000 building codes and standards from the International Code Council, National Fire Protection Association, and ASTM International. The company's simultaneous search feature allows users to search across thousands of codes and standards at the same time. Version 2 includes the ability to customize packages according to need, real-time filtering, automatic updates, and IP authentication.

McGraw-Hill Construction announced a partnering with the AIA to provide information on more than 80,000 building products at AIA Soloso, the AIA's online resource for insight, knowledge, solutions, strategies, products, and trends. Architects also will be able to directly link to detailed information and download product catalogs, CAD details, 3D models, and 3-part specifications. Read more 

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Cadalyst contributing editor Heather Livingston is a Vermont-based freelance writer specializing in design, sustainability, and architectural technology. She can be reached at

AEC Insight:
Data Collection in AEC

By Jerry Laiserin

Steady increases in the power, performance, and sophistication of computer hardware and software enable AEC project teams to maintain their design, documentation, and delivery processes entirely in the digital realm. For new buildings, freestanding on virgin sites, such digital or virtual project processes might provide all the information needed for real-world construction. However, any project that involves repairs, alterations, or additions to existing buildings or that requires infill between or among existing buildings also requires capturing information about those buildings and bringing that captured data into the digital realm. Thus, AEC data collection closes a loop in the project process of the following:

  • capture of data about existing or as-found physical conditions
  • transformation of captured data to digital models
  • digital modeling of new work integrated with a digital model of existing conditions
  • construction of new work within the existing work, based on the integrated digital model
  • capture of data about as-built physical conditions

Although several techniques are available for digital data collection, all have significant advantages over manual measuring methods in terms of higher speed, greater accuracy, and lower cost. Read more 


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

AutoCAD Civil 3D Test Drive
Through July 7, 2008
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
These test drives, presented by Synergis, will show how to intelligently link design and production drafting and provide ways to streamline office processes, increase project capacity, and improve customer service. Read more 

AutoCAD MEP 2008 Test Drives
Through July 11, 2008
Various U.S. Cities
Learn how to lay out duct systems and place wire devices using the new piping functionality in an improved operating environment. Sponsored by Synergis. Read more 

AutoCAD Architecture Test Drive
Through July 17, 2008
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
This test drive will show how creating and sharing accurate drafting and construction documents is made more efficient. Sponsored by Synergis. Read more 

Revit Structure Test Drives
Through July 24, 2008
Various U.S. Cities
Attendees will learn how to use building information modeling to do higher value tasks and produce fully coordinated construction drawings. Sponsored by Synergis. Read more 

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on