AEC Tech News (#236)

24 Sep, 2008

Bridging the CAD Deliverables Gap

Electronic documentation must serve different purposes for building owners and CAD contractors.

By Melanie Perry

Melanie Perry

In this issue, rather than discussing client requirements for design, I want to discuss client requirements for electronic deliverables. For the sake of this topic, let's make an assumption that a building owner/operator has contracted out some work and part of that contract provides for the delivery of AutoCAD (.DWG) documentation. Let's also assume that the facility owner has given the outside firms some requirements for those files.

Ideally, a building owner should have some understanding of how an outside firm creates and uses files during design and construction, and those firms should understand how a building owner uses them during the lifecycle of the building(s). The sites could be retail or recreation centers, educational or medical facilities, or generally any building or complex large enough to require record-keeping for maintenance and renovation by a team of professionals.

When first reviewing a client's CAD standards, some of the rules might not make sense to everyone involved. Yet both parties need to acknowledge that they're using the same documents for two very different purposes.

The general contractors, architects, and subcontractors on a project could all be using different software — possibly AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, or AutoCAD R14 to design and build. The firms may even be using the Revit series or other BIM-capable products.  Read more »

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Cadalyst welcomes contributing editor Melanie Perry to our lineup of AEC Tech News authors. Perry will cover facilities management and other AEC-related topics in bimonthly newsletter installments. She works in facilities engineering for a large medical facility. She is a St. Louis-based freelance writer and blogger specializing in CAD, CAFM, and other technology topics. Reach her at


Parasolid Pumps Up Vectorworks ’09

By Heather Livingston

When I met with Sean Flaherty, CEO of Nemetschek North America, at the AIA Convention in Boston last May, he admittedly was cagey in his response to my question, "What of interest is happening with Vectorworks right now?" Though he wasn't letting any secrets loose at that time, I recently learned that the company was hard at work on its next iteration of Vectorworks (note the change in the product name from a capital to a lower-case "w"), one that dumped the Solids++ modeling kernel for the robust and powerful Parasolid by Siemens PLM.

Released on Monday, September 15, the 2009 line of Vectorworks products (Designer, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Machine Design, Fundamentals, and Renderworks) offers customers the vigorous Parasolid modeling kernel that supports larger models with greater complexity and higher levels of modeling automation; manages data with accuracy and consistency; and provides the openness and interoperability necessary for 3D data exchange. Asked why the company made the switch, Flaherty replied, "We were seeing people really putting 3D to use in architecture and we started to see those barriers to why people weren't doing it in a more integrated fashion. I think all of [the barriers] are solved with the Parasolid kernel." Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Managing and Using Materials Information for Eco-design and REACH
October 15, 2008
Marseille, France
This half-day seminar, colocated with the first meeting of the Environmental Materials Information Technology (EMIT) Consortium, will provide a general introduction to the use of materials information technology to improve productivity, enhance innovation, and reduce risk. Read more »

Sustainable Development, Green Retrofit, and Construction Congress Seminars
October 29-31, 2008
Baltimore Inner Harbor, MD
Hosted by FMA International, these events focus on energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable building technology and how to implement it in today's facilities. The events also explore how to benefit from current environmental initiatives. Read more »

Ecobuild Fall and AEC-ST Fall
December 8-11, 2008
Washington, DC
Ecobuild Fall and AEC-ST Fall covers green building, sustainable design, renewable energy, environmental planning processes, and more. Attendees include AEC professionals, owners, developers, and facility managers. Read more »

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