AEC Tech News (#249)

20 May, 2009

Event Report: AIA 2009 Convention

Drag-and-drop modeling objects and energy simulation tools fuel AEC technology pavilion.

By Kenneth Wong

At the American Institute of Architects’ 2009 National Convention and Design Exposition in San Francisco recently, Ray Kogan, president of the design and construction firm Kogan & Company, invoked the Theory of Evolution. While discussing “The Firm of the Future: Big Picture Trends Shaping the Future of Design Firms,” he cited Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

Harbingers of change were on full display in the AIA exposition hall, among the five or six rows directly beneath the banner, “Software and High-Tech.” The proliferation of building energy analysis tools added color to the show floor, quite literally. Screens and walls were dominated by thermal and daylight analysis results, displayed in gradients of red, yellow, blue, and green.

Next to them, content providers beckoned attendees to subscribe to their web portals. Their proposition is straightforward: find the objects you need on our web site – windows, doors, and more, in CAD or building information modeling (BIM) format -- then download and drop them into your building models. In most cases, the sites are supported by manufacturers and suppliers, so users don’t have to pay for access.

The growing interest in energy simulation and the availability of drag-and-drop AEC objects bode well for the proponents of integrated project delivery (IPD), a practice to “[leverage] early contributions of knowledge and expertise … [to allow] all team members to better realize their highest potentials” (Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide, by AIA). Read more »


First Look: HP Officejet 7000 Wide Format Printer

By Ron LaFon

In conjunction with National Small Business Week, which kicked off Sunday, HP announced several new products that support the needs of small businesses while saving as much as 40% on operating costs. Among the new products is the HP Officejet 7000 Wide Format Printer -- the company's first entry-level, wide-format printer with individual ink cartridges.

The HP Officejet 7000 is a B-size printer that produces professional color documents and photo-quality borderless prints as large as 13" x 19". It offers the lowest cost per page among in-class inkjet printers, with 40% lower cost per page and energy use than competitive laser printers.

This printer is ideally suited for small CAD or engineering offices that don't need larger size prints/plots or find that they need smaller, high-quality output often. The Officejet 7000 doesn't take up much room, measuring only 22.6" x 15.8" x 7.13" (W x D x H), and it weighs a mere 15.4 lbs. The HP Officejet 7000 is easy to use, making it ideal for offices that don’t have an IT professional on staff. Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Webinar: Managing Digital Images
May 22, 2009
12 p.m. ET
Join Newforma to explore how software for project information management supports a more integrated practice by streamlining digital image management. Read more »

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


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