AEC Tech News (#261)

19 Nov, 2009 By: Cadalyst Staff

When it Comes to LEED, Platinum is the New Green

An architect committed to environmental stewardship uses 3D BIM software to design a home that's a Wisconsin first.

By Kenneth Wong

About seven years ago, Carol Richard, a partner from the Atlanta-based architecture firm Richard Wittschiebe Hand, bought an empty lot in the tree-lined Sunset Hills neighborhood in Madison, Wisconsin. The plot would become the site of her new home.

Noting the tranquil landscape and the modest homes nearby, Richard concluded she shouldn't build anything "out of whack scale-wise." While planning her home in 3D BIM (building information modeling) software, she modeled her would-be neighbors' homes as well. She wanted to ensure that her house didn't tower over the rest.

The result was an inconspicuous 2,700 sq. ft. modern home smoothly integrated into a series of Cape Cod–style, post–World War II homes. Aesthetically, Richard has succeeded in blending in, but her residence now attracts attention for a different reason altogether: It's the first residential home in Wisconsin to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes Platinum certification.Read more »

Editor’s note: Green design fans, check out the December 2009 edition of Cadalyst magazine — an announcement is coming soon — which includes Kenneth Wong’s cover story, "Computer-Aided EcoDesign."

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Freelance writer Kenneth Wong explores the innovative use of technology and its implications.


Straighten Out Multi-CAD Mayhem

By Robert Green

Over the past couple of years I've noticed a growing trend toward what I like to call "multi-CAD mayhem." More and more offices are running a mixture of 2D CAD (typically AutoCAD or Microstation) and a variety of 3D applications (which vary depending on the discipline of the work being done). These days, it isn't unusual at all for a CAD manager in a manufacturing facility to support AutoCAD, Solidworks, and Revit, or for a CAD manager in an AEC firm to support AutoCAD, Microstation, Civil 3D, and Revit. Of course, supporting all these applications can lead to chaos.

Through the next several issues of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll pass along management strategies for optimizing usage, staff training, and file portability with multiple CAD applications. I hope you'll find inspiration to help you deal with your environment, and that you'll share your ideas with me so I can forward your tips along in future editions of the newsletter. Here goes.

What's Changed?

You may be thinking to yourself, "I've been dealing with multiple CAD systems for a long time, why consider the situation mayhem now?" This is a reasonable question, and it has a one-acronym answer: BIM (building information modeling).Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events


Ecobuild America 2009
December 7–10, 2009
Washington, D.C.
Ecobuild America educates design and construction professionals on how to improve our built environment. This conference and exhibit introduces new strategies and materials to create high performance, sustainable structures. Read more »

WinEst 2010 User Conference
March 1–3, 2010
Seattle, Washington
Conference attendees can learn more about estimating and industry topics like building information modeling (BIM), as well as meet one-on-one with technical support experts. Read more »

FIATECH 2010 Technology Conference & Showcase
March 29–31, 2010
Austin, Texas
The theme for the conference is "Enhancing Capital Asset Value through Leading Technologies & Delivery Processes." Attendees can view emerging technologies and network with technology and purchasing decision makers in the technology showcase. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

Mastering Revit 2009 book by Paul F. Aubin


What’s New at


SolidWorks 2010: Yes, There’s Some Wow
Most development for latest version was under the hood, but we found some fantastic new features on the surface as well. Read more »

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Free Utility Makes Defragging a Delight
If you're dissatisfied with your disk defragmentation process, IObit's Smart Defrag may be a smart choice. Read more »

Indian Utility Taps Modeling Software to Solve Water Crisis
Drinking water flows again to 17 million thanks to quick action and a suite of applications from Bentley Systems. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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