AEC Tech News (#325)

21 Feb, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

Q&A with Mike DeLacey: BIM and the Rebuilding of U.S. Infrastructure

Microdesk president discusses how technology will support efforts in the coming year to recover from weather disasters and rebuild crumbling bridges and roads.

By Nancy Spurling Johnson

Late last year, Microdesk announced its annual list of the top five AEC industry predictions for 2013. The company — a consultant and Autodesk partner in the areas of CAD, building information modeling (BIM), geospatial information systems (GIS), and facilities management — states that the coming year will bring a strong focus on implementing sustainable, forward-thinking solutions to rebuild the nation's crumbling roads and bridges.

Microdesk's top-five list for 2013 includes the following:

  1. Rebuilding America. Post-Sandy, technology provides tangible solutions for improvement.
  2. Regulatory compliance. Governments envisioning broader uses of BIM will prompt further adoption in the AECO industry.
  3. The "I" in BIM. Firms will bring more intelligence to the process through field-based data access.
  4. Mobile and the AECO industry. The use of mobile devices in design, construction, and facilities management will become commonplace in 2013.
  5. Collaborative design in the cloud. A focus on cloud technologies will facilitate improved workflows.

I had the opportunity to speak with Mike DeLacey, Microdesk president, regarding the rebuilding of America and his belief that AECO organizations must find a new approach to rebuilding that focuses on innovation and technology and on being proactive, not reactive. The tools are available, he observes, and in 2013 more firms will turn to visualization and collaborative design processes to strengthen the nation's infrastructure, including roads, bridges, buildings, and mass transit systems. Following are excerpts from my interview.

Cadalyst: Why do you believe 2013 will be the year that we see the push for this much-needed rebuilding?

DeLacey: There are a host of different reasons. Certainly, now that the election is over, there's some consistency and stability in what people see happening going forward — you can see that happening in the stock market already, people are feeling more comfortable that at least we have some direction. Historically, we find our way out of a recession by investing in infrastructure. It puts people back to work, it drives the economy, it creates tax revenues. When you combine that with the fact that people are starting to recognize that the U.S. infrastructure really is in poor shape, that tells me that we'll see some pretty significant investment in infrastructure this year. Read more »

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Nancy Spurling Johnson is Cadalyst's editor in chief.

Windows 8: Is It the Right Call for CAD?

Microsoft's new OS, with its radically redesigned touchscreen interface, could face an uphill climb toward professional adoption.

By Joe Dysart

Sporting a radical redesign that's expected to charm some and disappoint others, Microsoft's new Windows 8 faces a tough slog ahead, including a slow adoption rate, analysts say.

"The challenges of a new user interface, a complex set of processor choices, and a long ramp to a compelling set of app offerings in the Microsoft Store will translate to a slower-than-usual Windows upgrade cycle," says Frank E. Gillett, an analyst with Forrester.

Gillett is lead author of the Forrester report, Windows: The Next Five Years. The study predicts a grim forecast for Windows 8 in 2013, but concluded that with the right moves, Microsoft could stabilize long-term market acceptance of the product line.

Microsoft is betting big on its OS, which for the first time is driven by touchscreen controls. The change makes Windows much easier to use on smartphones and tablets, but on traditional desktops, the new interface comes across as clunky and inefficient, say many early adopters. Read more »

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Joe Dysart is an Internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan.

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events


Preprocessing Point Clouds in Bentley Pointools
March 7, 2013
12 p.m. ET
This webinar will explore Bentley Pointools v8i, a standalone software application for selecting, editing, and segmenting point-cloud models for distribution and reuse. Read more »

March 15, 2013
Waltham, Massachusetts
The National Institute of Building Sciences' buildingSMART alliance event will provide attendees with up-to-the minute information about the latest in BIM (building information modeling). Read more »

RTC 2013 Australasia
May 16–18, 2013
Auckland, New Zealand
At the ninth Australasian Revit Technology Conference (RTC), attendees will be able to learn from some of the world's top instructors and industry experts, share ideas and insights with an international community, and explore the latest trends and technologies. 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


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Understanding AutoCAD Mechanical Object Snap Settings
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Cyon Research Wants to Know About Your CAD Use
Cyon Research, organizer of the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software (COFES), has launched its 2013 Survey of Users of Engineering Software. The 40-minute survey aims to gauge your current use of and criteria for CAD and other engineering software. Read more »

Do You Really Need ECC Memory for CAD Workstation Computing?
I recently read an article by an Intel product manager on the need for "ECC" (error correction code) memory in CAD workstations. From the article: "Corrupted data can impact every aspect of your business, and worse yet you may not even realize your data has become corrupted." Read the CADspeed blog post »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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