Autodesk Creates Construction Cloud to Connect Scattered Teams30 Nov, 2019 By: Cadalyst Staff
New solution promises to help team members collaborate effectively — whether they’re in an office or the field — and to enable data to flow from design to fabrication to the job site.
Autodesk unveiled its Autodesk Construction Cloud during the Connect & Construct Summit, a preconference event held at Autodesk University (AU) 2019. The new solution brings together Autodesk’s Assemble, BuildingConnected, BIM 360, and PlanGrid applications. “One of the reasons I’m really excited about Autodesk Construction Cloud is the way it closes the loop between our design tools and our newest construction solutions. It really will help owners, general contractors, and subcontractors collaborate better in less time with less risk,” President and CEO Andrew Anagnost said during his AU keynote.
“It isn’t just about construction — it actually connects the entire project workflow,” said Jim Lynch, vice-president and general manager of Autodesk Construction Solutions, during the AEC keynote session at AU. “You can start with design and modeling in AutoCAD or Revit, then collaborate with your project stakeholders across the globe throughout the preconstruction and project execution phases,” he explained. “We’re making teams more connected and more collaborative.”
According to the company, Autodesk Construction Cloud includes more than 50 new product enhancements (a detailed list is available here), as well as deeper integrations among the products to allow data to flow across all stages of construction. Most are available now; some will be rolled out over the coming weeks. These enhancements include:
• Expanded support within Assemble for the latest versions of Autodesk AutoCAD, Revit, and Navisworks.
• Subcontractors can immediately quantify 2D views in BuildingConnected BidBoard Pro.
• Field teams can now take videos directly within the PlanGrid app and provide richer commentary from the jobsite.
• All BIM 360 modules have been enhanced. Deeper feature integrations include that between Construction IQ and BIM 360’s design review capabilities, called Design Risk Management: Design Risk Management applies Construction IQ’s machine learning capabilities to the design review process that happens within BIM 360’s Document Management module, enabling users to identify and predict design and constructability issues that may turn into RFIs.
“We’ve been keenly focused on breadth, depth, and connectivity across the portfolio,” Lynch said. “Ultimately, we’re making these products more connected and more collaborative. And together, these products support a wide range of workflows spanning all phases of construction.”
Connecting and Analyzing
Lynch explained that in addition to this “advanced technology,” Autodesk Construction Cloud includes two other critical components. The first is the Builders’ Network, an ecosystem that helps connect owners, designers, builders, and tradespeople, “to help you get the results you need,” said Lynch. The goal is that owners and builders will be able to reduce risk and rework by assembling the best teams for their projects.
The second component is predictive insights, drawn from AI-driven analysis of project data, to help teams predict outcomes and reduce risk. Examples include TradeTapp, which provides general contractors with subcontractor risk analysis during the planning phase, and Construction IQ, which uses algorithms to prioritize the highest-risk projects, subcontractors, and issues that need attention during the build phase.
According to Autodesk’s data science team, more than 70% of RFIs in construction are attributed to design issues or documentation errors.
Data from Design to Fabrication
Autodesk Construction Cloud is built with BIM 360’s common data environment (CDE) and “ensures the whole team is collaborating on an integrated record set,” according to Autodesk. “Autodesk Construction Cloud is bringing us one step closer to a unified solution with all our data in the same platform, so that information is no longer in a silo or lost,” said Michael Murphy, digital construction operations manager at BAM Ireland, in a press release.
“Convergence really requires seamless flow of data from design to fabrication and ultimately out to the job site; Autodesk Construction Cloud will enable this,” Lynch explained. “Autodesk Construction Cloud will become the foundation for the convergence of construction and manufacturing,” he predicted.