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AIA: Advanced View of Technology Companies at AIA Atlanta

In this report we take a preview look at the list of software and technology companies in attendance at AIA Atlanta.

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As noted days ago Architosh will be in attendance at the AIA National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, this week. The conference kicks off with activities today and runs through Saturday, 16 May 2014.

Architosh senior associated editor, Pete Evans, AIA, will be making the rounds with Anthony Frausto-Robledo, AIA, LEED AP, editor-in-chief, to visit technology company booths and discuss what they are showing or introducing at the exposition. The culmination of that activity is our nod to the best software and technology wares demonstrated to fellow architects at the largest convention of architects in the United States.

This year is particularly special given that US President Bill Clinton, two-term Democratic leader of the United States during the booming 90’s, will be the keynote speaker. That takes places tomorrow morning at 10:45 am (EDT).

Will Technology Companies Grow at Atlanta

Over the years we have seen mixed scenarios of technology companies at AIA National. The companies that attend and exhibit vary each year largely, it seems, based on location and macro economics. During the past few years the Software and Technology Pavilion, on the show floor, has been slightly smaller or largely the same than in the boom years—this, despite an explosion of new technologies and companies around cloud and mobile.

Here is a list (as of this writing) of the software and hardware technologies companies exhibiting at AIA National in Atlanta this year. Of course, all the usual big name suspects should be at the show this year but here are the companies who are confirmed on the AIA’s official list:

  • Autodesk — the biggest name in AEC software is US-based Autodesk with its flagship Revit BIM platform. The company focuses on BIM at these shows but many architects still rely on AutoCAD for 2D and sometimes 3D documentation. We expect to hear more news about its fleet of inter-related products including much more about the cloud. We would not be surprised if Autodesk announces Revit for the cloud at AIA but it may actually do that the following week back in Boston at a planned event.
  • AIA Contract Documents (ACD5) — The AIA’s new online web-based Contract Documents software is something we will spend some time getting the details on.
  • Bentley – the folks behind Microstation doesn’t appear on the list as of this writing and typically take up a larger booth within the Software and Technology pavilion. Over the years traffic to Bentley’s booth has slowed as the company has focused more on infrastructure and engineering tools.
  • Trimble — now arguably the second largest and vying for large top spot in AEC technologies against Autodesk, Trimble will be no doubt featuring SketchUp Pro and Trimble Connect (formerly GTeam) at the show. Last year the company showed us technology previews of Android tablet software. Not sure what they may have planned for AIA this year.
  • Nemetschek AG companies — Three major sibling Nemetschek companies will be on hand at AIA Atlanta, in ArchiCAD, Bluebeam and Vectorworks. There is currently faster growth within this German holding company than just about any other major AEC software maker, especially after their acquisition of Bluebeam Software. The Vectorworks group will be showing demos of upcoming version 2016, while Graphisoft just announced ArchiCAD 19.
  • CMD — CMD Insight for Architects is a market analysis offering and will be shown in a seminar on Thursday at 7:30 AM in Room B304. booth is (#2229)
  • PlanGrid — this company has one of the most popular mobile + cloud tool platforms around and will be at the show showing their namesake tool, PlanGrid. The San Francisco-based company makes a mobile construction blueprint replacement that provides real-time updates and seamless collaboration in the field.
  • PlanDrop — this company is new to us and related to ScanWide.com solutions for document control solutions for design-bid-build collaboration.
  • Kubity — is a new startup with new technology for web-based 3D viewing. We’ll find out more at the show.
  • AGACAD Tools 4 BIM — is a Revit add-on software maker. (#3285)
  • AEC360 — this company builds on top of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to deliver AEC focused customer relationship management tools for architects.
  • CL3VER — one of the hottest new tools to hit the market in a long time, CL3VER creates immersive, interactive 3D presentations for the web or mobile device, from Revit, 3ds max, Rhino and SketchUp models.
  • Deltek– software for managing the business of running your design or engineering firm, including accounting, project management and CRM (customer-relationship management).
  • Chaos Group — the V-ray rendering folks will be at the show in booth 3475. The CL3VER folks will also be showing some of their app in the V-Ray booth.
  • CitrixShareFile is a secure file sharing and storage solution used by 99% of Fortune 500 companies. Citrix is a Fortune 1000 IT company with innovative solutions. Securely share, sync and store big files. (#2985)
  • IES – a global leader in integrated 3D sustainable analysis software systems. IES’s tools work with leading BIM and modeling tools like SketchUp to help architects design for LEED and other sustainable standards.
  • InsiteVR — is a new virtual reality software startup providing both small and larger firms with easy-to-use interfaces for converting 3d models into virtual reality walkthroughs. This technology works with the VR headsets by Oculus Rift, Samsung GearVR, and Google Cardboard. Solutions are available for ArchiCAD, Revit, SketchUp, Rhino and 3ds max. (#3187)
  • WorldViz Architecture Interactive – a new company focused on head-mounted virtual reality solutions. (#3381)
  • SU Podium — SketchUp rendering plugin maker. (#3574)
  • VIMtrek – SMARTBIM — a visualization and operating platform company that creates a 3D visual model with clash detection capability. (#3040)
  • Newforma — Newforma software is AEC project information and management software used by leading AEC firms worldwide. It is considered a PIM (project information management) software tool. (#3038). One of the coolest things they have is the SmartUSE table for the construction site. It works with managing plans on iOS and Windows operating systems.

Other Interesting Technologies for Architects and Buildings

  • Polytronix Inc. — the makers of innovative LCD panels and related products that create switchable privacy glass, polymagic LED Glass, polyholo holographic glass, etc. (#337)

This is a healthy list of software and technologies companies. Missing from the list, but perhaps late entries and thus not showing up on the official AIA exhibitor listings, are the formZ folks, Rhino folks, Gehry Technologies (explainable since they largely were touting GTeam before and that has since been acquired by Trimble), Canon and Epson (for large format printers), a complete lack of workstation or computer vendors…even HP is not listed as attending.

Actually scratch that. Just as we were putting together this report, an email came in from workstation vendor BOXX. Apparently they are in the V-Ray (Chaos Group) booth.