This week Autodesk has made several interesting announcements at its flagship annual use event, Autodesk University, held traditionally in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Addressing Construction Rework
Autodesk BIM 360 Docs is a new cloud-based service aimed at solving a critical pain point in the construction industry: addressing the up to 25 percent of construction rework.
Previously known as Project Alexandria, Autodesk BIM 360 Docs will help save time, reduce risk and errors in construction projects by ensuring that the entire project team is building from the correct version of construction documents and plans.
“Autodesk is delivering a new world order for construction management,” said Amar Hanspal, senior vice president, Products at Autodesk. “A comprehensive solution is long overdue, and the delay has cost the construction trades too much money and too much time. Autodesk saw the challenge, owns the expertise, and is delivering a powerful step forward for the industry.”
Optimized for Apple iOS Devices
BIM 360 Docs will connect project team members through collaborative, real-time access to all the construction documents through the project lifecycle. Planned features include:
- Linked 3D and 2D experience, allowing users to interact with models in 2D views and visualize them in 3D on the same page, and vice-versa
- Permission-based access control and approval processes to manage the updating and release of documents, preventing project teams from working with out-of-date information
- Blazing-fast viewing experience for large-format PDF design documents, optimized for Apple iOS devices
- Automated organization of original and updated construction docs into sets, including highly accurate and customized optical character recognition (OCR) of title blocks
“Document management has historically posed a significant challenge for much of the construction industry, yet many still rely on a cobbled-together web of one-off solutions, which isn’t really a solution at all,” said Jason Reece, technology and innovation improvement lead at Balfour Beatty Construction. “We’ve collaborated with Autodesk throughout the development process and based on what we’ve seen so far, BIM 360 Docs is on the right track to offering the industry an integrated technology solution for this generations-old problem.”
Autodesk is now accepting reservations for a limited release and free preview version of Autodesk BIM 360 Docs at www.bim360.com/docs. The product is expected to come to market in early 2016. In addition to the free, limited version of BIM 360 Docs, Autodesk will offer the option to subscribe to additional capabilities that scale to meet more advanced needs of construction firms. The product will initially be available in English only.
Solving the “single source of truth” problem in the AEC industry is really the biggest productivity hurdle that exist in construction. Another construction industry software provider has cited research that says that the actual “wrench time”—the time when builders are actually building—is just 30 percent of the day. The other 70 percent of the day is spent solving issues like logistics of materials and manpower, organizing construction workflow and obtaining the correct information.
That information that construction people need to get straight before they lay hammer to nail is the major broken piece in modern construction. The problem is the information is coming to the construction site in streams from multiple directions; furthermore the information coming to the construction site is quickly outdated—knowing the latest truth about the state of a project is vital. Nobody wants to rebuild because the wrong information was used.
Finally, it is a telltale sign that Autodesk is releasing this system of apps and cloud access for just Apple’s iOS devices for mobile devices in the field. It is another sign that Apple’s iOS platform dominates the mindset and the market share of enterprise computing.