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AU21 – Autodesk introduces cloud-based tools for AEC industry

Autodesk introduces cloud-based tools to drive sustainable, resilient project outcomes for buildings and infrastructure.


Autodesk today has announced several key updates to its mission of bringing more of its software applications to the cloud plus mobile. There are three key AU21 based debuts, including SpacemakerAI, Autodesk and Esri, and Info360 Asset from Innovyze.

Autodesk’s cloud-based tools aim to drive sustainable, resilient project outcomes for communities, buildings, and infrastructure, fitting a consistent theme this year at Autodesk University as the global design software leader virtualized its annual user conference for the second year in a row due to the ongoing global pandemic.

Spacemaker AI Update

In 2020 Autodesk acquired the Norwegian company SpacemakerAI. The early design-stage software company is now offering microclimate analysis tools that will help real estate developers, urban planners, and architects to evaluate the thermal comfort of outdoor spaces. SpacemakerAI is one of the newer software companies in the AEC industry Architosh has highlighted as a rising leader, and Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost has told this publication that Spacemaker’s artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for intelligent, data-driven generative design are unrivaled in the industry.

MORE: INSIDER: The Fourth Revolution—How Spacemaker AI Optimizes Architecture Development

Since the late 19th century, scientists began to recognize what is today called the “heat island” effect when they noticed that the city of London was often a few degrees higher than the surrounding rural areas. Urban areas are filled with materials that absorb heat energy from sunlight rather than reflecting it and then re-emit that heat during the day and early evening, cooling more slowly than would otherwise.

Microclimate features are new in Spacemaker AI, an Autodesk company. 

The US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates that an increase of just 2 degrees F may increase the use of air-conditioning by 1-9 percent, powered mostly by electricity produced by fossil-fuel-powered plants.

Architects and urban designers can leverage the new microclimate analysis tools in SpacemakerAI to design for “reduced heat island” effects, plus developing more comfortable outdoor spaces. Heat maps help visualize the thermal differences between design options and data outputted by SpacemakerAI will show the duration and time period of comfort and discomfort for outdoor spaces.

Buildings generate roughly 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. To meet new targets set by the Paris Agreement, Autodesk introduced Total Carbon in beta. Total Carbon combines Revit data with open-source energy analysis and material carbon data, in the cloud, to provide real-time, accurate, and reliable total carbon analysis. Autodesk is encouraging its customers to help continue to develop this open-source tool by joining the beta program (contact: [email protected]).

next page: Autodesk and Esri plus Cloud-based Wastewater Decision Making

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