New cloud and mobile capabilities for Autodesk Revit and InfraWorks 360 herald a more connected future of BIM
Today at Autodesk University in Las Vegas, Autodesk unveiled new cloud-based collaboration services for the building and infrastructure industries.
These new services continue to fulfill Autodesk’s drive to expand the benefits of BIM-based collaboration through the entire building and infrastructure lifecycle – from planning and design to construction and management. By providing a complete portfolio of Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools enabled by the cloud, architects, engineers, construction professionals and owners can collaborate on a consistent set of models throughout the building and infrastructure process – while tapping unlimited cloud computing power for tasks like high-resolution rendering or energy analysis.
“We are entering a new era in which abundant computing power and pervasive internet access are powering remarkable advancements in BIM, where information about a project is always accurate and available anytime, anywhere to anyone involved,” said Amar Hanspal, Senior Vice President, Information Modeling & Platform Group, Autodesk. “Our aim is to equip project teams with highly connected, powerful services for every phase of a building or infrastructure project lifecycle. The expanded services we are announcing today are key pieces in achieving this larger goal.”
Announced today are two key new services that expand BIM-based collaboration across the project lifecycle:
Buildings: Autodesk A360 Collaboration for Revit
Formerly code-named Project Skyscraper, Autodesk A360 Collaboration for Revit is game-changing service that connects building project teams with centralized access to BIM project data in the cloud. The new service is available in commercial release in North America, starting on December 7.
Overcoming the barriers of corporate firewalls and physical location, A360 Collaboration for Revit enables true centralized access to Revit models by team members in all disciplines from multiple firms or sites. It also replaces costly work-arounds for sharing models such as use of FTP sites, sharing software or inefficient use of email with attached PDFs. As a cloud service, Collaboration for Revit does not require complex and costly IT setup and maintenance. All project and design data is stored in Autodesk’s secure cloud environment.*
Included with subscription to A360 Collaboration for Revit, access to the Autodesk A360 Team cloud-based project collaboration platform (see related A360 announcement) allows the entire project team, even project contributors who do not use or have access to Revit software, to view, search, and socially interact with all project design data. With both the web and mobile A360 experiences, all members of extended project team can work together more efficiently on projects, make more effective decisions and deliver superior results.
With A360 Collaboration for Revit, team members can automatically see who else is working on the project, and changes made by one team member are immediately visible and available to everyone. No contact lists to manage, and no FTP exchanges needed.
With the Communicator for Revit in-context chat tool that comes with A360 Collaboration for Revit, project team members from all disciplines and firms can communicate directly with each other, in real-time while working on their project models in Autodesk Revit. A vast improvement over email or phone, Communicator provides notifications of new chat messages, connection requests, and sync status for workshared models to help the team work better together.
Describing his firm’s use of the beta version of A360 Collaboration for Revit on a major renovation project for the Oregon State Capitol building, Bjorn Clouten, project manager and senior associate architect at SRG Partnership said: “We’re sharing linked BIM project models with the entire project team in the cloud. Everyone has instant access to the latest information. It’s terrific. We’re enjoying the kind of smooth BIM collaboration that we’ve sought for more than 10 years.”
SRG Partnership used A360 Collaboration for Revit to collaborate on a renovation project for the Oregon State Capitol building, which included restoring the natural ventilation originally intended in the building.
Infrastructure: Field Assets for InfraWorks 360
The new Field Assets for InfraWorks 360 application introduces cloud-based infrastructure asset management to owners and operators. Available through Autodesk direct sales teams starting January 7, 2015, the location-based, easy to deploy web application makes field staff more effective by giving them access to the data they need, when they need it on nearly any device.
Traditionally, crews are sent out to inspect infrastructure assets without knowing exactly where assets are or past maintenance history. Reporting has typically been on paper-based forms which increase the risk of data entry errors when the information made it back to the office. With Field Assets for InfraWorks 360, owners and operators will be able to collect, mark-up and share data on these assets in real-time so teams can make better-informed decisions on how to deploy their field workforce for asset inspection and maintenance for optimal productivity and financial performance.
Field Assets for InfraWorks 360 empowers field staff to work more effectively by providing easy access to the infrastructure asset data they need based on their location.
“As infrastructure around the world ages and new infrastructure projects are built, assessing the condition of thousands of roads, bridges, pipelines and other assets that are vital to the economy is incredibly important – but has unfortunately been disconnected from the overall project development process,” said Paul McRoberts, Vice President, Infrastructure Modeling Group, Autodesk. “In the world of ubiquitous mobile devices and internet access, there is a far more efficient and accurate way to track infrastructure assets. Autodesk is taking big steps towards solving this problem with the release of Field Assets for InfraWorks 360.”
Field Assets is the latest addition to the Autodesk InfraWorks 360 portfolio of applications for civil infrastructure, supporting engineering workflows that let civil infrastructure teams design and create in the context of the real world. The InfraWorks 360 portfolio also includes purpose-built applications and complementary cloud services for bridge design, roadway design and drainage design. With the addition of Field Assets, the value of the model is extended beyond the early stages of planning and design. Teams can now collaborate throughout the full lifecycle, all the way through to the operations and management of those assets.
In addition to the introduction of the Field Assets service, the InfraWorks 360 Model Builder cloud service will now be fully supported in a production release with an update available to customers on January 7, 2015. Previously available as an Autodesk Labs preview, the production release of Model Builder is easier to find on the new InfraWorks 360 home and has been enhanced to include polygonal area selection, enabling irregular areas, such as highway corridors to be selected.
The InfraWorks 360 Model Builder cloud service allows users to select a city-scale area from a map of the world in order to generate 3D city models in minutes.
Discussing a new highway project in Norway, project director Frode Geir Bjoervik of COWI said: “We’ve been able to create a better preliminary design in less time, thanks to InfraWorks 360. Permitting saved time, and the client saved money. We’re now applying it on other transportation projects and for urban planning. Before InfraWorks 360, there wasn’t any feasible method of bringing together and visualizing existing condition information for large infrastructure projects. It has been a ‘eureka’ experience.”
Project teams can extend the BIM collaboration process from Revit and InfraWorks to the construction site with Autodesk BIM 360, the growing set of cloud and mobile services for construction management. Most recently, BIM 360 Layout was introduced, to improve construction accuracy by connecting design intent from the digital model to the physical world using iOS devices.
Customers have responded resoundingly to Autodesk’s drive to connect project teams and enable greater collaboration across the building lifecycle. Adoption of BIM 360 is up more than 200 percent in the past year, while the overall building and infrastructure portfolio is up more than 20 percent.
Amar Hanspal added: “As the world rapidly urbanizes, we are going to need millions of new and retrofitted buildings and infrastructure projects to accommodate the influx of people. As an industry, we need to accomplish this herculean task far more efficiently than previous generations. Thankfully we can harness new technologies to plan, design, build and manage the cities of the future – and do so more efficiently through better collaboration. Through the power of computational analysis, we can also derive designs that make more efficient use of energy and building materials. In the end, we can meet the demands of urbanization and build a more sustainable world in the process.”
A360 Collaboration for Autodesk Revit is available as a Cloud Service Subscription in North America beginning December 7. Additional languages and regions may be announced at a later time.
Autodesk Field Assets for InfraWorks360 is available in English as a Cloud Service Subscription beginning with a North American release on January 7, 2015. Customer companies must have at least one Desktop Subscription to Autodesk InfraWorks 360 before subscribing to Field Assets.
Desktop Subscribers to InfraWorks 360 will also have access to Model Builder as a metered cloud service beginning January 7, 2015. It will be available worldwide in all the languages that InfraWorks 360 is currently available.
*Visit the Autodesk Trust Center for more information about cloud security at Autodesk.