Mangement For Design

Autumn Release

Technical Innovations Transforming the AEC Industry

Management for Design attended a recent industry event on Tuesday 5 April that shone a spotlight on innovation in architecture, engineering and construction. The event was hosted by Friends of the industry in Sydney. The evening included presentations from three tech startups innovating in the AEC sector, followed by a Q&A and networking.

Historically, innovation is something the AEC industry hasn’t been great at. However, in the past three years this has started to change and we are noticing a rapid innovation shift and a call for novel solutions to old and longstanding problems. Business leaders in architecture and engineering firms are starting to see the strategic benefits of innovation. Innovation is at the centre of new government policy and technologists are taking ideas from industry and innovating to create better ways of doing things. ‘Innovation’ is the buzz word du jour.

Sam Carigliano from SkyCiv Engineering presented a demo of his online engineering software platform used to design structures. The software offers deflection and stress analysis, reporting and rendering, along with a full 3D structural design. Sam showed a range of different projects that are being built using his software, including that of a user building an aeroplane. The site also includes free beam, truss, frame and moment of inertia calculators.

Paul Wintour from BVN Architecture discussed design computation. Paul’s work focuses on rapid prototyping through parametric variations, analysis and simulation. He gave a great demo showing rapid simulation of building volume, as might be useful when discussing a site’s potential with council or developers. Paul also discusses tools that can be used to automate workflows, such as the Dynamo Package Manager that can be used with Revit. Some of the tools available in Dynamo include nodes that automatically number all rooms and doorways on a plan sequentially, and nodes that automatically place all room numbers in the centre of a room. All of these tools provide huge time savings when drawing up plans, as well as savings in site time due to increased clarity.

Nick Smith from Tiny+ talked about relationship management and the necessity to move to new technologies that accurately meet the need of AEC firms. Nick pointed out that most client relationship management software is created by sales people, for sales people. At Management for Design, our business management system utilising the Deltek Vision ERP solution has been created specifically for project-based businesses. The software is continually developed with AEC businesses front of mind.

There is a massive trend moving towards online software. The cloud industry is currently valued at $106 billion, up from $20 billion in 2010. The benefits of the cloud are many — no installation, no arduous updates, reduced downtime, access any time, anywhere, and simple licensing.

The M4D business management solution takes full advantage of the cloud, allowing users to access and update data on the go. In the cloud means that you never miss an opportunity with a potential client, can update project status from your iPad, and fill in your timesheet on your smartphone. Our software uses innovation to streamlines business with IT to make AEC businesses more efficient.

One point the speakers were keen to make clear is that innovation is happening in a big way right here in Australia. We don’t have to wait for things to happen overseas, and can instead get ahead of the game and start taking advantage of the innovation shift happening locally.

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