Autodesk at AIA 2014: Project Skyscraper, Dynamo Advance The Future of BIM for Architects

Categories: Architecture Engineering Construction

Today at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2014 conference in Chicago, Autodesk unveiled a new collaboration technology, Project Skyscraper, and spotlighted Dynamo to continue advancing the future of Building Information Modeling (BIM) for architects.  These two technologies — representing cloud-based collaboration and computational design — are integral to the future of the architecture profession as they empower architects to take advantage of information from the earliest stages of design through to project execution. 

Project Skyscraper to bring Revit Collaboration to the Cloud  

Project Skyscraper is a technology preview for Revit that will allow architects, engineers and contractors to collaborate on the Autodesk 360 cloud platform, eliminating the need for firms to invest in costly IT set-ups.

With collaborative workflows across teams spanning different firms and locations becoming more and more common, architecture, engineering and construction firms are looking for ways to simultaneously co-author models across firewalls. Project Skyscraper allows project stakeholders from multiple companies or locations to concurrently author a model using the BIM process.  Extended teams can view, search and provide feedback on project models on any device. No more emails with attached PDFs.

1Project Skyscraper enables team members in different firms and sites to work on the same project models simultaneously.

Several customers are already testing Project Skyscraper in a production beta environment, and we currently expect the full commercial release of the software by the end of this year.

 “Our customers have told us that technology can actually get in the way of their collaborative workflows.  They end up exchanging data inefficiently, with email as a lowest common denominator for communication among the team.  We built Project Skyscraper and integrated it with Autodesk 360 to break down those barriers and let the team focus on delivering high quality buildings on time and on budget,” said Kyle Bernhardt, Cloud Services Product Line Manager, Autodesk.  “Our production beta customers are already reaping those benefits, and we look forward to delivering an entirely new form of collaboration to our AEC customers.”

Autodesk will host several Project Skyscraper “Open House” sessions later this summer to allow more customers to test this new collaboration system. Customers interested in participating can go here to learn more.


Project Skyscraper runs on the Autodesk 360 platform, providing users with access to additional cloud services such as simulation and rendering.

More Dynamo, please!

Over the past few years, Autodesk has been a very active contributor to the open source Dynamo project. Dynamo provides a visual programming environment that is accessible to designers, allowing them to visually create logic that drives the geometry and behavior of Revit elements and data.

A dedicated team of Autodesk staff actively participates in the open source community for Dynamo and continually adds capabilities to drive Revit families and optimize workflows.  In fact, our staff has contributed a majority of the code for Dynamo. 

A special presentation on Dynamo, entitled “Computational BIM for Architects,” will be available at Autodesk booth #3051 at 11:30am CT on Thursday and again at 10:30am CT on Friday.  This session will focus on computational BIM with Dynamo and Revit and will explore generating different design options for varying elements including façade systems.

3Visual programming tools like Dynamo, shown here, can now be used to modulate parameters over facade systems.

“At Autodesk, we focus on things like cloud and open-source technologies as a means to empower our customers to continue innovating creatively without boundaries,” said Amar Hanspal, Autodesk senior vice president of Information Modeling and Platform Products. “We want to help our customers continue to demonstrate their competitive edge through expressive computational designs. Collaboration and computational design solutions such as Project Skyscraper and Dynamo challenge the status quo and increase productivity at every stage of the BIM process.”

To learn more about Project Skyscraper, Dynamo and other Autodesk technologies, we invite AIA attendees to stop by the Autodesk booth (#3051).  A complete schedule of Autodesk AIA presentations can be found here.