Autodesk Pushes the Boundaries of BIM in the Evolution of the Architect (Part II)

Categories: Architecture Engineering

Autodesk showcases Dynamo Studio, Insight 360 and Project Expo Tech Preview at AIA 2016
Yesterday we began a discussion in advance of AIA 2016 about the evolution of the architect and our shared mission with you.  You will recall from yesterday’s “Part I” preview of Autodesk’s activities at AIA 2016, most of our tools are now connected to a Revit core – instantly, seamlessly, efficiently.  We’ve introduced the idea of extended BIM.  Your life, your team – simplified.

Let’s continue discussing how Autodesk at AIA 2016 is showcasing how we’re helping enhance your job while up-leveling your productivity.

Save time, save money: Dynamo and Computational Design

Computational design is a burgeoning trend, based upon the idea that any design problem can be described as an abstract model with clear and logical guidelines, which can then be solved through computation.  In a nutshell, computational design for the world of design, including architecture, is all about using compute power to create geometries and objects.

In the past, creating and updating responsive, dynamic models proved much more time-consuming and difficult than it should be. Luckily, an industry-proven visual programming environment, powered by the Dynamo engine and accessed via Dynamo for Revit and Autodesk Dynamo Studio, helps combat this problem.  Designed to work within a Revit environment, Dynamo for Revit extends building information modeling with the data and logic environment of a graphical algorithm editor. Dynamo Studio, launched at AIA 2015, is a standalone programming environment that lets designers create visual logic to explore parametric conceptual designs and help automate tasks while working untethered from Revit.

Dynamo also helps extend your designs into interoperable workflows for documentation, fabrication, coordination, simulation, and analysis.

Rapid iteration of design conceptsDynamo Studio’s visual interface allows for easy and fast iteration of design concepts.

Sean Burke, digital practice BIM leader and senior associate at NBBJ notes that his team is using Dynamo to extract intelligence from a client’s legacy DWG files and bring them into Revit as native linework. NBBJ was able to process non-intelligent 2D files, extract data, and report against their client’s database export form. So, for the lay person, we take the “not-smart” and make them “Mensa-smart”.  That’s pretty cool; that’s pretty Autodesk.

Working with 75 buildings for this specific project, using Dynamo saved NBBJ about 1,650 hours of work, and, according to Burke, was the “single most impactful workflow on the project.”

The NBBJ story is but one of many examples of work processes Dynamo has a cure for, with thousands of stories like this blooming in firms around the globe.  And Dynamo User Groups are popping up around the world as smart designers connect to discuss innovative work processes that help save their firm’s time, money and headaches.  Learn more here:

For more about Dynamo Studio – and its integration with Revit – visit our AIA 2016 booth 3531.

Save the world: Design for Optimal Building Performance with Insight 360

Introduced at Greenbuild 2015, Autodesk Insight 360 will be one of the highlights of our exhibit.  Insight 360 empowers architects with centralized access to their building energy and environmental performance data and the world’s most advanced analysis engines, all within a beautiful and intuitive interface. Through robust bi-directional BIM integration, direct access to leading analysis tools, and guidance and recommendations from industry benchmarks, architects can approach the design process with more effective understanding of the elements that lead to better building performance outcomes throughout the building lifecycle.

Mills Group ImageThe Health Plan Energy Analysis using Autodesk’s Insight 360: Image source: Mills Group.

Insight 360Insight 360 allows users to visualize and interact with building performance with regard to recognized industry benchmarks such as Architecture 2030 and ASHRAE 90.1.

Ryan Hess is the Director of Sustainable Design at Mills Group in Morgantown, West Virginia.  The Mills Group is a small firm contributing in a big way to saving our planet from the change in climate – one design at a time from the heart of coal country.  The Mills Group is doing it with Insight 360 and other Autodesk tools.

In 2015, Mills Group began design of The Health Plan headquarters in Wheeling, WV, a 50,000 square foot new construction building situated on a site encompassing an entire city block.

Hess notes that prior to Insight 360, Mills Group used a “handful of energy modeling software with downfalls such as a lack of attractive or easy to use graphic user interfaces – if one even existed.”  Additionally, multiple architectural software needed to be used in order to be compatible with these disparate modeling engines.  That’s costly work.

Ryan agrees – the industry is evolving.  “Architectural practice has evolved with a current demand on quick response, easy access, and easy feedback amongst team, client, and consultants. Insight 360 provides powerful graphics, a sophisticated modeling engine, and fast calculation time. Mills Group has used the software, along with Revit to justify design features with the client, showing that many are not arbitrary or aesthetic, but rather functional, necessary, and responsible.”

Again, designing with Revit at the core – extended BIM.  Check out Autodesk Insight 360 at our AIA booth.

Blow your clients’ minds: Project Expo Tech Preview

When it comes to helping Architectural, Engineering and Construction [AEC] professionals visualize their ideas and designs; Autodesk is no newcomer to the challenge.  And, just as with video game developers, or movie visual effects creators, our AEC customers also demand a piece of that visualization greatness.  And so we will be offering a tech preview of Project Expo, check out our AIA events page for more information.

Project Expo is expected to upend the visualization world for the entire AEC industry – giving you a new tool to wow your clients and to help make informed decisions – together – in real-time. Project Expo uses the Autodesk Stingray game engine, which was released in August 2015 to incorporate a recent acquisition of a gaming engine to move Revit models to this environment via Autodesk 3ds Max rendering software.   With Project Expo technology under the hood, Autodesk’s cloud platform, and a truly simple one-button rendering in Revit, what more could you ask for? The experience is immersive, real-time and far more intimate between your firm and client.

PLACE Stingray Model 1

PLACE Stingray Model 2Stingray editor images courtesy of PLACE architect.

Twenty-five year veteran architect, Heather Johnston of PLACE architect, ltd., told Autodesk that “trying to get the images that we produce to really reflect the kind of energy and spirit and quality of light and quality of experience that I can see in my mind, that’s an ongoing puzzle.  That’s been a dilemma for architects since Vitruvius.

Asked another way by BIM/CAD Manager Nelson Weeks of Lord, Aeck and Sargent, Inc., “How do you truly make them feel the space so that they know they’re getting what they want?

If you work in Revit, Project Expo will help your design sing.  Your clients will join the chorus.

Project Expo takes your Revit model, processes it in the Autodesk cloud for use on a desktop or mobile device, according to Joel Pennington, a Project Expo product manager.  No other partner can offer the trifecta of tech: Revit, 3ds Max and Stingray game engine.  And, we do it all in the cloud, in one take, to make your life quick and easy.  No muss, no fuss.

Doesn’t sound hard, right?  It’s not. “Project Expo appeals to me because, number one, it is a push button solution,” noted Weeks.  Simplicity.

Project Expo is coming soon to a cloud-future near you.  You can check it out at a special demo in the Autodesk AIA booth 3531 at 11 am on Thursday, May 19.

Evolving together

When you arrive at AIA 2016 in Philadelphia, remember one important thing: Autodesk supports you.  The evolution of the industry and your role as architect is happening – and we at Autodesk are making that change with you and working to ensure that our products, our team, and our support services are meeting the demands of your future.

In fact, on May 11 we launched “The Revit Station” [] designed to support our customer’s requests via a first time for Autodesk crowdsourced approach that allows users to vote on ideas and continually watch for the status of future releases.

So stop by our booth to let us know how we’re doing.  Share your Autodesk stories and experiences with us – pat us on the back or take us aside and tell us what we need to be doing to improve your workflow.  It really is that simple – engage.  Autodesk has your back – and your future.

Autodesk Class/Theater Schedules, Demos and Experts

For more about all the activities Autodesk has in store for you at AIA 2016, including class and theater schedules, visit our event page. And come by the booth to speak to a product expert and learn more about Autodesk’s BIM technologies or get individual technical support.