Welcome to AECWeekly! In viewing the latest release of Archicad, Version 10, it's clear that architectural software has evolved to a point where ideas and vision can flow more freely. Archicad is not the only object based architectural software out there, but the features in this new release bring it closer to something that works the way architects think, or want to think. Read about it in this week's Industry News.
AECWeekly is a news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.
AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, People, Contract Awards, New Products, Around the Web and Upcoming Events.
AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Please send me your comments
Susan Smith, Managing Editor
Freedom to Design with Archicad Version 10
by Susan Smith
In a briefing and demo provided by Don Heinrich, vice president and Kurt Ameringer, Archicad Manager, North America, I learned how the creation of the Virtual Building model using Archicad helps architects achieve greater design freedom and significant ROI.
As background, over a million buildings have been created in the Virtual Building environment since Graphisoft developed it. The software is used in 85 countries, 14 languages and 23 different localized versions.
In general, what “object-based” means in referring to Archicad and the other Graphisoft products, is that the different objects have intelligent behavior that generates automatically all the information that a design team would need. Archicad also synchronizes that information in the form of automated updates. Textual data that can be associated, such as a zone for a room, the volume of the room that comes from four walls, ceiling and floor but is not an object.
“We wanted the design team to be able to spend more time on the design but save time at the same time,” explained Heinrich. Part of that productivity increase involves having more time to evaluate alternatives. “If you decide to curve a wall, slant it or change a curtain wall or window set, that automatically ripples throughout the entire design.”
Not only can Archicad decrease the overall time spent on a project, allowing firm to do more projects, but it can render them more effective in the design phase so they can spend more time in the documentation phase. The average productivity gain achieved by using the Virtual Building workflow is 38.9 percent.
Richard Crowe, GRC Architects, USA, reported that the firm has tripled their revenues and not increased their head count since using the Virtual Building solution.
Key points for version 10 are :
- freedom to design
- improved workflow
- improved user interaction
Improved workflow translates into allowing the drawing set to be generated inside the modeling environment. This is a change from version 9, as in version 10, all the drawing sets are in the modeling environment and are always being updated in the modeling environment.
Interaction demonstrates an update to accommodate new hardware needs of users and the resultant new perspective. For example, 20 years ago when the first design of the Archicad system was built, there weren't a lot of capabilities for computers such as cell phone, PDAs and video games, as there are today. Email on cell phones, PDAs or Blackberries is commonplace now, so Graphisoft has aligned their technology with these technologies so that it is more intuitive to new users. “Initially when we built walkthroughs for buildings, we did it with cameras and created a viewing path for the system to walk you through a building,” Heinrich explained. 3D game-like navigation lets you explore the environment with more control.
Pre-selection feedback offers info tags that indicate relevant parameters, and automatic guidelines anticipate user intentions.
Another example of interaction is the ability of intelligent objects to understand how to represent themselves in wall shapes. There is also the ability to freely take a cross section out of the standard library, modify it on-the-fly and apply it to an entire wall or section of the building.
Improvements made in workflow include enhancements in smart drawing management, i.e., the ability to take PDFs from other sources and lock them into Archicad as drawings to reference for the project. You can also drag and drop to move navigator items and create views and merge layouts.
There is also the ability to use linear and gradient fills and other areas of graphics in Archicad. Many people want to take CAD drawings into Photoshop to use for presentation and now they can do their Photoshop right inside of Archicad. You can also apply materials so a building always looks real.
Graphisoft has also created an interactive training guide for Archicad version 10 which is a free download from the website. It is a self-running movie that runs inside the Archicad environment while you are creating a model in Archicad.
Sage Software, a subsidiary of The Sage Group plc, announced that it has agreed to acquire the Master Builder product and business from Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU) . The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and expected to be completed within 30 days. The company also announced that it has acquired Contractor Anywhere Inc., developer of accounting, service, and project management software for building and service contractors. The acquired products will complement Sage Software's award-winning Sage Timberline Office, which provides accounting, estimating, and operations management software for the construction and real estate industries.
Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced that registration is now open for BE Conference Europe 2006
Also announced was the fact that Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organizing Committee for the 2012 Olympics and one of Britain's greatest athletes, will be a keynote speaker at BE Conference Europe. The conference takes place 11-15 June 2006 in Prague, Czech Republic.
Sun Microsystems, Inc., the creator and leading advocate of Java(TM) technology, announced that industry-leading Sun Fire(TM) T1000 and T2000 servers running open source UltraSPARC T1 processors and the Solaris(TM) 10 Operating System (OS) -- the most advanced operating system on the planet -- set world-records for performance and blew away competitive systems from Dell/Microsoft and IBM/AIX in recent SPEC Java Business benchmark (SPECjbb2005) testing. Sun also extended its lead in performance per watt and SWaP ratings, further demonstrating CoolThreads(TM) systems as the most efficient platform ever for delivery of web and application services.