Nicolas Mangon, Vice President of AEC, Business Strategy and Marketing & Andrew Anagnost, CEO, Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK)
Nicolas Mangon, Vice President of AEC, Business Strategy and Marketing & Andrew Anagnost, CEO The roots of building information modeling (BIM) can be traced back to the Russian nuclear physicist Leonid Raiz and his development of 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) software. If not for Raiz, 3-D printing would not exist, nor would Revit, a $20 billion industry-standard today in BIM. Disrupted by the pandemic, the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) landscape has transformed beyond measure. Seamless collaboration and interoperability are no longer a novelty but a necessity. Over the last year, we have witnessed a slack in retail development while healthcare and infrastructure development projects have skyrocketed. With social distancing measures in place, people and projects work in a controlled environment where job sites are safer but slower.

As new challenges continue to emerge in workflow coordination, on-demand customization, and virtual creation, digitization has become a priority across the AEC space. Spearheading this drive toward digitization is Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK), empowering designers, engineers, and contractors with its AEC collection of BIM and CAD tools that support projects from early-stage design through to construction. “We’ve been digitizing for a long time. But this year, I have seen a huge acceleration. We are more rooted in the digital world than ever before,” explains Nicolas Mangon, Vice President of AEC, Business Strategy and Marketing at Autodesk.

Autodesk University 2020

As a result of the pandemic, Autodesk was forced to conduct its annual Autodesk University (AU) conference behind closed doors. While it meant that the ambience would lack the usual buzz, the first global virtual AU managed to attract a crowd larger than ever before. Cloud, automation, and machine learning have been key topics at AU for a few years now. But this year, Autodesk has turned its words into reality as it doubles down on the previous year’s launch of Autodesk Construction Cloud, expanding its capabilities beyond just storage, model sharing, and document distribution workflows.

The role of construction data in this modern age of construction was a key focus area at AU 2020. Data, automation, and data-driven insights have transformed the AEC industry significantly. “It is impossible to talk about construction data without talking about BIM. BIM is at the centre of the digital transformation sweeping the industry,” said Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost during his keynote address. To keep up with the digital transformation, Autodesk is focused on developing the functionality of its design tools to make BIM creation more scalable and more automated in building and infrastructure design.

Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK): Transforming BIM With The Power Of Cloud

We’ve been digitizing for a long time. But this year, I have seen a huge acceleration. We are more rooted in the digital world than ever before

Unlock the Power of BIM

For several years, Autodesk has been investing to make the promise of BIM a reality. “We started with architecture and then expanded to building and civil engineering. We enabled BIM collaboration in the cloud and connected BIM data to construction sites. And now we have taken it a step further with the acquisition of Spacemaker,” adds Mangon. Spacemaker’s data-driven approach will play a pivotal role in the acceleration of AEC digital transformation. Its strength in AI and machine learning is a testament to Autodesk’s vision for the future of design.

The $240 million investment represents Autodesk’s thirteenth investment in design and construction solution providers in the last three years, including five acquisitions. With Spacemaker, architects and urban designers maximize developers’ long-term property investments and realize the site’s full potential through quick generation, optimization, and iteration on design options while taking into consideration design criteria and data like terrain, maps, wind, lighting, traffic, zoning, and more. The acquisition of Spacemaker provides Autodesk with a powerful platform to drive modern, user-centric automation and accelerate outcome-based design capabilities for architects, urban designers, and planners.

Leading the Innovation Game

Leading the way in the AEC space, Autodesk announced three new platforms, Build, Quantify, and Coordinate, along with its new Digital Twin platform named Tandem. The functionality of these platforms is further extended by Autodesk Docs, which provides a common data environment to organize files and folders throughout a project’s lifecycle. This includes distributing files to the field, publishing sheets, conducting document reviews, creating transmittals, and tracking document issues. Along with the new platforms, Autodesk also announced that Revit had become the first BIM platform to receive a dual IFC4 export certification.

The all-new Autodesk Build provides a toolset for managing, sharing, and accessing project documents that result in streamlined workflows between the office, trailer, and job site. Autodesk Quantify enables integrated 2-D and 3-D quantification, while Autodesk Coordinate combines model coordination and design collaboration. The three new platforms offer greater depth, breadth, and connectivity across the Autodesk Construction Cloud platform, providing a genuinely connected construction experience, where data can flow from design to planning, building, and operations.
Autodesk BIM Collaborate enables project teams to work together by handling the whole design collaboration and coordination workflow. This features a comprehensive toolset for model review, markups, issue management, change analysis, and clash detection.

Autodesk Tandem brings project data together from many sources, formats, and phases to create a data-rich digital hub that tracks asset data from design through operations – a digital twin. Autodesk Tandem connects the digital world with the real world, creating an up-to-date reflection of a model’s physical self. This provides unique operational insight into a facility, building, bridge, or any structure and its components, including, for example, the performance of heating and cooling systems, escalators, and electrical systems.
  • It is impossible to talk about construction data without talking about BIM. BIM is at the centre of the digital transformation sweeping the industry

Real-Time Collaboration

Connected design is the future of construction, and Autodesk’s Construction Cloud platform is a testament to the same. The pandemic presented various challenges, and organizations have had to make several changes to adapt to these changes. The need for increased healthcare infrastructure was one of the first challenges presented by the pandemic. And once again, it was Autodesk that led the way.

The National Health Service (NHS) in England, in the face of calamity, found relief when Building Design Partnership (BDP) presented a viable solution to the problem. Realizing that reshaping and repurposing an existing structure was a more feasible option, BDS quickly redesigned the ExCel exhibition and convention center in London into a medical facility that could house 4,000 patients. The NHS delivered the first 500 ICU beds in the first week and another 3,500 in the weeks to follow. Thanks to Autodesk Revit, real-time coordination of workflow and design was made possible. Revit’s ability to change one design and propagate it across all systems saved valuable time.

Focused on developing its cloud capabilities for the future of BIM, Autodesk has accelerated its development efforts by adding a slew of new features to the Autodesk Construction Cloud. As technology continues to grow, Autodesk Cloud is headed in an exciting direction where it facilitates collaborative design, hosts and manages designs and drawings. As evidence suggests, Autodesk’s desktop products are in transition to become part of the cloud architecture.
- Robert Mathews
    September 22, 2021