Collaboration and Data Management for AEC Projects

October 10th, 2011

As the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry has evolved to meet the growing needs of the world’s population, so has the need for industry collaboration grown ever more acute.  As buildings become more complex and as the scale of projects becomes larger, more diverse and local talents are needed to realize design intent and satisfy construction requirements. . The AEC workforces extended around the world have opportunities scarcely imaginable a decade ago; closely collaborating designers might never meet face to face, instead contributing critical expertise while thousands of miles apart; building problems that might once have seemed intractable yield to talent applied from across the globe. The AEC industry is improving life for millions of people around the world every year, and in large part our new ability to collaborate at a distance can be credited with the accelerating pace of that improvement.

At Autodesk, our vision is to provide a complete, accurate, digital view of a project, throughout the project lifecycle, with access to project data wherever and whenever it’s needed.  We call this Autodesk BIM 360.  In BIM 360, we envision a set of scalable solutions that deploy quickly and interoperate smoothly, targeted to supply the level and type of data access and collaboration required by design teams, project teams, and enterprises trying to manage BIM information. Because the state of a project at any given moment is collectively summarized in models, components, cut sheets, specifications, shop drawings, RFIs, design bulletins, analytical results, e-mails, transmittals, warranties, and other documentation, adroit management of a project or a facility requires tools that deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. Our Autodesk BIM 360 vision supports dispersed project and construction teams by making information available when and where it’s needed. By taking advantage of expanding connectivity and cloud computing, Autodesk is helping close the information gaps that exist between design intent, field execution, and ongoing facilities management.

To support this vision, Autodesk is introducing Autodesk® Vault Collaboration AEC software. With more than 400,000 users of Vault in the manufacturing industry, the software is a proven, scalable technology. Vault has been greatly enhanced for the AEC market through integrations with Autodesk® Revit® 2012 software products, AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2012 software, Autodesk® Navisworks® 2012 software products and Autodesk® Buzzsaw® software as a service.  Vault can handle virtually any file format, and in addition to many Autodesk products, it offers integrations in more than 35 other applications including ERP programs such as SAP. 

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Now, users can manage their design files and data without having to leave their native design environment, searching for and accessing project content directly from Revit software and Civil 3D, promoting  higher productivity, faster user adoption, and effective deployment of project data management. To extend collaboration and data sharing to multiple design firms and other constituencies (including outside or third parties) in a building project, Vault Collaboration AEC also integrates with Autodesk Buzzsaw, Autodesk’s cloud-based collaboration solution.  Because Vault can automatically synchronize files and data with Buzzsaw, the two deployments work in concert to enable a truly complete collaboration and data management solution, specific to the AEC industry.

As the industry continues to wrestle with huge amounts of data generated on today’s complex AEC projects, collaboration and data management processes and technology need to be developed and deployed to support project workflows characterized by multi-discipline and geographically dispersed players.  We believe our Autodesk BIM 360 vision, and the use of Autodesk Vault Collaboration AEC and Autodesk Buzzsaw Software as a Service, can help meet the challenge.

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