Welcome to AECWeekly! This week, AECCafe and AECWeekly would like to extend our sympathies to those who have suffered and lost loved ones as a result of the massive destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina. The absolute destruction of homes and lives cut a swath across the Deep South from Florida through Mississippi and New Orleans, wrecking havoc in yet unimaginable ways. The recovery effort will take time, and will require enormous resources.
New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin stated that he believes New Orleans will not be functional for months. It has been estimated that the total cost of damage may reach upwards of $25 billion. And that is just one city - many others suffered greatly as well.
Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut down. With the resulting drop in production, gasoline shortages developed in some areas of the country, and prices surged above $3 a gallon. To counteract this rise in prices, the Department of Energy said it would release oil from the nation's strategic reserve to offset the production losses.
Already in the works this week before the hurricane made landfall, was our story on 3D CADD and 3D laser scanning, which is of specific interest to power, process and offshore designers and engineers.
One of the toughest challenges, particularly in the area of process, power and offshore engineering and design, is the issue of retrofitting existing facilities. Since 3D CADD hasn't been around that long, most plants and facilities were built using 2D non-electronic documentation, which may or may not be altogether accurate to begin with. And even if it was accurate when constructed, over time many changes have been made to the facility, typically without updating the as-built documentation. Read about how 3D laser scanning can be used along with 3D CADD to boost productivity and cut costs dramatically 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/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, Appointments, Name Changes, New Products 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
A Hybrid Approach to As-Built Design: Combining 3D CADD with Laser Scanning By Susan Smith
[ Click to Enlarge ]
For designing new facilities in recent years, 3D CADD has been an invaluable tool that ensures design standards and best practices are embedded and enforced, thereby making sure the documentation is accurate and consistent. In addition, 3D CADD models have the advantage of being electronically transportable to engineering design teams around the world. Other data, such as facility information, can also be linked with the visual 3D CADD model so it can be easily found. Moreover, construction phase rework is virtually eliminated, which cuts down on costs and schedule delays.
But 3D CADD can't be used for everything today. One of the toughest challenges, particularly in the area of process, power and offshore engineering and design, is the issue of retrofitting existing facilities. Since 3D CADD hasn't been around that long, most plants and facilities were built using 2D non-electronic documentation, which may or may not be altogether accurate to begin with. And even if it was accurate when constructed, over time many changes have been made to the facility, typically without updating the as-built documentation.
Further, even if electronic 2D documentation was available, a 3D model cannot be easily generated from traditional 2D CADD. Therefore, creating a 3D CADD model for an existing facility requires time-consuming manual modeling. Even if 3D CADD models are available, they can be inaccurate or incomplete as they typically use idealized representations of space and features, assuming all angles are 90-degrees. Additionally, details such as gusset plates, packaged equipment, field routed utility systems, instrument conduit and cabling are usually omitted. It is these “real-world” imperfections and details that cause the majority of construction rework..
So, it's understandable why contractors are more excited about a new building opportunity than a revamp. On the other end of the spectrum, project managers are tasked to control project costs while being challenged with unknown rework costs on maintenance and modification projects that may or not be budgeted in the original estimate. To avoid these issues, the re-creation of as-built data should occur early in the project lifecycle so that reliable information is available from the beginning of the project.
Collecting As-built Data
[ Click to Enlarge ]
Once the as-built laser scan data has been collected, it can be combined with 3D CADD models to provide the existing plant conditions for design and create entities in the 3D CADD package. It can also be used to take measurements from point to point and find details such as pipe centerline, angle and outer diameter, for example. When dealing with existing structures, this allows for only those parts of the structure that need work to be remodeled, rather than having to remodel the entire structure.
[ Click to Enlarge ]
As in 3D mechanical models, these 3D CADD models can be clashed against the 3D laser model to see if there are potential interferences or dimensional “busts.” This way, potential design clashes can be identified and eliminated early on in the design process, before they find their way to construction.
3D laser models can also pick up features such as packaged equipment details, field routed utility systems, and instrument conduit and cabling where they are visible and provide accurate dimensions. This helps ensure that clashes against even the smallest plant details are identified and eliminated as well as assists with the routing of new pipe, conduit, etc.
One of the other great features is that it is possible to scan plant structures safely, even in areas that are hard to see or are congested, where actual physical access would be dangerous or impossible. In this way, the use of 3D laser modeling also eliminates the need to put large numbers of team members in jeopardy of exposure to hazardous conditions.
Some 3D laser scanning companies, like Quantapoint, have a team of CAD personnel that use their 3D laser scanning data to create 2D drawings. Quantapoint is unique in that they offer “integrated laser scanning,” which means they use their own hardware and PRISM 3D software. This enables them to guarantee the accuracy of the results by, for example, ensuring calibration of the equipment. “One of the secrets of the industry is that if the laser scanner is not calibrated prior to usage and it is off by a even a small degree, it can result in an inch or two error in measurements that are 60 feet away. There is no such this as 'self-calibrating' hardware. We build the hardware, so we know its capabilities. We have a dedicated lab in which we calibrate it prior to every project, then we check calibration regularly in the field and when we get it back,” explained James McGill, Vice-President of Marketing. “Our PRISM 3D software not only lets you view and share the 2D laser scans and share them across, but also extract dimensions as an x,y,z coordinate since each pixel is actually represents an absolute distance in space. You can also measure outer diameters of pipes, distances between two beams, take slices of data and actually export them to AutoCAD, create isometrics, etc.” The company has created over 25,000 drawings for their customers.
The process of 3D laser scanning also requires that field crews who go out on site be fully trained in safety and how to do laser scanning itself. “It's different than doing regular surveying, i.e.,” McGill explained. “When I take multiple scans, I have to ensure that I include three to five targets across each scan so I can link those together. Integrating the data is called registering or networking the data together. If I were to use traditional surveying between each laser scan, I would propagate errors across them. If each survey were only off 1/4 inch, that could mean a 2 inch error between laser scan 1 and laser scan 200. Quantapoint's patent-pending integration technique ensures no worse than 1/4 inch uncertainty across all laser scans, from any point to any other point.” What Quantapoint delivers is complete as-built laser documentation that can include the 2D laser scans, 3D laser models and 2D drawings.
[ Click to Enlarge ]
- Costs associated with project rework and field fit-up welds are minimized.
- Global engineering centers can be leveraged as the digitized plant can be easily shared.
- Lost revenue from not meeting shut-down and turnaround schedules is avoided.
- Time spent in plants collecting data is greatly reduced.
- Design efficiency is greatly improved by using as-built laser documentation directly with CADD models
- More components can be prefabricated with greater confidence, knowing that they will fit.
- Shut down and turnaround durations are minimized due to less project rework and field fit-up welds.
- Improved sharing of more accurate information reduces many of the risks associated with project execution.
- Accurate and detailed information improves engineering designs and many of the decisions that affect construction and start up.
- More accurate design and constructability reviews are possible from combining 3D CADD and 3D laser models.
- Projects that were once viable only in 2D drawing tools can now be executed using 3D CADD.
- The number of people required for plant data collection tasks and the duration of time spent in the plant are dramatically reduced.
- Rework is minimized because fit-up can be confirmed by analyzing the scanned data and prefabrication can be maximized.
- Exposing large numbers of project team members to hazardous conditions is minimized.
Responding to Hurricane Katrina
FEMA suggests relief organizations that request either cash donations or donations and volunteers:
Organizations Requesting Cash Donations
Note: 800 and 888 phone numbers work only in the U.S. and Canada
American Red Cross
English: 800 HELP NOW (435 7669)
Spanish: 800 257 7575
800 436 6348
America's Second Harvest
800 344 8070
Organizations Requesting Donations and Volunteers
Adventist Community Services
800 381 7171
Catholic Charities USA
+1 703 549 1390
For further information, visit the Web site for the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
Looking for Loved Ones
So many people are missing in the affected areas, that several people have opened up websites or added sections to websites dedicated to the posting of messages for missing loved ones. Craigslist.com, a Web site better known as a place to buy or sell or rent, or look for love, is now flooded with posts looking for the missing.
Here's a positive one: “Just heard from my sister. She is OK!!! She had slight damage to her house (shingles off), lost 30 trees on her property, but horses, dogs, and my sister are OK!!! She had to drive 30 miles to a pay phone.”
The Times-Picayune newspaper site has a “Submit your own Stories” section that is now filled with notes from people looking for others. The paper also has created a new category for those people needing rescue.
"Please help," one read. "About 400-500 people are gathered at the church on 5069 Willowbrook Drive, 70129 ZIP and are waiting for help. They have no food and water is rising. Please help."
A new web site called findkatrina.com is dedicated to finding the missing.
Press Coverage and How to Help
The Times-Picayune website, featuring “Everything New Orleans,” also has maps, satellite images, alerts, photos. Also people are encouraged to submit their own stories. According to The New York Times, the Times-Picayune, whose daily circulation is 270,000, put out only an electronic edition on Wednesday with a one-word headline summing up the impact of Hurricane Katrina: "Catastrophic." The local paper is like other news media outlets in New Orleans that mostly abandoned newsprint and television broadcasts on Wednesday and set up shop on the Web.
USA Today Storm Center has historical data on hurricanes as well as up to date information on the progress of Hurricane Katrina
Palm Beach Post - latest AP reports
CNN - Top 10 Worst Hurricanes, how to help, maps, interactive safety tips, etc.
Carriers Struggle to Restore Service After Katrina, eWeek, By Email Contact and Email Contact August 31, 2005
Alabama Power Uses IT To Get To Katrina Disaster Sites, by Martin Garvey, Information Week, September 1, 2005 - The utility is using satellite communications, weather tracking, homegrown applications, and mapping technology to organize and dispatch response teams to restore power to hundreds of thousands of customers.
Creole Architecture of New Orleans, ArchitectureWeek
The Humane Society of the U.S. - Effort to rescue animals displaced by the hurricane.
An Equine rescue group helping Louisiana's horses, Habitat for Horses/Lone Start Equine Rescue is organizing a massive relief and rescue effort to help the equines of southern Louisiana after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina forced millions to evacuate. FEMA and the USDA are now in control of the areas most devastated and the group will operate under the guidance and control of FEMA and the USDA during this operation. Financial donations are needed to help fund this massive undertaking. Estimates range from several hundred to several thousand horses that are currently lost, injured or in danger. Donations of supplies can be made by calling Rose Westover, Emergency Evacuation Coordinator, Habitat for Horses/Lone Star Equine Rescue, Inc. at 713-467-3444 /713-594-1177. Use this Email Contact to connect them by eMail
Donations can be mailed to Habitat for Horses/Lone Star Equine Rescue, P.O. Box 213, Hitchcock, TX 77563
Autodesk, Inc. and Maeda Corporation, a construction and civil engineering company based in Japan, announced the expansion of their alliance to develop and deliver retail construction solutions to the Asia-Pacific region. The partnership enables Maeda to deliver facilities and asset management services to retailers such as Seven-Eleven, which has worked with Maeda to deploy the Autodesk Buzzsaw collaborative project management solution to manage and share information for 10,000 store locations across Japan. As part of the expanded relationship, Autodesk and Maeda are working with Seven-Eleven Japan to extend use of Buzzsaw as it expands into China.
On Aug. 22, netGuru, Inc. announced that it had entered into an asset purchase agreement with Bentley Systems, Incorporated, under which Bentley has agreed to acquire netGuru's Research Engineers International (REI) business. This business includes the market-leading STAAD.Pro structural analysis and design product line. At the time of the acquisition, Santanu Das, netGuru's chief operating officer, will join Bentley.
Bentley Systems, Incorporated, a provider of software for the lifecycle of the world's infrastructure, announced the release of its June 2005 Annual Report, which reviews Bentley's business developments for the prior fiscal year and includes financial highlights.
In the report, CEO Greg Bentley said, "The company's performance has never been better. I would like to thank all our stakeholders for their contributions and confidence, and we look forward to continuing this predictable growth for our mutual benefit."
To view a copy of Bentley's June 2005 Annual Report online or request a printed copy, go to Bentley Annual Report 2005.
Dexter + Chaney, developer of the Forefront(R) Construction Management Software employed by construction companies nationwide, has announced dates for Dexter + Chaney 10th Annual Users' Conference: April 26-28, 2006, at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center on Seattle's downtown waterfront. A record 490 Forefront users from 44 states attended the 2005 conference in April, also at Bell Harbor.
Equitrac Corporation, provider of print tracking and document cost recovery solutions, is working with Xerox Corporation to help make color printing more affordable. Xerox Page Accountant powered by Equitrac is now available -- allowing Xerox customers across a range of industries to better monitor and control access to color and monochrome printing and copying.
ArchVision has hired Jeff Mottle, Founder of CGarchitect.com, as Business Development Manager. Jeff will concentrate his efforts on expanding ArchVision's recently launched VisMasters initiative. VisMasters launched in July providing user galleries, forums, complimentary content offerings and a commerce solution, the VM Store, tailored to the design visualization industry. Jeff will reside in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
GeoPraxis Inc., citing strong growth projections for 2006 and beyond, announced plans to restructure its architectural, engineering, and construction software and services business units. Founded in 1998 by three prominent building energy efficiency experts, the privately held company has grown to become the innovation leader in the development and implementation of building energy analysis tools and web-based solutions.
Effective September 1, the firm will be renamed Green Building Studio, Inc., to take on the brand of its fast growing web service for architects and engineers. John F. Kennedy P.E. will remain President/CTO and Patrick J. Bailey P.E. will continue as its VP of Engineering at the renamed corporation. Green Building Studio, Inc. will continue to provide top-notch engineering services to its utility and architecture clients. Thomas P. Conlon, Energy Markets Consultant and VP of Business Development, will launch a separately organized business that will continue to serve the firm's utility and real estate clients under the names GeoPraxis® and EnergyCheckup, a Service of GeoPraxis.
Rothman Partners Architects of Boston and San Francisco-based Anshen + Allen announce the formation of a new office in Boston. The new firm, Anshen + Allen + Rothman, is located at 711 Atlantic Avenue. The firm leadership continues with Martha Rothman, FAIA as the managing principal and Elliot Rothman, AIA as a director.
KollabNet's flagship product, KollabNet Editor 2005, now offers a facility for supporting proposal preparation - Business Rules Validation. "One of the biggest challenges in the process of preparing proposals is making sure that the proposal addresses all of the customer's requirements," said Dan Schmidt, KollabNet's Director of Professional Services. "We created the Business Rules Validation capability to meet a need we discovered during several professional-services engagements with our clients."
Triple R Technologies, Limited Partnership, announced a special offer providing Plotstream, Triple R's flagship solution for server-based AutoCAD plotting in a specially priced bundle.
At the special price of $2,249 USD, the Plotstream “Quick Start” discount program gives new clients the chance to purchase the premium AutoCAD plotting solution in a bundled package at a discounted savings. The discount program includes licensing for 1 server and 10 workstations and is limited to one offer per client. Available through dealers and directly to end-users, the “Quick Start” discount program will help organizations of any size ease into this powerful technology.
Sage Software (formerly Best Software) announced the availability of a new integration of the company's Sage Timberline Office Estimating for Sage MAS 90 ERP and Sage MAS 200 ERP construction customers. The interface enables current Sage MAS 90 and Sage MAS 200 customers to create construction project budgets using Sage Timberline Office Estimating and directly transfer that data into their Sage MAS 90 or Sage MAS 200 Job Cost module.
Cimatron Ltd., global provider of integrative CAD/CAM software solutions for toolmakers, announced the worldwide release of version 7.0 of its flagship product, CimatronE. With this release, Cimatron continues its mission to provide toolmakers with a complete, integrative solution that can address the increasing demands of the industry, and help toolmakers remain competitive.
Notes3D is an important 3D model editing product in the Document3D family of products. Document3D lets CAD users and downstream users easily leverage existing 3D models and 2D drawings to create assembly instructions, technical publications, interactive training and other product lifecycle documents.
The 3D Industry Forum (3DIF) has published an Ecma standard (ECMA 363) for the repurposing and visualization of 3D CAD data called Universal 3D (U3D). This standard was included in the latest Adobe PDF specification (1.6). By adding support for U3D, Document3D provides versatile new 3D publishing options that can be shared with over 500 million Adobe Reader users worldwide.
Entourage Arts announced that 2 Landscape Collections are now also available in SketchUp V5 "face-me" shadow casting components.
Our Entourage SKP Components make use of the new alpha transparency features of SketchUp V5. Medium resolution, carefully and economically outlined to create convincing shadows with an economy of geometry for faster performance, this unique collection is a perfect match to the Non Photorealistic SketchUp style.
GiveMePower Corporation, a provider of next-generation computer-aided design (CAD), digital-blueprint management and graphics-development software for "anytime and anywhere" use across all Microsoft Windows® desktop, laptop, tablet and handheld/wireless computing platforms, announced that final beta testing of its new PowerCAD® SiteMaster 2 laser-based mobile and wireless building-surveying solution is underway, with commercial launch scheduled for the end of September, 2005.
|NAHB - 2005 Fall Board of Directors Meeting|
|Date:||September 7 - 11, 2005|
Reno, NV USA
|The Fall Board Meeting will be held at the Reno Hilton Hotel in Reno, NV September 7-11, 2005. Please check back for more details in the coming weeks.
|The First International Conference on Built Environment Complexity|
|Date:||September 11 - 14, 2005|
|Place:||University of Liverpool
Liverpool, United Kingdom
|The becon conference is part of an exciting international event offering academic and non-academic participants a unique opportunity for learning and interaction from over 30 different academic disciplines and a range of non-academic sectors, providing a unique opportunity for participants to present and discuss their relevant specialism.
|Australian Structural Engineering Conference 2005|
|Date:||September 11 - 14, 2005|
ASEC 2005 will have a strong and diverse program covering a wide range of topics pertinent to the Structural Engineering industry. The conference will provide an excellent opportunity for participants to share ideas, review current industry trends and discuss the future of Structural Engineering. The program will be held over 3 days featuring internationally recognised Plenary and Keynote speakers.
Suggested program topics include:
• Case histories • Concrete • Steel • Timber & masonry • New & other materials • Analysis & design • Bridges • Fire • Dynamics • Construction • Natural hazards • Heritage • Structural assessment • Structural remediation • Corrosion & rehabilitation
• Marine infrastructure • Standards & BCA • Deteriorating infrastructure • Structural project management • Risk and liability
|HRC International Historic Preservation Education Symposium|
|Date:||September 12 - 14, 2005|
|Place:||University of Bath
Bath, United Kingdom
|The Historic Resources Committee of the American Institute of Architects (AIA/HRC) will hold a symposium in Bath, England, on the state of historic preservation architecture education internationally, featuring sessions held in the historic Bath Assembly Rooms and on the campus of the University of Bath, as well as tours of historic sites in Bath and environs.
The symposium will further the dialogue between academicians and preservation practitioners to define the context, issues, approaches, and strategies to integrate preservation values into first professional degree programs while also addressing European educational models.
|IABSE Symposium - 'Structures and Extreme Events'|
|Date:||September 14 - 16, 2005|
|A commercial exhibition is planned at the Symposium venue. This offers a unique opportunity for companies to display their projects, products and services.
|Prague: 20th-Century Architecture in Transition|
|Date:||September 17 - 23, 2005|
Prague, Czech Republic
Once the realm of the great Austro-Hungarian Empire, the heart of Central Europe is enjoying a cultural, economic, and political renaissance after emerging from a century of tumult and turmoil. The AIA Committee on Design conference in Prague will explore design of buildings, sites, and the city in relationship to the political, social, cultural, and economic transitions and the permanence of the historical, climatic, and geographic environment. The architectural heritage of the hundred-spire city of Prague provides the background for Czech Modernism of the 20th century. The conference will focus on the architecture and society of the Interwar period, referred to as the Golden Age of Modernism. To be examined are works of Art Nouveau, Czech Cubism, Functionalism, Socialist Realism, and new developments since the Velvet Revolution and Velvet Divorce. At the crossroads of Europe, the cross-fertilization of ideas between Czechs and other cultures is evident in the arts and architecture of Prague.
Stay in Prague’s Jazz Age Hotel Alcron, just off Wenceslas Square. Tour and discuss the Old Town Square, Hradcany Castle, and the Charles Bridge. Visit and discuss the Art Nouveau Obecni dum (Municipal House), the Cubist Dum u cerne matky bozi (House of the Black Madonna), and the Functionalist Baba Housing Estate.
Take an all-day tour to Brno to explore and discuss Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat and the permanent exhibition pavilions built in the Interwar period.
Meet with award-winning Czech architects, including Ladislav Labus and Josef Pleskot, and noted architectural writer Vladimir Slapeta, Hon. FAIA.
|DFI 30th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations|
|Date:||September 22 - November 24, 2005|
|Place:||Chicago, IL USA|
|Every Fall for the past thirty years, the Engineers, the Contractors, the Academics, the Suppliers and Manufacturers from the deep foundations construction industry have gathered to learn from each other and discuss the state of the practice and the state of the art within our field.
The DFI Member's Conference gives all industry members an opportunity to discuss, on equal footing, the technical concerns specific to the design and construction of deep foundations. Inclusive of all foundation elements and systems, the program and scope of the Conference is enriched by the presence of all disciplines in the industry, from around the world.
Four Sessions over 3 days comprise a program featuring the experiences of professionals at work in today's challenging industry environment. Presenters will be selected from among abstracts submitted by the industry worldwide by an interdisciplinary committee of foundation industry leaders.
Beyond the program, The DFI presents every opportunity for attendees to interact and exchange ideas with each other. We take pride that our breaks, Luncheons, Welcome Reception, and Awards Banquet reflect the appreciation we have for our Members. In 2005 we are pleased to bring the conference to Chicago.
|Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst™|
|Date:||September 24 - 28, 2005|
|Place:||Double Tree Hotel
San Antonio, TX USA
|Sessions on the following topics are tentatively planned, but all practical papers are welcome.
|4th ASEE AaeE Global Colloquium on Engineering Education|
|Date:||September 26 - 30, 2005|
|This event is the major annual gathering of leaders in engineering education internationally. Since its inception in 2002 in Berlin, the colloquium has strived to be a conference with very topical themes, with speakers selected from around the world for their expertise and ability as speakers.
|Product Lifecycle Management Road Map 2005|
|Date:||September 28 - 29, 2005|
|Place:||Dearborn, MI USA|
|At Product Lifecycle Management Road Map 2005 join Donald H. Brown, leading industry analysts from CPDA, key industry players, and front-line implementation experts as they discuss their experiences in addressing strategic PLM topics. Find out about their successes in making technology work by linking it across the whole product lifecycle, the obstacles they encountered on the way, and how they developed strategies to overcome them. Product Lifecycle Management Road Map 2005 represents a strategic conference focused on the issues confronting end users in design and engineering. Presentations will cover collaboration across the whole enterprise, knowledge capture and reuse, PLM interoperability, Open CAD and tight integration, up front simulation early in the design cycle, up front manufacturing constraints, the business benefits of PLM; and more. Join the CPDA team in Dearborn, MI on September 28 & 29 to find out how PLM can deliver immediate results to your bottom line.
|2005 Annual Meeting & Design Awards|
|Date:||September 28, 2005|
|Place:||The Music Center at Strathmore
North Bethesda, MD USA
|The Design Awards Program of AIA Maryland is held each year in September. It seeks to honor and bring attention to distinctive works of architecture created by Maryland architects. The program is dedicated to recognizing and applauding works of architecture exhibiting design excellence and promoting public awareness and appreciation of the diversity, quality and scope of Maryland architecture