Oversite: Staying Informed Requires Constant Attention
This inaugural issue of Informed Infrastructure marks a progression from an online community to a print publication. This non-traditional trajectory is warranted given the increased interest in our areas of coverage, the revolutionary change that is taking place with model-centric workflows, the need to share best practices in light of this change, the increasing quantity and quality of engineered products that improve project sustainability, and the desire to concentrate such knowledge and resources in a product that is easy to pass along and archive.
Informed Infrastructure was born from the convergence of GIS, CAD and BIM toward a shared multi-scale model that captures the complexity of the built environment as well as its interface with the natural environment. The underlying theme of infrastructure that is tuned to best performance through a greater awareness of context is coupled with project examples, information about engineered products, and insight about the sensors and systems that inform design and engineering.
Our audience is made up of civil and structural engineers as well as those who support their projects. With the trend toward larger firms that address all types of project work, from site planning through construction, there is growing collaboration and more interdisciplinary workflow than in the past. This change in how people work warrants a fresh voice that can help forge new inclusive approaches and workflows that build on each team members’ knowledge and experience.
Today’s tools aid these new interactions, with shared models that allow each discipline to add to the shared intelligence captured in the model—exploring and collaborating while also prototyping expected outcomes. The new workflows provide an opportunity to fine tune the process and wring out more efficiency, as witnessed in the Professional Development Hour (PDH) insert in this issue: “Enhancing Collaboration to Improve Steel Building Project Efficiency.”
The goal to stay informed is an ongoing and everlasting endeavor, whether we’re talking about a sensored road network with aggregated and real-time insights on traffic conditions or the body of knowledge that guides our career paths. We aim to provide our audience with news and insight that will help them advance their practice while also providing a conduit for vendors to reach our readers.
We will work to find compelling projects that guide workflow transformation as well as inform readers on the latest products and solutions they may apply to their own project work. Whenever possible, we will deliver accredited Webcasts and PDH content that provides continuing education units to help readers stay current on their licensure.
Our Webcast platform is the ideal means to deliver this educational content, as it offers a dynamic learning environment where you can see and hear from your peers, download added information, and immediately take a quiz to earn a certificate. Note that we have an archived Webcast (page 26) that you can take right away as well as an upcoming Webcast (page 15) that you will want to add to your calendar.
Products to Specify
The world of engineered products is constantly changing, with some of the industry’s most brilliant minds working to engineer better products that improve performance. The number of parameters that these product engineers tackle also are changing. The bottom line of cost and performance is always at the top of the list, but there are also considerations of weight, strength/durability, energy costs, safety, low maintenance, environmental impacts and overall sustainability.
Project design parameters also are constantly changing. You need to pick products that meet a project’s performance objectives, are within budget, meet regulation specifications and also provide a pleasing appearance. Today’s software tools greatly improve the ability to balance these sometimes competing objectives, but you still need to know what products are out there, and that they have been tested and are proven to perform against your objectives.
Given the constant change in products and projects, you need a source for updates. That’s where we come in. Every issue includes a roundup of products, such as this month’s focus on geosynthetics. We’ll get you going with short descriptions and links, and soon you’ll be able to search a detailed online directory on our Website to further aid your search.
Key to our strategy is providing information via multiple channels at all times, so readers can choose how to engage with our content. In this mix is this print publication; a companion digital flip book; a constantly updated Website with the latest news, a weekly e-newsletter that highlights the best content that we post to the Web; social-media syndication via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn; and video interviews, news and event recaps.
We welcome your comments and contributions as we embark to become a favored resource that’s attuned to your interests and objectives. Informed Infrastructure looks forward to serving your needs and interests.