Natural Disasters Shed Light on U.S. Infrastructure Failings
Microdesk, a leading provider of business and technology consulting services to help firms successfully plan, design, build and operate land and buildings, today unveiled its annual list of the top five architecture, engineering and construction industry predictions for 2013 at Autodesk University. Following a year in which the U.S. saw its long-neglected infrastructure system come to the forefront of national attention with natural disasters such as Hurricane Isaac and Superstorm Sandy, Microdesk predicts that in 2013 there will be a strong focus on implementing sustainable, forward-thinking solutions to rebuild the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges.
The top five trends Microdesk predicts that AECO companies should prepare for in the New Year include:
1. Rebuilding America: Post-Sandy, technology provides tangible solutions for improvement.
From levee breaches in New Orleans to the flooding of mass transit systems in New York City, it is clear U.S. infrastructure is weak. Rather than putting a band-aid over the problem, the AECO industry must find a new approach to rebuilding that focuses on innovation and technology, and on being proactive not reactive. The tools are available, and in 2013 more firms will turn to visualization and collaborative design processes to strengthen the nation’s vital infrastructure systems.
2. Regulatory Compliance: Governments envisioning broader uses of BIM will prompt further adoption in the AECO industry.
Despite widespread availability of technology solutions, many firms still rely on old-fashioned design and building processes. To repair this broken, siloed workflow, in 2013 the industry will see greater requirements for BIM as more government agencies develop BIM-based workflows that add efficiencies to design review and regulatory compliance. This influence will trickle down to the rest of the industry and inspire broader adoption at every level.
3. The “I” in BIM: Firms will bring more intelligence to the process through field-based data access.
Big Data has been a hot topic in technology for several years, but in 2013, its influence will further infiltrate the AECO industry. BIM will make its way into field operation through purpose-built applications that allow designers and contractors to make informed decisions instantly and manage building data with the end uses of that information in mind. This will allow them to go beyond traditional project delivery by providing accurate, interconnected models that enable more efficient facility operations and maintenance.
4. Mobile and the AECO Industry: The use of mobile devices in design, construction and facilities management will become commonplace in 2013.
In 2013, the use of mobile will become an industry standard – so much so that Microdesk believes this will be the last year mobile takes a spot in its predictions. Recent acquisitions by AEC software companies of social and mobile sharing technologies, including Socialcam and Qontext, further point toward this trend. In fact, the use of next-generation technologies will become “table stakes” in 2013 for any firm looking to enable collaboration, design and communication in the field.
5. Collaborative Design in the Cloud: A focus on cloud technologies will facilitate improved workflows.
In 2013, the AECO industry will continue to leverage the cloud to make business more flexible and collaborative. Further adoption of cloud technologies that better enable the sharing and integration of data in the design and construction process will result in more efficient buildings, more streamlined construction processes and less waste.
“With several new advances in technology and processes on the horizon, the AECO industry is in a unique position to truly impact how we approach rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure,” said Michael DeLacey, president of Microdesk. “By continuing to leverage the technologies available – and embracing new technologies – the industry will set new precedents for what’s possible in the design and building of roads, bridges, buildings and America’s mass transit systems in 2013.”
Microdesk’s consulting team includes architects, engineers, surveyors, GIS analysts, facility and asset managers, IT experts and software developers. They advise some of the nation’s largest architecture, engineering and construction companies, and owners, enabling them to gather valuable insight into how technological innovation has helped AECO firms both succeed in an increasingly competitive market and lay the foundation towards building a stronger infrastructure system in America.
Microdesk is a design technology consultancy that combines the leading software tools from Autodesk, Oracle, Google, Adobe and ESRI, with the latest methods, including Building Information Modeling and Virtual Design & Construction, to provide business and technology consulting services to help firms successfully plan, design, build and operate land and buildings. Microdesk is a member of the Autodesk and ESRI Developer Networks, a leading Autodesk and Oracle Primavera partner, and operates Autodesk and Google Authorized Training Centers. Microdesk has 12 offices nationwide, located in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Chicago and Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.microdesk.com.