- Autodesk is set to release the next generation of its BIM 360 platform, a cloud service that connects the construction project lifecycle.
- Autodesk has also launched the Connect and Construct Exchange, a BIM 360 integration partner program that delivers third-party software applications and data to the workflow. So far, it includes more than 50 partners.
- BIM 360 connects workflows across preconstruction, execution, fabrication, installation and facility management. The exchange aims to add value to each of those components.
Convenient though the "app for that" world can be, it also can lead to disjointed, disparate information that can be difficult to piece together. Autodesk aims to change that with the next generation of BIM 360 cloud software, announced Monday at Autodesk University in Las Vegas.
Sarah Hodges, director of Autodesk's Construction Business Line, explains that BIM 360 will bring features and functionalities that previously had lived in separate solutions into one unified platform. Initially built on cloud development platform, Autodesk Forge, one of BIM 360's goals was to create an open platform that fosters better collaboration, efficiency, transparency and quality for all project stakeholders, Hodges said.
"Any contractor on any given day has a plethora of tools they are using across various phases of their projects," she said. "We're making connections to existing solutions our contractors and their design teams are using and unifying that information. This will be an open solution that connects to the broader eco-system of products the contractors and design community are using."
Hodges notes that construction's transformation in recent years has been driven, in part, by adopting better technology solutions to fight low productivity. "Some companies have really started to hone in on the fact that the issue can be improved by looking at ways to automate using existing technology," she said. "We're seeing cloud, smartphones and smart devices on the jobsite that weren't prevalent five or six years ago. There's a huge increase in curiosity as well as implementation. We're seeing an increased appetite for cloud-based technology and devices that make things easier to do."
Hodges isn't the only one taking note of that transformation.
Drone data platform 3DR CEO and co-founder Chris Anderson told Construction Dive that the company's big bet is on BIM. "We think that BIM is the way the industry's going, not just because it's the right way to go, but because it's increasingly mandated," he said.
A recent to McKinsey study found that the industry could jumpstart its productivity and add another $1.6 trillion to its value by adopting new technology and management techniques. And developers in the construction technology space are biting — the sector has secured an estimated $433 million in disclosed funding across 56 deals in 2017.