Digital Deals: Autodesk, Bentley, HNTB and more make headlines
Tech firms in the construction space often join forces to marry their niche solutions with other technologies and provide more comprehensive and interoperable tools. Every few weeks, Construction Dive provides a roundup of the most recent mergers, acquisitions
Autodesk absorbs Assemble Systems
Autodesk, the firm behind the computer-aided drafting software AutoCAD, acquired Assemble Systems this week. The Salem, Massachusetts-based acquiree provides SaaS, or software as a service, licenses for construction firms to “condition, query and connect BIM data to key workflows across bid management, estimating, scheduling, site management and finance.”
Said to be one of the players revolutionizing the industry, Autodesk launched its BIM 360 project last year, and has been continually making progressive revamps of its popular Revit and Dynamo software. Assemble’s web-based, 3D solution that lets contractors “extract meta data, add coding, collaborate and connect,” according to its website, will be seamlessly integrated with BIM 360.
In a July 9 press joint press statement, the companies said that Assemble Systems' products are used by 174 unique customers on almost 1,000 sites and 12,700 projects, including one-fourth of the ENR Top 400 Contractors (by revenue) list.
Bentley Systems acquires Synchro Software
Bentley Systems, a provider of information modeling and collaboration services for the design, construction and operations of infrastructure, bought 4D modeling provider Synchro Software late last month.
“Within Synchro, 3D BIM deliverables are linked with the 4D time dimension to intrinsically and immersively synchronize, through digital workflows, the construction strategy, work breakdown structure, schedule, costs, resources, supply chain logistics, and progress,” the firms said in a June 20 statement.
“Using specialist software from Bentley Systems and Synchro, our project schedule could be linked to the 3D information to produce 4D models that could show the progress of design and installation at any particular point in time,” said Malcolm Taylor, head of technical information for London’s Crossrail, a customer of both firms.
Gafcon grabs McDowell Scheduling
Construction and program management firm Gafcon, Inc., on June 25 announced its acquisition of McDowell Scheduling, which provides software to help construction firms identify challenges and potential delays to delivering projects on time and under budget.
“[McDowell's] experience ranges from developing and monitoring schedules for private organizations like Downtown Disney to planning large-scale public transportation projects for Caltrans," Gafcon said.
Avitru links with BIMsmith
Avitru, the name behind building and construction specification resource AIA MasterSpec, partnered with BIM provider BIMsmith recently to develop new ways to give builders a seamless link between BIM data and product specifications.
American Institute of Architects-associated resource will “streamline and enhance the workflows” of users of BIMsmith’s e-SPECS and SpecBuilderCloud platforms, the companies said.
Avitru recently teamed with Newforma, a file management software provider, as well.
HNTB selects Information Builders
HNTB Corp., an architecture and civil engineering consulting and construction management firm behind massive infrastructure projects like the currently underway $1.5 billion Denver airport expansion and $4.7 billion California BART expansion, has teamed with business intelligence analytics and data and management solutions provider Information Builders.
“HNTB will be implementing Information Builders' WebFOCUS and iWay solutions to build a holistic data management platform,” the company said in a June 21 statement.
“Similar to the data issues many organizations are facing, HNTB's data silos weren't delivering complete information, and the analytics process wasn't fast or turnkey enough. This structure made it challenging for HNTB's employees to analyze the wide pool of data derived from the company's complex, multi-million-dollar projects. There was a great opportunity to better leverage the data, develop more timely analytics that could be tapped across the enterprise, and ensure the accuracy of all of the information generated," the statement said.