Industry experts believe the transition to Cloud is the next big revolution that BIM industry is going through (How Will the AEC Industry Progress in 2014? Read on to find out). With that focus, Autodesk Developer Network invited developers from around the world to Apphack 2.0., and challenged them to build their own apps – only one caveat, it has to be a cloud based app!
According to Autodesk, Cloud is now less about "we can do stuff much faster than on desktop" to "we can share data beyond the desktop allowing anytime real-time access" - and has begun to demonstrate new efficiencies in the design and construction space as the office is extended virtually via the cloud to the field. Experts Outline Key cloud computing trends for 2014 (Read more).
Fast forward to Apphack 2.0... What do you get when you combine some great minds at Carnegie Mellon University + Autodesk powered technology in the Cloud --> Urban Energy 360, a really cool app that aims to solve real world problems in Building Energy Simulation during Design stage.
Modeling the energy use for a single proposed building can be a daunting task. With this app, the researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Building Performance and Design have gone one step further and aims to do it for a planned neighborhood development.
The students and researchers who were part of this project envisioned combining the powers of GIS, and building information models (BIM) and linking it to BIM 360, Autodesk’s best in class cloud platform for collaboration and coordination of models. The BIM 360 REST APIs helped stitch together a custom app for designers to visualize all this information in high fidelity from anywhere. No wonder they went home with the award. How cool is that!
Read more about the BIM 360 Viewer component used for this app in our blog post.
According to a Carnegie Mellon article this project is having real world impact and collaborating with International District Association, Department of Energy, Pittsburgh Gateways, etc. Data from 28 acres of urban mixed use redevelopment has been used to test and validate including close to 9000 hourly building energy use data. BIM 360 Glue was used to manage different versions and selectively visualize individual building data to end-users.
Thanks to the Autodesk Developer Network team for giving free access to our students to great technology. Please contact ADN if you are interested to be part of a cloud pilot program. Head straight to the Autodesk "My First Plug-in Training" site to get started on your next cool BIM idea.