The digital disruption continues to revolutionize the way buildings and assets are designed, constructed, and operated, and any company that wishes to remain competitive needs to embrace these changes wholeheartedly. Emerging technologies are crucial for continued growth and success within the construction industry. However, supporting new innovations with software that is fit for purpose presents challenges. ALLPLAN has been continuously refining and improving their products to overcome challenges and offer their clients a robust solution that gives them complete freedom to incorporate the latest technologies into their working methods.
Challenges Facing Construction Technology
As technology in the construction industry is evolving faster than ever before, digitalization and digital processes are being increasingly adopted. As a result, significantly more data is being added to models to service the needs of the entire project lifecycle, from inception through to facilities management. In turn, this presents technical challenges for software vendors on how to provide solutions to manage such large sets of data for their customers.
Another challenge is balancing computing power and performance. Relatively speaking, computer power has not advanced at the same speed as we now expect. Even with modern 3D solutions, having to wait a few minutes between commands is no longer an enjoyable experience. This is even if the software is solving thousands of problems behind the scenes that traditionally would have taken many hours, if not days. Embracing advancements with emerging technologies therefore raises the question of how to practically handle large sets of data efficiently using the computer power available.
Ensuring Fit-For-Purpose Solutions
Allplan is addressing the topic of data handling and performance on two levels. The first is focusing on both scalability and performance within the software. This is to improve the overall speed of how the software operates and how we intelligently handle data to provide an experience which is consistent for both small and large projects.
Scalability is not always fully understood. Often, a product can look and feel quick until it is used on a real-life project. These days, models can include every finish, fixture, reinforcement, and bolt, at which point, software can grind to a halt. Scalability is therefore a fundamental requirement for our clients. Significant resources have been invested into making Allplan operate as efficiently as possible, with amazing results.
The second area that has been focused on is the use of cloud technology. This is not just about storing data, but also about how the data is processed. Cloud technology is really the only practical way to handle and process extremely large data sets. While processing can be done either locally or within the cloud, certain tasks can be processed more efficiently using cloud technology. By incorporating this ability into Allplan, clients benefit from having the right tools for their projects. There is also the added benefit of having the flexibility to share data anywhere, anytime, which comes from the cloud and is extremely valuable as the workforce becomes more mobile. Whether staff are working from the office, on the site, or even collaborating on projects live from home offices, the freedom that the cloud offers is now expected and relied upon by our customers.
Software Enhancements That Support New Working Methods
ALLPLAN’s Bimplus is a cloud-based relational database that enables us to offer our clients many benefits. This year we are excited to announce that Allplan Bimplus Professional will now be included with valid Serviceplus and subscription licenses. This is a decisive step towards bringing a combined workflow to our clients, so we can use our cloud technology alongside local software technology to maximum effect.
As cloud technology becomes increasingly adopted, ALLPLAN is looking for ways that tools like Bimplus can benefit every project by introducing additional functionality in the cloud. As an example, this year, along with numerous enhancements, we are also bringing another exciting innovation to our clients with workflows through the new SCIA AutoConverter. With this enhancement, using cloud technology, an Allplan model can be quickly and efficiently processed into a structural analysis wire model. This produces a model exactly the way a structural engineer wants to see it, without the modeler requiring structural skills and without compromising the coordination model.
With Allplan, Bimplus, and SCIA AutoConverter, ALLPLAN provides intelligent workflows with a wide range of structural analysis programs, including our sister brands SCIA, Frilo and Risa. An added advantage is that there is no need to learn different workflows for each system. This is achieved by using a new open file format which has been specifically developed by Nemetschek, called Structural Analysis Format (SAF). Any structural analysis system can now link intelligently with tools such as Allplan via a straightforward Microsoft Excel file. Many prominent structural analysis solutions are already adopted this format, which bodes well for an even more streamlined BIM solution for the AEC industry.