An analysis of Autodesk’s software suite, BIM 360, reveals how BIM can give project stakeholders unique access and insight across all phases of the AEC design process. Large modern buildings are permeated with sensors and systems—plumbing, electrical, heating, cooling, ventilation, security, elevators, room scheduling, and, more and more often, even energy generation through wind turbines and solar panels. From earliest conception to demolition, efficient operations increasingly rely on building information modeling (BIM).
While the term has been around since the 1970s, BIM began to be commonly used about 15 years ago. A 2002 Autodesk white paper defined BIM as its “strategy for the application of information technology to the building industry,” and other software vendors also began to develop BIM products around that time. Autodesk BIM 360 is the company’s BIM software family for construction professionals, consisting of BIM 360 Glue, BIM 360 Layout, BIM 360 Docs, BIM 360 Field, BIM 360 Plan, and Building Ops.
The mission of Autodesk’s AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) team is “to drive the industry business transformation to BIM,” says Sarah Hodges, director of the company’s construction business line. Hodges, who has a degree in business administration and had her start in software working for the video industry, joined Autodesk’s AEC team about nine years ago. Five or six years ago, Hodges recalls, her team was mostly focused on making people aware of what BIM is and the value it brings. Today, the conversation is mostly about adoption, because BIM has become “pervasive,” she says. This transformation is being driven not only by the software’s users, but also by certain governments and owners who are seeing its value.
Autodesk’s products include CAD, GIS, and BIM tools. “Over the years,” says Hodges, “we have begun to evolve our portfolio to enable these solutions and file formats to work together.”