We know our nation’s infrastructure needs help. Bridges, roads, levees, and more require repairs, according to reports. Construction technologies are heeding the challenge and providing solutions designed to help address the needs of infrastructure projects.
In March, the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), www.asce.org, Reston, Va., released its 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. The report card is dedicated to depicting the condition and performance of the nation’s infrastructure and assigning letter grades based on physical condition and needed fiscal investments for improvement.
Overall, the report card gave America’s infrastructure a cumulative GPA of a D+ and said a $3.6 trillion investment is needed by 2020. For 2013, solid waste received one of the highest grades, a B-, while inland waterways and levees received the lowest grades of D-.
A number of construction technology solutions focus on infrastructure. Recently, Autodesk, www.autodesk.com, San Francisco, Calif., announced Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro. The company says the product supports the goal of driving adoption of BIM (building information modeling) within the infrastructure industry.
Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro provides 3D modeling, visualization, and cloud-based collaboration technologies. The solution is available on a quarterly plan, which Autodesk says makes it easier for firms to test the product or use it for short-term projects.
The technology offers desktop software and cloud-based capabilities for BIM workflows, allowing workers in various locations to publish, store, collaborate, and manage large models in the cloud from either a desktop computer or their mobile devices.
Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro also assists users with creating simulations and visualizations of design alternatives, and it can import data of existing conditions such as GIS (geographic information systems), satellite imagery, and point clouds. This allows designers to recreate actual site conditions so they can more easily design a project.
By storing information in the cloud, users will be able to access designs from nearly anywhere. Autodesk says in order to help users obtain the data they need quickly, a link for direct access to a curated WeoGeo.com portal comes with Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro. WeoGeo, www.weogeo.com, Portland, Ore., allows customers to access and acquire free or for-purchase geospatial data.
As construction projects attempt to repair our aging infrastructure, new tools are helping them work more efficiently. The power of cloud computing is allowing workers greater access and easier design capabilities for BIM projects.