The construction industry has been resilient through the past few years. Despite all that has happened, and maybe partly because of it, many companies are seeing the reasons why they need to embrace digital platforms more aggressively. With this willingness, the pace for adoption of new technology, Autodesk products in particular, has increased. The trend has set straight the thinking that the industry isn’t willing to adopt new technologies.

Traditionally, buildings have gotten built in person. Now the industry is reinventing the way things are done. And construction companies deserve much of the credit because the paradigm shift had to happen fast. In the long run, the industry will be better off in its increased efficiencies. This shift is a credit to the creative problem solvers in the industry.

Communication and exchange of information are improving all the time. The most profitable projects result when everyone is able to work from the most up-to-date information. But in some situations, as Sameer Merchant of Autodesk has pointed out, “The tech has not been built to operate the way the industry wants to operate.”

The new Autodesk product Bridge is an example of technology that allows companies with multiple projects on the Unified Platform/Autodesk Construction Cloud to share information between them.

Products on the Unified Platform allow project stakeholders to access project information in one central place. With Bridge, when architects and engineers each have a project in Autodesk Construction Cloud, they can bridge their projects together. Bridge allows them to share files and sheets between projects.

Companies can have their own subsets of information on their own hubs, do their specific work and then upload their information to the central hub in Autodesk Construction Cloud. Bridge enables those separate hubs to communicate with each other, using a pre-determined set of rules. The users don’t have to do anything special to keep things in sync. In the words of Sameer Merchant, it’s “automagical.”

Today, Bridge works on sheets and files. In the future, development of the product will extend to RFIs, markups and issues. After enabling individual elements to get synchronized, the goal will be to synchronize workflows and processes so companies’ hubs will be collaborating with each other.

Merchant envisions the future for Autodesk Construction Cloud as being a standardized solution that companies and adopt and roll out easily – in a matter of months.

Construction is shifting and adapting. Merchant expects that, in the coming decade, industrialized construction will become more mainstream. Companies will increasingly tap into the power of augmented reality and virtual reality. Autodesk is playing an active role in solutions for preconstruction, helping project planning and estimating become more effective. In addition, tasks are expected to become more intelligent and accurate using the power of machine learning for activities that are tedious and manual. Finally, Merchant sees a reimagining of the convergence of construction and manufacturing – with offsite construction looming as a big opportunity.

Tune in to episode 137 of Bridging the Gap Podcast and hear from Sameer Merchant about the latest developments at Autodesk and what’s expected in the near future. 


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