Newforma Supports Integrated Project Delivery
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Newforma Supports Integrated Project Delivery

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Industry News
Newforma Supports Integrated Project Delivery

By Susan Smith

Integrated Project Delivery as defined by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is supported by “open and interoperable data exchanges based on a disciplined and transparent data structure.” The idea is to use technologies that use open standards in order to eliminate the practice of having to integrate all applications and versions of software with others, which is costly and time consuming.

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A number of products to support Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) are appearing on the market. Newforma has just released its Newforma Project Center Sixth Edition, which focuses on Project Information Management (PIM). What PIM offers is management of transmittals, emails, and RFIs. In Sixth Edition addresses productivity and risk mitigation functionality, coupled with the ability to support more advanced work processes, which in turn offer steps toward enabling Integrated Project Delivery.

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“We can now support LEED certification administration,” said CEO Ian Howell, posing the question, “In the same way processes in the offices are evolving from being document based to being model based, how do we actually support model based design processes centered around the use of BIM?”

In addition, Sixth Edition incorporates over 60 requests for enhancements from Newforma customers.

Newforma customer BNIM Architects stated their interest in applying Newforma’s expanded PIM capabilities to more advanced work processes in the firm. “In 2006, we took the first step by deploying Newforma to manage our project email and take the headaches out of large file transfers. However, we invested in the solution based on the longer-term promise of streamlined work flow for more advanced work, such as contract administration,” said BNIM Architects COO Dev Malik. “We’re now using Newforma actively for submittals management, and we look forward to immediately applying Sixth Edition to the more advanced workflow around BIM and LEED certification.”

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Howell said that PIM in the context of IPD addresses changes that many firms would like to make, in terms of efficiencies, predictable delivery, getting rid of errors and omissions, being more collaborative and managing project information at a much more complex level around LEED certification. For achieving an integrated practice the AIA has new forms of contract and multiple partner agreements.

“There is the idea of sharing a BIM model where you are doing coordination through the model in terms of multidisciplinary coordination,” said Howell. “There are other pieces of the puzzle as underlined here that Newforma Project Center facilitates, in terms of managing project documentation, capturing decisions, largely in email, streamlining workflow around traditional processes like RFIs and submittals and allowing the team to collaborate more effectively, with reliable communication.”

Sixth Edition sends out alerts and notifications, and keeps logs of action items, where action items are assigned to an owner with the due data so the system builds in accountability. All of the logs are visible to the team. Project Email is no longer in the personal engineer or architect’s inbox, it’s on the central file server, visible to the whole team. This transparency supports the spirit of the multi-partner agreement, involving all trusted members of the team.

Howell said that LEED administration is a highly structured process with predefined requirements. This involves managing a lot of the information, assembling it in a different way and being able to submit it to certification. Sixth Edition attempts to help project engineers and architects get that job done much more easily. Unlike LEED administration, workflows around the model and model based design are still being worked out.

There is a requirement in the LEED registration process for a clear definition of roles and responsibilities. A specific deliverable as kind of a baseline of your registration process is the LEED roles and responsibilities matrix. Newforma suggests taking the LEED roles and responsibilities and capturing those as action items inside Newforma Project Center. When you capture these as action items in Newforma Project Center, said Howell, it gives you a framework in which you can organize and capture the resulting corresponding information. For example, when an email comes in that’s about a specific LEED certification credit, you have already within your Newforma Project Center toolbar the opportunity to file that email under that action item. It keeps all the flow of information well organized, so when it’s time to report or justify compliance with the LEED strategy, you’ve got reports and information that show exactly how the decisions were made, who was responsible and when they completed the piece of work. You can also reassign action items so that you’re sure someone follows through on her responsibilities. That person gets a standard notification by email to let her know the action item has been reassigned to her and tells her what her responsibilities are. The current status is always available as a report out of the action items activity center, so you can see the current status of various elements of work.

Another key element of LEED certification is a commissioning phase of the process which often happens six months to a year after the design team’s finished. By tracking those follow up items as action items people automatically get notifications and reminders of those items, concluding the whole process to assure that the LEED goals have been achieved.

In Sixth Edition customers have the ability to relate action items and other elements to specific milestones in the project timeline. “For example, here we have a project timeline event which is a milestone around the LEED design submission and we’ve associated with that some specific action items that are required to achieve this particular milestone,” explained Howell. “So by picking on the milestone in the project time line you can see in the project log down below a filtered list of exactly what the various action items are that are required to achieve with that milestone and that current status.”

Sixth Edition is also designed to support BIM related work processes. Model related data exchange today generally involves a variety of purpose built tools with structural engineers and architects using different software. The models aren’t stored within a single system, and very large information models must be moved between different organizations and across different network environments. As the volume of information grows, it becomes more and more of a challenge to track whose got what and when and what version they have as things change on the fly. Keeping track of the documentation becomes a huge challenge. Making decisions earlier in a collaborative environment is a popular new approach, yet poses the challenge of capturing design intent and decisions in such a way that it’s not necessary to revisit those decisions in the field later on in the process.

Sixth Edition includes a markup session activity center which is used to track queries about a model, or revisions that are required for a model. This activity center understands markups from a variety of sources, such as PDF, DWF, Bluebeam, Autodesk Design Review or the Adapx pen. These revisions and markups make is possible to track the decision process. Also, markups can be taken from Adapx digital pen and paper right into the Newforma viewer. All markups are indexed and fully searchable. In addition, the markup session log allows markups to be retrieved when users need them.

Another key element of Sixth Edition is in the area of model review. Email discussions related to markups can be recorded and reflected in the markup session activity center. This feature may prove useful for capturing the design intent and decisions made through markup sessions, to settle any disagreements that may arise as to what was decided on at any given time in the process.

To date, Newforma has 28,000 seats of Project Center under license, up from 17,000 last year. The company also helps customers manage over 120,000 projects, expanding their international presence to the UK and Middle East. Technology partners include such notables as Deltek Vision, Sepialine, Oce and Adapx.

Top News of the Week

Autodesk, Inc. reported revenue of $490 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, a decrease of 18 percent over the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008. GAAP diluted loss per share in the fourth quarter was $0.47, compared to earnings of $0.40 per diluted share in the fourth quarter last year. See press release

Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances

Océ (UK) Ltd and Newforma, Inc. announced they have signed a formal agreement to authorize Océ (UK) to sell, market, implement and support Newforma Project Center in the United Kingdom and Ireland.


Bentley Systems, Incorporated launched its Be Employable initiative to help in sustaining the infrastructure professions. Be Employable is an innovative addition to Bentley’s Be Careers Network designed to help outplaced architectural, engineering, construction, and geospatial professionals update and upgrade their technology skill sets, giving them a significant competitive edge in today’s challenging job market. It provides free access to Bentley’s comprehensive software portfolio and training as well as the ability to earn learning units from the Bentley Institute, Bentley’s training organization. A learning unit is earned for each hour of self-paced or instructor-led learning content completed. By taking advantage of these offerings, Be Employable participants will be better positioned as top candidates for employment opportunities across a broad spectrum of projects. Moreover, once back in the workforce, they will be able to deliver greater value to their new employers.

The enhanced Be Careers Network Resume Center, which can be found on the Be Communities networking site (

The New Orleans Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announces the recipients of the 2009 Design Awards. Another record-breaking year for entries, twelve were chosen out of over 70 to receive awards of honor and merit.

To help architects earn the continuing education units (CEUs) required to maintain membership in the American Institute of Architects, Microdesk announced that it is partnering with Autodesk and Google to become the first architectural IT consultant in the US to deliver over 22 AIA pre-approved customized classes to meet AIA/CES requirements for 2009. In addition to obtaining the necessary CEUs, architects will learn how to maximize their capabilities and efficiency with applications including AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, Autodesk Navisworks, Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, Revit Structure, Google SketchUp and Google Earth Pro.


Newforma Inc. announced that Tim Bates, a seasoned technology executive with over 25 years of AEC-related experience, has joined Newforma as director of EMEA operations, reporting to Vic Sanchez, Newforma vice president of global sales and service. Tim will be located in England and have responsibility for all sales and service-related activities in Europe and the Middle East, including responsibility for Newforma’s recently announced reseller partnership with Océ (UK) Limited.

New Products

Autodesk, Inc. has launched Autodesk Softimage 7.5 software for visual effects and game production. With this release, Autodesk has renamed the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software -- acquired from Avid Technology, Inc. -- Autodesk Softimage. The 7.5 version offers timesaving new features, such as UV unfolding technology, a multithreaded Syflex cloth simulator and an integrated mental ray 3.7+ renderer. Artists have used Softimage to create numerous movies, commercials and video games, including the Oscar-winning film "Happy Feet," Coca Cola's "Heist" Super Bowl ad, and the "Fable II" video game.

IMSI/Design announced the upgrade to free DoubleCAD XT, DoubleCAD XT PRO, an AutoCAD LT work-alike that includes features normally found in much more expensive CAD applications.

Based on IMSI/Design's award-winning CAD code with over two million copies sold worldwide, DoubleCAD XT PRO works like AutoCAD LT -- that is, you get high-level AutoCAD (.DWG) compatibility and a familiar menu bar, menu items, drawing tools, modify tools, command line, even a familiar intelligent cursor.

Rhino 4.0 Service Release 5b is now available for download. Owners of Rhino 4.0 are encouraged to download and install SR5b .

SR5b contains dozens of stability and crash fixes, as well as enhancements to many commands, including:Bricsnet announced the release of a new version of Bricsnet Enterprise. The new product release, version 5.1, offers enhanced capabilities for real estate, project and operations management, as well as technology updates and improvements to usability.

3Dconnexion, a Logitech company, announced that its award-winning 3D mice are now supported by Bentley Systems’ V8i software portfolio. The portfolio includes MicroStation V8i, MicroStation PowerDraft V8i, and Bentley View V8i. 3Dconnexion 3D mice integrate seamlessly into the latest features in V8i, including conceptual design and dynamic views, and bring new capabilities for more intuitive interaction and control.

Intergraph has released the Validation, Transformation and Loading module for SmartPlant Enterprise for Owner Operators (SPO VTL), a comprehensive solution that enables companies to significantly reduce the time and costs associated with validation of data handover and data quality insurance in greenfield and brownfield environments.

COADE announced that the software company will be presenting CADWorx fieldPipe for Leica fieldPro and a new product, CADWorx field Pipe for Leica CloudWorx, during the Daratech 2009 Plant Asset Scanning Summit in Houston, Texas, on February 23-25. Jointly developed by COADE and Leica Geosystems, these products combine the accuracy of laser and the power of a plant design system all in one package, delivering those capabilities directly to those in the field.

Oce Business Services introduced the Oce MAX Advanced document performance management system. This next-generation Internet application features advanced functionality and flexibility that enables clients to use information to reduce document management costs and improve operational efficiency.

Intergraph and INOVx announce the integration of the industry-standard Intergraph SmartPlant Isometrics with the INOVx RealityLINx Asset Virtualization(TM) software to allow process industry operations and maintenance personnel to seamlessly create piping isometric drawings directly from "as-built" virtual plant models.

OrthoGraph Survey/Architect/Inventory 1.1 versions have just been released
That focus on developments that help on-site work/usability, and the utilization of measured drawing/data. A discount is available. announced the launch of eLibrary v3.0, an online resource where subscribers can search across thousands of codes and standards instantly.

With, industry professionals have web-based access to the codes and standards they need every day. On-site and in the office, from the design phase through to demolition day, informs industry professionals during the entire building life-cycle.

Around the Web

Could LEED Be Losing the Lead in Energy Certifications? By Jessop Petroski, March 3, 2009, Green Building Elements

Bartz revamps Yahoo to get faster, simpler CNET Feb. 26, 2009 --The new CEO is overhauling Yahoo's management structure to be speedier and more responsive to those who use its site. CFO Blake Jorgensen is out.



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