Set back from the podium section is the main glass and steel tower that has been designed by Arquitectonica and will house 800 apartments, 160 of which are aimed at those with lower incomes. As with most towers with this sort of unremarkable look, the quality of the building will depend on the hybrid-wall system that clads it. The slab tower is visually broken up by the architect with pronounced horizontal strips between the glass curtain walling of the floors that become more sparse as the tower rises and decrease in frequency from one floor to seven. 188 metres tall with 59 floors, the building will contain the first North American branch of Yotel, a European hotel chain that will fill much of the lower part of the tower with 669 rooms. Branding the entrance to the hotel section of the tower will be the day-glo logo of the company and a collection of white hexagonal cladding panels that look like they have escaped from Logan's Run. Elsewhere along the base, panels of reconstituted stone feature. The project will also have a new theatre in it costing $60 million dollars that has been designed by Frank Gehry and will be the home of the Signature Theatre Company. As well as doubling Signature Theatre's capacity, the inclusion of the three performance spaces has enabled the developer to get a public subsidy of $25 million to help pay for it, a substantial percentage of $41 million it requires.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Standing at 421-425 South Wabash, the scheme will have 32 floors and rise to 143 metres, a middling height for Chicago. It's been designed for the John Buck Company, who are developing it on behalf of the university, by architecture firm VOA. Clad in panels of two different shades of blue floor to ceiling glazing that offer varying transparency and reflectivity, the tower cuts a narrow profile onto South Wabash thanks to the long slender plot that it tries to make the most of although at ground level the buildings foyer is set back slightly from the existing streetline expanding the pavement out slightly under the entrance canopy. Above it on both the east and west sides, are angled facades that zigzag in and out slightly creating a consortinaed look extending past the perimeter columns before moving back in again. The southern face, meanwhile, is sheer glass although the angled narrow sides of the tower contribute to a changing profile. Unlike the other three faces of the building, the northern façade of the building is designed to be partially bare, but this is because it has been drawn up bearing in mind it will have a neighbouring tower immediately adjacent. The current building on site, the Herman Crown Centre is presently being demolished, after which construction is set to begin on Roosevelt University's new dormitory.
Now New York City has approved a work permit to allow contractors to start providing the building services for the tower, the strongest indication yet that construction will be beginning again whilst it was only in dune that the developer Extell was finally able to secure the last remaining air-rights for the tower. The 306-metre Carnegie 57 has been designed by Christian de Portzamparc to stand over the world-famous Carnegie Hall just a single block back from Central Park, an area that has seen few modern skyscrapers overlook it so directly due to the jealous way it has been guarded by the planning authorities. The scheme will contain a new Park Hyatt Hotel, and have 136 apartments on the upper floor floors with every single one at a sufficient height above the neighbouring buildings to have full views over Central Park, something that will add massively to the cost of the apartments with the penthouse expected to break the 50 million dollar barrier and be the most expensive new-build in the Big Apple. The cheapest apartments will be a snip at only $3 million each. Funding the development is Aabar Investments who are stumping up the $1.3 billion necessary to construct the scheme. It's expected to be complete in 2013
Above ground will be an understated glass and steel pavilion with an atrium that will house two of the original but now-rusted 21.3 metre tall structural tridents, one from tower, that started at the bottom of the WTC buildings and ran up it from there dictating the vertical nature of the cladding. Each of them weighs a total of 90 tonnes and are so large that they had to be removed from the original site into storage by being cut into pieces before transportation. Despite this, they are going to be faithfully restored as to make their dismemberment invisible. This area will also contain an auditorium, a refreshment area, and a private suite that will be reserved for the use of the victim's families meaning they can visit without the crowds around them. From the atrium visitors will go down an escalator past the base of the tridents before heading down a ramp that's been designed to symbolise a ramp of similar proportions that was used in cleaning up the site by construction workers after the attacks. From here there will be sweeping views of the cavernous site with the foundations of the buildings clearly visible - recent history is turned into an archaelogical public experience like the ruins of Jorvik in York. From the ramp, visitors will be able to stream down the so-called "Survivors Stairs" that saw hundreds of people pass during the attacks saving their lives in the process. The column bases and foundations of the tower will be there for people to walk around and they should be able to stand between what's left of the two towers. The real aim of this is to try and communicate the sheer scale of destruction on September the 11th that saw several blocks of New York reduced rubble. From here the only way is up back towards the daylight, the memorial garden and the waterfalls that mark the footprints of the twin towers above ground. The scheme has been designed by Davis Brody Bong Aedas and Snøhetta with the fountains set to open on the 10th anniversary of the attacks and the full museum to be completed in 2013.
The architecture practise has designed the new luxury hotel for Mandarin Oriental in the City of Sin that once built will contain 392 rooms, plus a further 225 apartments run by Mandarin Oriental. The building starts with a podium section that will be clad in a mixture of zinc, titanium, granite and limestone giving it a solid grounding with a touch of metal. Above rises the main body of the tower that has reputedly been decorated with a façade that's inspired by Chinese symbols. In reality this translates into a horizontally frittered facades with vertical metal strips running up the exterior in a similar manner to the Deansgate Hilton in Manchester. Much thought has been put into internally maximising the views for the towers occupants with the ballroom positioned with glazed walls, this should give the patrons of the facility uninterrupted views over Las Vegas allowing them to enjoy the architecture as much as their tastes will allow. Amongst the environmental features of the building are improved services that will reduce water consumption by 45%, and a high-tech cladding system that slices 9% off the emissions total. It should be noted however that these percentages are reductions from an original very high base, that of a luxury hotel in Las Vegas. Still, with the city unlikely to lose its love of conspicuous consumption any time soon, the green way forward for Vegas will be more of making that consumerism as environmentally pleasant as it can be exactly as KPF have planned with the Mandarin Oriental.
Design firm Arup are said to be working on a replacement for the existing building for their client Hammerson PLC who are the key player in Sheffield's New Retail Quarter, a massive redevelopment of part of Sheffield. As part of this is the 15 floor 47 metre tall hotel building, Grosvenor House, that was completed in 1966. It sits above a podium with ground floor retail units. In an indication of how seriously the developer is taking the project, Hammerson has already expressed their concern about the effect of the nearby Squire designed Chesham House on their own as yet unreleased scheme when responding during consultations on that proposal which they oppose. It is in these documents that Hammerson that they object to Chesham House on the basis of sustainability, environmental impact, sight lines and overshadowing arguing most of all that the Chesham House planning application does not have enough information showing it will not effect their own scheme. They also refer specifically to the AOD height of their project as a "24 storey... residential tower (a maximum of 152m high)". Sources however state that the eventual building could go taller than this. Redevelopment plans have been well known for some time. For years the concept sketches of the New Retail Quarter have shown a curving glass tower on the site replacing Grosvenor House but no firm designs have yet surfaced. What this means in the short-term is that the planning application for Chesham House is likely to become more complicated as Hammerson fight selflessly against a rival development, not for their own interests but because they care about sustainability so much. Due to go before the planning committee last week, and with no less than a recommendation from the planners that it be approved, the decision has now been deferred as a result of the complaints. It's something that Chesham House can overcome easily enough by being resubmitted to Sheffield City Council with all the additional documents to please the critics but right now Hammerson has succeeded in getting it delayed on a technicality.
Situated on a site known for the Tyrrell & Green Building at 138 - 160 Above Bar Street, several new buildings will be constructed varying from 9 to 18 stories in height that will overlook the nearby Andrew's Park. The largely residential wedge shaped blocks will contain 282 new units consisting of 46 studio apartments, 106 1 bedroom, 126 2 bedroom and 4 3 bedroom flats plus parking for residents. There will also be 5,000 square metres of space for a new arts facility that will be run by the local council and four arts partners, retail and leisure space and landscaping that will see the creation of a new street between Guildhall Square and East Andrews Park. City Lofts have been a busy developer around the U.K having realised a number of successful tower projects so far but this is their first major scheme in Southampton. They purchased the scheme from Southampton City Council for £7.25 million earlier this year and hope that they can rapidly secure approval of the project and move forwards to completing the scheme in 2010
The multiple block scheme has been designed by Brighton based architects, AQP for City Living Developments. In it will be two towers, 16 storeys and 12 storeys respectively which combined with their adjacent and tightly connected blocks will increase the total costs of the development to £84 million. The lowest two floors of the scheme will be given over to a mix of 3716 square metres of commercial uses including offices for small businesses, retail outlets such as shops and restaurants plus various leisure facilities. Residential space will be 20,000 square metres of space translating into 290 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. Of these 30 will be refurbished and set in the buildings that the new build towers are attached to. Delivery of the scheme is phased with the first part having been released in late January 2007 and having proven popular in the Suffolk town due to the sales level of almost 50% so far. The second phase has only recently been released but the main penthouse apartment on it has already sold out showing the demand that those with cash have for getting exclusive top floor apartments in new build developments. If construction goes to plan then the whole complex should be finished by the end of 2009.
With the new train station opening today (kind of) it might seem hard to believe now that it and the associated hotel came within an ace of being demolished in the 1960s but this did indeed happen. At the end of World War 2, modernism came to the fore. The grandeur of Victorian Gothic Revival was looked down upon as bloated, bourgeoisie and obsolete compared with the white hot technology that modern and brutal architecture offered. Across London a spate of landmark structures were demolished including the gothic revival Imperial Institute, part of Albertopolis, and the neo classical arch outside Euston Station. The destruction wasn't limited to London with Birmingham's grand library being flattened, the Manchester Assize Court which was bombed by the Luftwaffe was not rebuilt, whilst in Glasgow the Christian Institute also bit the dust. Following on from the successful development of Euston Station developers looked enviously at St Pancras and the destruction of the George Gilbert Scott designed Midland Grand Hotel attached to it. Although it was a revolutionary building in its day containing many engineering firsts including hydraulic 'ascending chambers', concrete floors, revolving doors and fire proof floor construction, the durability of the construction had made modernisation impossible. There was no central building services providing water and the building was built sufficiently strongly for it to make renovation a commercially unfeasible option and as a result the hotel closed in 1937 leaving the building a deserted relic of the past. For 30 years it lay empty with developers having secured planning permission for a new housing complex to stand on the site in 1967. Demolition was scheduled for the 12th of November of that year but a public campaign was launched benefiting from the outrage which the demolition of Euston Arch had aroused and the celebrity of John Betjeman who was one of the leading spokesmen of the campaign. In the nick of time Harold Wilson's government intervened listing the building as Grade 1 on the the 2nd of November 1967 but despite this government protection it continued to lie vacant. The train station fared little better and although still being used had been relegated to a minor role. The triumphant train shed that at completion was the largest single span roof in the world, 74m wide and 30m high not to mention 213m long, found itself coming suffering from a policy of managed decline as emphasis on the railway network went elsewhere and St Pancras suffered from its proximity to both Kings Cross and Euston. Modernism gradually faded from fashion and by the eighties Gothic Revival had become more acceptable again but it was only when the decision was made to have Channel Tunnel Rail Link terminating at the station that it became feasible to renovate and rebuild the hotel and train shed. The hotel has been developed by the Manhattan Loft Company and includes a penthouse apartment that has been listed on the market for a cool £10 million. In addition to the residential aspect will be a luxury boutique hotel taking advantage of the Victoriana around it. The restored Midland Grand, now known as, St Pancras Chambers opens in 2009. The station meanwhile although having officially been opened on Monday by the Queen will actually open properly next week. Sight seeers will be disappointed as the finishing touches are still being made to it most visibly with signs fitted and other similar minor works. St Pancras Station and the Midland Grand Hotel both have an important lesson for today's generation and indeed those to come - we may damn a building as obsolete and unfashionable but over time our perspective on the aesthetics will change and we can recycle the structure to give it modern uses, no matter how much of a tall order it at first seems. Many leading pieces of Modernist and Brutalist architecture today face being demolished too, damned by the same dogma that saw the the loss of gems like the Euston Arch. Unless it is structurally unsafe no building is truly useless and with sustainability rising up the agenda, now more than ever, we should be looking at reusing and adapting, not destroying the past.
The super tall Renzo Piano designed skyscraper had seen a battle between Mace and Laing O' Rourke who vied over a contract to construct it before Laing O' Rourke decided that the tender was not for them, presumably due to fears of the costs spiraling out of control. The Mace deal will reportedly be worth at least £350 million and thanks to the fixed price nature guarantees that the developer Teighmore, a collection of Sellar Properties, CLS, and the Halabi Family Trust, will not have to worry about cost overruns affecting them negatively as these will be shouldered by the contractor. This should prove instrumental in putting another piece in the proverbial jigsaw that can help realize the project. The rumour-mill keeps grinding about the Halabi Family Trust offloading their share to a middle-eastern investor who was reportedly worried that the bottom line of the scheme could change as construction progressed. Fixed contracts have proven popular with skyscraper construction - Multiplex has signed a similar deal to build the Bishopsgate Tower in the City of London despite having been badly stung over a similar agreement that saw them take a massive loss in building Wembley Stadium. The sale of their share is driven partly by the collapse of relations between the Halabis and their fellow partners over management costs associated with the project meaning that CLS and Sellar Properties no longer want to do business with them. Once this is secured then all should be set for the unnamed investor buying out the Halabis and injecting enough capital into the project for it to finally be built. Currently funding has been secured only for the buyout of PWC's lease who occupied Southwark Towers, and the very slow demolition of that building to make way for London Bridge Tower.
Krstulovic-Opara, assistant professor of civil engineering at North Carolina State University, has been researching a special system for making concrete that may save lives, buildings and bridges by changing the way concrete structures fail. The system is called high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete (HPFRC), and can be used in new construction or renovations. It's designed in a way that prevents the separation of large pieces of concrete from the structure. When it fails, the pieces remain stuck together, held in place by the stainless steel fibers. The pieces that do separate from the structure are much smaller and less likely to cause injury. "We know that concrete structures will eventually fail," said Krstulovic-Opara. "What we want to do is extend the length of time it takes for the structure to fail and control how it fails." One of the problems with conventional concrete is that during extreme structural stress, such as is experienced during explosions or an earthquake, it breaks apart in large chunks and separates from the steel rebars. The result is that large slabs and chunks of concrete fall from the structure, hurting the inhabitants and crushing anything beneath them. Since obtaining his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University under the guidance of James Romualdi, the original inventor of fiber-reinforced concretes, Krstulovic-Opara has been developing the HPFRC system using fiber mats injected with a special concrete slurry, a mixture of concrete, aggregate and liquids. The mats are made of recycled stainless steel fibers and come in large rolls that can be cut and shaped to fit the space or use desired. The fiber mats add tensile strength and ductility – energy-absorbing properties – to the concrete. Krstulovic-Opara has used this advanced concrete composite to strengthen structures against earthquakes in laboratory models. He's working with a team of colleagues to develop new structural systems that would best employ the advanced features of HPFRCs – high strength, durability, low cost and easy construction – to increase impact resistance to explosive blasts as well. The research projects are funded by the National Science Foundation with some funding for materials provided by Ribbon Technology Corp. In addition to its safety features, the HPFRC system may change the way that buildings are built, strengthened or repaired. Currently, to build a concrete structure workers have to bend steel rebars into frames, build wooden or metal forms around the frames, add concrete and, once the concrete has had time to cure, remove the forms. Krstulovic's system eliminates most of these labor costs, because it can be used as both frame and form for structural support of the building. Workers simply shape the fiber mat rolls and inject them with concrete slurry. For renovations or repairs, they can wrap the fiber mats around existing columns and beams or use the fiber mats as forms and fill them with conventional concrete. The result is a support beam or column that is super strong and more durable than conventional concrete alone. The HPFRC system is designed to use traditional concrete construction equipment with minimal modifications. "This new concrete can reduce the cost of repairing existing concrete structures and give them added strength and durability," said Krstulovic-Opara. "But, most importantly, because of its design, it can easily be transferred from the laboratory to everyday use
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Maysville, Ky. – In recognition of the diverse needs of the civil marketplace, Carlson Software has formally formed a Civil Engineering Division incorporating its civil software development team and a specialized sales force headquartered in strategic locations throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Carlson, an independent company founded in 1983, has been providing comprehensive civil engineering solutions for more than two decades. Carlson civil software solutions include Carlson Civil, Carlson Hydrology, Carlson Roads and the Carlson Civil Suite, which is made up of the modules, Civil, Survey, Hydrology and GIS. The company is also well known for its surveying, mining, construction and machine control software.
“Over 10 percent of all Carlson employees are licensed civil engineers, and we have linked this expertise with our elite programming staff and formed this division based on the demands of the marketplace for better civil engineering software,” says Bruce Carlson, PE, PLS, founder and president of Carlson Software. “With the challenges of the current economy and the critical need for improved productivity by civil engineers, Carlson Software is ready with its tried-and true solutions combined with its industry-leading free tech support and customer service.”
Harry O. Ward, PE, of Front Royal, Va., has been named to head the division. Ward, who also serves as director of the Training Division, Carlson College, at Carlson Software, brings more than 20 years of experience in applying CADD within the Civil Engineering and Surveying industry. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, a licensed contractor, a member of the Engineering Faculty at George Mason University, is on the P.O.B. Editorial Advisory Board and is a columnist for P.O.B. and Site Prep magazines.
“Carlson is dedicated entirely to providing the tools that civil engineers need and offering the industry a choice,” says Ward. “We believe in providing solutions with a complete toolset – one that allows civil engineers to move into 3D as needed with 3D intersection design, multi-baseline road networks, lot layout, and storm and utility analysis and design.”
Joining Ward on the team is Scott Griffin of Jacksonville, Fla., who will direct Carlson’s National Civil Sales Team. Griffin also serves as Carlson Software’s director of Southeast Sales and brings more than 15 years of civil design and sales experience to the position.
“We are a service-oriented sales team, dedicated to providing software that works the way our clients need it to work,” says Griffin. “We’ll help customers to pick and choose to get just the right software for the complete scope of their projects in addition to a civil engineering solution that they can use.”
Dave Carlson, V.P. of Development for Carlson Software, will continue to direct the product development of Carlson’s civil engineering solutions, listening closely to input from customers and Carlson’s civil engineering team. Carlson, a 1992 BA Computer Science graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, has more than 15 years of experience in civil software development and has led the development of the dynamic options of LotNet, SiteNet, RoadNet, and StormNet, which are available in Carlson civil products.
What if instead of politicians and engineers, everyday folks talked about what road and transit projects were important to them, and what taxes would be best?
The concept was part of a cutting-edge research effort that was under way online even as Puget Sound area voters mulled and panned Proposition 1, the $17.8 billion roads and transit measure.
The results, University of Washington researchers said Tuesday, show how grass-root, participatory democracy might point to a better way to solve the region's transportation debate.
"This is something new for the world, something new for the region," said Tim Nyerges, a UW geography professor. "It's basic research in participatory democracy that has a geographic focus to it.
"I think it's a good example of what future public participation might look like in regards to complex problems facing regions."
The university's effort drew on a $2.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a Web site where people could anonymously debate the merits of road-and-transit projects.
Of 260 people who signed up, 135 stuck through the four-week process. Nine were from
Snohomish County, the rest from King and Pierce counties.
Individually, they drafted their own tax packages and chose from menus of key projects.
A computer sorted their favorites, clustering five for a final vote.
In the end, 62 percent backed an $11.8 billion project list that leaned on several tax sources, including gas taxes, tolls on I-5 and I-405, a head tax on workers, car tab fees and vehicle license fees.
November 15, 2007; Myersville, Maryland) CivilEngineeringCentral.com - A/E/P Central, LLC today announced the launch of a new niche job board and resume database devoted exclusively to the civil engineering community—from the professionals who visit the site, to the companies, agencies or recruiters who advertise job opportunities on the site.
CivilEngineeringCentral.com is slated to become the internet's premier site for civil engineering jobs.
CivilEngineeringCentral.com has a comprehensive list of excellent resources from professional associations, fully accredited civil engineering programs, an NCEES statewide directory, relocation guidance, and a national civil engineering related events calendar.
A/E/P Central, LLC was founded in 2007 by consultants with over 30 years of combined staffing experience within the civil engineering community. CivilEngineeringCentral.com is A/E/P Central LLC’s flagship site.
Companies interested in learning how CivilEngineeringCentral.com surpasses the typical job board should visit CivilEngineeringCentral.com for more information.
CivilEngineeringCentral.com, Inc., a full-service niche job board, specifically targeted to the civil engineering communities, is dedicated to helping professionals, corporations and public agencies connect with each other by providing the highest quality, most efficient and cost effective online recruiting method available
RAANANA, Israel, Jan 2, 2008 - We are proud to introduce CivilCAD 2008 Simulate - the latest version of the powerful surveying, civil engineering and 3D simulation tool.
The new Simulate module provides real-time 3D simulation at a click. Any civil engineering project can turn into a lifelike 3D simulation during the entire design process
CivilCAD Simulate solution suite successfully supports both AutoCAD and Bricscad. An easy to operate Windows based interface, user-oriented functional toolbar menu, and flexible bidirectional import/export capabilities; make CivilCAD Simulate one of the most user-friendly, yet powerful civil engineering and surveying CAD tools in the market.
Bentley Systems announced that it has acquired the global business of ECT International, a provider of advanced computer-aided engineering (CAE) design tools for electrical-control systems. This includes acquisition of ECT International's flagship software, promis•e, which generates electrical-system schematics and supporting documentation.
Bentley states that the software acquisition will extend the company's portfolio of solutions for the design and operation of electrical systems, responding to the growing need among building, plant, civil, and geospatial infrastructure professionals for more comprehensive solutions incorporating electrical wiring, diagramming, and drawing production.
The promis•e software reportedly features more than two million parts in its content repository and can be used in combination with MicroStation, MicroStation PowerDraft, or AutoCAD. It is used by original equipment manufacturers, electrical-systems integrators, engineering/procurement/construction firms, suppliers and vendors of electrical-system components, and facility owners. Clients include ABB, Procter & Gamble, Eaton, Solar Turbines, Duke Energy, Long Island Rail Road, and Siemens. Companies providing database content include Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Panduit, and Hoffman.
With Bentley's acquisition, "users will benefit from streamlined control-system-design workflows intra-operating by way of an intelligent information model," said Bhupinder Singh, senior vice-president, Bentley Software. "This will provide increased efficiencies and accuracies that cut design and construction costs, shave time from delivery schedules, reduce operations and maintenance costs, and make it easier to implement ongoing system modifications, all of which enhance the creation of sustainable infrastructure."
Rob Whitesell, vice-president, Bentley Plant, Building, and Structural development, added, "This acquisition is particularly auspicious for plant owners and creators. With this breakthrough, users benefit from bidirectional workflows that allow them to iterate from simulation to process and instrumentation diagrams, to economically near-optimum instrumentation and pipe routing, to pipe-stress analysis, all interactively. Our acquisition of promis•e enables us to soon add to this workflow electrical-control-system design, supporting drawing takeoffs from the promis•e intelligent database."
NOVATO, Calif., March 6, 2008 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IMSI/Design(tm), the developer of the #1 best-selling CAD in retail, announced today that it is shipping its flagship product, TurboCAD(r) Professional Version 15.
"We continue to add strong Architectural and Mechanical CAD functionality," stated Bob Mayer, COO of IMSI/Design. "But we're also excited that TurboCAD is now one of the first eco-friendly CAD applications available to engineers and designers. Without a doubt, TurboCAD Professional continues to set the bar for industrial strength CAD applications with phenomenal price-performance."
2D Drafting, 3D Modeling and UI improvements include:
* New Bill of Materials. A highly effective way to cost your design
projects and tie them to the Building Information Management work
* New Support of Table Object. Used with the new Bill of Materials
feature. Table objects are AutoCAD compatible.
* New Rotated Box 3D Object. Draw a box at any angle on the active
* New Mode in Edit Dragger - Edit Segment. Improved editing of
walls, slabs and bulge polylines (zero width polylines).
* New Photorealistic Materials. Over 300 new Materials have been
added to enhance the photorealism of your designs.
Architectural and Civil Engineering CAD improvements include:
* New Layout Tool for Woodworking. Create 2D layout of 3D model to
optimize cutting/manufacturing of components.
* Improved Style Manager for Architectural Objects. Better control
over architectural designs, ability to make quick changes to common
architectural object types.
* Improved Schedule Table. Now includes support for walls and slabs.
* New Surveyor Linear Dimension. Enhanced 2D drafting capabilities.
* Improved Terrain Tool. Ability to create terrain objects from
Mechanical CAD advancements include:
* Improved Assembling of 3D Objects. Enhanced 3D design with
additional alignment tools -- tangent and axis.
* New Automatic Workplane by Face. Much easier now to make edits to
* New ACIS(r) v17 Solid Modeling Engine.
Interoperability and Content enhancements include:
* ASAT, OBJ and Collada (DAE) File Format Support. Enhanced
compatibility for solid modeling and for Virtual Reality, including
* New Parametric Parts and 2D Symbols. New ability to create fully
parametric part and symbol libraries. These libraries may be used
in Autodesk's AutoCAD as well. In addition, TurboCAD
includes new parametric symbols for cabinets, tables, appliances,
shelving, building fittings, and fasteners.
* Improved 3DS file Import and Export. Better support for mechanical
and artistic design applications.
'Green' Building Content details include:
* Photovoltaic (solar) roofing panels
* Structurally Integrated Panels (SIPs)
* Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs)
* Energy efficient foundations and flooring
Broomfield, Colorado USA, April 2008 — MWH Soft, a leading global provider of environmental and water resources applications software, once again moved the wastewater industry to the head of the line for key new modeling capabilities with the release of RDII Analyst Extension for InfoSWMM and H2OMAP SWMM executive suites. The new extension offers invaluable risk management capabilities for planning and designing high-cost Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) control.
RDII Analyst directly addresses industry challenges to develop sound capital improvement programs and the need for SSO mitigation plans that safeguard against hazards and limit liabilities by greatly accelerating accurate analysis of sanitary sewer systems capacity and helping to ensure reliable and effective SSO control plans. The introduction sets new benchmarks in sanitary sewer overflow analysis, planning and management.
Excessive Rainfall Dependent Inflow and Infiltration (RDII) can reduce sanitary sewer carrying capacity, causing sewer surcharge and overflows to basements, streets, or nearby streams. It can also cause serious operational problems at wastewater treatment plants. Together, the nation’s 19,500+ sanitary sewer collection systems, serving an estimated 150 million people, report about 40,000 SSO events each year.
The ability to accurately predict RDII flows is critical to performing sound capacity analysis of sanitary sewer systems and determining effective and economical remedial measures. The industry standard and most accurate RDII prediction method is the USEPA RTK synthetic unit hydrograph. This method uses up to three triangular unit hydrographs to estimate fast, medium, and slow RDII responses. The R parameter is the fraction of rainfall volume entering the sewer system as RDII, T is the time to peak, and K is the ratio of time of recession to T.
These parameters are normally computed through a tedious and inexact trial-and-error process in which they are adjusted to closely match wet-weather flow data. Since there are a vast number of possible combinations of RTK values, evaluating all options this way is unfeasible, and even knowledgeable modelers often fail to obtain good results. As the size of the sewer system and number of flow datasets increase, the trial-and-error approach may not be effective or reliable, or even manageable — especially with the added factor of time and cost constraints. The result is inefficient performance at a greater cost.
The new RDII Analyst extension greatly improves the reliability of RDII flow prediction and eliminates the need for trial-and-error parameter estimations. The program performs rigorous QA/QC of rainfall and meter data and decomposes flow data into dry-weather flow (DWF) and wet-weather flow (RDII) components. The DWF component is further analyzed to construct a DWF pattern. This pattern is then assigned to the source nodes that contribute flow to the meter location, proportional to sewershed areas or based on any other user-defined criteria.
Using advanced Genetic Algorithm optimization, RDII Analyst then quickly and automatically determines the RTK parameters that best match the RDII time series generated by decomposing the measured flow data. The resulting inflow hydrograph (RDII + DWF) is then used by InfoSWMM or H2OMAP SWMM to carry out detailed dynamic flow routing through the sewer system and evaluate system response to support development of an optimal capital improvement program.
Powerful, comprehensive and engineer-friendly, RDII Analyst reflects MWH Soft’s time-honored practice of continually adding value to its world-class software and bringing critical new design and optimization capabilities to the wastewater industry. It allows engineering professionals to quickly and efficiently complete complex SSO projects and develop sound mitigation plans. The program’s intuitive interface, easy-to-use functionality and rich graphing and reporting capabilities save modelers hours, if not days, of manual calculation time, making it simple to predict, analyze and optimize RDII flows for capacity analysis and SSO planning.
“The operational simplicity, power, speed and flexibility of RDII Analyst eliminate the obstacles that make RDII planning and analysis overly complicated and inefficient,” commented Paul F. Boulos, Ph.D, President and COO of MWH Soft. “Civil and environmental engineers’ SSO projects are very complex, but their tools shouldn’t be. These professionals have long needed a versatile, engineer-friendly product that can quickly and accurately predict RDII flows and speed up project completion, and that’s exactly what RDII Analyst gives them. The software’s comprehensive capabilities will greatly assist wastewater modelers in making informed decisions that ensure optimal sewer system performance. With this introduction, we now offer the best in sanitary sewer collection system modeling and design, integrated with the best in engineering.”
EXTON, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bentley Systems, Incorporated today announced that it has won a FIATECH Celebration of Engineering & Technology Innovation (CETI) Award in the Lifecycle Data Management & Information Integration category. The award was accepted on behalf of Bentley by Dr. Manoj Dharwadkar, Bentley director, technology management, and Rahul Patil, Bentley software engineer, during FIATECH’s annual conference in New Orleans. It honors Bentley for its collaboration on FIATECH’s “Accelerating the Deployment of the ISO 15926” (ADI) project, and recognizes Bentley’s extensive work this past year on the ISO 15926 international standard for process plant information, including:
“Accelerating the Deployment of the ISO 15926”
.•Development of Adaptive Information Models based on ISO 15926 Reference Data Library.
•Development of ISO 15926 adapters for Bentley products.
•Development of Bentley Class Editor for managing the Adaptive Information Models and data mappings and the implementation of ISO 15926 Part 7 WIP facade (Web Services) within it. This technology provides a user-friendly view of ISO 15926 information models to the domain experts who want to contribute to the standard, as well as to the implementers who want to write adapters to the neutral standard. Bentley has offered complimentary copies of the Bentley Class Editor to FIATECH and POSC Caesar members.
•Collaboration with leading contractors on ISO 15926 implementation issues.
A direct result of this work was Bentley’s introduction at daratechPLANT2008 of OpenPlant, the first range of software products for the creation and management of plant infrastructure inherently based on the ISO 15926 standard. Bentley’s OpenPlant products enable collaboration by solving the problems inherent in a distributed enterprise that spans disparate systems. The OpenPlant hallmark is a seamless federation for sharing and reusing consistent and accurate data among distributed teams and work packages throughout the plant lifecycle. Bentley’s first ISO 15926-compliant offering was its ProjectWise Lifecycle Server. At daratechPLANT2008, Bentley introduced OpenPlant PowerPID, the only commercial P&ID solution to be based on a completely open data model.
Commenting on Bentley’s award, Dr. Richard H.F. Jackson, director of FIATECH, said, “Clearly, Bentley is steadfast in its commitment to data interoperability using open industry standards and continues to be a leader in providing the vision for and fostering the widespread adoption of ISO 15926. Bentley is implementing ISO 15926 at the core of its existing plant offerings and earlier this year said that all future Bentley plant applications will be ISO 15926-based. This will allow interoperability among Bentley’s software solutions and third-party ISO 15926-based solutions in a consistent way.”
“Bentley is honored by this recognition and looks forward to continuing its work with FIATECH,” said Rob Whitesell, vice president, Bentley Plant, Building, and Structural development. “Without question, FIATECH, in collaboration with POSC Caesar Association, has made great strides in accelerating standardization activities around ISO 15926. Bentley is actively engaged in these important efforts through, for example, the contributions of Manoj, Rahul, and other Bentley colleagues in support of the FIATECH ADI and POSC Caesar projects. At the same time, Bentley is aggressively implementing emerging interoperability standards in our comprehensive portfolio of solutions and products.”
Whitesell continued, “As CEO Greg Bentley announced at daratechPLANT2008, Bentley has become the first plant creation software vendor to deliver truly open solutions, including our adoption of ISO 15926 data models as the basis for the next version of all of our plant applications. By basing our OpenPlant products on ISO 15926, we are enabling project teams and plant owner-operators to reduce downtime, increase plant safety, and deliver greater flexibility and productivity to stimulate innovative engineering and operations for sustaining infrastructure.”
More than 30 FIATECH owners, contractors, equipment suppliers, and software providers are working together in the jointly funded ADI project, along with the POSC Caesar Association and DNV, to create a WIP ISO 15926 online reference data library. This library includes lifecycle information models as well as software interface tools for process industry lifecycle information integration.
Gardiner, Maine – April 8, 2008 – Blue Marble Geographics (www.bluemarblegeo.com) announces new support for the Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE) parameters, including the Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) Irish Grid polynomial datum transformation definition. The Irish Grid joins hundreds of unit, ellipsoid, datum transformation, and coordinate system definitions, including many from standard government, corporate, and EPSG/POSC databases, all available in the Geographic Calculator. Blue Marble’s coordinate conversion technology is used worldwide by thousands of GIS analysts at software companies, universities, oil and gas companies, civil engineering, surveying, technology, enterprise GIS groups, government, and military organizations.
The Geographic Calculator allows organizations and individuals to maintain and transform large datasets in many formats and local coordinate reference systems, guaranteeing the highest accuracy possible. The INSPIRE project seeks to solidify a spatial information infrastructure that delivers accurate, quality data in an easily shared format. The Calculator is the perfect tool for any INSPIRE-focused user or community. With support for over twenty GIS and CAD file formats, over five thousand pre-defined coordinate reference systems, and transformations, interoperability has never been so easy. Also, the Geographic Calculator is highly customizable. With just a few quick clicks, users can create a new coordinate reference system, transformation, or simple file reader. All of these customizations can then be shared with any other user. If data is saved in a custom text format, the Geographic Calculator allows users to reformat the data without losing any header records. Users can transform, update, and process multiple datasets and output the results in the format needed.
The Geographic Calculator provides over twenty different datum transformation models, ranging from simple three parameter shifts, to various local grid formats, and even high order polynomial transformations. With our extensive geodetic database, you know that the coordinate transformation you are using is the right one for your data.
“The Geographic Calculator is widely used in Europe and known as a great component to surveying and map data manipulation and creation,” stated Blue Marble President Patrick Cunningham. “Many countries have unique datum issues and transformation challenges that can only be addressed through the use of an object oriented, open coordinate transformation library like that found in Blue Marble GIS data conversion solutions.”
About Blue Marble Geographics: Blue Marble Geographics of Gardiner, Maine is a leading developer and provider of geographic software products that provide sensible solutions for users and developers of geographic data. Blue Marble has been writing GIS software tools and solutions for 15 years and currently serves hundreds of thousands of users worldwide
As part of its continuing effort to provide civil engineers with reliable, accurate and versatile software, CSI Hellas has developed a family of applications for the design of steel connections and composite members according to EC3 and EC4, respectively.
The various applications are available in two different versions, depending on whether or not they can integrate with ETABS or SAP2000. In the stand-alone version, the user must input all the relevant data (geometry, member profiles, loads etc.) and then proceed with the design. However, those that already use ETABS or SAP2000 can take advantage of the for ETABS(TM) or for SAP2000 versions. In that case, the program automatically extracts all the necessary data (geometry, member profile, loads etc.) from the model in ETABS or in SAP2000, with speed, accuracy and minimum effort.
The GUI of all the applications in the EC PRAXIS Series is similar to that of ETABS, thus ensuring ease of use and speed. That way, even in the stand-alone version, an engineer can model a steel connection or a composite member and design it according to EC3 or EC4 in a very short time and most of all, reliably.
The results of the design are presented in ready-to-print detailed reports in various formats (.rpt, .pdf, .xls, .doc, .rtf) which can be edited by the user. Additionally, in the case of steel connections, detailed drawings in .dxf format are automatically created.
EC Praxis is is used for the design of composite beams and steel connections according to Eurocodes. It functions within an integrated environment that automatically extracts all the necessary data (geometry, member profile, loads etc.) from the model that has been previously created in ETABS or in SAP2000.
Pricing and Availability
EC Praxis For ETABS & SAP v2.0 runs under Win95, Win98, WinME,WinNT 3.x, WinNT 4.x, Windows2000, WinXP,Windows2003, Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows Vista Home Basic x64, Windows Vista Home Premium x64, Windows Vista Business x64, Windows Vista Enterprise x64, Windows Vista Ultimate x64 and costs $1585 (US). Licensed users are entitled to the fully-functional copy of the software.
Further information on the product, as well as its free evaluation copy is available from http://new.csihellas.gr/index.asp?mod=articles&id=85. EC Praxis For ETABS & SAP v2.0 can be ordered directly from http://new.csihellas.gr/index.asp?mod=products. The program comes with an installer and uninstaller for easy usage.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
While Autodesk is pushing “digital prototyping” - an engineering process that uses 3-D modeling and reams of data to visualize and analyze designs without making physical prototypes - the company isn't abandoning its traditional 2-D computer-aided drafting (CAD) customer base.The push is evident across product lines, but “there's still a tremendous amount of 2-D workflow,” Jim Lynch, Autodesk's vice-president of marketing for its architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) division said at the company's worldwide press event last month.
Digital prototyping manifests itself in AEC products as building information modeling (BIM), which Autodesk defines as the use of co-ordinated, consistent and computable information about a building project.
Autodesk is trying to move the construction industry toward BIM, Lynch says, “but we recognize that 2-D processes will be around for many years,” and Autodesk will continue to support 2-D workflow.
“We'll help (customers) through the transition. We won't force the transition . . . the last thing you want to do is force your customer to go somewhere when they're not ready.”
More intelligent building design is critical - the world faces 30 per cent population growth by 2025, and buildings consume 36 per cent of the world's energy and produce 30 per cent of its greenhouse gases, said Jay Bhatt, vice-president of Autodesk's AEC division. Half the buildings Americans will live and work in by 2030 haven't been built yet. China is building 300 new airports on the scale of Beijing International.
“This is a time of huge change for the building industry,” Patrick MacLeamy, CEO of architecture and engineering firm HOK, said Monday. “The next decade will be a very telling one for the industry.”
MWH Soft, a leading global provider of environmental and water resources applications software, today further defined the standard in the urban stormwater industry with the release of H2OMAP SWMM PDM (Pond Design Manager), the latest example of the company’s leadership in bringing powerful geospatial modeling and design tools to engineers around the world.
The state-of-the-art geospatial detention pond design and management software solution equips practicing engineers with impressive graphics and breakthrough dynamic design analysis capabilities. Its highly intuitive, time-saving user interface greatly accelerates better pond design and management as it helps ensure accuracy and safeguards the public against hazards and limits liabilities.
Detention ponds have a range of purposes, including reducing peak discharges and improving water quality. H2OMAP SWMM PDM lets users streamline the design and analysis of single and interconnected ponds, compute pond detention times, and size outlet structures for one or more design rainfall events. Users can take advantage of highly advanced hydraulic and hydrologic computational algorithms without having expertise in this complex field, extending the software’s benefits across the entire enterprise. Capabilities include routing flows using sophisticated (fully) dynamic flow analysis, and determining the pre- and post-development runoff hydrographs using any of the ten most-used rainfall-runoff models: EPA Nonlinear Reservoir Method, Colorado Urban Hydrograph Procedure (CUHP), NRCS Dimensionless Unit Hydrograph, NRCS Triangular Unit Hydrograph, Delmarva Unit Hydrograph, Clark Unit Hydrograph, Snyder Unit Hydrograph, Santa Barbara Hydrograph (SBH), Espey Unit Hydrograph, and San Diego Modified Rational Hydrograph (SDMRH). A number of popular infiltration models are also supported, including the SCS Curve Number, Green-Ampt, and Horton Methods.
Powerful, comprehensive and engineer-friendly, H2OMAP SWMM PDM reflects MWH Soft’s time-honored practice of continually adding value to its world-class software and bringing powerful new modeling and design capabilities to engineers around the world. It allows engineering professionals to quickly and efficiently complete stormwater projects of any size, from basic site designs to complex regional drainage studies. An intuitive interface, easy-to-use functionality and rich graphing and reporting capabilities save modelers hours of manual calculation time, making it very simple to analyze pre- and post- development watershed conditions and size ponds and outlets.
“The operational simplicity, power, comprehensiveness and flexibility of H2OMAP SWMM PDM eliminate obstacles that can make pond design overly complex and inefficient,” commented Trent Schade, PE, Senior Client Service Manager for MWH Soft and a leading urban drainage modeling expert. “Civil and environmental engineers’ pond design projects are complex, but their tools need not be. These professionals have long needed a versatile, engineer-friendly product that can quickly and accurately perform a wide range of pond design calculations and speed up project completion. That’s exactly what H2OMAP SWMM PDM gives them—and the more you experience it, the better it gets. With this introduction, MWH Soft now offers the best in urban drainage modeling and design integrated with the best in engineering. We are also delivering on our promise to make enterprise water resources GIS modeling easy and affordable.”
“MWH Soft has a deep understanding of our industry’s needs,” said Paul F. Boulos, Ph.D, President and COO of MWH Soft. “We’ve amassed a rich history of commitment to providing the most comprehensive, user-friendly and advanced software tools for the engineering community, regardless of skill level—tools that break down barriers in the modeling community in the interest of getting the job done. By loading this new release with all the powerful engineering design analysis features and functionality imaginable, we’ve given the industry a revolutionary modeling tool. Our unique water resources software suite sets a new standard for GIS-based modeling. All of us are excited by its potential to make an immediate impact on our customers’ engineering productivity and performance, and a positive difference in people’s lives and the ecological health of our nation’s waterways.”
“This release is just the beginning,” Boulos added. “We have major plans for H2OMAP SWMM PDM. In the months to come, it will grow very quickly to include even more powerful features and capabilities.”
Maysville, Ky. (June 27, 2007) - Introduced today, Carlson Software’s new Civil 2008 is designed to increase user productivity as it creates better designs.
Hundreds of new features work simply and simply work in Carlson Civil 2008, including the revolutionary LotNet for quick and easy subdivision design, the new SiteNet for automated earthworks, and the enhanced RoadNet, StormNet and SurvNet, to streamline the steps to get even the biggest jobs done quickly and easily.
“The improvements our customers asked for give Carlson Civil 2008 the exclusive ability to tackle complex challenges in road, site and subdivision design, including 3D street intersections and cul-de-sacs, with fully integrated hydrology and storm sewer design,” says Bruce Carlson, president and founder of Carlson Software. “Carlson Civil 2008 is the flagship engineering office product from Carlson Software,” he adds.
Designed for civil engineers by civil engineers, Carlson Civil 2008 provides the highest level of robust automation and ease-of-use of any civil design solution available today. What used to be difficult, time-consuming procedures are accomplished quickly thanks to the Carlson Civil 2008 wide selection of “power” tools – dozens of brand new commands, along with hundreds of user-driven improvements. Included are:
• New Grading rules for elevating pads and lots with ability to balance sites by rules
• Site Network to organize surfaces by layers, apply topsoil and subgrade adjustments and calculate volumes and materials
• New dynamic Lot Network model for subdivision design
• New hydrograph routing routines for watersheds, reservoirs, channels and pipes
• Many more Draw Profile controls and new adjust plan-profile sheet
Carlson Civil 2008 works in AutoCAD® and its release is timed to coincide closely with the recent release of the latest version of this widely used computer-aided design (CAD) software. With more than 15 years producing products that work inside AutoCAD from Autodesk, Carlson Software has produced a 2008 product line that works flawlessly inside 24 AutoCAD platforms. These include AutoCAD 2000 through 2008, eight versions of AutoCAD Map 3D, plus past and present versions of Autodesk Map 3D that comes with AutoCAD Civil 3Dâ and AutoCAD Land Desktop.
Carlson Civil 2008 is available now. To learn more or to place an order, go to www.carlsonsw.com to find the dealers/resellers closest to you. For more information, call Carlson Software at 800-989-5028.
About Carlson Software
Founded in 1983, Carlson Software Inc. specializes in field data collection, office design and machine control products for the civil engineering, surveying, construction and mining industries worldwide, providing one-source technology solutions from data collection to design to construction. Carlson Software, www.carlsonsw.com, is headquartered in Maysville, Ky., with offices in Boston, Atlanta, and Queensland, Australia.
ROBOT Office 20 includes several programs with enhanced contents and performances, such as ROBOT Millenium 20.1, CBS Pro 20.1, ESOP 4.1, RCAD Reinforcement Concrete 7.1, RCAD Formwork 7.1 and RCAD Steel 7.1. Engineers will particularly appreciate the dynamic exchange of data between these programs, as well as the integration with industry-standard BIM solutions.
Design offices can use ROBOT Office 20 to leverage the benefits of integration and to optimise design time and limit multiple data input throughout the whole project, whatever the materials used (steel, concrete and timber). This new version will also help users to keep up to date with developments in international standards and to improve the cost-effectiveness of their projects by keeping costs under tight control.
The work done by Robobat´s R&D department on version 20 of ROBOT Office complies with the company´s recent ISO 9001 certification. The group, which has been growing continuously over the last few years, has been awarded the designation of Innovative Company as a reward for its investment in R&D and its technological leadership.
Robobat, which is headquartered in Saint Ismier (near Grenoble, in south-east France), is an international group employing more than 160 staff. For the last 18 years, it has been the European leader in the field of software for calculating and designing structures for building, civil engineering and manufacturing industry, with more than 12,000 licences sold in almost 100 countries. Robobat is present across the world through its three subsidiaries (in Poland, the USA and the UK) and through its network of 44 distributors.
Robobat software has been used by engineers for projects such as the Stade de France (near Paris), the South Shanghai railway station (in China) and the Millau Viaduct (in southern France).
Robobat will take part in the Steelbuilding Day in Göteborg (Sweden) on 25 October 2007, with its Swedish distributor StruProg AB.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., June 12 (AScribe Newswire) -- Although most Americans believe they know what brought down the World Trade Center twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, civil engineers are still seeking answers to questions that could save lives in the future.
Structural engineers need to know from a scientific perspective what happened to the buildings during the terrorist attacks in order to prevent future failures. The search for answers continues with the help of a state-of-the-art animated visualization created by researchers at Purdue University.
Christoph Hoffmann, a professor of computer science and director of Purdue's Rosen Center for Advanced Computing, a division of Information Technology at Purdue, says the animation reveals more information than could be conveyed through a scientific simulation alone.
"Scientific simulations restrict us to showing the things that are absolutely essential to the engineer," Hoffmann says. "This gives us a simulation that doesn't deliver much visual information to a layperson. Our animation takes that scientific model and adds back the visual information required to make it a more effective communication tool."
The scientific simulation, the completion of which was announced last September, required several test runs before the researchers were satisfied; the final test run required more than 80 hours of high- performance computing. The simulation depicts how a plane tore through several stories of the World Trade Center north tower within a half-second and found that the weight of the fuel acted like a flash flood of flaming liquid, knocking out essential structural columns within the building and removing fireproofing insulation from other support structures. The simulation used lines and dots to show the aircraft and building during the event.
To develop the new animated visualization, Voicu Popescu, an assistant professor of computer science, developed a translator application that creates a link between computer simulations and computer visualization systems to automatically translate simulation data into a 3-D animation scene.
"This translator is scalable and can be used in other simulations," Popescu says.
The animation can be seen online at http://www.cs.purdue.edu/cgvlab/papers/popescu/popescuWTCVIS07.mov.
In the animation, elements that were not part of the scientific simulation, such as flames and smoke, are clearly rendered, although the visualization does not show the subsequent effects of the fire.
Even though details were added in this animation, Popescu says the visualization was intentionally kept "non-descript" so that they would not be exploitive of the horrific attack.
"For example, on the airplane there are no airline insignia or windows," Popescu says.
Still, Popescu says the visualization has a realism never seen before.
"The crashes and computer models you often see on television are not scientifically accurate," he says. "This provides an alternative that is useful to the nonexpert but is also scientifically accurate, so it provides a more realistic picture of the event."
The visualization begins with a Google Earth map of lower Manhattan as it appeared on Sept. 11, 2001. The video then shows the damage caused by the aircraft as it hit the north tower, follows the disintegrating plane through the interior, and then shows the airplane metal, ignited fuel, dust and smoke exiting the building on the opposite side.
The simulation found that the airplane's metal skin peeled away shortly after impact and shows how the titanium jet engine shafts flew through the building like bullets.
As with an earlier simulation developed by this team that examined the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, the World Trade Center simulation showed that it was the weight of the 10,000 gallons of fuel more than anything else that caused the damage.
"It is the weight, the kinetic energy of the fuel that causes much of the damage in these events," Hoffmann says. "If it weren't for the subsequent fire, the structural damage might be almost the same if the planes had been filled with water instead of fuel."
Mete Sozen, Purdue's Kettlehut Distinguished Professor of Structural Engineering and a principal investigator on the simulation project, says the researchers worked for years and used the best computing resources available to recreate the event.
"To estimate the serious damage to the World Trade Center core columns, we assembled a detailed numerical model of the impacting aircraft as well as a detailed numerical model of the top 20 stories of the building," Sozen says. "We then used weeks of supercomputer time over a number of years to simulate the event in many credible angles of impact of the aircraft."
Sozen says the actual damage to the building's facade that was observed was identical to the damage shown by the numerical simulation.
"We calibrated our calculations using data from experiments we had conducted to evaluate the energy imparted from fluid moving at high speed to solid targets," he says. "We concluded that the damage map we calculated for our numerical model of the building would correspond closely to the actual extent of the damage."
The simulation represented the plane and its mass as a mesh of hundreds of thousands of "finite elements," or small squares containing specific physical characteristics. In the visualization, these scientific data points are used to show how airplane components swept through the building and out through the other side as the fuel ignited.
"The aircraft moved through the building as if it were a hot and fast lava flow," Sozen says. "Consequently, much of the fireproofing insulation was ripped off the structure. Even if all of the columns and girders had survived the impact - an unlikely event - the structure would fail as the result of a buckling of the columns. The heat from an ordinary office fire would suffice to soften and weaken the unprotected steel. Evaluation of the effects of the fire on the core column structure, with the insulation removed by the impact, showed that collapse would follow whatever the number of columns cut at the time of the impact."
The animation is the latest in a series of projects by the Purdue team that arose after 9/11 to determine the structural damage that occurs when an airplane collides with a building. Although one goal was to develop structures that can withstand a terrorist attack, the team also has used this research to investigate other scenarios, such as an airplane inadvertently crashing into a building located near an airport
CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 16 - Today, BLUERIDGE Analytics, Inc. announced the general availability of SITEOPS Single Pad, a web-hosted, commercial land development cost-optimization solution. BLUERIDGE Analytics calls SITEOPS "CAD with a Brain" - breakthrough software that reduces the time and cost associated with land infrastructure development. Real estate developers, retailers and civil engineers/design professionals use SITEOPS to perform real-time feasibility simulations on screen and as an advanced optimization engine. Once a project is submitted for full optimization analysis, processing takes less than 24 hours, while trillions of permutations are computed using advanced evolutionary computing algorithms. The result is three to five site designs providing the best layout, grading and stormwater drainage options with cost-optimized estimates.
SITEOPS visually represents the proposed layouts, grading and stormwater management plans so that professional engineers can review and use them as they prepare and refine their designs throughout the land development process. The software dramatically speeds up the process for site feasibility planning and initial engineering designs. SITEOPS delivers significant time savings and reduces site development costs, while limiting risks around development decisions and allowing for faster store openings. Mike Detwiler, CEO and President of BLUERIDGE Analytics, says, "SITEOPS is patent-pending technology that is revolutionizing the civil engineering industry. SITEOPS puts the technology into the hands of land developers, retailers and contractors, allowing them to make decisions faster and with better information."
Customers include Lowe's Companies, Inc., Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc., Freeland & Kauffman, Inc., Southern Civil Engineers, Upham, Inc., Lincks & Associates, Inc. and Bohler Engineering. "I have been impressed by the efficiencies created by the software's capacity to generate multiple, optimized design options. The potential impact of this technology is so substantial for our firm and the entire civil engineering industry that Langan Engineering is serving as a beta test site for SITEOPS," said Mike Semeraro, Principal, Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.
See SITEOPS live at the ICSC International Council of Shopping Centers Spring Convention in Las Vegas, NV, May 20 to 23, 2007 in the trade expo hall, booth #970. We invite you to attend a special presentation showing the features and benefits of SITEOPS Single Pad on Monday, May 21st, at 1:00 p.m. in BLUERIDGE Analytics' booth.
SITEOPS is a patent-pending, commercial land development optimization software application. This breakthrough optimization software is aimed at reducing the time and cost associated with land development design and planning. For more information, visit www.siteops.com
About BLUERIDGE Analytics
BLUERIDGE Analytics applies evolutionary computing to deliver world-class optimization software solutions to industry specific markets, creating substantial, measurable value. Deploying SITEOPS solutions has dramatically improved the site feasibility and initial design process in large corporate retail, real estate and in the architectural, engineering, construction (AEC) industries. Contact us at 866-365-3618 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
May 17 -- EMC Corp., a provider of information infrastructure solutions, has announced that Timmons Group, a diversified civil engineering and collaborative environmental design firm, has implemented EMC storage, software and services to manage more cost-effectively and with greater reliability the massive amounts of data generated by its large-scale geographic information systems (GIS).
As a civil engineering firm, Timmons Group of Richmond, Virginia, generates large GIS mapping files from real-time photography and 3-D virtual models for everything from utility poles to storm drains and underground pipelines, Timmons Group said. A single project requires 500 MB (megabytes) of data, the company said. EMC information infrastructure enables Timmons Group to store its data more intelligently to deliver targeted levels of performance and reliability for both its data-intensive applications and less demanding test and administrative environments, Timmons Group added. This deployment has resulted in cost savings for the company, Timmons Group added.
Timmons Group had initially replaced its Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) SAN (storage area network) with an EMC CLARiiON SAN, EMC of Hopkinton, Massachusetts said. As projects continued to increase in size and complexity, Timmons migrated to a dual-protocol EMC CLARiiON CX3-20 UltraScale FC/iSCSI system, which features combined fibre channel and iSCSI (Internet SCSI) connectivity in a single storage array to give customers the flexibility to easily and cost-effectively consolidate information from and between disparate networks, EMC added.
EMC’s products allow Timmons Group to continue using its existing hardware and extend the life of its HBA (host bus adapter) investment, while attaching more servers to its back-end SAN, Timmons Group said. By using the EMC CLARiiON CX3-20's fibre channel connectivity for its large-scale application files and Oracle 10G and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 databases, Timmons Group has avoided bottlenecks when pulling that data over the LAN (local area network), Timmons Group said. As the group’s development environment is less demanding, it uses the CLARiiON's iSCSI connectivity to provide a staging area for developing and testing code, as well as to house email, Microsoft Word documents, PDF (portable document format) files and other departmental data such as RFPs (request for proposals) and scope of work, Timmons Group added.
While optimizing performance and reducing the cost of ownership for data storage has been a major factor while utilizing the EMC information infrastructure solution, the flexibility, scalability and ability to use their existing IT investment have given Timmons Group a competitive edge, EMC said last week.
With the EMC solution, Timmons Group can house multiple virtual servers and develop and test its applications on the fly, Timmons Group said. The costs savings are huge, especially since it gives the design firm the flexibility to handle various environments that its clients may have in the future, without deploying additional servers, which will enable the group to reach out to a much broader customer base, Timmons Group added.
Timmons Group has also achieved cost savings with the EMC Celerra networked attached storage (NAS) gateway connected to the CLARiiON CX3-20, EMC said. By storing its critical information such as Microsoft Exchange email on Celerra, Timmons has been able to consolidate from four files servers down to one, thus freeing several thousand dollars worth of hardware to be redeployed elsewhere in the company, the company said. On account of the performance of the CLARiiON iSCSI connection to the Celerra, Timmons will continue to use the gateway solution to support Exchange 2007 as it migrates toward that environment, EMC added.
As part of its next generation backup strategy, Timmons Group also implemented the latest version of EMC Replication Manager software to facilitate faster backup and recovery processes, EMC said.
It used to take Timmons Group about 16 hours to clone its SQL Server 2005 databases to a backup server and then backup that data to tape for offsite storage, Timmons Group said. This process impacted system performance on a busy workday, the firm said. EMC Replication Manager has narrowed the backup window by over 250 percent, it added. The firm can now clone its entire 1.5 TB (terabytes) of data and back up to tape in about six hours, it said. This ensures that the firm can quickly and easily recover its business-critical information, Timmons Group added.
EXTON, PA., May 9 /CNW/ - Bentley Systems, Incorporated today announced
that it has acquired TDV GmbH of Austria, a leading provider of structural
modeling, analysis, and design software for bridge engineering serving
engineers, designers, and owners since 1970.
TDV's industry-leading RM 2006 product for static and dynamic design and
analysis of steel, concrete, and composite structures is used by hundreds of
bridge design firms worldwide. The software is applicable to the design of
virtually all bridge types - from simple segmented bridges to complex
cable-stayed and suspension bridges to long crossings - and has been proven on
thousands of projects. A number of these bridges have achieved historic
milestones and are, or will soon become, global landmarks. Examples include:
-- Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong, which has a main span of 1018
meters, making it the first cable-stayed bridge ever designed with a main span
longer than 1000 meters
-- The 8206-kilometer-long Sutong Bridge in China, which will cross the
Yangze River and include a multi-span cable-stayed section with a
world-record-setting longest span of 1088 meters
-- Hardanger Bridge in Norway, a suspension bridge that will have a main
span of approximately 1310 meters
-- The new Woodrow Wilson Bridge in the United States, which will
consist of two side-by-side bascule bridges each 1852 meters in length
"This acquisition exemplifies Bentley's strategic focus on providing
comprehensive software solutions for infrastructure projects," said Bhupinder
Singh, senior vice president, Bentley Software. "RM 2006 adds sophisticated,
advanced structural analysis capabilities to Bentley's market-leading
structural design solutions, including our RAM and STAAD product lines, and
expands our transportation design portfolio to encompass all elements of a
roadway or rail design project."
By integrating the capabilities of RM 2006 with those of Bentley's
recently acquired BridgeKey software for load analysis rating and heavy-load
permitting on existing bridges, as well as its GEOPAK Bridge, InRoads Bridge,
Bentley Rebar, Bentley PowerRebar, and other products, Bentley now provides a
true end-to-end bridge design and management solution. This opens the door to
streamlined workflows and significant productivity improvements for
organizations in the roadway and bridge sectors.
RM 2006 provides built-in time dimension, parametric geometry definition,
and integrated tendon design, allowing sophisticated calculation of
time-dependent properties for all bridge types and construction sequences. In
addition, it supports design to a full array of international design codes,
including AASHTO Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) Bridge
Specifications, and offers highly sophisticated linear and nonlinear analysis
options. These options include segmental construction loading, stage
construction and erection control, stochastic wind event design, computational
fluid dynamics (CFD), wind tunnel simulation, and more.
Said Singh, "With the software's advanced parametric modeling and
construction sequence-based analysis, bridge designers will be able to model
and analyze every stage of the bridge construction project. In addition to
staged construction analysis, the design team can now consider dynamic load
conditions from wind, water, and high-speed trains."
Said Dorian Janjic, former managing director of TDV and now vice
president of Bentley Software's bridge engineering group, "On behalf of all of
my colleagues at TDV, I want to say how pleased we are to be joining the
Bentley team. Bentley's comprehensive portfolio of fully integrated road and
railway software, coupled with its global reach, will enable us to offer our
users more complete and scalable solutions that will lead to even greater
success on their projects."
For more information about Bentley's TDV line of solutions and services,
go to www.tdv.at/wse/index.htm.
Bentley Systems, Incorporated provides software for the lifecycle of the
world's infrastructure. The company's comprehensive portfolio for the
building, plant, civil, and geospatial verticals spans architecture,
engineering, construction (AEC) and operations. With revenues now surpassing
$400 million annually, and more than 2400 colleagues globally, Bentley is the
leading provider of AEC software to the Engineering News-Record Top Design
Firms and major owner-operators, and was named the world's No. 2 provider of
GIS/geospatial software solutions in a recent Daratech research study.
LOS ANGELES, May 2 /CNW/ - Bentley Systems, Incorporated today released
its comprehensive engineering design solution to advance GIS for electric
The solution includes Bentley Electric XM and Bentley Expert Designer XM
- two new fully interoperable products built on Bentley's next-generation
geospatial technology. In addition, Bentley Electric XM is delivered with a
robust industry best practices data model for electric utilities, along with
an intuitive visual modeling editor that can be used to modify and extend the
Bentley's solution for electric utilities supports new levels of
efficiency in managing electric distribution networks throughout the plan,
design, build and operate lifecycle. Enabled with configurable business
workflows, the solution helps integrate mapping, facilities management, and
design with work management and asset management workflows. Users can optimize
designs, specify all materials and labor required to complete work requests,
and have flexibility in managing labor and materials costs, all in the context
of defined business processes.
Said Carey Mann, vice president Geospatial Solutions, for Bentley, "By
removing the inefficiencies of disparate systems from tightly coupled business
processes, Bentley's new solution represents a new paradigm for electric
utilities. For the first time, facilities mapping, design engineering, and
analytically driven estimating have been integrated into a single work
Bentley Electric XM delivers core mapping, network documentation,
facility mapping, and facility management functions. In addition, it provides
feature placement, editing, and viewing, supports directional network trace
and highlight, validates feature placement against configurable business
rules, and enables simple service delivery.
Bentley Expert Designer XM extends Bentley Electric XM to add intelligent
and optimized design and integrated estimating. It features rapid rules-based
placement of facilities, provides an interactive catalog with drag and drop
placement, automatically assigns compatible units (standard materials and
labor), and facilitates design version and cost comparisons.
Whether graphically editing or dragging catalog items to work points, the
estimate is dynamically created as each feature is placed, edited, or removed.
Connectivity and structural attachments are maintained, while structural and
electrical analytical capabilities support optimal pole, transformer, wire,
and fuse sizing.
The Bentley Electric XM data model is extensive and supports:
-- Poles, framing standards, switch cabinets, conduits, vaults and duct
banks, and guys
-- Conducting features in the primary and secondary network
-- Maintenance inspections
-- Structural analysis
-- Guying, pole loading, sag and clearance, and cable pulling
-- Primary distribution network
-- Transformers, sectionalizers, and other devices
-- Electrical analysis
-- Local flow, motor starting, and voltage flicker
-- Equipment sizing and optimization
-- Secondary distribution network
-- Street lighting
-- Service and loads
-- Load modeling and secondary wire sizing
Bentley Electric XM and Bentley Expert Designer XM are part of the
increasingly comprehensive solution offered by Bentley to operators of
electric utilities. With products to design, build, and operate power
generation plants, substations, and transmission and distribution networks,
Bentley provides a true plant-to-consumer solution.
Bentley's unique federated data management technology ensures that
engineering and business documents are integrated with information stored in
spatial databases such as Oracle 10g. It accomplishes this all in the context
of definable workflows that support established business processes and enable
collaboration among distributed participants.
About BE Conference
The BE Conference, which consistently scores a 99 percent attendee
satisfaction rating, is a once-a-year learning opportunity for Bentley user
organizations offering professional training, technology updates, keynotes,
and best practice sharing. At these sessions, attendees better themselves,
better their organizations, and better the ways they can improve the world's
For more information on BE Conference 2007, taking place this week at the
Los Angeles Convention Center in California, go to www.be.org.
Bentley Systems, Incorporated provides software for the lifecycle of the
world's infrastructure. The company's comprehensive portfolio for the
building, plant, civil, and geospatial verticals spans architecture,
engineering, construction (AEC) and operations. With revenues now surpassing
$400 million annually, and more than 2400 colleagues globally, Bentley is the
leading provider of AEC software to the Engineering News-Record Top Design
Firms and major owner-operators, and was named the world's No. 2 provider of
GIS/geospatial software solutions in a recent Daratech research study.
SAN RAFAEL, Calif., May 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autodesk, Inc. announced today updates to its portfolio of academic software solutions, which promote project-based learning and provide worldwide access to the same cutting-edge, 3D design tools used by industry leading professionals. The innovative design curriculum included in Autodesk's academic software has been developed for educators by educators, and provides the necessary tools to inspire and support tomorrow's generation of future engineers, architects and designers.
Autodesk's academic suite includes Autodesk Design Institute, Autodesk Design Academy, Autodesk DesignKids and Autodesk Animation Academy. These solutions introduce concepts, theory, and exercises for students to develop the design skills they will need for successful careers in design.
"Autodesk is committed to inspiring design innovation among students and educators," said Paul Mailhot, senior director of worldwide education programs at Autodesk. "Through project-based learning, students receive the exposure and training they need to compete for the engineering, architecture and design jobs of the future -- from the time they are in middle school all the way through college graduation."
Autodesk Design Institute Helps Prepare College Students for Careers in Design
Autodesk Design Institute gives post-secondary educators and students access to a wide range of design tools that allow them to apply 3D modeling and visualization skills to a variety of design disciplines. Students studying architecture, interior design, mechanical engineering, manufacturing, civil engineering, geographic information systems, industrial design, and urban and rural planning, all benefit from exposure to Autodesk's professional tools.
Autodesk Design Institute also provides schools with access to technical support directly from Autodesk and comprises the latest technology, including: AutoCAD 2008, AutoCAD Architecture 2008, Autodesk Inventor Professional 2008, Revit Architecture 2008, Revit Structure 2008, AutoCAD Civil 3D 2008, AutoCAD Map 3D 2008 and Autodesk VIZ 2008 software products.
The comprehensive curriculum for Revit Architecture, Inventor Professional and Civil 3D included in Autodesk Design Institute allows educators to integrate the newest Autodesk software titles into any existing design curriculum. Educators also have access to e-learning tools and product extensions made available through the Autodesk Design Institute members-only website. Students and educators are also encouraged to participate in Autodesk's online Student Engineering and Design Community to access tutorials, join discussion boards, network with peers and download free* versions of popular 3D software such as Inventor Professional, Revit Architecture, Alias Studio and Civil 3D. The Student Engineering and Design Community is available at http://www.students.autodesk.com/ .
Autodesk Design Academy Inspires High-School Students for Visionary Careers in Design, Engineering and Architecture
The Autodesk Design Academy solution was developed specifically to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and is ideal for secondary schools looking to offer students a relevant and engaging curriculum that maps to national standards.
Through Autodesk Design Academy, students apply STEM principles to real-life engineering and architecture projects, which provide a real-world context allowing students to develop skills that focus on teamwork, presentation and design. Autodesk Design Academy offers project-based approach to design basics, pre-architecture, pre-civil engineering, pre-mechanical engineering, geometry and substantial design courses.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bentley Systems, Incorporated today announced a special new annual subscription program for GenerativeComponents (GC), Bentley’s exciting new generative design software for architects and engineers. The innovative GenerativeComponents Discovery Subscription program includes a one-year subscription to GC, plus online learning and support resources to help users accelerate their discovery of the power of this new technology. GC enables architects and engineers to pursue designs and achieve results that were virtually unthinkable before. Empowered by computational methods, designers can direct their creativity to deliver inspired, sustainable buildings that are freer in form and use innovative materials. The GC Discovery Subscription is available to new users for $250 in the United States. For pricing outside of the U.S., contact Bentley
Commenting on this new subscription program, CEO Greg Bentley said, “Thousands have taken advantage of our free trial download of GC that we introduced last year. They have experienced the ability to quickly explore a broad range of ‘what-if’ design alternatives, and their feedback has been most gratifying.
“To empower others to employ computational power through GC to discover their ideal designs, we have developed an extremely cost-effective program. To my knowledge, our Discovery Subscription is the first of its kind among providers of software for infrastructure. We are proud to offer it to architects and engineers around the globe eager to pursue a new approach to design.”
GC uniquely preserves and exploits the critical relationships between design intent and geometry. Users can, for instance, dynamically model and manipulate geometry, apply rules and capture relationships among geometric features, and define complex forms through concisely expressed algorithms. By virtue of GC’s extension of Bentley’s MicroStation environment, the resulting generative designs can flow through to detailed production and fabrication without information loss
The GC Discovery Subscription is available for secure purchase by credit card online at www.generativecomponents.com. Along with the software for download, users receive a robust set of GC-related resources from Bentley – including OnDemand eLearning – and gain entry to the new and expanding BE Communities website, which includes blogs, wikis, forums, and a resource gallery for sharing generative design project work. Practitioners will be able to meet equally inquisitive peers, share how-to information and best practices, and learn about upcoming GC events. You can visit BE Communities, which is still in beta, at community.be.org.
GenerativeComponents is available to Bentley SELECT subscribers at no additional charge. For more information, visit www.generativecomponents.com.
GC has already been incorporated into the curricula of top architectural and engineering colleges and universities around the world, including Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT in North America; the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London, the University of Bath, and the Architectural Association in the United Kingdom; TU Delft and KTH Stockholm in Continental Europe; and RMIT University in Australia
Baltimore - Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced that it has acquired the global business of Common Point, Incorporated, the pioneer and market leader in software products for construction simulation (ConstructSim) and operations simulation (OpSim). ConstructSim has become widely established in plant projects, has been successfully deployed on building projects, and, along with OpSim, can also be applied in civil infrastructure projects. The integration of Common Point's technology with Bentley's ProjectWise Navigator platform and comprehensive portfolio of applications and collaboration servers will enable Bentley to accelerate integrated project delivery for infrastructure projects by closing gaps between design, construction, and operations.
About this acquisition, Pieter Diedericks, senior project director, Oil Sands Projects, Petro-Canada, said, "As an owner faced with the challenges of managing our mega projects from end to end across multiple EPCs, we are delighted that Bentley has acquired Common Point to address the construction side of our business. Some time ago, we standardized on Bentley software for engineering design, and we used Common Point's ConstructSim for construction simulations. We are excited that this acquisition promises improved integration between engineering and construction that will deliver a further step change in project productivity and efficiency."
ConstructSim, Common Point's flagship offering, is the first software to model the construction process and provide a construction management environment that links data from design deliverables, schematics, project management, materials, and resource management systems in a virtual and visual model. This linked model allows users to create and track work packages that closely match the actual construction workflow, enabling project managers to more quickly identify issues with time-critical activities or incorrect materials and avoid costly mistakes, schedule overruns, and change orders. This unique "work-facing" orientation of ConstructSim provides an ideal tool for the construction project superintendent or field crew supervisor to organize, manage, schedule, and record the progress of actual installation processes and tasks.
ConstructSim provides vital connections through the downstream construction processes for major infrastructure projects and is viewed as a critical component for integrated project delivery. It has been adopted by leading owner-operators, including BP, ExxonMobil, Rohm and Haas, and Chevron, and also by leading engineering/procurement/construction (EPC) firms such as Jacobs Engineering Group, Fluor, and Zachry Construction. The OpSim product suite is used for the training of operations and maintenance personnel, which can begin before construction of facilities has been completed, through virtual and visual models.
Since its founding in 1999, Common Point has benefited greatly from far-sighted early investments by Zachry (www.zachry.com), a leading engineering/construction firm with over 18,500 employees worldwide. Zachry additionally served to validate ConstructSim's breakthrough modules for steel and piping work packaging.
Zachry Senior Vice President and Common Point Board Member Ed Bardgett said, "It has been exciting for Zachry to contribute to and benefit from our industry's advancements in software for construction simulation, which we and many others now rely upon extensively to reduce risk and improve project performance. I also congratulate Ted Blackmon and Bill McSherry of Common Point, along with their colleagues, for reaching this significant inflection point in widespread adoption of their visionary technology."
Zachry CIO Norm Thurow added, "We are thrilled that Bentley will be incorporating ConstructSim and OpSim throughout its solution offerings."
Commenting on this latest Bentley acquisition, Bhupinder Singh, senior vice president, Bentley Software, said, "We look forward to integrating Common Point's technology with Bentley's ProjectWise Navigator platform and comprehensive portfolio of applications and collaboration servers to address the construction and operations of infrastructure projects. The acquisition perfectly leverages the applied research we have prioritized for the last year to support work packaging. This combination will enable infrastructure projects to proactively surmount design-for-construction issues, in particular, through ConstructSim's unique construction simulation capabilities."
Up and down the flood-ravaged river valleys of the upper Midwest, high water has inflicted billions of dollars of damage to homes, businesses, and crops. It has displaced tens of thousands of families and brought immeasurable suffering. It has also brought a new concern for the region’s river towns and cities: Flooding in the Midwest seems to be getting worse.
Researchers and other observers say such episodes are likely to worsen as efforts to protect vulnerable communities are outpaced by factors that increase the risk of flooding, including the ongoing practice of building on river flood plains.
“We’re probably more at risk than we’ve ever been,” says Larry Larson, executive director of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, based in Madison, Wis.
Most cities and towns in the Midwest lie along rivers and streams. Hydrologists and planners say that the cumulative effects of decades of land-use choices have gradually increased the likelihood of flooding. Throughout Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, for example, much farmland is drained by buried tiles that carry rainwater quickly away from the fields into streams and rivers. Population growth, bringing new highways and subdivisions, increases runoff. And communities keep building on flood plains, which not only puts new development at risk but also reduces the amount of flood plain available to absorb floodwater.
In many communities, levees protect low-lying neighborhoods and farmland. “America has had a love affair with levees since the 1800s,” says Marceto Garcia, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. But levees cause new problems by confining rivers and increasing flooding in other stretches.
“The water has to go somewhere,” says Douglas Johnston, chairman of the community and regional planning department at Iowa State University in Ames. “It will go higher and faster downstream. Any defensive measure taken upstream will only heighten the problem downstream.”
Levees also leave some people with a false sense of security. In some cases, experts say, homeowners don’t know that their houses are at risk of flooding.
Experts also fault poor local planning. They say that economic and political pressures in many cases cause communities to slight flood-plain management for fear of hurting economic growth. In addition, they say, communities typically plan for present conditions without taking into account future growth and developments upstream that may create worse flooding – and worse damage – in the future.
“We have as a nation spent increasing amounts of money on preventing floods, and yet the cost of flooding continues to rise dramatically,” says Andrew Fahlund, vice president for conservation at American Rivers, an environmental advocacy group based in Washington. “Clearly we’re not doing something right. Certain kinds of flooding are going to be pretty much unavoidable. When water levels get to a certain point it’s pretty difficult to prevent damage. Our hearts go out to people who have been impacted by all this. The fact is that we have reduced the capacity our rivers have to absorb these floods significantly.”
Climate change has recently cast a new and disturbing uncertainty over flood-management questions by suggesting that history may be an unreliable guide to the future. Kenneth Potter, a civil and environmental engineer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says many scientists agree that climate change is likely to increase the occurrence and severity of storms as well as droughts, and thus increase the likelihood of flooding.
“The question is, are you going to face that once a century or once every 10 years?” he asks.
Ten months ago, Gays Mills, Wis., suffered what was then the biggest flood in memory. Then, a week and a half ago, monsoon-like rains lashed the region, and an even worse flood washed through town.
Now, as the mud dries and local businesses like Mickelson’s grocery store reopen, residents are feeling vulnerable.
“After last year, we all kind of relaxed,” says village president Larry McCarn. “We all figured it would be a while before it happened again. Now people are saying it could happen next week