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Autodesk Ships New Mechanical and Electrical Building Systems Applications

Integrating Key Design Disciplines (September 20, 2001)
Autodesk, Inc. announced that its new building systems products -- Autodesk Building Mechanical and Autodesk Building Electrical -- will be available in North America as of September 21, 2001. Built on top of Autodesk Architectural Desktop 3.3 and AutoCAD 2002 software, the new applications bring the process efficiencies of intelligent, model-based design to mechanical and electrical engineering disciplines, enhancing design coordination, particularly during design development and construction documentation.

"The engineering community has been eagerly awaiting a set of up-to-date, customized digital tools. These powerful new applications mark a significant advance in how building design professionals will work," said Phil Bernstein, FAIA, vice president of Autodesk's Building Industry Division. "Autodesk Building Mechanical and Autodesk Building Electrical will aid in the accurate exchange of information among engineers, architects, building owners, and contractors to a degree not possible with traditional approaches."

Benefits of Model-Based Design for Engineers

In model-based design, construction documentation is based on a single, consistent digital building model that promotes a clearer, more comprehensive view of the entire building. The specialized content of Autodesk Building Mechanical and Autodesk Building Electrical allows engineers to design with objects like ducts, pipes, or wires that "know" their form, fit, and function and behave according to real-world properties. These "smart" objects increase productivity by automatically updating and reflecting changes as the design develops. The resulting model, which can be authored in 2D or 3D, allows engineers to check for system interferences, create an accurate bill of materials, and visualize interactions between complex mechanical and electrical systems components and the building structure. Design coordination among architects and engineers is enhanced, resulting in fewer construction documentation errors and reduced field rework. As with Autodesk Architectural Desktop, designers maintain the flexibility to design in 2D or 3D as needed by the task at hand and their accustomed mode of work.

"As current AutoCAD 14 users, we're looking forward to moving to the same Architectural Desktop platform as many of the architects with whom we work," said John Gerney, CADD operations manager for the New York office of Flack & Kurtz, an international, multidisciplinary consulting engineering firm. "Our building projects often involve very complex mechanical systems. Autodesk Building Mechanical will save us time in developing and refining these intricate designs. It's intuitive and straightforward and handles the complexity of building system design very well."

Content Updates and Localization Planned

Autodesk Building Mechanical and Autodesk Building Electrical provide predefined design content (dimensional and performance information about the pipes, ducts, conduits, and other elements essential for designing mechanical and electrical systems) for the most common components in the building model. As expanded content libraries and additional components become available, they will be delivered through incremental software extensions, which can be downloaded through the subscription module on Autodesk(R) Point A, a one-stop access point for managing subscription licenses.

Autodesk has also taken steps to accelerate European localization of the building systems products. It has recently opened a new development office in Boras, Sweden, and acquired the core development organization and selected assets of POINT Gruppen, AB, a wholly owned subsidiary of CAD-Q Holding, AB, a leading provider of building industry technology solutions in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands. Leveraging POINT Gruppen's European building industry knowledge and expertise, Autodesk will be able to more rapidly localize the building systems products, augment content, and expand its model-based design offerings to other engineering disciplines.

Nationwide Seminar Series

To introduce building industry professionals to the new building systems line of products and to provide initial training for Autodesk Building Mechanical and Autodesk Building Electrical, Autodesk has planned a nationwide seminar series. Seminars are scheduled on September 25 in Boston, September 26 in San Francisco, September 27 in Irvine, October 2 in Chicago, October 3 in New York City, October 16 in Orlando, October 17 in Minneapolis, and October 18 in Philadelphia.

For further information on these seminars, visit

Product Availability

The building systems products will be offered exclusively via the Autodesk(R) Subscription Program. This newly launched delivery and maintenance program provides a less disruptive way to keep Autodesk software up-to-date. The new program is especially valuable for content-rich tools like Autodesk Building Mechanical and Autodesk Building Electrical, because subscription provides an easier and more cost effective way for customers to receive enhancements to their software in more digestible installments, as they become available, without the individual purchase, implementation, and training that upgrades require.

Autodesk Building Mechanical and Autodesk Building Electrical are available as of September 21, 2001, in North America in International English and will be maintained via the Autodesk Subscription Program. For further information on the Autodesk Subscription Program, visit

Localized versions will be available in other geographies at a later date. For more information, contact an Authorized Autodesk Reseller or Autodesk at 800/964-6432, or visit

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Related Keywords:Autodesk, Architectural Desktop 3.3, AutoCAD 2002, Autodesk Building Mechanical, Autodesk Building Electrical

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