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    Design & Building Download Center — Page One

    Free architectural software and product-related downloads, courtesy of these ArchitectureWeek sponsors...

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    4D Modeling of Industrial Projects

    Synchro Ltd. has issued a white paper on the emerging technology of four-dimensional modeling and planning of industrial projects. The white paper, "4D Modeling of Large Industrial Projects Using Spatio-Temporal Decomposition," was written by V.A. Seminov of the Institute for Systems Programming RAS, Moscow, and Tom Dengenis, CEO of Synchro. The authors discuss this approach to 4D modeling and providing special facilities to effectively access project data and execute typical requests relevant to given time and space domains. Theoretical complexity estimates are given to prove the suitability of the schemas for efficient modeling of large industrial projects. Free download (click "Open Publication" at bottom of page).


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    Update to AutoCAD Web and Mobile Access

    Autodesk recently released an update to AutoCAD WS, which uses cloud computing technology to enable users to view, edit, and share their AutoCAD designs and DWG files through web browsers and mobile devices. AutoCAD WS 1.1 includes a more intuitive interface, the ability to view and edit drawings even when offline, and the ability to upload drawings received as email attachments. The AutoCAD WS web application, formerly Project Butterfly, is currently available as a free plugin. (The mobile app for iOS is also available for free, subject to terms and conditions, in the App Store for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, or via


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    PassivHaus Design Primer

    Download a basic guide to PassivHaus design, issued by the UK's Building Research Establishment (BRE) to aid developers, architects, and self-builders. The PassivHaus standard is a well-defined, ultra-low-energy construction standard first developed in Germany and used today in Europe and the United States. Dwellings constructed to the standard maintain high indoor air quality while reducing space heating energy needs up to 90 percent compared to the existing building stock, by incorporating high levels of insulation and efficient heat-recovery ventilation and achieving a virtually airtight building shell. Over 7,000 dwellings have been constructed in accordance with PassivHaus principles, which can be applied to residential, commercial, industrial, and public buildings. Free download.


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    Anchoring Dimension Stone

    The Marble Institute of America offers a technical bulletin on the practice of mechanically anchoring dimension stone. Prepared as a general guide for tradespeople, the bulletin provides valuable insight about how stone-anchorage devices interface with the stone panels and the building structure. Common anchorage devices are discussed, as well as some guidance about why certain anchor device selections may be more appropriate than others in particular situations. Free download.


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    How 3D Printing Works

    Physical 3D models communicate a designer's vision in a dramatic way. Until recently, the quick and affordable physical prototype has been an oxymoron. Z Corporation offers a white paper that discusses the inception and evolution of 3D printing, explores in depth how a 3D printer produces a physical model, and examines the defining attributes of a Z Corporation 3D printer and the technology decisions that produced them. On-demand prototypes can help improve communication, shorten design cycles, improve accuracy, eliminate costly mistakes, trigger unexpected ideas, drive innovation and quality, and improve collaboration. Free download.


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    ANSI/BHMA Standard for Materials and Finishes

    The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) is offering a free download of ANSI/BHMA A156.18-2006, the American National Standard for Materials and Finishes — useful when specifying hardware on a wide range of project applications. The standard establishes finish test methods and code numbers for finishes on various base materials. Performance tests are outlined. Architects need to consider the intensity of use and durability expectations, along with a project's overall design aesthetic. The document is available free for a limited time only. Complete a short survey for access to the download.

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    Improving Construction Efficiency and Productivity with Modular Construction

    The Modular Building Institute has published a white paper citing a report by the National Research Council (NRC) that identifies modular construction as an underutilized resource. At the request of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the NRC convened an ad hoc committee of experts to identify technologies, processes, and deployment activities that have the greatest potential to significantly advance the productivity and competitiveness of the U.S. construction industry in the next 20 years. The committee suggested five potential breakthroughs, including "greater use of prefabrication, preassembly, modularization, and off-site fabrication techniques and processes." Read more and download the white paper.

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    Free CAD Software

    DoubleCAD™ XT works like AutoCAD LT®, but is free. It contains many new, innovative features, such as transparent fills, draw order by layer, hide objects regardless of layer, snap prioritization, self-healing walls, self-aligning blocks, brush editor, Bezier curves, input multiple unit types "on the fly," automatic scaling of units between drawings, one-step splitting of objects, advanced polyline editing, parametric variable palette, modern handle-based editing, exploded viewports, and smart dimensions. Import and export twice as many file formats as AutoCAD LT 2010, including strong .SKP compatibility. Awarded highest five-star rating from the review editors at CNET. Free download.

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    Specification Management Software

    The e-SPECS® specification management software from InterSpec automates the preparation of project specifications by extracting product and material requirements directly from CAD drawings or BIM models. Each unique item in the drawings can be linked to your choice of master guide specifications to specify the product or material identified. Specifications are updated instantly as drawings are developed. The built-in browser facilitates selection of available products that meet your specifications by linking to supplier information. Integrates with Autodesk® AutoCAD® and Revit®-based applications, and with all versions of AIA's MasterSpec®, the industry standard for construction specification documents.

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    Vectorworks Architect 2011

    With Vectorworks® Architect 2011 software, you can create building information models without giving up the ease of design you're used to. Whether you're looking to streamline costs, analyze materials, increase your energy efficiency, or just create world-class designs, with the Vectorworks Architect solution, BIM just works. Enjoy the robust and flexible capabilities of BIM with the ease of design, great documentation, and intelligent tools that the software is known for — right from the start. Download a free 30-day trial.


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    Improve Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings

    Clean Air–Cool Planet offers a free guide on how to improve the energy efficiency of historic buildings, from private residences to community buildings and museums. "Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Historic Preservation: A Guide for Historic District Commissions" includes an introduction to local energy and sustainability committees for historic preservationists, specific ways for preservationists and local energy groups to work together, details about energy-efficiency measures that protect historic value of properties, examples of successfully employed renewable energy applications, answers to frequently asked questions from building owners and members of local energy committees, and resources for further information. Free download.

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    Decentralized Ecological Wastewater Treatment

    Worrell Water Technologies offers a free white paper, "Creating a Sustainable Water Infrastructure for the 21st Century," which discusses the challenges presented by the aging drinking water and wastewater treatment infrastructure in the United States, and the potential benefits of implementing decentralized, ecologically engineered treatment technologies. Such technologies include constructed wetland systems for processing wastewater, such as the company's Living Machine®, which simulates tidal flow; as well as stormwater wetlands, rainwater harvesting systems, air-conditioner condensate harvesting, and water efficiency devices and practices. Benefits include reduced creation of sludge from wastewater and reduced energy demands and greenhouse-gas emissions. The paper outlines a strategy that supports the rehabilitation of existing critical infrastructure while focusing the application of new ecological treatment systems in areas of rapid growth or failing existing systems.

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    Sustainable, Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)

    The nonprofit organization Reconnecting America has issued a white paper: "Realizing the Potential for Sustainable, Equitable TOD: Recommendations to the Interagency Partnership on Sustainable Communities." The paper includes an extensive list of recommendations for each of the three agencies in the new interagency partnership: the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Reflecting input from a variety of stakeholders involved in transit-oriented development, affordable housing, and community development, the paper provides a short history of previous federal efforts to promote livable communities and highlights successful local, state, and regional programs. Free download.

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    More Free Downloads on the Next Page  >>>

    Design Tools Department

    Design Tools News Headlines

    iPad 2 Vs Motorola XOOM — Slash Gear, 2011.0302

    AECOM Advances Sustainable Data Center Operations — AECOM Press Release at Vancouver Sun, 2011.0301

    Finding Discrepancies between BIM Models and Contract Documents Using Newforma Project Center — AECbytes, 2011.0223

    Autodesk UK Offers Up to 40% Discounts on AutoCAD LT 2011 — TenLinks, 2011.0223

    Just How 3D Are We? Part 1 — Cadalyst, 2011.0223

    Pump Up the Performance of Your Old Laptop — Cadalyst, 2011.0223

    Getting Up to Speed in 3D — Cadalyst, 2011.0223

    New Hacking Tools Pose Bigger Threats to Wi-Fi Users — New York Times, 2011.0217

    AGC’S Winter 2011 BIMForum, Part 1 — AECbytes, 2011.0217

    Autodesk Agrees to Acquire Blue Ridge Numerics, Inc. — Autodesk Press Release, 2011.0217

    Bing Battles Google by Re-Designing Search — Fast Company, 2011.0217

    Palm Is Dead. Long Live HP's WebOS — PC Magazine, 2011.0210

    Don't Get Lost in CAD-to-BIM Translation — Cadalyst, 2011.0209

    Criss-Crossed Nanowires Can Compute — Nature, 2011.0209

    Bentley Introduces eB Insight — TenLinks, 2011.0208

    'My Docs Online' Desktop App Offers AutoCAD Cloud Collaboration — Cloud News Daily, 2011.0207

    Revit Leads SERA Architects to LEED Gold — Green Building Pro, 2011.0204

    For iPhone, Almost Heaven — New York Times, 2011.0203

    Google Takes Street View into Art Museums — New York Times, 2011.0201

    Advanced Structural Optimization Capabilities of Scia Engineer — AECbytes, 2011.0131

    The Seven Keys to Best Practices for ArchiCAD — AECbytes, 2011.0131

    Autodesk Moves into LEED-Certified Singapore Offices — Earth Times, 2011.0127

    Will BIM Make CAD Irrelevant? — Cadalyst, 2011.0126

    Windows 7 System Restore — Cadalyst, 2011.0126

    Creating a National BIM Standard — Green Building Pro, 2011.0124

    Revit Architecture 2011 Tutorial Videos Offered — Benzinga, 2011.0123

    BIM & LEED - the Engagement — Green Building Pro, 2011.0121

    gbXML - an Open Green Building Schema — Green Building Pro, 2011.0120

    Beyond BIM - It's Not the End of the Road! — AECbytes, 2011.0120

    AutoCAD Civil 3D and Pay Items, Part 2 — Cadalyst, 2011.0120

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