The New Autodesk Construction Solution That’s “Automagical”

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There’s one thing you can say about the construction industry over the past few years: it has been resilient. In spite of all that has happened to workers, projects and protocols, and perhaps partly because of it, many construction companies and contractors are seeing the reasons why they need to embrace digital platforms more aggressively.

This willingness to adopt new technology – including Autodesk products – has changed the way we look at the construction industry. It’s been said many times that the construction industry is resistant to technology, but it turns out companies are more willing to adopt new technologies than was believed.

Image: Autodesk

The industry is reinventing the way things are done, and construction companies deserve a lot of credit. In episode 137 of Bridging the Gap Podcast, Sameer Merchant of Autodesk said, “For our industry to reinvent itself in a span of months . . . that’s a massive paradigm shift.” It’s a credit to the creative problem solvers in the industry.

Nothing changes without a little pain. Merchant mentioned, “The tech has not been built to operate the way the industry wants to operate.” Yet, companies are pushing through implementation challenges, and in the long run, the industry will be better served by increased efficiencies and higher profit margins.

Merchant talked about the latest developments at Autodesk and what’s expected in the near future. One of the new products is Autodesk Bridge, technology that allows companies with multiple projects on the Unified Platform/Autodesk Construction Cloud to share information between them.


Learn more about Autodesk Construction Cloud in the free Applied Software eBook: The Importance of a Common Data Environment.


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

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

bird's-eye view of roof of a city building under construction
Image: Autodesk

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

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

Construction companies are shifting and adapting. Merchant’s forecast for the next ten years is that industrialized construction will become more mainstream. Companies will increasingly use augmented reality and virtual reality. In preconstruction, project planning and estimating will be more effective using Autodesk products. In addition, tedious manual tasks are expected to become more accurate and intelligent through machine learning. Merchant also envisions continued convergence of construction and manufacturing, with big opportunities in offsite construction.

Project communication and exchange of information are continually improving. The most profitable projects involve everyone working from the most current information. Autodesk Bridge promises to help make that easier.