Sustainability in infrastructural design is a prime concern in people's minds across the world and this trend has caught up to India as well. There is a strong emphasis on cost-savings and energy efficiency. Considering that a large number of infrastructure projects are slated to crop up in the country in the coming years, Autodesk's exclusive software product line will come in more than handy, said Mr. Terry D. Bennett, Senior Industry Manager, Civil Engineering & Construction Autodesk Inc, in an interaction with S K Khanna and S D Khan.
Mr. Bennett, who was in India recently to gauge how the country is approaching infrastructure and design and how relevant would Autodesk's products be in this process, stated, "I am responsible for the global industry strategy and a major aspect of this role is to enable people in improving their businesses through technology. Now, we know that sustainability is a prime concern in people's minds across the world. Well, this trend has caught up to India as well and there is a strong emphasis on cost-savings and energy efficiency."
Autodesk, the leading name in 3D Design, entertainment and engineering software, is upbeat about the growing receptivity of its Building Information Modeling (BIM) platform in India. Last year, the company had launched the 2012 Suites portfolio for Infrastructure and Building Design in the country as a part of its BIM portfolio. Notably, the updated portfolio is aimed at assisting architects, engineers, planners, contractors, facility managers, and owners in the building and infrastructure industries to meet current business challenges.
According to Mr. Bennett, with the new set of tools from Autodesk, users can actually design, visualise, simulate and document the various stages of a project. The new Autodesk Building Design Suite and Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite provide the latest design and visualization tools thereby enabling cost-effectiveness and economies of scale, he said.
Importantly, the other aspect which is fuelling the need for specialised software tools is the fact that engineering services are becoming highly commoditised in India and a service provider like an architect, developer or an engineer needs to differentiate himself from others. "Through the help of BIM, engineering and construction companies can better serve their clients and this will distinguish them from the lot."
Autodesk's software systems have been successfully deployed on important national and state projects executed by leading construction companies. Autodesk's clientele comprises renowned names such as Larsen & Toubro, DLF, Tata Motors and some notable projects where the company's design tools have been used include the Monorail Project in Mumbai and DIAL in New Delhi. Besides this, the multiple airport projects are also in progress where Autodesk's software are in use, informed Mr. Bennett.
Autodesk's emphasis on training and education is highlighted from the fact that it has signed an MoU with the AICTE and Ministry of Education, Government of India. "Students and faculty members at engineering colleges can download our software from the AICTE portal. We educated more than 1.2 million graduates across the world and our channel partners have played a major role in that," he added.
This does seem to augur well as India has begun to witness mass urbanisation and infrastructure development. And it will be a boon if there is an abundance of young talent which is equipped with all the acumen and skills to conceptualise and design sustainable infrastructure. For instance, metropolitans like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have witnessed a population burst over the decade and a considerable chunk of the rural-folk have made these cities their homes in a quest for a better livelihood. Even tier-II cities are becoming highly favourable for migrant workforce. But this does have a long-lasting impact on the land and natural resources. Perhaps, in the coming years, new industrial hubs with sustainable and planned infrastructure will crop up in India. It might also be possible that existing urban areas are cleared of the clutter and made sustainable with planned infrastructure. BIM will play a major role if these propositions are to materialise.
"First of all one has got to figure out modalities for making all the relevant information of a particular city on a particular platform. Then, there can be a 3D model of every city which will enable in-depth analysis of infrastructure and design. What one has got to see is whether a similar model can be replicated or not? In India, cost is a major concern. Secondly, one also has to factor in robust population. Design and development should factor in these aspects," explained Mr. Bennett.
Summing up the discussion Mr. Bennett stated that Autodesk's strategy is well defined in view of emerging market potential in software systems in India. Its BIM solutions have already revolutionised Indian infrastructure and with the advent of 2012 AEC suites portfolio, more sustainability is in the offing. What's more the company is willing to go that extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction across all sectors with the country's ongoing focus on infrastructure development and its sustainability.