Autodesk Australia announces the release of several new apps created for the architecture, engineering and construction industries.

The company’s new Autodesk BIM 360 Layout app uses the BIM 360 cloud service to provide general contractors and MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) contractors the ability to connect Building Information Modelling (BIM) to the construction layout process.

The new BIM 360 Layout app connects a digital model with the physical world by controlling a robotic instrument from Autodesk’s strategic partner Topcon Corp. With a direct connection to the Topcon LN-100 robotic instrument via Wi-Fi, the field user is guided to physical locations on the job-site based on points created in the 3D model that are represented in the BIM 360 Layout app.

Jim Lynch, vice president, Building & Collaboration Products, Autodesk comments that their expanding mobile and cloud portfolio for construction includes tools such as BIM 360 Layout, which helps their customers bring constructability to life by managing data across multiple platforms and formats, and increased productivity with fewer errors by helping to streamline the touch points that allow for higher levels of project collaboration.

Autodesk BIM 360 Layout helps improve field accuracy and productivity by replacing error-prone manual layout techniques with laser-guided precision. The BIM 360 Layout app has already been field tested by several customers including DPR, Mortenson and PCL Construction.

Autodesk has also unveiled several new applications on Autodesk Labs to simplify sustainable design. Emma Stewart, head of Sustainability Solutions, Autodesk explains that tighter integration of building performance analysis and cost-benefit calculations within the design environment allows project teams to make better decisions when it matters most.

Three new apps help building and infrastructure project teams cost-justify sustainability strategies, and include Energy Cost Range (ECR), a single, simple indicator of a project’s overall potential energy use range, including comparison to the Architecture 2030 benchmark, and the key factors that influence it; Project ECMFin, a technology preview that allows users to conduct financial analyses on desired energy conservation measures (or ECMs); and AutoTBL, a new app that automates triple bottom line cost-benefit analyses for low-impact storm water strategies inside AutoCAD Civil 3D and Autodesk InfraWorks 360.

Two new apps bring tighter integration between Building Performance Analysis (BPA) and BIM workflows for Autodesk Revit and Autodesk FormIt users, and include Solar Analysis plugin for Revit, an app that calculates solar exposure on surfaces using the specific annual hourly climate data from Autodesk’s Climate Server, which pulls in data from weather stations around the world; and EnergyPlus Cloud Service, which is based on initial Autodesk internal testing, and can process EnergyPlus models 5x-10x faster than desktop processing.

The Autodesk BIM 360 Layout app is available for download on the Apple App Store and requires a subscription to the BIM 360 web service. Autodesk’s new building performance analysis tools and apps are available on Autodesk Labs online.