AEC Hackathon - Taking the Architecture, Engineering,& Construction Industry into a new future


November 8-10, 2013 was the very first AEC Hacktahon held at Facebook's Menlo Park campus.

A first for the Architecture, Engineering, Construction Industry, the AEC Hackathon is a non-profit event that creates on-the-spot teams of technologists and industry stakeholders to shape the future of our built environment.

My goal of the event was to help the Architecture, Engineering, & Construction Industry go 'Tony Stark' for a weekend and the attendees of the event did just that. For my motives and thoughts pre-hackathon, see these earlier posts titled AEC Hackathon – Where Techies and Builders Change the World and Hacking a Building a Techies way. The event turned out better than I could have ever hoped for.

The 130+ people that attended came from all over the U.S. and represented firms of all sizes with a few coming from as far as Asia and Europe. I was blown away by the caliber of attendee, tech gadgets (Oculus Rifts, 3D printers, scanners, Google Glass), the amount of collaboration between groups, and what was accomplished in just a weekend. This video courtesy of McGraw Hill ENR construction news shows some of the awesomeness from the event.



I highly recommend the videos of the speaker presentations at the AEC Hackathon Youtube Channel and the hacker team presentations can be seen in the video below. Team aeChack posted their project on Github here that is a free, online and open source platform for running and visualizing environmental analysis using daylighting and energy analysis engines. A great web3D example that utilizes the power of WebGL and the three.js Javascript library.



The attendees, a.k.a. AEC Pirates, made it an event like no other and something happened that weekend that is so desperately needed for the industry. I can't possibly capture in a post the passion, excitement, and energy that surrounded the event. Already it has kicked off ideas for other AEC related hackathons including a BIM hackathon that will take place at Autodesk University.

The next official AEC Hackathon will take place March 14-16 and stay tuned to the event's website and Twitter page for more details as they are announced. In addition to the event here in California, there are AEC Hackathons planned throughout the year for the East Coast and in other countries. I am happy to see this simple idea grow into reality and become a community of do'ers that are improving the tools and processes of how we build our environment and future. Hope to see you at the next one.






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