By Luke Carothers

Microdesk operates as a consulting firm for the AECO industry.  They specialize in helping firms utilize a number of key technologies that help design, construction, and operations teams manage workflows from the earliest stages of the project to the operation of the building.  These technologies include building information modeling (BIM), virtual design and construction (VD&C), and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM).  According to George Broadbent, Microdesk’s Vice President of Asset Management, the result of integrating these technologies and improving workflows is a step forward in both preparing for future urbanization and the need for sustainability.

Microdesk’s latest release is a EAM product called Modelstream 2.0. Modelstream 2.0 provides bi-directional synchronization of assets and location data between Autodesk Revit and IBM Maximo. The aim of this product is to save time and resources that would otherwise be spent manually imputing data to create an efficient building model.

The updated version of the product adds several other important features such as asset and component data filters that make it simpler to view, tag, filter, and map. Furthermore, Modelstream 2.0 has more features such as a model administration module, multiple options for viewing models online behind a firewall, and data export tools.

More significantly, perhaps, is the fact that Microdesk has created Modelstream 2.0 to include artificial intelligence.  Modelstream 2.0 utilizes Ask Alex, which is a feature driven by IBM’s Watson.  This means users can engage with the product in a question-based format.  Furthermore, the system is designed to learn based on previous questions from users. This AI understands assets, routes, locations, specifications, as well as both 2D and 3D model data. In this way, building operators can make use of more efficient operational models.  Furthermore, this allows Modelstream 2.0 to gather a number of key data points from a variety of different sources.

This means that a building’s operator can ask the product questions about the building.  This can be as simple as asking what size ladder is needed to perform a maintenance check to asking the system to tell you what systems need attention in the coming months. In other words, the Ask Alex system is able to provide system operators with targeted search results instead of an overwhelming number of options.  Broadbent believes that this friendly chat-bot language makes it easier for people to access the product and make the most use from it.  He believes that this ease-of-access is partially what sets this product apart.

According to Broadbent, the newest version of Modelstream 2.0 solves a few critical issues that lead to a lack of efficiency in operations.  From the first day the building is turned over from the construction team to the operations team, there is a full functioning model that can be utilized by the operations team.

This product is an industry first, and, based on the problems it looks poised to solve, Modelstream 2.0 has the ability to make it a mainstay.


Luke Carothers is the Editor for Civil + Structural Engineer Media. If you want us to cover your project or want to feature your own article, he can be reached at lcarothers@zweiggroup.com.

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