VIATechnik Wins in 2 Categories at AEC Hackathon

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This past weekend, two members of the VIATechnik team participated in the AEC Hackathon in Chicago, hosted by local AEC technology media company, BuiltWorlds. Both team members won in their designated categories: “Best Idea that Enhances Existing Software” and “Best Product that Solves a Big AEC Problem.”

Winner #1: “Best Idea that Enhances Existing Software”


Flora Liu joined the team ClashAna with Wolfram Rong, a experienced developer from Chicago, who won the “Best Idea that Enhances Existing Software” category for their application.

Due to the insufficient collaboration of trades in the BIM coordination process for resolving and assigning clashes, ClashAna was developed to facilitate the management and scheduling of the numerous amounts of clashes between trades. It integrates Navisworks clash detection into Asana to automatically assign tasks with due dates to trades/subcontractors. Trades will have the opportunity to interact (assign/reassign, manage due dates, post message updates/status) within the specific clash task.

The application is intended to bridge Navisworks and Asana together in order to greatly reduce email loops and repetitive work, as well as increase communication efficiency between different parties. Additionally, the application is designed to be a convenient tool for managers to track coordination progress.

There is potential to use the application during our work flow and more possibilities to explore, such as the ability to attach viewpoints into different tasks, which enables trades to import them back into Navisworks or automatically update the status of tasks with new XML file.

Winner #2: “Best Solution for a a Big AEC Problem”



Jesse Huynh joined a team with Stephen Pierz of Caterpillar, Inc. and Chris Carr of Audacious Software to create a product called “InSite,” which is a dynamic site logistics application that utilizes geotagging to map out real time information and activities on a construction site through GPS systems.This app won the “Best Solution for a Big AEC Problem” category.  The judges were inspired by InSite’s holistic approach to solving the problem of waste and productivity loss on a jobsite.

GPS-based applications, such as Waze and Pokemon Go, acted as creative inspiration for the product. The aim of the application was to create an intuitive and straight-forward platform for construction communication.


Initially, the first issue that the team aimed to address was the issue of waste on construction sites. After discussing further, the team investigated the concept of waste and what kinds of waste are  produced on a construction site. Beyond a materials standpoint, other types of waste are also produced: wasted time, and wasted money through inefficiencies. The team ultimately determined that the driving factor behind many types of waste is ineffective communication.

With the idea of improving communication on a jobsite in mind, the team’s goal was to develop a platform that allows superintendents to map out their plans for a construction site and share it with all the construction workers without physically writing everything down on paper. The current construction industry utilizes static documents in the form of large prints and emails for communicating logistical information. By putting all the information in the form of a mobile application, the team hoped to create a platform that could be dynamic and fully account for all the daily and hourly changes on a project in real time. Through such an application, communication and waste in terms of material, time, and productivity is minimized.

The team hopes to push the application further by integrating it into different technologies and infrastructures, such as construction equipment that self-reports issues onto the application immediately once it detects maintenance issues or reports construction activities onto navigation apps, such as Waze, to minimize traffic occurrence around job sites.


About the AEC Hackathon

AEC Hackathon is an intense event created for the AEC industry to participate with other professionals and collaborate using cutting edge technology. At the event, teams form to address problems expressed by AEC professionals or in specific hack categories. Hackathons have been prevalent since the 1990s in order for Tech Developers, UI/UX Developers, and AEC professionals to identify issues and create software solutions, usually within a single weekend. In addition to being exposed to new technologies and solving problems, the event also offers the opportunity for various experts to help the industry within a safe environment, where winners are awarded with cash or software prizes.




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