Investments and rising start-ups in the AEC industry

Image source: Investopedia

The AEC industry is complex. It’s made up of many moving parts: clients and owners, designers and engineers, labour and construction, materials and environmental impacts, real estate and assets — the list goes on.

In 2017, McKinsey & Company published a report stating that the construction sector today is worth around $10tn, accounting for approximately 13% of the world’s GDP. Interestingly, the same report highlights a long record of poor productivity in the sector, with a growth increase of only 1% over the last 20 years.

While this seems at odds with rates of development in other industries, it’s true…


We’ve just launched ArchiveHub, our new tool that helps AEC practitioners to archive their project data more easily.

And while we’ve been busy trying to think of new, quicker ways of archiving digitally, we thought it was only fair to take a step back and appreciate the ancient practice of archiving. Not on computers or servers, but in the more traditional sense of paper, books and libraries.

So here we are — our team have put our minds together and made a shortlist (in no particular order) of the world’s most beautiful libraries, for your browsing pleasure.

1. The Old Library and Book of Kells — Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

A long view down The Old Library’s symmetrical central corridor, with tall bookshelves towering on either side.
A long view down The Old Library’s symmetrical central corridor, with tall bookshelves towering on either side.
Image source: Matador

The Old Library…


An overview of the logistical steps we went through to establish our business, from stability to growth

The practicalities of building a start-up: Part 2

This is the second piece discussing the logistical steps involved in setting up a new business, based on my own experience with matterlab.

In the first part, we covered the early steps — basic information and recommendations for getting your business live. In this one, we’ll explore how to establish initial stability and approach growth, and I’ll outline some key tools that helped us to get started delivering projects.

Prepping for growth

We will cover the following topics:

  • Internal communications
  • Getting a CRM that works for you
  • Leveraging your data
  • Marketing and brand: Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Marketing and brand: how to talk about…


Making the complex simple: writing for a technical team

Source: Glenn Carstens-Peters via Unsplash

Good copywriting is important because it makes information accessible to audiences. At matterlab, this is essential because of the nature of our work, which is very technical. If we want people to understand what we do and how we do it, we need to make sure that we are communicating as effectively as we can.

In April 2020, I joined matterlab and this posed a new challenge for me. Programming, computer science, coding, nodes, computational design, generative design — writing for our team means technical writing on topics that are not only niche but new to the world in general.


Superusers in the AEC industry (and how to become one)

Over the past decade, the AEC industry has evolved in the face of digital transformation and the wide adoption of BIM processes. This shift has broadened the range of tools and platforms available and increased the demand for professionals with new skills and a new mindset.

Photo: Robert Bye on Unsplash

There are various ways to describe such people — computational designers, technology specialists, or ‘superusers’ are just a few examples. And while these terms change, this group of people all do one thing in common: they look at the daily struggles in AEC life and find ways of improving them using computational solutions. …


The practicalities of building a start-up: Part 1

I’m David, one of the co-founders of matterlab.

In my career so far, I’ve run two businesses and one thing is clear — it’s not always obvious how you should approach things! Because of that, I thought it might be useful to share some information about what it takes to do it and which tools are useful for getting a new company up and running.

I’m going to break this into two posts: the first will go into how to set up a business from scratch and the practical aspects of new business creation; the second will delve into how…


Part 4: Submitting a pull request

The final step in contributing to Dynamo for Revit is to submit your changes to the DynamoRevit repo by making a pull request (PR).

PRs involve the Dynamo team reviewing your code and making suggestions for improvement (where necessary). This might seem intimidating if you’re doing this for the first time, but it’s nothing to worry about. It’s normal and important part of the process. More than anything, this is an opportunity to improve — the Dynamo team is full of talented people and their standards are high, so look at this as a chance to learn from the best.


Part 3: Testing

In the software development world, there are usually two types of tests for code: a ‘Unit Test’ and an ‘Integration Test’. Unit Tests check small parts of your code (in Dynamo, this would be testing individual nodes) to see if it works correctly and Integration Tests check that your code works inside of the programme it’s built for.

Dynamo has a robust approval process for new code that requires multiple Unit and Integration Tests, performance checks and code reviews; often the code for testing is actually more complex than the code needed for the function of the new node itself…


Part 2: Getting started

In this section, we’ll discuss how to begin your contribution to Dynamo for Revit by ‘forking the repo’.

Forking the repo

The very first thing we need to do is to fork the Dynamo repository. If you’re not sure what this means, it’s essentially when you make your own personal copy of someone else’s repository.

Forks are used to either propose changes to someone else’s project or to use someone else’s project as a starting point for your own idea.
Source: Github

To fork the Dynamo repo, head over to Dyanmo’s Github and open the DynamoRevit repo. …


Part 1: Why contribute?

In this first part of our series, we’re going to start with some context on Dynamo nodes and will explore the benefits of contributing to Dynamo for Revit.

Let’s get started.

Dynamo packages

In Dynamo, a package is a collection of custom nodes that can be used in workflows. There’s no doubt that packages are one of the most important features of Dynamo — they’re super powerful and add a lot of value to the general experience of the platform.

What’s more is that anyone can create them and share them. Dynamo is an open source platform, which means it’s available for…

matterlab

​We create new technologies to empower the people who build the world around us.​ ​matterlab.co

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