AEC Hackathon 1.1 to be Held on March 14-16 in Menlo Park, CA - Challenging the Status Quo of the Architecture, Engineering and Construction Industry

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Following the immense success of the first AEC Hackathon, the same group of committed technologists and AEC professionals will gather on the campus of Facebook in Menlo Park to create new solutions and a new vision for the AEC industry.

AEC Hackathon 1.1 is March 14-16th.

In November of 2013 over 100 tech and AEC pioneers came together for the first AEC Hackathon. It was a fantastic success, and its happening again on March 14-16th.

The first event in November had an overwhelmingly positive response. It demonstrated how the convergence of architecture, construction, building systems, BIM, augmented reality, 3D printing, gaming, mobile, software, etc. is creating new and disruptive technology for the AEC community. New points of view will be explored by ‘outsiders’ like gamers and cloud developers view the AEC industry’s processes, tools, products, and technology with fresh perspectives and ideas.

Whether it’s using tech to solve problems, manage systems, create new possibilities, the AEC industry is famously conservative and tech averse. While the broader economy is in the middle of the most amazing period of human innovation, much of how buildings get designed and built is the same as it was decades ago.

Why is this?

There are a number of reasons; a litigious legal environment, tight bottom lines, a mindset of those leading AEC of ‘if I do not understand it, it cannot be good.’, and operational processes that still rely on paper. Yes, paper.

Many of those who live in the world of weekend hackathons, building companies and products overnight, who understand the power of emerging tech and cloud collaboration are looking at the AEC industry and asking not only ‘Why has it not changed’? But ‘Why not change it?’

So a group that straddles the tech and AEC worlds got together to do just that. After years of seeing good ideas die and projects run over budget and over time, it is high time the AEC industry got hacked.

The idea is to bring the intellectual vitality and ‘of course it can be done’ philosophy of the valley to the sober, mission-critical sensibility of the AEC industry to solve problems, develop innovative solutions in both hardware and software, and most of all, to bring the two worldviews together.

The goal is simple: to change the way the builders build, designers design and managers manage our buildings, our cities, our world. Starting with simple problems; developing new insights, new solutions.

Instead of committees and working groups, AEC Hackathon 1.1 is structured as a traditional hackathon, with teams competing for the best solutions to problems that matter to the AEC industry.

So who should attend? Anyone who is looking to change what they already know is deficient in the AEC industry, enterprises looking to find new opportunities and coders who are looking to apply their craft to a new problem landscape.

Interested programmers, AEC industry professionals and students can sign up at

The teams: There are two main categories of participants – AEC “industry” professionals and Programmers/Developers – teams will likely be a mix of both. The teams may form ahead of time via use of the Facebook or Meetup pages (brainstorming ideas is encouraged) or form organically at the Friday kickoff. Hackers or industry representatives can form a team around their own ideas, however prompts will be provided as a guideline – such as Smart Buildings, Smart Cities, Hack Facebook, Sustainability, Healthy Buildings, etc.

The schedule: Teams will form on Friday’s kickoff. By Saturday, they have brainstormed their ideas for a hack and begin working on the solution. Sunday teams will wrap up and deliver a presentation.

Each day will feature speakers and workshops for the participants to gain insights into how the industries of Architecture/Engineering/Construction and Technology are evolving and converging.

Construction, Design, Facilities Management, Geospatial, BIM, Augmented Reality, the ‘Internet of Things’ and more will be represented in the breakout sessions.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided, as will dinner on Saturday night. Facebook’s facility comes equipped with an open snack and drink bar.

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Damon Hernandez
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