Company introduces cloud-based document management software

Autodesk used its conference to debut a cloud-based program that it said would revolutionize the use and management of construction plans.

BIM 360 Docs, which was developed under the code name “Project Alexandria,” creates a virtual office to make and modify building information modeling project documents and models in two or three dimensions.

Amar Hanspal, a senior vice president of products at Autodesk, said it is data management in “the cloud,” referring to the worldwide network of on-demand, off-site servers used to access all sorts of media and information.

Autodesk views cloud-based computing perhaps differently than other companies, he said.

“The cloud is our platform,” Hanspal said. “We don’t see it as something we connect to.”

Officials said BIM 360 Docs attempts to cut down on the 25 percent of construction that is rework and the 10 percent of materials that are wasted on every project, according to a 2013 report commissioned by Autodesk.

Most projects today use a variety of document management programs, making things confusing and inefficient, Autodesk said. BIM 360 Docs replaces them all.

“Autodesk is delivering a new world order for construction management,” Hanspal said. “A comprehensive solution is long overdue, and the delay has cost the construction trades too much money and too much time. Autodesk saw the challenge, owns the expertise, and is delivering a powerful step forward for the industry.”

Features of the program include linked 2-D and 3-D images, and organizing of original and updated construction documents into customizable sets.

Jason Reece of Balfour Beatty Construction, which was involved in the program’s development, said BIM 360 Docs offers several improvements.

“Document management has historically posed a significant challenge for much of the construction industry, yet many still rely on a cobbled-together web of one-off solutions, which isn’t really a solution at all,” said Reece. “We’ve collaborated with Autodesk throughout the development process and based on what we’ve seen so far, BIM 360 Docs is on the right track to offering the industry an integrated technology solution for this generations-old problem.”

The new software was showcased along with other Autodesk construction-related programs on the “BIM City” section of its trade show floor.

Autodesk is offering reservations for a limited release and free preview of the software at It is expected to be widely released this year.