By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) – Autodesk Inc (O:) on Tuesday said it acquired Spacemaker, a Norwegian firm whose software is used by architects to create and evaluate buildings or urban developments, for $240 million.
San Rafael, California-based Autodesk is a major supplier of the three-dimensional design software that architects use to create structures. Oslo-based Spacemaker’s software pulls in data about a potential building site such as the surrounding terrain, weather patterns, traffic patterns and information about zoning rules and then uses artificial intelligence to generate a range of options for how architects can get the most out of the space.
In an interview, Andrew Anagnost, chief executive of Autodesk, said what drew the company to Spacemaker was the use of artificial intelligence “to help maximize the return for all the stakeholders in the process” of an urban development.
The software can be used to try to maximize the return on investment for developers while also meeting other goals, such as giving future tenants the best possible natural lighting or views in a given landscape or minimizing additional traffic congestion generated by a project.
“You can actually put all of these constraints into the system and dial in which one you want the most attention for,” Anagnost said.
Spacemaker is Autodesk’s thirteenth acquisition of a technology startup in the architecture, engineering and construction industries since 2017. The company’s last three acquisitions have totaled more than $1.1 billion.
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