SmithGroup has unveiled renderings for the first academic building that will be part of Virginia Tech's four-acre Innovation Campus in Alexandria, Va. Slated to open in 2024, the 300,000-square-foot building will feature classrooms, offices, maker spaces, labs, and research space for graduate-level programs in computer science and computer engineering, as well as some other programs. According to a press release, SmithGroup opted for the unique geometric form to maximize sunlight for solar power, which will be captured by photovoltaics embedded in the glass façade as well as rooftop panels. Plans for the new campus—which helped the state successfully attract Amazon to the region—feature some nine buildings in the new North Potomac Yard neighborhood, which JBG Smith is developing for Amazon's HQ2. “We are proud to be working with Virginia Tech on this transformational new campus, which will change the face of computer science and redefine the role of the land-grant university for the 21st century,” said SmithGroup vice president David Johnson in the same release. “The university’s goal is to re-center computer engineering in a humanist context, and we brought to life an inclusive setting that will help accelerate knowledge creation and solutions at the intersection of humanity and technology.” [SmithGroup]

Exton, Pa.–based AEC software company Bentley Systems has waived subscription fees for its ProjectWise 365 infrastructure project cloud service through Sept. 30 to serve users who are working remotely. "The enterprises using ProjectWise Design Integration for work sharing ... have been telling us that they credit ProjectWise for sustaining their project productivity over the forced transition to work from home,” said Bentley vice president Dustin Parkman in a press release. “By fully ‘digitally’ enabling every infrastructure professional, we hope to support their resilience in surmounting this crisis.” [Bentley Systems]


Residents of Christiansburg, Va., are taking advantage of Alphabet's pilot drone delivery system Wing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is now delivering essentials such as toilet paper, baby food, and coffee at reduced rates according to a Wing spokesperson. The drone delivery service also has pilot programs in Helsinki and two Australian cities. [Forbes]

More than 30 businesses and organizations organized by the International Code Council expressed their support for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposal to recognize updated codes and standards. [ARCHITECT]

AEC software provider Autodesk announced a partnership with Aurigo Software, a project portfolio management cloud software company based in Austin, Texas, to offer users a "end-to-end technology platform for design, planning, construction and operations of infrastructure and private assets." “Autodesk and Aurigo share the same confidence in the resiliency of the construction industry and our optimism for a full recovery,” said Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost in a press release. “When the industry gets back to building again, infrastructure asset owners and private developers will have in their toolboxes the most sophisticated, integrated platform to meet their design, procurement, construction and operating needs.” As part of the partnership, Autodesk has retained a minority stake in Aurigo. [Autodesk]

University of California, Irvine

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine have developed a carbon nanostructure that is stronger than diamonds. Achieved via a complex 3D laser printing process, the carbon material is stronger than scientists ever thought possible from such a porous component. The team speculates that the plate-nanolattices might be beneficial for structural engineers and for spacecraft construction. [University of California, Irvine]