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beyondAEC 2017

The inaugural beyondAEC hackathon for the Greater Boston architecture, engineering, construction, and real estate development community was held on September 15-16, 2017 at Sasaki Associates. The competition consisted of a 24-hour window where teams of up to five created never-before-seen technological solutions to challenges regularly encountered in the industry. It was an inspiration to see such a strong turnout of technology enthusiasts from the local community as well as a handful of participants from New York City, Washington DC, Phoenix, and elsewhere. Based on project topics, conversations, and final presentations, it was evident that technological innovation is a primary focus of the industry today. In the end, 10 intriguing projects were presented to a panel of judges and winners were chosen for three categories.


  • 43 registrants
  • 10 project teams
  • more than 25% women
  • 21 different companies
  • 7 college students (AEC and computer science)


  • architecture
  • landscape architecture
  • construction
  • mechanical & structural engineering
  • technology & architecture consulting
  • computer science
  • software
  • fabrication


For a list of project ideas leading up to the hackathon, check out this Discussion Page.

Read through the final projects posted by teams on the Submissions Page.

Full project presentation slides and associated demo documents can be found here.


Most Impressive Use of Technology

Solar Sculptor: Using digital sketching to create solar shading devices in landscapes

Santiago Garay
Leland Jobson
Cortney Kirk
Chris Mackey

Cortney Kirk & Leland Jobson (Not pictured: Chris Mackey & Santiago Garay)

Cortney Kirk & Leland Jobson
(Not pictured: Chris Mackey & Santiago Garay)


Most Practical

DynaFire: Hacking Dynamo to provide hot-key shortcuts for nodes

Suzanne Becker
Eric Rudisaile
Nick Smith
Sarah Wessel

Eric Rudisaile, Nick Smith, Suzanne Becker, Sarah Wessel

Eric Rudisaile, Nick Smith, Suzanne Becker, Sarah Wessel

Jacob Small, Matt Mason, Ian Hester, Nathaniel MacDonald, Carlos Guzman

Jacob Small, Matt Mason, Ian Hester, Nathaniel MacDonald, Carlos Guzman

Best Cross-Discipline Hack

Life Safety Lifesavers: Automating code compliance checks in Revit

Carlos Guzman
Ian Hester
Nathaniel MacDonald
Matt Mason
Jacob Small


Honorable Mention

Predictive Modeling: Using the power of deep learning to autocomplete modeling tasks  

Timon Hazell
Pavel Savine



see all event images HERE


beyondaec WAS made possible by the following Sponsors

White Hat



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Ken Goulding

Director of Sasaki Strategies
Sasaki Associates

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Bradley Horst

Chief Information Officer

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John Tocci

Chief Enabling Officer
Tocci Building Co.

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David Kessler

Technology Investor
& Entrepreneur


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Andrew Brown

Project Engineer
Tocci Building Co.

With a background on all sides of construction projects in both  New York City and Boston, Andrew will be the first to tell you there is room for construction and development to be more efficient. Through his role as a Project Engineer, he is a major conductor of the workflow process during construction to help bring project success.


Sebastian Ebarb

Design Director
City of Boston

Design to move people to action. Sebastian is an interdisciplinary designer and typographer striving to find better ways to help society through good design.


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Jim Martin

Chief Information Officer
Shepley Bulfinch

Drawing on over 20 years of Information Technology experience, Jim leads the development of strategies for technology tools that support and advance design, delivery, and collaboration. He has been particularly successful at creating an innovation center inside of Shepley Bulfinch’s IT department, focusing on new technologies and how they affect the design process. Jim is a Six Sigma Green Belt and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Roger Williams University.

Kyle Martin

VDC Specialist
Tocci Building Co.

As a Virtual Design & Construction Specialist, Kyle focuses on digital model coordination and visualization. He is a strong proponent of visual programming and consistently develops tools for improved design intent translation, cost engineering, and process optimization. Kyle is also an adjunct instructor of advanced AEC technology at the Boston Architectural College and founder of the Dynamo-litia Boston user group.


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Brad Prestbo

Senior Associate
Sasaki Associates

Brad is an architect with over twenty years of experience. A problem-solver with great technical skill, he is chair of Sasaki's Technical Resource Group, and shares his knowledge of design and detailing with the rest of firm to promote better practices in architecture. Brad co-founded the Boston Society of Architect's MakeTANK Committee and frequently participates as a design critic at area colleges and universities, and lectures on detailing and bringing maker culture back into the design process.

Reilly Zlab

Interim Chief Digital Officer
City of Boston

Reilly manages a small, agile team that builds digital experiences designed around the needs of Bostonians. Reilly has a background in communications, product management, user centered design, and fundraising -- most recently putting those skills to work for the Brookline Community Foundation, Boston Rescue Mission, and other foundations and universities in Massachusetts and Iowa. She holds an M.A. in Communications Management/Human Resources from Emerson College and a B.A. in Business Communications / Public Relations from the University of Northern Iowa.