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Monday, October 12, 2009

A blank piece of paper to a BIM Model

Sorry I haven't been posting so much the past 2 weeks.  Been busy with a bunch of meetings and some traveling and a slight detour with the Autodesk See The Difference Tour (to which I dare not say anything about for the moment).  i thought I'd take a moment and share a story with you from last week.

I went to visit one of my favorite clients in Tampa, FL, a company called Long &  Associates.  I stopped by to see the owner, Harry Long.  Harry is a structural engineer who's firm uses Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and Revit MEP all in house for about 3 years.  Although a colleague and I stopped by just to say hello, Harry spent a good hour and a half with us discussing Revit, BIM, contractors and we discussed his firm's adoption of Revit. They've completed $100 million of constructed projects from their work in Revit.

The drawings were spectacular and 100% done in Revit.  During our time together, Harry did something that struck me as very profound.  As we were looking through the drawings, he took the entire set of drawings and turned them face down.  He then said "Gregory, you see this, this is what we start with."  I looked at him a little bit puzzled and he said, "this is what we start with, a blank piece of paper."

So, to all of you who start with a blank piece of paper and create a complete BIM model, and then an actual building, this post is in honor of your hard work and talent.  My time with Harry Long was very humbling.  It's one thing to sell lots of Revit or write lots of blog posts about it.  It's quite another thing to actually see our customers use it and use it successfully with completed projects.  It just makes it so much more real to know it all started with a blank piece of paper.  Because Harry's firm does all of their architectural and engineering together, he's able to take advantage of all three Revit products without the usual hassle of outside consultants using plain CAD.

My other favorite part of our visit to Long & Associates and I wish I had a photo of it.  In the lobby, there's a glass case.  In it are several archifacts.  There was a Leroy lettering set, slide rule, book on computer programming and my favorite, an electric eraser.  I'm going to ask Harry to send me a photo of it and then ask him to put a box of Revit in their as well to show just how far they've come.

Time to go as this post reminds me that I need to put together a proposal of estimating and structural detailing software for Harry as he wants to move his firm into some new specialties. 

In his office, he happened to have a set of CDs for a school he's


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