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Monday, March 30, 2009

Rafter+FF for Revit® Architecture® 2010 demo - Tools4Revit.com

I'm amazed at the number of firms who have contacted our company for information about Tools 4 Revit.
It's a plugin for Revit Structure and Revit Architecture that designs roof truss systems. It's unbelievable in what it does and the price can't be beat. It can literally pay for itself in one day. Contact me for pricing.


Click here to view Rafter+FF for
Revit® Architecture® 2010 demo
Read more...

Real Life LEED: The BIG Review: LEED 2009 Reference Guides Released

NOTE - This is the longest post in Real Life LEED history. You may groan at the thought of reading the text below, but I assure you it's a much quicker way to get up to speed with the changes in the new LEED 2009 systems then reading through the new reference guide as I did. Man up, read the following, and sound smart around your colleagues.

For those that aren't aware, the LEED 2009 reference guides are now available for purchase online. There is also an expanded page on LEED 2009 info that features some new date information. The most important fact is that LEED 2009 registrations go live on April 27th, though you won't be required to register under the new version until June 27th, which is two months earlier than previously announced. Current v2 projects can voluntarily opt into the new v3 system from the April launch until October 24th. Here is an updated schedule direct from the USGBC:

LEED 2009 Updated Launch Schedule

You'll really want to study up about all this. Lots of information.
Real Life LEED: The BIG Review: LEED 2009 Reference Guides Released
Read more...

Revit 2010 Tutorial- Make Form - Direct Manipulation | Design Reform

Revit 2010 Tutorial- Make Form - Direct Manipulation | Design Reform: "Software : Revit Architecture 2010

Click here to see the video

Description :In this Revit Architecture 2010 video you learn a bit about the direct manipulation tools in the new conceptual mass environment. We will also look at adding parameters and the new ways you can interact with them.

Topics Covered:

* Make Form Button
* Direct Manipulation
* Setting work planes
* Adding parameters"

Thanks to The Revit Kid for blogging about this first
http://therevitkid.blogspot.com/2009/03/another-revit-2010-video.html
Read more...

Architecture in Recession: China - BusinessWeek

It's not just us in the US. Don't know if that's good or bad...

Architecture in Recession: China - BusinessWeek: "Architecture in Recession: China
The economic crisis has architects hurting around the world. This series reports on the global state of design. Here, a look at constructive goings-on in China

By Alex Pasternack"

Click here to read the article
Read more...

Another one of those slow sales days and a few words about Revit

As I get deeper and deeper into BIM, I've discovered many things. One of them is that some of my previous blog posts that compare AutoCAD to Revit, apparently aren't specifically about AutoCAD, but more about process, workflow, design process, coordination and construction. If you forgive me for not singing the praises of AutoCAD, I'll acknowledge that you've done the best you can with the tools you had available to you.

That was then and this is now. I had several conversations today that really make what we've done at CADD Centers really worthwhile. I talked to the BIM Training Manager at a national firm. Depressing because after two years they are completely self sufficient and don't need a reseller for Revit essentials training. We do have some opportunties to work with them on Revit LEED training, but I guess it's reasonable to assume that since they've adopted Revit so easily, they've got a great handle on the product. It is nice to talk to people about these success stories.

I spoke to the Chief Operations Officer of a national architecture firm. Our conversation blew me away because of her depth of knowledge and embracement of Revit. Top management required 50% project adoption of Revit in the first year and I quote her "no whining or complaining" about the switch. I did tell her to visit BIMcycle.com to at least get her a little more information about some of the peripheral products we offer. They're promoting Revit, BIM, LEED and IPD. How can a 2D firm compete with that in a bid?

I spoke to an Assistant County Manager today about a potential project and how BIM and IPD could make a difference for their government projects. Now he wants more information from me so he can have a discussion with a few of their departments. Oops, another educated project owners emerges.

I had a conversation with a national General Contractor BIM Manager. We discussed their writing new bid and subcontractor agreements requiring Revit shop drawings. Now we get into BIM for Contractors. It's totally differenent than BIM for Architecture and this is my favorite part of BIM. We discussed the AIA IPD contract documents and the Consensus Docs. 4D, 5D and 6D for everyone!

I spoke to the BIM Coordinator of a Florida General Contractor who we trained on Revit Architecture and Revit Structure. They're modeling all projects in Revit for owner presentations and clash detection for preconstruction. I sent him some Integrated Project Delivery documents as they now want to share that with owners and have the entire team work with Revit and BIM. He told me how the owner of the firm asks him to rotate the model, show different camera shots and create renderings that they can use for owner presentations. I remember our first lunch together a year ago. He said "Greg, I think Revit and BIM are great, but how are they going to make me money?" Well, the answer is, winning more projects because showing the owner a 3D model of the building gives them the confidence that the GC knows what he's doing. Converting 2D to 3D and finding clash issues shortens the construction schedule.

Lastly, I had the conversation that started my idea for writing this post in the first place. I had the most amazing conversation with the Director of Production for an 80 person engineering firm who's been using Revit since Release 1.0 in 2005. What are the chances of talking to a person like this? 100% if you're a national distributor of Tools4Revit.com with their amazing Truss + program, which we are. Anyway, I don't want to divulge the entire conversation because of what they're doing with Revit Structure, but he did say that they've gained 20 to 30% in productivity with Revit Structure over AutoCAD. He said it was hard for many to learn Revit because the didn't forget their AutoCAD methodologies so easily. He said the happiest person in his company right now with Revit was the Chief Financial Officer. He loves the productivity increases, higher quality of Construction Documents and that they can get 30% more work now without having to hire any additional designers or drafters. They've maintained the same ratio of drafters to engineers and have redeployed, retrained and made changes to their personnel resources that have really worked out nicely for them.

I wonder what Tuesday will bring..... Read more...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Revit 2010 64 bit versions

Did I ever tell you that the 2010 product line comes with 32 and 64 bit versions.

You no longer have to be on subscription to get the 64 bit version.

Of course, with the new pricing policy next year, you'll want to be on subscription anyhow, but I just thought you'd like to know.

Then again, unless you're on subscription, you probably won't be getting 2010 anyhow.

The good news is, you won't have to download it. Yeah, that's what I wanted you to know.
I hope you have a DVD player in your computer. You'd be surprised how many people still don't. Read more...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Revit 2010 Release Date Update

I have absolutely nothing new to tell you. Autodesk did not release the upcoming ship dates this week.

That being said, I'll get my next update Friday 4/3 and I should know then what specific date in the following two weeks the software ships.

It's going to be within the 4/6 to 4/17 range. I'm trying to have my inside sources at Autodesk divulge the actual date because Revit users deserve to know.

I'll keep you posted... Read more...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

BIM Manager: Undocumented Features of Revit 2010

A great Revit 2010 post from David Kingham
http://bimmanager.blogspot.com/2009/03/undocumented-features-of-revit-2010.html - Dave, thanks for referencing my blog posts in your post.

By now you have all seen the new features (go here if you haven't) Instead of re-hashing that I'm going to run through some of the lesser known or undocumented features.

The GOOD

Performance has been improved over 2009, in my testing it is the fastest version yet (seat of the pants testing), but most people are reporting it's about the same speed as 2008 was (which is good!)

You can now add the current revision to your drawing list.

In a worksetted file you can discard your changes AND relinquish at the same time, before you had to just close out, don't relinquish, re-open and then relinquish.

Instance Properties dialog is now re-sizeable.

In print setup you can now have halftone print as thin lines (there is a checkbox under options)

You're now able to create filters for sections, elevations and callouts. So for example you could turn off interior elevations by creating a new filter with the elevation category and filter by family and type of interior elevations, add the filter to your view and turn the filter off.

Keyboard shortcuts were added for the following: Gray inactive worksets, each dimensions type (aligned, linear, angular, radial, arc length) Extend is now it's own tool so you can create a shortcut for this as well. ALL of the items in the view control bar now can have shortcuts (except for the scales of course) Borrow and return license

External tools can have shortcuts too, this is what it looks like in the keyboardshortcuts file:

; Add-Ins
"NW" ribbon:"Add_Ins-External-External Tools-Navisworks 2010"

...continue reading...http://bimmanager.blogspot.com/2009/03/undocumented-features-of-revit-2010.html

Read more...

USGBC LEED Exam Retirement Date and FAQ (you have until 6/30/09 to take the test)

For all of you studying to take the LEED exam by the 31st, here's a little something for you.
You only have to register with the USGBC by March 31st. You have to take the actual exam before June 30, 2009. You won't have a second chance to retake the test if you fail, but you do have extra time.

If you were thinking about taking the test before the requirements and test changes, here's your chance to sign up for it and you have 3 months to take it.

Here's a link for the new requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When will the current LEED AP exam tracks be retired?
A: In order to maintain alignment with the new LEED 2009 Rating System, the last date that candidates will be able to register for the current LEED for Commercial Interiors 2.0 and LEED for New Construction 2.2 Accredited Professional (LEED AP) exams will be March 31, 2009 (11:59 PM, Pacific Time). Candidates are not required to schedule an exam appointment with Prometric before this deadline. New registrations will not be accepted by GBCI after March 31, 2009. Candidates who register before the registration deadline will have one chance to schedule and take the exam before the track’s Retirement Date. Candidates who test and fail after the registration deadline will not be allowed to retest. No exceptions are made.

GBCI strongly recommends that candidates register as early as possible due to anticipated high website traffic in the days before the deadline. Candidates who are not able to register by March 31, 2009, will not be able to test in these tracks and must wait for the launch of the new LEED AP+ exams.

The retirement date for the LEED NC 2.2 and LEED CI 2.0 AP exams is June 30, 2009 (11:59 PM, Pacific Time). Candidates must test by this day. No exceptions will be made.

All testing for the LEED for Existing Buildings 2.0 Accredited Professional (LEED AP) credentialing exam ended on December 31, 2008. Candidates can no longer test in this track. No exceptions are made.

For more information on Registration Deadlines and Retirement Dates, please see the Glossary.

Q: Can I schedule two exams after the registration deadline?

A: You are only permitted to take an exam once per exam registration and you cannot have more than one active exam registration (per exam track) at a time. Therefore, you cannot schedule more than one exam per exam track at a time.

In the event of a failed exam, candidates must wait until their score has been posted to the GBCI website in order to register for another exam.

As the registration deadline is March 31st, candidates who test and fail after March 31st will not be allowed to retest on the current version. No exceptions will be made.

Q: Should I test under the current LEED AP system or the new tiered system?
A: Whether you take the current LEED AP exam(s) or test under the new tiered system is a decision to be made by you, the candidate, based on your individual situation. To help you make this decision, we recommend you ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Under the new tiered system, into which tier (LEED Green Associate, LEED AP+) would my experience place me? Would I be better suited to take the LEED Green Associate exam? (See FAQs for GBCI's New Tiered Credentialing System for more information on the new tiers of LEED Credentials.)
  2. What is my study timeline? How much time will I need to fully prepare for the test, including gaining practical experience?
  3. Am I working on a project that will be registered under LEED 2009? Will it be beneficial to my professional development to study LEED 2009 or to study one of the current LEED Rating Systems?
Read more...

Autodesk 2007 Retirement Promotion Pricing FAQ

For a limited time Autodesk will provide discounted pricing on upgrades, crossgrades, and retroactive Subscription fees from 2007, 2008, and 2009 products. The Autodesk Upgrade and Retirement Program promotion is a multiphase program for customers using Autodesk 2007, 2008, and 2009 product releases who want to move to the latest Autodesk software release.

Read the entire FAQ PDF ASAP - link

The following is an outline of the promotional offer:

AUTODESK UPGRADE AND RETIREMENT PROGRAM: CUSTOMER QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Phase Promo Dates With Autodesk Subscription Without Autodesk Subscription (Upgradeable Products Only)
Phase 1 May 1 - July 17, 2009 30% off SRP 20% off SRP
Phase 2 July 18 - October 16, 2009 20% off SRP 15% off SRP
Phase 3 October 17 - January 15, 2010 10% off SRP N/A

Only the product price is discounted; the Subscription price is not discounted. Upgrades and cross-grades from AutoCAD LT 2007 software are not eligible for Autodesk Upgrade and Retirement Program promotion pricing.

Customers holding licenses of upgradeable products are eligible to purchase upgrades
and cross-grades without Autodesk Subscription; however, discount pricing may not be available.

Customers purchasing retroactive Subscription for Subscription-only products are required to purchase Autodesk Subscription. The list of participating products and promotional terms and conditions may vary by location. Please contact your Autodesk Authorized Reseller(me) to discuss your options or to request a quote or call me. I may be compelled to throw in some free or discounted training for you, if you buy your subscription and upgrade through my company. Read more...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Advanced Rendering in Revit Architecture 2009 - (Mental Ray) (RVA3509) $250 3/26/09

Tomorrow, 3/26/09 Thursday 9am - 5pm EST.
CADD Centers - Revit Architecture 2009 - Advanced - Rendering Tools (Mental Ray) (RVA3509): "Revit Architecture 2009 - Advanced - Rendering Tools (Mental Ray) (RVA3509)

Samples from teacher www.revit3d.com/renderings

Course length: 1 day. Cost: $495 (Live Webcast $250).
Sign up at this link

Course Description

This is a one day class on rendering in Revit using the Mental Ray engine. Topics covered include materials, lighting, and rendering. At the end of this class the student will be able to successfully render Revit models.

Course Prerequisites:

The student enrolling in this class should have a working knowledge of the Revit Architecture platform.
Upcoming Classes

Syllabus

Materials

* Using the ProMaterials Library
* Bringing in a Custom Material from a Scanned Image
* Mirrors: A Reflection Upon Us All
* Bump Maps vs. Modeled Textures: The Pro’s vs. Con’s of each.
* Sell Illuminated Materials: Light Bulbs

Lighting

* Area Lights
* Spot Lights
* Directional Lights
* Color Temperature: The Happy Medium of Too Dark vs. Too Bright

Rendering

* Mental Ray Rendering in Revit
* Interior and Exterior Renderings: Which One Should I Use?
* Exposure Settings
* 90% Trial and Error/10% Luck"

Read more...

Absolutely nothing to do with Revit, but the right thing to do

Learn the right way to dispose of 10 common recycling stumpers

By WomansDay.com Staff Posted March 24, 2009 from WomansDay.com

Whether doing major spring cleaning or just sorting through old household supplies, occasionally, we all run into a recycling stumper—crayons, foam peanuts, old VHS tapes? Good grief. The more obscure an item, the harder it is for us to resist throwing it out the easy way—in the trash can. But the truth is we really are doing ourselves (and our planet!) a big favor by repurposing used parts and pieces. So, the next time clutter is being banished from the house, refer to this list of wacky recycling tips. We promise it really is useful.


1. Batteries
Environmental, Health and safety Online have initiated a national program called Call2Recycle, which has collected and recycled more than 42 million pounds of rechargeable batteries, and have partnered up with retailers and recycling programs nationwide for our recycling convenience. Visit their site ehso.com to find a location near you.

2. Candle Jars
I’m a jar-candle addict, but who wants to melt out the leftover wax so you can recycle the jar? I found a new trick: Put the used jar in the freezer, and an hour later, you can tap the bottom a few times and pop the wax right out. Better yet, stick to tea lights. As long as the package says that the metal cups are aluminum, you can pull out the used wick and toss the metal in the recycling along with your cans.

3. CDs and DVDs

Mails discs to Back Thru The Future (cdrecyclingforfree.com), a woman-owned electronics recycling and data destruction company.

4. Crayons
In my house, the most unpopular crayon colors are gray and pale yellow. I never thought twice about tossing the duds in the trash, but it turns out that crayon wax spends eternity in a landfill. Instead, put them in a small box and send them to the recycling program run by Crazy Crayons, where your castoffs will be melted down and turned into a new generation of crayons. For details, go to crazycrayons.com.

5. Foam Peanuts
Some are now made from vegetable starch. To test, toss one under water—if it disintegrates, you’ve got nontoxic, biodegradable peanuts. As for the nonrecyclable plastic kind, call The Peanut Hotline (800-828-2214) for a list of businesses that accept them.

6. Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs
Recycle them through your town's hazardous waste program. If your town doesn't have one, put bulbs in a thick plastic bag to keep mercury from leaking; tie shut and place in the garbage.

7. VHS Tapes
Have taken over, everyone has a pile of old VHS tapes gathering dust. To keep them out of landfills, drop them in the mail to Alternative Community Training, a nonprofit Missouri company that provides jobs to people with disabilities.

Workers erase the tapes, reselling the ones that are in good shape and recycling the plastic parts of the rest. They’ve recycled more than 1 million tapes so far. Mail the tapes (at the cheaper USPS media mail rate) to:

ACT
2200 Burlington
Columbia, MO 65202

8. Paint
Go to earth911.org/recycling to find out where to recycle it in your zip code. Or donate it to your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore (habitat.org).

9. Trophies
Yes, it’s hard to part with past awards that remind you of when you were the fastest, strongest or, quite frankly, the best, but if you must, here’s how: Send them to Art Inc.; they’ll take your award and, with it, make new art that they will give children’s groups or worthy causes like the Special Olympics. Or, ship them off to Awardex.com, where they’ll use you old trophies to make new awards.

10. Phone Books
Yes, they're recyclable, but you can't just toss them in with your regular stuff. Who knew? Instead, wait for your town's phone book pickup. If there is none, go to yellowpages.com/recycle to find out what to do in your area.

Read more...

Major Change to Autodesk Pricing Format - You have until 3/15/10 to take action

Before you read this, if you're on subscription, you have nothing to worry about. If you're not, please pay very close attention to the following as you have one year to act.

On March 24, 2009, Autodesk will announce important changes to our upgrade pricing model.

After March 16, 2010, Autodesk will eliminate the current, multi-step upgrade pricing model and replace it with a new, one-step upgrade model and a two-step crossgrade model.

In the new upgrade model, upgrades, crossgrades, and retroactive Autodesk® Subscription fees from the three previous software releases will be priced at 50% of a full license. Autodesk will continue to offer current release (0X) crossgrades, priced at the difference between the full license price of the customer’s current software and the full license price of the new software.

In simple terms, AutoCAD subscription is $450/year. Upgrades were $595/version. Retail price of AutoCAD is $3995 and 50% of that is $1998. Let's say you have AutoCAD 2008 and want to upgrade to AutoCAD 2010. It used to be $1195 ($595/version x 2 versions back) but now it's $1998 flat fee. Even if you went three versions back a $1795 ($595 x 3), you'd still pay $1998 to do the upgrade. Subscription over those 3 years would be $450 x 3) $1350. No matter what, subscription is really now the only option. Subscription is cheaper than upgrading anyhow, so this only affects those who wanted to upgrade every 3 or 4 years. If you wanted to manually upgrade each year, you'd pay $1998 every single year. $450 vs $1998. Big difference.
If you're already on subscription, you have nothing to worry about. If you have Autodesk 2007 products, it's time to start upgrading or planning to by 3/15/2010. Bad news for laggards. Great news for everyone on the latest version of their software. You may hate this new pricing, but everyone will now be on the same platform version and that should considerably help the design and construction workflow and coordination between disciplines. No more haggling with your reseller for their best price and shopping around for cheaper software pricing from various Autodesk dealers. It's now about training, implementation, services and product knowledge and all of those things make me very happy because we have the best in Florida and among the top in the nation.

Key Dates

  • March 24, 2009 – Upgrade and Retirement landing page live on Autodesk.com.
  • March 15, 2010 – Last day to upgrade from Autodesk® 2007, 2008, and 2009 products under the current pricing model.

How the Pricing Model Change Fits with Autodesk Retirement
Also on March 24, 2009, Autodesk will announce the retirement of upgrades, crossgrades, and retroactive subscription from the Autodesk® 2007 family of products. The last day to upgrade from Autodesk 2007 products to the current release is March 15, 2010.

Beginning March 24, customers can visit the Upgrade and Retirement landing page using the following URL: www.autodesk.com/upgradeandretirement.

After the 2007-based product retirement on March 13, 2010, Autodesk will stop selling upgrades and crossgrades from Autodesk 2007-based products and will no longer provide technical support, except for existing maintenance patches, which are downloadable from www.autodesk.com.

Legacy Program
Even after the 2007-based product retirement, you still have the opportunity to purchase specially discounted licenses of current Autodesk products. If your customers have questions about the Autodesk Legacy Program, please visit www.autodesk.com/ready. The Legacy landing page contains details on the Autodesk Legacy Program.

Last tidbit. Autodesk 2006 products were officially retired 3/16/09. Miracle of miracles....if you have Revit Architecture 8 (2006 version) you can still Retroactively start/renew subscription before the 2010 version ships in a week or two. It's a lot cheaper to do that and get current on subscription in lieu of the software going into legacy the day 2010 ships. It's probably 35% cheaper to do it now. You can also finance it over 3 years if you don't have all the money now. Things are picking up. The pipeline is starting again. Try to do this if you can. You'll thank us later for the recommendation.

Read more...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Autodesk - New Versions - New Websites - New Info - Who Knew?

Just for the heck of it, you may want to take a quick look at www.autodesk.com. They've updated their website for the 2010 product lines.

Of course, you'll want to go to www.autodesk.com/revit first, unless of course you want to see all of the great new productivity features of AutoCAD 2010. Yeah, I didn't think so.

Next up, http://www.autodesk.com/bim - The BIM Advantage page

Followed by http://www.autodesk.com/green - Everything you wanted to know about taking the LEED. (Personal note: Just because you're LEED accredited, do you really know the workflow and process to use technology to design a Green Building? No? We have classes for just that. Learn how to use Revit with analysis tools such as Green Building Studio)

Civil & Structural Engineering - Don't forget your friends, the engineers. You're really not a BIM Manager unless you're working with Revit Structure and Civil 3D engineers. http://www.autodesk.com/civil-structural-engineering

If you're going to be a LEED architectural firm, you're going to have to insist that your MEP engineers get on board too: Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing Systems - http://www.autodesk.com/mep

...and my personal favorite http://www.autodesk.com/construction. If you thought you were an advanced user of BIM for Architecture, welcome to the world of 4D, 5D and 6D. It's a whole other world once you hand the blueprints to the contractor. Welcome to my world of "Design to Build" starring our friends, BIM, LEED and IPD.

Now that you're done with all that, take a look at my www.BIMCycle.com page for all of the other software pieces that tie into all of the above products. Yeah, I know, we're in a recession and you're not spending any money. That doesn't mean you can't look, research, play with trials, contact me for pricing and start planning now to adopt all of these new technologies, learn the workflow and process and be prepared for the future. Contact me for any questions, comments or how we can help you. Read more...

Autodesk 2010 Design and Engineering Software Product Line Now Available

Well, I guess it's official now. Happy New Version. What's that song? Old Line Snag? Should old line drawings be forgot or something like that.....
News Release Issued: March 24, 2009 8:00 AM EDT

Portfolio Offers Enhanced Functionality for Sustainable Design and Infrastructure Modeling, Allowing Customers to Capitalize on Stimulus Opportunities

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., March 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autodesk today began shipping its new 2010 line of 2D and 3D design and engineering software. More than 50 new products offer new features and functionality as well as improved tools for Digital Prototyping, Building Information Modeling (BIM), Infrastructure Modeling, sustainable design and analysis, which will help architects, engineers and designers meet increasing commercial and public sector demand for more energy-efficient buildings, products and infrastructure.

"The new functionality in our 2010 products will help design professionals worldwide improve the efficiency of their workflows and increase competitive advantage," said Carl Bass, Autodesk CEO. "As governments around the world invest billions in infrastructure and development projects, 3D design modeling technology will be vital for project planning, tracking spending, ensuring accountability, minimizing errors and maximizing sustainable performance."

The 2010 software for Infrastructure Modeling -- which includes AutoCAD Map 3D software, Autodesk MapGuide Enterprise software and Autodesk Topobase software -- allows users in telecommunications firms, state and local governments, and utilities to improve performance and increase ROI of their infrastructure projects. New features now enable users to more easily aggregate multiple sources of data, improving the design of smart electric utility grids, making planning city projects easier, and enabling more efficient design and repair of highways.

Autodesk has enhanced sustainable design and engineering functionality across the product portfolio. In its Digital Prototyping solution for manufacturers, the new assembly stress analysis and motion simulation tools in Autodesk Inventor Professional 2010 help users simulate and optimize their designs early in the process -- reducing both material waste and cost. A new circuit builder tool in AutoCAD Electrical 2010 software enables designers to analyze the energy efficiency of circuits and make more sustainable engineering decisions. Autodesk Moldflow 2010 software now includes an energy usage indicator so designers can further decrease manufacturing energy requirements, and with access to the world's largest plastic materials database of its kind, easily evaluate different materials and make product design choices that can contribute to sustainability initiatives.

For architects, engineers and contractors, Autodesk's 2010 portfolio provides significantly expanded tools for energy analysis including the new Autodesk Ecotect Analysis 2010 green building software, a comprehensive sustainable analysis tool that delivers a wide range of simulation and analysis functionality including energy, water, and carbon analysis capabilities with desktop tools to conduct detailed environmental simulations and visualize results. Users of the 2010 Revit software platform for BIM can now make more informed decisions to optimize sustainable building performance. Revit MEP 2010 software now makes it easier for mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers to determine energy demands of a building with native heating and cooling loads analysis, and export enhanced gbXML that provides the ability to examine analytical models of a project before export.

Other 2010 product updates include new free-form 3D design tools in AutoCAD 2010 software, new conceptual design tools in the Revit platform and extended simulation capabilities in the Autodesk Inventor family for Digital Prototyping. Autodesk previewed the new software releases last month in three virtual press conference webcasts, which are available for viewing at www.autodesk.com/2010webcasts. Details on the full portfolio of 2010 software are available at www.autodesk.com.

Availability

English language versions of Autodesk's 2010 products will begin shipping over the next several weeks in North America, with availability in other languages and regions in the coming months. Full details are available at www.autodesk.com/purchaseoptions.

Read more...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Reed Construction Data Releases SmartBIM Library v3.2

Enhanced functionality and features available through upgraded version of BIM content management software

Reed Construction Data, a leading provider of building information modeling (BIM) solutions and construction information, today announced the launch of SmartBIM Library (SBL) v3.2 (www.reedconstructiondata.com/building-information-modeling/bim-library/)

, the leading BIM content management tool for architects and engineers.

The release of SBL v3.2 offers new features and enhancements including the drag-and-drop family publisher, allowing users to automatically publish and load Revit families into SmartBIM Library from a user’s file system, Autodesk® Revit project files or Autodesk® Seek.

Additional functionality allows users to attach files, including text documents, spreadsheets and images, to SmartBIM Objects using the drag-and-drop feature, and to view them from the attachment pane.
SBL 3.2 is also now an e-SPECS® Compliant BIM Library to assist users in automating the specification process.

“This release gives Revit users a way to significantly reduce the time spent looking for or creating BIM objects,” said Candice Dobra, director of BIM solutions, Reed Construction Data. “The high-quality SmartBIM objects delivered in SmartBIM Library combined with the ability to easily manage existing content, bring a new level of efficiency in the design process.”

Version 3.2 comes pre-loaded with over 21,000 high-quality Revit product types, including 200 new generic families. The SmartBIM Library will also publish content on a continual basis from a growing list of manufacturers including: Kolbe, Karona Inc., Hager Companies, LinEL Signature Skylights, Oldcastle Glass, Armstrong, Da-Lite Screen Company, Draper Inc., NanaWall Systems, ZeroFlush, Figueras International Seating, Next Door Company, Laticrete International, Skyco Shading Systems, Beta-Calco, Cornell Iron Works, Sun-Dome, GAF Materials Corp., PPG Industries, Coronet Lighting and more.

SmartBIM Library v3.2 still includes many features from prior versions including automatic content updates that deliver new Revit families directly to the users’ desktops, automatic software updates to ensure users have the most up-to-date software features and drag-and-drop functionality that allows users to drag objects from SmartBIM Library directly into Revit projects.

SmartBIM Library is sold through authorized SmartBIM solutions providers starting at $500 per seat. For more information and a free demo, visit www.reedconstructiondata.com/building-information-modeling/bim-library/.


Click here for Promotional pricing and more info:
REED SmartBIM Library 1/2 Price Sale through 3/31/09 and Reasons to Buy

Click here to download the proposal to order

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New Option for Subscription Customers: Download Upgrade scription Center

So, as I'm writing this post, I actually logged into subscription center and found some cool stuff. http://subscription.autodesk.com
Log into subscription and go to this link: https://autodesk.subscribenet.com/control/adsk/index

You can download AutoCAD & AutoCAD Architecture 2010 right now. That will put you 45 minutes ahead of tomorrow's actual release date. You can check back there daily to see if you can download Revit products. Some of them are listed now, but the files are available for download.

This year, for the first time, Autodesk® Subscription customers will have the option of downloading their product upgrades directly from Subscription Center. As soon as our new 2010 products are released, they will be available for download on Subscription Center, before DVDs are shipped.

As products release throughout the year, subscription customers will learn about this great new download option through auto-fulfillment email notifications and directly on Subscription Center. Customers who choose the download can also request a DVD.

Customers will be able to download both 2009 and 2010 products. Each year, we will add the latest product versions but continue to make previous versions available to meet customer needs, creating an online “Product Library” for our subscription customers.

We’re delighted to offer this new service to subscription customers at no cost. To gauge our customers’ preference, we are asking subscription customers in Canada, Korea, and the UK to go to Subscription Center and choose how they prefer to receive their new product – download, DVD, or both.

Action: To learn more about this offering, access the FAQ on the Subscription Center login page. Look for the “Speed up Download” promotion box on the right side of the page (which I don't actually see, but you might).

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Calling them Out: The World's 10 Worst Greenwashers | WebEcoist

Hi everyone. Hope some of you noticed that I was away for 2 weeks at the Autodesk annual conference and then took a slight detour with my wife and JR for a week in California. I was banned from blogging during vacation week so I'm feeling a little rusty. I think I have Blog Lag, the inability to post daily after a blog vacation. Maybe we'll just call it Blag. Blog Blag? Blug. That was bad. I'll be back to abnormal soon.


Calling them Out: The World's 10 Worst Greenwashers | WebEcois

BP

American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity

General Motors

ExxonMobil

Monsanto

Malaysian Palm Oil Council

American Electric Power

Dow Chemical

Fur Council of Canada

Fiji Water

The quality of most bottled water is no better than tap water, and more than 2 billion plastic bottles end up in the waste stream in America every year. But, that doesn’t stop bottlers like Fiji from claiming that bottled water can be green. The website FIJIGreen.com touts the company’s “progress”, buying carbon offsets and increasing recycling efforts. That’s all fine and good, but the simple fact of the matter is that Fiji water still travels halfway around the world. That’s a lot of wasted fossil fuels, and a lot of emissions.

Check Out These Great Related Articles:

15 Mind-Boggling Green Facts & Statistics

The most jaw-dropping statistics and facts about the environment, renewable energy, conservation, trash and more.

Water: Most Precious & Wasted Resource

Here's a look at the historical and current importance of water and its vital role in our development and sustenance.

Hydroelectric, Tidal & Wave Power Systems

Here are sixteen of the most innovative, creative and cutting edge tidal, wave and hydroelectric power designs currently pushing the alternative energy envelope

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Autodesk 2010 Release Dates - First Wave

Well, the moment you've all been waiting for, unless you want to know when Revit is shipping.
I'll probably get those dates on 3/27 or 4/3. Check back here every Friday evening or go to www.revit3d.com/subscribe for email updates.


Product

FCS Date

Autodesk® Ecotect™ Analysis 2010

March 17

AutoCAD® 2010

March 24

AutoCAD LT® 2010

March 24

AutoCAD® RealDWG™ 2010

March 24

AutoCAD® Electrical 2010

March 24

AutoCAD® Mechanical 2010

March 24

Autodesk® Inventor LT™ 2010

March 24

AutoCAD® Inventor LT™ Suite 2010

March 24

AutoCAD® Inventor® Suite 2010

March 24

AutoCAD® Inventor® Professional 2010

March 24

AutoCAD® Inventor® Professional Suite 2010

March 24

AutoCAD® Inventor® Routed Systems Suite 2010

March 24

AutoCAD® Inventor® Simulation Suite 2010

March 24

AutoCAD® Inventor® Tooling Suite 2010

March 24

Autodesk® DirectConnect for Catia 2010

March 24

Autodesk® DirectConnect for Catia 4 2010

March 24

Autodesk® DirectConnect for JT 2010

March 24

Autodesk® DirectConnect for UG 2010

March 24

Autodesk® SketchBook® Pro 2010

March 24

AutoCAD® Architecture 2010

March 25

AutoCAD® MEP 2010

March 25

AutoCAD® Map 3D 2010

March 30

Autodesk MapGuide® Enterprise 2010

March 30

Autodesk® Navisworks® Manage 2010

April 3

Autodesk® Navisworks® Review 2010

April 3

Autodesk® Navisworks® Simulate 2010

April 3

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Revit Workflow - Another New Revit Blog

Here's another Revit blog I just found


I recently had an article I wrote published in AUGI World magazine which has now went Green and is only available in digital format. I encourage you to read all of the articles in the magazine. It can be found at the below link.

AUGI World January/February 2009

Here is what I had to say. I hope you enjoy!

Redefine your Collaboration Workflow



By now I am guessing that most of you are already using Revit ® Structure to produce your design documentation, and, if you aren't using it, more than likely you are at least considering it. If you aren't looking at it, what are you waiting for? The use of Revit for any discipline definitely changes the workflow for you. If the workflow is not changing, then you were doing it way different than the way I was doing it! How different this workflow becomes depends a little bit on how much you are willing to change how you have been doing things in the past with other 2D CAD applications. Let’s take a second and reminisce about what I now call the “Old School” 2D days of CAD.
Old school CAD
As structural professionals, we would always receive what everybody said was this perfectly good CAD file from the architect. This file contained everything we needed to produce our structural documentation, we were told. The thinking went something like this: “They already have the grids laid out. Let’s just trace over them, or better yet, let’s just copy/paste them into our file, or much better yet, let’s just save their file as a new file, delete information that is not needed, and make it our structural file.” In return, the CAD manager would say, “Absolutely Not! We are going to verify every single line, dimension, text, and draw our own information in our file.” Why was this done? Because over time we began to lose faith in the accuracy of the drawings we were receiving. Structurally, we wanted precision set to 1/256" and “they” wanted it set to 1/16" or sometimes even 1/8". Other programs were used to produce napkin sketches of the building during schematic design and those sketches were being pulled into CAD. Sometimes the sketches were turned into nice numbers that were easy to work with and other times it looked like they were just left as sketches. The bottom line is we could not trust the CAD files to enable us to produce an accurate set of drawings that would allow other parties, such as fabricators, to use downstream. Using Revit on a project changes all of that; at least it needs to in order for the whole process to work.

The workflow needs to change
What needs to change? First, everybody needs to start producing accurate models that we all can trust. This means that those working on the project are going to have to step up their game a bit and go that extra mile to make things correct. Without this accuracy in the Revit models you are sharing, you will have little chance of relying on someone else’s model. Second, we need to start communicating again. No more of the architect moving an elevator shaft over 6" so he or she can maintain a certain corridor width and not tell structural it was done. Drawings get issued, it gets built from the structural drawings, and the elevator shaft is constructed in the wrong location. There can be no more of the engineer changing a beam depth size and not telling mechanical. The field guy is installing some duct work and finds out that his duct work does not clear the bottom of the beam. Dropping it would lower the ceiling height. Who wins? I could go on and on with scenarios from all sides of the design team, but right now I would like to talk about how Revit can eliminate this. Using Revit to model your projects and to produce construction documents is a chance to regroup with everyone and change the way you have been doing things in the past. I know that some of you who have been doing this correctly, but I also know that there are others using the undesirable methods described above. So let’s discuss the workflow that can get you started in a new direction.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Blogmas/Twitsmas Miracle - Autodesk 2006 Retirement extended

Just got this from Autodesk. I know many of you aren't upgrading because of the recession, but maybe this is just the thing to change your mind. After 2006 licenses retire, they go into Legacy. That means you can buy a new seat at a 30% discount from your retired 2006 license. It's about double the price and requires a 1 year purchase of subscription. Not a bad thing since 2010 versions start shipping later this month and the .dwg format changes again for 2010.

This is like your professor calling in sick the day of the final exam you didn't study for. What a break for the laggards.

***************From Autodesk:

Because of a computer glitch for portions of last Friday, and the fact many of our sales reps were at OTU on Friday when orders were being sent in, an extension has been granted allowing 2006 related orders to be processed through Noon, Pacific time on Wednesday, March 18th.

Please note after this deadline, there will be no exceptions granted under any circumstances. All 2006 related software crossgrades and upgrades from the products listed below will no longer be available. After the product retirement date, the Autodesk Legacy Program will help assist customers who own valid licenses of select retired Autodesk software with the opportunity to purchase specially discounted new licenses of the latest Autodesk software release.

No exceptions will be granted after Noon Pacific time on Wednesday, March 18th.

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