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Friday, July 31, 2009

Today's the big day...AIA Florida Convention

Just finished the four hour drive from Miami to Tampa and can't fall asleep. Thought I'd ask Florida blog readers who are attending the AIA Florida Convention to please stop by our booth and say hello. Read more...

Use Revit 2009 design bar in Revit 2010...Really!!! [Revit Software]

Autodesk - Autodesk Revit Architecture Services & Support - Switching to pre-2010, "Classic" user interface


Published date: 2009-Jul-30
ID: TS1106335

Applies to:
Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2010
Autodesk® Revit® MEP 2010
Autodesk® Revit® Structure 2010

Issue

You want to know if you can switch your user interface back to the pre-2010 user interface.

Solution

There is no supported way to switch back to the previous user interface.

It is possible to enable the Revit 2009 user interface in a Revit 2010 product, but no support will be provided for problems that occur in that environment that are not reproduced in the standard 2010 user interface.

To switch your user interface for a Revit 2010 product to the 2009 user interface follow these steps:

  1. Click here to download the file used to enable the 2009 user interface.
  2. Using Windows Explorer, add the downloaded file to the following directory:

    C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Product Name 2010\Program

To switch back to the standard 2010 user interface, rename or delete the debug.ini file located in the above directory.

debug.ini (ini - 0Kb)



Click the link and see Autodesk's fix for you ribbon haters. The users fight back and Autodesk listens.

Classic interface? Reminds me of New Coke vs Classic Coke. Fizz!
Read more...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Developer Bruce Ratner doesn't offer renderings of Atlantic Yards plan

Sounds like a job done in AutoCAD. No renderings? Gotta love the 2D workflow and process. Sucks? You betcha! Someone tell Mr. Ratner that he needs to hire one of you Revit firms out there. They just don't get it do they? Well, since they didn't use Frank Gehry because he was too expensive, I'm sure some AutoCAD LT using firm got the project because they spent such little money on their technology. I can't wait to see the millions in change orders on this massive project. Any bankruptcy and construction litigation lawyers out there just waiting for this project to fail? BIM BIM BIM!!!!!! Why don't these developers have any idea how the technology their design team uses makes such a huge difference in the project. Oh well.

Thursday, July 30th 2009, 4:00 AM

Fevelo for News

Bruce Ratner isn't required by law to show images of the project before the final vote, as long as design guidelines are met.

State officials are set to vote on the latest version of developer Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project in September - even if they don't know what it looks like.

At a raucous hearing Wednesday, critics ripped into the Empire State Development Corp. for allowing Ratner to move forward without producing renderings of the new Nets arena and the 16 towers he plans to build in Prospect Heights.

"We are being asked to comment on a phantom project, to review a project without being able to view the project plans. This is beyond ludicrous," said Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn spokesman Daniel Goldstein.

Since star architect Frank Gehry was booted from the project to save money, the Kansas City firm Ellerbe Beckett has been working to design a stripped-down arena for the Nets.

"The design is not complete yet," Forest City Ratner Executive Vice President MaryAnne Gilmartin said last week, adding that renderings would be released in September or October.

But Gilmartin also said the developer may not put out the images before the board votes - and doesn't have to.

ESDC counsel Steve Matlin agreed, saying Ratner isn't required by law to show images of the project before the final vote, as long as design guidelines are followed.

But Assemblyman Jim Brennan (D-Kensington) said ESDC was breaking the rules by moving the project forward without a design plan or a new environmental study. "You've violated the rights of New Yorkers," he said at the hearing.

"The state is imposing this project on the community without its consent."

Gilmartin also insisted the project will look nothing like images circulating publicly that have been compared to a barn or an airplane hangar.

"They were placeholders," she said. "Forest City is confident that this is going to be a serious architectural statement."

Hundreds of supporters and opponents faced off at the rowdy hearing Wednesday, with union workers and affordable housing advocates who back the plan breaking into chants of "Build it now!" and taunting opponents to "Go home."

Nearly drowned out by a chorus of cheers and boos - and one heckler calling him a "big fat slob" - Borough President Marty Markowitz reiterated his support for the project.

"I still believe this is a project that will benefit Brooklyn for years to come. I believe those opposing it today will come to support it," he said. "This is the right project in the right place and finally at the right time."

There will be a second public hearing today at 2 p.m.

Read more...

Andekan Revit Content Starter Packs [Revit Content]

You see, it's not just me that thinks Andekan's Revit Family Content Packs are really an incredible bargain. Steve Stafford at RevitOpEd just blogged about Andekan too.

Do the math. You're paying someone $50,000/year at your architecture firm. You can't just have anyone making content. Some of the more complex objects, like just about every MEP piece, requires a higher level Revit users to create the objects. Well, you can have someone with no idea how to use Revit figure it out eventually, but it's certainly not going to be parametric, isn't going to have all of the proper field names, the file size is probably going to be 4mb per piece, it won't have the information necessary to be usable for any kind of building system integration and calculation or any of another 20 things that you get with Andekan high level of quality.

So, back to the value. If you're paying someone $50,000/year to create content, it's going to take about 4 hours per piece if it's really built well, fully parametric and has actual parametric field names and contains manufacturer specific data and contains appropriate MEP connectors.

At that rate, your content creator can only make about 500 pieces per year.


52 weeks * 40 hours / 4 hours/piece = 520 pieces made per year.

$50,000 / 520 pieces = $96.15 cost per piece.

Wow, about $100 per piece. Now don't forget, you're only getting 2 pieces per day. I'm sure all of the other project team members can just sit there and wait for each piece to come out of your Revit factory. This doesn't even consider billable time as Steve mentions below. I'm using your actual labor cost. If someone bills out at $150/hour, that's $312,000 per year. That'd make each piece worth $600 if you used billable rate to calculate your year's worth of 520 objects. Even more reason to call Andekan right this second.

The beauty of outsourcing your content creation to Andekan gives you several advantages.

  • Speed: Because of the size and sophistication of their company, you can get 100 pieces in days, not weeks or months.
  • Quality: Because they're just simply the best, there are no worries that a manufacturer specific piece of content won't have everything you need. Their content is guaranteed to work.
  • Price: $3999 / 702 objects = $5.69 per family type object. Compare that to your $100/piece
  • Resources: Wouldn't you rather have your best Revit people working on the model where they can be the most effective?
  • Parametrics: Go over to Andekan.com and download some of their samples. I'm truly in awe of the real life objects they've recreated.
  • ROI: More and better content means less drafting time, more automatically scheduled items, better coordination and that just means more profit for your company.
  • Quality Control: Do you really want all of your designers downloading content from Revit City, TurboSquid and Seek on their own? Who's controlling what content goes into your projects? One bad piece of content can crash a Revit model. There really need to be controls over who can add the content to the model and where you get it from. With Andekan's content, the file size is small, the parametrics are exact and you get piece of mind and piece of content. By the way, this one is about another 10 whole blog posts on their own.
  • Time: Instead of searching all over the internet for content, if you had a credit pack agreement with Andekan, they'll make you any custom piece and have it to you very quickly. Just tell them what you need, even send them a Sweets Catalog page and you can go back to work and off the internet.
It's like looking in the yellow pages for a surgeon. How do you really know what you're getting if you outsource to just anybody. How do you even know internally if your own people are giving you the best content. As more and more people start using Revit, how do you know if that plumbing valve was created by an engineer or an intern? Now, let's consider sharing the model with other consultants. You really start to lose quality control. The BIM Manager really needs to step in and get involved.

Lastly, let's say you don't need an entire Andekan Starter Pack. Call or email them. They can give you any individual piece or a mini pack. Their credit packs are a great way to get started.
Call them today. You've really got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Here's Steve's blog post: http://revitoped.blogspot.com/2009/07/andekan-starter-packs.html
Also, don't forget to visit Steve's RevitInside.com blog if you are looking for Revit consultants or want to get your Revit firm listed.

Having been involved with content for the last 3 years, I've learned a lot about it. You all know we need more content. I even have a great idea for you all to profit from Revit content, but that's a whole other blog post.

Lastly, don't forget to get Andekan's free family, Andy and Ann Kan. They're free and amazing. When I say family, they're actual people, sitting, standing, walking. Make Andekan's family part of your family.


Revit OpEd: Andekan Starter Packs: "Andekan Starter Packs
Andekan recently posted some Starter Packs. There are US and UK plumbing packs, an IKEA product pack and a Victaulic pipe fitting pack for metric and one for imperial.

Now before you pass out when you see the price for a pack do some math. For example the US Plumbing pack sells for $3999.00 and there are 67 families that represent 702 models/types. This works out to about $59 per family.

Consider what you normally charge per hour (billable work) for your most knowledgeable Revit user. If your user can build one of these in just one hour how does that stack up? If it compares well, then let them try...if they give up...give Andekan a call. If the pack doesn't thrill you then you can look at an ala carte approach instead.

I first read about this at Alan's blog. Thanks for the post!" Read more...

How to Piss People Off & Get More Customers [Revit Thought of the Day]

I got this email yesterday. Kind of how I feel about Revit and BIM. The efficiency of BIM and the information created in the model that can be shared with so many people to improve the construction process just makes it so compelling for me to embrace. Hope all of you feel the same, either now or someday very soon.



Shamus Brown's EGOPOWER http://www.IndustrialEGO.com

HOW TO PISS PEOPLE OFF & GET MORE CUSTOMERS
______________________________

______________________________

I am recovered coffee addict.

Mentally I still love coffee, even though I don't drink it
any more.

So I really appreciated this story that I came across the
other day that I am about to share with you.

A guy goes into a coffee shop in near Washington DC. Guy
tries to order an iced espresso, and is told he can't have
one because it's against store policy to serve espresso over
ice.

Pissed off, guy orders an espresso and a cup of ice, and
proceeds to pour espresso over cup of ice. Flabbergasted
barista says that's really "not okay".

Guy orders a second coffee drink from the store, and leaves
a dollar tip with a profane message penned on the face of
the bill with a Sharpy.

Being a former coffee snob myself, I love the fact that this
coffee store, Murky Coffee in Arlington Virginia, has a
precision process for brewing and serving their coffee.

And they won't sell it to you in a way that will degrade the
quality of the coffee.

And if you are going to ruin it yourself, they aren't going
to let you do it in their store, and they're going to tell
you to go buy your coffee elsewhere if that's what you want
to do.

Some people will get real pissed at such an attitude of a
business. The customer of this story Jeff Simmermon was so
tweaked that he blogged about, which led to the Washington
Post finding out and writing about this, which led to
hundreds of thousands of people reading Simmeron's blog and
finding out about Murky Coffee in Arlington Virginia.

Murky Coffee's website and Simmermon's blog both got tons of
visitors and tons of comments many praising and blasting
each of them for their respective actions and their
attitudes.

Murky Coffee is the one who is coming out ahead in this
dustup though. They just got a huge amount of free
publicity.

Now you might say that this is negative publicity though.

The thing is that Murky Coffee now stands for something.
They stand for excellent, pure, high quality coffee.

The people who care about that (i.e. coffee snobs like
myself), but who had never before heard of Murky Coffee, are
now going to give them a try. And many will form an
emotional attachment to them because they are defenders of
quality and excellence in coffee.

The Simmermon's of the world who just want the most
convenient cup, who want to do whatever they want with it,
and who want to whine about "the customer is always right"
will hate this store and will stay away.

But that is OK, because those people were never the target
market for a store like Murky Coffee in the first place.

You don't have to take abuse from your customers.

The customer is not always right.

Stand up for yourself in sales and you'll be more
successful.

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus Brown

P.S. Want to give your sales a triple espresso shot of
caffeine this summer (not over ice though!)? Then go get
yourself a copy of my Persuasive Selling Skills Audio
Program right now...
http://www.industrialego.com/persuasive-selling1.htm

P.P.S. Selling like a wimp after you listen to my program is
not allowed. It's against store policy...
http://www.industrialego.com/persuasive-selling1.htm
Read more...

Revit JobCaptain | Revit Training-Help | Revit Implementation | Revit Jobs: Revit-Inventor-Revit Model Exchange Video

Reposted from Revit JobCaptain | Revit Training-Help | Revit Implementation | Revit Jobs: Revit-Inventor-Revit Model Exchange Video:
http://cadgrafx.com/blog/revit/2009/07/revit-inventor-revit-model-exchange.html

Turner Construction-New Jersey posted the link to this "Revit to Inventor and Back" YouTube Video on Twitter this morning.

Rob demonstrates the bi-directional exchange of a spiral stair case (from a building project file) between Revit Architecture and Inventor.



Follow Turner Construction-New Jersey on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/TurnerNJ

YouTube Video Credits

Autodesk Technical Evangelist Rob Cohee adds another video to his unscripted series.

Follow narrator Rob Cohee on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/robcohee

Here Rob discusses one of the hottest topics in the world of BIM and Digital Prototyping; passing design data from Revit to Inventor, and bringing it back in to Revit. Rob also explores the difference between collaboration and interoperability, yet another topic that has a lot of people talking today. If you have ever wanted to see how you can reference building floor height and wall positions while designing your products, you'll benefit from Rob's techniques.

Follow Me (JobCaptain) on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/jobcaptain Read more...

Real Life LEED: Deconstruction Costs Revealed (aka Sustainable Demolition) [LEED MR Credits]

Great article for you LEEDers:
http://www.reallifeleed.com/2009/07/deconstruction-costs-revealed-aka.html

Real Life LEED is back! Hope the withdrawal wasn't too harsh. I'm looking forward to relieving some of what I'm calling 'killer post constipation' (AKA my post ideas backlog... sorry for the mental image), so be sure to come back soon!

A colleague of mine is working on a LEED project where an existing building on site has been determined not worthy of renovation and is slated to be demolished. Being the good environmental stewards we are (and having a desire not to ruin chances of earning MRc2, Construction Waste Management later on), I was tasked with searching for information about the relative costs and considerations between conventional demolition and the more sustainable deconstruction process."

Costs

As reported in a Northeastern study discussed further below, the three primary drivers of the costs and returns on a deconstruction project are (1) labor costs, (2) disposal costs, and (3) the resale or donation value of the salvaged materials. An excellent article out of Remodeling magazine unfortunately determined that "there is no rule of thumb or average square footage cost", as there are too many variables to really make this useful. From articles I've seen across the interwebs, deconstruction premiums can range from a first cost savings to a 200% increase (see the case study on the last page of the Remodeling article), but these premiums are frequently offset by material values. I've seen enough figures citing a 15-30% premium (before salvaged material sales) over conventional demolition costs to feel comfortable giving that figure to a client, with huge non-committal caveats of course.

Commercial Cost Examples

The only commercial cost info I could find was a case study by a Canadian company called Pacific Labour Demolition. On a 6,800 sf office/warehouse building, deconstruction costs showed a 20.9% ($2,128) premium over standard demolition, but that was more than offset by the retail value of the salvaged material at $3,046.



Continue reading:
Real Life LEED: Deconstruction Costs Revealed (aka Sustainable Demolition): Read more...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What Revit Wants: Exposing the Revit Database (very cool) [Revit API]

Reposted from:
What Revit Wants: Exposing the Revit Database (very cool)
http://whatrevitwants.blogspot.com/2009/07/exposing-revit-database-very-cool.html

Ooh La La! Does Revit really want you to see what goes on under the hood? Well, if it can help you understand Revit better, then I would suggest that it does (because it will help you know how to 'treat Revit right'). So, how do you do it?

There are two main ways:
  1. Using the RvtMgdDbg API add-on
    This is the most comprehensive method, in that it allows you to 'Snoop' virtually all parts of the Revit database.

  2. Using the RDBLink Tool from Autodesk Labs
    This method actually allows you to modify and then update Revit model element properties.

Both of these methods expose the Revit database, which allows you see how things really go together. The Revit database is really what makes everything else possible: from environmental analysis to the basic parametric nature of elements. It's exciting stuff!

I will do individual posts on how to setup and use both these methods in the near future.

Read more...

The greenest grocery store, biggest “living wall,” and more eco-innovations | Grist [Green Buildings]

The green-building news is coming so fast and furious it can be hard to delve deeply into each story. So here’s a survey of a few of the shiniest, brand-spankin’-newiest, innovativest projects taking shape:

HannafordThe nation’s greenest green grocer.Fore SolutionsHannaford Supermarket, Augusta, Maine. This grocery store in the Pine Tree State’s unassuming, working-class capital has earned top honors from the U.S. Green Building Council: LEED Platinum certification. It’s the first supermarket in the country to do so, and the regional chain—which made green headlines in the past for being certified as an organic retailer—hopes it won’t be the last. The Augusta store, which opens Saturday, will serve as a “learning laboratory” for Hannaford’s 168 other Northeast stores. The company expects that its features, including geothermal heating and cooling, natural lighting, and solar panels, will mean it uses half as much energy as a typical store. Coolest feature: Motion-activated refrigerator case lights. Don’t ponder your choice of ice cream too long.

ARTIC, Anaheim, Calif. Despite its carefully-considered-but-still-dubious acronym, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center is a promising development. A high-speed hub for Amtrak, regional trains, buses, taxis, and even connections to Disney’s monorail, the $180 million station will begin construction next year. “We’re getting the critical infrastructure in place where you can actually envison a day in the future where you can reliably get around without a car,” says Todd Osborne, vice president at HOK, the ARTIC-tects (sorry). “I don’t think we’re talking about replacing the automobile, but maybe it’s not every trip.” Coolest feature: The roof’s steel spans will be skinned with a membrane that contracts and expands to control the natural light.
Anaheim hub







PNC wallThe righting on the wall.PNCPNC Headquarters, Pittsburgh, Penn. You’ve heard of green roofs, but green walls? PNC Financial Services is planning to deck out its headquarters with a bit of vertical green—a 2,380-square-foot “living wall” that will reportedly not only look purty, but cool the building, absorb sound, and provide shade. And be the country’s biggest! The company, which will source the plants for the wall within 500 miles of increasingly green Pittsburgh, is a leader in LEED-certified projects. Coolest feature: Plants! Growing sideways!

    USGBC HQAnd it shall be platinum.USGBCUSGBC Headquarters, Washington, D.C. And finally, as we reported earlier in the week (OK, we didn’t so much report it as stick it in our “Things That Are Funny” section): The U.S. Green Building Council has announced that it awarded itself a platinum rating for its new headquarters. It’s the first platinum to be handed out since the recent LEED revisions were adapted. Coolest feature: Gumwood salvaged from the bottom of the Tennessee River. Also, being able to certify your own building.

Read more...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is green the color of recovery for architects? - Boston Business Journal [Green Architecture]

Boston Business Journal - by Todd Larson Special to the Journal

While the capacity of the growing green-building market to yield actual green for the architectural industry remains uncertain, area architects say they stand to benefit from the long-term economic incentives the green option is presenting.

Construction has accounted for about 20 percent of payroll losses and 5 percent of all job losses nationwide since the recession began last year, according to the American Institute of Architects. Concurrently, Boston architectural firms have cut their staff by an average of 30 percent and as much as half, said Boston Society of Architects Acting Director Nancy Jenner.

“Very, very, very few firms are hiring at all,” she said. “There’s little money available for new construction. The loan market hasn’t figured out how to make that money available yet.”

Once that money starts to flow, architects will be busiest retrofitting existing buildings to meet current environmental building codes and industry standards for energy efficiency, as cost-effective alternatives to building from scratch, according to Jenner.

Read more...

Constructor Magazine - A publication of the AGC [BIM]

From: http://constructoragc.construction.com/mag/2009_5-6/features/0905-30_AGC.asp

BIM at Its Best
Contractors report big returns on BIM investments
By Bruce Buckley
BIM At Its Best
(Renderings Courtesy of Thornton Tomasetti.)
Contractors have heard a lot of lofty claims about building information modeling in recent years: millions of dollars in savings, months of schedule gains and greater quality control. Now, as the technology gains broader acceptance in the contracting world, many of those promises are turning out to be real payoffs.
As savvy users track their returns on investment from using BIM, the emerging results are eye-opening. Many companies have found ways to shave schedules and save dollars. A November McGraw-Hill Construction survey of AGC BIM Forum members found that among BIM users actively tracking returns on investment, one-third report a return on investment of more than 100%.
In light of such results, the technology is gaining traction. According to an August McGraw-Hill Construction survey, 23% of contractors reported using BIM on at least 60% of their projects during 2008. In 2009, 38% expect to use it at that level, making contractors the fastest-growing user segment in the BIM world.
“Three years ago, contractors were seen as a minor player in the BIM arena,” says John Tocci, CEO of Woburn, Mass.-based Tocci Building Corp., an AGC of Massachusetts member and chairman of the AGC BIM Forum. “Now we see that they are gaining some of the biggest benefits from it.”
BIM At Its Best BIM At Its Best BIM At Its Best
(Renderings Courtesy of Thornton Tomasetti.)
Lining Up With BIM
As contractors begin to realize the value of BIM, many are changing their corporate structure to better leverage it. Gilbane Building Co., Providence, R.I., a member of multiple AGC chapters, firmed up its commitment to BIM in July when it formed a so-called virtual construction department to help champion use of the technology across the company. In addition to getting its regional staff dedicated to BIM, Gilbane has a national staff of engineers that it deploys to jobs or uses for remote help on projects on which BIM is being used.
BIM At Its Best
(Renderings Courtesy of Thornton Tomasetti.)
On a recently completed 96,000-sq-ft data-center project, Gilbane saw a nearly 1,500% return on its BIM-related expenses. Virtual coordination of building trades brought the most apparent benefits. Rather than passing paperwork back and forth between the trades, the team worked together within the model to identify conflicts before they appeared in the field, says Kevin Bredeson, director of virtual construction at Gilbane. He estimates the team cut expected coordination time from four months to two-and-a-half months and saved $86,000.
With 1,445 clashes detected before crews even got in the field, Gilbane saw a 43% reduction in anticipated requests for information, Bredeson says. In total, the process resolved issues that could have cost the owner roughly $863,000.
With the trades fully coordinated, many subcontractors were able to prefabricate their larger and more complex assemblies off-site. As a result, the trades reduced field hours by 15%. Gilbane estimates that the entire process saved about $140,000.
“Three years ago, contractors were seen as a minor player in the BIM arena. Now we see that they are gaining some of the biggest benefits from it.”
— John Tocci, CEO
Tocci Building Corp.
Chairman, AGC BIM Forum
All combined, the team identified nearly $1.09 million in savings and rang up only $69,000 in BIM-related expenses, half of which was devoted to modeling from 2D documents.
“We have a great senior management buy-in to expand our BIM use,” Bredeson says. “When you see those kinds of results, it’s hard not to.”
Collaboration Saves Time
BIM also is changing the way various team members interact. Data sharing between different firms helps reap greater rewards with BIM, prompting expanded collaboration among team members who have traditionally preferred to hand off work.
On a 96,000-sq-ft data-center project, Gilbane Building Co. saw a nearly 1,500% return on BIM-related expenses. Clash detection resolved issues that could have cost $863,000.
On a 96,000-sq-ft data-center project, Gilbane Building Co. saw a nearly 1,500% return on BIM-related expenses. Clash detection resolved issues that could have cost $863,000.
On a 96,000-sq-ft data-center project, Gilbane Building Co. saw a nearly 1,500% return on BIM-related expenses. Clash detection resolved issues that could have cost $863,000. (Renderings Courtesy of Thornton Tomasetti.)
Atlanta’s Holder Construction, a Georgia branch AGC member, was brought in during the predesign phase as construction manager of a new two-story academic building at Savannah State University. The company worked with designer Lott+Barber, Savannah, well before the project broke ground in November 2007. Using BIM models created by the designer, Holder was able to compare three complete conceptual models and draw up cost estimates of each.
“Because we spoke their language [BIM], we could take those models immediately and extract all of the quantities without having to do any take-offs or handwork and add our full range of construction expertise to each of these three options,” says Michael Lefevre, Holder’s vice president of planning and design support services.
Although much of the design was still rough, the team was able to add details to the model to use toward accurate estimating. The process revealed that one of the designs would cost $2 million less to build than the others.
“All of this happened in about 10 days,” Lefevre adds. “Traditionally, you could expect the architect to draw for around four months, then hand it to the contractor, who estimates for six more weeks only to find out it was $2 million over budget.”
The net result for the owners was a project that came in on budget and on time, completing in December.
Getting Aboard
The roster of players involved in BIM projects continues to expand as firms seek additional ways to exchange models and realize project savings. Data exchange among contractors, engineers and fabricators has proven a significant source of time savings on projects.
At the new $1-billion Meadowlands Stadium project in East Rutherford, N.J., the building team, led by construction manager Skanska USA Building Inc., Parsippany, N.J., a member of multiple AGC chapters, has managed to cut months off the schedule.
The team’s structural engineer, New York-based Thornton Tomasetti, was able to share detailed BIM models with the steel fabricator, who could then quickly pull an advanced bill of materials from the data. Erleen Hatfield, principal at Thornton Tomasetti, estimates that the process saved nearly four weeks in the schedule.
Engineers also were able to show the structure’s most complicated connections in the model. All combined, Hatfield says the team saved at least three months in the schedule, and the project was five months ahead when steel erection was completed.
Skanska was able to finely monitor shop drawings, color-coding the model to track progress. Because so much of the structure is exposed, Skanska could use that same information to create 3D models and show the owner how the steel would look in the final product.
The project, which broke ground in 2007, is speeding toward a 2010 completion.
“On a similar stadium project we had three people in charge of steel shop drawings,” says Albert Zulps, virtual design and construction regional director at Skanska USA Building’s office in Boston. “On the Meadowlands [project], we had one person doing all of this. That is due in no small part to the fact that the model helped organize the process.”
Although integrated teams can reap significant savings on projects, contractors can find BIM success on their own as well. Dan Klancnik, VDC manager at The Walsh Group, Chicago, and a BIM Forum member, says contractors who are new to virtual design and construction can quickly see payback even if no one else is using BIM on a project.
“A lot of small and medium firms roll in and see a BIM requirement, and they get scared off,” he says. “Although you do see more benefits by being more integrated, a lot of these companies can try it on their own at first and still see a return.”
Although Walsh prefers integrated teams, it uses BIM on projects even if the designers aren’t employing the technology, Klancnik says.
Using integrated delivery and BIM, Holder Construction was able to identify a $2-million price difference among design proposals for a new building at Savannah State University.
Using integrated delivery and BIM, Holder Construction was able to identify a $2-million price difference among design proposals for a new building at Savannah State University. (Renderings Courtesy of Thornton Tomasetti.)
On the $76-million Central Arizona Project water treatment plant expansion that was completed last year by its subsidiary Archer Western, Atlanta, and a member of multiple AGC chapters, the company took 2D drawings from the engineer and built its own BIM models. Nearly 80% of the work was self-performed by Archer Western.
Although the company spent $40,000 extra on creating the models, it identified more than $150,000 in system interferences during the coordination process. Klancnik estimates that requests for information were reduced by 75% on the project with zero change orders. The 28-month construction schedule was reduced by five weeks.
“Twelve people working upfront in precon saved the time of at least 100 people in the field,” he adds. “We see BIM as a negative cost—you pay upfront but save on the back end. It’s even better when it’s integrated, but if you need to go it alone, it’s still worth it.”
agcXML
AGC develops new schema to help construction programs communicate
By Jennifer Seward
In an effort to help address the interoperability issues inherent in the use of various construction software applications, AGC in March released new standards that will enable sharing of data and key information among different programs.
This new tool, known as agcXML, is expected to save construction companies time and money. According to AGC CFO Monique Valentine, $15.8 billion a year is currently spent in lost productivity as a result of compatibility issues among different programs and the time it takes people to re-enter information into those programs.
The XML schema will work with any project management application, accounting system or BIM software that has adopted the agcXML schema, Valentine says. Best of all, it is available at no cost to support the exchange of construction data.
Initiated and funded by AGC, the XML schema is available for transactional data commonly exchanged in paper documents such as owner/contractor agreements, schedules of values, requests for information, requests for proposals, architect/engineer supplemental instructions, change orders, change directives, submittals, applications for payment and addenda, to name a few.
The agcXML tool is the latest in a series of innovative products the association is making available to support the nation’s construction industry. Later this year, AGC will begin offering the first-ever curriculum for construction professionals to learn the advantages of building information modeling technology.
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Victaulic Plumbing Revit MEP Content Pack from Andekan.com and Revit3D.com [RFA Revit Content]


A pipe dream is a fantastic hope or plan that is generally regarded as being nearly impossible to achieve.
Andekan. The Revit Content Creation Company that makes that dream a reality. We're pleased to release another Family Starter Pack made specifically for Revit MEP plumbing designers.

21 Pipework Fitting Revit Families from Victaulic, including Adapters, Bull Plug, Caps, Cross, Hose Nipples, Tees, Reducers (Eccentric and Concentric), Elbows and Wyes.
21 families
924 models
  • Download Family Sample
  • Questions?
    Call us on 954.772.7300 x127 or email us at revit3d+victaulic1@gmail.com
  • Want to purchase the content and get a promotional discount only available for Revit3D readers? Email me and I'll send you the Promo Code for a discount from the $2,499.00 price
Pack Contents http://andekan.com/revit-families-imperial-victaulic-piping-content-pack
Mechanical Fasteners
  • Coupling – 75 Coupling – 75 Coupling – 75 Coupling – 75
Pipework Fittings
  • Female Adapter – 80 Female Adapter – 80Cap – 60 Cap – 60Eccentric Reducer – 51 Eccentric Reducer – 51
  • Adapter Nipple – 40 42 43 Adapter Nipple – 40 42 43Bull Plug – 61 Bull Plug – 61Bullhead and Standpipe Tee – 21 27 Bullhead and Standpipe Tee – 21 27Concentric Reducer – 50 Concentric Reducer – 50
  • Concentric Reducer – 52 Concentric Reducer – 52Cross – 35 Cross – 35Elbow – 10 11 12 13 Elbow – 10 11 12 13Elbow – 18 19 Elbow – 18 19Flange Adapter Nipple – 41 45R 45F 46R 46F Flange Adapter Nipple – 41 45R 45F 46R 46FHose Nipple – 48 Hose Nipple – 48R10G R10F R10G R10FSwaged Nipple – 53 54 55 Swaged Nipple – 53 54 55Tee – 20 25 30 30R Tee – 20 25 30 30RTee Wye – 32 32R Tee Wye – 32 32RThreaded Tee – 29 29M Threaded Tee – 29 29M
    True Wye – 33 True Wye – 33




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More Revit Family Content: Ikea Furniture from Andekan.com [RFA Revit Content]

A panacea of Ikea. Lots more content, from here to Tanzania. You get the idea. Look at all this content to put in the Galleria. I only wish it was all frea.

59 Ikea Revit Families, including Bookcases, Cabinets, Chairs, Desks, Filing Cabinets, Lighting Fixtures and Shelves. Models are schedulable with order numbers, include accurate materials and are ready to be used in your projects.

Download Family Sample from Andekan.com
  • Questions?
    Call us on 954.772.7300 x127 or email us at andekanpromo@revit3d.com
  • Want to purchase the content and get a promotional discount only available for Revit3D readers? Email me and I'll send you the Promo Code for a discount from the $1899 price
59 families

237 models

Pack Contents http://andekan.com/revit-families-ikea-architectural-content-pack

Bookcases
  • Expedit – Birch Expedit – Birch Expedit – Black, Brown Expedit – Black, Brown
  • Expedit – White Expedit – White
Cabinets
  • Aspvik AspvikAspvik – File Drawer Aspvik – File Drawer
  • Aspvik – Glass Door Aspvik – Glass DoorAspvik – Roll-front Aspvik – Roll-front
  • Aspvik – Sliding Doors Aspvik – Sliding DoorsPS &ndsah; 23x15x41 PS – 23x15x41
  • PS – 46x15x24 PS – 46x15x24Aspvik – Sliding Doors (Wall) Aspvik – Sliding Doors (Wall)
Chairs
  • Janne – Swivel Chair Janne – Swivel ChairJoakim – Swivel Chair Joakim – Swivel Chair
  • Nominell – Swivel Chair Nominell – Swivel ChairPatrik – Swivel Chair Patrik – Swivel Chair
  • Patrik – Visitor Chair Patrik – Visitor ChairSnille – Swivel Chair Snille – Swivel Chair
Desks
  • Galant – Beech Veneer Galant – Beech VeneerGalant – Birch Veneer Galant – Birch Veneer
  • Galant – Black, Brown Galant – Black, BrownGalant – Glass Galant – Glass
  • Galant – White Galant – WhiteGalant – Corner – Left – Beech Veneer Galant – Corner – Left – Beech Veneer
  • Galant – Corner – Left – Birch Veneer Galant – Corner – Left – Birch VeneerGalant – Corner – Left – Black, Brown Galant – Corner – Left – Black, Brown
  • Galant – Corner – Left – White Galant – Corner – Left – WhiteGalant – Corner – Right – Beech Veneer Galant – Corner – Right – Beech Veneer
  • Galant – Corner – Right – Birch Veneer Galant – Corner – Right – Birch VeneerGalant – Corner – Right – Black, Brown Galant – Corner – Right – Black, Brown
  • Galant – Corner – Right – White Galant – Corner – Right – WhiteGalant – Left Half-Round – Beech Veneer Galant – Left Half-Round – Beech Veneer
  • Galant – Left Half-Round – Birch Veneer Galant – Left Half-Round – Birch VeneerGalant – Left Half-Round – Black, Brown Galant – Left Half-Round – Black, Brown
  • Galant – Left Half-Round – White Galant – Left Half-Round – WhiteGalant – Right Half Round – Beech Veneer Galant – Right Half Round – Beech Veneer
  • Galant – Right Half Round – Birch Veneer Galant – Right Half Round – Birch VeneerGalant – Right Half Round – Black, Brown Galant – Right Half Round – Black, Brown
  • Galant – Right Half Round – White Galant – Right Half Round – White
Downlights
  • Ceiling Lamp – Erbium Ceiling Lamp – ErbiumSpotlight – Grundtal Spotlight – Grundtal
Filing Cabinets
  • Aspvik – 2 Drawers Aspvik – 2 DrawersAspvik – 2 Drawers Aspvik – 2 Drawers
  • Galant – Drawer unit on casters – Beech Veneer Galant – Drawer unit on casters – Beech Veneer
  • Galant – Drawer unit on casters – Birch Veneer Galant – Drawer unit on casters – Birch Veneer
  • Galant – Drawer unit on casters – Black, Brown Galant – Drawer unit on casters – Black, Brown
  • Galant – Drawer unit on casters – White Galant – Drawer unit on casters – White
General Luminaries, Directional
  • Wall Spotlight – Kramare Wall Spotlight – KramareWall Spotlight – Kvart Wall Spotlight – Kvart
  • Work Lamp – Barometer Work Lamp – BarometerWork Lamp – Lagra Work Lamp – Lagra
  • Wall Uplight – Klaviatur Wall Uplight – Klaviatur
Shelves
  • Expedit – Birch Expedit – BirchExpedit – Black, Brown Expedit – Black, Brown
  • Expedit – White Expedit – WhiteAspvik – Adjustable (Wall) Aspvik – Adjustable (Wall)
Spots and Tracklight Specialties
  • Ceiling Spotlight – Fuga Ceiling Spotlight – FugaQuad Spotlight – Beryll Quad Spotlight – Beryll
  • 3 Spotlights – Kramare 3 Spotlights – Kramare3 Spotlights – Leding 3 Spotlights – Leding
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