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Thursday, December 31, 2009

How Are We Going To Say “2010″? A Website Comes Just In The Nick Of Time.

Well, it's the last day of 2009 so I just wanted to say a few words. First, from the post below, because of Autodesk's screwy naming conventions, we've all been saying 2010 at least since 4/15/09 when Revit Architecture 2010 came out. I'm sure many more of you were saying it months before that in anticipation of the new version coming out. Who know that the ribbon would cause so much trouble. Well, I'm sure Autodesk has a lot up their sleeve with the possibility of Revit Architecture 2011. Twenty Eleven. That's just too many syllables.

I've actually made it up to 957 blog posts. I considered adding the extra 40, but that was too many, even for me. It's been a crazy year and I've learned so much as I've ventured into new areas with BIM and the blog. I wonder what 2010 will bring. Hopefully no more articles about how wonderful BIM is. We already know that. Maybe 2010 will be the year of the architect. Are you listening McGraw-Hill Construction? Ever since reading the words in their 2008 report that 2009 would be the year of the contractor, BIM for construction has exploded. It'd be great if all of the architects and engineers could get on board with BIM.

I'll finish off the post with a few family photos.  Up top are 3 generations of Arkins.  My dad on the right has been in the construction industry since 1954.  Myself, I started in 1981 and JR has been into Legos for over a year now.  For those of you who've been watching JR grow up the past 23 months, here's a few photos of him.  If you wonder how I've made the time for almost 1,000 blog posts this year, the third photo below gives away my secret.  I've had a little help from JR.  No, he's not actually typing yet, but he does inspire me to help make the planet a better place for his future.

To all of you, happy new year and may next year be successful for all of us.   May you be happy in your 3D modeling and BIM and may we never have to put another line on a layer again.


Repost: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/12/30/2010/
Screen shot 2009-12-30 at 3.33.23 PM

Newsflash: Tomorrow is the last day of 2009. That means we’re moving into the first new decade of the 2000s. And we have a decision to make.

Say “2009″ outloud. Chances are you’re saying “two thousand and nine.” But if you think about it, that’s weird. Say “1909″ outloud. Chances are you’re saying “nineteen-oh-nine.” It makes some sense, since we weren’t going to pronounce “2000″ as “twenty hundred,” but for whatever reason, going forward, we never moved to something like “twenty-oh-one” for “2001″ and so forth. A new website is urging us to do just that for the next decade.

TwentyNot2000.com has one purpose: To break your habit of saying “two-thousand-and-SO-AND-SO” before the new decade begins tomorrow at midnight. Why do they care? Because it takes more time to say “two thousand and ten” rather than just “twenty ten.” Also considered wrong by the site are “two thousand ten” (no “and”) and “two oh ten.” In the site’s own words:
Say the year “1810″ out loud. Now say the year “1999″ out loud. See a pattern? It’s been easier, faster, and shorter to say years this way for every decade (except for the one that just ended) instead of saying the number the long way. However, many people are carrying the way they said years from last decade over to this decade as a bad habit. If we don’t fix this now, we’ll be stuck saying years the long way for the next 99 years. Don’t let that happen!
The site also has a Facebook Group and Fan Page, just to drive the point home. The fan page actually has over 17,000 fans.
So choose now, but in the words of the Grail Knight from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, “choose wisely” or we could be stuck wasting words for the next 89 years (their math is a little off, but don’t let that distract you).
Happy New Year.


[thanks Chan]

Crunch Network: CrunchGear drool over the sexiest new gadgets and hardware.


Type Catalogs - Revit Tip

from Revit Garage

Type Catalogs are nothing new to Revit, but are something I recently dove into. So, I thought I'd share some information about Type Catalogs for those of you who may not be familiar with them.

First of all, a family type is a subdivision with a family of elements. For example, a supply diffuser family might have various face and neck size combinations (or types) defined for the family file. Each diffuser type may vary in size, but share the same parameters and have a similar graphic representation. Therefore, it is logical to group these together in one file as opposed to creating a family file for each size. There are two ways to define family types. The first is to create the family types within the family file itself. When you load this type of family into a project, all of the family types that are defined within the family are loaded. This results in many unwanted family types that become part of the project file, thus increasing the file size. The second way is to use Type Catalogs. According to the Revit MEP help glossary of terms, a Type Catalog is a 'list of model elements that belong to a particular family type but that differ in size or other characteristics'. Using type catalogs allows you to only load the sizes, or types, you need from a list. By only selecting the types you need, you reduce the project size and limit the number of items listed in the type selector for that family. A Type Catalog is a comma-delimited text file that defines parameter values for each family type. You can use spreadsheet or database software, such as Excel, to define family types and their parameter values to automate the process of creating the comma-delimited text file. This is a much more efficient method than defining the parameter values within the family file itself.

Below is an example of at type catalog list that will appear when you load a type catalog family:

You can sort by any parameter to help narrow down your choices. Then, simply select the family types you want to load into your project:

When you go place an instance of the family in the project, only the family types that you loaded will appear in the type selector (shown in Revit MEP 2009):

A few important things to note about type catalogs:

  • The type catalog text file that is associated with a family must have the exact same file name. For example:
      Linear Bar Supply Grille-Face Based.rfa
      Linear Bar Supply Grille-Face Based.txt
  • Family files and their associated Type Catalogs must be located in the same folder.
  • Instance parameters are typically not included in Type Catalogs.

I won't go into how to create a type catalog in this post. However, the Revit MEP help section has a very good explanation of how it all works and gives a good example you can use to get started.


Revit Drawings (2D & 3D Families) - Simpson Strong-Tie

Finally, some Revit families for contractors. These types of families would be used for fabrication and shop drawings. Looks like manufacturers are seeing who's really taking advantage of Revit throughout the whole lifecycle. Enjoy!

From: http://www.strongtie.com/drawings/revit.asp

At the request of our customers, Simpson Strong-Tie is creating drawings for our product offerings that work with Autodesk® Revit® software. You can download the models we currently have available, grouped into "families", from the links below. More about Revit software.

To download, click a "2D Files" or "3D Files" link below. Need help with downloads?

  • A34/A35 Family
    Family product info
  • ABA/ABE/ABU Family product info
  • AC Family product info
  • ACE Family product info
  • CB/LCB Family product info
    • 2D Files posted 11/10/09
    • 3D Files posted 11/10/09

    • Click to view models included

  • CBQ Family product info
  • CBSQ Family product info
  • CC/ECC/ECCU Family product info
    • 2D Files posted 10/14/09
    • 3D Files posted 10/14/09

  • CCQ/ECCQ Family product info

What is Revit software?

Revit software is a relatively new computer-aided drafting (CAD) system developed by Autodesk which is becoming increasingly popular in the industry. Revit applications uses three-dimensional, real-time, dynamic building modeling software to increase productivity in building design. This process produces a Building Information Model (BIM), which encompasses building geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, and quantities and properties of building components.
In this way, Revit applications produce a smart building model where a change anywhere is a change everywhere, instantly, with no user interaction to manually update any view. A BIM model may contain the building's full life cycle, from concept to construction to decommissioning. Revit Architecture also provides the ability to do quick takeoffs on materials within the structure.
More Revit families to come
This page will house the families of models we are creating and will be updated every time a family is finished. To be notified when new families are added enter your email in the form above.
Simpson Strong-Tie plans to convert thousands of products to this new software format. It will take time to create these models, but if you have immediate needs for a particular project you can request models or more information. We can’t guarantee a time frame to complete your request, but we will make every effort to support you.

Revit Drawings (2D & 3D Families)


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Modifying a Family Shared Parameter "Group Parameter Under" in a Project - The Revit Clinic

From http://revitclinic.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/12/modifying-a-shared-parameter-group-parameter-under-in-a-project.html

By default once a shared parameter is loaded into a project, the Group parameter under category will remain even if the group is later changed and reloaded into the project.


For example:

-You originally specify the shared parameter to be grouped under Dimensions in a family, and load it into a project.
-Later, in the family, you change the group to Construction and load it back into the project.
-The project still maintains the original Dimensions group even if the family is purged and loaded back into the project

You can change the group by temporarily creating a Project Parameter, point it to the Shared Parameter with the desired group, and then load the family back in. This will reset the Group parameter under category.

I've included a quick video below with this approach:

Video Example

Modifying a Family Shared Parameter "Group Parameter Under" in a Project - The Revit Clinic Read more...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Revit Hardware - compatibility and performance

I got a call today from a mechanical contractor who is being required to provide 3D submittals for a project they're working on. He wanted to know what kind of computer he needs so he can learn Revit MEP and Navisworks manage and use the products for construction coordination. I gave him the recommendations from Autodesk, but also sent him this from http://whatrevitwants.blogspot.com which should be very helpful to many of you out there. Personally, I always recommend Dell Precision Workstations as the foundation for the right machine to get. For any of you considering HP, F..k them. The charge more for ink than human blood and oil. Someone needs to look into that. If you think Autodesk software is expensive, turn your anger to HP and what they charge.

By the way, 1 US gallon - 3785.411 ml. So, $.70 x 3785.411 is $2650 for a gallon of HP ink. Try this instead: http://www.inksystem.com/. Now you'll have money to spend on software.

As this graph shows, printer ink is rather expensive, and costs more than things like human blood or a barrel of crude oil. [via ReflectionOf. Me]
Source: http://consumerist.com/2009/12/hp-ink-costs-more-than-human-blood.html

Repost: http://whatrevitwants.blogspot.com/2009/12/revit-hardware-compatibility-and.html

Revit is a very acceptable OOTB (out of the box) tool. If you are using Revit OOTB, there are really only two variables that determine your productivity. Assuming you have zero customised content, these variables are:
  • your own skill and ability
  • the performance of your computer
We are all working to try and keep our skills on the cutting edge. But is your hardware keeping up its end of the bargain? Our company made a significant investment into some middle to top-of-the-line workstations a few months ago, for which I am very grateful. If you are looking to purchase a new system, or upgrade an existing one, you should definitely review the
Model Performance Technical Note (you may have accessed this via S
The following AUGI forum links may also be of assistance to you:

Revit 2010 - Graphics Cards that work (and those that don't)

Happy with your hardware?

Video card D3D compatibility - Revit 2010 on Vista / Win7

Revit Running on Intel Mac

Non-Mac hardware benchmarks using the 2009 benchmark journal

Rendering speed in Windows 7 64 & Revit 2010 64bit

Feel free to comment if you have any thoughts or recommendations.

Source: Revit Hardware - compatibility and performance

From Autodesk:

System Requirements

System Requirements for 32-bit Autodesk Revit Architecture

  • Microsoft® Windows Vista® 32-bit (SP1), including Ultimate, Business, or Home Premium edition, or Microsoft® Windows® XP (SP1 or SP2) Professional or Home edition*
  • Intel® Pentium® 4 1.4 GHz or equivalent AMD® processor
  • 3 GB RAM (1 GB RAM if no rendering is required)
  • 5 GB free disk space
  • 1280 x 1024 monitor and display adapter capable of 24-bit color
  • Windows® Internet Explorer® 6.0 (SP1 or later)
  • Microsoft Mouse-compliant pointing device
  • Download or installation from DVD
  • Internet connection for license registration

System Recommendations for 32-bit Autodesk Revit Architecture

  • Windows XP Professional (SP2 or later)*
  • Intel® Core™2 Duo 2.4 GHz or equivalent AMD processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 5 GB free disk space
  • Dedicated video card with hardware support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9 (or later)
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 (SP1 or later)
  • Two-button mouse with scroll wheel

System Requirements for 64-bit Autodesk Revit Architecture

  • Windows Vista 64-bit (SP1), including Ultimate, Business, or Home Premium edition, or Windows XP Professional (SP1) x64 edition*
  • Pentium 4 1.4 GHz or equivalent AMD processor
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 5 GB free disk space
  • 1280 x 1024 monitor and display adapter capable of 24-bit color
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 (SP1 or later)
  • Microsoft Mouse-compliant pointing device
  • Download or installation from DVD
  • Internet connection for license registration

System Recommendations for 64-bit Autodesk Revit Architecture

  • Windows XP Professional x64 edition (SP1 or later)*
  • Intel Core 2 Duo 2.40GHz or equivalent AMD processor
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 5 GB free disk space
  • Dedicated video card with hardware support for DirectX 9 (or later)
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1 (or later)
  • Two-button mouse with scroll wheel

* Learn more about using Autodesk Revit Architecture software with Boot Camp®, part of Mac OS® X that enables you to install and run Microsoft Windows (and Windows-based applications) on a Mac® computer or with Parallels Desktop, a system utility available from Parallels, Inc. that allows you to run applications in each operating system without restarting your computer.

...and just for the heck of it...AutoCAD's requirements/recommendations as a comparison

For 64-bit AutoCAD 2010

  • Windows XP Professional x64 edition (SP2 or later) or Windows Vista (SP1 or later) including Enterprise, Business, Ultimate, or Home Premium edition (compare Windows Vista versions), or Windows 7 (see note below)
  • AMD Athlon 64 with SSE2 technology, or AMD Opteron® processor with SSE2 technology, or Intel® Xeon® processor with Intel EM64T support and SSE2 technology, or Intel Pentium 4 with Intel EM64T support and SSE2 technology
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 1.5 GB free space for installation
  • 1,024 x 768 VGA display with true color
  • Internet Explorer 7.0 or later
  • Install from download, DVD, or CD

Additional Requirements for 3D Modeling (All Configurations)

  • Intel Pentium 4 processor or AMD Athlon, 3 GHz or higher; Intel or AMD dual-core processor, 2 GHz or higher
  • 2 GB RAM or greater
  • 2 GB hard disk space available in addition to free space required for installation
  • 1,280 x 1,024 32-bit color video display adapter (true color) 128 MB or greater, Microsoft® Direct3D® capable workstation class graphics card

For 64-bit AutoCAD MEP

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Home edition (SP2 or later) or Microsoft Windows Vista (SP1), including Enterprise, Business, Ultimate, or Home edition (compare Windows Vista versions)
  • AMD Athlon 64 with SSE2 technology, AMD Opteron® with SSE2 technology, Intel® Xeon® with Intel EM64T support and SSE2 technology, or Intel Pentium 4 with Intel EM64T support and SSE2 technology
  • 2 GB RAM, 4 GB recommended
  • 4.3 GB free disk space for default install, 4.7 GB for full install
  • 1,024 x 768 display with true color, 1,280 x 1,024 true color recommended
  • 128 MB graphics card; 256 MB or greater, Direct3D-capable workstation-class 3D graphics card recommended (currently supported graphics cards)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or later
  • Microsoft Mouse-compliant pointing device
  • DVD drive (for installation only)

AutoCAD/Architecture/Civil/Map/MEP Tech Support - Distributed File System (DFS) Problems in AutoCAD 2010

Published date: 2009-Dec-14
ID: TS14284730

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2010
AutoCAD® Architecture 2010
AutoCAD® Civil 2010
AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2010
AutoCAD® Electrical 2010
AutoCAD LT® 2010
AutoCAD® Map 3D 2010
AutoCAD® Mechanical 2010
AutoCAD® MEP 2010
AutoCAD® P&ID 2010
AutoCAD® Plant 3D 2010
AutoCAD® Raster Design 2010


You are experiencing problems with AutoCAD 2010 (or a vertical product based on AutoCAD 2010) not working with DFS.


Although Autodesk does not officially support using the Windows Distributed File System with AutoCAD and AutoCAD-based vertical products, it has been known to work properly in the past and many customers use DFS with our products. We have recently identified two separate issues that can affect DFS usage.

The first problem is the inability to open a DFS folder from the File Navigation dialog in AutoCAD 2010. This problem has been corrected in Update 1 for AutoCAD 2010. If you are using AutoCAD LT 2010, or a vertical product, you should apply the Update for that product that includes Update 1 from AutoCAD. For most vertical products, that will also be Update 1 however, for AutoCAD Civil 3D, that will be Update 2.

The second problem is the inability to open folders on a DFS share by double-clicking. This is mostly seen on Vista SP2 and Windows 7 and is due to changes Microsoft made in those operating systems to change a folder to a link. For file folders that won’t open using double-click, the recommended work-around is to pick the Open button instead.

Autodesk - AutoCAD Civil 3D & AutoCAD Civil Services & Support - Distributed File System (DFS) Problems in AutoCAD 2010


Who's making the BIM technology decisions in your house/office

So you're cruising along, in your GPS-equipped SUV, taking your dear wife back home to Reno. The trusty onscreen guide instructs you to "turn right" and you follow its typically reliable instructions. At what point in the next three days of plowing deeper and deeper into snow-covered Oregon do you start suspecting that maybe something is amiss? Alright, so this isn't quite on par with others driving buses into low-clearance tunnels, dipping their cars into rivers, or jamming heavy load trucks into unsuitably tight farm lanes. But we don't discriminate here, all instances of idiotic GPS dependency deserve their moment in the sun, so here's to Mr. John Rhoads and his tastefully named wife, Mrs. Starry Bush-Rhoads, who are now safe and sound after their phone pinged out its coordinates to emergency services when it began losing signal.

GPS leads couple into Oregon wilderness, lack of common sense keeps them there 3 days -- Engadget


Apply automatically to new views of same type... - The Revit Clinic

Tech Repost: http://revitclinic.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/12/apply-automatically-to-new-views-of-same-type.html

An often overlooked feature for troubleshooting or template creation is the view template checkbox to Apply automatically to new views of same type.


When checked Revit will apply this specific view template to all new project views of the same type [for example elevations, floor plans].

To access this menu right-click on a specific view > Apply View Template > select view template > check Apply automatically to new views of same type.

2 Scenarios where this option is useful

1. Template Creation

When creating a template you can predefine view templates to automatically be applied to new project views following this approach.

2. Troubleshooting

If a project is experiencing issues with views, first check to see if there may be a view template being inadvertently applied to new views. Scroll down the list of view templates to see if this box is checked for any view template.

Apply automatically to new views of same type... - The Revit Clinic


Monday, December 28, 2009

Revit Architecture Tech Support - Split face on floor is not selectable in plan view

Published date: 2009-Dec-28
ID: TS14334989

Applies to:
Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2010


You have a floor object containing a split face region which cannot be selected or edited in a floor plan view.


The View Properties > View Range > View Depth must include the floor object in order for the split face to be selectable in a floor plan view. If the split face is selectable in a 3D but not a floor plan view verify the following:

  • View Properties
  • View Range
  • Edit View Depth Offset to ensure it includes the floor & split face objects
  • The split face should be selectable and editable in a floor plan view after the View Depth is adjusted.

Autodesk - Autodesk Revit Architecture Services & Support - Split face on floor is not selectable in plan view Read more...

Catching The Green Express - AGC Article

Source: http://constructoragc.construction.com/mag/2009_11-12/features/0911-30_AGC.asp

Contractors embrace more sustainable building practices, whichever green benchmark is used

By Angelle Bergeron

The green building industry will soar to $60 billion by 2010, says the U.S. Green Building Council.
Nabholz Construction Services in October moved into its new office at West Little Rock, Ark., and currently is seeking LEED certification for the building.
Nabholz Construction Services in October moved into its new office at West Little Rock, Ark., and currently is seeking LEED certification for the building.
“Green is the new gold,” says Thomas Taylor, general manager of Vertegy, a sustainability consulting unit of Alberici Corp., St. Louis, a member of AGC of St. Louis. “It is a fast-moving market, and you have to stay on top of it.The public is demanding things be green.”

Half of New York City-based Turner Construction Co.’s sales so far this year were for buildings that will be certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, says Michael Deane, vice president and chief sustainability officer. “Last year, that number was 30%, and the year before it was 24%.”

Deane joined Turner five years ago because of the company’s commitment to green operations. “I knew I wanted to work for these guys, and I came specifically to help grow their green market,” he says.

Deane led Turner from having about 50 LEED-accredited professionals (APs) among 5,000 employees to more than 1,100 today. “We can’t force an owner to build green,” Deane says. “Mostly, we are good at putting information on the table and helping owners make a good decision.”
Turner is a leader in health care, office and school construction, identified by The McGraw-Hill Cos. as the three biggest sectors for green growth and building. Despite the ongoing recession, “there is still tremendous growth in green in absolute dollars and as a percentage of our total volume,” Deane says.

More LEED Professionals
Southfield, Mich.-based Barton Malow Co., a member of multiple AGC chapters, has seen its percentage of LEED projects grow “exponentially” since its first one in 2003, says Brian Larson, project manager on the University of Virginia’s first LEED-certified Silver building.
Brian Larson
Brian Larson
“The projects that want to go green are still going green,” Larson says. “The biggest problem with the economic situation is owners are canceling the whole project, not canceling the green. The percentage of projects we are going after is definitely increasing.”

Although Barton Malow’s greening was precipitated by owner demand, the company changed systems and resources to follow the trend. Barton Malow increased the number of LEED APs on staff and formed a corporate green team to guide practices and conduct internal education.
“Each project brings a new green strategy that we can then apply to future projects,” Larson says. For example, when Barton Malow completed Medlar Field at Pennsylvania State University in University Park as the country’s first LEED-certified ballpark, the contractor learned how to apply green building to stadiums.

McCarthy Building Cos., St. Louis, a member of multiple AGC chapters, began going green about eight years ago, says Dennis Tucker, executive vice president of the southwest region and chairman of the company’s green steering committee, which sets policies across the country.
“We began with a green team holding teleconferences to share efforts and what we were doing to support LEED and USGBC,” Tucker says. “That turned into a corporate initiative, and we officially established the Green Steering Committee two years ago.”

McCarthy also made a conscious education effort and pushed to have more employees become LEED APs. “We currently have 400 LEED APs in a company of 1,250 employees,” Tucker says.
McCarthy’s biggest focus is on health care, education, industrial and water, all sectors where owners are demanding green, Tucker says. “Of the roughly 200 active projects we have across the country, over 70 of them are LEED,” he adds.

Many Reasons To Go Green
Mary Laurie was hired in 2007 as director of sustainable initiatives for Nabholz Construction Services, Conway, Ark., a member of AGC’s Arkansas Chapter. Before that, a group of LEED APs in the firm had formed a green-construction roundtable.
The LEED-certified Gold Courtyard of Monticello/Thomas Jefferson Visitor’s Center project gave Barton Malow experience with a complex ground-source heating-and-cooling system.
The LEED-certified Gold Courtyard of Monticello/Thomas Jefferson Visitor’s Center project gave Barton Malow experience with a complex ground-source heating-and-cooling system. (Photo Courtesy of Debbie Franke Architectural Photography)

“The benefit for us in having a sustainability officer is, there is always someone watching, trying to keep ahead of things, having a champion here, urging people on,” Laurie says.

In addition to ensuring the company has adequately trained staff, Laurie is constantly looking at ways Nabholz can be more sustainable and communicate that capability to clients.

Vertegy’s Taylor says people build green for a variety of reasons. “Some do it because it is the right thing to do,” he says. “Others do it because of return on investment, energy savings or to demonstrate to employees they care.”
An increasing number of municipal, state and government mandates are specifying green construction, although some individuals and associations take issue with the Government Services Administration, military and state mandates that specify only LEED certification.

AGC of America has “concern over mandates that reference only one rating system,” says Melinda Tomaino, a LEED AP and director of AGC’s Green Construction division. “This practice could introduce additional risk to building green by tying important government incentives for green buildings [such as tax credits] to a program run by a private organization like the USGBC. Competitiveness in the marketplace drives improvement in individual programs.”

Because LEED was the first certification system, it is synonymous to building green for many people. “Currently, the majority of our clients are pursuing LEED because it is what most people know about,” says Taylor, who chairs the AGC Environmental Network Steering committees. He is a LEED AP and also on the board of the Green Building Initiative, which owns the rights to a different rating system called Green Globes.
The University of Virginia’s South Lawn in Charlottesville, Va., is LEED-registered and will seek Silver certification. Being built by Barton Malow Co., it is one the university’s first two LEED projects.
The University of Virginia’s South Lawn in Charlottesville, Va., is LEED-registered and will seek Silver certification. Being built by Barton Malow Co., it is one the university’s first two LEED projects.
The University of Virginia’s South Lawn in Charlottesville, Va., is LEED-registered and will seek Silver certification. Being built by Barton Malow Co., it is one the university’s first two LEED projects. (Photo by Dan Grogan)

Although LEED is “definitely the recognized brand leader,” there are actually “50 or 60 individual rating systems used by different organizations and geographic areas,” Taylor says.

Only Game in Town?
The Earth and Planetary Sciences Building at Washington University in St. Louis was Tarlton Corp.’s first LEED-certified project.
The Earth and Planetary Sciences Building at Washington University in St. Louis was Tarlton Corp.’s first LEED-certified project. (Photo by Dan Grogan)
USGBC was started in the early 1990s and launched LEED in 1998. Before that, “someone would have recycled content in the carpet and called [the building] a green building,” says Scot Horst, USGBC senior vice president for LEED. “There was no way to define collectively what green is.”
LEED, developed through a voluntary consensus organization, defined what constitutes a green building, Horst says. “Now that we have been influential in helping to raise these issues, people are saying, ‘How come LEED is the only game in town?’ The way I see it, the more the merrier. We are only touching a portion of the market. We need to totally change how buildings are built and operated.”

Most green contractors say they will build green at whatever price point and under whatever certification system owners prefer. “These projects are client-driven,” says McCarthy’s Tucker.
Jeff Freese, senior project manager with Tarlton Corp., St. Louis, an AGC of St. Louis member, agrees but adds, “LEED is the only [certification system] we have been asked to build to so far.”
Tarlton became involved in green building in 2002 with construction of the LEED-certified Earth and Planetary Science Building at Washington University. “Right after that, we constructed a new main-office headquarters for Tarlton that is LEED Silver,” Freese says. “We wanted to be on the forefront, and now we know how to do it. Like many building owners, we agree with the idea that we all need to be responsible for what we do with the environment.”

Critics say the 2009 LEED Version 3 changes will make building LEED onerous for contractors and prompt the rise of competing certification systems, but Tarlton’s Freese does not see a problem. “I would hope the overall intent is to be more sustainable in construction and operation of your building, whether you get a plaque or not,” he says. “I hope the certification doesn’t hold the same importance as the overall goal of being more sustainable.”

Tackling LEED Version 3
In April 2009, the U.S. Green Building Council came out with Version 3 of its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design cer. V3 and future changes also represent USGBC’s constant weighing of sustainability goals with market capability, Horst explains. “We can’t get too far ahead of the market,” he says. “People won’t follow us.”

For example, the LEED V3 requirement that owners provide data tification program.
Many changes were welcomed and lauded as improvements, including more emphasis on “life-cycle assessment and regional concerns,” says Melinda Tomaino, a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) and director of AGC’s Green Construction division. “USGBC sought and achieved acceptance as a standards developer under the American National Standards Institute to bring further credibility to its program,” Tomaino says. “USGBC also recently turned over the administration of its credentialing and certification programs to the Green Building Certification Institute to promote objectivity and credibility.”

The changes prompted some criticism. Beyond the typical moans and groans that accompany any change, the chief complaints about LEED V3 surround the tracking and reporting of energy usage in LEED-certified buildings for five years and the continuing-education requirements for LEED APs.

Some changes, including the energy requirements, respond to industry criticism of LEED 2.2, says Scot Horst, USGBC’s senior vice president of LEED for energy efficiency for five years is a step toward associating that data with certification. “Currently, you do not have to have a certain level of performance in order to be certified,” Horst says. “You just have to give us the information. When the market is ready, that is where we have to go. But the market is not ready right now.”

That particular requirement will prompt owners and contractors to demand alternate third-party certification products, says Thomas Taylor, general manager of Vertegy, a sustainability consulting unit of Alberici Corp., St. Louis. “Will this be the death of LEED? I don’t think so,” Taylor says. But he says it has some contractors asking, Why would anyone do this?
Before LEED V3, “if you passed the exam to be a LEED AP, you were one forever,” says Michael Deane, vice president and chief sustainability officer of Turner Construction Co., New York City. Now, in order to maintain accreditation, LEED APs will have to take 30 annual hours of continuing education in the sustainability field.

USGBC “also said that if you are a LEED AP from the old days, you can opt to be a legacy AP,” Deane says. “USGBC is assuming that, over time, that will be perceived to be not as good or as current as the new LEED AP+.”

LEED has always been intended to be a living document, Horst says, “but at the same time, it cannot just be constantly changing. What we are doing is very similar to what other standards do to improve themselves.”

The next LEED update is scheduled for 2012.


Revit Tech Support - Location Position Changed dialog when saving in Revit

Published date: 2009-Dec-28
ID: TS14334953

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


You attempt to save a project containing a linked file with shared positioning and receive the Location Position Changed dialog with each save attempt.


There are two scenarios where this can occur:

Scenario 1

Highlight a linked file, Element Properties > Shared Location. If OK is specified at the Choose Location dialog, the user will be prompted with the following dialog when saving:

You have changed the position of a location in FileName.rvt. What do you want to do?

To avoid this dialog, instead specify Cancel on the Choose Location dialog.

Scenario 2

When saving a project, the user is prompted with the following dialog:

You have changed the position of a location in FileName.rvt. What do you want to do?

If the user specifies Disable shared positioning and attempts to save the project, the dialog will display again at the next save.

To avoid this dialog, after specifying Disable shared positioning close the project and reopen it to permanently dismiss the dialog.

Autodesk - Autodesk Revit Services & Support - Location Position Changed dialog when saving in Revit


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saving Revit Families - Andekan.com

Our friends at Andekan.com must be super busy to only find time to post at this time of the year. I guess with the 1,000s of manufacturer content they're creating, they just don't have the time to do much blogging.

Below is a great tip for those of you trying to create your own content. I'll give you my own little secret. The key to Revit is content, but not just any content. You're going to need to put in parameters and fields that aren't selfish. That means adding fields for everything from conceptual design through facility management. As we move more into energy modeling and owner required BIM and LEED, you're going to have to give up your families to share with others. That's going to require adding extra information that will be used downstream.

In terms of downstream, Revit is not linear like CAD is. You can have multiple people working on the model at the same time. Revit is a database and filled with information. Lots and lots of information. It's a database. That means it's going to be shared with others. Oh, by the way, it's something you want to do. You want to share the database with others. That's because they want to get the job done and not have lots of errors and omissions. So, you, there in the corner, hoarding your data and telling the owner, consultants, GC and everyone else that you're special and magic copyrighted never can be shared with anyone because it's top secret and martians told you that the world would end if you gave someone your Revit model, well, get over it.

For the rest of you, pay attention to what Andekan has to say below because content needs to be small in file size and they really know what they're doing.


Unlike Saving Private Ryan, here no lives are being lost, just time.

In Revit, when saving a family from within the family editor the file size might not be as good as one might expect. Let’s say you start working with a family weighting 192kb and after a lot of playing around, doing and undoing geometry, changing parameters and what not, you decide to save the family. Since you ended up just adding a couple bits of geometry and some parameters, you don’t expect the file size to increase for more than 20kb, if that. But when you look at the file size of the family you just saved, your heart skips a bit – okay, maybe not. Still you might end up being surprised that the file size is now close to 900kb.

You know that can’t be right. You’ve done or seen families done by others more complex that weren’t half the (file) size of the one you just saved. So what gives? Is there a secret formula to building light weight geometry in the family editor?

No, nothing so intriguing. The problem is with the Revit family editor. The problem has been there since at least the 2008 series, and up to today. And there is a workaround.

The Workaround

Saving the family with the Save As command and giving it a different name1 always works to get you the smallest file size possible. That family that we were playing with, now slimmed down to 204kb. That’s a nice file size, and you save yourself from the fat-bits that would otherwise end up in your project.

Then, if you started with the right name for the family, most likely, Save As again to rename it back to the original name.

Up until and including the 2009 series, there was little else you could do. With 2010 and beyond, a plugin could do the dirty work for you. The solution should come from the Factory, though. At least three releases sport the problem. About time it gets fixed. Since it’s Chrismas Eve, I’ll make this one wish.

And for everyone else, merry Christmas!

1 Sometimes is enough to use the Save As and keep the same name, but often is not, so better to rename.

» Saving Revit Families

Revit Sheet Creator Application for Revit - Jason Grant Blog - Adaptive Practice by Jason Grant

Here is a great gift from Jason Grant. Thanks Jason for taking the time to save every Revit user even more time in 2010.

From: http://jasongrant.squarespace.com/jason-grant-blog/2009/12/24/sheet-creator-application-for-revit.html

As promised, the Sheet Creator application for Revit has been uploded to the download section of this site. Below is a video that shows the current steps to create a sheet in Revit and then shows how the application speeds up the process.

Revit Sheet Creator Application from Jason Grant on Vimeo.

To install, follow these directions:
  • Download SheetCreatorV1.zip file from the download section of this site.
  • Create a folder in your C: drive - C:\Revit Apps
  • Extract all files to this folder
  • Once extracted, you can run the ModifyIniFile_SheetCreator.exe file to add this application to any others you have in your Revit.ini file or you can use the extracted Revit.ini file as a reference to append the file yourself.
  • Run Revit and the program should be listed in your Add-Ins Panel under external tools
  • The only file that needs to stay in the C:\Revit Apps folder is SheetCreator.dll. Any other files can be deleted once installed.

The source code (written in C#) for this is also found in the SheetCreatorV1.zip file if you would like to expand or customize the application.

Version 2 of this utility is already in development where I will be working on expanding the options. These options could include loading additional title blocks and bringing in a list of sheets from excel. Keep posted in 2010 for new versions.

This application was developed for Revit Architecture 2010 and has not been tested in other versions or releases. There should not be an issue with using it in the MEP and Structural versions of Revit 2010. If you have any general ideas for improvements please let me know by leaving a comment or clicking here.

Source:Sheet Creator Application for Revit - Jason Grant Blog - Adaptive Practice by Jason Grant


The Building Coder: Custom Ribbon Tab

Here's a little more about the Ribbon customization. You'll want to go directly to the source link to read the entire post.

Source: http://thebuildingcoder.typepad.com/blog/2009/12/custom-ribbon-tab.html
Jeremy Tammik 12/16/09

I am still on tour presenting at the Western European DevDays conferences, and with no time for blogging or responding to comments. In fact, I have almost no time for anything at all except presenting, meeting and discussing with participants during the day, and getting from one city to the next in the evenings. Right now I am sitting in the airport waiting for a plain to Milano. Back to Bella Italia, albeit for less than twenty-four hours.

I was hoping to find time to prepare a few blog posts in advance for the coming weeks, when I will be gone on holidays and vacation. Friday is supposed to be my last working day this year, and I am starting to wonder whether I will be able to just walk away from all the unresolved issues and leave them to lie until next year.

Anyway, in a sleepless hour in between I noticed that Augusto Gonçalves responded once again to a question that has already come up a few times in the past, so his interesting result is well worth while presenting, even if it is not directly useful in the context of the Revit API. It deals with the frequent question on whether it is possible to add your own ribbon tab to the Revit user interface.

Question: I expect the answer to this is no, but I thought I would at least ask anyway. Is it possible to create a new ribbon tab in Revit, similar to AutoCAD 2010, or are panels within the Add-Ins tab and items within those panels the only ribbon objects that can be accessed and created from a Revit add-in?

Answer: There is no documented support for this in the Revit API that I am aware of. There are however a couple of undocumented and unsupported .NET assemblies that can be used to access the Revit ribbon in an unsupported way. The functionality they provide can even be used to add your own custom panel to the Revit ribbon. What you cannot do, however, is create the context and data required to invoke a standard Revit external command. We have implemented a sample that creates an own custom tab and adds it to the Revit ribbon. It displays a command button which can be used to invoke Revit independent functionality.

The functionality to create a new custom panel and add a command button to it is provided by classes in the Autodesk.Windows namespace. These classes have no knowledge of Revit and its API, and we have not found any way to access the command data required to invoke an external command and make use of the Revit API from such a button. As long as you are happy just doing .NET stuff completely independently of Revit, you can make use of this. This functionality is unsupported, and to be used at your own risk, of course.

Continue reading...The Building Coder: Custom Ribbon Tab


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