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Friday, April 30, 2010

More comments on the BIMuda Triangle Revit Principal post

Can someone explain to me why the post about a principal being on board with Revit, but his staff not being has generated so much turmoil from you? Do you all realize how many people refuse to even look at Revit?

Let me share with you a scene in our home the other night.
Adrian "JR try the fish"
JR "I don't like it"
Adrian "But JR, how do you know you don't like it, you've never tasted it before"
JR "I just don't like it"
Adrian "OK, here, have some chicken"
JR "OK" (eats the fish)

Now remember, my son is 2 years old. Lets fast forward.

Gregory "Mr architect, try Revit"
Architect "I don't like it"
Gregory "But Mr Architect, how do you know you don't like it, you've never tried it before"
Architect "I just don't like it"
Gregory "OK, here, have some BIM"
Architect "No. I want my sketch pad and pencil back. Why does Autodesk charge so much money for their software. I only work in 2D. I don't need Revit. Why doesn't Autodesk give us the software for free. Google gives us SketchUp for free. We should also get free rent from our landlord, free services from our consultants and free computers from Dell."

Ok. I made up that last part. No one has actually told me they want their sketch pad back. I hope you can see the point. Are 2D drafters 2 year olds? I don't know, but there are a lot of similar conversations to the ones I have in my house.

Addendum 4:54pm.  After discussing this post with several people, I've coined a new term.  Someone who tells you that Revit is bad and has never seen it is a 2D Year Old.  Let's see what kind of mileage we get out of that.
 So, why did a principal wanting his staff to move to Revit upset you? I guess depending on where you live, there's a correlation to the desire to learn new skills. The reality is, so few people have adopted Revit and BIM. There's still so much resistance and that's fine. All it means is fewer firms left in a year or two, less competition and dropping of fees and the BIM firms will win more work and make more money.

So, read some of the responses below. Don't forget that I'm starting a weekly live BIM round table discussion that starts today at 12pm. If you'd like to join and share your thoughts, sign up at www.BIMwtf.com

From the Rebuttal to a BIMuda Triangle post - comments
kubs!x, April 29, 2010 8:55 AM
I would agree on using a white back ground if all of the elements were black, but as colors are applied to elements the use of a white background may not be preferred by the user. Many colors show up poorly on the white background, which can cause eye strain. The bulk of work in those other application that use a white background is text that in most cases is one color, black. Comparing those other applications to Revit may not be a fair comparison if colors are being applied to elements and the majority are different colors. Colors can be applied to elements as visual aids or enhancements to the design process. Using black only elements limits those opportunities. Some examples on the application of color: Applying colors to the different pipe and duct systems is a nice enhancement when routing systems. With large groups of these elements together seeing distinguishing colors aids in quickly identifying the correct system to make a connection. Changing the color of elements as they are connected to systems is another means to quickly identify elements that have not been assigned a systems. Applying colors to tags helps to identify "smart" text versus regular text. When we first plowed into using Revit MEP I too desired to use a white background. As we discovered the benefits of applying color to enhance Revit MEP we soon found the black background to be more beneficial.
Anonymous, April 29, 2010 9:27 AM
I get your point, I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I get it. And you can call me Bob, thanks. Our firm uses Revit (Arch, Struct & MEP) we also use AutoCAD, Microstation, and Bently BIM products. We are an employee owned AE with offices all over the country. I’m all for people –anyone & everyone that embraces new technology. Yes, if there is a need to threaten your employees to get them motivated, then perhaps it’s time to look at the people you hired. In this economy, there are many skilled, experienced people looking for work that would love the chance to learn new skills. If this principal is so motivated himself, then why did it take him two years to open the Revit box and get started? Who’s fault is that, blame it on the CAD drafter? I have no idea what the industry adoption rate is for Revit, I only know what we are doing. And that is, staying on the cutting edge of design by using new tools, new methods, and developing new skill sets all while delivering quality projects to our clients. Thou this has not been easy, and at times has been very frustrating, to my knowledge, no one in our firm has been fired, threatened or otherwise terrorized through all our efforts. Your telling me right now, today, you are turning out BIM projects with 0 RFI’s, 0 CO’s and 0 Addendums? WOW you are really good, we aren’t there yet, but maybe in a few years after more software development, and the skills are improved with experience, and the models are more widely used by contractors in the field, maybe then we will catch up with you. Principals are risk takers by nature, they but their profession on the line every time they sign and seal a drawing, so I would think and hope that risk is not what is holding any firm back from moving forward with any new technology. In this economy and very competitive market I can see where many firms are in a financial state that would not allow them to adopt new software with all the training and other associated costs, but risk? I’m not buying that one. This “Principal” wants to fire his staff if they use a black screen for Revit work? I would hope he has bigger fish to fry that that! So yes, reading this kind of thing does make me angry. Isn’t there enough stress involved in learning new tools and really perhaps in everyday professional and personal life in general without having a goon walk around the office threatening you? As for use of black screens, I’ve been using a black screen for close to 20 years and I like it, I see no reason to change it (unless of course I got fired!) Most if not all CAD/BIM software gives you the option of screen color. I’ve used black screens for PDMS, Microstation, and Bently BIM. I’d say our office is about 50-50 on the black vs white screen. And I sure hope the half of us with the black screens are safe! So it’s not really “negative venom” it’s just the way I see it, plain as black and white. Hey Mr. Principal, you want fries with that?

Revit3D.com - BIMBoom Revitlution: Rebuttal to a BIMuda Triangle post comment: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"


Collaborative Construction Blog: Public Entities Adopting BIM

Great news everybody...we now have a third state requiring BIM for state projects. Welcome to the BIM Boom Ohio. It's only a matter of time before every state requires BIM. You do realize that all they have to do is change 3 letters in their RFPs. It's a simple as changing the deliverable required from DWG to RVT or BIM. Three little letters and all those nasty change orders, addenda, delays, errors, omissions and everything else negative associated with CAD designs just float away into the ether and the projects come in on time and on budget.

Special thanks to James Salmon, the IPD guru/attorney for finding this one. Tic Toc my friends. It's only a matter of time. I think it's time to buy more Autodesk stock too.

Source: http://collaborativeconstruction.blogspot.com/2010/04/public-entities-adopting-bim.html

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
I've been advised that Ohio can now be added to the list of states with a robust BIM initiative. The Buckeye State joins, Wisconsin and Texas as an early adopter of BIM technologies in the public arena.
Of course, California, the GSA, the USACE and Indiana University, among other entities have embraced BIM in certain circumstances, but those three states, Wisconsin, Texas and Ohio are, to date, the only states to adopt formal BIM policies.
In Ohio, the State Architect's office is leading the way. I will provide a link to the announcement when they issue a news release.
Collaborative Construction is monitoring BIM adoption by public entities because public entities that adopt BIM quickly realize the need to modernize their procurement statutes and regulations as fully integrated BIM solutions require fully integrated teams. Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is required to fully utilize BIM and IPD cannot be achieved efficiently and effectively under antiquated legal instruments that pit all stakeholders on major projects one against another.

Public procurement officers must be released from the shackles of the Design Bid Build process if the true benefits of BIM are to be realized.

In the coming months Collaborative Construction will be working with interested parties throughout to establish IPD as an approved project delivery method in the state of Texas. Anyone interested in joining the effort should contact James L. Salmon of Collaborative Construction.

Source: Collaborative Construction Blog: Public Entities Adopting BIM


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Autodesk - 2011 Printed Manuals - Gone!

Say goodbye to the paper.  Autodesk is no longer printing manuals for 2011 and future products. 

Order Product Documentation

Thank you for your purchase. In addition to the electronic documentation, you are entitled to one set of printed documentation per software license purchased. Contact your software administrator if you are unsure how many licenses you own.
Printed documentation may not be available for all products.

Note: Printed manuals are not available for 2011 products. You can access online manuals for 2011 products within your 2011 products.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3
Enter your Serial Number.
Add More
Example : 123 44237345
Your serial number is located on your product license.



A little blooming BIM

I promised Linda that I would write something pretty and flowery to balance some of my recent blog posts.  You may not believe this, but I hate selling software.  I'm not a box pusher and being called the "AutoCAD salesman" is about the worst thing I've ever been called.  At this point, I'm a BIM consultant.  I'm providing solutions for those looking to embrace the future.  BIM software is a blossoming industry and I expect in about two to four years, it's going to be exhausting when about a million of your peers finally realize that they have no choice but to move to Revit.  Yes, the same people that were all forced to move to AutoCAD will now be forced to move to Revit.

What does all of ths have to do with the pictures below?  I thought you'd ask.  Welcome to my back porch.  I couldn't decide which picture to use, so I included all of them.  There are 132 photos and they're all high resolution.  Feel free to use them as you wish.  I want you to look at the photo below.  What do you see?  Do you see the fierce competition?  Do you see the marketing, the fighting to be chosen? 

Do you ever see sales in nature?  Each flower has it's own look, smell and shape and each one is vying for the insects to land on them, pollinate them and help them continue to grow.  Which of the flowers below would you pick?  Did you know that you're in sales too?  Getting hired for a job, getting picked to design a project, being selected to manage a team are all byproducts of you selling your art, creativity, experience and other qualifications.  So, the next time a reseller walks into your office, remember that you're in sales too.  We all are selling something whether it's a product, solution, service, design, idea or anything. 

Just like these flowers, we all one to be selected.  What differentiates you?  What makes you stand out in a crowd?  What makes you more likely to be selected?  Are you a drafter, project manager, CAD or BIM manager, principal?  What are you doing to grow and blossom?  Are you a budding BIM user?  Are you in the weeds with CAD?  Stop for a moment and acknowledge the beauty of nature, the order of things and how our planet sustains itself.  Now, what are you doing to sustain yourself?  How is it that plans and flowers do so well in their natural environment, yet we manage to kill plants every day with neglect, lack of water or nutrients.  What are yo doing right and what are you doing wrong.

Yes, all of this is about CAD, BIM and you.  Every morning I wake up and look at these beautiful flowers.  It's a wonderful way to start my day and I just wanted to share these thoughts and beautiful images with you.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's All There

Well, the MEP engineering firm just left and the principal stopped in my office to thank me for the great training my techs did for them.  We were looking at model of an HVAC system and he said the most profound thing.  He said "It's all there".  I asked him if when working in CAD, had they ever created a set of documents with everything.  He said "no, that's impossible, there are too many things in the building."

So, what do you get with BIM that you don't get with CAD?  Everything.  The complete system.  There's no faking it with Revit.  Either you know how to design an plumbing, electrical, HVAC or fire protection system or you don't.  Once it's all there, you can go on to the next project and not get bogged down in RFIs and field administration.  

Welcome to "the end of the line!"

Rebuttal to a BIMuda Triangle post comment

*Post Addendum* 4/28 8:22 AM to

Below, you'll see a blog comment from a reader.  Here's my rebuttal.
It's typically a drafter who first sees Revit and wants it and the principal say no.  You're actually against a principal who embraces new technology?  You've completely missed that point.

Hire motivated people?  In this economy?  With people who are happy with status quo and never want to adopt any new technology?  This is the problem most of your industry faces.  It's about the process, workflow and information now and CAD just doesn't cut it. Look at the adoption rate of Revit at architectural firms and tell me that's all the principal's fault?  

Need to do a quality job for you clients?  When's the last time you had a CAD job with no RFIs, Change Orders or Addendums?  1872?  BIM is a much better tool if you're looking for quality.
I'm not exactly sure why you're so angry about this.  For once, there's a principal willing to take a risk, invest in new technology, willingly pay for training and implementation, try to get all of his people on board and you say he should run a fast food restaurant?  I hope your firm is a CAD firm.  That way you won't be around much longer to put out this sort of negative venom. 

You're sadly mistaken.  It's the CAD production factories using CAD and putting out inferior CDs that you really should be addressing.  I'm curious Mr Anonymous.  Do you and your firm use AutoCAD or Revit? 

About the black vs white backgrounds?  Yes, when you're drawing lines all day long and dealing with layers with different colors, a black background really makes the lines easier to stare at.  Looking back on the DOS days of drafting, in the beginning we had black/green and black/orange monitors.  Name one other program you use on a daily basis with a black background?  Email, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation makers?  Everything has a white background.  Anyone out there who's used Revit for more than a year still using a black background?  I'd love your comments on this.

I'm sorry but this "principal" sounds like a real jerk! It would be a cold day before I would work for the likes of him . If he bought the software and no one used it for 2 years, then shame on him. And maybe he should hire motivated people so he doesn't have to scare them into learning new skills. And the bit about the black -vs- white screen, are you kidding me with that crap!?! We need to do a quality job for our clients weather it is with AutoCAD, on a Drafting Board, or yes even useing Revit on a black screen. Sounds like this guy should run a McDonald's rather that an engineering firm.

Project Butterfly Update Now Available - It is Alive in the Lab


Software Development Manager, Tal Weiss, sent me an email that the team updated Project Butterfly yesterday.

Over the last weeks the Project Butterfly team has worked hard on improving Project Butterfly’s drawing and displaying capabilities. They have focused on enhancing display accuracy and on the overall usability of the application, all based on user feedback. Project Butterfly can now display accurately render Multiline text. In addition, text symbols are now supported.

With this update, users can now use the layers drop-down to change the layer of an object.


Project Butterfly now supports accurate drawing and rendering of AutoCAD line weights, and you can toggle it on and off.


The team added "display resolution matching" between different users during Co-editing. Now both sides can use more screen area while co-editing together, while fully maintaining their shared view of the drawing.


But that's not all. The crop tool has been improved, and reviews with cropped drawings are now easier to follow. Look for more upcoming information about this on the Project Butterfly blog.


All of these new features and enhancements have been added because of your suggestions and requests. Let the know which other improvements and additions you would like to see:

Thanks Tal.

Collecting feedback and acting on it is alive in the lab.

Project Butterfly Update Now Available - It is Alive in the Lab

Autodesk Success Story - Construction - Marriott International, Inc.

Autodesk Building Information Modeling software enables Marriott to redefine its design process with virtual hotels and photorealistic visualization.

Marriott uses Autodesk Building Information Modeling solutions.

“Typically, the model would cost $250,000 or more. We spent $25,000 in our virtual environment—reducing our costs by 90% without disturbing hotel guests with a renovation. Our executives are comfortable with the review cycle and encourage us to continue working virtually.”

—Deborah Huguely, Vice President of Product Development, Architecture, and Construction
Marriott International, Inc.

Project Summary

Marriott uses Autodesk Building Information Modeling solutions.

Marriott International, Inc. is one of the world’s most recognizable hotel brands. The company continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of its customers, including renewed emphasis on contemporary design and speed to market. And how does Marriott achieve these goals? The company attributes some of this success to the benefits of Autodesk software, including AutoCAD® software, Building Information Modeling (BIM) solutions, online collaboration tools, and 3D visualization software.

Using Autodesk software, Marriott has:

  • Replaced physical prototypes with digital photo-realistic models
  • Reduced costs by 90%
  • Increased speed to market by 6 months
  • Streamlined management review and approvals

The Challenge

Marriott boasts more than 3,200 properties in 67 countries that hundreds of owners and franchisees manage. As hotel guests’ tastes changed to expect unique and contemporary design, Marriott needed to work with hotel owners to create innovative building and interior designs faster. Until recently, Marriott used a traditional design process to build expensive physical prototypes to test new designs and décor. And communicating architectural designs and décor changes to hotel owners was especially challenging.

“We needed to share our latest designs with the hotel owners for renovation projects and new builds,” says Karim Khalifa, senior vice President of Architecture and Construction at Marriott. “We used AutoCAD software for more than 20 years along with our owners’ consultants and contractors. We looked for a collaboration solution to coordinate our AutoCAD designs and modifications with our stakeholders.”

In addition, Marriott wanted to replace the method of building physical prototypes for rooms and lobbies with new décor initiatives. “We hired a well-known consulting firm to advise us on how to take our new ideas to market as quickly as possible,” adds Khalifa.

The Solution

Marriott recognized that BIM was the game-changing process that could speed communication, shorten schedules, and save money. In short, BIM would transform their design process. The team acquired Autodesk® Revit® Architecture to design intelligent 3D models and Autodesk® Buzzsaw® for project collaboration. Marriott staff worked closely with Autodesk Consulting to implement the new system.

Having used AutoCAD software for so many years, the team selected a compatible solution. John Bauer, Director of Design Management with Marriott’s Architecture and Construction group, explains, “Autodesk’s web-based collaboration tool, Buzzsaw, quickly became the cornerstone of our communications with our owners and their consultants. We use the system to publish all of our design criteria, including written standards, AutoCAD drawings, photos, and documentation. Buzzsaw is the engine that drives our communication and makes design data available to owners, architects, and designers.”

Visualization Brings Big Results

With the success of Marriott’s collaboration system, the team researched visualization tools that could easily integrate with AutoCAD and Buzzsaw. “They demonstrated how we could implement a BIM process with Revit using our existing AutoCAD hotel designs and visualize them using Autodesk® 3ds Max® Design software. Once we complete the Revit model, AutoCAD documents the designs, 3ds Max creates photorealistic images and Buzzsaw transfers the files easily to owners and consultants,” explains Khalifa.

One example of the new process is a recent décor initiative for a hotel lobby. In the past, the team created a physical prototype with lighting, fabrics and furniture, and displayed it in an existing hotel lobby. Typically, this physical prototype cost $250,000 and disrupted hotel guests.

“With our Revit models, we use 3ds Max Design to create a photorealistic scene or vignette at our headquarters. We printed several images in very large wall format and ordered only a fraction of fabrics and materials to bring the vignette to life,” explains Khalifa. “We have the actual materials to get a sense of the tactile properties combined with large prints of the imagery. We transitioned from completely renovating furnished hotel lobbies with the new designs and décor to a large room in our headquarters with printed images and samples for a ‘virtual’ prototype.”

After the team digitally created its “virtual lobby," senior management visited the room and approved the design, which cost a fraction of the expense required to build a complete physical model. “We now have a review cycle that is completely virtual, greatly reducing the time and cost of building actual models,” says Khalifa.

The Result

Implementing BIM has redefined the way Marriott designs hotels. In just 2 years, Marriott is managing more than 1,200 active projects on Buzzsaw with 4,000 users on the site who need only a web browser on their computer to view the designs. “It really helps us to communicate outside the design team,” says Khalifa. “Non-designers can review and comment on suggested changes. It’s really changed the speed of our business.”

Visualization Saves Time and Money

Marriott uses Autodesk Building Information Modeling solutions.

Deborah Huguely, vice president of product development for Marriott’s Architecture and Construction group, reports shaving $225,000 off of lobby projects by using visualization tools. “Typically, the model would cost $250,000 or more. We spent $25,000 in our virtual environment—reducing our costs by 90% without disturbing hotel guests with a renovation. Our executives are comfortable with the review cycle and encourage us to continue working virtually.”

In addition, the team reduced the total time to market from 16 months to only 10. “From end to end, we take our design concepts to market 6 months faster by implementing BIM,” Khalifa adds.

BIM Is a Home Run

Because AutoCAD complements the BIM process, Marriott’s team continues to employ AutoCAD while migrating to BIM gradually and exploring new ideas. The company is considering the use of photorealistic imagery in marketing material in the same way that auto manufacturers produce advertising long before building their first physical prototype. Beyond this, the company expects to use the new virtual models to reduce the production costs for training videos that teach employees how to maintain properties and Marriott’s standards of service.

Khalifa and his team are pleased with their Autodesk partnership. “Autodesk and the BIM technologies have proven themselves from a user level all the way to the executive or customer presentation level,” explains Khalifa. “The results look beautiful while being simple enough for everyone to understand. That’s truly a home run for Marriott.”

Learn More About Autodesk BIM Software

Download the Story

Marriott International, Inc. (pdf - 1065Kb)
Autodesk - Construction - Marriott International, Inc.

Revit Services & Support - Printing Ambient Occlusion

Published date: 2010-Apr-26
ID: TS15059809

Applies to:
Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2011
Autodesk® Revit® MEP 2011
Autodesk® Revit® Structure 2011


You wonder if it is possible to print the effect generated by Ambient Occlusion when printing a 3D view in a Revit 2011 product.


It is currently not possible to print the Ambient Occlusion setting when it is enabled in a 3D view.

Autodesk is aware of the request for this functionality and is investigating its inclusion in a future build or release.

Autodesk - Autodesk Revit Structure Services & Support - Printing Ambient Occlusion

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A story straight out of the BIMuda Triangle - Revit MEP true story

We have an MEP engineering firm in our office this week for Revit MEP training.  There were seven people including one of the principals.  There were just so many strange things I learned during a conversation I had with the group.

Did I mention one of the principals was taking the class?  When's the last time you saw the owner of a firm using AutoCAD or Revit. Yeah, I thought so.  Here's where it gets really creepy.  The principal was mad.  Mad that they owned Revit for over 2 years and no one had touched it.  He started learning it on his own, and wow, he really liked it.  Guess what he did?  He mandated that everyone in the company learn Revit or they were fired.  We now have group of AutoCAD users with the crap scared out of them that they principal, of all people, is making them learn Revit.

I commented on how so many Revit newbies turn the background back to make it look like DOS, uh, I mean AutoCAD.  He said that anyone caught without a white background for Revit would be fired.  It was really the most fascinating group of students I had ever met.  

I had a long private chat with the principal during one of the breaks and he sees a huge benefit to using Revit.  His biggest frustration?  You, the AutoCAD using architects who haven't switched to Revit yet.  Guess what he's going to do?  He's going to go to owners and contractors and offer additional services for clash detection, design and energy modeling.  That, and that he'll convert a CAD set of plans into a model so he can do his work in Revit.

This is just the kind of proactivity you'd want from someone who gets it.  He's asked me for a list of firms using Revit.  Larry, he's going to call you.  

On a side note, we showed them Ecotect and IES.  They were blown away with what you could do for energy modeling and daylighting calculations.  Of course, I asked how they do that now and got the standard blank look.  They were using some other clunky software and it's only a matter of time before they kick their competitors butts with increased services.

They said how everyone wanted everything cheaper and faster.  What better way to do that and increase quality than with Revit MEP. 


Whole Building Design Guide - National Institute of Building Sciences

Have some free time on your hands? Here's a great place to start researching the future of the AEC industries.

Visual Site Map for  WBDG showing levels and branches

Site Map | Whole Building Design Guide


Monday, April 26, 2010

The third D and it's place in architecture - More thoughts about BIM and the future of the A/E industry

Continuing on my conversation with you from my last blog post about the "I", now let's talk about 2D vs 3D for a moment. Each change on the drawing is marked by a little triangle, called a revision mark, or delta.  D is for Delta.  You've been doing 3D all along.  2D + D(elta)=3D.  Congrats.

This post started when I read a post the following.  I read about Delta Designers in a post today from graymattersgt.net in a post Life and Death of the Emirate City  with the quote

In May of 2008, I was fortunate enough to be able to travel with Delta Designers, a forward thinking architecture student group based in Miami, to Dubai to do some research on the development of the city and to see some of the new architectural developments. 

I found this on the web:
In the summer of 2007 a group of students from the School of Architecture (Florida International University -FIU) decided to create an online forum (http://www.delta-forum.com). The forum allows architecture students to compare their work and critique each other, discuss design theory, and acts as a student resource for tutorials. Started in June 2007, the Delta Design Forum has picked up new members from the SoA, and has members from around the world, including India.

It's funny, because my company teaches Revit to FIU students and we've taught Revit on campus.  So, what is a delta designer, if delta signifies change.  Change in the industry?  Change the technology?  Change the conversation?  Oh, change the lines on all of the dwgs and mark them with the delta symbol with little numbers inside them for revisions.

While googling, I came across this on a web page:
If you are in the process of reviewing plans with an architect, designer or contractor, be sure to ASK if you do not understand what a certain drawing symbols denote.
I'm looking at the word ASK in capitals.  Hmmm. That must mean something.  What if we put a D in the word ASK. We have DASK. No, that's doesn't mean anything. Then there's ADSK.  Wait, that looks familiar.  What could ADSK stand for.  Oh, that's right, it's Autodesk's trading symbol on the stock market.  So, what would Autodesk be with the D?  They created AutoCAD. That's 2D. Now they have Revit and own the BIM market.  Another D cause that's 3D.

So many architects can't get from 2D to 3D (my famous new word, BIMpotent).  How will they ever get to 4D, 5D and 6D, which I call IPD. Others call it FM or Sustainability. I think FM is a byproduct of 3D. Sustainability is done way back in design, so it doesn't deserve to be 6D.

4D and 5D.  Time and cost.  Oh, that's the contractor's job.  6D, IPD, again, contractor led.  This is just going downhill isn't it.

Here's from a class on blueprint reading on construction.
Course Objectives:
¨ Identify the nine basic lines.
¨ Identify symbols, views, and details.
¨ Calculate a materials list from blueprint.
¨ Understand and read specifications and dimensions from a blueprint
The nine basic lines?  Dopey, Bashful....sorry, wrong blog post.  What's the most important line?  The bottom line of course, the one that shows how profitable you are.  How many CAD firms are profitable versus BIM firms.  I'd love if somebody knew that statistic.  

While, I'm writing this, our next door neighbor came over.  I asked him why we haven't seen him in forever.  He said, he's so busy doing drawings.  I asked what he's talking about.  He remodels houses and was doing the drawings for kitchen and cabinet layouts. Of course I asked him what program he's using.  He said CorelDraw.  I just about fell out of my chair.  So, I opened up www.revit3d.com/renderings to show him what Revit output can look like.  His response?  You can't build from that.  It got pretty ugly from there with the debate about the whole 2D vs 3D topic.

Ok. I've had enough of D now, haven't you.  Time for some D-fense.   Have a D-lightful Day.  I wonder what letter we'll discuss next. 

Oh, yeah...the more Ds you do the more Dollars you make.  3D makes you more than 2D.  Duh.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

The "I" of BIM - iBIM, Indecision, Income, Immense, Immediate, Indecision - A vision for the future of the A/E industry

I was just reading the most intriguing piece of writing from an architect about BIM. I'm not sure if it was written yesterday, or 10 years ago.

BIM is not only 3D. The “I” of BIM is information and data integrated with 3D

~Kinom Onuma
 The "I" of BIM. Say that out loud. "I". Now say it again. The "I" of BIM.Information?I, as in me?

I as in eye, visualization, vision, seeing the building, seeing the clashes.I, as in interconnected, interoperability, The "I" of BIM. Just thinking about the profoundness of it is giving me chills.

There's no "I" in Team. This BIM thing, what is it really?

I just got distracted by another "I". iPhone, iTunes, iTouch, iPad, iMac, iii!!! Seems like Apple is all about the "i" with their technologies. Oh. stupid me. I just figured it out. Apple used the "i" for internet. Maybe interface? IT, Information Technology. Intel? Intelligence? The iPod. It stored so much information in such a small and elegant form factor. October 23, 2001. Almost as long as Revit has been around.

"I" found it. Thank goodness for Wikipedia and the "I"nternet.

The name iPod was proposed by Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter, who (with others) was called by Apple to figure out how to introduce the new player to the public. After Chieco saw a prototype, he thought of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and the phrase "Open the pod bay door, Hal!", which refers to the white EVA Pods of the Discovery One spaceship.[3] Apple researched the trademark and found that it was already in use. Joseph N. Grasso of New Jersey had originally listed an "iPod" trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in July 2000 for Internet kiosks. The first iPod kiosks had been demonstrated to the public in New Jersey in March 1998, and commercial use began in January 2000, but had apparently been discontinued by 2001. The trademark was registered by the USPTO in November 2003, and Grasso assigned it to Apple Computer, Inc. in 2005.

Even stranger than that, do you know how they came up with the name HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey? The letters H A & L are all one letter off from, you guess it, "I"BM, another "I" in the Information Technology world.

Now, what other words start with "I".
idea, idiot, idle, idol, ignore, illogical, illuminate, illustrate, image, imagination, imagine, immaculate, immature, immeasurable, immediate, immense, immoral, impact, impasse, impassioned, imperative, imperfect, important, imposition, impossibility, impossible, impotent, impoverish, imprecise, improve, inadequate, include, incoherent, incombustible, income, incompatible, incompetent, incomplete, incompliant, incomprehensible, inconceivable, inconsistent, incriminate, incumbent, indecipherable, indecision, indefensible, indict, indifferent, ineffective, inept, inevitable, inexact, inexcusable, infantile, inferior, instruct, integrate, invest, iota, ironic
I tried to just list the ones that relate to architecture and construction.

So, I hope I made inroads and gave you some ideas about the importance of this information and how you must immediately incorporate it into your industry.

So, for those of you who have said to me that Revit isn't BIM or that BIM is a process, I agree. We live in an information age, with the internet, the "Cloud" and instant access to all sorts of things. This information in BIM, really isn't at all about 2D or 3D or AutoCAD versus Revit. It's about intelligence in the design and engineering process as well as in the model and all of the uses of that information downstream for analysis, estimating, procurement, maintenance, accounting and so much more.

To people like Kimon Onuma and his BIMstorn open source methodology, this is all old information. I borrowed this from Onuma.com
Transparency of information breeds self-correcting behavior. If everyone understands the goals of the organization and you make information available to them, it becomes empowering. It breeds a common sense of purpose."

Adm. Thad Allen, Commandant U.S. Coast Guard
Never in the history of our world, have we had such access to information and each other. Its a shame for the architectural industry to be made so irrelevant to the building process because of stubbornness, unwillingness to invest in technology and the inability to make business decisions because of the digital disconnect. Yes, the elephant in the room here and all through the AIA is BIM. Yes, Autodesk owns Revit. Yes, they have pretty much crushed Archicad and Bentley. So what. So has Microsoft, Apple, Google and Intel. ; Whatever. Get over it or go away.

I've always had a love for technology and an intuition for investing in the right technology. Revit is just another tool that has been in my life since my dad brought home Pong in the 70s. It's time to move on and enough demonizing and wasting words on those who just don't get it. Everyone is just so selfish and self serving, that for many, BIM will never make sense to them.

Oh yeah, one last thought....don't forget that the AIA created Integrated Project Delivery. Yup., just another "I" to put the icing on the cake. Well, this post has forever changed me and all of my future conversations. Thank you Kimon for making it so obvious and clear. I know now why you are such a genius and find your website so foward thinking.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Updated:Autodesk Sustainable Design Center Now Available

Via: http://labs.blogs.com/its_alive_in_the_lab/2010/04/updated-autodesk-sustainable-design-center-now-available.html

Yesterday Autodesk launched our new online Autodesk Sustainable Design Center.

Autodesk Sustainable Design Center

The Sustainable Design Center provides a one-stop shop for customers, employees, channel partners, press, analysts and other stakeholders to find the most current and up-to-date news about Autodesk’s sustainability performance and accomplishments. The new Autodesk Sustainable Design Center is our primary communication and reporting vehicle and as such, eliminates the need for a stand-alone annual sustainability report. The new Autodesk Sustainable Design Center highlights ten of the most pressing sustainability issues faced by Autodesk customers, including:

  1. Clean Tech Development
  2. High Performance Buildings
  3. Teaching Sustainable Design
  4. Green Manufacturing
  5. Green Government
  6. Sustainable Urban Development and Design
  7. Green Consumer Products
  8. Smart Utilities
  9. Better Roads and Transportation
  10. Green Vehicles
In addition to this, the Sustainable Materials Assistant has been a technology preview on Autodesk Labs for some time.
The Sustainable Materials Assistant allows you to update your Inventor schema so you can associate materials with your designs. This association is then used to provide an analysis of the carbon footprint of your design. You can check this out as well.You should visit the new Autodesk Sustainable Design Center, and check back often to stay tuned to Autodesk’s sustainability story.

Promoting sustainability is alive in the lab.


Gregory Arkin Answers, "What are You Working on?" - Blog - Build2Sustain

I have a confession to make. I've been cheating on you. I've been secretly writing for another blog. I haven't been fully committed to you. So, I figured I'd confess and let you see the other blog in my life. Here's my post from the Build2Sustain website that was posted today.

I wish I had more free time to make more blog commentary here, and I'm trying to free up some time do make the blog more of a conversation about BIM, than just reposting every other current BIM link. The past month was crazy with the 2011 release and I think things have settled down a bit, so I'm trying to reorganize the blog and not overwhelm you with information. The problem is, what if we miss one post? Will that be the one that's critical to your business?

Oh, one more thing. I can't forget to mention Randy Deutsch http://bimandintegrateddesign.com/ who was kind enough to leave the following comment from the post below. Randy, it's an honor knowing you and thank you for all of your great writing on your blog.
I think I've read all 407 of Greg's posts this year - and I would have to say this guest post, his 408th, is my favorite so far. Greg puts 407% of himself into everything he says and does and probably has come closest at this technological time for our industry to living the dream. Greg packs more into a minute than that measurement of time was ever meant to hold. Every turn of phrase, every clever insight, every tip and trick and certainly every pun can't help but add inspiration to your day - it certainly does so for mine. Greg put the personal back in personality - and make reaching the BIM, LEED and IPD goal seem almost achievable. Thank you Greg for yet another wonderful post!
April 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRandy Deutsch
Is all of this self serving and self marketing? I'm not sure. Go ahead and start your own blog. Try and see what it takes to stay on top of it and keep coming up with fresh ideas and postings. Then, try to see if you can take a day, a week or a month off after you get to 100 or 1,000 subscribers. Unbelievably, I got over 13,000 hits on March 25th, the day I could officially post about the Autodesk 2011 products (and the same night I only got 3 hours of sleep).  Try to set a goal for yourself to make 1,000 posts in a year. 

...and now the post

Advisory board member, Gregory Arkin, lets us know what he's been working on lately. You can find out more about Gregory on the B2S team page.

Last Thursday, I received an email from Raquel reminding me of my guest blog post this week. I thought, no problem, I can get that cranked out in no time. Well, it's now a week later and I'm furiously typing away and a day late with my post. How ironic that what I'm working on is preventing me from having the time to write about what I'm working on.

With that, I'll recommend that you read this Lifehacker.com post about declaring Time Bankruptcy. That's where you've committed to so many things, there just isn't enough time in the day to do all of them. So, you stop everything, every commitment, every obligation and figure out what do you need to do to make it to the light at the end of the recession tunnel.

Gosh, I don't even know where to start about "What are you working on?" I don't want to bore you with what I do day to day, and I do want to keep this post somewhat concise, so I'll ramble through sharing with you a glimpse into my life. In theory, I'm supposed to be selling software for a living. I'm an Autodesk reseller, yes, the wonderful people who brought you AutoCAD. Before I entered the world of Autodesk, I was a computer consultant for 9 years, and prior to that, a general contractor (third generation).

So, what do I do all day? I try to convince people to stop using CAD and move to BIM, LEED and IPD. I'm passionate, technologically advanced, love to talk, love efficiency, automation and have deemed myself a BIM Consultant and Evangelist. I spend all day talking to people. We talk about change, status quo, fear, the architectural, engineering and construction industry, the recession, emerging businesses, and on occasion, I sell someone a license of Revit.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be doing BIM and LEED presentations to the Florida Wall & Ceiling Contractors Association (FWCCA) regional convention, AUGI CAD Camp, Tampa Bay AIA Principals Round Table, Construction Association of South Florida/McGraw-Hill BIM Conference, FWCCA State Convention, AIA National Conference. That's between now and June 15th. I know I'm missing one, but I just can't think of what it is right now.

Then there are the committees. Associated Builders and Contractors Education Committee, Construction Association of South Florida BIM Committee, Build2Sustain, TheRevitCoop.com,US Green Building Council monthly meetings and maintaining CMP credits, Florida Bar Grievance Committee and I have a very active two year old, so I'm on the diaper changing committee. Of course, I can't leave out my www.Revit3D.com blog with 407 post so far this year and headed for over 1,100 for the year.

Why do I do all of these things? I'm still not sure myself. It's this BIM and LEED thing. The ability to design buildings better, with more efficiency in the design and systems and have a database of information that can be used for facility management. I'm all about the data, the information, the cloud, the collaboration of minds, ideas and technologies.

The reality is, the system is broken. Me and a few others (like yourself, since you're reading the Build2Sustain blog) are trying to make a difference in the world. We want energy efficient buildings. We want a better way of doing things. We thrive on changing the world and changing the light bulbs. It's exhausting, but it's the right thing to do.

Yes, the economy sucks and there's no end in sight, but there are business opportunities out there to make emerging markets and emerging technologies useful in creating new ways to do things better, saving time, money and energy. There are ways to think outside the box and reinvent ourselves. I have this conversation day after day and I never get tired of it. My own company, which has been around for 28 years, primarily sold software to architects and engineers. Now, we're swamped with work from contractors, subcontractors and manufacturers, all wanting their projects and products modeled in 3D.

Ok, I think I've gone way too long in the post and lost all of you. I just got interrupted by a phone call from a plumbing subcontractor. He told me I had to call a contractor this second who needed a 10 story $28 million dollar project modeled in 3D so they do clash detection. The owner of the project was asking about BIM, and now I'm off to pick up a set of blueprints and price up this project for them. Lucky for me, they've already found so many mistakes on the plans in coordination issues, that they really have no choice but to invoke the power of BIM. In regards to my work with Build2Sustain, once you've reached the Zen level of BIM, being able to run energy models and create more energy efficient buildings is already here and waiting for you to take advantage of.

Yup, this is what I'm working on. It's truly remarkable where the future of this industry is heading and I'm thankful every day that I get to be a part of it and share my passion with you.


A Ongoing Conversation About BIM and WTF...

I've just had an idea that I'm going to experiment with.  I'm going to set up  weekly GoToMeeting Conference calls and take the blog live.  With luck, I will record it and make a podcast out of it.

Lets make it a round table/panel discussion, kind of a BIM free for all.  Maybe you can be anonymouus and ask any questions you may have.

We will call it BIM WTF.  WTF is for Workflow Timeline Fear.  I'm not sure how I will set up signs ups, but lets plan on doing it Fridays at noon and I will set up a link of that you can check in a day or so for details.

I'm hoping to make it an executive level discussion and it won't be about technical stuff.  I'd like principals to attend and find out the answers to questions like what's the difference between 50% DD of CAD drawings vs 50% DD of a Revit model.

Forward this to your Principal BIM newbie friends and contractors and we'll see if this goes anywhere.

Sign up and get more info at www.bimwtf.com


Friday, April 23, 2010

Revit Services & Support - Revit 2011 products hang when creating or opening a project

Published date: 2010-Apr-22
ID: TS15040187

Applies to:
Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2011
Autodesk® Revit® MEP 2011
Autodesk® Revit® Structure 2011


After launching Revit® 2011 when you attempt to create a new project or open an existing project Revit will hang.


The cause of the hang may be a conflict with the ArchVision® Content Manager Location. By default the ArchVision Content Manager is set to network with an address and port of \ 14931.

If set to local, and an executable location is not defined, Revit 2011 products may hang when opening or creating projects until the RPC Content Client dialog below is dismissed:

To reset the content location to the default network settings:

If you can open Revit:

  1. R > Options > Rendering.
  2. Set the ArchVision Contnt Manager Location > Network.
  3. Set Address >
  4. Set Port > 14931

If you cannot open Revit:

  1. Open the Revit.ini file. The Revit.ini file is located in the following folder locations:
    • Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011
    C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Program
    • Autodesk Revit Structure 2011
    C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Structure 2011\Program
    • Autodesk Revit MEP 2011
    C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit MEP 2011\Program
  2. Locate the following lines in the Revit.ini:
  3. Modify the lines to match below:
  4. Save the Revit.ini file.
  5. Launch Revit.
Autodesk - Autodesk Revit Architecture Services & Support - Revit 2011 products hang when creating or opening a project


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Autodesk Design Review 2011 — Using and Sharing Workspaces - Beyond the Paper

From: http://dwf.blogs.com/beyond_the_paper/2010/04/autodesk-design-review-2011-using-and-sharing-workspaces.html

With Autodesk Design Review 2011, workspaces can be set up for any workflow. In this video I'll show you how to use workspaces and share them with your team.

Please share any feedback you may have.

Thank you.

Autodesk Design Review 2011 — Using and Sharing Workspaces - Beyond the Paper


Revit Architecture Services & Support - Revit 2011 products hang when creating or opening a project

Published date: 2010-Apr-22
ID: TS15040187

Applies to:
Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2011
Autodesk® Revit® MEP 2011
Autodesk® Revit® Structure 2011


After launching Revit® 2011 when you attempt to create a new project or open an existing project Revit will hang.


The cause of the hang may be a conflict with the ArchVision® Content Manager Location. By default the ArchVision Content Manager is set to network with an address and port of \ 14931.

If set to local, and an executable location is not defined, Revit 2011 products may hang when opening or creating projects until the RPC Content Client dialog below is dismissed:

To reset the content location to the default network settings:

If you can open Revit:

  1. R > Options > Rendering.
  2. Set the ArchVision Contnt Manager Location > Network.
  3. Set Address >
  4. Set Port > 14931

If you cannot open Revit:

  1. Open the Revit.ini file. The Revit.ini file is located in the following folder locations:
    • Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011
    C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Program
    • Autodesk Revit Structure 2011
    C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Structure 2011\Program
    • Autodesk Revit MEP 2011
    C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit MEP 2011\Program
  2. Locate the following lines in the Revit.ini:
  3. Modify the lines to match below:
  4. Save the Revit.ini file.
  5. Launch Revit.

Autodesk - Autodesk Revit Architecture Services & Support - Revit 2011 products hang when creating or opening a project


The ABCs of BIM, IPD, JOC, IOC - How to Expedite Sustainability, Renovation, and Repair Projects

I just got a LinkedIn Discussion Group email  that I thought I'd share with you.  I love the acroynms and there are some I've never heard of.  I just want you all to see the future.  You 2D drafters out there reading this, well, you're screwed.  It's all about the information, costing, collaboration and analysis that is going to rule the world and very very soon.  Welcome to the world of having to be responsible, not only for what you design, but for how much it will actually cost to build it.  There are no Change Orders, RFIs, Addendums and little pretty clouds with revision numbers on them.  That was last century.

So, I've warned you.  This is the future and you either start figuring it out now or don't even bother coming to work tomorrow.  You see, the GSA and commecial developers are now savvy enough to ask you what technology you're using to deliver them a finished project on time and on budget, not a set of blueprints.  There's one acronymn they didn't mention below that you need to be aware of.  It's called ASAP.  That's when you better start moving to BIM, LEED and IPD. 

LinkedIn Post: BIM, IPD, JOC, IOC - How to Expedite Sustainability, Renovation, and Repair Projects

The ability for owners, estimators, contractors, and project managers, to rapidly and accurately conceptualize, create, cost, prioritize, start, and report upon construction projects is required more than ever.

Attainment of this goal requires a process that enables a collaborative environment between owners, architects, engineers, contractors, and sub-contractors.
IOC embeds many of the collaborative aspects of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and BIM (Building Information Modeling), however, is fully deployable today.

IOC, or Integrated Order Contracting, integrates all collaborative DOD contracting mechanisms into a single estimating and complete project management system- Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity Contract (IDIQ), Job Order Contract (JOC), Simplified Acquisition of Base Civil Engineering Requirements (SABER), Multiple Award Construction Contract (MACC), Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC), Single Award Task Order Contract (SATOC), and others.

IOC embeds process, workflow, cost guides, document management, and collaborative aspects of all procurement methods to meet the demand for rapid project deployment, enhanced professionalism, efficiency, and transparency.

IOC is a proven construction project delivery framework supported by a robust technology backbone, well suited for meeting demands to expedite economic stimulus and sustainability/green projects faster.

What typically took months can now be accomplished in days.

Transfer Project Standards > Project Info and Shared Coordinates - The Revit Clinic

From: http://revitclinic.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/04/transfer-project-standards-project-info-and-shared-coordinates.html

By default when using Transfer Project Standards > Project Info, you can overwrite information such as the project location and project information. For example the data on the following two menus would be updated when doing so:


If the coordinates for the project base point or survey point vary between the two files, this location will also be updated. For example in the host file you used Project Location > Coordinates > Specify Coordinates at Point and modified the location at some point. Or you simply entered new values in the project base point.

The coordinates [for the project base point or survey point] from the file you are transferring project standards from will replace the host file if you choose overwrite.

Manage > Transfer Project Standards should list the items to be updated:


For example, the file I am transferring project standards from has project base point coordinates as follows:

My host file is set as follows:

After I transfer project standards > project info > overwrite, the host file coordinates will update to match the file I transferred from:


Where the project base point and survey point are not visible by default this may not be immediately obvious and is good to keep in mind! It is also useful should you need to quickly reset the coordinate values to match another file.

Transfer Project Standards > Project Info and Shared Coordinates - The Revit Clinic Read more...

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