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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Project Vasari design and analysis update Now Available - It is Alive in the Lab

It is Alive in the Lab

21 hours ago by Scott Sheppard


A new download of Project Vasari is available that includes critical stability and usability fixes. Please note that the streaming install has not been updated yet. This version will be made available in about a week. The portable executable version can simply replace your previous download.

Download Project Vasari design and analysis via Autodesk Labs

Based on your feedback, specifically the team has fixed the following issues:

  • Drawing closed shapes creates a surface automatically
  • Schedules can now be exported
  • Solar Radiation can be run with multiple documents open
  • Additional bug fixes to improve stability

As usual, you can direct any feedback via email at labs.vasari@autodesk.com  or via our discussion forum on FaceBook (facebook.com/projectvasari).

Continuing to make our own art history is alive in the lab.u


Monday, November 29, 2010

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Signs Deal for Autodesk Products, Services, and Training

Wow.  This is great news for the Autodesk BIM users of the world and bad news for Bentley products being used by the Corps.  Now my company will have the chance to do more training for government contractors.  Yippee!!!!

USACE Selects Autodesk Software Solutions for Mission Critical Applications

LAS VEGAS, Autodesk University — Nov. 29, 2010 – Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), a world leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, today announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), has signed a multi-flex, enterprise license agreement for Autodesk products and Autodesk-related services and training. The contract value of the deal is $6 million over a three year period and includes access to the following Autodesk products: the Autodesk Revit family of products; AutoCAD Civil 3D software; and Autodesk Navisworks software products, among others.

“We are extremely pleased to further strengthen our long-standing relationship with the USACE with this agreement,” said Bill Goodson, vice president, North American public sector and utility sales, at Autodesk. “Autodesk software plays a vital role in helping USACE provide quality and responsive engineering services to over 37,000 employees in 90 countries worldwide. This agreement ensures USACE will have full access to the latest innovative Building Information Modeling (BIM) software tools and professional services to support its national defense mission. The flexible and concurrent licensing Autodesk is offering the USACE will provide better asset management and version control.”

Autodesk Software Products: Mission Critical Solutions for USACE
As BIM-based designs are required by the General Services Administration (GSA), the USACE now requires a BIM-based design approach for all vertical military construction (MILCON) projects in fiscal year 2010 and beyond. With today’s announcement, the USACE will now have complete access to Autodesk’s BIM family of products, including Autodesk Revit Architecture software and Navisworks software products. By having access to the BIM products, USACE personnel -- who deal with managing building construction, operations and maintenance -- will have the software tools and training necessary to take better advantage of the 3D building models being delivered by design contractors.

About BIM
BIM is an integrated process for exploring a project’s key physical and functional characteristics digitally before it’s built, helping to deliver projects faster and more economically, while minimizing environmental impact.  Coordinated, consistent information is used throughout the process to design innovative projects, better visualize and simulate real-world appearance, performance and cost, and create more accurate documentation.

About U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers comprises approximately 37,000 civilian and military employees who serve the Armed Forces and the Nation by providing vital public engineering services and capabilities across the full spectrum of operations — from peace to war — in support of national interests.

About Autodesk
Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries ¾ including the last 15 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects ¾ use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information about Autodesk, visit www.autodesk.com.


CM at Risk Rant ` #BIM

I was having lunch today with James McKenzie, a BIM consultant, AU 2010 speaker and a very knowledgeable expert in the AEC industry.  We must have talked for 2 hours about our passion for BIM, the past, present and future of the AEC industry and how it relates to BIM.

One of the things that's been bothering me lately, and one of our topics were architecture and construction contracts.  Where did we go wrong with requiring, but not always receiving 100% construction documents, and who's idea was it to put a note in the plans or specs that "requires contractor to verify all coordination issues" and make it all of the GC and subcontractors responsibility to build the building.
So, we were talking about risk.  Why is everything in construction a risk?  Do you fly American "At Risk" Airlines or go to Bank of "At Risk" America.  Why is there a contractor called CM at Risk.  Why does the contractor have to risk everything to try to make the building get built on time and on budget if he isn't given all of the information necessary to bid and build the project.
What we really need is a CM at Reward contractor.  Isn't that what IPD is all about?  Reward people for good behavior.  Pay people to finish the job on time, on budget and work together as a team, collaborating and sharing all of their knowledge to have a rewarding career.

What do you do to reward your team?  Are you rewarded for reducing conflicts on the plans?  Are you rewarded from finding clashes earlier in the process.

What if a contractor took a set of CAD drawings, completely modeled it in Revit and found $2 million dollars in potential change orders.  If they hadn't done that, they'd have made $200,000 in fees on those change orders.  What if the owner paid the contractor extra to find all of the mistakes and gave them the $200,000 to BIMify the project and reduce any delays from the potential change orders.  Wouldn't that be a great reward?  What if the owner paid the architect extra money to reduce conflicts and change orders.  

What if.....it's more like when will.....I hope you've found this to be a blog post of reward.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

YouTube - AHA Engineers 2010 - #Revit MEP video

Here's a cool video I stumbled across.  It's all walk-throughs of Revit MEP.  Still don't have your engineers using Revit MEP?  Let me ask you a question.  Who pays for your engineers drawings when you hire them?  You?  Thought so.  Don't you have the right to ask them what deliverables they give you?  After all, isn't it your money?   OK, now that you've done that, wait for your clients to start requiring you to use BIM and IPD because it's their money and they want to reduce Change Orders and delays.  See how that all works? 

YouTube - AHA Engineers 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI5PIl4pBzQ

Friday, November 26, 2010

Autodesk University Virtual Class Information

I have 4 AU Virtual Passes to give away.
Go to this link to sign up for a random drawing Monday afternoon.
You must be a current blog subscriber to enter. 

November 30–December 1, 2010. Registration Is Open!

Can't make it to the AU 2010 Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas this year? Autodesk University has you covered—from anywhere in the world.

Register for Free!

AU Virtual Standard passes are free to everyone. Get access to 30 high-quality, expert-led virtual training classes and product clinics with live interactive Q&A. Enjoy a wealth of other content including insider interviews from the Las Vegas conference, roundtable discussions, real-time viewing of keynotes, industry news, interviews, and more.
Take a tour of AU Virtual.

Register for the AU Virtual Premier Pass for Only $139

Sign up for a Premier Pass and get full access to the entire AU Virtual class curriculum—230 training classes, product clinics, and industry keynotes—and all other AU Virtual offerings for only US$139.

You May Qualify for a Free Premier Pass

Autodesk Subscription customers, Autodesk Student Community members, qualified educators and students, and Autodesk employees can register for free. Learn more.
AU 2010 conference attendees are automatically registered for an AU Virtual 2010 Premier Pass, and receive four (4) additional complimentary Premier Passes to share with colleagues.

What Are You Waiting For?

Join us online at AU Virtual 2010 from Tuesday, November 30 through Wednesday, December 1, 2010.

Making Project Vasari - inside The Factory #Revit


Yesterday was the day. We officially launched Project Vasari on Autodesk Labs. I thought I would give everyone a behind the scenes look at how this all came about.


As we said in the teaser, it started as a simple question: What if we reduced Revit to its essentials? Followed quickly by: What would it look like? What would we keep? Who would it be for? This evolved into the following goals:

  • Create a simplified "on-ramp" to introduce building information modeling concepts to students and young designers
  • Focus on the conceptual modeling and cloud-based analysis work flows
  • Create a "sandbox" where we can experiment on new features and concepts
  • Deliver this as a technology preview on the web

Design Tenets

The following design tenets were our guiding principles as we began conceiving of what to make

  • Let users get their hands dirty faster
  • Reduce modality
  • Focus on teachable moments
  • Progressively disclose complexity
  • Build a community

Personas and Storyboards

A persona is a one-page narrative that describes a fictional user based on user data we have gathered. After interviewing and surveying many students, we distilled that data into Gabriel .This helps us keep the team user-centered. As we face various decisions, we must ask "what would Gabriel   think of this?"  We also wrote a series of scenarios - stories with Gabriel as the main character. These act as the basis for some early sketching and storyboards (note, not all of these ideas made the final cut.) 

Being Agile

In addition to the previously mentioned goals - we also wanted to see what a small team could do in a short amount of time. By "small", I mean one product manager, five software developers, two designers and one quality assurance analyst/blogger/mad scientist. By "short time" I mean six months from inception to delivery. To do this we adopted a more agile team process called Scrum. I won't go into much detail, but to put it simply Scrum is like IPD for software development: A cross disciplinary team co-locates to increase collaboration, breaks down roles to foster innovation (QA helps with design, designers do some coding, etc.) focuses work on a central information repository (in our case, the source code and a wiki) and shares equally in the risk and reward.

So, isn't this just Revit with a bunch of stuff removed?

Yes and no. Yes, it is Revit at its core. But no, we did make some progress in some areas - primarily related to our design tenets. Ultimately, Vasari has become a platform to experiment and take some risks - something that has become difficult when trying to get the larger Revit out the door each year. So what's different?

  • A smaller, less imposing user interface.
  • Access to massing tools is more streamlined. Were you asked to switch visibility mode when creating a mass? Were you asked to name your mass when you created it? Did you actually have to create the mass at first?
  • You can double click to edit an in-place mass and double click to stop editing it. My personal favorite.
  • When you are editing an in-place mass the background changes color and non-edited masses become transparent.  Notice I said reduced modality, not removed. We follow Jef Raskin's definition of modality, that is, an interface is not modal as long as the user is fully aware of its current state.
  • Levels and reference planes are now visible in 3D in the project environment. This allowed us to keep the experience primarily in 3D, with little need for 2D views.
  • The product is delivered in a nice, compact, single executable. No licensing. No big installer wizard.
  • Realistic views have edges turned on by default.
  • And our dirty secret? Much of the look and feel was achieved using a plain ol' Revit template.

What's Next?

I can't say. I know, I know - tight lipped as usual. Actually, it is because I really don't know. I do know that we have generated a lot of ideas (stories in our backlog, to use Scrum terminology.) Now that we have some time to breathe we will listen to the feedback that comes back from our target demographic, sift through the backlog and decide on what to tackle next.  Until then, come join us on Facebook and Twitter where we will continue the conversation. 


A video introducing Project Vasari's features:



2011 Electrical Setting: Run Calculations for Loads in Spaces - The #Revit Clinic

I always wonder as I make Revit MEP posts as to whether Revit Architecture users are telling their engineers that they have to make the switch (no pun intended) to Revit MEP from AutoCAD.  After all, wouldn't you want to have them working live in your model so you can reduce coordination conflicts?  What would be the point to working in Revit and having your engineers work in 2D.  How much time do you lose each year answering RFIs from the GC and subs as to coordination conflicts up in the ceiling.  Are your engineers telling you it's too expensive for them to make the switch?  What if when they told you that, you told them you'd bill them for every hour you have to spend resolving MEP conflicts on your projects.  I'm sure that would get their attention.  

Just something to think about on ThanksBIMing Day.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Just a few days to go until Autodesk University 2010 ~ #AU2010 Thanksgiving Special for my blog readers

Coming to AU?
We're on the final countdown to Autodesk University 2010.  I hope everyone who reads my blog has the opportunity to attend AU this year.  I've gotten a couple of emails from people who said they'd like to meet me and I'd like to extend an invitation to anyone else attending to say hello and let me know what you think about the blog.

I'll be at the AU Blogger's Social from 6pm to 8pm Monday, November 29th.  After that,  I've come up with the brilliant idea of a Revit3D.com Reader Appreciation Happy Hour BIM Bar from 8pm to 9pm.  Consider it my thanks and giving you something. 

I'd like to buy you a beer (for the first 100 people who show up and are attendees of AU and are readers of my blog.  There may be a quiz to make sure you're legit)

It will be at 'The Lounge" in THEhotel at Mandalay Bay.  I will be there right after the Blogger's Social so plan on me being there about 8:15pm.  So, that's Monday night, 8:15pm at The Lounge.  I'd really love to meet the readers of my blog, so please try to make it. 

To help you find your way around....

iPhone AppGet the iPhone App for the Mandalay Bay Hotel.  Don't get lost in the shuffle.

Instant access to menus, tickets, reservations, maps, photos, room service, casino rules, concierge and more.

QTO 2011 Brochure for you

Here's a PDF link for you to download the Quantity Take Off 2011 product brochure. 

Is it true that in your AIA contracts, if you design a project and it comes in over budget, you're responsible to redesign the plans at no additional cost to the owner to bring the project back into the original budget?  How exactly do you make money in your business if you're using CAD?  Wouldn't you much rather want Revit, QTO and BIM to know the quantities and if you're within budget?  


Spoon hosted version of Autodesk Design Review

I still can't figure out why more people don't use Design Review. What's the obsession with PDFs when you get so much more information from Design Review and it's free.

Source: http://labs.blogs.com/its_alive_in_the_lab/2010/11/spoon-hosted-version-of-autodesk-design-review.html
Spoon hosted version of Autodesk Design Review:


User Assistance Manager, Chris Blocher, found a review of Autodesk Design Review running in the cloud via Spoon. This is an application remoting version of Spoon. Recall that Autodesk Labs is using a streaming/sandbox version of Spoon for Inventor Fusion and Project Vasari.

Thought you might be interested in trying Autodesk Design Review 2011 from the cloud!

Here’s the article I found:

Run Desktop Apps in the Cloud for Free with Spoon

Here’s Design Review on the Spoon service:


Create a free account, install the browser add-on, buffer Design Review, and off you go.

Also interesting is the ability to embed this cloud version in your webpage!

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">Spoon_DisplayMode = 'button';Spoon_AppName = 'DesignReview';Spoon_HideIfUnsupported = false;</script>
<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript" src="http://start.spoon.net/feed"></script>

Thanksgiving food for thought.

Thanks Chris.


Installing Autodesk products and service packs - Tip

I'm meeting this morning with a plumbing subcontractor this morning who is hiring my company to to their Revit plumbing modeling for a project they just won with Suffolk Construction.  The project requires all major trades to do their fabrication drawings in a 3D program for coordination on the project.  This particular subcontractor only has done 2D drawings, so we are once again, becoming the BIM man in the middle and providing BIM modeling, coordination and collaboration between subs and GCs.  

I'll get to the installation tip in a moment.  They asked me what we will be giving them.  Are we including elevations, dimensions, top and bottom elevations of pipes and will we be giving them quantity schedules.  They've never seen Revit or BIM before, so they are interesting questions to be asked.  It's interesting how more and more subcontractors are getting into BIM as the GCs are requiring it to improve the construction workflow and process.

I'm installing Revit MEP on my Macbook Air as we speak (more on that later) so I can show them samples of work we've been doing over the past few years for other GCs and subs.

So, I did something I've never done before.  I clicked on the 'Configure' button as I was installing Revit MEP.  As I kept clicking next on each screen, there was one that asked if I wanted to download the latest service pack to be included in the installation.  I clicked the download button, it downloaded the service pack, I clicked next and started the installation.  Normally, I go to www.revit247.com to get the links to the latest service packs, download them and install them manually.  This new way of doing it makes sure that I get the latest service pack in one easy step.  It's amazing what you can find with a little bit of curiosity.

Ok, it's time to finish up installing Ecotect 2011, QTO 2011, Revit Structure 2011, AutoCAD MEP 2011, Robot Structural Detailing 2011 and Navisworks Manage 2011 on my machine.  I am amazed at how fast software installs on a Solid State Hard Drive. 


#Citrix-based #AutoCAD LT trial available on www.#autodesk.com - It is Alive in the Lab #BIM #Cloud Computing

I don't know about you, but I'm never ready for what comes out of the labs.  Steve Stafford once said to me that I had an unfair advantage with some of my blog posts being a reseller, as I had access to whats behind the curtain at Autodesk which explained how I was always first with a number of Autodesk related items.  Well, I can tell you, that isn't entirely true.  Nothing that comes out of the labs is known to anyone.  I've seen customers who had been beta testing software that I had no idea existed.  

Then along comes something like this.  I have no idea where Autodesk is going with all of this, but I'm hoping that their quest for cloud based computing is an open door to a more collaborative and tech friendly world.  

So you say that you'd never work in the cloud and that you wouldn't want your private data outside secure walls.  I'll agree that for many, that could be a valid concern.  But, as I look deep into my crystal BIM ball, there is a lot more collaboration and sharing in that BIM, LEED, IPD, VDC and FM world.  You can't keep your head in a cloud and not share your data if you plan on moving into the future.  I have an idea.  Start thinking about this stuff now, so if and when you do get the chance to bid on an IPDish job,  you have a plan and are ready to do what is needed to get that job and not go into panic mode.  


Seth's Blog: Where do ideas come from? #BIM

I was meeting with a client one day in Tampa Florida when something very profound happened.  This particular client is an A/E firm using Revit Structure, MEP and Architecture all in house.  Yes, he has a beautiful set of CDs that are very impressive to review.  Page after page of a perfect model that you just know have zero potential RFIs, no conflicts and are filled with accurate information.

As I was drooling on this particular set of documents (uhhh BIM), he takes the set of blueprints and turns the whole set upside down.  He then says to me, Gregory, this is what we start with on every project.  I looked down and looked at him a tad bit puzzled.  He then says "Every project starts with a blank piece of paper."

I've never forgotten those words as every man made object in our world is a byproduct of our imagination.  We have an idea and turn it into a reality.  It is what separates us from our lizard brained animal friends on the planet.  We're not always guided by genetic instinct, but rather by emotion or creativity.  

Yes, it always irks me that so many still don't appreciate the idea of BIM.  Every day, I learn that BIM gets farther and farther away from a piece of software and is more and more based around people, process, collaboration and yes, Revit!  

Many have had BIMlike projects in the past and you can always argue that you can do a BIM project with CAD, but why would you want to?  It just takes so much more effort to make changes, visualize the building and it is just so much harder to create the full set of CDs from that original blank piece of paper.  

Maybe I am "idea"listic, but being a BIM visionary (thanks Steve Jones for telling me that I am), but look at all of the technology in our world and how much better it theoretically makes everything we do.  That should include your design modeling software too.  

Anyway, please read Seth's entire post at the link below.  We are nothing without our ideas and creativity.  Every building you build depends on it.

An idea must come from somewhere, because if it merely stays where it is and doesn't join us here, it's hidden. And hidden ideas don't ship, have no influence, no intersection with the market. They die, alone.

Continue Reading: Where do ideas come from?

#ArchiCAD or #Revit: Even Octopus Prefers Both!

A group of students aspires to become architects. As part of school curriculum they formed design teams, designed a building and presented it to a room full of practicing architects. One of the design team leaders was describing how they designed their project. He started talking about BIM - the whole project was designed with BIM. An architect in the back of the room raised his hand to ask "Why didn't you design in CAD?" The design team's response was "What's that?" and the room became quiet. The very incident suggests that the landscape in design and construction industry is changing rapidly. As revolutionary as BIM is, there are some architects, designers, students who believe the old way of designing and constructing buildings is better. This belief often comes from those who haven't been part of the BIM revolution. We will unveil the hidden treasure of BIM modeling and explain why transitioning to the BIM process is a worthy decision for architects, designers, structural engineers and construction professionals (read Building Information Modeling: A Valuable Tool for Home Builders).

BIM is a bigger leap. BIM is a revolution in the AEC industry. Perhaps the biggest change in architectural design and construction management since computers became available for common office use. In these economic times, we need to focus on innovation not retrenching into old traditions if we want to sustain. BIM is inevitable in AEC industry. If you haven't been able to use it yet, don't worry, you will. But, before transitioning to the process, read a couple things that might help you - (a) Don't equate BIM with BIM utility; (b) Don't think Revit is only player in the BIM world. There are many players available. Selection of right and suitable software contributes to the BIM process. 

Continue reading the rest:  ArchiCAD or Revit: Even Octopus Prefers Both!

Autodesk Labs participation in AU China has a huge success #AU2010

Want a preview of next week's happenings at AU?

Last week Autodesk held Autodesk University China, and Autodesk Labs was proud to be a part of it. Guilin "Sydney" Xu, our lead Autodesk Labs developer in China, filed this report. Sydney" joined the Autodesk Labs team in November 2007 for Project Freewheel. Before joining Labs, he worked on the DWF Publishing team for several months. He is currently working on Rapid Application Delivery (e.g., remoting technologies like Project Twitch, sandboxing as used in Project Vasari, streaming as used in Project Vasari and the Inventor Fusion Technology Preview) and has worked Project Showroom.

For AU China, we demonstrated two major areas in the Autodesk Labs booth:
  1. Reality Capture: As expected, this was one of hottest items in the AU China booth area. VP of Platform Strategies and Emerging Business, Amar Hanspal, mentioned Project Photofly as part of the main session and used a few minutes to emphasize this project. As a result, many customers come to our booth and asked for more details. Most of them took our Moo cards away and plan to try the service and Photo Scene Editor. The CEO of a customer who was invited to do a half-hour presentation on main stage of AU China 2010 was eager to use Project Photofly as a real project solution. We expect to see more Project Photofly sessions from China in the next couple of weeks.
  2. Rendering as a Service (RaaS) and Inventor Fusion: In addition to Reality Capture, RaaS and the Inventor Fusion Technology Preview got similar popularity at AU China. Many customers were very interested in rendering quality and speed on Project Neon. Our customers also gave us many suggestions, for example, it should be great to generate video instead of images from Project Neon. Similarly several groups of Manufacturing customers asked many questions on Inventor Fusion. Thanks to SQA Engineer, Macro Liu, who created several cool designs on the fly to show how easy it is to use Inventor Fusion.
    SQA Team Lead, Catherine Liu, explains Project Photofly
Because this was first time for Labs on AU China, many customers did not know about it. The Autodesk Labs site and this YouTube video helped me to explain the Autodesk Labs purpose and mission.

Thanks to Sydney, Catherine, Macro, and everyone who made AU China possible.

IESVE: Our FREE VE-SBEM has been approved for Part L 2010 - No hidden charges & no fee per lodgement! http://ow.ly/3emCK

A special gift from IES:

We're the only company with approved Part L 2010 SBEM & DSM solutions

We’re delighted to announce that with the approval of our free VE-SBEM tool for compliance with SBEM v4.0c by the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) on Friday 29th October 2010, we are the only company to currently offer approved SBEM and DSM solutions for Part L 2010.

Free VE-SBEM - No hidden charges & no fee per lodgement!

VE-SBEM is our completely free front-end interface that provides a 3D graphical route to the non-dwelling UK compliance SBEM engine. It’s the most sophisticated and the only entirely free to use link to SBEM with no hidden charges and no fee per lodgement.
If you’re a Google SketchUp™, Autodesk® Revit® or existing IES user you don’t need any other software in order to access free VE-SBEM. You can also easily add other UK compliance and performance analysis, so you can compare and contrast how meeting compliance criteria actually affects the building’s performance.
Help and advice with using VE-SBEM is available from the integrated ‘Help’ section. Plus, you can purchase low cost technical support credits to gain direct access to our friendly support team.

Get your copy of VE-SBEM today

Follow the instructions below to access the latest version of free VE-SBEM.
I’m a VE-Ware customer using VE-SBEM for UK Compliance You’ll need to uninstall your existing VE-Ware installation and download new software to perform Part L 2010 compliance and EPC simulations. Click here for full details.
I’m a VE-Pro userVE-SBEM is free within VE-Pro. VE6.2.0.1 has been approved for compliance with SBEM v4.0c.Click here to upgrade your existing VE6.2 installation to version If you do not have VE6.2 installed please download the full version here.
I’m new to the VEPlease visit our web site to register to download the latest version today.

Free Display Energy Certificate (DEC) application also approved

is our free web-based DEC application offering the ability to produce DECs and the related Advisory Reports, as well as facilitate lodgement. Version 4.0 was approved by CLG on 9th November 2010 and incorporates a number of new features including additional benchmarks which have been added after the recent CIBSE review. Visit www.iesdec.com to discover more. 

VE-DSM 2010 - The only approved DSM solution for Part L 2010

Our VE-DSM 2010 tool was granted approval on 1st October 2010. VE-DSM is a paid for Dynamic Simulation Model (DSM) solution incorporating the NCM modelling requirements enabling you to run Part L2A 2010 compliance calculations and generate BRUKL documents for non-domestic buildings of all complexities. Contact sales@iesve.com or call 0141 945 8500 if you’d like further information.
To see all our software that has been approved for Part L 2010 visit www.ukreg-accreditation.org/ND-ApprovedSoftware.php

Mistress of the Dorkness: Autodesk University 2010 - Survival Guide

Are you ready for AU?  Check out these great tips.

Source: http://mistressofthedorkness.blogspot.com/2010/11/autodesk-university-2010-survival-guide.html

I’ve posted Tips and Tricks for surviving (and making the most of) Autodesk University before:

But, this year, I shared a few (some old, some new) via my twitter account, so, I’d like to compile them all here:

#AU2010 Tip #1: Wear comfortable shoes.


Autodesk - Architecture - Stephenson&Turner: New Zealand Government Building #BIM #Revit

New Zealand?  This BIM stuff sure is contagious.   

Stephenson&Turner: New Zealand Government Building

With help from Autodesk Revit Architecture and Autodesk Revit Structure software, Stephenson&Turner designs New Zealand's first environmentally certified government building.
"Revit Architecture and Revit MEP helped to bring the consultant team together to deliver the project in a timely manner on a tight budget. They are very powerful building information modeling (BIM) design tools and in high demand. In fact, for many large commercial and government projects, you can't even sit at the table unless you use BIM."
—Anthony van Kan, CAD Manager, Stephenson&Turner
Cafeteria of New Zealand National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease
Cafeteria of the award-winning Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease near Wellington, New Zealand.

Project Summary

Established in 1920, Stephenson&Turner (S&T) is a team-oriented, multidisciplinary architecture and engineering practice specializing in the creation of inspirational, environmentally sustainable solutions for clients in New Zealand, Australia, and other Asia-Pacific countries. The firm's diverse portfolio spans numerous industries, including commercial and residential construction, hospitality, transportation, and healthcare. S&T designers also have extensive experience working for government clients on a variety of facilities, including prisons, universities, and office and research complexes.
To help ensure design effectiveness and environmental sustainability, S&T practices close collaboration among the disciplines from the earliest project stages—when design decisions have the greatest impact on sustainability and cost. That's why the firm recently adopted a building information modeling (BIM) process supported by Autodesk® Revit® Architecture and Autodesk® Revit® MEP software.
"BIM is a natural extension of our 'total building' approach," says Michael Warwick, a lighting and sustainable design consultant for S&T. "It greatly enhances our ability to work in an integrated fashion."
MAF building interior
MAF building interior.
The Challenge
Since adopting Autodesk BIM solutions, S&T has completed numerous projects, including an award-winning multipurpose building at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's (MAF) National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease (NCBID), located near Wellington, New Zealand. Designed to be the centerpiece of the NCBID campus, this one-story building consolidates all administrative and support functions in a single location, separating them from the facility's laboratories. The completed building includes a formal reception area and administrative offices, as well as several meeting rooms and a cafeteria that staff can combine to form a large, multipurpose emergency response center.
MAF wanted to emphasize the building's relationship to the natural environment, requiring S&T to incorporate natural building materials and harmonize the building's layout with three large tōtara trees on the site. After reviewing the program requirements, S&T encouraged MAF to pursue 5-Star Green Star sustainable design certification, which corresponds to the USGBC LEED Gold™ standard.
The National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease.
The National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease.
The Solution
Initially, the design team formulated a sustainable design strategy that included high-performance insulation, passive solar construction, and a sophisticated natural and mechanical ventilation system. During preliminary design, S&T created a model of the architectural and building systems. S&T then leveraged intelligent information in the building model to assist in visualizing and simulating the building's appearance and performance.
"BIM is instrumental in helping the clients—who are often unaccustomed to interpreting 2D information—to visualize projects in 3D and actively participate in optimizing building layouts and finalizing designs," says Murray Robertson, the project architect from S&T. "Using Revit Architecture we rearranged rooms virtually, which helped us make better decisions in design and minimize change orders during construction. That was very important."
Equally important was the use of Revit MEP to adhere to a passive solar strategy that required maintaining artificial lighting levels at or below 400 lux. "We used Revit MEP to perform an ongoing lighting analysis," says Warwick. "Whenever we made a change to the building dimensions, the software automatically updated the lighting information."
S&T used Revit MEP to design a mixed-mode building that used two separate mechanical systems to naturally ventilate the building. The first distributed air from an underground pipe network throughout half of the building; the second distributed it from above. "On that half, the building lacked an overhead slab, so we built a platform where we could stack the air handling units," says Warwick. S&T used Revit MEP to design the complex layers of overlapping duct work and create easy-to-understand 3D cut-away views for use in construction.
S&T exported information from the Revit model to a third-party analysis applications. "Being able to export from Revit software to analysis applications helped us further analyze performance and optimize the design," says Warwick.
Nighttime view of the National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease
Nighttime view of the National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease.
The Result
S&T completed the building in a timely manner and on a tight budget with BIM. The sustainable design strategies it pursued helped S&T remove the need for expensive climate control systems and surpass the rigorous standards of the 5-Star Green Star rating—a first for a government-developed building in New Zealand.
"The MAF Building has been tested and confirmed as one of the most energy efficient buildings in New Zealand. The BIM process with Revit Architecture and Revit MEP definitely played a part in that success."
—Murray Robertson, Project Architect, Stephenson&Turner

Download the Story

Stephenson&Turner Customer Story (pdf - 1043Kb)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Autodesk Quantity Takeoff 2011 Released - #QTO

Here's one for all of the contractors in the room...

I know some time has gone by and I have personally been anxiously awaiting its arrival, so I am glad to say that the next release of Autodesk Quantity Takeoff (QTO) 2011 has been released with new updates and features.
Here is a quick look at some of new enhancements (I'll have a few blogs posts in the future to further explore some of the new features):
  • Edit a takeoff element or a group of selected takeoff elements from the Properties palette.
  • Edit DWF properties from the Properties Box
  • Work Break Down Structure Groups. A column for Work Breakdown Structure groups has been added to the Takeoff palette, Property palette, and Workbook.
  • Enable takeoff model coloring in 3D views to maintain those colors assigned in the Takeoff palette. This keeps it consistent with the coloring seen in 2D views.
  • Legends now accurately depict color, symbols, and fills.
  • Exporting to Excel spreadsheets is more accurate.
  • Network Deployment of Autodesk Quantity Takeoff installation and licensing is now supported.
  • Network license borrowing enabled.
  • Model takeoff support for Inventor DWFs.
  • Full Windows 7 support.
  • Multiple memory and performance enhancements.
A quick note about installing QTO 2011. You will have to remove QTO 2010 prior to installing 2011 since some of the new updates and enhancements will not allow for a side by side installation of QTO 2010 and 2011. QTO 2011 may not install if QTO 2010 is currently installed on the system.
How do you get QTO 2011? For those of your on subscription, you should be able to log into the
Subscription Center (http://subscription.autodesk.com) and download QTO 2011. Otherwise contact your local reseller for more information.

YouTube: Autodesk Labs Technology Previews and Seven Technology Trends #BIM #AU2010

I don't know about you, but I can't think of any other software company that shares their future technology so openly.  Considering that Autodesk is a publicly traded company and that a few others would love to know their secrets, it is pretty incredible not only that they do this, but that they give it away for free.  If you ever wondered where your subscription dollars go or why the software (AutoCAD, Revit and over 80 other programs) isn't $400 instead of $4,000, consider what these technologies do to improve the quality, workflow, process and speed of what you do.  

No, I didn't drink the Kool-Aid, but we are a week away from AU and you will see and hear about new stuff that you will be amazed by.  Sometimes we forget to appreciate the vastness of Autodesk's portfolio, stamina and growth.  I know sometimes I may be a bit harsh about one of their products, but it's actually the people who use these Programs that arevthe problem, not necessarily the software itself.  

Remember, Microsoft doesn't make a novel and screenplay software program.  If you've seen some of the crappy sitcoms on TV, do you blame Microsoft Word for them?  It is the experience, training and creativity of the people using technology and software that are the problem or the solution.  You can't blame a software company for discipline coordination conflicts or spelling errors.  We have to take responsibility for what we do with these programs.      

The fact that companies like Autodesk give us the opportunity to have a variety of tools should be honored, especially next week at Autodesk University.  I think the fact that there are hundreds of classes on some many different topics is pretty amazing.  I hope my epiphany doesn't spoil any future rants I have, but today may alter my course just a little bit.  

...and think of the bright side.  I didn't try to get Shawn Hurley to try and shave his head this year.  That's got to count for something.  

Source: It is Alive in the Lab by Scott Sheppard

As part of one of our customer's visit to the Autodesk Gallery at One Market, I was asked to give a presentation on Autodesk Labs. After doing so, since I had the PowerPoint deck, I decided to make a YouTube version of it.

For those without YouTube access, you can grab it from here.

Autodesk_Labs_7_Trends_v3.wmv (26.8MB)

Telling the Autodesk Labs story is alive in the lab.


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