Sunday 22 December 2013

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays etc etc...

Christmas is once again upon us and irregardless of your faith or beliefs this is one time of the year where we spend a lot of money either on holidays or gifts for people.

In short enjoy your Christmas, don't get stressed out and take some time to just sit and enjoy the moment....Like these guys!

Photo by the "Australian Working Dog Rescue"

Love the Bluey's and Kelpies!
Mine's half and half!

Now lets round up those pesky Reindeer....


Wednesday 18 December 2013

Preparing your CAD file for Linking or Importing into your Revit Project

Follow these steps when you receive a consultants drawing for import or link into your Revit project.
  • Copy the file and place the original in the appropriate folder for archiving.

  • Place a copy of the file in a BIM Links or CAD Links folder.

Tip: You can easily manage multiple files by sorting them in folders according to their source.
  • Open the copied version of the received CAD file.
Here you will want to strip the CAD drawing of any miscellaneous information such as linework, blocks, title blocks, survey spot points, trees etc.

  • Purge and Audit the file before saving and closing the file.

The goal is to have clean CAD geometry and only show the information that we need.
For example when receiving a Civil 3D file for use to create out surface strip everything out with the exception of contour lines and the property lines.

After you have cleaned up the CAD file, purged and Audited and then saved the file it is now ready to be imported or linked into your Revit project.

Following these processes will provide you with a smaller file size and cleaner CAD geometry to use which can help in the stability of your Revit Project.


Friday 13 December 2013

Rendering in the Cloud Using Autodesk 360

I have previously blogged on rendering in the Cloud using Autodesk 360 where I discussed the huge difference between your Revit rendering and the Cloud rendering.

Cloud rendering is great because it free's up your Revit workstation and is far quicker rendering in the cloud, unfortunately quite often the results are not quite as expected....however I spoke to a "high level" person from Autodesk while at AU2013 and I was assured that Autodesk is aware of this problem and that they are working on matching the materials as close as possible to the Revit materials.

I understand why the rendered materials are different, the render engines are different from Revit and the Cloud rendering engine thus producing different representations of the same material.

I'm sure glad to hear Autodesk are working on the problem and I'm looking forward to be able to properly utilize the Cloud Rendering feature on Autodesk 360.


Wednesday 11 December 2013

Glitchy Objects in your Revit Project

I attended Harlan Brumm's session called "A Crash Course in Handling Large BIM Projects" while at AU last week.

I got a phone call from a colleague the other day who was having an issues with a wall that was not behaving as it should and I remembered one of Harlan's tips which was to cut and paste geometry to same place. (Harlan use to be the technical support manager and now he's Services Design Manager for Autodesk .... he knows his stuff) 

Not sure why but this will quite often it will resolve any "Glitchy" elements in your Revit project.

It reminded me of a few other tips from Harlan's presentation.

  • Create a new view 
  • Cut and Paste geometry to same place 
  • Cut and Paste geometry to new project 
  • Apply a view template (new workflow for 2013) 
  • Check for large coordinates outside 20 mile “box” 
  • Save a project copy with worksets disabled 
Try these next time you've got a element that wont play fair.


Sunday 8 December 2013

AU Summary

Well Autodesk University 2013 is over for another year.
Apparently it was a record setter for attendance, over 9,000 people registered to attend AU this year, and I'm sure with the support staff and accompanying guests it probably topped well over 10,000.

AU 2013 had it's highs and lows, I typically enjoy the keynote addresses especially the opening addresses. This years was a little "underwhelming". Wasn't too sure about the them "outside", I understand the principle of the theme but I found it funny since we rarely went "outside", it's ironic that you never leave the hotel for three days! 

Overall it was pretty good.
I got to catch up with some great people and it's a fantastic networking opportunity.

I also got the scoop on some great software an also what Autodesk is working on for next year, stay tuned...

I now have a whole bunch of work to do! 
I've got to catch up on what's going on back in the office (CEI) and also summaries my thoughts and ideas from AU and see what's viable for integration into our office. I've got some great ideas but I need to clarify them, sort them and then see what's worth chasing and what needs to go no the back burner for possible use latter!

Met some great people at AU that I need to follow up with, my good friend Bruce is great at introducing me to key people that he knows, I appreciate that and I hope I lead by example and connect my colleagues.

Caught up with some great people as well, there is a wealth of talent out there and it's great to see their enthusiasm for the industry pay off for them.

Well, I've submitted my speaker proposals for RTC, I'll submit speaker proposals for AU and CSRW when it's time. I've been working on some great presentation on BIM Management and efficiency on the BIM process for a BIM enabled office and I hope to get the opportunity to share my knowledge.

Till AU 2014!


Wednesday 4 December 2013

Another great Day at AU

Had a great day yesterday and this morning here at AU2013

I was able to catch up with Harlan Brumm who is now the "Service Design Manager Customer Service and Support" who had a great presentation this morning called "Crash course on handling a large BIM project". He's moderating another round table discussion latter today I'll be going to as well.

Harlan's a great guy, always answers question from the group of people who want to speak with him after the session.
Me and Harlan. (Selfie)
Harlans Presentation

Caught up with David Light last night at the Case "Hackathon". Found out that David now works for Autodesk as the "Solutions Executive, Autodesk Consulting". congrats on the new role David. 
Sorry about the lousy photo... !
Me and David Light (Selfie in the dark "sorry")
Some pretty cool things going on at "Case"  I'll blog about when I get some more information.

Mentoring at the Freshman Orientation

Gathering some great information I'll be able to blog about soon I hope...I have to be careful though, maybe wait until it's officially announced from Autodesk before blogging about it. ;-)
Got some great content for the Quality Control documents I'm working on at CEI as well. Looking forward to sharing that with my QC colleagues.

After attending the BIM round table yesterday with a lot of other BIM Managers i'ts good to know that I'm on the right track with the BIM Management and seem to be ahead of the game with where were at in regards to how were set up at CEI which is great!


Monday 2 December 2013

First Day at AU...before the official start!

Well my first day at AU and it's been so busy!

Got in around 2pm, registered, attended the Freshman Orientation as a Mentor, that was fun, met up with a couple guys from home, great to see them here, went to the Transoft open house, met some great people there, some exciting things going on there! I'm going to meet these guys (Transoft) at their head office and demo some cool stuff they're working on. Then went to Shaan Hurley's  Blogger and Social Media event and chatted with Scott Sheppard, that was great!

More tomorrow when sessions actually start!

Follow me on Twitter @BIM4ScottC and Instagram (RevitJedi) for my posts throughout the day.

Been up since 4am this morning and I'm tired!


Thursday 28 November 2013

See U and AU 2013

I'm off to Autodesk University again this year.

I typically go to AU every year as I find it's a good opportunity to network directly with people in the AEC industry from all over the US (and the world) and also with Autodesk employees. It's good to make those kind of contacts ;-)

I also get to catch up with some good friends...although this year quite a few have bailed on my for various reasons and not able to make it to AU this year. :-( 

I get to catch up on some training, talk to the "high level" guys like Steve Stafford, David Light, Scott Sheppard, Shaan Hurley, etc... I check out the technology previews, talk to some of the vendors and bring back a bunch of swag.

I also gather as much material as possible on every session on AEC, I can quite often "recycle" and modify some of these sessions for training the tech staff back at the office as well as bring back ideas on new processes or software to improve our workflow.

This year I'll be focusing on Healthcare, workflow and QC processes as well as collaboration tools. I have volunteered to be a AU Mentor as I have attended AU for the past.... 7 years now.. I think? I'll be attending the networking lunches as well as the BIM Managers luncheon, heading up to the CASE party. I really enjoy the Keynote address at the beginning of AU, especially listening to Carl Bass talk about future technology.

Hope to see you there...
I'll write on my badge "RevitJedi" if anyone wants to connect with me.
I'm a 6' Aussie dude in a suit!


Tuesday 26 November 2013

Analyze your Building in a Wind Tunnel

Project Falcon, from Autodesk Labs  is application that allows you to simulates air flow around vehicles, buildings, outdoor equipment, consumer products, or other objects of your choosing in a virtual wind tunnel. 

"Falcon technology is extremely geometry tolerant and easy to use, enabling you to begin seeing and understanding air flow behavior within seconds of starting the application. Results update almost in real-time in response to changes in wind-direction and speed that you specify. Visualization tools available within the Falcon family of applications include 2D and 3D flow lines, shaded result planes, vector plots, and surface pressure shading. Quantified outputs include velocity, pressure, drag force, and drag coefficient."


Recently they also added a plug in for Revit which will allow you to analyze the affects of your building design to wind allowing you to position the building to either maximise the gain from a prevailing breeze or to shelter a specific area such as outdoor gathering spaces or a pool area.

It's very easy to use and set up using the correct time, location and desired orientation of the building.

you can also use Project Falcon on:
  • Project Falcon stand-alone (installs on Windows and Mac and requires no CAD software)
  • Project Falcon for Inventor (add-in that runs inside Autodesk® Inventor® 2014 64-bit software)
  • Project Falcon for Revit (add-in that runs inside all versions of Autodesk® Revit® 2014 64-bit software) 
  • Project Falcon for AutoCAD (add-in that runs in Autodesk® AutoCAD® 2014 64-bit software)
But not for long, this preview will operate until January 31, 2014.
I'm hoping then it'll be released as a add on tool from the App center.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Tag your Property Lines

New to Revit 2014 is the ability to tag your property lines. 

(Ha! I thought this was a new feature! I guess you learn something new everyday and this is one of them for me!)

A colleague here at work created this Property Line Bering and Distance Tag which allows me to easily tag the property lines with the correct bearing and distance which (if drawn correctly) should match your Civil or Survey drawing.

When creating the tag you now have Bearing and Distance categories to choose from.

This works great!
Thanks Dan!.

Download Tag Here.


Wednesday 20 November 2013

Autodesk Apps and Podcast

I was just searching for the Autodesk University App to download and came across a bunch of podcast I didn't know about!

There are podcast on the Autodesk Learning Channel on "Smoke" , Maya" and... 3Ds Max, that's the one I'm interested in...

If your using any of these programs check out what Autodesk Learning Center has to offer from the iTunes App Store, there's even a app for learning Revit!

 Anyway... I found the app for Autodesk University. I used the one from last year and found it very helpful so I'm looking forward to using it again this year.

The AU app allows you to view event schedule, explore class schedule, find social events, it has a map, allows you to check into classes, share photos and comments as well as see what other people are doing and much much more.

If your going to AU check it out.


Tuesday 19 November 2013

Building Performance Analysis Certification

I just completed the online Building Performance Analysis Certificate through the Building Sustainability Workshop offered by Autodesk online.

"The Autodesk Building Performance Analysis (BPA) Certificate Program is a free online, self paced education program for Students, educators and professionals that will help improve your knowledge of building science fundamentals and Autodesk building performance analysis tools."

As part of the BPS course you not only learn about  building science but also hands on exercised using the Autodesk sustainability tools such as Revit, Green Building Studio and Vasari. I even used Project Falcon to analyze the affects of the prevailing winds on a building.

The program walks you through a tutorial on a specific subject followed by a short quiz and/or a exercise using one of the above mentioned software. This is a great introduction to these tools if your not already familiar with the tools or the subject. 

If you are already knowledgeable on the subject and are using the tools go ahead and get certified and add your name to the Certified BPA database.

Items covered in the BPA are:
  • Introduction to Building Performance Analysis
  • Energy Literacy & Building Loads
  • Climate Analysis
  • Sun & Shadow Studies
  • Solar Radiation Analysis
  • Whole Building Energy Analysis
  • Wind & Airflow Analysis
  • Daylighting
So now I'm BPA Certified!

Check it out, especially if your a student or a Revit Tech wanting ti improve your skill set.


Friday 15 November 2013

BIM Networking Event Reminder

If your in the Okanagan, don't forget!!

I'm running another BIM Networking event here in Kelowna at the Coast Capri Hotel on November 20th.

We have three presentation by local members of the industry:

Drew Jarvis – Cansel: Engineers and Architects are realizing the efficiency and cost savings that EdgeWise Building and Edgewise MEP brings. EdgeWise for Revit has a lightning-fast workflow that allows you to go from field-to-finish Revit deliverable in record time. 

Ben Rawlingson – Focus Engineering: Ben will demonstrate the ability of Autodesk® Infraworks to quickly generate 3D models, creating infrastructure designs and proposals in the context of the built environment.

Robert Parlane – CEI Architecture and Trevor Butler – Integral Group: Trevor and Robert will explore how a modern administration centre for the Glenmore Landfill addresses these targets through the principles of regenerative design, environmental footprint, holistic solutions and  industrial ecology.

Click on this link to register: 

See you there...


Wednesday 13 November 2013

Cool Projects

Here at CEI Architecture we have the opportunity to do some pretty cool projects.

One of these projects we "joint ventured" with Parkin Architects on the Surrey Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower.

Targeting LEED Gold

CEI Architecture, in joint venture with Parkin Architects, led the design of the Surrey Memorial Hospital Emergency Department and Critical Care Tower Redevelopment and Expansion P3 Project. CEI/Parkin represents the architectural component of the project, which will see a new state-of-the-art critical care tower constructed on the hospital campus. The project adds new acute care beds, helping address Surrey’s future healthcare needs and easing current congestion at the hospital.

Click HERE to read more.

We recently had the project professionally photographed by Ed White Photographics .. and they look amazing, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to blog about this project.

Here's just a sample of the photos.

Photos courtesy CEIArchitecture. Photos by Ed White Photographics.


Sunday 10 November 2013

Remembrance Day

Monday November 11th is Remembrance Day.

On this day we pay tribute to the members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This memorial day is observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War 1.

Canadian, Australian and New Zealand armed forces have fought together in many conflicts including: (to name a few)

Second Boer War (1899–1902)
Armenian–Azerbaijani War (1918–1920) 
WW1 (1914 - 1918) 
WW2 (1939 - 1945)  
Korean War (1950 - 1953) 

"The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem "In Flanders Fields". These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I"

Winston Churchill once said:
"If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."


Friday 8 November 2013

Architects in Space

I just read a great blog posting by Daniel Carrapa titled The Architects Guide to Life in Outer Space on the Architizer web site.

Daniel writes... "Space stations have been a part of sci-fi iconography for more than a century. Propelled by the technological innovations of the Second Industrial Revolution—including the automobile, the airplane, electrification, and modern communication systems—the idea of living in space inspired a new era of science fiction."

Elysium, Neill Blomkamp, 2013.

It's a great article and well worth the read..
Check it out.


Thursday 7 November 2013

Autodesk and Autoturn

Autodesk recently launched Vehicle Tracking... which is add in software  to AutoCAD which  designs your vehicle movement. Ideal for figuring out the vehicle movement around your building such as fire truck, ambulance and delivery vehicle movement.

Integrated swept path analysis software

Vehicle Tracking software is a comprehensive transportation analysis and design solution for vehicle swept path analysis. The software enables engineers, designers, and planners at government agencies and engineering consulting firms to predictably evaluate vehicle movements on transportation or site design projects.

Autoturn did release a version for Revit "Autoturn for Revit" but I haven't seen it in action yet.

Anyway.. I just found out Autodesk bought AutoTrack earlier this year.... I guess I'm out of the loop and missed that one!

Autodesk have re-branded it and it's now called VEHICLE TRACKING   Hmmmm I think would have called it something a little more impressive, they should have asked the guys over at Autodesk Labs to come up with the name. thy would have come up with something cool like "Hyperdrive" or "Millennium Falcon or "Executor" ... something cool like that.

Earlier this year we bought a copy of Autoturn so I'm interested to see how this is going to change things with Transoft. Maybe Autodesk will roll "Vehicle Tracking" into a Suite.

Stay tuned... I'm sure this will develop further.


Wednesday 6 November 2013

Good web site for Revit content

I just checked out Bradley's web site looking for a specific Bradley sink for a project.

Bradley have an excellent library of Revit Families. 
Definitely a website I'll bookmark for future reference...


Monday 4 November 2013

Who benefits from BIM?

CEI Architecture uses building information modelling processes and software to design most of our new projects. This post is part of a series by Scott Chatterton, CEI’s in-house BIM guru, on the benefits and opportunities of BIM for us and our clients.
As an architectural firm we prefer to use BIM software—such as Revit—and we really see the benefits, especially when all consultants are on board. It allows us to collaborate on the building model and iron out clashes between the structural, mechanical, electrical and architectural models.
But it’s the owner and developer of the building project that really benefits. If a project enjoys full collaboration, including participation by the contractor, the owner and developer can see real, measurable savings in the time and cost of construction.
Every building is a prototype; we do not build the same design or “re-use” a set of drawings over and over again. If we can design it digitally using building information modelling, we will solve many of the problems and issues that normally come up during construction. It’s far easier to make those changes and corrections in a digital model rather than in the field during construction. It’s much cheaper too!
As architects we gain the benefit of fully understanding our digital model, which enables better expression of the “design intent.” We can (and do) create a great service and product using traditional, non-BIM methods—remember the drafting board?—but BIM allows us to do our jobs better. We can now analyze the design and its implications to a greater extent because we have a digital, 3D version of the building prototype that we can interact with from every possible direction.
Using BIM allows us to provide a better service, but the true benefit of the building information model comes into play after the design is done. Being able to confidently pre-fabricate duct systems, estimate quantities and volumes of materials, and even be able to prefabricate a bathroom and plug it in to the building. All this can be done with BIM. Time and money can be saved just by the ability of a contractor to create a construction sequence, check access for cranes and trucks, or access the staging area on site.
All of this and more can be done using building information modelling. In other words, we all benefit.
 Read this article and more on the CEI Architecture web site.

Thursday 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!!

For my North American Friends... Happy Halloween...

For my non North American Friends....This is some kind of pagan ritual where small children, quite often accompanied by their parents, roam the streets knocking on strangers doors, dressed in a costume, demanding candy (chocolates and sweets etc), whereupon they then threaten the residents with a "trick" if they don't fill their (large) container with confectioneries. 

As someone who did not grow up with "Halloween" and who only experienced this yearly ritual as an adult I quite enjoyed the carving of a vegetable which I then placed a open flame inside and situating this vegetable by the entrance to my house. !!? Weird hu!

To this day I still enjoy this yearly pagan tradition even though my own children are no longer of a suitable age to participate.....still, I like to roam the streets knocking on strangers doors dressed in a costume demanding to be fed.

Either way, enjoy this time of year...


Wednesday 30 October 2013

Using the Filter Selection Tool in Revit

Whenever you select multiple objects in Revit the Selection panel becomes available under the Modify Tab.

Here you’ll see the Filter tool that will open a dialog box listing the number of objects and their categories.

Using this tool makes it easier to select harder to pick objects such as the floor slab or if you want to pick a group of objects.

 There are some additional tools available alongside the Filter icon, Save, Load and Edit.

*These tools are also available under the Modify tab on the Selection panel.

The Save Selection tool allows you to save the selected elements as a Group which you can retrieve latter. When saving, you name the set for future reference. You can retrieve this selection again after you have invoked the filter tool again by once again selection multiple items, you can then select the Load icon to Retrieve Filter sets.

The Edit tool allows you to edit the elements in your selection list.

After you have retrieved a selection set you can modify the saved selection by using the Edit Selection tool under the Modify tab on the Selection panel.

Here the Edit Selection Set Ribbon tab will display a selection of tools allowing you to edit the selection set.

Add and Remove objects to the selection set.

Note: You cannot add categories to a selection-based filter.
To use a selection box to select multiple elements, first select Multiple on the Options Bar.
Draw the selection box, then click Finish on the Options Bar.

You can also access your Filters from the Graphics panel on the View tab.

Monday 28 October 2013

Autodesk's Photo Editing and Sharing software... Pixlr

So way back in 2011 Autodesk purchased a photo editing and sharing company called Pixlr
Pixlr's tools are designed so users can easily create, edit and share images on a social network such as Facebook and Flickr etc. 

Autodesk software users (including SketchBook) are able to read and write image files such as PXD and exchange these files while maintaining the file integrity... such as layers.

Pixlr has some awesome image editing tools that are free and easy to use online.... 
Anyway.. the reason I mention this is that I finally got around to adding the Pixlr app to my Google Chrome...  

When it first came out that Autodesk bought Pixlr I thought that was a weird acquisition by Autodesk.. but after thinking about it Autodesk is collecting tools that we can use as part of our design development. 

After all who doesn't touch up their renderings with a little "Photoshop"?


Thursday 24 October 2013

BIM Networking Event

I'm running another BIM Networking event here in Kelowna at the Coast Capri Hotel on November 20th.

We have three presentation by local members of the industry:

Drew Jarvis – Cansel: Engineers and Architects are realizing the efficiency and cost savings that EdgeWise Building and Edgewise MEP brings. EdgeWise for Revit has a lightning-fast workflow that allows you to go from field-to-finish Revit deliverable in record time. 

Ben Rawlingson – Focus Engineering: Ben will demonstrate the ability of Autodesk® Infraworks to quickly generate 3D models, creating infrastructure designs and proposals in the context of the built environment.

Robert Parlane – CEI Architecture and Trevor Butler – Integral Group: Trevor and Robert will explore how a modern administration centre for the Glenmore Landfill addresses these targets through the principles of regenerative design, environmental footprint, holistic solutions and  industrial ecology.

Click on this link to register: 

See you there...