Wednesday 17 December 2014

Christmas Break

It's Christmas time again... a hectic, busy time for most of us.

It's always busy right after AU. It was great this year to catch up with my friends and colleagues as well as bloggers I look up too including Robert Green, Paul Aubin and Steve Shell, Shaan Hurley Guys who are passionate about the industry and sharing information. 
Not to mention everyone else I meet at AU!

I'll be taking a break from Blogging over the Xmas break but I have big plans for 2015.

Along with the changes coming from Autodesk (which I'll be talking about) I too will be "revamping" the Revit Jedi brand and focusing more on BIM and BIM processes, don't want to spoil the surprise.. so you'll have to wait till January.

I also hope to be presenting at a number of events again this year on BIM Management and BIM/Project processes.

Take care over the holidays.


The kids waiting for Santa!

Monday 24 November 2014

AU Survival Tips

Shaan Hurley recently posted Autodesk University 2014 Survive and Thrive Tips

Here are a few of my own after going to AU... many times....
  • Good luck requesting a Humidifier for your room... they're typically all gone by the time you remember. Just keep a glass of water by your bed at night.
  • Go outside at least once during the day, just to remind you what fresh air smells like.
  • Take a hand sanitise.... germs are everywhere !!!!
  • Sleep, trust me you'll need it.. and I don't mean during your (my) sessions.
  • Shaan mentions "static electricity", this is a great opportunity to ZAP unwary bystanders.
  • Resist the urge to baa like a sheep during the line up at meal time... and if you do hear a sheep it's not me!
  • Wear comfortable shoes, your going to be on your feet all day and walking for miles!
  • Meet as many people as you possibly can. This makes the AU experience more enjoyable and you can make some great contacts which you can meet net time you go. If you see me stop me and say hi. I'll give you a Revit Jedi decal.
  • It's Vegas, go down the Strip and also go see Fremont Street.
  • It's Vegas, enjoy yourself... but remember your there for a conference which you paid good money to attend, don't waste a day being hung over!
  • Make the event memorable... however don't be "that guy" that everyone remember for the wrong reasons.
  • Travel light. Your packing that c#@!p around with you all day... you really don't need your laptop! 
  • Sit at a different table during meals and introduce yourself to everyone at the table. Shaan suggests to take lots of business cards.... trust me you'll need LOTS!
Finally, enjoy yourself !
It's a great opportunity to meet people. I learn the most after the sessions when I talk to people.

See you there!

Also don't forget to sign up for JJ's and my session.

BM7557 - Real Revit set up and its partnership with a BIM Execution Plan


Wednesday 19 November 2014

AU Session not to be missed: Real Revit set up and its partnership with a BIM Execution Plan

This should be a great presentation with some valuable information...!

Class ID:      BM7557

Do you need to set up a workflow for the introduction of full BIM use on a project? Have your teams been struggling with adoption? Let us share our expertise with you as we take a broader look at what works and what doesn't from execution plans, down to simple file management. Regardless of your experience as a BIM manager on a project - you are certain to pick up valuable tips on true production Revit and the development/real-world use of an Execution Plan.
Justin James, REACH-Consulting Ltd., Founder and President - Primary Speaker
Scott Chatterton, CEI Architecture, BIM/Quality Control Manager - Co-Speaker

Primary Track:                   
Business Management

Target Audience:
Any member of a project team looking to increase their communication, to in turn streamline workflows creating efficiencies.

Level of Expertise:          All Levels
·    Learning Objective 1:     Collaboration in a true BIM sense
·    Learning Objective 2:     Integrated Project team set up
·    Learning Objective 3:     The real use of a Project Execution Plan
·    Learning Objective 4:     Communication tips for BIM Managers - get your team on your side.

Primary Autodesk Software:      
Revit for Construction

Target Occupation/Profession(s):

Construction Manager, Government/Administration Professional, Production and Operations Manager, Structural Engineer/Technician, Business Executives/Corporate Managers

Monday 17 November 2014

CEI Architecture joins Canada BIM Council

CEI Architecture is proud to announce that they are now members of the Canada BIM Council
CEI's own BIM Manager, Scott Chatterton has also recently been appointed to the CanBIM Board of Directors.

Check out the CanBIM news release HERE
See what membership to CanBIM can do for you: Membership

Membership available for: 
  • Industry Associate
  • Educational
  • Business
  • Government 
  • Student
  • Individual Member

Friday 14 November 2014

Another Successful Event

Thank you to the speakers and sponsors of last nights event, it was a great success. We had over 60 people attend last night and all the feedback I have had so far has been excellent, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the knowledgeable, interesting speakers who's presentation not only complimented each other but also flowed one into another.

Thank you to my sponsors listed below, please check out the links to their website. These sponsors fully support BIM in the AEC industry.

Special thanks to each of my guest speakers who are each leaders and innovators in the industry:
Allan Partridge from Group2 Architecture. Allan is also the President of CanBIM
Nick Bevanda, partner in charge of design at CEI Architecture 
Lucas Epp Project Engineer for StructureCraft

Tracey from Points West Audio Visual for supplying the AV equipment and helping with the set up.
Jim from CanCADD with the printing.
Bob from Summit AEC
Tom from Morinwood (Grow the mo Tom)
Kara and Dennis Okanagan College

And also my friends who continually help me with set up and organization, Kelly, Shari and Jacob.

SICA | UDI | CanBIM Okanagan College | CEI Architecture | CanCADD | Morinwood Mfg. 
Points WestAudio Visual | Summit AEC 

I look forward to running this event again next Fall..
I also hope to run a similar event in Vancouver and possibly Edmonton and/or Calgary next year.


Wednesday 12 November 2014

CanBIM Regional Session - Save the Date

CanBIM Regional Session - Save the Date

The Role of BIM for Owners and Facility Managers

Montreal - Quebec
February 19, 2015

Building owners and facility managers are discovering the value of BIM.  The life-cycle benefits are immense when we consider the large amount of information that is stored in the model pertaining to every aspect of a building. When harnessed properly, this data can improve building performance, save time, effort, and money in running and maintaining the building during its life cycle. The information available to Owners and Facility Managers via the BIM can also serve as a foundation for future modifications and alterations to the property. 

With the downstream benefits being so high, it’s only a matter of time before Owners will be using BIM. How can Owners and Facility Managers begin using BIM? What can AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) firms do to accommodate this process? Join us in MontrĂ©al to learn more!



Tuesday 11 November 2014

BIM Networking Event: Innovation in Design & Construction

The BIM User Group of Kelowna Presents:

BIM Networking Event:
Innovation in Design & Construction
Thursday, November 13th, 2014
7:00 p.m. –  9:30 p.m.
Horizon Room at the Coast Capri Hotel
1171 Harvey Avenue, Kelowna, BC

Please join us for an informative and lively evening with presentations by distinguished industry speakers. This event is designed to keep you informed of the recent developments in innovation of the design and construction industry. This is also a great opportunity to network with other professionals in the architectural, engineering and construction industries.

Who should attend? Engineers, Architects, Developers, Contractors, Consultants and Construction Industry Professionals

Seating is Limited.

This free event is brought to you by:

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day

November 11th is Remembrance Day

"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"

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.

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."


Monday 10 November 2014

Initiating Change

I was in Calgary and Edmonton last week attending two meetings. 

The first was the BIM Health Check run by the Calgary BIM Community. The second was organised by a friend of mine from Athabasca University on Virtual Design Studio. Both meetings were very informative and were well attended by prominent members of the local AEC industries. 

What I realized after participating in the discussions during the meetings and the conversations that transpired afterwards was that I believe we are in a cross roads in the AEC industry. All be it a rather large cross road, the days of kicking off BIM are behind us, most of us have now adopted BIM and it is now an integral part of our workflow. We now "collaborate" with each other by sharing models for the purpose of coordination. Some of us are collaborating with the construction companies for QTO and 4D and 5D scheduling and cost analysis, however few of us are utilizing the model beyond construction.

Two answers came to mind when I asked why...

1: The client. Typically the building owner or operator do not understand the value and implications of utilizing the Building Information Model.

2: Demand. Currently in Canada we do not have a mandate by the authorities to demand projects be completed utilizing BIM.

I'll address point #1 first. 
Throughout my BIM career I have had the opportunity to speak to many people, train and instruct Architects, Engineers, tech's, contractors, sub trades etc.... but very few opportunities to actually speak to the people who gain the most from BIM... the Client! Be it the building owner or operator... not sure if it's because it's hard to get these people together in one room or if they are a shy, rare species? 

Point #2:
There is no demand for north America to embrace BIM, really... compared to Europe where space and resources are limited they have a vested interest to build and design spaces that are efficient and innovative. Here in North America we have lots of space and resources. In comparison to Europe we have recently adopted a sustainability initiative. 

There is no mandate by the authorities demanding us to utilize BIM. 
Right now what I'm seeing is a push by the large construction companies demanding full collaboration as they can utilize the BIM for clash detection, construction sequencing and cost analysis. This is great, however we need to take it a step further and use the BIM for building maintenance and facilities management and even one step beyond that for building demolition and recycling (cradle to cradle design).

Currently the construction industry is based upon a outdated model that has not progressed with the technology available to us, this includes the contract types, bid process and even submission to authorities. We need to change that, for the better of our projects and ultimately for the better of the industry. 

On my way to the airport on Thursday I had dinner with a friend of mine Justin James of Reach Consulting, we (actually mainly him) talked about making a difference to the industry. 

I agree, we can make a difference and the changes don't have to be huge. We can initiate change in small increments, which as a whole can initiate larger change.

So if you have the opportunity to talk to your client, contractor, sub trades and authorities about utilizing BIM you too can initiate change.


Wednesday 5 November 2014

Traveling Road "Train" Style

I recently visited our office in Victoria on Vancouver Island.

I drove so I could pack over our portable training lab as well as the Oculus Rift goggles and my usual travelling luggage including my laptop etc...

When I visit the Victoria office I typically stay close to the office so I can park my car and walk which is what I did this time. Here's a photo of my "road train" I dragged to the office in the morning.
It actually worked quite well considering how heavy not only my laptop bag is (I have absolutely everything in there) but the pelican case with 5 laptops and accessories is also quite heavy. It also comes with the obligatory umbrella, we are talking about the west coast here!!

Travelling Alberta road train style...

Keep your staff engaged, run regular training and information sessions that includes all offices. You have the opportunity to be the "glue" that helps bind the offices together.
That's important!


Monday 3 November 2014

AU 2014 session not to be missed

I have been asked to co-present a session at AU this year. 

Woo hoo, finally I get to present at AU... even if it means I have to get in through the back door!

I wont go on and on about how many times I have submitted sessions to AU... it's a lot.... I'm proud to have been asked by Justin James of Reach Consulting to co-present with him, it means a lot to me just to be asked!

Justin and I have presented and taught together in the past on the subject of BIM, we are both passionate about the subject which comes across during our presentations (I think JJ may in fact be better at presenting than I am, but dont tell him I said that!).  

Autodesk University 2014, December 2-4 Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.

BM7557 - Real Revit set up and its partnership with a BIM Execution Plan

Do you need to set up a workflow for the introduction of full BIM use on a project? Have your teams been struggling with adoption? Let us share our expertise with you as we take a broader look at what works and what doesn't from execution plans, down to simple file management. Regardless of your experience as a BIM manager on a project - you are certain to pick up valuable tips on true production Revit and the development/real-world use of an Execution Plan.

Check out the session and sign-up, it's sure to be an entertaining and informative session.
I'm going!


Friday 31 October 2014

Halloween in the office!

We have a great group of people at CEI who really go the mile when it comes to Halloween.

Here are a few examples!

Well done!

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Virtual Reality and its impact on Design

Recently here at CEI we received our developer’s kit from IrisVR including an Oculus Rift headset. IrisVR is a new company developing software that will offer full native support for many common 3D file types including SketchUp, Revit, Blender, 3ds Max, Archicad, and IFC.

I first met Shane Scranton from IrisVR at a conference in Chicago earlier this year where he was promoting Virtual Reality for the AEC industry. After trying out his sample file in VR I instantly saw the potential for Virtual Reality at CEI as a design validation tool, so we signed up.

It’s still early days but from what we have seen so far this type of technology is already having an impact on our industry. Being able to tour a design virtually immersed in the building has great benefit for both the client and the designer. By allowing our clients to be able to tour the design virtually they are able to better understand the space and design far easier than they could from ready plan and elevation drawings. Virtually touring both the exterior and interior of a building people are able to fully understand the design from their virtual point of view.

Speculating on the future of Virtual Reality and the design industry, I can easily see us purchasing a number of the simpler headsets where you can that fit your smart phone (available now), and offering to our clients the ability to download an app and have available their model to tour. I imagine that eventually we will have a number of users be able to experience the space simultaneously. For example have a medical team including the surgeons, nurses and the anaesthesiologist all together as avatars interacting together as they would during a procedure in a surgical suite.

Here at CEI we are already using this technology to show clients for design validation, this is a great opportunity for us to get instant feedback from our clients on the design and workability. By allowing our clients to tour the space virtually it allows us to validate the design concepts and use this tool to explain the aspects of one design over another.

Taking VR beyond Architectural design; by integrating the consultants building information models we are able to use VR to search for visual clashes between disciplines, tour a mechanical room for manuverability or tour an area such as a lobby to get a better feel and understanding to the space giving us the opportunity to make minor design changes improving the space in ways we would not be able to see without VR.

Virtual reality is yet another technology that can take advantage of the building information modeling process that CEI has fully embraced allowing us to yet again take the business of architectural design to the next level.


Friday 17 October 2014

VR and the AEC Industry

Lately I've been experimenting with Virtual Reality in the office.

We want to explore opportunities to utilise technology such as this so we can better express our design intent to our clients. I can see VR being used where we have clients who want to view their home or suite, or say doctors and nurses exploring a surgical suite. The opportunities are endless. 

So far it's early days but the testing we've done so far has proven to be very positive, aside from the occasional nausea, if the settings aren't just right and you move around too much you an start to feel car sick.

Were working with Shane from IrisVR on this as they are developing software that will easily push our Revit or Sketch-up files into VR. I had Shane come to Vancouver to present to a group of people here and people loved it! Check out this Blog Posting.

Pretty cool stuff, will post more on this as it develops.


Wednesday 15 October 2014

CanBIM Certification

Sorry, I haven't blogged for a while! I've been busy.

Couple weeks ago I presented "Being the Best BIM Manager" at the CanBIM Super Session in Edmonton. While I was there it was announced that I am now a member of the board of directors for CanBIM. I'm very proud to be a part of such a group of people and very much looking forward to working with them. 

I'm on a couple committee's one being the education committee. Pietro Ferraie is leading this initiative with the CanBIM Certification Program designed to provide an opportunity for AEC professionals an companies to develop, enhance and promote their BIM skills and knowledge.

The CanBIM Certification Program for Individuals is a tiered certification program providing a benchmark for Individuals to be certified to nationally standardised and recognised levels of BIM Competency and Process Management. 

The CanBIM Certification Program for Individuals evaluates the qualifications of individuals who voluntarily apply for certification, and issues certification designations accordingly, based on national standards related to education, experience and application.

I'll be blogging more about this, you can check out the web site. I'll be going through the application process myself soon.


Thursday 25 September 2014

New Policy

We have a new policy here at work for those coming to work while they are sick or still recovering from the flu.

Quarantine....until I feel you are well enough to mingle with the general population.

I think your ready to integrate back in to the workforce Alisha. ;-)

You can come out of the bubble now.


Revenge for, This..

Monday 22 September 2014

Running a BIM Lead Meeting

Here's a link to a great article on "How to run a BIM Startup Meeting" by Michael Clothier of BIMBicycle Blog.

I've run many start up meetings and the one thing I find most beneficial is the sense of teamwork that develops. Having the BIM lead's together in a room working towards a successful project, knowing personally each person and their personality is a huge benefit.  When you go to call the guy who's having issues with your model you're instantly working on a different level, your working together more to solve problems.

That personal connection is invaluable and I'll always support face to face team meetings even if it means having to travel. It's worth it for the success of the project.

Michael hits some great points in his article that I can add too:

Plan: Plan your meeting well in advance so you can schedule people and get a commitment to come. It's crucial you have the BIM lead people there and it's ok if support people come and go. I've had senior partners join and leave halfway through the meeting which is fine, I appreciate them wanting to understand the process and see what's involved.

Process: talk about how you plan on breaking up the model and sharing it with the disciplines. This could involve your IT people especially if your connecting Revit Servers or using programs such as Egnyte or Newforma.

LOD: We have a long discussion on LOD and exactly what it means, having a BIM Matrix on exactly what is going to be modelled is crucial.


Friday 19 September 2014

Edmonton CanBIM AGM, BIM Super Session & Technology Exhibition - Sept 30th to Oct 2nd.

BIM Foresight & Trends - September 30th - October 2nd, 2014, Edmonton Alberta.

Canada BIM Council and aceBIM are hosting a BIM Super Session; bringing the many BIM communities and practicing professionals together to develop inroads to collaboration and communication in BIM's evolving landscape. 

As technology, best practices and the industry's aptitude advance, how will BIM shape the AECOO industries over the next decade? The CanBIM-aceBIM Super Session will examine current and future BIM trends with a focus on Facilities management, Collaboration, Procurement and More!

BIM Super Session includes:
Full Access to the Regional Super Session, the Technology Exhibition and Break-Out Session opportunities.  Also includes Welcome and Closing Receptions, Morning Tour of Art Gallery of Alberta (Tour Requires RSVP), transportation provided and light food and beverages throughout the event. 

Space is still available.
Register now, send an email to:

Cost to Attend 

General Attendance :
CanBIM or Partner Members - $230.00 
Non Members - $360.00
Students - $60.00
(plus applicable taxes & subject to change)

As a Revit Jedi blog subscriber your entitled to a discount of $130 off the non-members rate. Use the EDMBIM discount code when registering, select the Member Rate and provide the code next to you're name.

Hotel Information:
Matrix Hotel - Edmonton
10640 - 100th Avenue
Edmonton AB T5J 3N8

Hope to see you there.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Do you know Dynamo?

Last week we had Edwin Guerra from Summit AEC who are my BIM Consultant in to show myself and a few of my team members Dynamo.

Dynamo is... Dynamo extends building information modeling with the data and logic environment of a graphical algorithm editor.

I have heard so much about Dynamo throughout the year at various conferences (MinnU, RTC, etc.) that I thought it was about time I learned exactly what it's all about and if we could "practically" use it in our office. I say "Practically" because sometimes a newer feature may be pretty cool... but not really practice in production.

Personally I thought we could use Dynamo on those occasions when we have to design complex geometry (wavy stuff) or a intricate fritt pattern on a curtain wall. Basic conceptual design stuff, not really useful for working drawings..... Oh how wrong I was!

Edwin showed us the basics on how Dynamo works and how it can integrate with Revit, pretty cool stuff indeed. Then he showed us how we can use Dynamo for integration with Spreadsheets, Excel and managing Data. 
That's awesome! 

Were now exploring possibilities of using Dynamo for managing room area's, occupancy loads, curves and much much more. Were going to explore it's capabilities.


Tuesday 16 September 2014

BIM Networking Event - Innovation in Design & Construction POSTPONED

Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances I have had to postpone the Kelowna 
BIM Event that was originally scheduled for this Thursday the 18th September. 

We are looking at rescheduling in mid to late October 2014.
We will still have the exceptional line up of speakers and hold the event still at the 
Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna.  
Sorry for any Inconvenience this may have caused, I hope to see you at this event in October.

BIM Networking Event:
Innovation in Design & Construction

Please join us for an informative and lively evening with presentations by distinguished industry speakers. This event is designed to keep you informed of the recent developments in innovation of the design and construction industry. This is also a great opportunity to network with other professionals in the architectural, engineering and construction industries.

Who should attend? Engineers, Architects, Developers, Contractors, Consultants and Construction Industry Professionals

This free event is brought to you by:

Monday 15 September 2014

123D Catch this i-phone !

I'm an Android user, a reformed Apple i-phone addict.

I'm happy with my Nexus phone, it does everything my i-phone did. 
Frankly I was glad to get off the i-phone band wagon! I no longer drink the apple "cool-aid".

I digress.... 
Autodesk is developing more and more apps now for Android (about time!) and have released 123D Catch for Android.

123D Catch allows you to use your camera to capture people, places and things around you as amazingly realistic 3D models. 

Capture friends, sculptures, buildings or anything else you can photograph. Automatically transform them into interactive 3D models that can be shared with friends, family, and an ever growing community of 3D photographers.

Here are some of the things you can do with 123D Catch.

• Turn your photos into realistic 3D models by taking a series of photographs from different angles.

• Capture 3D portraits of your friends, museum displays, architecture, plants, cats or anything else you can photograph.

• Showcase your work and follow other amazing 3D photographers from around the world through the in-app gallery.

• Use the 123D Catch web app for healing and 3D printing your captures in a web browser! (

I love the idea of being able to send it to a 3D printer...
I played with 123D Catch when it was in early development and had a lot of fun creating 3D models of existing buildings, however it doesn't like glass too much, model looked like it was melting!

Anyway, I'm going to install the new version on my Nexus Phone and amaze people with my 3D models... and when I get a 3D printer I'll be able to image my dog and print a clone!

Sc ;-)

Thursday 11 September 2014

BC's "Best Building" Contest

Guest posting from Kati in the CEI Vancouver office.

The North Vancouver City Library has been nominated as a BC Best Building in the Architecture Foundation of BC's "Best Building" Contest.

This nomination is neat because submissions are received from the public, along with comments about why the building matters to them! It's neat to read through and see how buildings affect the people who use the spaces, or pass by them everyday. There are some very notable inclusions, along with some humorous choices, but either way, it's nice to CEI on the list!

To check out all the nominations, or to vote for your own favorite, follow the link:

Thanks Kati :-)


Monday 8 September 2014

learn more about the Lighting Analysis tool in Revit

Interested in learning more about the Lighting Analysis tool in Revit? 
Check out the “Learning Lighting Analysis in Revit" webinar on September 17th.

Join Us for a FREE Webinar: Learning Lighting Analysis in Revit Did you know that Rendering in Autodesk A360 allows you to create daylighting illuminance renderings in a fraction of the time that it takes with other industry-standard lighting analysis tools? What’s more, you can do the same lighting analysis as you can with other tools like Radiance/DIVA, Autodesk 3ds Max, and IES-VE without interrupting your Revit workflow. If you want to learn how to perform lighting analysis in Revit, now’s your chance: We’re offering a FREE webinar on Sept. 17th at 11am PST (2 PM EST), called “Learning Lighting Analysis in Revit".

Join building performance analysis expert David Scheer for a webinar that shows you how to use streamlined workflows in Lighting Analysis and Illuminance Rendering for Revit. This session will teach you how to:  
  • Automate simulation and document results for LEED daylighting credits.
  • Enable flexible visualization of illuminance levels for anytime, location, or sky condition for any Revit 3d view.
  • Use advanced daylighting workflows and share results with remote collaborators.