Monday 28 April 2014

Being a BIM Manager

I read an interesting article in the latest Augi Magazine recently written by Mark Kiker titled "What's New with You"?  I highly recommend you read it as it a good reference for all types of managers.

His article got me thinking so I thought I'd make my own list and incorporate a couple points Mark mentions.

Think about your career
Write down your skills and acheivements, include your latest projects as well as any training/conferences you attend. This process allows you to evaluate where you currently are at in your career. It can gives you a direction and focus on where you currently are where you want to be, use this to see where you need to bolster your skills.

Self development
What are you currently doing for self development? If you answer is "nothing I'm too busy" wrong answer.... As a BIM Manager It's your job to stay current, you don't have to be an expert but you do have to be aware of new features and advancement in your industry. 

Establish some goals. Define what you want to achieve this year, month, day.... 
What self development goals do you have both within your organisation and personal career goals. Write them out and pin them up where you can see them every day and then make roads to achieve them.

Get organised
I'm a "listy" I write down a list of things I need to do at the beginning of each day or week and I have a priority list of things I need to accomplish short term (1 to 2 weeks). 
You are inefficient if you are not organised, this will reflected in your management skills.

Right now
Ask yourself "What can I do? And How can I do what I'm currently doing better?"
What can you do to assist those people you work for (if your a BIM Manager everyone is your boss), what task or responsibility can you take on, large or small, that will help out a team member. If you don't know ask.

And finally... say "Yes" ... take on challenges will lead to self development.

Check out Mark's blog and websites on BIM Manager and CAD Manager


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Wednesday 23 April 2014

Autodesk University 2014

Submissions for AU2014 class proposals are now open.

If you want to submit a class proposal for Autodesk University click on the link, log in using your Autodesk ID and fill out the relevant information.

I've submitted two sessions for AU2014, both topics relating to BIM Management... we'll see how these proposals go.

I've not had a lot of success with my previous submissions so far, so here's hoping that this years submissions are accepted. I believe there is an appetite for BIM Management sessions, at least that's been my experience with previous conferences I've attended recently, so here's hoping...

If not, I'll still be there... apparently the Expert Elite group will be having a meeting and we may get special EE shirts! :-)

See you there!


Thursday 17 April 2014

BIM Coordination Meetings

Do you have BIM Coordination Meetings at the start of a new project?

I just facilitated such a meeting for a large project we are working on here in Vancouver. I had to coordinate all the consulting parties involved including the construction company and have them commit to send their BIM lead or BIM captains to a two day meeting here in Vancouver. This meant most of the people had to fly in and stay a couple nights for this meeting which is an expense and time away from the office.

in this case having this face to face BIM lead meeting is soooo worth it... I cant emphasis enough the value of this type of meeting. I've facilitated a number of these types of meetings on a number of different projects all with the same results.

During these BIM Coordination Meetings we are able to achieve the following.

We go over the BIM Execution Plan so everyone clearly understands what is expected from them, we then go over what we expect to be modelled and usually there is a lengthy discussion on what should be modelled and what shouldn't. We talk about LOD and frequently make requests of the consultants on specific items we would like modelled depending upon the complexity of the project.

We discuss coordination strategies, establish a method for sharing each others models, clash detection schedule etc.... it's a very worthwhile meeting sorting out the ground rules for modelling and getting to know each of the consultants face to face. 

These meetings also serve the purpose of forming a team bond, if you personally know the consultant you're working with and understand some of the challenges they face on the project you'll be more inclined to be willing to work together when things get tough, and things will always get tough at some point. It's how you are able to deal with the issues and work as a team for the benefit of the project that counts.

Having a face to face meeting with your consultants to discuss these issues can set a prescience for communication which in turn will form a team approach on the project. A "win win" for everyone involved. 
We also had a "site" visit the next day so everyone can see the scope and conditions of the site giving everyone a much better understanding of the project and some of the challenges involved.  

So for your next project if you have not already scheduled a face to face coordination meeting think about scheduling one, the benefits are priceless.

For this current project I'm very fortunate that were working with a great team of consultants who are not only accommodating to our needs but are very competent modellers who are a pleasure to work with and who are willing and able to offer their skills to this project to make it a success.

Working on large projects with great consultants! What can be better?


Monday 14 April 2014

Sustainability Community

Autodesk have this pretty cool web site/community on Sustainability where you can access free online resources that teach the principles and practises of sustainability in design and engineering. It not only can teach you the principles of sustainability  and design but also the tools available from Autodesk.

"At Autodesk, we think of designers as anyone who intentionally shapes our world. Whether you are an engineer or educator, an entrepreneur, designer, or maker, you have a place in the design-led revolution. This revolution is driven by new ways to work, create, and respond to today’s most pressing challenges. Autodesk offers tools, insights, and resources to help all designers create more sustainable designs for a better world."

I think these tools are being underutilised in the Architectural design community. As part of the design process we can now incorporate such things as:

  • Energy Literacy and Building loads
  • Climate Analysis
  • Sun and Shadow Study
  • Solar Radiation
  • Whole Building Energy Analysis
  • Wind and Airflow Analysis
  • Daylighting

Check out the Autodesk Sustainability Community and see what is available to make your designs sustainable. We all need to do our part for the environment and by using these tools you can also set yourself apart from your competition and show your clients that Architecture can truly become a part of the environment.  


Thursday 10 April 2014

BIM User Group Facebook Page Kickoff!

We'll I have finally got around to developing the BIM Users Group of the Okanagan Facebook page.
This is a Facebook page for the local BIM User group where I'll be posting meeting and event information as well as tips and tricks, links to interesting articles (such as my blog) etc.

If you`re a Facebook user please check out the page, it's still in it's infancy but I'll be posting information on a regular basis.

Check it out.

Okanagan BIM User Group

you can also follow me on twitter @BIM4ScottC


Wednesday 9 April 2014

2nd Reinventing Construction Project Delivery - Vancouver May 1st and 2nd

On May 1st and 2nd I will be presenting "How BIM and the Collaboration Process Changed our Flow of Operations" at the 2nd Reinventing Construction Project Delivery in Vancouver BC.

I will be presenting along side presenters from such as Steve Fleck of Stantec, Scott Matherson PCL and Allan Partridge from Group2 Architecture not to mention presenters from DIALOG, Lockerbie & Hole, Summit Technologies and many more. 
Check out the line up here.

Course program includes:
Collaborative project delivery breaks down the silos of responsibility, requiring close cooperation among all major participants, and aligning participant success to project success. This session will examine the principles of effective collaborative project delivery, which must be achieved for success.
• Establishing mutual respect and trust
• Setting out structure for mutual benefit and reward
• Best practices for collaborative innovation and decision making
• Early involvement of key participants
• Determining early goal definition

Many involved in the construction industry have turned to building information modeling (BIM) because of its potential to radically improve collaboration needed in design and construction. When used effectively, BIM practices can reduce errors and lessen the overall risk of the project. This session will explore how to take advantage of BIM collaborative delivery methods.
• Overview of the key concepts and usage of BIM: BIM characteristics
• BIM as a contract tool
• Implementing and managing a BIM model throughout the life of the project
• Key legal issues surrounding the usage of BIM
• Determining if your project is suited for BIM: barriers to BIM

Hope to see you there.


Monday 7 April 2014

What's your re-seller doing for you?

What's your Re-seller done for you recently?

I recently changed my Autodesk Resellers when my subscription came up.

I always thought my re-seller couldn't do much for me besides the basic training, sell me software and charge me for support.  Until recently......

In my opinion there is a ever decreasing market for selling software, now with subscription and software rental I think the traditional role of a re-sellers need to move towards a business model of training and support. Not just training the software basics and implementing BIM, that's done! That market is drying up, what people now need is "advanced project support and guidance". 

Today's software re-sellers need to develop advanced knowledge of the industry and stay abreast of advancement in the industries technology, technique and processes... and that's what I like about SummitAEC my new re-seller. These guys are BIM/AEC supporters and that's their business, they have top notch specialists that can guide you through a difficult project from family creation to process guidance, I've spoken to people with first hand experience and have seen it for myself. I was also looking for a re-seller who I could partner with on events I like to run such as workshops, user group meeting and networking events.

So I ask you... What's your re-seller done for you recently? 
If the only time you talk to your re-seller is when you need to buy software or when your subscription comes due take another look at them and see what they may have to offer besides software sales and basic training, you may be surprised, they may have more to offer than you first thought.  If not...find a re-seller that does... 

This isn't a promo for SummitAEC... (although I don't mind showcasing a company I like working with, if your in British Columbia or Alberta check them out).
This is intended to prompt you to find value where you do business, especially now that the new release is coming out soon. Go find value in your re-seller.


Thursday 3 April 2014

Why should I upgrade?

I read Steve Staffords post (Revit OpEd) this morning titled Upgrade to Revit? Yes!

I fully agree. 
Gone are the days when we would skip every other release and continue working on our old version of software... and even then quite often have to save down to share files with consultants. Nowadays with Autodesk Subscription there are no reasons not to upgrade.

Take advantage of what you pay Autodesk every year in your subscription fees and maximise your software ROI by upgrading and utilising the add-ons and every piece of software you have as part of your sub.

Autodesk are spending significant resources on developing software and each release is an improvement on the last, if you start missing releases it's a bigger learning curve to catch up... learning curve's slow down production!

Our projects are getting larger and more complex, the performance of Revit is improving with each new release. 

Get it.
Test it.
Use it.

Mine (and Steve's) two cents.


Wednesday 2 April 2014

Minn-U at Minneapolis

I've finally  have got around to my summary or Minn-U.

It was a great event, if you've ever been to Autodesk University it's very similar to that but at a smaller scale... which to me is definitely not a bad thing. With a smaller attendance it's far more personal, you can easily meet and chat with the presenters such as Paul Aubin (we talked about his book), James Wedding (my Civil guys know of him) and Steve Stafford. As well as the Autodesk line up of Phil Bernstein (VP of Autodesk) and Lynn Allen and my friend Ceasar Ruest to name but a few.

This year it was once again hosted by Autodesk and Cad Technology Center (CTC) the makers of the Revit Express Tools, they did a great job.

If you cant make it to AU try to make it to Minn-U, at a fraction of the cost it's well worth it!

Minneapolis sure has some interesting Architecture. They have "skyways" connecting most of the downtown buildings so you can literately go from one end of town to the other without having to go outside!