Friday 30 May 2014

7 Quick BIM Management Tips: by BIM Bicycle

Luke Johnson assisted in writing these 7 tips on BIM Management for BIM Bicycle.
A great article on "improving collaboration and productivity of your team". I've been writing up process here at CEI on starting up a project so the first few tips really resonate with me. Not sure I agree with the last point (7), I've experienced mid afternoon crashes due to this tip.... :-)
BIM Bicycle is a Collaborative Cloud-Based BIM Management System, that write a blog. Sounds great, love the look of their blog and web site, very clean!
Worth reading....and subscribing too.

Check out some of my earlier postings for similar BIM Manager tips.


Thursday 29 May 2014

Interview of Damon Ranieri - BIM Integration Manager

Here is a link to a great interview of Damon Ranieri by Hard Hat Hub.
Damon Ranieri is currently the BIM Integration Manager at Lend Lease, and was previously working to implement Revit at Hewlett Packard.

Check it out.

Interview of Damon Ranieri


For additional postings and BIM information check out the BIM User Group Facebook page:

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Email Protocols: A BIM Communication Tool

·     We all use email to communicate but few of us have protocols on how to use this communication tool. Often we have to recall emails to prove a point or to validate a line of communication. Below are some basic guidelines for using email to communicate on your BIM project. 

Displaying your identity and contact details
It is good email practise to make clear who the email is coming from and to include contact details in any signature so that people can get in contact with you or your section easily.

Common subject title followed by descriptive email content title
Eg: SD23 Here are the requested email protocols
Use the project initials or the project number at the beginning of the Subject title. 
Use a clear title in the subject box when composing an email. Make the words of a headline meaningful to the recipient to set the scene for the content and to help both you and them to file the email appropriately.

If an email conversation develops into a discussion about other areas as well as the original topic, consider changing the subject heading when you reply. This makes it easier to recognise the purpose of the email at a later date, without having to open it, and keeps the subject heading relevant.

Filing or relevant emails such as only those email relevant to the project that contain pertinent information
For example there is no need to file emailed “thank you” reply’s.
Only one email of the conversation, not subsequent multiple emails.

File emails daily or weekly
In accordance to your companies practise and procedures.

Attachment etiquette
Attachments should be kept to a minimum and should not exceed 10Mb.

Emails should be responded to within 24 hours. If you cannot respond within 24 hours please set up an automated email response.
If your email is urgent and requires immediate attention please follow up with a phone call.

High Importance/Low Importance
Tag your email using the High Importance/Low Importance icons to help the recipients prioritise their emails.

General Email Practises
People are more likely to read and respond to your emails if you make an effort to be clear about the subject of your email when sending to recipient(s) for any call-to-action and summarise any other need-to-know information early in the email. CC recipient who’s For Your Information is intended who do not need to act immediately to your email. CC only when you wish to inform others and do not expect them to respond.

Make it clear if and what action is needed, by whom and set deadlines. If necessary set the actions out as separate items with a named person next to each.

In a long email exchange, it can be helpful to delete all but the most recent message when you reply, provided the context is not needed.

If someone sends you a legitimate request, answer it right away, even if you don’t plan to take action immediately. Then they know you received it, and they won’t keep trying to get your attention.

Hope this helps!

For additional postings and BIM information check out the BIM User Group Facebook page:

Monday 26 May 2014

Revit 2015 File Upgrader

I was looking for the Revit 2015 File Upgrade utility tool...

Found it thanks to Luke's Blog "What Revit Wants" Here's a link to his side where you can download the utility.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

I leave my desk for a few days.....

I leave my desk for a few days.....
And this happens. !!

We recently updated our office furniture so people were asked to tag their belongings with green tape and to write their name on it so they can be relocated to the new desk.... 

I may have added a couple additional tags on one individuals desk...maybe two or three!!! 
Four at the most!

Anyway, I get back to my desk after being away for a few days.............

Revenge is sweet ! 

Unwrapping my desk is like Christmas!!


Monday 19 May 2014

Crowd Sourcing Architectural Design

Here's a great article from arch daily titled "A New Way to Make Architecture Happen". The article discusses how crowd sourcing and Kickstarter programs can benefit public spaces.

In recent years, crowdfunding websites have taken the world by storm. Sites like Kickstarter have been used to fund books, films, products, and even been used to fund architecture projects, with success for projects like +Pool in New York and the Luchtsingel in Rotterdam. However, one drawback which prevents such ‘ urbanism’ from taking off more is the way the platform constrains the design of the projects: in both instances, construction elements are offered as rewards for the backers, who get to mark their contribution by having their name inscribed on the project itself. In response to this, other crowdfunding sites specifically tailored for designers have used different models for raising money. Spacehive works by leveraging the interest of local people in an urban project, doing away with the rewards system in favour of the implicit reward of improved public space. 

A new web site called Make Architecture Happen  is bridging the gap  by providing a way to draw funds from a worldwide audience without compromising on design freedom.

It's great to see this type of community global support now being applied to Architecture. 
The ability to bring creative and functional Architecture can bring a wealth of benefits to the community, both practically and socially.  

I'd like to see something similar happen with crowd sourcing design...


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For additional postings and BIM information

Thursday 15 May 2014

Autodesk 3D Printer

Carl Bass (CEO Autodesk) recently announced that Autodesk will be introducing their own 3D Printer.
Looks like a coffee maker to me!!

Very exciting stuff , this 3D printer in conjunction with their open software platform for 3D printing called Spark,  will make it more reliable yet simpler to print 3D models, and easier to control how that model is actually printed.

Spark will be open and freely licensable to hardware manufacturers and others who are interested. Same for our 3D printer – the design of the printer will be made publicly available to allow for further development and experimentation. The printer will be able to use a broad range of materials, made by us and by others, and we look forward to lots of exploration into new materials.

It was only a matter of time before Autodesk created their own 3D printer, it'll be interesting to see how they stack up against the competition both price-wise and performance.

Check out the announcement here at Inthefold.


Wednesday 14 May 2014

Rendering in Revit and the Cloud

I've always been a little disappointed with Revit's rendering capabilities, I've always said that Revit is not really a rendering tool and that you should use another program, such as 3ds Max, if you want a really good rendering. Rendering in the cloud is a great idea but the material selection is a hit and miss at best.

Autodesk are continuing to work on improving it's cloud rendering capabilities as well as the Revit rendering engine but I have just realised it's the user (ME!) and not the program.

The renderings below are of a project were currently working on and was done using Revit, the Cloud... and a little of both!

Well done Alisha!


Monday 12 May 2014

The 12 Golden Rules of Being a Revit Project Team Member

The maintenance and care of the project is about using best practices and ensuring all processes are followed as team members work.  The best practices for the end users are important to be in place and enforced by management because they often have the greatest impact in the day to day operation of the project. 

There are a number of best practices (rules) that end users should follow in their day to day work to when working as a team on a Revit project.

Here are my 12 Golden Rules of Being a Revit Project Team Member. 

     1:  Linking V’s Importing Files
Do not Import files into Revit, link them instead so they can easily be managed and removed when necessary. Only the BIM Captains have permission to import files into the project.

2: Families
Do not load your own families. If you feel you need a family that is not already loaded into the project or the family is not in the CEI Standard Component Library please ask your BIM Captain who will either source out a family or build what you need to suit.

3: Assemblies
If you require a new assembly in the project please inform your BIM Captain who will build what you need to suit. This includes Wall, Floor, Ceiling and Roof types. Any new assemblies can then be added to the overall assemblies sheet.

4: New Local file Daily
Creating a new local file every day, this practice ensures that the user is starting with a clean and most up to date version of the project and that they will not lose work due to an outdated dataset.  This practice also builds in automatic backups in case of failures and creates redundancy.  This practice also helps to “clear out” errors that could have possibly occurred and resets in affect the communication between the local file and the central file.

5: View Templates
Every view should have a view template associated with it.  If one doesn’t exist for what you need please contact your BIM Captain. Please don’t change view templates.  If changes are required please contact your BIM Captain.

6: Communicating Coordinated Syncs to Central with Peers
Coordinated syncs with others on the project and inform your team members when you are syncing.  On large projects coordination of sync’s ensure that not everyone is trying to save at once and that the projects files are being accessed all at once. Keeping to a “sync schedule” is a great way to foster communication across the team.

7: Workset Creation and Usage    
Please make sure you are working on the appropriate Workset at all times.
Worksets can become unwieldy if left along and unmanaged (like AutoCAD Layers can without monitoring) so its’ important to make sure the Workset guidelines are clear and being followed.  Without doing so, the project can quickly become a mess to understand, navigate, and troubleshoot in the case of problems. 

8: Using Working views
Views unlike model geometry do not have a noticeable impact on project and system performance (as long as too many are not open at the same time).  Creating working views for working on the model that allow documentation views to remain in place keeps things organized and allows others to know what is being worked on better by others. However please limit the use of 3D views as these are computer resource intense and inflate the file size.  

9: Close Hidden Windows
as mentioned above, closing hidden windows regularly to ensure that only the views needed are opened will save memory and improve working performance as a user works on the project.  Views themselves in the project do not impact performance, but having many views open at the same time in a session can cause some performance delays. 

10: Memory Management
Closing other applications - Users should take care to free up available memory before performing a memory intensive task on a project.  Things like printing, exporting, and rendering should be planned and considered before they are started.

11: Restarting Revit
Restarting allows the system to free additional memory and start from a fresh state. Close your computer down at the end of the day and restart when you come in in the morning, of the time this resolves 90% of the issues you may experience on a project.

12: Ask!
When in doubt…. Ask! Communication will solve and resolve any issues, when in doubt ask your BIM Captain or a colleague. Do not assume anything.


Thursday 8 May 2014

Homestyler App

I looked at Autodesk's Homestyler years ago when it first came out and thought it would be a great tool for Interior Design and even those wanting an easy tool to use for when renovating your home.

In The Fold  recently blogged about the Homestyler App.
Ever wish you could see how that coffee table would look in your living room before buying it? Wondering what type of art looks best on that blank bedroom wall?

Check out the new App. It's a great, easy tool to use that makes home decorating easier and more interactive. Users can take a photo of their room, quickly conceal the existing furniture in the photo and start trying out different d├ęcor.

Homestyler gives instant 3D analysis of room dimensions, lets you try out new paint colors and experiment with tons of furniture and fixtures from rugs to mirrors and paint colors, all in your living space, in real time.

Images courtesy of In The Fold Blog 

You can download Homestyler from iTunes or check out the Homestyler web site.