Thursday 26 June 2014

Project Skyscraper - Revit Server for the Cloud.

Yeah, finally Autodesk has announced Project Skyscraper!

Project Skyscraper to bring Revit Collaboration to the Cloud  
Project Skyscraper is a technology preview for Revit that will allow architects, engineers and contractors to collaborate on the Autodesk 360 cloud platform, eliminating the need for firms to invest in costly IT set-ups.

Basically it's Revit Server on the Cloud! YES! No more trying to share models with our consultants, trying to break through firewalls, being restricted with bandwidth restrictions, frustration of sync issues.... Revit Server on the Cloud! About time! It's the one piece in the collaboration puzzle that's been missing.

With collaborative workflows across teams spanning different firms and locations becoming more and more common, architecture, engineering and construction firms are looking for ways to simultaneously co-author models across firewalls. Project Skyscraper allows project stakeholders from multiple companies or locations to concurrently author a model using the BIM process. 

Wrapping this up within the Autodesk 360 platform make sense, in my opinion 360 was more for contractors and designers didn't really reap the benefits until after design. Skyscraper will complete that circle so we can now all collaborate real time...which does bring up other issues....
Do we really want to share our models real time? I think in the early stages of design we'll have to work out some sort of protocols and restrict sharing to bi-weekly or weekly. Nothing worse than working on a design only to find that it's all been changed 10 minutes latter.

Cant wait to try it out...


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Monday 16 June 2014

RTC North America, Here I Come !!

I'm off to Chicago on Wednesday to attend the Revit Technology Conference.
Looking forward to it. I missed last years event which was in Vancouver, I was overseas at the time.

I'm presenting my session on "Being the Best BIM Manager".

An interactive lecture on the role and responsibilities of the BIM manager, those you expect and a few that you don’t! We’ll look at ways to become the best BIM manager.

During this session we will look at ways you can become an outstanding BIM manager. We will examine the roles and responsibilities of the position, and outline tips and tricks for managing BIM models and the people who create them. We will describe how the role of a BIM manager can positively affect the operation of your firm.

I'm looking forward to catching up with my BIM colleagues from across North America and I hope we have some time to check out the fantastic architecture in Chicago.

If your attending RTC this year please seek me out, I'm always interested in meeting people who read my blog, ask me for one of my "Revit Jedi" decals.... 


Thursday 12 June 2014

We did it!! The Grouse Grind.

One more item ticked off my bucket list!

Myself and a group of people from my Vancouver office completed the Grouse Grind yesterday.

The Grouse Grind is a 2.9-kilometer trail up the face of Grouse Mountain, commonly referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.”

Grouse Grind Stat's:
Length: 2.9 kilometres (1.8 miles) 
Elevation Gain: 853 metres (2,800 feet)
Base: 274 metres above sea level (900 feet)
Summit: 1,127 metres (3,700 feet)
Total Stairs: 2,830 
Statistics: Annually, over 150,000 people hike the trail.
Average Time: On average it takes up to an hour and a half to complete the hike. For novice hikers, two hours is recommended.
Participants: Hikers range in age from 7 to 90, with an equal male/female split.

Here are some photos...

As you can see, it's very steep... but the view at the top is fantastic.!


CEI Architecture is open for business in Alberta

The firm I work for is now registered with the Alberta Association of Architects and have opened an office in Edmonton. This represents the firm’s first office presence outside of British Columbia.

Over the past ten years we’ve enjoyed steady growth,” said William Locking, managing partner of CEI Architecture. “We’ve primarily worked in B.C., though we’ve partnered with firms on projects in other provinces, including Alberta, Ontario, Newfoundland and New Brunswick.” We’re looking forward to leading projects in Alberta, making a difference in communities by bringing our strong focus on client service and collaboration.”

CEI Architecture is a leading architecture and design firm in Western Canada, with over 60 staff at offices in Vancouver, Victoria and Edmonton. The firm was named Designers of the Year in the Eco category by Western Living Magazine in 2013. 

So... expect to start seeing me in the Edmonton and possibly Calgary area as things start to develop for us in Alberta. 


Monday 9 June 2014

CEI's 40 Storey Wood Tower Model

We have back in our Vancouver office a weary traveler.... a 6' (180cm) tall wooden model of a 40 Storey Wood Office Tower that was built "in house" back in 2012. 

The instigator for exploring the possibility of tall wood frame construction has been the increase in the use of wood in the built environment. Combined with strong government support through the WoodFirst Act and the many environmental benefits of use of this material, such as its ability to sequester carbon dioxide and the fact that building with wood requires less overall energy than other materials led to the construction of this model.

The model has been traveling in a large and heavy crate to numerous events including Architectural conventions.

Our objectives included a design that would incorporate advanced sustainable strategies, would be visually iconic, would be attractive to tenants for its functionality and warmth, and would respond to the climate and environment of the Pacific Northwest.

Floors are built from engineered CREE panels, spanning 30 feet from the core to perimeter truss. An east-west axis helps maximize solar gain and control east-west exposure. Exterior sunshades are oriented vertically on the east-west elevations, with horizontal shades on the south that incorporate photovoltaic solar panels.

The resulting design addresses these issues through highly flexible, column-free spaces and a myriad of other highly sustainable and functional features. The scheme proposes a building footprint of 150 feet by 90 feet, with a central concrete core. Floor decks are made of wood-concrete composite elements that take advantage of the superior tension capacity of wood and the compression capacity of concrete.

Wood trusses with depths matching the 12-inch floor-to-floor heights are efficient structural elements and placed at the perimeter of the building at every alternate floor. The top and bottom chords of the trusses support the floor decks that span from core elements to the perimeter. The ability to support two floors with one trussed level allows the building to have clear span sky garden or sky lobby at chosen levels. The wood trusses are engineered using locally harvested wood; their visual presence contributes to a warm, inspiring work environment and also becomes the primary architectural expression for the building.

Four concrete piers, 30 feet from the end, are strategically positioned at building perimeters to support the wood trusses with cantilevers to achieve further structural efficiency by minimizing internal forces. Reinforced concrete is used for its structural properties of strength, rigidity, ductility and continuity, to resist lateral forces such as earthquakes and wind.

CEI Architecture’s preliminary costing has shown this scheme can be constructed with a five percent savings over traditionally constructed office buildings, an indication that innovative building approaches featuring substantial, sustainable and smart use of wood is an approach worth considering.

Engineering Team
Architect: CEI Architecure - Nick Bevanda partner in charge
Structural: Read Jones Christoffersen Consulting Engineers
Mechanical: Rocky Point Engineering
Civil: 2020 Engineering
QS: SSA Quantity Surveyors Ltd.
Area: 730,000 sq ft (67 820 sm)

Here are links for further information.


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Wednesday 4 June 2014

Presentation Series on Improving Project Delivery

If you are in the Vancouver (BC) area next week I would like to invite you to a series of sessions dedicated to improving how you deliver projects.

The “Improving the Process of Delivering Projects” series is designed to stimulate discussion on improving the project delivery process. Sessions are designed for members of the AEC industry who would like to see a more integrated approach to project delivery. These sessions will provide you with tools and skills to enhance your project delivery and collaborate with consultants, your client and the contractor.

These quarterly sessions will be facilitated by Scott Chatterton, BIM and QC Manager for CEI Architecture. The first will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 12 at CEI Architecture’s office at 500-1500 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. 

Click here for more details and to reserve your seat.

The goals of these sessions are to educate, communicate and cooperate.

These sessions are not:
·         …Another user group. These are a limited series of presentations directed towards improving how we deliver projects in the design and construction industry.

·         …Focussed on Revit. They are high level overviews of the processes for delivering projects.

·         …A sales pitch. We’re not selling anything, promoting any products or any specific company. We’re discussing how to improve project delivery.

These sessions are:
Designed for Decision Makers. They’re for project managers, partners, associates, architects, engineers and contractors. Decision makers who need information to be able to make educated decisions and keep up with industry trends.

Free What more can I say?

The first session will feature two presentations, guaranteed to stimulate thought and discussion.

Collaboration in the Design Process
Rodrigo Freig; WSP Group

This presentation looks at three different case scenarios of BIM collaboration and how the process impacted the project delivery. We will look at the level of involvement of consultants, contractors and owners, and the benefits gained and/or lost.

Rodrigo Freig is the technical manager for the engineering departments at WSP Group’s Vancouver office. He has 14 years’ experience in the structural engineering field and he also teaches Revit Structures at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He has been involved with BIM processes since 2006 and is an enthusiast of working in 3D.  

Building an Integrated Team to Deliver a Project
Owen Pawson; Miller Thomson

This session covers the following aspects of collaborative project delivery:
  • Who should be on the team
  • The importance of trust within the team
  • The importance of BIM in enhancing collaboration
  • Tying rewards (and risk) to project success
  • Decision making within the team
  • Dispute resolution (if really necessary)
Owen Pawson is the Managing Partner of Miller Thomson's Vancouver office. He practices as a solicitor with the firm in construction law. He assists governments, crown corporations and a variety of construction companies, architects, engineers and interior designers to identify issues and resolve conflicts in construction law, develop commercial arrangements for traditional design-tender-build projects through to major design-build and engineer, procure and construct facilities, as well as public private partnerships projects. In this regard, Owen has been involved in the preparation of procurement processes and complex contracts necessary to implement design-build school projects and major transportation infrastructure projects by way of design-build, P3 and EPC contracts. He also advises clients with respect to professional liability of design consultants and has prepared professional consulting agreements for a variety of projects.


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Monday 2 June 2014

Going to the CANBIM Conference on Prefabrication & Modularization?

Thursday (5th June) I'll be attending the CANBIM Conference on Prefabrication & Modularization.

I'm really interested in this topic ad looking forward to this conference as I think Prefab and modularization is going to have an impact on the BIM design industry and construction. I'm already seeing construction companies prefabricating and modularizing building components such as typical bathrooms in health care facilities to prefabricating HVAC ducting.

If your in Vancouver and interested in attending I believe registration is still open.

If your already attending... and you read this blog... and I haven't met you before... (I know, it's a perfect storm right!) please introduce yourself to me. 


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