Monday 31 October 2016

Zombie Projects

Zombie Projects… project that are resurrected from the dead… how to deal with them, how to bring them back to life so they wont bite you on the neck.

Projects raised from the dead!

I refer to projects that have been “raised from the dead” as Zombie projects.

Projects that have been started in Revit years ago, and for one reason or another, were then put on hold only to be resurrected again after a number of years…or a number of Revit versions.

Bringing a project back from the dead can be both challenging and fraught with danger.

Zombie projects can react in unexpected ways as the program tries to manage data and parameters that may not exist, or the function has changed. Creating a “Frankenstein” project where you’re cutting and chopping sections from the old project to create a new project can infect a new project with indiscriminate data or elements that can confuse and anger the victim causing mayhem throughout the team.

Be diligent in cleaning a project when moving it to the next stage in life, use sterile components to reduce the possibility of infection that may occur both immediately and at a later date.

If you have to raise a Revit project out of the grave and breathe life back into it, here are some tips so you wont get bitten on the…umm….neck…by the project.

Create a back up copy or Archived copy before commencing the upgrade process, you need to provide a record or where you left off and where you’re starting from.

Unload any linked models before upgrading, or it has to upgrade them at the same time as upgrading the intended model. – upgrade the linked models independently.

Delete any “old” local files on user’s computers.

Purge all unused (do it 3 times to truly get rid of everything not used) (again, not entirely necessary, especially if you’re going to continue working in the model).

Review and Resolve warnings.

Upgrade in steps, don’t go straight from 2012 to 2016, do it in stages such as; 2012 to 2014 to 2016.

Remove all unnecessary views (anything not on a sheet) before upgrading. This is also good practice for file maintenance.

Transfer project standards from the Seed File. This will port across the latest standards.

Make sure everyone on the new version is on the same Revit build.

Gather Data before and after upgrading, compare data to check for consistency and completeness (Doors, Views, Sheets, Etc). Use tools like BIMlink and Schedules to output any critical data like door schedules, RDS, etc.

Data loss in an upgrade can be sneaky and hidden until found. If you compare the data right away you can often see critical errors that have occurred during the upgrade.

When to Rebuild
If your project is older than Revit 2012, let the dead lie…You will seriously need to evaluate the pros and cons of upgrading verses entirely rebuilding the project. The benefits of rebuilding the project are too numerous to mention, but here are a few benefits. You’ll be starting the project with the latest seed file, utilizing the latest application and components that have been proven to work. For me, if the risk is too great, I’d be inclined to rebuild the project. The time it takes to rebuild the model is an investment in project stability. Building a monster…err.. project, using the latest components and tools reduces risks, and promotes a successful lifespan.

Evaluate your Zombie Projects, consider rebuilding verse resurrection!

Happy Halloween!!

Friday 14 October 2016

Has BIM Increased Our Productivity?

I get that question a lot. When I first started promoting Revit as a replacement for AutoCAD, I talked about how Revit would reduce the time it took to complete a project.
…but that’s not what happens.

I don’t see a dramatic decrease in project delivery time, but I do see an increasing ability to deliver projects.

My experience – and that of many others – has been that Revit does enable faster creation of drawings. I can certainly produce a set of drawings for a generic building a lot faster in Revit than AutoCAD; however, increased project demands such as design complexity and timeline/budget constraints make it hard to see a measurable improvement in project delivery speed. Managing the rising levels of information and data required on projects inhibits our ability to quicken our pace. That being said, we have seen a measurable improvement in the quality of our deliverables and our service.

Measuring these more qualitative analytics can be difficult due to the diversity of our projects. Each project is unique, with a distinctive set of constraints and demands.

I can honestly say that some of our projects would not have been successful if Revit had not been used. As opposed to following traditional CAD methods, using Building Information Modeling (BIM) allows us to deliver a more concise, thought-out design that is better coordinated and executed, and with fewer staff.

The benefits of using BIM go beyond delivering a set of drawings. 
Quite simply, BIM helps us do better work for our clients.