Wednesday 19 July 2017

Acquiring Revit Project Coordinates

Typical workflow to acquire project coordinates that we use goes something like this:

1: Obtain Civil or Survey CAD file + Link it into Revit Project; this is typically the “Site” project, but can also be the “Main model” if you are not breaking out the Site in a separate file.

2: Move the CAD file into the proper location as it relates to the building; you can rotate, shift up down left right, etc., etc. – Important to note that you are looking to match a specific geodetic elevation associated within the CAD file to your main floor elevation in addition to the location of the building on the site.

3: Acquire the coordinates of the CAD file – now your Revit model coordinates will match the Real World Coordinates that are (mostly) always associated with the survey file.

4: Next, provide your consultants with the Revit file that has acquired the CAD coordinates. Have them link it Center to Center, or something other than Shared coordinates.

5: Locate (move) the Linked model in the correct position, and then acquire its coordinates.

Note: There are often steps that we take to clean-up the CAD file first (ie: locate specific topo lines on an easily identifiable layer so that you can associate the CAD file in elevation relative to Main floor levels, for example).

The best test that we use after we have acquired the coordinates of the CAD file, is to export a CAD file from Revit (be sure to use Shared Coordinates in the export set-up) and then open the survey and xref the Revit export to 0,0,0. The files should align perfectly if everything has been done correctly. 

Thanks to Dan Sawyer for writing this out for me... I get a lot of questions on this process and Dan's my go-too guy.

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Developing your BIM Career

I recently read Bob Murray's LinkedIn post on "10 Tips on Personal Career Development" and it got me thinking (as his articles usually do), so I thought I'd write my own 10 tips on how to develop your Career in BIM.

Check out Bob's two books "It's Already Inside" and "Unlocked". 

I often have the opportunity to speak to students at Colleges and University on BIM and how its impact on the AECO industry. 

Here are my 10 tips:

1: The position your want may not exist yet.... technology is changing so rapidly and businesses don't realise the opportunities they're missing out on... you can take advantage of that by carving out your own position.

2: Don't be afraid of change, change is constant and moving at a rapid pace. Everyday you will learn something new! Gather those experiences and apply it to the current situation.

3: Say "Yes" see my post in this topic. Don’t be afraid to take on something new, you may be intimidated or doubt your own abilities, but unless you take on the challenge you may never discover your full potential.

4: Engage, don't be afraid to ask questions, there are not stupid questions.

5: Educate yourself by attending conferences and workshops. These events are fantastic opportunity to network and participate in stimulating conversation. You also get to meet and know the leaders in your industry.

6: Teach; teaching is a great opportunity to learn. Students ask the greatest questions and the discussions resulting from a teaching session are thought provoking. 
You learn by teaching!

7: Read, on line, articles, books (digital or paper). Stay current with what's going on in the world associated to BIM, this will broaden your horizons and knowledge.

8: Encourage other. By promoting and encouraging other around you, you will find that you will develop a group of like minded people with whom you can share idea's, challenges and innovative thinking.

9: Surround yourself with the right people, seek out those that challenge you and inspire you to greatness.

10: Colour outside the lines. Look for cross over opportunities where you see possibilities to share or utilise your skills in other fields. 
For example, BIM for the gaming industry? Gaming tools for the AEC industry!

11: Find a Mentor, be a Mentor.

Yes there are 11, always deliver more than promised ;-)


Wednesday 5 July 2017

Mandating BIM, Yes, No... or Why?

I hear a lot about mandating BIM from all over the world, from Australia to Germany. 
To a certain degree many countries are mandating BIM in one form or another, typically government lead projects where fiscal responsibility and accountability is necessary are the first to adopt a mandate.

I read articles or mandates that refer too the UK's BIM Mandate refering to the structure, organization and "success" of the UK BIM Mandate implementation, it makes me nervous when countries base their mandate, or their decision to mandate BIM on the UK model.

There are a number of factors that influenced in the decision to Mandate BIM in the United Kingdom. There are many positive aspects that the UK have taken advantage of through the mandating, however each country, region, district and local authority have a variety of reasons to adopt, or not to adopt a BIM mandate, interwoven into this decision are their own specific requirements and reasons to mandate BIM.

When looking into mandating BIM, whether your making the decision on behalf of a country, local authority or your own business, take existing BIM mandates with a grain of salt and evaluate your own needs. Look at implementing incrementally but with a view of the bigger picture, and if it needs to change due to changes in the industry, be flexible enough to accommodate those changes and influences. 

Ask Why you are Mandating BIM and what is the impact or effect your looking for.
There are many influences to the decision to Mandate BIM including:
  • Predominant software, there maybe a high level of diversity in BIM applications such as in Europe compared to North America (IFC becomes more of a factor). 
  • Industry's ability to adopt the BIM Mandate, some countries are still developing their BIM ability in the AEC industry and Mandating BIM may be premature and place undue pressure resuklting in resistance to adoption.
  • Market driver, some BIM mandates are designed to help drive and stimulate the industry. Used as an economic stimuli encouraging industry to learn and utilize technology, stimulating associated services or industries such as education, associated applications and beyond BIM services such as direct to fabrication etc.. 
  • Industry demand, some countries are further along in BIM adoption and the timing is right to have in place a formal mandate addressing BIM. Countries like Canada and Australia where BIM adoption is successful and projects are demanding BIM are in a position to develop and create there own Mandate often lead by sectors of the government such as Infrastructure or  Department of Defense etc.
Either way, a BIM mandate needs to stand alone in it's development, taking lessons learned from similar mandates with an understanding and reasoning of the why and how they were developed.

Much like a project, each mandate is a prototype, drawing upon experiences and skills developed from other mandates and utilizing what's applicable according to the needs.


Saturday 1 July 2017

Happy Canada Day

Yes July 1st is Canada Day celebrating 150 years of confederation... sort of... 
Canada is actually a Federation, the term Confederation caught on in the in the 19th century. 
Canada was announced as being "one Dominion under the crown," a.k.a. the Dominion of Canada, as per the British North America Act of 1867 that unified the colonies (Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick).

On July 1, 1867, what we now know of as Canada was in fact just four provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) that composed the New Dominion of Canada

The remaining provinces and territories formed over time and joined the Dominion of Canada.  

Happy 150 Canada, you dont look a day over 200 million.