Friday 21 December 2018

Season's Greetings and Happy Blog Reading

As we come near the end of another year I would like to thank you for participating in my Blog, whether as a reader or a commentator. I appreciate your input and the value you place on reading what I'm compelled to write... either my opinion or a helpful tip ;-)

For those of you who are long-time readers, you would have noticed two changes over the recent years. 
One; the slowing down of  blog postings
Two; the changing of the trend of "helpful Revit tips" and "how too's" to more on the topic of BIM management and leadership

This Blog has evolved over the past 8 years (or more) as my career in the AEC industry has also evolved. 
I first started this Blog, initially titled "The Revit Jedi", as a method to share information and knowledge as part of my role as Autodesk Certified Instructor. It served a great purpose in informing my students and a broader audience of novice Revit users and evolved into topics on Building Information Modeling in general including BIM utilization and process, hence the title change to BIM Jedi in 2015.  

As I write this on December 21st 2018, Winter Solstice has just passed (in Canada) signifying the changing of seasons. 

I too feel it is time for a change. 

The BIM/Revit Jedi has served me well. From my Blog statistics, it has also served and informed others from around the world including Australia, UK, France, Ukraine, Netherlands, Spain, and Africa, to only name a few.

Earlier this year I reached the milestone of over 1 million page views over 585 blog postings and at it peaks over 30,000 page views per month.

Reaching this milestone planted the idea of retiring this Blog, I may have an oppertunity to pass the "BIM Jedi" on to a new generation (Padawan BIM Jedi) and re-invigorate the content back to the original intent of sharing BIM knowledge while broadening the scope to applications that further utilize BIM. I'm still working on it ( ;-)

I am not Retiring (I can't afford to do that!) I do plan on writing more on the topic of Leadership and Process and posting to either a new Blog or more frequently to my LinkedIn profile. 

I hope you can follow my journey into this next chapter and evolution of not only my progress but also that of the BIM Jedi.

Thank you for reading and I truly hope you gained some helpful information on your journey to becoming a BIM Jedi Master.


Scott Chatterton
Formerly known as the BIM Jedi

Recent update: check out BIMDaily Blog for all future BIM Blogging info:

Monday 26 November 2018

Shopping intelligently

Do you want to look totally cool this holiday season?

Want to look absolutely fabulous on the golf course, in the office or while grocery shopping?

Want to protect your head and eyes from the glaring sun this summer!

Want to write down in a notepad really important stuff!

You can do all this as well as display your intelligence all by purchasing CanBIM apparel and Merchandise.

Check out these fantastic products....

On sale now for a limited time, so don't wait... go to the link now and spend over $100 Canadian... which is like $70 for our US colleagues (so you can buy more!)

Your significant other will love these as a gift.

Link: CanBIM Shop


Monday 5 November 2018

Digital Collaboration and Its Impact on BIM Utilization - AU 2019

I’m inviting you to sign up for an industry Meet-up Session at AU 2018 that I am facilitating.
This discussion is on how we collaborate digitally and how we can further utilize BIM.
243547 - Digital Collaboration and Its Impact on BIM Utilization
Join your industry colleagues for a discussion about digital collaboration. Topics include strategies for successful digital collaboration and its impact on BIM utilization.
This is your opportunity to share your project challenges and successes in a casual unstructured environment, and to gain insight into the experiences of others.

Lando 4301A, Level 4

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Autodesk University Survival Guide

I'm off to Autodesk University again this year (2018).

I wrote a blog back in 2015 on tips when attending AU, I thought I'd revive that blog and update it with some more tips.

If this is your first time at AU here are some tips.
  • It's very dry in Nevada and for us northerners, it'll dry you up like a raisin. Good luck requesting a Humidifier for your room... they're typically all gone by the time you check in. Just keep a glass of water by your bed at night.
  • Go outside at least once during the day, just to remind you what fresh air smells like.
  • Take a hand sanitizer.... germs are everywhere and you don't want to get sick.
  • Sleep, trust me you'll need it.. and I don't mean during sessions.
  • Dry air and carpet are a great combination to ZAP unwary bystanders.
  • Resist the urge to baa like a sheep during the line up at meal time... and if you do hear a sheep it's not me! ;-)
  • Wear comfortable shoes, your going to be on your feet all day and walking for miles (or kilometers)!
  • Meet as many people as you possibly can. This makes the AU experience more enjoyable and you can make some great contacts which you can meet next time you go. If you see me stop me and say hi
  • It's Vegas, take a walk down the "Strip" at night to see the lights, also go see Fremont Street it's worth the short cab ride.
  • It's Vegas, enjoy yourself... but remember your there for a conference which you paid good money to attend, don't waste a day being hung over!
  • Make the event memorable... however don't be "that guy" that everyone remembers for the wrong reasons.
  • Travel light during the conference. Your packing that c#@!p around with you all day... you really don't need your laptop! 
  • Take a large suitcase, even if it's half empty on the way there. You'll be picking up lots of info and "swag" at the exhibition hall and your suitcase will be full on the way home. 
  • Sit at a different table during meals and introduce yourself to everyone at the table. Take a lot of your business cards to give out.... and collect a lot of business cards, and when you get home after a week follow up, even if it's just to say hi, it was nice to meet you at AU. AU is not only about learning it's also about making connections.
Finally, enjoy yourself !
It's a great opportunity to meet people, I learn the most after the sessions when I talk to people.

Hope to see you there, if you see me please feel free to introduce yourself. I love meeting people who read my blog.... both of you.... ;-)

See you there!

Monday 27 August 2018

CanBIM Toronto Regional Session 2018

CanBIM Regional Session, Toronto September 19th and 20th 2018.

September 19
Royal Woodbine Golf Club
195 Galaxy Boulevard
Toronto, Ontario 

September 20
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Room 205 & 206
255 Front Street West
Toronto, Ontario.

Technology Built Innovation IV: Smart Cities is a two-day educational networking opportunity showcasing innovative and emerging technologies that will enable Smart Cities. 

As leaders in the AECO industry, our industry members are leading the digital transformation to a new built environment. Smart Cities use information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare. Our presenters, panelists and exhibitors will showcase the latest trends and technologies that support Smart Cities. Come join key business decision-makers, industry connectors, technology developers and project implementers, all of whom are engaged in improving and ensuring productivity, efficiency and smarter built environments.

Tuesday 31 July 2018

Getting started with BIM 360

I've been struggling with getting BIM 360 set up for a IPD project. One of the biggest challenges has been the new workflow of including and setting up team members, having all the applications and add-in's in place and the "new" terminology Autodesk is using for their BIM 360 platform.

We were quite familiar with the old C4R platform and terminology so we understand the fundamentals of the cloud collaboration workflow, our challenge was working through the new process and understanding the new features and terminology.

We eventually figured it out, mostly through trial and error and support from Autodesk (Thanks John).

I recently came across this "Getting Started Guide" which clearly explains the steps to set up a project and the team.

Getting Started Guide

Autodesk BIM 360 platform is an excellent cloud collaboration platform for the entire project team, this will likely become the standard for the majority of projects in the future. Having access to the most current model in an online collaborative platform ensures the communication needs of the project are met.

If you not aware of the BIM 360 platform check it out here: BIM 360

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Is BIM De-skilling our Workforce?

I've been a part of a number of discussions recently on the "abilities" of our team, the basic skillsets of putting together a drawing package. We (I too am guilty of this) have been so focused on developing BIM skills, the understanding and knowledge development associated with BIM that we have missed the bigger picture.  

Deskilling; the term refers to a person becoming less proficient over time.

As I've addressed previously, BIM is just a tool, a process utilizing applications that enables our design abilities to shine. “Tools enable us to amplify our abilities”

Has BIM contributed to the reduction in the knowledge and understanding of how to bring together a drawing package?

Has the focus and development of the digital model (Building Information Model) been a detriment to the need of understanding how we deliver projects?

This is what I have seen lately and has been a key discussion point with my colleagues. My colleagues and I have found a decrease in the ability of our newly graduated staff members to bring together a drawing package, or even the ability to “cartoon” the development of projects drawing package required during the early stages of a project.

Their BIM skills are great, their ability to develop a model is sufficient to accomplish the project tasks required, as is their understanding of the benefits and advantages of utilizing the BIM. However, I’m receiving complaints from the project managers on incomplete drawings, lack of content and having to instruct staff on the basics of compiling a drawing package… and I agree, the models are developed, all the information is there but the sheets are not complete. There is not enough emphasis placed on the need to document the model.

Until we get to the point in our industry where the delivery of the model is preferred over the traditionally required set of “drawings”, the knowledge of how to compile a set of drawings will be crucial in the accuracy and ability for our drawings to portray the information required to construct the project through the delivery of a construction set of drawings (documents). 

So who’s responsible? Is the BIM community responsible for this diminished skill set in favor over another, or is this a result of the demand on the education community to provide graduates with a comprehensive set of BIM skills?

In reality, it is the Industry. What I mean by that is that (as I’ve mentioned numerous times) we are trying to incorporate new technology and related processes which change the traditional process. Ultimately, we are all responsible and we all have a role to play in balancing the skillsets of our upcoming leaders in the industry. Their design skills are fantastic, their comfort of using digital tools is amazing and I’m sure in the near future digital delivery will become the norm until then we still need to provide the contractor with the information he needs to build a building. We are cheating ourselves, the contractor and ultimately the client by not documenting adequately the information we have at our fingertip within the BIM.

We need to bridge the transition from traditional to digital.

Thursday 31 May 2018

Owners +AEC Executives + BIM = New Business

As technology evolves, workflows and delivery methods are changing the way we do business.  Owners are progressively understanding the benefits of adopting BIM and are creating a new business vision and strategies, resulting in a shift, which will require the design team, contractors, and trades to integrate data and digital information with their deliverables. Doing so will add value to the planning-design-construction-operation process resulting invaluable business opportunities and strategies to all stakeholders.  

With all this potential, there are many challenges still to address,  such as financial, contractual and legal matters among others. Our Calgary Regional Session will address these challenges through a series presentations and panel discussions.

Join us in  Calgary on June 13-14, 2018 at the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire
255 Barclay Parade SW Calgary, Alberta for our CanBIM Regional Session.

Thursday 22 March 2018

Autodesk Cloud Services Status

I just found this, actually, a colleague sent it to me (Thanks, Melissa!).
View current status and upcoming maintenance schedule for the Autodesk Cloud Services

This site from Autodesk shows the current and historical status of the Autodesk Cloud Applications.

However take it with a grain of salt, I've received mixed reviews on its accuracy but at least it'll be a good place to check if you're having issues. Make it part of your "checklist" if you're having issues with any cloud applications.

Here are some screenshots:


Monday 19 March 2018

The Evolution of Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality has come a long way in recent years, many Architectural firms have invested in Virtual Reality technology, further utilizing their Design Models. The benefits are numerous, and in some cases surprising. When I first introduced VR into our office in 2014 I want to create a buzz around this technology by having all levels of staff experience VR. My thoughts were to utilize this visualization tool as a design validation tool, having our clients virtually experience the space to gain a better understanding of the design intent, and that worked well, I think most design firms utilize VR for this reason.

What I didn’t expect was the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the Project Managers.
Project managers really enjoyed walking through the digital model of their project, they would inspect crucial design area’s and after experiencing the space was able to make improvements and minor tweaks to further improve the design.

Jump to 2018 where Virtual Reality has progressed to the next level, multi-user VR.
In the past Virtual Reality has been a single user experience, no one else was able to interact with you directly within the VR environment. That has now changed, Virtual Reality companies like IrisVR have developed Multi-User platforms where numerous people in a variety of locations can come together in a VR environment to engage and discuss the design.

What a great opportunity to bring together people who are engaged in an international project, working together across great distance.

I recently set up a test of IrisVR’s Prospect (Multi-User platform), so I contacted Sam who is a IrisVR Customer Experience Associate to set up a challenge for him. I contacted my colleagues in Sydney, Australia, San Francisco USA and Stuttgart, Germany and had Sam, who is located in New York to set up a live demo for me.

Here’s some of the feedback I received.

“In general, the experience has me more enthusiastic now more than ever of what VR can do to transform how we think about and approach collaborating!”

“This was an exciting moment when I was able to 'dial in' using Virtual Reality goggles combined with bluetooth headphones to both review and speak directly with the team. The computer wifi was able to keep up comfortably with the call and actions during the review process.”

“The VR Meeting worked really well and it was very responsive. Super easy to set up.”
“You can talk with the other attendees, see where they are looking at, where their hands are and also what they are pointing at.”

“It certainly felt like we were in the same room together.”

If you want to learn more about IrisVR’s Prospect click the LINK here.

I love this technology, anything that further utilized our Building Information Model is great!


Monday 12 March 2018

CanBIM Montréal Regional Session - April 11-12, 2018

Please join us for our upcoming Regional Session in Montréal on April 11th & 12th, 2018.
We’ll hear from industry leaders on the latest technology trends, BIM processes and methodologies. We hope you will take advantage of the early bird rate before the deadline on March 15, 2018.
You won’t want to miss this!

Monday 29 January 2018

The Many Dimensions of BIM

In the design and construction industry, we talk a lot about Building Information Modeling (BIM) which is the process of creating a digital, information-based 3D model of a project. This could include buildings, factories, warehouses, infrastructure such as roads, bridges, mechanical services, structures, and much more.

As we progress with BIM, data becomes more important and a crucial element of the BIM and the project. We can utilize these model elements and information beyond the creation of construction drawings. Using this information, our models can go beyond simple 3D into 4D, 5D, 6D and even 7D.

3D: Modeling
3rd dimension (3D) modeling is the digital representation of the intended design or existing condition. The combination of digital model elements and associated information (data) used during the design phase can be included or associated with the model. These 3D models are used during the design process and facilitate coordination of all consultants’ design models and are also used for clash detection. For existing conditions, 3D BIM is a digital representation of the existing condition, a scan of a building, structure or site.

The model can be utilized for a variety of uses including visualization, early building performance analysis, sustainability evaluation, preliminary cost analysis and the generation of documentation (drawings). Collaboration, clash detection, and design review are all aspects associated with 3D.

4D: Time (Scheduling)
The 4th dimension associated with BIM is time and the management of time including construction sequencing and scheduling. 4D is typically used to show an intended time lapse of the construction schedule; linking model elements, assemblies, and data to a schedule.

For example: Construction sequence of concrete pours and the scheduled delivery of concrete based on the volume and location of the pours in a day.
Scheduled delivery of materials or trades.

5D: Cost (Quantification)
5D is the progression from 4D by combining the cost of the quantities and time. By linking model elements and assemblies along with the schedule (4D) to establish related costs, this model can be used to quantify materials and the cost of construction.

Model-based estimation of construction, estimating the capital costs including the cost of purchasing and installing components or assemblies. The 5D model can enable us to visualize the progress of construction activities and its related costs over time.

For example: Floor finishes based on the room area to quantify how floor finish volume can be used to calculate floor finish cost.
The cost of drywall based upon volume combined with the hourly rate of labor. 

6D: Performance
There is still some confusion in the industry regarding the exact definition of 6D and 7D, and they are often combined. 6D can be utilized for energy modeling and evaluating the proposed design for building performance. It can also be used to measure and validate estimated energy modeling against actual performance.

For example: Using sensors within the building to track building performance by monitoring heating and cooling levels.

7D: Facilities Maintenance and Management
Asset Information Model (AIM), using the BIM to maintain and manage the asset such as a building, equipment, structure, etc. Linking model attributes and data to support facilities management and operation. Used to manage the ongoing “life cycle” cost of the building.

Streamlines asset management over the life of the building and provides a database for ongoing tracking, maintenance and management.

For example: linking the maintenance schedule to a piece of equipment such as a cooling tower or heating pump.
Staff seating map for each floor, manage and track furniture (assets) within the building.

8D: Deconstruction
8D, which is rarely discussed or graphically represented and involves the building “afterlife,” the decommissioning, demolition, repurposing or recycling of a building or structure.

Utilizing the BIM we can understand how best to deconstruct the structure, what materials are involved (and even the quantities), or how best to repurpose the structure.

Graphic by The BIM Jedi

Friday 26 January 2018

The Value of BIM: Kamloops

Kamloops Satellite Session

Thompson Rivers University

February 13th, 2018

805 TRU Way
Kamloops British Columbia 
V2C 0C8

Technology has been a key aspect of the construction industry for some time now, more and more projects are completed using Building Information Modeling, from small residential projects to large community projects, technology and the management of information in the design and construction industry is quickly becoming the norm.
During this conference we will be looking at a broader aspect of the Value of BIM, from many aspects of the AECOO industry, we will hear how the industry is utilizing BIM and adds Value to the AECOO industry. There is so much more to BIM than designing infrastructure and buildings, the "I" in BIM is where the value lies, the utilization of this "information" impacts all aspects of the AECOO industry from procurement of materials to efficient planning of construction and building operation.

From efficient construction to improving building design and performance, BIM has an impact on our day to day operations and a long-term impact on our industry. BIM plays a significant role in not only how we design and construct but also in how we how we, schedule, and deliver construction projects.

Thursday 25 January 2018

Australia Day 2018

Happy Australia Day.
Australia Day on the 26th (25th for the Northern Hemispherians).

I love my Aussie meat pies and found a local business (run by Aussies) who make em.


Monday 22 January 2018

Are you a Rebel at work?

A colleague sent me this, thought I'd share it with you all.

Thank you to:

Friday 19 January 2018

Project Reset… When is it a good time to Reset your Project?

Occasionally you may feel that your project may be going off the rails. It could be for any number of reasons including, but not limited to: changing of the project team members, absence from the project, or drastic changes in the design or schedule.

You may need to take a step back and “Rest” the project.

Here are the 5 steps to resetting your project.

1: Review the Project Execution Plan
Review the Project Execution Plan with the project manager and update the PxP if needed (it probably is). By reviewing the PxP you can evaluate how far off the rails the project actually is. Often it’s just a case of reminding the team of the project goals, or their roles and responsibilities and bring everyone back together working as a team.

2: Come together
After reviewing the project goals and scope it’s time to bring together the current project team, and if possible include past team members as they will be valuable contributors to the conversation. Explain the situation to the team and ask for their input, including challenges and current obstacles. Make the project team aware that you are available "one on one" to discuss further as some team members may not be comfortable raising issues in a group setting.

If the issues are not just internal and include the wider project team it may be time to hold an “emergency” meeting. I typically schedule a face to face BIM Lead meeting at least every 6 months, even every three months if it’s a large complex project. Face to face meetings are crucial to developing relationships with the wider project team resulting in an increased willingness to work together and can quite often resolve simple misunderstandings. 

3: Make a list of the current issues
List the challenges staff are having, what the project challenges are, and the barriers to moving forward. From this list, you will be able to address these challenges that are preventing the project from moving forward, and find resolutions. This may require input from the managing principle as well.

Review the current status of the project, this may involve someone from outside the project to review the “quality” of the current state of the project and what's been developed so far. Having a discerning outside opinion of the project, someone who can identify current issues and potential future problems can help identify and avoid issues going forward.

4: Face the Music, to make Music
Doesn’t matter who is responsible for errors, the main thing is to address the issues. Draw upon your resources and delegate, bring in the big guns if necessary and work hard to resolve your team issues.

The harder you work with your team the harder they will work for you.

Address staff needs, if issues are caused by inexperience or workload or lack of management support take note and provide resources to address the project teams needs.

5: Learn lessons
Take note and learn from the experience. Was it a failure of executing a process, or is there an error in the process? Take steps to remedy the situation!

The ultimate goal is to bring the project back into being a successful profitable project. Projects that go off the rails are demoralizing for the project team and has an impact on the profitability of the project and ultimately of the firm. We are all responsible for the success of your project, and if you are in a position of leadership you are especially responsible for identifying projects that are starting to go off the rails.

It’s never too late and always worth the effort!

Update: 1/19/2018.
Interesting article for when to reset your company.