Issuu on Google+

PREMIERE ISSUE

spring 2009

Make Room for Revit w w w. a u g i a e cedge.com w w w. a u to d e s kc a ta l o g .c o m/AECEdge REVIT CROSS-DISCIPLINE

REVIT ARCHITECTURE

REVIT STRUCTURE

REVIT MEP

AUTODESK INSIDERS


60 Days to Save Special Financing Available

From Flatbed to 54” Fits your Budget and Workow AEC, Technical/CAD, GIS and Graphics

The widest selection of no compromise scanner solutions When we say no compromise scanning and copying, we mean it! We know that requirements vary depending on the type of documents you work with, so we’ve made sure you can nd the right wide format scanning solution to t your business needs. With an impressive product portfolio of 8 Contex HD and 4 SD Series scanners in 19 different congurations, we are condent we have the solution you are looking for. Why compromise? Please contact us at SalesAmericas@contex.com or visit our website www.contex.com for more information.

Contex Americas, Inc. www.contex.com Toll Free: 877-226-6839 (877-2-CONTEX) Phone: +1 (240) 399 5600

Archiving, Copying, and Sharing User-Friendly Nextimage Software High Performance for the Real World Superior Product Quality and Reliability

All of the Above


spring 2009

AUGI AEC edge

contents features

33

18

48 5 President’s Message 6 Editor’s Message Revit Cross-Discipline 9

How can the introduction of business & software systems affect your business? 18 How to “BIM-Enable IPD”

27 A Trainer’s Perspective: Key Requirements for a Successful BIM Implementation 30 A General Contractor’s Venture into BIM and VDC

Revit Architecture 42 Revit in a Large Firm A tale of implementing Revit

21 A Little Help From My Friends Collaboration between Consultants

45 Getting Oriented with Revit’s Coordinate System

24 Extending BIM Design Value Using the Revit API

48 Make Room for Revit: Key Requirements for a Successful BIM Implementation 50 A Tutorial for Line Based Families

54

54 Revit in High School Meet Two Progressive Teachers and their program

Revit Structure 58 Growing Revit Structure 60 Integrating Analysis Programs with Revit Structure 62 Revit Ready - Looking Back



www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

spring_2009


Number of Seats 1 5 10 25 50 100 250 500 1000 Worldwide Corporate

List Price Sale Price $249 $149 $499 $399 $899 $699 $1,699 $1,499 $2,999 $2,499 $4,999 $3,500 $9,999 $5,000 $14,999 $7,500 $19,999 $10,000 $40,000 $25,000

To be updated

Per Seat $149 $80 $70 $60 $50 $35 $20 $15 $10

CADzation has been creating the highest quality PDF files for AutoCAD users since 2001. We were the first company to create lines merge PDF files from AutoCAD drawings as well as the first company to batch process multiple formats into a single PDF file. Now in these competitive times we are making it even easier for you to PDF enable your entire company with AcroPlot Pro.

AcroPlot Pro is the ultimate solution for converting AutoCAD ® DWG files to PDF and DWF. AcroPlot Pro gives CAD Users all the additional settings and controls they need to create high quality PDF, DWF or Image files. Now including PDF editing and markup for the complete PDF solution for all of your needs. CAD Formats

Output Formats

Office Formats

> Batch Conversion of files to PDF, DWF, or image formats.

BMP JPG CALS GIF

Print Formats

Image Formats BMP GIF CALS GP4 JPG ...

Click Here To See Our Video

> Automatically create bookmarks and file names using block attributes, layout or source file names.

"We made AcroPlot Pro our standard utility as a replacement for Acrobat Writer on every workstation. Our CAD users enjoy the batch processing for DWG files and the fast conversion. Also the PDF file sizes are a lot smaller compared to other products. We found AcroPlot Pro an excellent product for it's price and it's capabilities."

> New Feature - Edit and Markup PDF files. Add, delete, resize, and rotate pages. Markup PDF files with ease and so much more.

Jimmy Nguyen Corporate CAD & IT Manager Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.

> Convert DWG, PLT, TIFF, CALS, GP4, DOC, XLS, and more. > Includes a high quality Windows ® printer driver for creating PDF’s from any Windows program. > “Lines Merge” support creates PDF or DWF files that view and print exactly as they would from AutoCAD.

Visit www.CADzation.com to download a full working trial version today!

Corporate Headquarters USA 518 South Route 31 Suite 200 McHenry, IL 60050 847.973.9460 Phone 866.845.6881 US Toll Free http://www.cadzation.com

AcroPlot Pro and AcroPlot Repro are trademarks of CADzation. AutoCAD, Autodesk, and DWF are registered and or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. MS, Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Acrobat is is a registered trademark of Adobe, Inc. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks are property of their respective owners. Copyright © 2009 CADzation. All rights reserved worldwide.


table of contents (cont.)

contents special sections & departments

AUGI AEC Edge www.augiaecedge.com www.autodeskcatalog.com/aecedge Publisher

Karen Popp kpopp@extensionmedia.com

Editor

Stephen Stafford steve.stafford@augi.com

Contributing Writers

Revit MEP 66 How to Play Nice: Sharing Revit Models Between Disciplines 69 Five Steps to Success with Revit MEP: The Reality 72 Putting the ‘I’ in your BIM content: Revit MEP families that capture design intent 76 Revit MEP Implementation at CTA Group A Struggle with Promise

David Baldacchino, Jarrod Baumann, Bill Brown, Lay Christopher Fox, Bruce Gow, Laura Handler, Anthony Hauck, Jim Keller, Joel Londenberg, Michelle Louw, Robert Manna, Toby Maple, Matt Mason, Damon Ranieri, Jamie Richardson, James Salmon, Elizabeth Shulok, David Thirlwell, Cyril Verley & Tom Weir

Production/Art Director

Stephanie Rohrer 415.255.0390 x13 srohrer@extensionmedia.com

Traffic Coordinator

Kali Snowden traffic@extensionmedia.com

Advertising / Reprint Sales

Karen Popp 415.255.0390 x19 kpopp@extensionmedia.com

Departments 11 Contributed White Paper Conceptual Design Modeling in Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010 33 Autodesk Insiders Revit: An Autodesk Design/Build Project 36 AUGI Local Chapter Focus South Coast Revit User Group (SCRUG) 39 Attorney at Large Achieving IPD in 3D™ 56 Inside Track The latest Autodesk AEC related information! 64 Head’s Up Recent Known Issues and Problems documented by Autodesk and AUGI members

Extension Media, LLC - Corporate Office President

Vince Ridley vridley@extensionmedia.com

Vice President, Marketing and Product Development

Karen Murray kmurray@extensionmedia.com

Vice President, Business Development

Melissa Sterling msterling@extensionmedia.com

Vice President, Sales

Embedded Electronics Media Group Clair Bright cbright@extensionmedia.com

AUGI Board of Directors President

Mark W. Kiker

Senior Vice President Richard Binning

Vice President/Secretary Bill Adam

Treasurer

John Morgan

Members at Large

Chris Lindner Steve Stafford Peter Jamtgaard

64 Cover image modeled and rendered by Matthew Cash using Revit Structure 2010 AS WELL AS Advanced AEC Solutions Autodesk, AutoCAD, Autodesk VIZ, Autodesk Architectural Desktop, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Building Systems, Autodesk MapGuide, Autodesk Civil Design, Autodesk Inventor and DWF are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. in the U.S.A. and/or in certain other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.



www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

Published by:

The AUGI AEC Edge Magazine is published by Extension Media LLC and AUGI. Extension Media LLC and AUGI makes no warranty for the use of its products and assumes no responsibility for any errors which may appear in this publication nor does it make a commitment to update the information contained herein. The AUGI AEC Edge Magazine is Copyright ®2009 AUGI. No information in this magazine may be reproduced without expressed written permission from AUGI. All registered trademarks and trademarks included in this magazine are held by their respective companies. Every attempt was made to include all trademarks and registered trademarks where indicated by their companies.

spring_2009


President’s Message

...The brainchild of the AUGI Board has moved from concept to completion. And boy was it a long trip...

T

he inaugural issue of AUGI AEC Edge is a reality. The brainchild of the AUGI Board has moved from concept to completion. And boy was it a long trip.

It all started as a brainstorming idea I shared amongst the Board members to see if it was a good concept. After many discussions and conversations, we decided to share our idea with others to see if they thought it was viable. In early August of 2008, I approached Karen Popp of Extension Media to discuss the idea. Karen had helped AUGI in the past by placing AUGI ads in other publications they produce with Autodesk. Extension Media was gracious enough to promote AUGI for free. Karen and I discussed the positive impact that the industry might see from a publication that was focused on AEC with a Revit focused premiere issue. Those talks lead to an agreement and that agreement lead to the production of this magazine.

come to fruition and Extension Media’s partnership with AUGI has made it possible. AUGI AEC Edge is dedicated to bringing our members current, actionable, practical content to those involved in the Architectural, Engineering, Construction and Owners marketplace. The content is open to all members, but will focus on the industries that design, engineer, construct and maintain the built environment. Design tools range from AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, the Revit platforms, 3DS Max and Design, Navisworks, programming tools and may even spill over into Civil 3D, Map, Inventor, Maya and others as they touch this market. We are not limited to just software, we may discuss methods, emerging trends, project spotlights, CAD and BIM Management, education, training and more. This is really your magazine as members of AUGI. We encourage you to help us define what you want to see. We plan on publishing 4 times annually so look for more to come. If this proves successful, we may branch out into other industries that our membership may reflect and desire.

During the period of content creation and sponsorship gathering, the economy took a major hit. We all felt it and it impacted all of us in some way. This caused a longer lead time in the funding process, so the magazine experienced multiple delays in production as we sought to get the word out.

Send me an email with suggestions or comments at mark.kiker@augi.com

Well – it took a while longer than I imagined, but I am not in the publishing industry. We are community builders. Extension Media has the publishing gurus. Many thanks go to Karen for pulling it all together. Her tireless devotion to see this effort

AUGI President

spring_2009

Thanks and enjoy,

Mark W. Kiker

www.AUGIaecedge.com




Editor’s Note

...Yes, this issue is focused on Revit partly because it is timely to do so ...

T

his first issue of AUGI AEC Edge is focused on, the oft repeated acronym these days, BIM (Building Information Modelling) and Autodesk’s Revit platform products; Revit Architecture, Structure and MEP. We have articles for which a portion are dedicated to each of the products and another portion that offer the insight, knowledge and opinions of contractors, consultants and even a lawyer! In addition to these product focused articles we have four departments: AUGI Local Chapter Focus, Inside Track and Head’s Up. We’ll use these to spotlight a Local Chapter in AUGI, touch on current news, some inside “scoops”, if possible, and list some of the recent issues posted at AUGI or Autodesk’s “Known Issues” knowledge base. In the future we hope to include departments for News Briefs and product, hardware and peripheral equipment reviews.

An apology Already? Yes, this issue is focused on Revit; partly because it is timely to do so and partly because my life is consumed by these products and it is where I could readily draw on talented people to contribute articles. As Mark Kiker mentioned in his President’s Message, assuming this issue proves successful, we have every intention of expanding the reach of this publication so that it can be useful and relevant to our members, and others, who use any of the many other products that Autodesk produces. Please don’t take this initial focus as a slight toward the product you happen to use to do your work in the AEC sector. And yes, in this issue we have the A & E covered but no C (Civil). We look forward to being able to include articles that more fully represent our member’s interests in the future.



www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

Authors I want to thank each of the authors who contributed their work to this issue. For some writing comes naturally and for others it is the last thing they want to do. Fortunately these people also happen to like to “share the wealth,” so to speak. It is a trait common to so many of AUGI’s members and what makes it a special organization. A very special thank you to our volunteer authors (in alphabetical order): David Baldacchino, Jarrod Baumann, Bill Brown, Lay Christopher Fox, Bruce Gow, Laura Handler, Anthony Hauck, Jim Keller, Joel Londenberg, Michelle Louw, Robert Manna, Toby Maple, Matt Mason, Damon Ranieri, Jamie Richardson, James Salmon, Elizabeth Shulok, David Thirlwell, Cyril Verley, & Tom Weir. Thanks I also want to thank Karen Popp and Stephanie Rohrer with Extension Media. This magazine would not be available to you without Karen’s tireless effort to secure funding and support for it. Editing isn’t my vocation and Stephanie made the experience easy! Thank you both!! It is my hope that you’ll find the information we’ve provided useful and that you’ll support AUGI, our sponsors and advertisers. Considering the economic hardship many are facing in this industry at this time we can all use a little support! If you have questions/suggestions or would like to offer your talent as an author please send me an email: steve.stafford @augi.com Thanks for reading!

Steve Stafford

AUGI AEC Edge Editor Member AUGI Board of Directors 2006-08 AUGI Revit Community Forum Manager

spring_2009


Three Essential Resources for Design Professionals Using Autodesk Applications The Autodesk® Partner Solutions Resource Catalog – North America & Europe Editions –

Diamond Sponsor Purchasing guides for CAD professionals

Diamond Sponsor Purchasing guides for CAD professionals

Printed on recycled paper

Autodesk ® Autodesk Partner Solutions ®

provides valuable information to:

Partner Solutions

Resource Catalog Europe 2009

Resource Catalog 2009 2008

Locate vendors, products and services to get to market faster Find off-the-shelf applications that can save you time Discover add-on’s to complement and extend Autodesk applications Quickly connect to Autodesk authorized training centers (ATCs®)

• •

Delgo, image courtesy of Fathom Studios

www.autodeskcatalog.com/europe Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor

Media & Entertainment www.autodeskcatalog.com Technology Innovators Special Issue 2009

Gold Sponsor

www.autodeskcatalog.com

autodesk

catalog.com NORTH AMERICA EDITION | EUROPE EDITION

SEARCH

KEYWORD

RSS | SUBSCRIBE | ADVERTISE | ABOUT US | CONTACT

HOME | NEWS | RESOURCES | WHITE PAPERS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | BUILDING DESIGN | MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT | INFASTRUCTURE | MANUFACTURING | PROCESS & POWER

SUBSCRIBE TO E PRODUCT ALERTS

Visit www.autodeskcatalog.com to stay current on news, product announcements and information on Autodesk-compatible applications. Compare product research and read complete feature articles and case studies.

AUTODESK TECH VIDEOS

BROWSE DESIGN CENTERS | BUiLDiNG DesiGN |

| MeDia & eNtertaiNMeNt |

| iNFrastrUCtUre |

| PrOCess & POwer |

| MaNUFaCtUriNG |

| eUrOPe eDitiON | TOP STORIES AND NEWS

g NYacad Releases SolidStructural v.9.6 for AutoCAD Supports history based and direct modeling; available ‘later this year’...

g US CAD Releases Styles Template for AutoCAD Civil 3D Supports history based and direct modeling; available ���later this year’...

First Name Last Name

g Amazon Reduces AutoCAD LT Price to $975

Company

Supports history based and direct modeling; available ‘later this year’...

Email SUBSCRIBE

BLOGS/TWITTER ED’s EDIT Life on the Treadmill How many engineers think of their career as being spent on a treadmill? It is a larger portion than most.y

JOHNS’S JAM What does Impinj, Virage and Intel have in common? I read in my local newspaper earlier this week that

g iCADsales.com Releases progeTABLE Supports history based and direct modeling; available ‘later this year’...

Can ASIC I read in my local newspaper earlier this week that Carnegie-Mellon professor Randy Pausch g More

g Memory Trends Highlight g Multi-core Hits EDA Software g Collaboration Models g Analog IP Integration Requires

g Adiitional Videos

g Multi-core Hits EDA Software at log IP Integration Requires

COMING SOON!

g SYCODE Releases 20 Import/Export Plug-Ins for Bricscad gMore White Papers

Supports history based and direct modeling; available ‘later this year’... g More News

IN THE NEWS

| CaD, CaM, Cae |

| aeC |

g Feb 6-Autodesk Unveils AutoCAD

g Feb5- Ideate Offers SmartBIM

g Feb 5- SYCODE Releases 20 Import/Export Plug-Ins for Bricscad

2010

Tools for Revit Users

BE FIRST TO KNOW! Order your FREE copy TODAY AUGI | AEC Edge will deliver mission-critical, game changing, industry leading, best practice advice on the AEC industry ¾Feature articles divided by discipline focus

| aUtODesK |

¾Q&A ¾News Briefs

BE FIRST TO KNOW! ¾Inside Track Order your FREE copy TODAY¾Heads Up! Reporting

known Issues and bugs

g SmartPurger 2.8 Released to Work with AutoCAD 2010

g Informative Graphics Releases Redact-It Desktop 1.1 g Feb 6-Autodesk Unveils AutoCAD

g Feb 6

MENTOR MAGIC

| New white PaPers |

Autodesk Unveils AutoCAD 2010 g SmartPurger 2.8 Released to Work with AutoCAD 2010

2010 g SmartPurger 2.8 Released to Work with AutoCAD 2010

g Cadsoft Releases Envisioneer for Czech Republic pdf

¾Upcoming Events ¾Columns on Revit Arch, Revit MEP, ¾Feature Revit Structuralarticles divided by

discipline focus

g 20-20 Technologies Offers Financing for Home Improvements g ICS Sells ArchiLogs Log Home Add-On for ArchiCAD 12

QRA

News Briefs

Inside Track

Heads Up!

Upcoming Events

¾Q&A

www.augi.com www.autodeskcatalog.com

¾News Briefs

For All Marketing Inquiries Contact:

¾Inside Track

FEATURED WHITE PAPERS g Memory Trends Highlight Evolution and Revolution

g More Announcements

AUTODESK DATASHEET DIRECTORY

The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, and anybody who has ever driven a performance car on the German Autobahn knows what I mean... by Kontron

g Multi-core Hits EDA Software at Its Core The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, and anybody who has ever driven a performance car on the German Autobahn knows what I mean... by Kontron

g Collaboration Models The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, and anybody who has ever driven a performance car on the German Autobahn knows what I mean... by Kontron

gMore Featured White Papers

FEATURED VIDEOS g Collaboration Models

The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, vergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”,

 g Collaboration Models

Time-saving answers for design professionals Autodesk applications Autodesk Universityusing attendees — pick up your FREE copies The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, vergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”,

FEATURED ARTICLES

g Collaboration Models

The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, vergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”,

gHP and Autodesk

gIMAGIN iT— Beyond Software. A Solutions Provider.

g Collaboration Models

The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, vergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”,

gSimulate Camera Defocus with GenArts’ Sapphire Plug-ins gIndustrial design company helps make change easier

g Collaboration Models

The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, vergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”,

gTurboSquid cornerstone of the exploding 3D art industry

gARTVPS – High Productivity Rendering Solutions Adding Quality and Value to your Autodesk 3D System

g See Complete List

gCONTEX–Quality, Speed and Performance Set Our Scanners Apart From Competitors!

g More Articles

of the 2007 editions at the Extension Media Booth #576 www.autodeskcatalog.com or subscribe online at www.autodeskcatalog.com DIGITAL EDITIONS

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

g International Test Conference

28 Oct 2008 - Santa Clara Convention Center

g EDAC Kaufman Awards

28 Oct 2008 - Santa Clara Convention Center

g Mentor User2User

28 Oct 2008 - Santa Clara Convention Center


Revit Cross-Discipline

How can the introduction of business & software systems affect your business?

I

remember being in my mid twenties when the concept of a duplicable-business-system was introduced to me. My perspective about business changed forever. I found myself re-evaluating everything I had previously understood about smart business. I began to look for opportunities to understand the skill behind guiding a cohesive team, consisting of individuals with their own agendas, their own ideas and their unique ways of doing things.

Most experienced Revit users will acknowledge that there is often more than one way to achieve a particular outcome using various tools; however each option has a set of ramifications that need to be understood and considered before deciding on a best documentation approach. By asking questions about how BIM-capable software, such as Revit, can improve the accuracy and consistency of your documentation you will instinctively re-examine previous workflows and begin to find ways to streamline and improve the documentation flow and output within your company.

I began to see McDonald’s as so much more than just a burger fast-food eatery that asked you to “upsize” at every opportunity. Developing smart business solutions is about so much more than just mass production, greed or limiting the self-expression of the individual. It’s about developing a strategy to create order, to facilitate communication and the sharing of knowledge in such a way that the whole team heads in the same direction, towards a common goal. Global statistics reflect that around 80% of all businesses started will fail within their first 5 years and 80% of the enterprises that survive the first 5 years will fail in the second 5 years. Let’s face it… the odds aren’t good. Systemization is one part of the puzzle in assisting businesses in becoming and remaining successful.

So how does systemization relate to the construction industry or affect your specific business?

Refining your business system may involve minor tweaking of your current business processes or just simple and consistent documenting of team knowledge. You could introduce regular training workshops, refine some office standards or do something more dramatic like add a new documentation platform to your office environment. Introducing new software, such as Revit, into your office can initially be disruptive, stressful and daunting. Changing a primary documentation platform will inherently raise any unresolved issues, some of which are not software related at all, but are rather management, work flow or documentation issues that may have remained unnoticed or unchecked for some time. This evaluation process however can be an invaluable opportunity for a company to refresh and review office processes and standards which may no longer be as efficient or even as necessary as they once were. The key to a successful implementation is to embrace this development process and to take the time to evaluate and review previous ways of doing things.

spring_2009

feature focus

by: Michelle Louw

It is imperative to review our office processes and to challenge how we order, find, edit, manage, distribute, update and collate data, project files, drawings, warranties, legal papers etc. I believe that the industry pursuit of the BIM ideal, the advancement in softwares and new technologies all raise a real threat of information overload. Without good office systems disorganised companies could soon lose much of their profits as they become more and more inundated with all kinds of information. Here are some brief examples of what a system-based-solution can prevent, thereby saving time, frustration, inefficiency and money. • Losing a file that someone has accidentally deleted moved or altered. • Not being able to determine the most current version of a working file instantly. • Inheriting a project file where no office conventions or apparent logic has been applied. • Finding corrupt files that have not been deleted, archived or worse, are still in use. • Transmittals or revisions have not been accurately maintained or managed. • Insufficient or irregular protection and back-up of data on servers. • Tasks are often repeated by several team members due to insufficient communication or a lack of shared data collaboration. It intrigues me why some systems work well and why others are ignored and fail. What is the secret? I think there are several factors that seem to facilitate a successful outcome when refining a company’s processes.

www.AUGIaecedge.com




feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline Here are some secrets to making it work: • Management & leaders must support the new initiative and revised system. • Avoid creating processes that create additional workload for teams with minimal benefit. • A Business system and outlined processes need to be simple, easy to follow and should reduce confusion. • Any system worth creating is worth maintaining and monitoring. [Document management and process procedures clearly.] • Create well considered system solutions that pre-empt possible hurdles or risks of failure. • The system is designed to improve efficiency and/or output accuracy. • Don’t try to appease everyone but remember to consider the impacts on other departments. • Where possible create processes that can be supported across several, if not all, departments to ensure minimal variances in procedures. Consistency and simplicity is the key. • Steer clear of creating a system that is too inflexible. • Resist the temptation to create a procedure for absolutely everything. Avoid micro-management.

Once you have captured some of the valuable knowledge the key is to reproduce it amongst your staff members. This can be achieved in the form of reference manuals, intranet or training and inductions. If you take the time to formalise the transfer of knowledge through various training materials you will be ensuring the correct knowledge is duplicated through the office environment and that everyone is following the same protocols. Consider setting a partnership/buddy programme within your firm that supports and encourages the sharing of knowledge and mentorship. Whilst working at Woolworths I created a Revit user guide which proved to be a useful tool to ensure everyone was heading in the same direction. I documented the Revit system, expected document outputs and company specific Revit practices. This guide became an invaluable means to ensure existing and new staff had a consistent reference to work from; thereby ensuring that six documentation offices across Australia all produced identical working drawings and staff could switch across projects, if needed, without any confusion with regard to project and office standards as well as content libraries.

...80% of the enterprises that survive the first 5 years will fail in the second 5 years. Let’s face it… the odds aren’t good...

Knowledge and industry experience can be a company’s most valuable asset. Essentially knowledge management offers a company some protection and ensures that valuable knowledge and experience is duplicated throughout the office. Be sure that when senior or long-term staff members leave your firm that they do not walk out the door with their wisdom. Take the time to capture some of their insight and fundamental knowledge of office protocols so that you can use the knowledge to train and co-ordinate your staff to harness team strengths. Reward personnel who are eager to contribute to knowledge management and try and discourage a self-centred work ethos that perpetuate an isolated learning environment. Here are some things that may be worth documenting: • What are the desired project workflows and office procedures? • How do various departments interact? • How is data managed, edited, repaired, updated and/or issued? • Who is accountable for documenting and updating relevant procedures? [Security permissions] • How should staff members be notified of changes in procedures?

10

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

In my experience Revit’s performance ability can be dramatically improved upon by clever and disciplined principles. I have found that a well considered and consistently followed convention for shared parameters, family sub-categories, view templates and family naming can make a world of difference to how data can be controlled, maintained, repaired and monitored. What excites me most about Revit is how the software excels in an environment of order and how easy it can become to identify inconsistencies if chosen standards are closely followed. I think the key thing to keep in mind is to create systems that are clear, simple and f lexible. See for yourself how systemization could benefit you, your team and create a better work environment. Best of Luck! Michelle Louw worked for Benn Design in the architectural and the Revit Training & Implementation division for several years. Since then she has found a passion for system development, content creation and Revit® management. She has worked in national Revit System roles for Woolworths and Mirvac Design. Michelle is now working for PDT Architects, www.pdt.com.au, in Brisbane, Australia as the Revit & BIM Manager. She has also recently started her own blog http://bimboombam.wordpress.com

spring_2009


contributed white paper

Conceptual Design Modeling in Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010 In building design, visualizing a form in the earliest stages enhances a designer’s ability to communicate ideas; and the ability to analyze and evaluate these forms yields an advantage in predicting and optimizing the real-world performance of Ž the built project. These attributes form a core value of the building information modeling (BIM) process, for which Autodesk Ž Revit Architecture software is purpose-built to support.

department

| CONTRIBUTED WHITE PAPER |

Using a speculative urban high-rise project as the model for exploration, this white paper details how CASE Design, a design technology consultancy based in New York City, utilized the new conceptual design tools in Revit Architecture to more easily create massing designs; explore design alternatives based on qualitative and quantitative feedback; and address various environmental, constructability, and aesthetic concerns that arose during project realization.

1. Parametric Massing Design: The Challenge of the Building Form While approach and attitude about design may differ from firm to firm, most designers would agree that iterative design can lead to more optimal solutions. However, several concerns arise, such as: How does a designer find the right solution for any given project? How can design criteria be used more effectively to evaluate possible design solutions? And finally, how can technology help make this exploration and discovery process more informative and more efficient? With regard to the specific project explored in this white paper, several key constraints affected the outcome of the design. 1.1 Site and Context Requirements The site for the tower is located on the edge of a high-rise business district, adjacent to a low-rise residential district near a waterfront. The site is an undeveloped triangular parcel bordered by two major streets. An existing secondary street to the north of the site will be closed and incorporated into the buildable footprint of the parcel. 1.2 Programmatic and Planning Requirements The program of the tower will be a mixture of hotel (7,000 square meters) and residential (19,000 square meters) space, with the hotel occupying the lower section of the building. The unusual shape and context of the site present challenging planning requirements. The design must meet the stated programmatic requirements within a tight footprint of 951 square meters, while not exceeding 150 meters in height. Furthermore, the design should minimize the impact of overshadowing on the adjacent buildings and streets. 1.3 Environmental Requirements Complicating things further is a requirement calling for a building form that is designed for solar collection. With this added requirement for energy reduction, the exterior shell of the form will utilize special photovoltaic panels to make best use of the solar energy available to the site, which will translate to lower operating costs.

spring_2009

www.AUGIaecedge.com

11


department

contributed white paper

| CONTRIBUTED WHITE PAPER |

CONCEPTUAL DESIGN MODELING IN AUTODESK REVIT ARCHITECTURE 2010

2. Massing Approach: Creating the Building Form The new Conceptual Mass environment supports both surface and solid modeling workflows. The solid modeling workflow maintains the benefits of working with mass families, such as the use of the Building Maker tools, while also providing new direct manipulation tools that significantly enhance the ability to create faster, iterative design models. With these new tools, surfaces can now be created and manipulated, or they can be thickened to create solid masses. Both surfaces and the solid faces also now serve as the basis for the new custom panel families. This white paper focuses primarily on the solid modeling workflow—the most appropriate technique for a volumetric design—and demonstrates how these masses can be incorporated into a Revit Architecture project. 2.1 Maximizing Buildable Volume To visualize the extents of the maximum buildable volume, the full parcel is extruded to the maximum height (150 meters) using the Create Form button, a new context aware geometry creation feature that replaces individual modeling commands such as Extrusion, Sweep, and Blend. This conceptual mass family is placed into a Revit Architecture project containing the site and surrounding context. Levels are then used to create mass floors from the maximum buildable volume, and a mass floor schedule is generated showing a total buildable area of 35,205 square meters.

Conceptual Mass in the Project

Mass Floor Schedule

Environment

Although these results might be ideal for the developer, they leave much to be desired from both urban and aesthetic perspectives. In addition, city planning officials would likely have concerns. However, by utilizing the new conceptual mass tools in Revit Architecture, these issues can be more readily addressed. 2.2 Responding Intuitively to Urban Context For the tower to respond to its urban context, the programmatic volume requires fundamental modifications to create better public space at the street level. To address this, the north face of the conceptual mass is split using the Add Profile and Add Edge tools, allowing for a more generous pedestrian walkway and providing better light and air to the adjacent building to the north.

12

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

2

spring_2009


contributed white paper

CONCEPTUAL DESIGN MODELING IN AUTODESK REVIT ARCHITECTURE 2010

Performing this action allows the design team to manipulate the conceptual mass in a variety of ways. In this situation, the lower section of the mass is moved away from the adjacent building. As a result of moving the east face of the conceptual mass, an entrance plaza and public space adjacent to the low-rise residential district can be created. With the quick edits in place, potential city planning concerns have been addressed. 2.3 Increasing Project Precision

department

| CONTRIBUTED WHITE PAPER |

In order to understand the impact that design modifications have on the programmatic requirements, the conceptual mass is updated in the Revit Architecture project. Accordingly, the mass floors and corresponding area schedule in Revit Architecture are both automatically updated to reflect changes. With modifications in place, the current conceptual mass is now 1,990 square meters over the program target. Up until this point, design modifications have been made graphically via direct manipulation techniques. In order to better control the precision of future modifications, reference planes and parameters are now added, enabling increased degrees of control through numeric input. With the introduction of bidirectional parameters, the model is modified using both numerical and graphical means. Changes made using the direct manipulation tools will now conversely update the numerical parameters in the model. The introduction of parameters also provides the flexibility to make changes directly from within the project environment, giving the design team instant feedback from area schedules. The tower design now satisfies the requirements of both the client and city planners; however, additional steps should still be taken to further refine the building form and environmental impact.

2.4 Minimizing the Impact of Shadows Reducing the overshadowing of the tower on neighboring buildings and streets becomes the primary concern at this stage of the design process. By enabling the interactive shadow tools within Revit Architecture, the design team can quickly identify troublesome areas. To address these areas, the west face of the conceptual mass is altered to reduce the impact of shadows on the existing towers to the west of the site. With this simple action, the project team reduces the effects of overshadowing, sculpts the top of the tower, and verifies that modifications meet program targets.

spring_2009

3

www.AUGIaecedge.com

13


department

contributed white paper

| CONTRIBUTED WHITE PAPER |

CONCEPTUAL DESIGN MODELING IN AUTODESK REVIT ARCHITECTURE 2010

2.5 Maximizing Solar Collection With the building form beginning to take shape according to programmatic and site requirements, consideration is now given to designing for solar collection. ®

Autodesk Ecotect™ Analysis 2010 software, an interactive early stage building performance simulation tool, is used for solar insolation analysis. After importing the building form into Ecotect Analysis, tests reveal that the buildings to the west cast shadows across the western face of the tower, while the southern face, particularly near the top, is largely unobstructed. Based on the information provided by Ecotect Analysis, the southern face is further refined in Revit Architecture. Using the Add Edge tool, an edge is added to the south face, creating a top vertex that is then modified via direct manipulation. The result is a decreased angle of incidence to the sun.

Performing a second insolation analysis of the updated building form with Ecotect Analysis reveals an increase in solar radiation, indicating that the surface is now positioned to maximize photovoltaic panel solar collection. 2.6 Exploring Design Alternatives Using the completed mass as an underlay, additional design options are more readily explored. For this purpose, a series of profiles are created using “associative” 3D snapping, constraining sketches to the base mass, while a curvilinear tower is lofted through these profiles. The design is then modified by changing parameters, with revisions automatically reflected in both mass options. With the mass family updated and loaded into the Revit Architecture project, switching between mass types can be performed more quickly and seen together within the updated area schedule.

Parameter-Driven Design Options

Curvilinear Tower Option

The second curvilinear mass adds additional floor area, but also reduces the overall height of the building form. The result is a new building form that still meets area targets, but also slightly reduces the shadows it creates on neighboring buildings.

3. Custom Panelization: Creating the Custom Panel In addition to the new Conceptual Mass environment, Revit Architecture now provides an environment for the creation of custom panel families and tools to automate their population onto the surfaces of mass forms. The result is a simplification of a once complex technique, now making it more readily accessible to all building designers. When creating Panel Design there are three key requirements for the design of custom panels. 4 14

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

spring_2009


contributed white paper

CONCEPTUAL DESIGN MODELING IN AUTODESK REVIT ARCHITECTURE 2010

Solar Shading The envelope panelization should vary in density and depth based on orientation and adjacent buildings, providing solar shading that will minimize heat gain due to direct solar radiation. Cost and Constructability

department

| CONTRIBUTED WHITE PAPER |

The designer should use precise material takeoffs and surface area calculations to assist in determining the feasibility of different panelization designs. Additionally, with respect to the construction process, a decision should be made as to whether off-site or on-site fabrication is the more cost-effective and appropriate solution. Aesthetics The panel pattern should be iteratively studied and aesthetically related to the geometry of the mass, ultimately contributing to the iconic qualities of the tower design. 3.1 Defining the Pattern In order to quickly test different paneling options, the Divide Surface tool is used on the faces of conceptual masses. Initially, the isocurves (UV) of the surfaces are displayed based on either the number or spacing specified in the options bar. These curves and their intersections form the basis of various predefined patterning options selected from the Change Element Type drop-down list. Visibility of these patterns is toggled using the Pattern Visibility button. Spacing, rotation, and justification of the pattern are easily controlled by directly interacting with the model and receiving instant visual feedback.

Divided Surface

Hex Surface Pattern

Arrow Surface Pattern

These patterns become the basis of user-defined panels created in the new custom panel family environment. After evaluating several options on each mass, the rhomboid and hexagonal patterns are selected for their respective aesthetic associations with the faceted and curvilinear masses respectively.

4. Designing the Panel: Panel-Based Solar Shading The patterns are now used to understand the potential effects of orientation and solar radiation on the panels. By exporting this model to Ecotect Analysis and running a solar insolation analysis, the project team is able to determine which faces are receiving the most direct solar radiation and the resulting amount of shading required.

5 spring_2009

www.AUGIaecedge.com

15


department

contributed white paper

| CONTRIBUTED WHITE PAPER |

CONCEPTUAL DESIGN MODELING IN AUTODESK REVIT ARCHITECTURE 2010

The information resulting from this analysis will become useful in determining the panelization approach and the panel configuration on each mass by informing the shape of the frame and density of the panels. 4.1 Customizing the Panels Within the new custom panel family environment, a rhomboid pattern is used as the basis for a new panel family. The width and depth of the frame are controlled using interactive dimensional parameters. In order to vary the density of the panels, the project team mimics a process of recursion, where the first panel is divided into four, and then subsequently each of these panels are further subdivided into four additional panels. Using visibility parameters, different types are created within the panel family. This allows the project team to vary the density of the panel based on solar shading and collection, as well as constructability and aesthetic considerations.

Finally, the faces of the frame are painted, which allows material takeoffs to be extracted from the project once panels are applied. Another custom panel family is created for the curvilinear mass using the Hexagon pattern. Rather than controlling the frame width by changing a dimensional parameter, a graphical control rig is created by using offset reference planes that drive a named parameter. Like the rhomboid panel, materials are painted on the frame, making it possible to schedule surface area after the panels have been populated.

4.3 Populating the Panels onto the Building Form With two panel families created and loaded into the conceptual mass model, new panel types are chosen from the Change Element Type drop-down list, making it possible to apply panels to each face of the mass. Individual modifications are then made to the panels based on existing solar performance and aesthetic requirements. This is done by selecting the appropriate panels and switching between the different types that were created within the panel family. In accordance with the panel requirements, denser panels are used in areas of greater solar exposure.

4.4 Using Quantitative Data to Inform Final Design Decisions Now that the panelization approach for each mass has been determined, scheduling tools are used from within the Revit Architecture project to quickly calculate the number of panels and the surface area of each material used.

16

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

6

spring_2009


contributed white paper

CONCEPTUAL DESIGN MODELING IN AUTODESK REVIT ARCHITECTURE 2010

department

| CONTRIBUTED WHITE PAPER |

Since the underlying masses are controlled parametrically, the project team can continue to update and refine the design based on this information, incorporating real-time feedback and modifications, until it is finally concluded that the preliminary design with the custom rhomboid panel patterning is the most optimal design solution for project requirements.

Conclusion This white paper and speculative project have demonstrated some of the potential uses of the new conceptual design tools available in Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010 software. The enhanced intuitive design environment helps give designers a notable advantage through the pairing of robust parametric modeling tools for earlier concept development with an already comprehensive and mature BIM platform. The result is a natural extension of the Revit Architecture design environment into a highly capable conceptual design solution for sophisticated form exploration, custom patterning, and panelization.

About the Authors CASE Design, Inc. CASE is a design technology consultancy based in New York City. CASE provides strategic advising to architecture, engineering, and construction firms seeking to transform their practices through technological innovation. We help our clients identify and implement technologies that enable more effective coordination, communication, collaboration, and information exchange. For more information, visit us online at www.case-inc.com. Autodesk, Autodesk Revit Architecture and Autodesk Ecotect Analysis are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document. Š 2009 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

spring_2009

7

www.AUGIaecedge.com

17


feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline

by: Laura Handler

How to “BIM-Enable IPD”

M

ost recently, I finished working on the first IPD project on the east coast (how’s that for a superlative), Autodesk’s AEC Headquarters in Waltham, MA. Tocci was awarded the project with KlingStubbins in May of 2008 and obtained the Certificate of Occupancy on January 15, 2009. My role on the project was as Tocci’s BIM Lead; together with the BIM Lead from KlingStubbins, Sarah Vekasy, I was responsible for the BIM (you know, Building Information Model) on this very very BIM-enabled project. Our process wasn’t perfect; we didn’t have too many IPD role models to look up to (I think there have been less than 10 IPD projects in the country..ever), but it worked. I don’t know if what we did could be replicated on other projects, by other teams, but perhaps I can provide a jumping off point.

Some Background on IPD I won’t pretend that I can actually explain the contractual intricacies of IPD (for that, Google Howard Ashcraft), but it is helpful to understand a little about IPD before getting to the “how to”. Pure IPD requires a single tri-party contract between the principle participants: owner, architect and builder. There are 4 overarching principles that support IPD: • Early substantive involvement of key participants • Joint risk and reward through an incentivized profit pool – no one wins unless everyone wins • Joint project management with decisions by consensus • Zero litigation Tocci held IPD sub contracts with key subcontractors that held them to those same principles.

Figure 1: The project’s BIM Execution Plan (BEP) developed by Tocci, KlingStubbins and Autodesk

18

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

spring_2009


Planning BIM-Enabled IPD requires a shared model between design and construction. There is no “our model” and “their model”. We used several Revit files to comprise our model. Our models were organized by discipline; everyone had access to everything, at all times. (See Fgure 1) Before any modeling happened on the project, Sarah & I sat down to establish and negotiate all of our BIM Standards, which we documented in our BIM Execution Plan (BEP), see Figure 01. We had to figure out technical Revit things like worksets, phases, and browser organization, but other, more “social” processes, for instance, protocols for when a central file crashes. We also though out some way to achieve “gate keeping” (translation: to make sure that I didn’t inadvertently move anything I wasn’t working on), but we didn’t end up using any of them because there was so much trust in the team. One of our major planning activities was merging our individual Revit templates to create a project template. We mostly used the standards we developed and documented in our BEP, but we did run into some issues that we hadn’t considered. For instance, we had to figure out how to handle the project number because we have different project numbers (it actually wasn’t the world’s most creative solution – we just added a parameter for a second project number for Tocci to use).

Co-Locating A key component to integration for the project was co-location. During the design period, I worked two days per week at KlingStubbins’ office, at “my” desk next to the design team. Originally, this was only our solution for model-access – whenever I needed to do work in the (our) models, I would just go to work at KlingStubbins. Co-locating gave me the opportunity to input content into the model as well as export information, but the majority of my work at KlingStubbins wasn’t actual model contribution. I was able to review and document material selections and options, review schedule and milestones, explain modeling strategy, plan meetings, etc. A lot of this could have been accomplished over the phone (and on the days that I worked in the Tocci office, it was), but it was easier in person. (See Figure 2)

feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline

Figure 2: Reviewing the process for modeling walls in three components

More importantly, I really think that it created a sense of team and understanding. During “their” deadline weeks (for instance, permit deadline), I really felt the stress and tension, and on more “fun” days (for instance, the folding paper days during design concept), I was able to understand the concept behind their design. Since I understood why things were happening, I was in a much better position to communicate to other team members at Tocci.

Modeling Strategy Model strategy was big part of our BEP, but some of the items didn’t get resolved for several weeks. Walls We knew from the start that we would eventually model walls as three components, in the method ala construction, but we couldn’t figure out when. We ended up doing it a few weeks before the permit set went out. After a few discussions, we agreed on a multi-step plan to do this. The process was too lengthy to describe, but it started with KlingStubbins doing some organization work in the model with walls (setting wall location as: Core Centerline). Then, I came in and started “breaking”. I had a very systematic approach, included both tracking progress and accu-

Figure 3: Illustrating the wall breaking concept spring_2009

www.AUGIaecedge.com

19


feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline

racy in Revit and on a printed 2D RCP (with several colors of highlighter, of course).

Figure 5), so that the field staff would have a better sense of the overall design intent for the affected areas.

The resulting walls were a little bit more difficult to work with, but we made do. Although there were some issues with graphics (in a view set to coarse, the edge of each wall can still be seen, making drawings look “muddy”), I think they made detailing wall sections slightly easier (at least that is what KlingStubbins said!). And the walls made construction much more streamlined; we used the model for partition layout (direct to Total Station) and visual scheduling.

For this project, we placed between 12 and 14 renderings on site. Even though we have a shared model with KlingStubbins, these are Tocci-produced renderings. We definitely benefited from the renderings that KlingStubbins did during design because a lot of the custom materials were already set up and we had access to all of the JPGs KlingStubbins used.

Lighting Fixtures The lighting fixture debate wasn’t how, but where: in the architecture RVT or the MEP RVT. Architecture places the lights and references them in design documents, but MEP needs to connect to and coordinate with them. We knew that they couldn’t be in both models (for quantity takeoff reasons), but couldn’t figure out the best way to approach them for quite some time. I won’t get into the heated debate we went through, but luckily, we came to a conclusion just before we needed to start placing them. The lights were placed and annotated in the MEP model, by architecture, and then architecture referenced specific views in the linked files.

On Site Naturally there is a great deal more I could write about our experiences once we got to work on site. I’ll touch on just one for this article. We posted these renderings on site (See Figure 4 and

It was really exciting to place the boards on site - when I placed them, the drywaller came over and started discussing how the cantilevered piece of the curved wall could be supported as well as the ideal sequence for installing the drywall and the metal ceilings. It was exactly what we were hoping would happen! Editor’s Note: If you are interested in learning more about this project, Autodesk created a video and it is posted at Youtube. You can watch the video using this web address: http://www.tocci.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=articl e&id=325&Itemid=356 Laura Handler is the Virtual Construction Manager at Tocci Building Corporation, a construction management firm outside Boston, working to implement and integrate virtual construction into current practices. She began working with Tocci, implementing VDC/BIM, in June of 2006. Laura also manages Q5, a subsidiary of Tocci, which provides VDC and IPD Facilitation Services. Laura serves as a leader of the AGC BIMForum, Boston Revit Users and Group and other industry organizations. She publishes her thoughts about her work at bimx.blogspot.com. The Tocci Building Companies provides leading building services throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Our philosophy is simple — we all work for the project. We collaborate with our partners to actively serve the project, deferring individual objectives, to compel superior job performance and unqualified success. Q5 leverages Tocci’s knowledge and experience with VDC and IPD to provide facilitation services for projects around the world. KlingStubbins is an internationally recognized design firm with over sixty years of experience providing professional services in all major disciplines within the realm of architecture, engineering, interiors, planning and landscape architecture. KlingStubbins is committed to design excellence and quality, in design, technology and service. We are nationally recognized leaders in sustainable design, consistent with our commitment to support the communities within which we work and live. We are innovators in project delivery, including BIM technology. Above all, we are focused on the needs of our clients, integrating their business drivers into the creative process, resulting in projects of enduring value.

Figure 4 & 5: Renderings installed on-site

20

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

spring_2009


Revit Cross-Discipline

A Little Help From My Friends Collaboration between consultants

➲

T

his is a brief overview of concepts that you can utilize when you have an all Revit environment to greatly improve collaboration between building professionals and deliver your projects on time with higher quality and improved efficiency. You can begin to study these concepts further if they apply to your project needs.

Same Version The team must be aware of the versions of Revit that are to be used in a collaborative environment. This is now a lot easier as all 3 Revit platforms refer to the year release. If the project is to span across a time zone when a new release is made, the team must collectively agree that all members will upgrade at a particular time or not. Same Build It is important that each discipline is running the same build of Revit, within each office & discipline. If this is not the case, errors could result when a Save To Central is done. You can determine which build you via Help menu > Product License and Information. The build is displayed at the very top as shown in Figure 1.

feature focus

by: Bruce Gow

Linking Files Linking is the preferred method for collaboration and the subject of this article. Linking allows use of Copy / Monitor to alert team members that a copied / monitored object has been amended by another team. Each team is in control of its own part of the project. One possible disadvantage is that sometimes an element may be created by each discipline. An example of this is a WC (toilet) created initially by the architect then recreated by the MEP team. Only the REvit MEP WC in their file can be connected to a Sanitary and Cold water system. It is possible to use a workshared project in a collaborative environment, but that is the subject of another article.

Management Each team for a large project should have a BIM Manager as part of their structure. The BIM manager is an experienced Revit user who also understands, intimately, the demands of his own as well as the other disciplines. The BIM Managers will determine and agree to the teams’ responsibilities to minimise rework. As an example, The architects may not model the sanitary fittings for the

Figure 1: PRODUCT LICENSE AND INFORMATION

spring_2009

www.AUGIaecedge.com

21


feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline reason mentioned previously. The Architects may be responsible for the ceilings because they are controlling the ceiling height and the grid set out. In this case, the MEP BIM Manager may determine that the light and Mechanical fittings are not to be hosted elements. If the ceiling is moved they will need to move these fittings independently.

Copy / Monitor tool The Copy / Monitor tool not only copies certain elements from the linked file to the host file, but also sets up a monitoring process so that if a change is made in the linked file, the user of the host file will be alerted when the linked file is reloaded. There are only certain elements that can be copied and monitored from each of the 3 Revit platforms: Grids, Levels, Columns, Walls & Floors. You will note that the MEP team cannot copy / monitor ceilings, for instance. It is important to be selective about what is copied as Revit will slow down significantly if too many elements are copied. At a minimum a team should plan to use Copy/Monitor for Levels and Grids.

Coordination Review A Coordination Review warning displays, when monitored elements have been modified and linked. The warnings can be reviewed using the Coordination Review command. Warnings are applicable to elements in the current project or between a host and a linked project. Warnings can occur because of these violations/conditions: • An original monitored element from the linked project has changed. • A copied monitored element in the host project has changed. • Both the original monitored element and the copied element have changed. • The original element in the linked file was deleted. • The copied element in the host file was deleted Interference Check The Interference Check tool finds intersections between the solid geometry or volume of elements in a project. These can be a set of selected elements or all elements in the model. It is important to understand that processing time using this tool can vary greatly. In a large model, simply checking all categories against each other can result in a report that will take a very long time and is not recommended. To reduce processing time, select a limited set of elements or a limited number of categories. Consider the “low hanging fruit”. Every professional has a sense of which things tend to experience interference coordination problems, like structure and HVAC equipment. Interference Checking is fundamentally between Categories of elements whether in linked files or within the same project. Limiting the tool to a couple of expected categories at a time mean fewer returns and easier verification/resolution. This means that you work through the various expected conflicts to verify if you have any at all. Once those are worked out you can

22

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

begin to search for more arcane issues by choosing their categories instead.

Relationships In a traditional arrangement, the Architect will commence the project and get the fundamentals of the design worked out in a digital form. The Structural Engineer and MEP Engineers will then get this prelim design from the Architect and commence their own design work analyzing the building’s requirements and begin integrating their work within the context of the architectural framework. The Architect would then receive and review the Structural Engineer’s model by linking it into their own model. The workflow relationship between each firm is characterized by using these features: Linking Models, Copy/Monitor and resulting Coordination Reviews and Interference Check. What are the Engineers interested in copying / monitoring from the Architects Model ? Levels

Will they be used for structure or will the structure be offset?

Level and Grid Standards

Do they agree?

Level and Grid Standards

Will they be revised? Are they split or continuous?

Walls

Are structural walls indicated?

Floors

Are Structural floors shown? Will they be revised?

What is the Architect interested in copying / monitoring from the other Models ? Levels

Sometimes, if they add new Levels

Grids

Sometimes, if they add new Grids

Primarily the Architect will run Interference Checking against elements in the Structural Engineers Model.

Architect & MEP Engineer The Architect will issue revisions as the project progresses to the MEP engineer. The MEP Engineer will position the architects design in context , create his own spaces and zones, commence analysis and then start on the design for the MEP systems. The MEP Engineer uses Linked Models and Coordination Monitor as their primary coordination tools. In some cases, the MEP team may monitor levels in the Architects design. The Architect will coordinate with the MEP Engineer by using linked models What is the MEP Engineer interested in copying / monitoring from the Architects model ? Levels

Sometimes this may be necessary

Level Standards

Do they agree

spring_2009


The Architect is primarily interested in running an Interference Check against the MEP elements in the linked model.

Structural Engineer and MEP Engineer Both parties use Linked Models and Interference Checking. A CASE STUDY TO ILLUSTRATE THE PROCESS Structural Engineer 1. Receives the Architects model, then links it into his project model file. Uses Origin to Origin to link. 2. Changes Visibility setting to Architecture ( or Coordination ) 3. Selects Tools > Copy/ Monitor > Select Link ( selects the architectural model ) 4. Monitors or Copy/Monitors the elements in the architectural model that he deems necessary. 5. Develops the structural model.

Structural Engineer 1. Receives the Architects revised model. Saves it in the same location as the previous version. 2. When it is reloaded, they may be alerted to changes by the Coordination Monitor for Monitored or Copied elements only. 3. Follow the process outlined above for the architect and Interference Check. Note that comments may be accessed using the “ In a Linked Project” tab.

You can begin to study these concepts further if they apply to your project needs...

MEP Engineer 1. Receives the Architects model, then links it into his project model file. He selects the link and checks the parameter for Room Bounding in the Type Properties. ( Allows the linked file to determine spaces ) Uses Origin to Origin to link 2. Changes Visibility setting to Architecture ( or Co-ordination ) 3. Selects Tools > Copy/Monitor > Select Link ( selects the architectural model ) 4. Monitors or Copy/Monitors the elements in the architectural model that he deems necessary. 5. Sets up his own Spaces and Zones. 6. Develops the MEP model Architect 1. Receives the Engineering models and links them to their model file using Origin to Origin. 2. Review and Coordinate Review warnings and resolve them. 3. Run Interference Check between selected elements of the linked models and theirs. 4. If necessary elect to copy and or monitor engineering levels from the other models. When Models Change 1. A warning dialogue appears when the revised model’s link is loaded. 2. The changes can be viewed – Tools > Coordination Review > Select Link. 3. The Coordination review dialog reveals the alert and gives the host the opportunity of Accepting, Rejecting or Doing Nothing. ( If a Monitored element has changed, then Modify, Rename or Move are available ) 4. The architect revises his model as necessary and reissues it to the consultants.

spring_2009

feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline

MEP Engineer: 1. Receives the Architects and/ or Structural Engineers model and then links it into his own project, saving in the same location as

the previous version. 2. Review and Coordination Review items if necessary. 3. Use Interference Check. ( Tools > Interference Check > Run Check. ) 4. Address any elements identified by the Interference Check. ( Open an Interference Report ). Refresh after each conflict is resolved. ( Tools > Interference Check > Show Last Report )

The process is reiterated. Each discipline address issues relative to their context but in the full knowledge of the building model. Naturally your project conditions may vary. It is important that each firm communicates with each other frequently and that each firm’s team understands these tools. Without them the project’s collaboration/coordination effort may not be improved much over existing practices. Bruce is a registered architect who has worked as everything from print boy to director. His architectural background includes work on a wide range of project types, including commercial high-rise, hospitality, health care, and residential/commercial developments. He is a Revit; Implementation Architect/Applications Engineer with KarelCAD. He works in Australia and New Zealand, where he demonstrates Autodesk products; trains and implements Revit; Architecture, Structure, and MEP; and supports Autodesk products for a broad client base. Bruce is active in the Revit community, organizing the Revit User Group Brisbane (RUGB ). He is a moderator for the Autodesk User Group International Revit Community , a speaker at Revit conferences, and he writes a blog on Revit topics called “Revitalise”.

www.AUGIaecedge.com

23


feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline

by: Matt Mason

Extending BIM Design Value Using the Revit API

A

n application programming interface (API) allows users and developers to extend the capabilities of an existing application by writing a program or script that adds new functionality to the software. The Autodesk Revit API allows programmers to change elements in the Building Information Model (BIM) directly or to access the data to perform specialized tasks. Power users and software developers are taking advantage of the Revit API to create their own custom tools. By using the Revit API, they are able to enhance Revit’s power to improve workflows and create better building designs faster. This article will introduce readers to the Revit API and present some of the ways that developers and dabblers alike can use it to supercharge Revit.

• basic design automation and configuration • simple family creation and management • automated export and printing Some functions that still need refining today, but will no doubt be better supported in future releases include: • interactive (pick and place) applications • larger-scale design automation • batch automation

The Revit API is still relatively “young,” especially compared to AutoCAD...

A Work in Progress The Revit API is still relatively “young,” especially compared to AutoCAD with its more than 25-year history of APIs and customizations. Autodesk officially introduced the Revit API in Revit 8, just over four years ago. Since then, it has steadily expanded and improved. While there are still significant limitations, the API has now reached a point where it is quite useful for solving a wide variety of problems. The key is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the API and whether it presents a good fit for your particular need. Some functions which are a good fit for the API today include: • data extraction and import • geometry extraction • property manipulation • building analysis

Programming: VSTA versus Visual Studio Autodesk offers two ways to learn how to program with Revit. Developers can choose between different programming environments: Microsoft Visual Studio or Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA).

For people already familiar with programming AutoCAD, the Visual Studio approach is similar to programming AutoCAD.NET or ObjectARX, in which commands are built separately, compiled, and then tested inside the CAD system. Programming using VSTA is conceptually similar to Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), where developers work inside of the CAD system and build projects to embed into a Revit document or to keep in a separate project file. The good news is that the debate about whether to use VSTA or Visual Studio is rarely about the “power” of a particular approach, which was often the case when working with AutoCAD. Weighing the benefits of VSTA or Visual Studio is more dependent on the specific project objectives—specifically, deployment issues and who will be doing the development. Both use the same languages (Visual Basic.NET or C#) and the API is almost

Figure 1: Manage Ribbon Tab - Macros Panel - VSTA Tools (Macro Manager & Macro Security)

24

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

spring_2009


feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline

Figure 2: The Add-Ins Ribbon

identical. However, Visual Studio has approximately ten percent more capabilities in Revit than VSTA.

toe” into the Revit API, the more serious programmer will want to use Visual Studio. (See Figures 1 and 2)

In terms of cost, VSTA is free and included in the Revit install in Revit 2010 products). The free “Express” version of Visual Studio has enough capability – with a few limitations. Progressively more powerful versions come with higher price tags. The biggest benefit of Visual Studio is that it is easier to develop applications with secure source code. In VSTA, the source code tends to be visible to anyone interested. There are also different approaches to deployment of applications in the VSTA versus Visual Studio approaches. For the serious developer, Visual Studio also provides access to a next-generation user interface, database integration, and other tools.

Looking at Visual Basic Code The sample source code below (Figure 3) shows an example of what programming with the Revit API is like, including scanning the Revit project for certain elements (rooms), then interacting with the rooms. In this case, it shows how to read information, such as the perimeter, or write information, such as the Room Floor Finish. (See Figure 2)

Using VSTA, all “macros” are accessible on the “Manage” ribbon under “Macro Manager”. Using Visual Studio, the developer defines “Commands” which are available on the “Add-Ins” ribbon under “External Commands.” Visual Studio also allows programmers to define “Applications” to run when Revit starts up, as well as to further enhance the user interface, including making simple Ribbon Bar Panels. While VSTA is a good way to “dip a

Configuring Revit for Add-Ins Do-it-yourself programmers who create Add-Ins that perform a useful function can modify the REVIT.INI file to tell Revit where to look for the new Add-In. An example is Avatech’s Door Mark Update add-in, which automates door mark updates when changes inevitably occur. To add a simple command to Revit, users can add or update the [External Commands] section of their INI file (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Programming with Revit API Using Visual Basic spring_2009

www.AUGIaecedge.com

25


on both the AUGI and Autodesk sites specifically targeting Revit development topics. Figure 4: Updating the External Command Section of Revit’s INI File

The “ECCount” setting (Figure 4) describes how many External Commands are in the INI file. Then programmers need to define the following four lines (Figure 5) for each command (where <num> indicates the number of each command): External Applications are similar to External Commands, but instead of encapsulating a new Revit command (which runs on a document), the External Application works with the Revit application in general. It can be used for mundane purposes like

Figure 5: Explaining each line of information that you need to add.

setting up a customized user interface (with custom commands, menus, and toolbars)—or for more interesting purposes like keeping track of different events within Revit. Configuring Revit to work with External Applications is similar to External Commands, but in a different section within the Revit.INI file. EACount, as seen in Figure 6, refers to the number of External Applications and each application must have a ClassName and an Assembly Path.

Figure 6: Configuring Revit to Work with External Applications

The Revit Software Development Kit (SDK) download, available free from Autodesk, contains a tool called the “Revit Add-in Manager” that automates the process of loading Add-Ins to the Revit.INI file. Commercial developers create install programs that modify the Revit.INI file automatically, so this process is not usually necessary for commercial software. Finally, more advanced firms may keep a centralized copy of the REVIT.INI file that is deployed to each machine in an automated fashion.

Learning the API Anyone can download the free Revit SDK from (http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=2484975) The SDK provides good documentation, beginning with the “Help” file. It also includes a “Getting Started Guide,” as well as a more in-depth “Developer Guide.” Autodesk has also posted a video training class on the SDK page titled “DevTV: Introduction to Revit Programming.” Finally, there are discussion boards 26

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

The Revit API has now reached a stage of maturity where it can significantly improve how firms leverage Revit. As Building Information Modeling continues to enter the mainstream, the early adopters of the Revit API will have even greater advantages over their competitors. For those who have previously performed customizations in AutoCAD, perhaps now is the time to look at the Revit API. Matt Mason and his software team at Avatech Solutions engineer new applications that improve the bottom line by automating and streamlining processes for manufacturing, architecture, engineering, and facilities management organizations. Matt has a long history orchestrating systems integration and software development in computer-aided design for manufacturing. He speaks about software development at Autodesk events across the country, and blogs at http://cadappdev.blogspot.com

matt mason blog spot

feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline

What’s New in the Revit 2010 API: Geometry (Part of the What’s New in the Revit 2010 API series)

The Geometry area of the Revit API has a few interesting and helpful enhancements in the 2010 version. Probably the most obvious of the enhancements were made to support Revit’s new conceptual massing capabilities. HermiteSpline While there was previously a HermiteFace class to represent the surface – we now have a HermiteSpline element for the splines that can be created (which will probably result in many more HermiteFaces as well – since it only takes one button to go from spline to face).

The HermiteSpline exposes its control points and tangent vectors (nice touch). WARNING: For those of you who have been using Tessellation – like we have on our Earth Connector application – be prepared for an explosion of points as Revit Users start using splines. The 5-point spline shown above tessellated into 287 points… (I probably have to start investing some mental energy in a “reduce” function – because that’s pretty heavy!). Point As I joked about in one of the previous posts – Autodesk has finally broken down and added the Point concept to Revit (yes, yes – the XYZ class was there before – but Points are now first class geometric objects). View full article online at: http://cadappdev.blogspot.com

spring_2009


Revit Cross-Discipline

A Trainer’s Perspective:

Key Requirements for a Successful BIM Implementation

M

oving to BIM is a “business decision”. It’s less about a simple “CAD upgrade” and more about a deliberate business decision made by owners who know that BIM will impact their firm at all levels. Once the owners have made this decision, the first aspect of this venture is for the owners to support their staff. The key group of individuals needing the most support during this transition is the project managers. They are the ones who are responsible for project deadlines. They need to be told by the owners of the company that BIM is the strategic future of their firm and that the owners will support their needs in order to get the job done. It is fair to say that architectural firms who have made a successful transition to BIM have done so with aggressive support from the firm’s owners and executive staff. Said another way, other firms stumble with implementing BIM because their Project Managers lack the support from the owners and their projects inevitably return to 2D CAD. The move to BIM is a gradual change. One should avoid an overnight, office-wide shift to BIM. Instead, the change is done project by project. As new projects enter the office, BIM teams are applied to those projects. As for existing CAD projects that are past 30% DD, it is recommended they remain in 2D CAD. It is essential to hand pick the right project manager and team members for the firm’s first BIM project. Look for people who are “open-minded” and flexible when it comes to their work methods with CAD. BIM demands great patience from a “new” user and the PM must understand that his or her team will go through various levels of frustration during their “first” BIM project. One should also be looking for team members who are enthusiastic and enjoy sharing their knowledge with others. Once the first set of new users has gone through their first BIM project, they can be planted into future project teams. One must be aware that once a first team gets through the painful learning curve (and yes, it will be “painful” at times) during their first BIM project, they become a huge asset and support to future teams new to BIM. One other key aspect of a proper BIM implementation is the translation of your existing office CAD standards into BIM. Project managers can be quite passionate about the graphic quality of their projects. If the PM makes a print of a plan, section and elevation view of their “new” BIM project and discovers that the lineweights, dimension tick marks and text heights don’t match their existing office graphic standards perfectly, he or she

spring_2009

feature focus

by: Cyril Verley

could potentially close the BIM project that day and return to 2D CAD. One can expect an experienced BIM user to take about a week to translate existing 2D CAD base standards such as title blocks, lineweights, dimension / text styles and custom door and finish schedules. Once the BIM standards are set, the training of the staff should begin. If the training is done first, your first BIM project will not have the proper office BIM standard graphic settings.

Requirements for Properly Training Your Office Staff in BIM When moving to BIM, it is not simply an annual software upgrade that the CAD users can teach themselves. Building a BIM model requires the re-education of staff on how a project is designed and documented. If the users are not properly trained and use BIM like 2D CAD, their chances of failure are quite high. If the firm’s move to BIM is to be successful, training is required. If training for the staff is not planned, making the change to BIM is not recommended. One should also consider different types of training for various staff within an office. The most important group that requires training first is the firm owners and senior staff. This is best provided through a half-day presentation that explains and demonstrates why BIM is an essential business decision for their firm. It is important that this group understands all the ramifications of this change and its impact on all levels of their business. The next group of users that requires training is that of the project managers who do not use CAD day-to-day. A single day hands-on class should be enough time to teach these PMs how to maneuver through the BIM model, find views, add a note, check a dimension, view a sheet and make a plot. It’s critical this group understands and can contribute to the organization of their project with their team. If they are not included, they might become alienated from the BIM process. This can have negative implications on the project and result in negativity for firm wide success of the implementation. Project Mangers need this kind of inclusion in the process. The final group to be trained is the production users. Their handson class is the most intensive and will take the longest. This class should be for “production users” who will be using BIM dayto-day. The ideal attendee for this class is a project manager or project architect who uses CAD daily. These are the perfect users given their knowledge and past architectural experience. They

www.AUGIaecedge.com

27


feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline will be the ones to mentor the rest of the production (junior) staff. Expect this type of class to be split into two, one-week sessions.

Training BIM with “Train the Project”® In our industry, there are many companies that provide BIM training (for production users) with a three-day class using a “generic” building type that has little or no connection with the types of projects designed in an actual office. This training has seen some success but it is not the most effective type of training. Instead, the “ideal” training experience for production users is a training process pioneered by CDV Systems called “Train the Project”® which means to train on one or two of the client’s own “live” office projects using the client’s own computers within the client’s office environment. This type of training has been successfully used at firms such as HOK, SOM, AECOM and NBBJ. It is an intensely focused learning experience for the production staff, teaching exactly what they need to know to build their live office projects using BIM. If the questions of the users attending the training pertain to building a curtain wall or custom stair they designed within their own project, their class time will be more focused and more productive. Learning BIM is a very large undertaking. The quantity of what needs to be learned is the equivalent of learning AutoCAD and Architectural Desktop simultaneously. The best odds of success come from dividing the “Train the Project” training into two parts. The users spend their first training session going through all the commands to build all the major categories of their project (i.e. using walls, doors, windows, floors, roofs, noting, dimensioning, sheet setup, printing, etc). Once that first training session is completed, the users continue working on their project for a period of about seven to ten weeks. During the seven to ten week period, as per the instructions from their BIM trainer, each user will keep a log of questions regarding the construction of their new BIM project. When the second session of “Train the Project” training occurs, each user will present, during class time, a list of BIM questions specifically related to their project. Once those questions are answered, the class continues with more advanced BIM features which drill deeper into the program and which are always related to their project-specific issues. There are bonuses that come with “Train the Project”: • The production users are learning BIM. • These same users are learning BIM by building their own “live” office projects. • With the guidance of the trainer, the users are also learning how to build and organize their live office project from scratch. • By the time the first week long session of training is done, what they have built during class time becomes their office project going forward. • If the BIM office standards were done properly, the users would also be learning how to use their new office standards during class time AND for their first project.

28

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

• Since the users are actually “working” on their office project during class time, the firm can expect that 40 to 50% of class time becomes “billable time” to the project.

When Should “Train the Project” Occur? For firms interested in the idea of “Train the Project”, it is recommended not to train on a project that is in schematic design. It’s difficult enough to learn a new BIM software program while at the same time keeping up with ongoing project deadlines. It is asking too much of any user to have them learn BIM, keep up with project deadlines and use BIM as an “SD design tool” on their first BIM project. Two out of three is okay, but if users are told they need to do all three, there is the high probability that their first BIM project will fail and return to 2D CAD. Instead, this type of training should be scheduled when the office project has been brought to the start of design development level using existing 2D CAD. If the project is at a DD level, the major design decisions have already been made, allowing the users to focus on specific modeling issues during the class. In the class, the DD set of CAD files are imported into the plan view of the BIM model and “traced” by the users. The users then continue building their project model while learning BIM. Using BIM as a SD tool is possible but not for a user’s first project. Once the users have gone through a completed BIM project in DD and CDs, they know how to maneuver through the entire BIM program. Their next BIM project can then start at an earlier phase like schematic design.

What Happens After the First Week of Training? To reiterate, implementing BIM requires changes at all levels of an organization. Once the first week of training is completed, there are some key protocols that must be put in place if BIM is to flourish within the office. First, the project users who have been trained MUST remain on the project using BIM. They are new to BIM and in order to take full advantage of the training, they need to remain working on their project for at least seven to ten weeks. Once they have gone through this initial learning curve and have created their list of advanced BIM questions, they are then ready for the advanced training class. If, however, they are pulled from their BIM project too early and put onto a non-BIM, 2D CAD project, they will lose their BIM training within seven to ten days and will be required to repeat the first BIM training. Another key aspect of a successful BIM training experience is to place the desks of all the team members close together. Unlike 2D CAD, BIM projects demand more communication between the team members. If the team is spread throughout the office, communication becomes more difficult among team members and will negatively impact on the quality and quantity of their BIM work. It is also recommended to seat new BIM users next to experienced users. To be an experienced user, one first needs to cross the learning curve on a tight rope. If there is someone close by to offer slight “nudges” of help, they will make that trek more quickly and less painfully. spring_2009


All users new to BIM will experience various levels of frustration: it is unavoidable. The cause is a form of “2D CAD Brainwashing”. All users new to BIM need time to break themselves from their past 2D CAD habits. In fact, one should not be surprised to hear comments from green BIM users such as: “I can draw this faster using 2D AutoCAD”. Don’t worry. If you tell them to persevere and you give them the opportunity to get through this very steep learning curve, they will get through it and become believers of BIM. Again, be sure to seat your team properly to reduce the frustration they will experience.

BIM’s Return on Investment Again, the BIM learning curve is steep. There should be no expected ROI from a user’s first project. In fact, the project might break even or require additional time to complete. However, once a user has gone through a DD and CD project experience, the start of their next BIM project will be the start of ROI. So, depending on the size of your projects, it could be five to seven months before a ROI is seen. But keep in mind: if your first BIM project is well built, you should see a savings during the construction administration phase of that project. Again, if the essence of BIM is “a coordinated document set”, then CA should be a pleasant surprise with few change orders. Moving forward, once the team members have been given the opportunity to experience BIM on at least one completed project, a dramatic saving of time will be realized. The BIM project teams will not require as many people, they will produce models more quickly and they will be able to create 3D visuals at a fraction of the cost of sending it out of house. And again, there will be the added bonus of a smooth CA phase. One more recommendation for offices ramping up with BIM: Most BIM products have all kinds of “nifty” features such as rendering, animation, photo realistic imaging, marketing graphics, etc. While the team new to BIM might start off attempting to focus on these advanced features, they must be told their primary focus for their first BIM project is a “coordinated document set”, nothing more. Time and again project teams spend precious billable project time on 3D graphics and lose sight of their primary focus.

Going Forward with BIM One final thought: For years we have been numbed by all the promises we have heard concerning what 2D CAD will fix. BIM is now here and it could not be more exciting. During the time your office is bringing BIM online, it is recommended to request your business partner, your project managers and your production staff to avoid sharing any details about the use of BIM at your office to folks outside your office. That’s right. You should not tell your colleagues, your competitors and especially your client or contractor about the details of your BIM usage. Time and again a project manager proclaims to his or her client the virtues of BIM and when the client demands results a week later, the production users are unable to perform because they are still green to BIM. Many firms have waited spring_2009

months to a year or more while preparing their staff before announcing their use of BIM. This is an important point to wait until your office is fully entrenched in BIM before making any formal announcement. BIM’s ultimate impact within an AEC firm is the call to bring the three major parties of a project more closely together: the Owner, the Architect and the Builder. BIM’s effect to a three way contract, known as “Integrated Project Delivery” is the pinnacle of contractual collaboration. Recognizing IPD’s momentum, the AEC industry is providing new contractual documentation such as the AIA document: C195 Single Purpose Entity Agreement for IPD or the Consensus Doc 301 for IPD. These contracts consider the implications of allowing the owner, the contractor and the architect open access to the BIM project. This accessibility hopes to keep projects on time, on budget and with reduced construction errors. However, one must also consider the liability of a BIM as well as the potential exposure not only of all the data in the model but also of all the inherent BIM standards of the firm, in itself representing a substantial investment. Moving to BIM is a sobering endeavor; one which involves support from the owners, Executive staff and a well thought out plan of action. The benefits of BIM far outweigh the challenges and bring the patient user closer to the real building, allowing a more complete view of the model. There is no doubt BIM is here to stay and will continue to impact the business of design and construction for years to come.

feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline

Editors Note: This article was written and intended as a companion to another article written and published elsewhere earlier this year. In its original context this article was titled “The Business of BIM - Part 2”. Unfortunately we are unable to include the first part “The Business of BIM - Part 1”. If you are interested in reading this companion article you can find it here: h t t p : // w w w . c d v s y s t e m s . c o m / c o n t e n t / i n d e x . php?option=com_content&view=article&id=111:the-businessof-bim-part-1&catid=17:press-releases&Itemid=30 *“Train the Project ”training was inspired by a comment made by a client of CDV Systems nearly five years ago. During a BIM class, this client commented that his concern was not the cost of the training, but rather the loss of $65,000 per week of “non billable hours” as a result of BIM training on a “generic model”. Within a week of that conversation, CDV Systems developed its unique approach to BIM training.

Cyril Verley, founder of CDV Systems has been practicing architecture for 23 years, registered for 18, an AEC consultant for the past 15 years with the last 7 years focused on Revit services (14 months prior to Autodesk’s purchase of Revit). He can be reached at cyril.verley@cdvsystems.com. CDV Systems, Inc. (www.cdvsystems.com), founded in 1993, is a privately owned consultancy offering a full range of on- and off-site Autodesk Revit Architecture, Structure, MEP and CodeBook services for all user levels for clients worldwide. For more information, please contact us at http://www.cdvsystems.com/content/index.php?option=com_contac t&view=contact&catid=11&id=1

www.AUGIaecedge.com

29


feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline

by: David Thirlwell

A General Contractor’s Venture into BIM and VDC

A

recent phone conversation with our local software reseller started: “Please help! I’ve been selling a lot of Revit and Navisworks licenses to local Contractors because they love what BIM can do. And I’m holding a lot of classes and most of the students are picking up the software well.” And he continued, “But, I keep getting calls a few weeks following the training asking, ‘Now what? Now that my team knows how to use the software, how do we do BIM?’ How’s anyone else doing BIM? ...and I don’t know what to tell them!” Coincidently, I was contacted by Steve Stafford with AUGI the next day to write an article about how BIM is being utilized by General Contractors and its benefits.

Motivation for adopting BIM My Employer, Current Builders looked to BIM technology in order to save money and

30

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

pursue a fundamentally improved method of delivering all of our projects on-time, at or under budget. As a result, we have been successfully preventing significant coordination errors of all kinds on a full range of projects. Resources such as the AGC’s Contractor’s Guide to Building Information Modeling and numerous Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) whitepapers have given Current Builders’ leadership an avenue toward changing the way we plan and perform as a company. These papers emphasize that although Building Information Modeling is technical and quite expensive, mastering the technology can and has had industry-altering effects. Further, applying BIM effectively offers predictable, consistent and reliable ways to plan and prevent many problems with the entire building process including the building lifecycle. The benefits reach all corners of the AEC industry, much like the same fundamental technology and processes have done and continue to do for Engineering and Manufacturing industries. The increasing complexity of the building lifecycle processes, legal requirements, and documentation should resolve the entire AEC industry to reduce delays, rework, legal disputes and miscommunication. BIM presents us with the capacity to accomplish these reformations.

Defining BIM and VDC There are seemingly endless variations of the composition and definition of ‘BIM’ and if there is a consensus on the fundamental meaning then I certainly missed the memo. Much to the chagrin of those who advocate an all-encompassing de f i n it ion of BIM, we’ve opted to limit the acronym to regard the fundamental technologies centered on relational building data. At Current Builders and

spring_2009


other industry organizations, it is becoming established that Building Information Modeling (BIM) refers to a set of tools (i.e. the technology, toolset, or ‘means’) and Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) encompasses the processes, goals and concepts (i.e. ‘methods’) of applying BIM as well as other technologies. VDC involves the communication and collaboration between project participants using toolsets as diverse as BIM and product lifecycle management (PLM) systems as well as estimating and scheduling systems.

model. Regardless of the number of team members exchanging native BIM models, a well-managed VDC environment should be able to leverage relevant information into BIM. The team should also be able to extract coordinated data out of BIM and into the field via data and drawings. At Current Builders we have been mostly limited to lonely BIM due in large part to the availability of BIM collaborators on previous projects. Yet, we have had the luxury of developing an effective and unrestrictive implementation plan as well as a very practical set of deliverables along the way. This VDC environment allows us to focus on our greatest immediate cost-saving potential: the prevention of design and constructability issues. As most of us know, errors and omissions across all planning processes are often discovered just before or at any time after work has been performed: resulting in delays accompanied by rework and/or redesign. The delays, the rework, and the redesign often have unintended consequences which propagate additional issues through later stages of construction.

...applying BIM effectively offers predictable, consistent and reliable ways to plan and prevent many problems with the entire building process including the building lifecycle...

I have observed that Contractors and leaders in related fields are less interested in the technical ‘means’ of BIM, than in the processes and ‘methods’ of VDC. Therefore, Contractors are trying to get a grasp of what BIM means in the greater paradigm of VDC and of any changes to traditional project relationships, such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), that may be accelerated as a result. While a flood of articles about BIM focus on what can be done using BIM, most do not even hint at how to achieve a strategy for applying these capabilities. This lack of strategic communication is particularly true in regard to construction-related applications. Furthermore, there are very few sources that describe what VDC production might comprise for a Contractor.

Implementing VDC For Current Builders, VDC is still largely being integrated inhouse in the absence of BIM collaboration with other project team members. John Tocci, Sr. of the AGC’s BIM Forum has coined the term “lonely BIM” to refer to this typical, earlyadoption arrangement. This is not to say that we have or are going-it-alone, but that collaboration with the owner, designers, and subcontractors is performed through live meetings and/or a semi-manual exchange of data as opposed to a native BIM collaborative environment or “social BIM.” The major distinction is that under lonely BIM, there is a greater reliance on the competence of fewer individuals to construct the discipline-specific BIM models: often from existing construction documentation. VDC in the lonely BIM scenario thus relies on a single or few project team members for the authoring of a combination of BIMs representing each critical discipline to accurately represent the contract documents. However, a well-managed VDC environment requires that all necessary project team members are able to study and provide input to the BIM development. In the Current Builders VDC environment this is accomplished via live meetings online or offline as well as through the review and markup of thin BIM models such as a DWF or Navisworks

spring_2009

feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline

VDC in Design-Bid-Build project delivery This delivery method inherently creates an extreme environment for BIM and VDC and will continue to do so until all parties are BIM-enabled and interoperability is no longer a major concern. Don’t expect this to be the case soon. To date, Current Builders has not yet received a BIM from an outside party for project use. This simplifies our interoperability concerns since we are able to define all aspects of the BIM to match our particular needs, but also involves a significant upfront expense for 2D conversion (i.e. interpreting the Construction Documents into BIM) thereby limiting BIM almost entirely to a post-bid start. The resulting fast-track nature of this VDC scenario places Current Builders’ foremost concern with a fully-coordinated project. The product of this coordination effort is a field package that provides both task-oriented drawings to field labor and comprehensive visualization and planning material to project management at all levels. As this VDC package continues to develop from project to project, the management teams will increasingly leverage BIM and related systems and collaborate with other project participants to troubleshoot, update, manage and analyze the project. This collaborative effort includes all project parties with particular emphasis on the design team and owner early-on and then with trade subcontractors throughout building systems coordination.

www.AUGIaecedge.com

31


feature focus

Revit Cross-Discipline Results from an on-going VDC project Current Builders has developed a preliminary analysis of our largest and most complete VDC project to help measure the effect that the technology and processes have had on historical costs. While the VDC process had not yet incorporated many of the efficiencies including analysis improvements to clash detection and field deliverables, the results have been impressive. For these preliminary metrics, we used the total number of RFIs as opposed to change orders, as they represent a more accurate relationship to total cost over-runs. Using four very similar and recent (non-VDC) projects as a benchmark set, we have compared slightly projected figures to the in-progress VDC project (now just weeks from completion of the two-year project). We were able to cut the number of actual RFIs to less than half of the benchmark average. Additionally, many of the most significant issues were identified and resolved prior to any field work being carried-out. As a result, the administrative, per-RFI cost was cut to 1/5th of the benchmark average. A large factor in this improved performance has been the comprehensive and unambiguous methods of RFI issue discovery and communication with the aid of BIM technology. The results of these improved numbers are dramatically expressed in the total additional project costs. Total additional project costs include total cost over-runs + BIM / VDC costs. Total cost over-runs were calculated using: actual + projected RFIs & Change Orders as well as estimated delay costs for the Owner, Contractor, and Architect. BIM / VDC costs are based upon the costs of 2D conversion (i.e. BIM creation) as well as administrative and capital overhead (including all VDC). Using this formula, the over-runs were reduced to approximately 1/15th of the total additional project cost benchmark average (i.e. RFI administration + Change Orders/2 + all delay costs). For full disclosure, the average of total Change Orders on the four benchmark projects was cut in half to provide a rudimentary, conservative method of depicting Change Orders directly related to coordination issues: using company experience and a rough survey of project data. Finally, with the extraordinary efforts of the project management team as well as an effective VDC program the project will complete months ahead of schedule whereas each of the benchmark projects were delayed many months beyond the prescribed completion date. Although the resulting savings in time, direct and indirect costs are specific to the issues that arose on this one particular job, we have seen proportionately similar results on a number of other projects. With such impressive results, BIM and VDC have been mandated for every Current Builders project in the future.

Where are we going from here? Current Builders is continuously pursuing advancement in BIM and VDC capabilities. While the greatest effort on every project is likely to center on clash detection and the resolution of problems in project documentation, we expect that the severity of these issues will decline as more disciplines adopt and pro-

32

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

duce designs using BIM. Thus, we are beginning to incorporate a wider range of BIM capabilities to provide a more comprehensive set of project planning and monitoring information. We are seeking to expand our VDC environment to incorporate 4D simulation and 5D estimating data and expanding our capacity to work with BIM from other software platforms. At the same time, we are focusing a greater effort on securing design-build and even integrated project delivery (IPD) contracts in order to leverage BIM and VDC more comprehensively in the planning process.

Suggestions for adopting BIM and VDC As stated in the now aged AGCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Contractorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guide to Building Information Modeling, implementation of BIM requires unwavering and comprehensive support from the very top of a company as well as a persistent and dedicated champion to interject these new tools and strategies. This person may, or may not have CAD experience, but he or she should be well aware of the distinction between the responsibilities and liabilities of professionals and the means and methods of the contractor. In my case, I was hired by Current Builders because of my cross-discipline experience in order to address Building Information Modeling and Virtual Design & Construction. I was chosen to research BIM, its implementation and manage model production as well as field application. I could not do this successfully without the full support from the highest levels of the company. About Current Builders Current Builders has delivered quality construction projects throughout Florida for more than 30 years and is now performing work throughout the Southeast United States. We offer a full range of construction management and project management services within many standard delivery systems including design-build, design-bid-build, and construction managementat-risk. Current Builders also self-performs concrete structures including tunnel form, tilt-wall, and Garage Beam systems. The Current Builders team has built hundreds of successful commercial, industrial, multi-family, assisted living and government development projects throughout Florida. David Thirlwell is the BIM / VDC Manager for Current Builders at the corporate headquarters in Pompano Beach, FL. David earned both a Bachelors degree of Design in Architecture in 2001 and a Masters degree of Building Construction in 2007 at the University of Florida. He has approximately eight years of total work experience amongst architectural, specialty engineering, and construction fields. He draws upon more than fifteen years of computer hardware and software knowledge. This experience includes numerous feature-based, parametric modeling systems. David was hired by Current Builders in May of 2007 and was tasked shortly thereafter with an executive mandate to explore and champion the adoption of BIM and to guide its integration into our company operations and culture.

spring_2009


by: Anthony Hauck

autodesk insiders

Revit:

An Autodesk Design/Build Project

H

ello, my name is Anthony Hauck. Before becoming Autodesk’s Revit Platform Product Manager, I spent ten years as an architect, cad consultant and project manager for various design and construction firms, followed by more than a decade in the IT department of a large Architecture and Engineering firm. Moving from a professional design firm to a software company seemed like a major cultural change at first, what with learning a new organization, new profession, and new industry, but as the shock subsided, I came to realize that I’d returned to my roots. Creating software isn’t like manufacturing widgets as much as it recalls designing and constructing a building.

Programming Months and sometimes years before a developer defines his first new variable on a project, Revit product managers are gathering requirements from a wide range of constituencies. Just as an architect sits down with a client to understand the needs a new building must satisfy, product managers are combing many spring_2009

sources to understand Revit user needs. Customers meetings, briefings, surveys and focus groups, AUGI forums and wish lists, support requests, corporate initiatives, and Autodesk Developer Network feedback all contribute to the product manager’s requirements for the next release. If you have any design experience with an institutional client such as a university, you already understand this process; you meet and converse with many constituencies for your design. Each department, sometimes each faculty member, has specific requirements for the new facility. Merely understanding client issues is demanding, but articulating those needs properly is the first step in satisfying them. When the same issues arise from many constituencies, priorities for your new building or your new software become clearer. The software product manager’s task then seems deceptively simple. He or she must present the list of identified problems and requests to a team of overachieving problem solvers with one mandate: meet the customer need.

www.AUGIaecedge.com

33


autodesk insiders Conceptual Design The product manager now engages in a series of discussions with product designers, software developers, and quality assurance testers. Seemingly obvious issues can initially appear murky to people who haven’t talked to dozens of customers for months. Problem statements are collaboratively adjusted, refined, and clarified, sometimes with help from customers who raised the issues. When everyone on the team understands the problem, the product manager can expect them to study it for a time and return with an estimated magnitude of the solution. If you were designing a building for a university client, you’d be in that pleasant time of design possibilities when clients think they’ll be getting everything they want. Unless, of course, they’ve built a few buildings on the campus in the past, in which case they already suspect you’ll be telling them they’re over budget. When it looks as if the product manager has requested more resources than the product design, development, and quality assurance departments can offer, he or she advocates, negotiates, adjusts scope and employs a lot of creative thinking. Sometimes projects are deferred, consolidated, or assigned more modest goals. Sometimes a project can be scheduled over more than one release, splitting the research and execution. Some projects will be reallocated to corporate development teams to produce services for multiple products. Some projects are simply dropped. Given this task in a building design project, you might be combining science labs or scheduling them into another funding phase to bring your project back on budgetary track, or convincing the client that two wings look a lot better than three anyway. Most software product managers are former users of the software, and like many architectural clients, they want everything, and they want it now. But they know that time, space, physics, available expertise and expenditures have to be considered. Priorities are reordered, new scope is determined as we move into the next phase.

Schematic Design The Product Design team studies the presented user issues and begins to sketch out possible solutions, working their way toward a solidified design. Feature teams form around projects. Just as a building project team would have professionals focusing on the showcase atrium while other experts think about the best way to organize the library, software experts and experienced designers are settling on some large decisions in various feature projects that will guide the remainder of the development cycle, and they’re including the product managers in a series of discussions which boil down to a single question: Will this proposal satisfy the expressed need? After a few or many iterations, the team and the product managers are satisfied with the proposed solutions, development has agreed that the various approaches are workable, and quality assurance has an idea of what they’ll test. In your university facility project, your clients have accepted the renderings and the basic organization of the building. 34

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

Design Development Now designers earn their paychecks. Architects find out their decisions have unforeseen implications, and they make adjustments to the building design. They also discover unanticipated benefits and synergies in the design, and realize opportunities they hadn’t predicted. The building project team researches aspects of the design more thoroughly, questioning experts of all kinds and having many productive hallway conversations. The same creative process applies to software design. In a highly collaborative process, product designers will conduct rigorous customer research on early prototypes, developers confirm that the new feature is not destabilizing other parts of the product, and QA is assembling test plans to ensure coverage of all the feature’s interactive permutations. The communication within the team is constant. Product managers attend many meetings with the team to determine how a lot of smart and expensive people are going to spend the next several months of their lives. Time is irreplaceable, and there’s never enough of it.

Construction Documents Thousands of decisions make up a project. When designing a building, you select everything down to the hinges and locksets, the light bulbs and the signage fonts. The product design and development departments of the Revit team make similar decisions, down to individual messages and icons, mapping out subtle behaviors, doing their best to dramatically improve the user experience. After much discussion between all the departments, the designs are complete, well documented, scheduled, resourced, and ready for assembly. Construction About a third of the way through the Revit product cycle, developers begin coding new features. Just as general contractors will issue Requests for Information to architects, development leads are asking product designers and project managers to clarify intent or asking them to make a judgment call when alternatives appear. Even as the new features are taking shape, the Revit team adjusts as its understanding becomes more thorough. Maybe you’ve been sent into the field for your new university building, because an unforeseen site condition has been revealed. The construction crew is staring at you, waiting for a decision. On the Revit team, sometimes the software product manager is in this position, sometimes the product designer, and sometimes it’s the lead or individual developer, but someone makes the call, deals with the implications, and the work proceeds.

Walkthrough When the project is nearing completion, the clients will start showing up on site more often, examining the realized design. In software, this practice corresponds to the Beta testing period when selected customers put the developing product through its paces, discovering issues ranging from performance lags to display problems to unexpected interactions with existing data, generating information for the next stage.

spring_2009


autodesk insiders Punch List Quality assurance has been with us all along, testing, advising, and communicating some of the most urgent customer needs they’re hearing from support. Development marks features code complete, and the QA folks start breaking them. Through automated and manual testing, QA accumulates lists of problems they’ve discovered along with those reported by customer testers, and development fixes them, working in a rapid feedback loop. Any of the various departments on the Revit team can file a problem report for investigation, but it’s QA that takes the lead, like an architect walking through the completed building, noticing missing locker doors and damaged sinks needing replacement. In software development, they’re bugs, and the developers will spend a couple of months fixing them. Occupancy Otherwise known to the Revit team as “shipping the product”. Autodesk customers let us know how perceptive we are, or how deficient, and we’re listening closely because about six months before shipping the product, the product managers had already started researching, thinking and writing about the next release, and they want to make sure they’re on the right track. Maintenance Every year there’s a budget to improve your building, or your software. You can renovate, refinish, construct additions, or dynamite obsolete sections, but you’ve got to be certain the building, or the software, is going to stand up when you’re done. As both

spring_2009

architect and facilities director, you advocate for the users of the facility and protect the integrity of the building or the software, and ensure that the product you care about will be relevant and useful for a long time to come.

Conclusion The process of building a software release is so similar to the architectural design and construction process that my initial unfamiliarity with the industry gave way to a quicker understanding than I had anticipated. After more than ten years focusing on IT support for architects and engineers, it’s been a great transition to focus again on detailed projects to help out some of the best clients in the world, the customers of Autodesk. Anthony Hauck has been involved in architecture, engineering, construction and technology for more than 20 years. As an architect, millwork project manager, software developer and IT Director, he has always looked to technology to help solve the problems facing the AEC industry. He joined Autodesk in 2007 as the Revit Platform Product Manager and is responsible for the technological portfolio of the Revit vertical products and the development of the Revit API

www.AUGIaecedge.com

35


department

by: Stephen Stafford

AUGI local chapters

AUGI Local Chapters: South Coast Revit User Group Editors Note: This section will be dedicated to introducing our readers to a Local Chapter. Local Chapters are the physical side of the organization. Many members carry on real friendships and relationships via the website but they may never actual meet each other face to face or shake one another’s hands. Our Local Chapters on the other hand are real, face to face and every bit as important to the organization as a web site. In contrast many of the members of a Local Chapter may rarely interact with each other on the web. The ideal situation, we believe, is when our members find a balance between our real and virtual presence as a resource. Some members don’t have an option to attend a Local Chapter meeting because one doesn’t exist near them. This is an opportunity to start one and the AUGI web site is the place to find some resources and to ask for help! We hope you can connect with a Local Chapter and if not maybe you are the right person to start one! If you’d like your chapter included in an article like this one in the future just send me an email: steve.stafford@augi.com

36

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

The First? This Revit User Group is one of the earliest to form. Its first meeting was either October of 2000 or January 2001. Unfortunately we couldn’t ascertain which is correct prior to press time. We believe that the very first Revit user group was RUGI (Revit Users Group International), which also started the RUGI web site. Robert and Jerry Cox started the group in Florida and the web site sprung from that. The Revit Technology Corporation (RTC) funded the site as it hosted most if not all the available content that didn’t ship with Revit already. Their site is now closed and the content that was stored there is now in the AUGI Exchange as well as scattered around the web at places like Revit City. Getting Started South Coast Revit User Group (or SCRUG as its members know it) was started by Jim Balding, the Director of Wimberly Labs, the technology R&D arm of Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (WATG). Their first meeting had about twenty people and they spring_2009


had a “Show and Tell” as well as a “Q&A” session. WATG provided the venue as well as food and drink. Jim and WATG were very early adopters as they were part of the “alpha” evaluation group of firms that were approached by RTC, these early previews were simply called “pre-release version X”. From all accounts, Jim is early adopter #4. The group decided to meet quarterly. The average attendance was around 35 people for the first few meetings. A couple years later at the encouragement of the membership, Chuck Keeley (the Building Territory Manager for Autodesk) and Autodesk the group started meeting monthly.

have to wait outside until we were done with the presentation, everyone signed. He started to demo release 1.0 claiming it to be 7.0. Keep in mind that this group now had some very experienced Revit users, one who shall remain nameless who actually used release 1.0 too, and they were all lured in although some were a bit confused, including the local territory sales manager from Autodesk. Sadly Jim couldn’t keep the charade going very long because he was trying so hard not to laugh. When he saw that even Chuck Keeley seemed to buy it he gave in and told everyone the truth after just a few minutes but every person was fooled or at least a bit confused, Mission Accomplished!

...AUGI and the Revit users in Southern California certainly appreciate their dedication...

Autodesk! In February of 2002 Autodesk and RTC announced a slight change in plans, Autodesk intended to purchase RTC! The sale was in the spring of 2002. With Autodesk came some changes to the group, namely in the form of more support. The group found sales staff and local resellers were willing to help offset the cost for food and beverages as well as Autodesk sending various staff to present at meetings when they were already in the region for other reasons. The group had previously enjoyed visits from some of the RTC staff but the frequency of these visits increased a bit as well as how much could be shared with the attendees. Special Guests A little name dropping, the group got to meet Leonid Raiz and Irwin Jungreis who together founded RTC. David Conant, who is the first person hired by RTC with a professional architectural background which makes him around employee #3, visited the group at various times both before and after the Autodesk purchase. The group also met Marty Rozmanith (original Product Manager), Matt Jezyk (current Product Designer) and Dave Lamont (CEO of RTC).

April Fools 2004 One meeting (April 1, 2004) in particular holds a special place in Jim’s memory. At the time I had recently joined WATG myself and Jim was planning the next meeting and discussing the agenda. He had just been given permission to show the soon to be available release 7.0 and he mention to me that it would be interesting to compare release 1.0 with 7.0. At some point during the discussion it changed from comparing them to using 1.0 as an imposter for 7.0. Jim couldn’t resist and took it to another level. He contacted Steve Burri, the product support manager at the time, and asked him if he could provide a fake but convincing looking Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that Jim could ask the meeting attendees to sign. There was also an accompanying cover letter explaining the importance of the secrecy and how Autodesk had reduced the executable and file sizes by using “stack-bit data packing”. This gave a certain legitimacy to the charade. As the meeting began Jim made a big deal out of the NDA signing process, even saying that anyone who wasn’t willing to sign would spring_2009

department

AUGI local chapters

Favorite Memories While preparing this article I happened to speak with Chuck Keeley and he shared a couple of his fond memories with me. “For me one of the most memorable things Jim ever did at one meeting was when a newbie asked how easy it was to learn Revit and Jim asked him, “Have you ever seen Revit or used it before?” He answered no. Jim asked him to “take the wheel” and sit behind the laptop. He asked him to draw a wall without offering any help. He did it. Then Jim asked him to put a door in the wall. He figured it out.” And one more. “I met an architect named Donald Sutherland when he walked into a SCRUG meeting for the first time at WATG. I asked him if he was a Revit user. He said he just bought it a few months earlier. I asked him how it was going so far and he said he had finished 6 small projects and finished construction documents already. (Donald informed us since that these six projects consisted of a 24,000 SF commercial building, a 4,000 SF medical tenant improvement and four (4) 2,500 SF cottage type houses including some custom families) I was shocked. He said the projects were small projects, but I was still taken back by how fast someone could use Revit productively. I then asked him where he was trained. He said he trained himself with the tutorials and with the AUGI support groups. That just proved to me that Revit was intuitive and that smart dedicated people could learn it on their own.”

Passing the Torch In 2005 Jim decided it was time, after five (5) years, to pass the leadership of the group on to someone else. The group held an election in May 2005 and there was a tie between Jay Holland and Miguel Cuevas so they both agreed to share the responsibility to run the group. Jay and Miguel have both worked for a number of area firms that have been using Revit for many years now. Jay recently started his own consulting firm called BIM Mentors. Today the group meets at the offices of LPA, Inc. in Irvine, CA. They still meet on the third Thursday of nearly every month. We say nearly every month because occasionally they cancel a meeting around holidays, otherwise they meet very regularly. They now have between 30 and 100 people at the meetings these days,

www.AUGIaecedge.com

37


department

AUGI local chapters higher numbers when the presentations are particularly compelling as can be expected. Their greatest draw is usually the eve of new releases. For the Revit 2009 release they had to split the meeting into two separate sessions. The current membership is in excess of 400 people. SCRUG is an affiliated AUGI chapter. They require little support from AUGI and they receive sponsorship support from Autodesk via Chuck Keeley and local resellers so that membership remains free.

Revit focused Local Chapters

Legacy SCRUG spawned, in some fashion, nearly all the current users groups in Southern California which boasts quite a few now! Specifically these groups were formed by members of SCRUG: RUGIE - Revit User Group Inland Empire (Scott Davis), SDRUG - San Diego - Revit User Group (Cathy Hadley), LA RUG - Los Angeles - Revit User Group (Tom Weir & Jay Zallan). There are others and there may be some past relationship with SCRUG that we are unaware of at this writing. The following image (Figure 1) shows the current compliment of the Local Chapters focused on the Revit platform products in Southern California.

Orange County - South Coast Revit User Group – LPA - OC Revit Structure User Group – KPFF - OC Revit MEP User Group – LPA

[bim]x blog spot

Thanks!! Jim certainly put a lot of effort into the group over the years and now Jay and Miguel have been ensuring that the group stays strong. AUGI and the Revit users in Southern California certainly appreciate their dedication. The group would not have enjoyed the high quality food and beverages as well as first class venue accommodations without the dedication and care provided by area firms, the Autodesk resellers and Autodesk. So we’d (I say “we” as a member of SCRUG myself and as an AUGI member) like to say thanks to Chuck Keeley (Autodesk), Ray Dube (L.A.

My Take on Navisworks 2010 I just read through Volker’s post on Navis 2010 and found it very informative, but of course, I have comments of my own! I enjoyed particpiating in the 2010 beta, and was thrilled to see some of my requests come to fruition (probably because everyone else was requesting them too!). The updates to the interface (ViewCube & Steering Wheel) are helpful. Although I initially hated ViewCube, I really like it now and am happy to see it in Navisworks (and I love that we can actually turn it off, too!). And yes, as Volker mentioned, there are improvements to the measure tool, sectioning and visualization (finally - a horizon in Navisworks). First and foremost, shared coordinates are finally recognized from Revit. So now, we don’t have to worry about ‘Override Transform’ just because someone set up the various models out of allignment. I see this fix as a huge benefit to collaboration. Often times, we have no control over where other parties place their model (in ref-

Los Angeles - LA Revit User Group (various firms host) - LA MEP User Group –Arup Long Beach - LB Revit User Group – LB Community College

Inland Empire - RUGIE (Revit User Group Inland Empire) WLC & HMC San Diego - SD RUG - SD Structural User Group - SD MEP User Group – Barnhart Heery Figure 1: Local Chapters Focused on Revit in Southern California

CAD/U.S. CAD), resellers KELAR, CVIS, Microdesk and host firms WATG, LPA, Carter-Burgess and CH2MHill. It just wouldn’t have happened without you!! Thanks to Jim Balding, Chuck Keeley, Scott Davis and Jay Holland for the back story and fact checking. Compiled and written by: Steve Stafford erence to 0,0,0). (The next step will be to recognize ‘New UCS’ in the AutoCAD export, right Richard?) Yes, viewpoints are exported from Revit, but graphic overrides aren’t maintained. We’re a little frustrated with that. The improvements to clash detection are really exciting. Clash reports are normally so cumbersome, with hundreds or thousands of clashes in a list. The ability to organize things by folders is helpful; the automated “group clases involving item” is even better. New graphic abilities in clash detection are really helpful: the animated transition from clash to clash, the ability to view a clash in context and the transparent dimming will be really helpful during coordination meetings. Oh, and we appreciate the additional clash status of “reviewed”, but why can’t we make custom statuses? We love this release - in fact, we’ve already upgraded to it (still using beta of course) for current projects because the new features are worth it. View Laura Handler’s blog online at:

http://www.bimx.blogspot.com

38

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

spring_2009


by: James L. Salmon, Esq.

attorney at large

Achieving IPD in 3D

Achieving Integrated Project Decisions, Design and Delivery through Collaborative Agreements, Building Information Models and Lean Construction Methods

The Integrated Revolution Building Information Model software, advanced hardware, lean construction methods and related business process improvements enable Integrated Project Delivery that saves time and money while improving building quality. Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is revolutionizing the building industry. One critical element in the successful implementation of IPD is the ability for professionals to quickly see problems and solutions through visual relational databases that are known in our industry as Building Information Models (BIM). When combined with proven Lean Construction methods BIM produces a surprising array of benefits. BIM and Lean Construction dramatically improve business processes and enhance productive and profitable collaboration among industry professionals whose interests have traditionally been adverse. The advanced visuals and professional collabora-

spring_2009

tion inherent in BIM and Lean Construction have lead to another critical element; new contracts (Collaborative Agreements) that enhance confidence in these new business processes, reduce risks and increase rewards. Deploying BIM and Lean Construction methods through Collaborative Agreements in an IPD environment results in IPD in 3D™.

Success of IPD in 3D ™ Teams IPD in 3D™ is the innovative project delivery model advocated by Collaborative Construction Resources and bolstered by a new generation of Collaborative Agreements. IPD in 3D™ empowers owners, designers, contractors and others involved in the building industry to use new visualization tools and processes with confidence. IPD in 3D™ also empowers stakeholders to achieve integrated Decisions, Design and Delivery, all of which are critical for success. IPD in 3D™ enables proactive use of information-rich BIM and proven Lean Construction methods within the framework of a

www.AUGIaecedge.com

39


attorney at large new generation of Collaborative Agreements to create graphic representations of key project data that prompt better decisions, more complete and timely designs and more efficient delivery and production. Teams that use IPD in 3D™ tools and processes save time and money while improving quality. Government reports, industry BIM Awards, and independent academic case studies demonstrate integration produces high-quality projects on-time and under-budget. Sophisticated consumers of complex design and construction services are demanding collaborative teams utilize integrated decision making processes to enhance design and delivery, which in turn saves time and money and increases quality. Intelligent and effective use of these powerful new tools and processes is enhanced by new legal instruments. Over the past several years, a new generation of legal agreements known as Collaborative Agreements has begun to emerge. Insurance industry statistics indicate approximately 80% of all construction claims originate with owners or members of the project team. Contractual provisions that substantially reduce the number of such claims -with contractual waivers and laddered collaborative dispute resolution mechanism - will, at a minimum, reduce litigation costs and project related insurance premiums. But use of these innovative Collaborative Agreements in an IPD in 3D™ environment have the potential to revolutionize project delivery in many other important ways that reduce costs and shorten construction schedules.

for the AIA’s new General Conditions Document, AIA A2952008 and the latest generation of AIA IPD Documents released October 17, 2008. Collaborative Agreements recognize and leverage the critical nature of parties’ relationships. This new generation of agreements is based on existing and valued relationships while traditional transactional agreements create legal relationships without reference to the quality of the underlying relationships.

...Intelligent and effective use of these powerful new tools and processes is enhanced by new legal instruments...

Collaborative Agreements Serve as the Keystone that supports IPD Integrated Project Delivery has been touted in the U.S. building industry for many years. Only recently, however, have the disparate legal, design and construction communities coalesced behind a project delivery model that empowers stakeholders to take advantage of design and delivery innovations simultaneously. The keystone that supports the effective and simultaneous use of innovations manifested in BIM and Lean Construction methods is the new generation of Collaborative Agreements. The ConsensusDOCS 300 Standard Form of Tri-Party Agreement for Collaborative Project Delivery, released in September, 2007, was the first such agreement released on a national scale and was quickly followed by similar offerings from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The Integrated Project Delivery Guide, (IPDG) created by the AIA California Council and published nationally by AIA, provides a good overview of Integrated Project Delivery concepts and serves as a backbone

40

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

Collaborative Agreements deployed in an IPD in 3D™ environment enable use of advanced visualization tools to align economic interests for the benefit of trusted business relationships over time. Key provisions include those that call for waiver of claims related to decisions made by consensus, laddered dispute resolution mechanisms, the use of third party independents as dispute reviewers and the use of “pain sharegain share agreements.” Traditional contracts can be modified to include or accommodate many of these approaches but are often executed with no such modifications. Waiver of claims for consequential damages related to decisions made by consensus is a critical feature of a fully functional Collaborative Agreement. Such waivers do not mean the parties will never disagree or have disputes, it simply means that an entire category of claims will be eliminated by consensus of the parties and claims that do surface among the parties will be resolved through predetermined steps outlined in “laddered” Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provisions contained in the Collaborative Agreement.

spring_2009


attorney at large Laddered ADR clauses are not new, but the use of an Independent Dispute Reviewer or a Dispute Review Board as a step on the ladder is more unique. ADR mechanisms can be rendered even more effective if the parties agree to forego traditional litigation and adopt binding mediation / arbitration as the ADR mechanism on a project wide basis.

Collaborative enterprises that develop a high level of trust among team members are better positioned to act in their combined strategic interests and to successfully respond to evolving economic and technological environments. Experienced project managers consistently confirm trust is important to successful project delivery.

Binding subcontractors to these innovative resolution mechanisms can be a bit tricky as lien statutes in most states bar parties from waiving their lien enforcement rights. Good local counsel can help you craft joining agreement that address these issues, and still bring your subcontractors on board as collaborative members of an IPD in 3D™ Team.

IPD in 3D™ and the innovative tools required to achieve it offer a foundation from which IPD in 3D™ Team Members can pursue trust based business methods.

Building Trust is Critical to Achieving PD in 3D™ IPD in 3D™ is best implemented on projects with authentic collaborative teams formed at the insistence of enlightened owners willing to invest in high quality planning, design, production and delivery efforts. IPD in 3D™ Teams cannot be formed in the absence of trust. Collaboration and trust cannot be established in a vacuum and require committed stakeholders who clearly see the potential rewards of their collaborative efforts. None of the tools necessary to achieve IPD in 3D™ can be successfully deployed in the absence of open and honest communications among team members using IPD in 3D™. Building trust among IPD in 3D™ Team Members is a difficult, but critical process. Trust is the foundation for organizational commitment to any collaborative endeavor. Collaborative teams, especially of the caliber required to achieve IPD in 3D™ must build trust among the various team members. The new generation of Collaborative Agreements that form the contractual framework for IPD in 3D™ are a PRODUCT of the parties trusted business relationships, not the BASIS for those trusted business relationships.

Consumers of Building Industry Services will Benefit from IPD in 3D™ Sophisticated consumers of building industry services see increased efficiency and productivity in almost every other sector of the economy. They are stunned and dismayed when the construction industry insists on delivering services in accordance with project delivery methods that date to business processes developed in the aftermath of World War II.

spring_2009

James L. Salmon, Esq. President, Collaborative Construction Resources, LLC is a collaborative consultant and the creator of these IPD in 3D™ concepts. Salmon advocates the use of advanced BIM technologies, Lean Construction methods, Collaborative Agreements and other IPD in 3D™ processes. His Collaborative BIM Advocates group provides free membership, national networking opportunities, custom symposiums and online webinars. James Salmon, Esq would like to thank Michael Bordenaro, CoFounder of the BIM Education Co-op™ for editing assistance with this article.

Don’t Think Do-Revit blog spot

Pain share gain share agreements are another key to the success of an IPD in 3D™ Team and are an excellent mechanism for aligning economic interests of team members in advance and ensuring all parties are working together to achieve integrated delivery in ways that optimize the whole, rather than the disparate parts. These agreements are complex, but well worth the effort.

Entities and persons who deliver design, construction, maintenance and others services to the building industry must adapt to the use of innovative new tools that increase efficiency and productivity or find themselves and their companies at a competitive disadvantage. Those who master these tools will have a competitive advantage in the dramatically changing economic market place. Those who don’t will fail.

Some thoughts about Revit files STC is no more. Now it’s SWC. To me this is harder to say and awkward. I think I may just stick with saying “sync” from now but am saddened by the loss of the revit language. STC was one of those phrases that you knew you were part of an exclusive club being a “reviteer”. Say the password and you get to join our club. Oh well. Autodesk obviously thought it was confusing to users. “Syncronizing” is more appropriate to what you are actually doing. To view this blog online go to: http://dorevit.blogspot.com/

www.AUGIaecedge.com

41


feature focus

Revit Architecture

by: Robert Manna

Revit in a Large Firm A tale of implementing Revit

My name is Robert Manna and I am a staff architect/BIM implementer. I’m writing to share our implementation story with the hope that it will help you to help others as we all work to change our profession(s) or possibly to confirm and validate your own firm’s experience doing so as well.

Starting out small (in a big firm) In December of 2003, my firm’s involvement with Revit began with a single project team of four people who decided to try this up-and-coming piece of software on a high-rise residential project. At the time Burt Hill had about 350 staff members in six regional offices. Today, Burt Hill now an international Architecture, Engineering, Planning and Design firm has 1,000 people in 12 offices spread around the globe. During this time of extraordinary growth, a team of dedicated individuals have worked together to implement Revit architecture as our tool of choice for Architecture and Interior design and documentation. Now, five years later we’ve used Revit for over one hundred projects and a majority of our Architecture and Interiors staff have been trained to use Revit.

advantage of this new approach to design and documentation with these developments in technology? None of the attendees knew it at the time, but that meeting was the start of our BIM implementation. Even at that point we made some key decisions that have guided our efforts over the years. The critical philosophical point was our vision of Revit as one piece of a larger practice change, from a 2D document-based workflow, to an information-model based workflow. Revit would be one of a set of tools we will use together, to drive building design. The first and most critical decision was a strategic one: Implement BIM broadly across the whole organization. Not only did we want to see all offices adopt the technology, we wanted everyone to move at the same rate, and to work together as much as possible. When it came time to plan how we would achieve these ends, we looked at a number of approaches, but a few important points bear mention.

Revit would be one of a set of tools we will use together, to drive building design...

Firm Structure Burt Hill strives to be a single firm and while each office has unique attributes the distribution and application of new tools like Revit and a process like Building Information Modeling (BIM) are considered important enough that they should be applied in all offices in the firm, as equally as possible. In 2006 our CEO issued a challenge for the firm to plan to be 100% BIM by April of 2009. How have we done? We’ll answer that a little later. The decision to issue this deadline was based on a handful pilot projects that took place in various offices over the previous three years. The first pilot ran for almost a year before two more pilots started almost simultaneously in early 2005. Getting Started In the fall of 2005, representatives from the pilot project teams met to discuss the status of Revit and whether it was worthwhile to continue to use the software. The purpose of the meeting was not just to evaluate Revit, but to consider this new work flow and the tools that were being used; was there an opportunity to take

42

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

A major decision was to focus on education and training, which we described as “training our way out of this mess.” Burt Hill historically provided internal training, for example on 2D Microstation, and it became apparent to us that our own Burt Hill experts could provide better relevant training and coaching than external trainers we were familiar with. External trainers knew (but not always) which buttons to push, but too often missed the critical impacts that changing software and workflows have on practice. Another choice made after that meeting was that the effort to implement BIM should be done as a “project” with a separate budget and manager, not simply an “IT” effort. This was important as the majority of

spring_2009


the “team” has been made up of professionals whom also practice architecture (and what they teach).

Success Thanks to these early decisions and planning, our efforts have met with reasonable success. The largest project to date is the completion of our second pilot project, the 120,000 sq ft Dorrance Hamilton Building. Another important measure, we believe, is that we have had very few employees who wanted to go back to using CAD. People at times might be frustrated, or angered by limitations or bugs in the software, but they want to remain engaged with the software. We are very proud of our own education program. Initially when there were only a few projects we engaged in two day blitz sessions to teach and help start a team off on the right path. As the number of projects increased we decided this required a real education curriculum. Using “college” as a model, we started and continue to develop a broad series of courses broken up by skill level and topic, with identified “tracks”. In 2008 we delivered more than 100 courses, with 68 course hours available to teach. The courses teach not only which buttons to push, but how to apply the tool(s) in practice, best practices, and any issues/limitation that may exist.

As part of the system, our educators never teach in their home office as we find that it lends greater credibility to our educator because the students are not already “too” familiar with him/her. This way they don’t walk into a class with predetermined ideas about their expertise. As part of our education effort we’ve also invested in a wiki to document the curriculum and provide a source of information that all users can contribute to.

feature focus

Revit Architecture

We have been very successful getting feedback from our user base as well as providing information. For example we do a monthly e-newsletter via e-mail. It is short and follows a set format and the text is kept to a few sentences or bullet points with images as necessary. This allows us to provide useful, quick and easy to absorb information to everyone. We solicit feedback using our Survey Monkey account. The surveys were originally born of the desire to get immediate feedback when an education course is complete, however we’ve also found it useful for learning what users need in the way of content, or what we can do better to

serve their needs. Surveys are a “window looking into” our professional staff, allowing them to guide and participate more directly in our BIM implementation.

Lessons In the last five years there are some things we know now that we wish we knew then! Perhaps the biggest thing that we did not fully grasp when we started was the impact the process of change would have on our firm and business as a whole. We have since learned that it is critical to “manage expectations” and set realistic goals, otherwise it is very easy to lose support and momentum.

spring_2009

www.AUGIaecedge.com

43


feature focus

Revit Architecture

2D CAD has historically been the application of “drafting technique” to the computer. The concept that our “finished” product (drawings) is actually a by-product of another process (modeling) is not something always easily “taught”. Therefore we strive to have staff, who have a diverse range of professional experience and opinion(s), participate in the implementation to ensure that we have a balanced approach to serving all the professionals within our business.

Plan, plan, and plan some more While we have done a fair amount of planning, what we never did, due to our organic growth was to truly sit down and define a clear set of goals; or what it would mean to be successful (particularly after the CEO’s deadline).

It is critical to reward hard work and loyalty. A $30 steak, or even a trip to Autodesk University is a small expense when compared to the latent knowledge highly involved staff carry with them...

We have found that the change in process affects so much of our business that the bigger task has become change management. In fact the specific software we are talking about does not actually matter to us nearly as much as we must teach the process change of “modeling to design and then document”. However, this type of change is disruptive to the process of our core business, which is delivering completed designs. The fear introduced by such change must be dealt with, and the only way to deal with it, is to plan and strategize for it.

Rewarding effort It is critical to reward hard work and loyalty. A $30 steak, or even a trip to Autodesk University is a small expense when compared to the latent knowledge highly involved staff carry with them, particularly when going to great efforts to train and disseminate knowledge. The ability to recognize these people also requires that the senior management of the firm support this process of transition. As such we are continuously modifying how we work to embrace the future, trying to find new ways to measure what and how we do our work. There are any number of ways to show talented and motivated staff that they are truly appreciated and it is critical to success considering that this transition involves such a high degree of change. As part of the willingness to plan, we have also been willing to pay the cost. The core planning group of about six people have regular conference calls, and meet in person quarterly. Smaller

44

project teams like the education group also talk and meet regularly. The effort to transform the process by which we practice our business has reached beyond “IT”, which has required us to realize that while we might see that there are certain outcomes for the firm that would be beneficial, there are only specific goals that the BIM Implementation team can reach on their own. We cannot for instance, change our Human Resources department, or our business technology group. We must operate within certain constraints.

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

Conclusion Burt Hill continues to work hard at our BIM implementation. Earlier we wrote that our challenge was to be 100% BIM by April 2009. We revised this earlier “simply stated” goal to, being able to support 100% of Architecture and Interior projects using Revit as the primary tool, which we believe is a subtle but critical distinction. It is “easy” to turn teams loose with the software and hope for the best. It is a completely different matter to be able to do that and have successful projects. The key is being able to provide the support required to achieve that success. We also have to be patient. Considering the typical size and design schedule of most of our projects, we have yet to see very many “returns” on projects designed using Revit. To date, we’ve had three large buildings (nearly) completed as well as a variety of small projects. 2009 and 2010 will be when we start to see a great deal of our work actually built and we look forward to seeing the finished buildings! Robert currently lives in Philadelphia with his wife Krista, herself a Revit expert, and is planning an eventual move back to the Boston Area. Robert graduated from RPI and has been with Burt Hill for six years, working on a number of projects including the Dorrance Hamilton Building. Robert currently divides his time between writing curricula, lending support to project teams, and managing content firm wide. In 2008 he received a Burt Hill Internal Research Grant to explore Crowd Simulation as a generative tool. Sometime in the future he’ll work on a real project and build a house outside of Boston (designed in Revit). Robert blogs at http://dorevit.blogspot.com and can be reached via e-mail at robert.manna@burthill.com

spring_2009


Revit Architecture

Getting Oriented with Revit’s Coordinate System

M

ost new Revit users that make the switch from a CAD platform often find themselves a bit confused about Revit’s seemingly invisible coordinate system and unfamiliar terminology. On closer inspection one can draw many similarities between the two. The following is an imaginary conversation between an inquisitive newcomer and a seasoned Revit user…

What are Shared Coordinates? All design applications need a coordinate system to locate objects in space. Revit’s coordinate system might seem invisible at first, but it is there nonetheless! In fact, it is very similar to the one in AutoCAD. The Project Coordinate system in Revit is fixed, just like the World Coordinate System (WCS) in AutoCAD. But what is the User Coordinate System (UCS) in AutoCAD equivalent to in Revit, you might ask? In Revit it is called the Shared Coordinate System, and just like a DWG can house multiple UCS’s, an RVT project can have multiple Shared Locations. What does the “Manage Place and Locations” in my project do? This dialog is equivalent to the one in Autocad where you can see the various named UCS’s. Each Named Location stores a unique

feature focus

by: David Baldacchino

Shared Coordinate System (a unique origin and orientation). The read-only text box “Angle from Project North to True North” displays the rotation between the Project Coordinate system and the Shared Coordinate system for the selected Location. Project North is the Y axis of the Project Coordinate system, while True North is the Y axis of the Shared Coordinate system of the current Location. (See Figure 1)

Where is my Project Coordinate system Origin? When you start a new project from the “default.rte” template, the Origin is located somewhere near the center between the elevation annotation. There is no visible cue, but there is a simple way to locate it accurately. Assuming you have Autocad, start a new DWG file, draw a “crosshair” centered on 0,0,0 (WCS) and keep a saved copy handy. Now link this file in a Revit plan view by using the Origin to Origin option. This will line up the WCS of this DWG to the Project Coordinate System origin. The “crosshair” in the DWG marks the origin and orientation of the Project Coordinate System. You can mark it with some reference planes, pin them to prevent unwanted shifting, and then delete the link. Remember that this coordinate system is unmovable; the origin and orientation are fixed, just like the WCS. You could do this in

Figure 1: Manage Place and Locations

spring_2009

www.AUGIaecedge.com

45


feature focus

Revit Architecture orientation, you can use the “Specify Coordinates at a Point” tool or acquire coordinates from the aforementioned “Origin” DWG when located at the Project origin. (See Figure 3)

Figure 2: DWG file linked using Auto - Origin to Origin

your office’s project templates so everyone can easily identify the Project Origin. (See Figure 2)

Where is my Shared Coordinate system Origin? When you start a project from the default template, you will find that there is already a location called “Internal”. In contrast to Autocad, a Revit project always has a Location, whereas a DWG does not need to contain a named UCS. “Internal”’s Shared coordinate origin and orientation coincide with those of the Project Coordinate system. It is important to note that changes to the Shared Coordinate system are automatically saved to the current Location. If your Shared coordinate system has been modified and you want to control the location of the Shared origin and

I’m not following what you mean by “acquire coordinates”. Could you elaborate further? There are two ways to modify a Shared Coordinate system. You can do that by Acquiring Coordinates from a DWG file/ RVT project, or you can Specify Coordinates at a location. Typically, we would use the Acquire tool when linking in a DWG survey or a Site RVT project, after positioning and orienting the link properly in relation to the building. This procedure is the most “transparent” and does not require us to be bothered with origin locations. When you acquire coordinates, the host project’s Shared Coordinate system is aligned with the DWG’s WCS or to a UCS that Revit recognizes, or to the linked RVT project’s Shared Coordinate system. I tried this but Revit says that it cannot acquire coordinates from a model with multiple named locations. What’s happening? If this happened when acquiring from a DWG, then Revit found multiple UCS’s that it recognizes and doesn’t know which one to use. You can acquire from DWG’s that have only one recognizable UCS. In the absence of such UCS, the WCS will be used instead. The same will happen with a linked RVT project containing multiple named locations. In these cases, you might have to manually specify coordinates at a point to locate your Shared Coordinate System. There is however another way to acquire coordinates in such situations. Select the link, go to its properties and at the bottom, click that little button on the right (probably it is saying “<Not Shared>”). In the “Share Coordinates” dialog, click the “Change” button and select the UCS or Location you want to record as your host project’s Shared coordinates. Then select the “Acquire” option and click “Reconcile”. Since Revit is also not capable of publishing coordinates from projects containing multiple locations, this technique will help you achieve that goal too. What’s all this about publishing coordinates? Acquiring forces your project’s shared coordinate system to align to the link’s UCS or current Location. Publishing does the inverse: it takes your shared coordinate system and forces your link’s UCS or current Location to align to it. When you publish, you need to save these changes to your link through the Manage Links dialog if you want to retain them, which will modify the linked DWG or RVT. If you forget, Revit will present you with the option to do so when closing your project.

Figure 3: DWG file linked using Auto - Origin to Origin

46

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

Earlier you mentioned that Revit recognizes certain UCS’s in a DWG link. How does it do that? Revit recognizes a UCS in a DWG if the name is prefixed with “REVIT60-”. So for example if you name a UCS as “REVIT60spring_2009


Site”, Revit will display this as a Location called “Site”. If there are other UCS’s that do not follow this naming pattern, Revit will ignore them.

depend on the active view’s orientation. For the purposes of this example, let’s assume that True North is 30 degrees off the West of Project North.

What happens when I use the tool “Rotate True North”? This tool has to be used in a plan view set to True North orientation. When you use it, you’re changing the orientation of your Shared Coordinate’s Y (True North) and X axes in relation to the Project Coordinate System. The default rotation point is your Project Coordinate System’s Origin (another way of pinpointing that origin!). Keep in mind that if you rotate about a point other than the Shared origin, the Shared origin will be relocated along the circumference of a circle with radius equal to the distance between the Shared origin and the rotation point. When you Rotate True North, the end result will seem as if the building turned in the same direction as your specified angle, but the model geometry doesn’t actually move.

a) If you link into a plan view set to Project North, the DWG will be oriented so the Y axis is vertical in your view, regardless of whether the option is checked or not. In other words, the Y and X axes will coincide with the Project’s Y and X axes.

Imagine you have 2 sheets of glass on top of each other: On the bottom is the Shared Coordinate system and on top is the Project Coordinate system and the model geometry tied to it. Let’s say you rotate 20 degrees clockwise. Since the view is fixed to True North, the bottom layer doesn’t move and the top layer (the Project Coordinate system and model) rotates 20 degrees clockwise in relation to the Shared system. But keep in mind that the Project Coordinate system is fixed, so in reality the Shared Coordinate system has rotated by 20 degrees anticlockwise! This is why when you rotate True North in one direction and you have a linked DWG or RVT placed by Shared Coordinates, it will seem to rotate in the opposite direction in a plan view set to Project North. If unlike me, you don’t care about understanding exactly what is happening “behind the scenes”, I suggest you think of this tool as “Rotate Building with Respect to True North” instead, which will help you to better visualize the end result.

What happens when I relocate my project? When you use this tool, you’re relocating/moving the Shared Coordinate system’s Origin by a certain distance in any direction. The same effect can be achieved by using the Specify coordinates at a Point tool, where you can also specify a different angle between Project North and True North, achieving the same thing as the Rotating Project North tool. If you pick a point that is not the shared origin and specify a different angle, the Shared Coordinate System will rotate around that point, thus displacing the Shared Origin to another location relative to the rotation point as explained earlier. This is hard to see in a view set to use True North, so to study this behavior, tile two windows: one set with True North and one set with Project North. It will be a lot easier to observe this behavior. What does the option “Orient to View” do when I link/import my DWG? This option is only available when “Current View Only” is unchecked. When “Orient to View” is selected, the end result will spring_2009

feature focus

Revit Architecture

b) If you link into a plan view set to True North, the DWG’s Y and X axes will match the Shared Coordinate’s Y and X axes. In this case, the Y axis will be vertical in your view. If the option is unchecked, the dwg’s Y and X axes will match the Project’s Y and X axes, which in this case would result in your link being rotated 30 degrees to the East of True North. Another way to think about this is consider that most elevations drawn in cad are in Model Space and using a Plan orientation, of the possible 3D view orientations in AutoCAD. In a plan view in Revit, if you import an elevation file and leave this option unchecked your elevation will “lie” on the floor. If you import this file into an elevation view and leave it unchecked it will still “lie” on the floor. However, if you Check this option the file will now be oriented parallel to the view and “stand up” like a proper elevation.

When I use the Specify Coordinates at a Point, it shows my Elevation as 4’-0”. Why is that? This happens mostly when picking something in a plan view in the host or linked project, and is less common with flat DWG links. The tool is actually picking an edge at the cut plane of your view, which is probably set to 4’-0”. To get the exact elevation, use the tool in a 3D view to be sure you are picking the correct point. Oh look at the time! This feature is quite capable but it does take some getting used to. Next time around we’ll tackle the new features in Revit 2010 as well as continue our dialog! Thanks for reading! David Baldacchino works for SHW Group in Texas where he practices architecture and also helps manage their BIM implementation effort. He is passionate about Architecture & Design, but also cares a lot about the project delivery process. He presented Revit classes at Autodesk University 2008 and they were very well received. He is currently serving as Product Chair for the Revit community at AUGI. He writes the Revit blog: Do u Revit? I do! Its focus is on the Revit platform, discussing techniques, software issues & bugs as well as sharing tips and discussing BIM topics. He married in 2003 and now he and his wife Lori just recently left on a journey of a lifetime hoping to be able to adopt a child from the Ukraine! Blog Address: http://do-u-revit.blogspot.com/

www.AUGIaecedge.com

47


feature focus

Revit Architecture

by: Lay Christopher Fox

Make Room for Revit:

Key Requirements for a Successful BIM Implementation

R

eaders of AUGIWorld Magazine may be familiar with my series of articles on Revit Architecture and Revit Structure. I’m very pleased to be contributing to this issue of AUGI AEC Edge. In this article I’ll cover some “best practices” with Revit Architecture when working with Interiors. The first topic I’d like to cover concerns a Revit object that you can’t see in most views, the Room. Rooms hold information about the spaces they define. They pick up borders from walls, floors, ceilings, roofs and user drawn room separation lines. Rooms automatically know their dimensions: being able to subdivide a design by area and volume puts an immense amount of useful information at your fingertips. Whether your buildings are small or large, relatively simple or intensely complex, proper use of rooms will enable you to collate and display spatial properties and calculations quickly and effectively. Rooms combine with the Color Scheme property of orthographic views (plans, elevations, sections) to let you place color fills instantly. The ability to represent copies of a floor plan side by side, colored by department, floor finish or other variable--and to change these views in real time-makes a designer’s conversation with clients or reviewers quicker and more complete. The real utility of rooms appears not in colored views, but in the prosaic Room Schedules you can set up in any building model, even small residences. Room schedules allow you to slice and dice the spatial information you have painstakingly created by placing all those walls. Quantity statistics for floor coverings, wall finishes and applied decorations are automatic and reliable when you place and schedule rooms. For commercial properties, design firms can now consider facilities management services as a possible revenue stream because tracking room occupancy over time is so easy. Here’s my “best practice” tip No. 1: Create a room schedule in your project templates and fill it in with rooms named according to your usual practice. Even with the smallest residential projects where you will not bother to number rooms, you will re-use the same room names (living, bedroom, bath) over and over again; save yourself some repetitive typing and pick the name of the room you are placing in a project off the available list. Revit will show the rooms in the schedule as Not Placed until you create room objects and assign them. (See Figure 1)

48

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

Figure 1: Create your room names in an empty schedule, and assign rooms from the list

The second schedule to create, if you have any sort of room classification system, is a Room Key schedule. In this schedule you define room types, or Room Styles, the name Revit will give this schedule by default. The name you give the Key in a Key Schedule is available as a field in your regular room schedule, so you can assign a key to each room. The Key Schedule will include other fields, such as finishes; each row is a room style that defines finish values. In the room schedule, you assign styles to rooms to drive room finish designations, which will save repetitive typing even if you have only ten rooms in your project. If you design office towers, hotels or commercial spaces, Room Key schedules are not optional companions to your room schedules, but the efficient way to populate values that will inevitably repeat. Once you create “Carpet 1” and “Carpet 2” as floor finishes they will appear in a list so you don’t have to type the same thing over and over, but picking several values in room property fields or in each row of a schedule is simply asking for needless error to creep in, besides being a waste of time. (See Figure 2)

spring_2009


feature focus

Revit Architecture

Figure 2: Room Keys, from their own schedule, fill out fields in the Room Schedule automatically

If you know your room types before you know your rooms, create your Room Key schedule first, and making your Room Schedule will be slightly simpler. As with a Room Schedule, once you have a working Room Key Schedule, put it in your project template!

Figure 3: Finish Schedules provide totals by Finish type.

You can collect finishes to get convenient area totals by making very simple schedules that do not have to appear on document pages. As with all schedules, you can export these to spreadsheet applications very quickly. Save to the same file name and location to provide updated figures as the project develops.

Figure 4: Energy and ventilation properties of Spaces in MEP

spring_2009

My last point about rooms takes us out of Revit Architecture, at least temporarily. Room elements are important and useful in Revit Architecture; their equivalents in Revit MEPâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Spaces--are fundamental. Spaces in MEP hold energy usage information such as lighting and ventilation requirements and heat loss calculations. MEP puts the required fields into the properties of pre-existing or new spaces, and the user populates the values during MEP operations. MEP places spaces

automatically where rooms exist. Revit Architecture can read these fields, but does not create them by any currently available tool, although you can always create custom parameters. (See Figure 4) My point is this: green design requirements will only grow in importance over the coming years. Energy usage calculations will very soon be part of most if not all building applications. In Revit, room objects are the vehicles for energy information. The rooms you place in Revit Architecture for spatial calculations are used by Revit MEP to provide energy use parameters. External energy analysis packages can read and work with the data in Revitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rooms to verify energy consumption for a given design. Firms designing energy-conscious buildings will develop methods of combining room spaces, systems data and external energy calculations so that they can iterate designs to reach sustainable design goals. It all begins with the room. Chris Fox is the Revit editor for AUGIWorld, and has written numerous articles on Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and Revit MEP. He has written Autodesk Official Training Courseware for Revit Architecture and Revit Structure and Introducing and Implementing Revit Architecture 2009, published by Autodesk Press. Chris recently moved from the US to Australia, and is leading training classes in Revit through corporate, university and technical school contacts there. You can reach him at chris.fox@ archimagecad.com.

www.AUGIaecedge.com

49


feature focus

Revit Architecture

by: Toby Maple

A Tutorial for Line Based Families

T

his short tutorial is intended to introduce you to the Detail Component Line Based Family. It will show you how to make your own “arrow” that can be used to indicate a sloping slab, a stair “down” arrow or perhaps a simple leader without text. Keep in mind that there are many practical examples of line based detail component families in the stock libraries of metric and imperial Detail Components. Let’s get started! There are two family templates for “2 pick” families or otherwise known as Line based Families (similar for Imperial content). • Metric Detail Component line based.rft • Metric Generic Model line based.rft In a default installation of Revit these reside in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\RAC 2009\ Metric Templates Metric Detail Component line based.

Figure 2: Checking the Family Category Assignment

Figure 1: Choosing a Family Template

1) File menu → New → Family→ Metric Detail Component line based.rft (See Figure 1) 2) Settings menu → Family category and Parameters → Detail Items → You can’t change this. This how Revit knows what category to put the object under. Whenever you start a new family you have a second chance to assign the correct category with this dialog. 3) Design Bar → Family Types→ Click New to add at least 1 new Type – if you don’t do this (See Figure 2) your family may not update properly when reloaded into a Project. (See Figure 3) 50

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

Figure 3: Add a new Family Type spring_2009


Note that you cannot delete or rename the Length parameter as it has been locked out by the developers. 4) Click OK 5) Settings menu → Object styles - Add your Company’s predefined Object Styles before you Load this into any Project!!! Otherwise you will end up with unused sub-categories. Let’s use the subcategory “ARROW”. Click OK

feature focus

Revit Architecture

Figure 6: Adding Labels/Parameters to Dimensions

8) The Parameter properties dialog appears. (See Figure 7)

Figure 4: Add a object style

6 ) Sketch using Reference LINES to make controlling the arrow head angle possible. Reference Lines have actual endpoints that honour their location whereas Reference Planes do not. Always use Reference Lines to define Angular constraints. Add dimensions to control the angle within the family.

Figure 7: Creating the Angle Parameter

Name: “Arrow Head Angle” Group: Dimensions (This is where it will appear in the properties dialog box in the Project) Choose “Type”, not “Instance” (This means all Family types of the same family will use this parameter)

Figure 5: Sketching/Adding Reference Lines

7) Add Angular dimensions between the new Reference Planes and the existing Reference Plane. Click on “Label” on the Options Bar and select Add Parameter.

spring_2009

9) Test your work! It is important to “flex” the family to make sure it works BEFORE adding any more geometry or line work. (See Figure 8) Change the angle if it works move ahead, otherwise figure out what went wrong now. It is no fun to backtrack when you encounter a problem only to learn it was a minor thing you did many steps earlier.

www.AUGIaecedge.com

51


feature focus

Revit Architecture

Figure 8: Testing/Flexing the family

10 ) We need to add a parameter to control the head length too. ADD Dimensions (It is important to dimension from the inside to the outside, Revit takes this into account when trying to control the dimension parameters.)

Figure 10: Define Head Length Parameter

Figure 11: Creating new Family Types Figure 9: Dimensions to define Head Length

11) Apply Labels to each dimension according to the figure 10. This time it is an instance parameter so I can control each families head length independently to other families. (See Figure 10) 12) Create “family types” so there are several “Angled Heads” within the one family. (See Figure 11) a) Open Family Types Dialog again b) Click Rename c) Rename the existing Type 1 to 45° d) Add a few more types as shown in Figure 12 and don’t forget to change the parameter “Arrow Head Angle” to match your new types. Figure 12: Adding new Angle Family Types

52

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

spring_2009


TIP: To create a degree symbol for fonts that support it: With Numeric Lock enabled on the numeric keypad, press and hold the ALT key and then press 0, 1, 7, and 6 on the numeric keypad. Release the ALT key. You can also copy and paste a symbol from the Windows Character Map application if a degree symbol is part of the font that you are using.

TIP: To get the copyright symbol, same as earlier! The Copyright symbol © code is ALT + 0169. 14) You may want to add a “Control Double Arrow” to make it a bit easier to flip in a Project. (See Figure 15)

13) Time to add the line work and constrain it to our Reference Lines as we now know these work. Click on “Lines” from the Design Bar and select “Arrow” from the Type Selector. Remember we created the Object Style earlier? (See Figure 13)

feature focus

Revit Architecture

Figure 15: Adding a Control - double arrow

15 ) Save the family and load it into a project, test your work!

Figure 13: Line work using Pick and Lock

Use the Pick and Lock Option. You will also have to change your dimension “Head Length” to dimension the Head linework not the Ref Line in the previous step. Flex the family a few more times to make sure it all works by opening up the family Types Dialog and changing the name drop down and clicking Apply. (See Figure 14)

Congratulations! Your first Detail Component Line Based family! These are the essential steps for any such content. Remember to define the Reference Planes or Lines first, then add dimensions and parameter followed by testing. After testing proves your concepts are working then add the line work! Good Luck! Toby is driven to manage HASSELL’s ongoing implementation of Autodesk Revit globally, as part of their Building Information Modeling (BIM) solution. He has extensive expertise in overcoming challenges in introducing this technology across organizations. As the Revit Systems Manager for Woolworths Limited, he implemented the BIM standards, methodology and workflow, created content, and trained 20 existing personnel as well as 5 external drafting companies (total 100+ people) in these standards. He then worked for AEC Consulting Services implementing & mentoring the use of Revit into many organizations and differing disciplines. He also taught Revit students (through AEC Systems) scheduled training and on-site. Toby is the Group BIM Manager for HASSELL. He manages the Revit system nationally, and specifically BIM as a methodology, not just as a drafting tool. He has 3 children under 3 years old - so nothing fazes him anymore!

Figure 14: Flexing the Family and “Built By”

spring_2009

www.AUGIaecedge.com

53


feature focus

Revit Architecture

by: Mark Kiker & Steve Stafford

Revit in High School

Meet Two Progressive Teachers and their program

Who are they? They are Glen Stevenson and Bill Brown and they are full-time “Drafting” teachers at Santiago HS. They think that their school may be the only one, at this time in the state of California, that has two full time teachers like them. Santiago High School in Corona, CA is located near the I15 and I91 interchange. There are about 4000 students in the comprehensive high school that is part of the Corona-Norco Unified School District. About the Program They put together an Architecture/Engineering/Manufacturing/Computer Animation program that utilizes Autodesk’s software such as AutoCAD, Revit, Inventor and 3D Studio Max as well as a couple other products that are not part of the Autodesk portfolio. The Corona-Norco Unified School District is very supportive of Industrial Technology programs like Engineering and Architecture. Greg Lomeli, their Curriculum and Instruction support at the district level, has been an invaluable supporter of the program. He facilitates the acquisition of all the expensive hardware, software, and training necessary to run a progressive Engineering and Architecture program. Santiago Students start out in a course written by Glen and Bill called “Intro to Engineering and Architecture”. Students start by sketching and board drafting, Yes, using parallel rules and triangles. Bill says, “We feel students need to physically measure utilizing decimal inch, metric, and architecture scales to get a better sense of proportion. They need to be able to layout drawings, scale drawings, project views, and letter according to industry standards”. Santiago students make blueprints, how very “old-school”, of their drawings and, after a re-

54

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

view, have the opportunity to make revisions if they are not up to industry standards. Their goal is to guide and if necessary change the mindset of their students so they understand that drawings must be correct, not close to correct. If a change has to be made, they make it! In their first quarter students do not touch the computer, they are learning the physical side of things as mentioned before. Students start AutoCAD training during their 2nd quarter. They utilize AutoCAD to draw mechanical objects utilizing orthographic projection and dimension their work using ANSI standards. During their 3rd quarter they utilize AutoCAD to create a set of construction drawings. The students are given a design problem, a small residential program, to solve and create the Construction Documents. During their 4th quarter they utilize AutoCAD and SketchUP to create 3D models, both architectura l and mechanical. Students coming out of this first class have a decent skill-set and are ready for the next step(s) in the curriculum. Students that are interested in pursuing Architecture as a career take Bill Brown’s

spring_2009


Architecture Design classes. Revit is used to create the working drawings for student designed work. Students get 180-360 hours of Revit training and practice through the 1-2 years they spend in the Architecture Design classes.

Inspiration and Achievement Six years ago Bill saw a Revit 5.1 workshop at Santa Barbara City College and felt it was the future. A month later, ADT was gone from his program and Revit was implemented. Since then some students that have been part of this Architecture design program have won the last 5 California SkillsUSA/VICA . state championships in Architecture and have been in the top 8 in the nation for the last 3 years in a row. Students in this program have worked right out of high school for Revit-using companies such as Friedmutter Group, WLC Architects and HMC Architects just to name a few. Students attend AUGI Revit User Groups in Rancho Cucamonga and Irvine to network with professionals and learn the latest Revit trends.

25” architecture class at RCC-Norco is now a Revit training class. Bill is currently teaching the class, but hopes to turn the class over to a Revit professional next Fall.

Engineering Too! Santiago students also have an excellent pathway in Engineering. Glen Stevenson takes them from the Intro to Engineering class to an advanced CAD class that utilizes Autodesk Inventor to design or reverse engineer and draw parts to industry standards. They also study Design Manufacturing where students use Inventor along with MasterCAM software to produce parts utilizing CNC (computer numerically controlled) technology. Santiago students entering Engineering schools have a big advantage in that they know how to graphically communicate their design ideas (with current technology) to industry standards before they step foot on a college campus.

feature focus

Revit Architecture

...“We feel students need to physically measure utilizing decimal inch, metric, and architecture scales to get a better sense of proportion ...

A State Grant Bill recently won a state grant to provide training to teachers, from the middle and high school levels to the community college and university levels, in California to properly use Revit software through 14 monthly workshops. Professional Revit users are currently teaching teachers how to use Revit at Santiago High School once a month on a Saturday from 8-4. Bill recruited some really knowledgeable Revit users from a variety of local firms and consulting organizations to teach each session. The workshop topics include Schedules, Families, Massing, Site work, Structural, Construction documents and details, Central files and Work sharing, Graphics, Materials and Rendering, Integrating other software programs into Revit, and Curtain Walls/ Storefronts. The best part is the workshops are FREE to the teachers! The grant also paid for software to begin implementation of Revit training at Riverside Community College (RCC). The “ARE

spring_2009

The Future Santiago’s Architecture and Engineering program is always looking for potential employers of its graduating students, as well as to find excellent guest speakers. Their fundamental goal is to prepare their students for real work. They strongly encourage their students to pursue summer internships while they are in college to gain “real-world” knowledge that will enhance their college experience, and better prepare them to be productive employees immediately after college. For Bill and Glen, their belief and effort in this program has provided some of the most rewarding moments of their careers. If you’d like more information about their program you can reach them via email: Bill Brown: bbrown@cnusd.k12.ca.us Glen Stevenson: gstevenson@cnusd.k12.ca.us This article was prepared/edited by Steve Stafford from documents provided to AUGI AEC Edge by Bill Brown.

www.AUGIaecedge.com

55


department

by: Stephen Stafford

inside track

The latest Autodesk AEC related information! FEATURED ITEM - AUTODESK LABS web address: http://labs.autodesk.com/ A little bit about them in their own words: “Autodesk Labs is home to innovative new technologies and collaborative development. Its mission is to involve you, the customer, in the progress of design technology solutions. We’re not a beta program (although Autodesk does have an active beta community), or a usability team, because the technology we work with is too new to be a product. The user feedback that you provide to Labs is really on product ideas, while they’re still in an early conceptual stage. The best way to learn about Autodesk Labs is to start experimenting yourself.” You can use this address to visit their “About” page: http://labs.autodesk. com/about/ There are two recent additions specifically focused on Revit products; Revit STL Exporter and RDB Link Tool for Revit. We’ll give you the information you need here to find them there. Revit STL Exporter Posted on April 4, 2009 Blog Post title: Revit STL Exporter now in the labs web address: http://labs.autodesk.com/ utilities/revit_stl/ What does it do? “It is a proof of concept tool that is intended to be used with the Revit 2010 products. They write, “It is designed to take a 3D Revit building information model and create an STL file that can be used for 3D Printing. We invite you to take it for a spin and see what you think. We look forward to hearing your feedback”.

56

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

spring_2009


RDB Link Tool for Revit - Posted on May 7, 2009 Blog Post Title: RDB Link for Revit Family No Available on Autodesk Labs web address: http://labs.blogs.com/ its_alive_in_the_lab/2009/05/rdb-link-for-revit-family-nowavailable-on-autodesk-labs.html What does it do? Quoted from the Lab’s overview: “The RDBLink tool allows the user to export data from the elements in a Revit project and maintain relationships against data that exists outside of Revit. The tool allows for both import and export of the project data and will allow the user to make changes on the database side that affect the data within the project once imported. Also, during subsequent exports of the data to the same database, only data from the project will be affected, so any new fields or tables added to the database for your own purposes will remain intact along-side the newly exported data. The RDBLink import tool provides a grid view of the data to allow the user to make any final edits before import. This grid control also allows the user to create Revit Shared Parameters which will add new fields for those parameters to the database in the related tables. Changes to these new fields within the database will update these Revit Shared Parameters upon future imports.”

Buildz http://buildz.blogspot.com This blog is not sanctioned by Autodesk but belongs to Zach Kron, an architectural designer and software analyst with Autodesk. Using the tagline “Practical Notes on Making Impractical Things” Zach has been posting very interesting examples of “impractical” things that he has made while “proofing” or “testing” the new massing capabilities of Revit 2010.

...The user feedback that you provide to Labs is really on product ideas, while they’re still in an early conceptual stage...

AUTODESK BLOGGING: REVIT AND BIM RECENT ADDITIONS: The Revit Clinic http://revitclinic.typepad.com Using the tagline “Preventative and Rehabilitative BIM Care” authors Harlan Brumm, Kathryn Poulos, Ryan Duell and Jeremy Smith contribute posts that deal with issues reported to them in their roles in technical support as well as tips to avoid a trip to the clinic in the first place. The Building Coder http://blogs.autodesk.com/thebuildingcoder Using the tagline “Blogging about the Revit API” author Jeremy Tammik has been prolific in the informative posts about using the API that has been steadily increasing what is possible. Inside the Factory http://blogs.autodesk.com/insidethefactory Using the tagline “Designing the Revit user experience” authors Tom Vollaro, Erik Egbertson, Tsvetan Tsvetanov and Lilli Smith share insider stories of the many months of research that went into the 2010 release for the Revit platform. They are also beginning to use the blog as a way to garner user input.

spring_2009

department

inside track

Beyond the Paper http://blogs.autodesk.com/beyond_the_paper Using the tagline “Advocating advanced technologies for bringing design, review, virtualization, and simulation in environments” author Volker Joseph shares information regarding the Navisworks product line and Autodesk Design Review/DWF.

ESTABLISHED: BIM & BEAM http://blogs.autodesk.com/bimandbeam Using the tagline of simply “Bim and Beam” authors Nicolas Mangon, Wai Chu and Tom Culotta contribute posts that support the Revit Structure product. Tips and Tricks as well as recent feature updates or extensions are frequent items. Inside the System http://blogs.autodesk.com/inside-the-system Using the tagline “The MEP BIM. Sustainability. New Technology” author Kyle Bernhardt set the standard for Autodesk Revit bloggers with his initial efforts supporting the MEP product. His frequent insightful posts with supporting short videos have yet to be outdone by any other Autodesk blogger. Kyle was formerly the Product Manager for Revit MEP and has more recently taken a new role supporting the products that focus on sustainable design like Ecotect and Green Building Studio in addition to Revit MEP using a broader title of Industry Product Manager It’s Alive in the Lab http://blogs.autodesk.com/labs Using the tagline “It’s Alive in the Lab” author Scott Sheppard as been even more prolific than Jeremy or Kyle with his nearly two or more posts a day habit. Indicative, we believe, of the nearly overwhelming number of things they are working on “In the labs”. Information Compiled from the Autodesk web site: www.autodesk.com by Steve Stafford

www.AUGIaecedge.com

57


feature focus

Revit Structure

by: Tom Weir

Growing Revit Structure

â&#x17E;˛

L

ike planting a young tree on a warm spring day Revit implementation requires lots of nurturing in order for it to grow and bear fruit and for it to become a robust part of the design process within your firm.

This article will focus on those steps that were taken by my firm, Brandow & Johnston Structural & Civil Engineers to accomplish this goal. We are five years into our implementation of Revit Structure and now all significant new projects are developed using BIM techniques. We have completed over 200 buildings in a real production setting in the past four years. Projects have included such projects as mulit-building school campuses, churches, and mid-rise office buildings. We have worked with projects that use steel, masonry and wood as their primary material.

When Autodesk bought Revit we were already searching for a product that would move us into the 3D design world. 2D CAD reached a peak with Autocad R14, the best 2D CAD release ever. The march toward 3D design then began for us in earnest. The venerable third party add-on Softdesk Structural had been bought and dead ended by Autodesk so we were looking for a replacement. We started trying to implement ADT3.3 but after a year-and-a-half realized it was a very poor product. At that point Revit was bought by Autodesk and we realized now that they had two competing products in the Autodesk lineup. Seeing the implications for the future we dumped ADT and immediately jumped on the Revit bandwagon. So what strategy did we use to implement Revit? Basically we kept our 2D Autocad process going then started a second parallel process in which we increasingly used Revit. I did the on-board tutorials and started my first project in production eight weeks later, a large parking structure. I picked the parking structure because I reasoned that though it was large it had a minimum of objects that would need to be modeled; such things as concrete columns, PT beams, and shear walls. Nothing too complicated about them. I have seen other firms start with projects like a large medical center. Not such a good idea for a first project.

Figure 1: Steel dome structure on a large church project

Innovation is crucial these days in the AEC field as the technology we use so rapidly changes and evolves. We get that! We believe that we enhance our competitive advantage through our adoption of the building information modeling process. Of paramount importance to our effort is to increase our responsiveness to our clients by better communicating our structural design intent and anticipating design problems early on during the course of the project through the building of the virtual model. While the virtual model is a tremendous visualization tool we cannot afford to build a 3D model alone for only that purpose. With Revit we kill two birds with one stone and derive both the visualization benefits and the construction documents at the same time and for the same cost.

58

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

Figure 2: Our first project was this large parking structure. Think of how many objects need to be modeled

We started by only doing a portion of the project in Revit. This is a good strategy to follow. You can fairly easily do structural plans and elevations so we started there. Typical details and other sections were done in Autocad. This enabled us to keep using all of our resources as efficiently as possible. While a small group of spring_2009


enthusiastic Reviteers worked on Revit others could still be using Autocad as they got up to speed with Revit. Then on the next project we got a little further with the use of Revit. Slowly over four years we managed to completely transform our in-house processes. That maximized the use of staff and software licenses as we transitioned from one technology to its successor. We stayed on this tack for several years until all aspects of a project could be completed using Revit Structure. By then our whole staff had learned Revit to some degree. I will admit that we have not gotten too far in the use of the analytical model. We had too many problems with the integration links and few engineers learning enough Revit to get it to work.

your problems. For that reason we try to task our assignments to each person according to their level of understanding. Someone can be adding beam tags into a model and in that way become more comfortable in the Revit modeling environment while not having to be responsible for the whole project. We also have to focus a lot of attention on how much to model. When we started using Revit the extent of our model building reflected the scope of our contract. We were basically creating the construction documents. One has to be very careful not to model more than necessary as it is easy to get carried away and blow your fee right out of the window.

feature focus

Revit Structure

As the years passed we started to look beyond simply producing documents to providing a BIM solution for the job. We emphasize that the integrity of the model must be maintained in order for a true BIM solution. It is easy to get into a time crunch and start faking things in 2D just to get your job out. But the problem is the more you fake modeling the less integrity the model will have. So when you start doing clash detection, if you are working with an architect who is also modeling, or supplying the model to a down stream partner like the construction team you do not have an accurate model.

Figure 3: Retrofit of NBC Universal’s famous Stage #1 was done 100% in Revit Structure for the new Tonight Show

Start the project in Revit, partially or not, and if all hell breaks loose, for whatever reason, simply export the whole project to Autocad and complete it there. That is a great relief valve for stressed out design teams who are struggling to transition to BIM but also must adhere to project deadlines. As far as we are concerned project deadlines always trump software implementation.

Figure 4: An entire high school campus with seven buildings

Remember that Revit is not like Autocad. When 2D CAD was first implemented in the 1980’s it was a direct transfer of hand drafting techniques to computer aided drafting techniques. That is basically a linear evolution while the transition to Revit from 2D CAD is a quantum leap. I always discourage people from thinking, “I did it this way in Autocad, now how can I do it that same way in Revit?” Don’t go there! The techniques are so significantly different that you will undoubtedly produce bad results.

In summary this is an exciting time in the AEC field. The introduction of building information modeling is drastically changing the way we do our work. At Brandow & Johnston we believe we are better able to anticipate design problems when we create our virtual model, as well as better coordinate with our architect and other design team members. We also are able to help owners better visualize their project. For us there is no turning back to the old ways of working. If you have not dones so yet it is also time for you to make your move to the future.

We decided to use a 5 year implementation process that would take us to the point where we would be providing a full BIM solution to our clients. That would also allow our staff time to transition to this new way of working. We first started training those who were enthusiastic, who had some modeling sense, and who had “Stickwithitness” in order to work through the frustrating and difficult development that is required. Our training was done almost entirely in-house. We have weekly training sessions that focus on issues from the previous week. While training is important people tend to need to be in a real production setting to cement their learning. Training has no necessity to it. In real production you don’t go home until the deadline is met so you are highly motivated to solve

Tom is Associate Principal and Director of BIM & CAD Operations at Brandow & Johnston Inc., a structural and civil engineering consulting firm, where he has worked for the past 28 years. An early adopter and enthusiast of Revit modeling software, he is the founder and co-president of the Los Angeles Revit Users Group. Tom wrote the first AOTC Revit Structure Essentials manual for Autodesk, is a moderator on the AUGI Revit Structure forum, and has taught at Autodesk University for the past four years. He is a frequent speaker and is co-author of Mastering Revit Structure 2009 published by Wiley Publishing.

spring_2009

www.AUGIaecedge.com

59


feature focus

Revit Structure

by: Elizabeth Shulok

Integrating Analysis Programs with Revit Structure

I

f you have ever exported a Revit® Structure model to an analysis program, you may have wondered how all of your building data is transferred from one application to another. Or perhaps more likely, you may have wondered why it wasn’t all transferred correctly on the first attempt! It’s just beams and columns, so why is exporting such a problem?

and which were merely accommodations for analysis and should be ignored.

Integrating analysis products with Revit Structure presents many interesting challenges. The level of complexity depends greatly on how different an analysis program is from Revit Structure. However, there are many common issues that all analysis links must address. As a software developer who worked on the link between Revit Structure and the RAM Structural SystemTM, and is currently working on a link between Revit Structure and Bentley Systems’ STAAD.Pro®, I know first-hand the types of challenges faced by someone attempting to link Revit Structure with an analysis package. Let’s examine just a few of them.

The key to managing change is to somehow maintain a link between corresponding elements of the two programs. Identifying corresponding elements on export is fairly straightforward, even in the case of multi-story columns or curved beams, where one Revit element may correspond to multiple analytical elements. The challenge is storing this information so it can be retrieved when the Revit model is updated from the analysis model.

Variations in Scope No two structural modeling programs handle the same scope of structures. Invariably, when exporting from Revit, there will be some modeling condition in the Revit Structure model that cannot be modeled in the analysis program. A good analysis link must be able to anticipate and address such limitations.

Change Management Another important issue when developing a bi-directional link between Revit Structure and an analysis program is how to identify and manage changes to the structure.

Revit provides a mechanism for storing data with certain elements via a Shared Parameters file. Since most analysis programs have some kind of unique identifier for elements, that value can be stored with the corresponding Revit element. The value can be seen in the Element Properties window, and can be accessed programmatically when importing changes from the analysis model.

For example, the Revit Structure model may have multi-story columns, walls with more than 4 nodes, or curved beams – situations which invariably cannot be handled by the one analysis program you depend on. Typically the analysis program has some way to approximate those conditions closely enough for analysis purposes, but this may require special modeling methods. How then should these conditions be handled on export? One less-than-ideal option is to simply ignore members that cannot be exported “as-is” to the analysis program. And when there is no good way to approximate the condition in the analysis program, this may be the only option. If, however, the developer can anticipate the way the engineer would most likely model the condition in the analysis program, the data can be automatically adjusted on export. Multi-story columns are broken at each level, a bounding rectangle replaces a wall polygon with more than four nodes, and a curved beam is converted into a series of beam segments. Of course, changing the data to accommodate the analysis program presents its own challenges. We now need to consider which changes were intentionally made and should be sent back to the Revit model 60

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

spring_2009


Unfortunately, there are some limitations to shared parameters. While they work fine for elements such as beams, columns, and braces, they cannot be assigned to all categories of elements, such as materials, types (i.e. section profiles), or grids. This limitation makes it more challenging to keep track of these items in a bidirectional link.

Section Profiles Now that we have examined two high level concerns of integrating an analysis program with Revit Structure, let’s look at just the issues dealing with section profiles. Although this seems like it would be one of the most straightforward parts of the process, it can be the most time-consuming to address.

that the double-angle sections in Revit are limited to a fixed number of spacing values (0”, 3/8”, or 3/4”), imagine the fun trying to map double-angle sections from an analysis program that allows the engineer to enter any decimal value for the spacing. Concrete sections provide their own fun. Remember that we cannot store the analysis program’s unique ID for a concrete section with the Revit type, so we must find another way to determine if an element’s size has been changed by the analysis program. An obvious solution for concrete sections is to use the name as an identifier. Since they do not have standard names like steel sections, we can simply pass the Revit name for the section to our analysis program and assume if the name varies on import, the size has changed.

feature focus

Revit Structure

... why it wasn’t all transferred correctly on the first attempt! It’s just beams and columns, so why is exporting such a problem?...

Just considering the standard AISC steel sections, one program might use a fractional value in the name of a section (i.e. HSS20X12X5/8) while another uses a decimal naming convention (i.e. HSS20X12X.625). This is a simple example that can be overcome with either automatic name conversions or text files that map one name to the other. However, double angles, or at least American double angles, are more complicated. In addition to a standard name for the single angle used, there are two other pieces of information associated with double angles: the spacing between them and whether the long or short legs of the angles are back-to-back. The AISC shapes database lists double angles with all this information encapsulated in the name: a ‘2’ at the start of the name to denote that it is a double angle; then the single angle name; the spacing, if any, is denoted next; and finally, for angles with legs of unequal length, either ‘LLBB’ or ‘SLBB’ is appended to the end.

However, what if the engineer changed the name of the section in order to comply with company standards, without changing the actual dimensions? Or consider STAAD.Pro, which names prismatic sections automatically based on dimensions, rather than allowing a name to be specified. In this case, we must resort to comparing dimensions of the concrete sections in order to identify a change, or we simply update every concrete member in the Revit model. These are just a few of the many issues an analysis link must anticipate and address. As you can see from this short introduction, there are a variety of complications underlying what may, at first glance, appear to be a simple data exchange. The difference of methodologies and nomenclatures may present challenges for integration, but the ability to leverage best of breed modeling and analysis tools is usually well worth the effort. Elizabeth Shulok is the founder and President of Structural Integrators, LLC, a software company based in Southern California that provides integration tools for the structural engineering industry. Prior to starting Structural Integrators in 2007, she spent nearly 9 years as a software engineer at RAM International and Bentley Systems, specializing in interoperability issues. She has worked extensively with the Revit API over the last 4 years. She can be reached atShulok@structuralintegrators.com.

Although Revit follows the AISC convention, analysis programs vary in their use of nomenclature. The two I have worked with allow the engineer to separately specify the angle profile, whether short or long legs are back-to-back, and the spacing. Considering spring_2009

www.AUGIaecedge.com

61


feature focus 62

Revit Structure

by: Jamie Richardson

Revit Ready - Looking Back How it all started

I

am Jamie Richardson, the CAD/BIM manThe biggest obstacle that needed to be hurdled during the first ager at Ericksen Roed & Associates where I few months was fully obtaining Executive Management Buy-in to have worked for almost 13 years now. I have using Revit Structure on our projects. Yes, we had purchased the always had an interest in CAD related programs software, but how does using this software change our current and especially like the problem solving that can work flows or how much information should we be modelgo along with using them. In fact, I am that guy ing? We needed to discuss these things with other design team that solves a Revit related problem today, than dreams about members during the contract stage of these projects with the it that night to come back the next day with 3 or 4 more soluunderstanding of what software package we would be using to tions that are better than the one I had the day before. I know… produce construction documents. I also soon realized that very my wife tells me every day. How do I few people outside of the design teams were make it stop? Anyways, I would like to truly thinking about Revit and some actu... if an answer can’t be ally thought it was called something a frog briefly tell our story about how we got started using Revit Structure at Erickwould say “Rivit”. I also realized that the found, move forward sen Roed. knowledge a typical user needs to know is much different than the knowledge of an with what makes the Every firm looking to implement Revit executive. I quickly continued to educate hopefully has the opportunity to have myself to further understand the capabilimost sense... at least one individual that has passion ties of the software as well as determine how for the software. Someone who doesn’t it would fit into our existing environment. sit back and wait to be told how the software is going to work or what it To do this, I was modeling my current projtakes to roll it out to users, but someone who will dig in, find the ects using Revit Structure over lunch and after hours in addition answers and, if an answer can’t be found, move forward with what to working on them in AutoCAD for production. This was not makes the most sense from searching through resources available only an excellent way of self teaching, but it allowed me to add to them. In our case, this individual happened to be me. Without 3D views to enhance current projects that were being done in at least one user like this, it can be difficult to keep up with the AutoCAD. It is amazing how much hype was built up with those ever changing capabilities of the software as well as the new work reviewing the documents when they started seeing these views flows created that need to be different from when2D CAD softshowing up in our set. We actually received calls from contractors ware packages are used. telling us how much they liked seeing a 3D view for a complicated area of the building. Our Revit Structure implementation started about 4 years ago when I received a post card in my mailbox announcing the first Strong efforts were made to contact our clients and those who release of Revit Structure. From that point on, things moved were in charge of their Revit implementation to help us get a good forward rather quickly. The first thing I did was gather up the understanding of how they were using Revit in production and executives of the firm along with some of our power users from how we could collaborate together on projects. Networking like both the engineer and drafting side and arranged an onsite demo this with our clients allowed us to educate them about where we to show them what the benefits of using the software could do for were with implementing Revit Structure as well as show them the us. After this demo, we were convinced enough to buy two seats limitations that we may have modeling certain structural systems. of Revit Structure. The only thing we had to do then was find the With most of our Architectural clients starting to use Revit, we time to use it. At the time we really did not have the manpower pretty much dove right into working on projects with users learnto switch over nor did we have the time to train, and of course ing as they go. Typically an architect will start out with one Revit we still were not quite sure what we were getting ourselves into. project where we were getting multiple requests from various cliWhat we did have was a few of our larger clients making a strong ents to do their projects in Revit Structure. We definitely had to commitment to switch from Architectural Desktop to Revit Arbe selective in choosing which projects made more sense to model chitecture. This was probably one of our biggest motivators to with the current capabilities of the software. continue on with our efforts to implement Revit Structure into our environment. If we didn’t, then we knew that we could potenAs I was educating myself, I tried to educate everybody else. I tially lose projects to those that were using Revit Structure. made my best attempt at taking everything that I learned and shared it with those around me. Twice a week I had little Revit Show and Tell sessions in the lunch room where I would show www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

spring_2009


those that chose to attend what was going on. I showed the structural models that I created and walked through how easy it was to create schedules to show information from the model. This really got a lot of attention and slowly created more interest throughout the office as well as started to spread the conversations outside the office to our clients. With all this constant activity of talking about Revit Structure it was easy to see who were going to be our Revit power users. Those who continually showed up for our Revit discussions or those who continually asked questions, was a good indication that they had an interest about being part of the first wave of users to learn and help implement Revit Structure.

The Revit Ready Plan After these few months of working on Revit and actually having a project almost completed, we found that we were producing projects in Revit Structure but didn’t quite know where we were going with it all. What would be our next steps? We felt that we were educated enough to start working on more projects, but we would need more people involved. Up until now most of the time involving education was either while working on a live project, over lunch, at night, or on weekends. We needed to get a plan in place which would allow new users to get involved and not expect them to work extra hours to learn it all. We also needed to make sure that, as a company, all of the executives and employees understood what our plan was so as they talked about Revit with outside clients they were educated enough to have the conversations and let them know what our plans were. This is when we decided to put in place the “Revit Ready Plan”. This plan basically stated by January 1, 2007, Ericksen Roed & Associates will be ready to produce as much work in Autodesk Revit Structure as our clients’ request. This was our first big commitment in saying that we would use Revit Structure in lieu of AutoCAD. A Revit project would be 100% Revit, the use of AutoCAD would not be acceptable nor would it be a safety net to fall back on. We would make it work. We also developed the “Roadmap to Revit Plan” to help layout our initial plans for implementation and let everyone in the company know the direction we were heading and why. We highlighted things that we thought we needed to focus on and outlined a basic method for training. These plans allowed us to have a clear path that everyone understood as well as a set goal for us to achieve. Words of Advice I would like to share a few words of advice that we used along the way as we progressed through out implementation. spring_2009

feature focus

Revit Structure

• Communicate internally, communicate externally and keep the communication ongoing. The use of Revit on a project is still new to everybody and the new workflows involved need to be communicated. • Find your key people that have the motivating interest and put them at the top of the pyramid where they will prepare and enforce your standards. Our pyramid started out with me, we have 2 to 3 users who are now sophisticated enough with Revit where they are our go to people for others joining the team. • We started out with what I call Baby Steps; we only did what we felt we were capable of doing at the time and stayed within the limitations of the software. I never really set out on this journey with the idea that we had to outdo the next guy. My main goals were that I wanted every Revit project to be a great experience for everyone involved throughout the construction team, we still needed to issue a good set of construction documents on paper and I wanted the motivation level of those involved at their highest.

Where are we now? A lot has happened since that initial year of getting up and running, today we are moving full steam ahead. We have definitely reach the point where we no longer ask “should we do this in Revit Structure?” rather we say “why would we not do this in Revit Structure?”. Not counting a multitude of marketing / preproduction projects, our now dozen users are in the process of completing our 38th project produced 100% in Revit Structure. We are continually adapting to the ever changing workflow and are putting more and more information into our models. Our client relationships are getting stronger and our collaboration workflows are becoming more efficient. I believe that a big part of our successful implementation is that our executive management didn’t shy away from this thing called “Revit” 4 years ago. They jumped on board immediately and have supported it ever since. Jamie D. Richardson is a CAD\BIM Manager at Ericksen Roed & Associates, a Structural Engineering firm based in Saint Paul, MN. Jamie has been instrumental in the rollout of several versions of AutoCAD as well as the implementation of Revit Structure. He has been an avid speaker on Revit Structure at Autodesk University and is a coauthor of the books Mastering Revit Structure 2009 and 2010.

www.AUGIaecedge.com

63


department

by: Stephen Stafford

head’s up

HEAD’S UP!

Recent Known Issues and Problems documented by Autodesk and AUGI members HOT ISSUES REMINDERS Source - Autodesk Revit Architecture Service & Support Web Address: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/index?s iteID=123112&id=2956546&linkID=9243099 PRODUCT KEYS FOR AUTODESK REVIT PRODUCTS Issue: You want to know what the product key for your Autodesk® Revit® 2010-based product is Solution: Revit 2010-based Product Keys: • 240B1 - Revit Architecture 2010 • 241B1 - AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2010

64

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

• 595B1 - AutoCAD Revit Architecture Visualization Suite 2010 • 255B1 - Revit Structure 2010 • 256B1 - AutoCAD Revit Structure Suite 2010 • 297B1 - Revit MEP 2010 • 257B1 - AutoCAD Revit MEP Suite 2010 • 589B1 - Autodesk Revit MEP-B 2010

SWITCHING TO PRE-2010, OR “CLASSIC” USER INTERFACE Issue: You want to know if you can switch your user interface back to the pre-2010 user interface. Solution: There is no way to switch your user interface back to the user interface used in pre-2010 Revit products.

spring_2009


UNABLE TO FIND COMMAND ON RIBBON IN AUTODESK REVIT 2010 BASED PRODUCTS Issue: You want to know where Revit 2009 menu commands are located on the new Revit 2010 ribbons. Solution: There is a special guide in Revit 2010-based products to help show you where tools in the 2010 user interface are located compared to previous versions of Revit products. To access this tool, click the arrow next to the question mark button in the upper-right corner of the screen and select the Where is my Command option.

RESETTING THE REVIT ARCHITECTURE 2010 USER INTERFACE Issue: You would like to reset the Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2010 user interface (i.e. the Ribbon, Quick Access Toolbar, and Project Browser) back to the out-of-the-box version and remove any customization that has been applied. Solution: Download a script to automate the repair from this address: http://images.autodesk.com/adsk/files/autodesk_revit_architecture_ui_reset.vbs You can do this yourself as well, visit this address for the explicit instructions: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112& id=13126319&linkID=9243099

KNOWN ISSUES - REVIT 2010 ONLY Source - Autodesk Revit Known Issues Documentation for Revit 2010 Windows Vista OS without SP1 installed

• Some Revit functionality, such as the Alt key and right-clicking on the Ribbon, may cause unexpected results if Service Pack 1 is not installed. Please upgrade your Windows Vista OS to include SP1. Windows Vista OS using Window Aero color scheme

• Some tasks may cause the ribbon to show as a blank graphic. Hover over the blank area with your cursor to restore the ribbon.

Large DWG Imports (Present in previous releases and still in 2010)

• DWG imports with entities further than two miles apart (after scaling) may cause accuracy issues and are not allowed. Very large DWG imports should be subdivided into smaller files. • DWG imports with coordinates (before scaling) longer than ten digits may be truncated to zero and become corrupted.

department

head’s up

Automatic Join Geometry (Present in previous releases and still in 2010)

• Hierarchal joining rules between element categories cannot be changed. e.g. Slabs always cut columns when the Join Geometry command is used. • Automatic Join Geometry does not occur between Wall and Slab categories. • It is not possible to disable automatic Join Geometry, but joins can be manually un-joined. • Joined geometry may impact performance. Network Deployment (Present in previous releases and still in 2010)

• The deployment will fail if the computer creating the deployment has the same Revit Architecture version currently installed. You must uninstall the conflicting version prior to creating the deployment. Opening Revit Architecture from a Revit file icon

• Double-clicking a Revit file icon only opens the latest build of Revit Architecture, if it is the most recently installed version on your computer. Keynoting

• Currently, Revit Architecture supports only one keynote table file per project. Users can, however, combine multiple keynote standards into this single file. • Currently, free unassociated keynotes not supported, nor is keynoting of detail lines (such as batt Insulation). You can, however, keynote a nearby element and move the free end leader to the desired location. Un-Enclosed Room Re-Tag

Windows Explorer and Revit-based product thumbnail previews

• Revit-based product thumbnail previews may display incorrectly, showing only as Revit file icons, in Windows Explorer windows. Room Bounding Instance Parameters (Present in previous releases and still in 2010)

• Currently, not all room bounding elements (such as in-place ceilings and in-place floors) have an on/off Room Bounding parameter.

spring_2009

• Currently, if a room tag for an unenclosed room is deleted, it is not possible to add a room tag back to the room without first making it a properly enclosed room. Use a room separation line to fix the room prior to re-tagging. Editor’s Note: This represents just a selection of issues that are more likely than some of the others to affect users. Please remember to visit the Autodesk Support website for the latest information on documented issues. Information Compiled from the Autodesk web site: www.autodesk.com by Steve Stafford

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

65


feature focus

Revit MEP

by: Jarrod Baumann

How to Play Nice:

Sharing Revit Models Between Disciplines

M

any architectural firms have been using Autodesk’s BIM platform Revit Architecture for quite some time. As of late, consulting engineering firms are joining in the BIM process and all parties involved have a keen desire and need to make good use of each other’s 3D models. As always taking a plunge into any new software platform is not easy. Making this change, however, can be very beneficial! Nothing encourages the coordination phone calls like a 3D view of a room showing HVAC ducts protruding into the living or working spaces, or sloped sanitary piping piercing a tapered girder. So let’s talk about how to get your models to interact well with each other, producing good 3D designs and clean construction documents.

Figure 1: “Ductwork routed through vaulted ceiling space”

First, a bit of background. In an Architecture/Engineering firm, it’s possible to have all the different disciplines operating on the same computer network and working directly on the same Revit model. This would provide the greatest degree of interaction and coordination between the architectural designers and the various engineering discipline designers. For instance, a “wall based” electrical receptacle could be placed on a wall or a “ceiling based” light fixture in a ceiling as soon as they exist in the common

66

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

model. If the architectural designer deleted the wall, this would also delete the “wall based” receptacle in the same fashion that a window in the wall would be deleted. However, even some A/E firms choose to separate their models and use a process similar to the one below. Working in a consulting engineering firm will mean receiving the architectural plans from someone else. Linking Revit models is very analogous to xref ’s in AutoCAD. In AutoCAD we would receive the .dwg file, strip it of most of the data, leaving only the geometry we will directly reference and then link this reduced size file by means of the xref command. The process can be quite similar with Revit. After receiving the file, you can delete any or all of the views, I prefer to leave floor plan views for reference, and then purge the file. All of this is purely for reducing the file size and speeding up the software. Next you create a new Revit project file, using a template, and link the architectural file in to your project. The views that were deleted in the link, have no affect on the 3D geometry in the model leaving it as the reference for your Revit project file. You would then create views, insert equipment, model and annotate with much the same workflow as the architectural designers. Sometime later the architect and other consultants will likely want to do the same - link your model in to their project files. As you know an MEP consultant’s model contains only MEP objects. It will not contain walls, floors, ceilings and so on. So when an architect links the MEP model only ducts, pipes, conduits ☺, light fixtures etc. will be added. This process allows each of the project team members to compile their own copy of a complete building model. The ability to see how all disciplines interact with your design is a tremendous benefit to our industry. The best we could do before this 3D workflow was to develop sections in the “crucial areas”. These non-interactive sections just don’t compare to a parametric 3D model with live views that update automatically as revisions are made. When there are revisions we all swap models again and if you are careful about reusing the same file name and placing it in the same location, the updated link file will load upon opening your project. This being the workflow brings us back to the title of the article “How to Play Nice”. What are some good methods for all involved to make our models easier for others to use?

spring_2009


Rules to Play by: Common Origin Point Having a predictable linking point is essential. Since the architect typically goes first, their model will have an origin (0,0,0 point) already established. Consultants when creating their project file, link in the architect’s building model using the “File > Import/Link > Revit…” command and the default is the “Auto – Center to Center” option. This is a poor choice because Revit is using a center point based on the modeled geometry in the linked file and your model will have different 3D extents, making the swapping of models later unpredictable. Establishing a common origin point between all team members is as simple as using the “Auto – Origin to Origin” option instead.

Figure 2: Using the Origin to Origin option for linked models

This is the best practice for everyone linking in another’s model including the architect when receiving the consultant’s models.

If you have already been misled by the default option, you can easily adjust the origin point of your model to match that of the architects using the “Tools > Shared Coordinates > Specify Coordinates at a Point” command within Revit. First you will need to know where that origin is in the architectural model. Simply use the same command within the architect’s model to identify a point and do the math from there. By the way, for multi-building sites, keep your eyes open for an upcoming article regarding “Shared Coordinates”.

feature focus

Revit MEP

Deleting Objects vs. Changing Types This applies to everyone creating elements that will host other elements, but primarily to the architect creating the walls, floors, and ceilings. When making changes to the architectural model one common thing to do is delete an object and redraw it. This is entirely reasonable for the architect but can create more work for your consultants. As an example, let’s say you are adjusting a room layout and want to change a wall location. If you move the wall and send your consultants the updated model, then their face based light fixtures or receptacles will usually move with it automatically. If you delete and redraw the wall, however, these elements will be orphaned and will need to be re-hosted to the new wall. The same goes for changing a wall or ceiling type. Select it and change the type instead of deleting and re-creating it. Good Drafting/Modeling Standards A good case study to illustrate this would be a restroom toilet stall. This is usually a family in the architect’s model made up of several other nested families and line work. The water closet is one nested family, the partitions and grab bars and so on are another, and the disabled access clearance is usually drawn with symbolic lines. The visibility for each of these items will need to be handled independently by the plumbing consultant. The stall family for instance, might be of the family category “Specialty Equipment” while the water closet is a nested family of the category “Plumbing Fixture”. The plumbing consultant will typically need to show the stall partitions but will often want to turn off visibility of the architects plumbing fixture and place his own. This is required because the plumbing consultant is responsible for making the detailed fixture selection and will need to schedule, annotate and connect piping to the element within

Figure 3: Identify / Set your model origin point spring_2009

Figure 4: Shared plumbing fixture

www.AUGIaecedge.com

67


feature focus

Revit MEP

his own model. This level of interaction cannot be accomplished through the linked building model. So, the key to making this control possible for the consultant is to ensure that the nested plumbing fixture within the stall family is “Shared”. Use the “Settings > Family Category and Parameters” command.

...the architect can use the linked lighting model to produce perspective views ...

The disabled access clearance lines will generally have to be turned off entirely in order not to obscure the piping system in plan view. The opportunity for poor drafting standards is shown when the architectural reviteer doesn’t use a single standardized line style to represent similar symbol types throughout a project. This means that the plumbing consultant spends numerous additional hours finding the specific categories of line styles to turn off in his construction document views.

Let There Be Light Lighting components and design are an important aspect of any aesthetically pleasing architectural design. It should be one of our goals as cooperative BIM modelers to reduce the need for duplicate elements within the compiled building models. In this effort it would be desirable for the lighting designer to model and place lighting fixtures in lieu of them residing in the architect’s model. This means additional effort for the lighting designer to create reasonably accurate and detailed 3D fixtures that also cast light well within a rendered view. If this is done, the architect can use the linked lighting model to produce perspective views, rendered or otherwise, in their client presentations and construction documents.

sibility rests with the mechanical and lighting engineers. However, a well constructed architectural model will make the task of detailed analysis much less difficult.

In practice this includes things like simple wall joins, appropriate family categories and accurately modeling building elements that are behind the scenes. For instance, unconnected wall heights should accurately reflect intended construction. Both full height walls that extend to the structure above and walls that stop at the ceiling should be modeled that way. We, the composite project design team, already put a tremendous amount of information into our “Building Information Model”, adding a bit more increases its usefulness exponentially. In closing it can be said that good consistent standards should be old hat to all of us but it seems we always need to be reminded when starting something new. It’s just like taking little Johnny to the park for the first time and reminding him to share and play nice. Jarrod Baumann is currently the BIM/CAD Manager for Design West Engineering, creating standards for and supporting the engineering and production staff of the mechanical, plumbing and electrical design departments. He has had much practical experience utilizing AutoCAD since 1995 and Revit MEP® since its release in 2006 on a wide variety of MEP projects in the commercial, educational, medical, and residential fields. Jarrod has led the team tasked with implementing Revit MEP for Design West Engineering as well as assisting major HVAC manufacturers with developing their Revit content for distribution.

Figure 5: Accurately modeled building elements

Green-alysis Energy efficient construction is an important goal for everyone in our industry to pursue. BIM has the potential to make this pursuit easier. In order to fulfill its potential, designers from all disciplines will need to cooperate in the creation of high quality models for use in model based analysis. Much of that respon-

68

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

spring_2009


Revit MEP

Five Steps to Success with Revit MEP: The Reality

â&#x17E;˛T

his year our firm was able to identify a significantly sized project to apply Revit MEP, from concept through construction documents. We are a 300 person plus integrated AEC practice. The team consisted of 10 members of our MEP staff dedicated to the project. Although the experience proved challenging for the team, the knowledge we gleaned was invaluable.

Image 1: A screen shot of part of our MEP model.

The key to delivering projects with this tool is mitigating the most crippling weakness of Revit MEP: sluggish model performance. This reality makes or breaks the decision to apply this tool to future projects. The promise of increased productivity was rather elusive during this process, but we were able to keep the team afloat with the proper hardware, consistent training, regular model maintenance, strict modeling practices, and strict saving practices.

Step 1: Proper Hardware: Over the next few years, there is a good chance that users on any Revit MEP project will be new to the product, and will likely not be using the best modeling practices. In a Worksharing Enabled project this not only slows the individual down, but can hobble the entire team with a sluggish model. By the time our team was working on construction documents, they were running Dell

spring_2009

feature focus

by: Damon Ranieri

Consistent training is an absolute must in this working environment. ... 5400 Quad Core Workstations with Vista Business 64bit, running 16Gb of RAM, and had ATI Fire GL 256MB Graphics Cards. While throwing hardware at any workflow issue is an expensive solution, the reality is the team will need this wiggle room if they are going to stay on schedule.

Step 2: Consistent Training: Consistent training is an absolute must in this working environment. We contracted with a Revit consultant out of Rhode Island for a week of implementation training. This was followed by a week of over-the-shoulder direct project training from the same consulting group. During preliminary studies and schematic design, we offered in-house bi-weekly trade specific workshops. As new hires were added to the team, the firm utilized the application specialists from the IT department to deliver a week long in-house version of direct project training. Finally, we utilized web conferencing to deliver one-on-one training on specific topics as needed during the entire duration of the project. The amount of information needed for each team member to be successful is vast. Even power-users, who can remember all the different concepts, will need their memories refreshed when it comes time to perform the task at hand. Step 3: Regular Model Maintenance: As stated earlier, inefficient modeling practices are a fact of life as a firm begins transitioning into this new approach. By setting up a regular schedule for model maintenance the team was able to keep a handle on saving and regeneration times. This maintenance involved addressing the linked central files from the other trades, the central file itself, the modeling and the size of the central file. Linked Central Files: About midway through design development it was decided that linking directly to the architectural model became too cumbersome. The designers were already spending a fair amount of time waiting for each other to save, if the architects were accessing

www.AUGIaecedge.com

69


feature focus

Revit MEP their central file, that time was tacked on. The solution was having each trade save a detached copy of their central file to an isolated location two to three times a week. This also mitigated the frustration of MEP designers who were trying to lay out areas that kept changing with each Save To Central.

Central File: The model manager began coming in late on Monday so she could begin a maintenance process on the model after the team did their final Save To Central for the day. This included a compressed Save To Central, Purge All, and Save As of the project to a new Central File. The act of doing a Save As on a Central File rewrites the database without the residual data from deleted and purged information, temporary information, and a variety of errors. Modeling: At several points during the project the model became so sluggish that design stopped and all efforts shifted to cleaning up the file. When the warnings list reached 200 to 300 warnings, the performance of the Central File seems to

circuits were not going to be modeled became a crucial part of improving model performance.

Model Size: Once the 120Mb file size was reached, a decision was made to break up the work so the model could return to an acceptable size and level of performance. In this case, all 2D work, details, schedules, etc. were broken out to a separate Central File, and the 3D model was isolated in the original central file. The model returned to the 120Mb size fairly quickly and ideas were tossed around about how to split up the 3D work. The MEP families often have connections to systems belonging to multiple disciplines, so having separate mechanical, electrical and piping models would become difficult to coordinate. Separating the model either geographically or by HVAC zones was considered more seriously. Due to the project schedule, splitting up the 3D work never occurred.

Image 3: A hosted family and its Visibility Settings.

Image 2: Caption: Just some of the warnings we encountered.

slow down significantly, 15 to 20% by our estimates. The team utilized the System Browser to move devices and equipment to the system or circuit they were ultimately intended to be on. The program is constantly re-calculating system totals, and the larger the system, the longer it takes before it moves on to the next. The program considers 50 or more parts on any default system a warning, which compounds the sluggishness. It also spends longer on open systems, attempting to calculate flow values for a finite amount of time on each open connector, pipe and duct. Capping or terminating open pipes, ducts and removing connectors from electrical devices and equipment families whose

70

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

Step 4: Strict Modeling Practices: An offshore consultant was used to build many of the families used at the beginning of the project. They were given specific instructions on how we wanted the family parts assembled so that the regeneration time of graphics could be managed. They were told the majority of parts were to be face based, non-hosted, or non-hosted/ workplane based depending on the part. They were not to let any 3D entity show in the Course Detail Level views. The familiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 3D models were to be as simplistic as possible. Only enough detail to provide adequate collision detection and identification while coordinating was permitted. When the modeling shifted to the more specific needs of the designers and technical leaders involved, more of this work was done in house, applying these same fundamental rules. The team became fairly adept at creating and adjusting families, and updating these definitions in the model.

spring_2009


Moving forward we will apply this experience and knowledge to future projects at the very beginning and leverage the BIM workflow...

Image 4: Save to Central history exported and reviewed in Excel.

Step 5: Strict Saving Practices: Managing the saving process is paramount to keeping the team productive in this working environment. The Save To Central process is linear, so when the model begins to perform sluggishly, the Reload Latest and Save To Central times can reach upwards of 20 to 25 minutes a person. The leadership experimented with staggering the team members’ start times, so no two individuals were trying to execute their final Save To Central of the day at the same time. A simple 2D Save Page was created, and it was required that before a Save To Central was executed only this page could be showing on the user’s screen, allowing Revit to resolve the saving process more quickly. Instant messaging and Autodesk’s Worksharing Monitor was installed on all team members workstations so they could communicate when they were about to Save To Central, or see if anyone else was saving. Team members were encouraged to make use of the Editing Requests feature to avoid as many extra Save To Centrals during the day as possible. Worksets were also created for each trade, linked file, and common element set, and the team members were instructed to only open the worksets they needed for their day’s task. The fewer worksets they initially opened, the less time it took to Save To Central. Unfortunately, when the time came to coordinate a discipline’s design against the other trades, all worksets needed to be loaded.

spring_2009

feature focus

Revit MEP

Conclusion: Ultimately, the reality of working with Revit MEP is that many features that are included are not fully developed and ready for a consulting engineering group, very few performed without some kind of workaround. Therefore, the overall performance of the model often commanded the attention of the team. The focus on performance involves so much effort that any productivity advantage we expected to realize was nonexistent. In order for a firm like ours to fully adopt Revit MEP for all projects we need to feel confident that the average model can provide at least the same productivity we see out of our traditional 2D CAD production. Moving forward we will apply this experience and knowledge to future projects at the very beginning and leverage the BIM workflow. We remain hopeful with the promised improved performance in the new new release of Revit MEP, that we can confidently continue to take advantage of BIM to better understand more complicated designs and layouts, communicate design intent to players outside of the MEP team, and participate in virtual clash detection earlier in the project process. Damon J. Ranieri is an applications specialist at OWP/P, focusing primarily on the MEP Department. Damon has been heavily involved in the migration of MEP design to BIM since 2004 at this and his previous firm. Currently he is developing in-house Revit training and documentation, and is studying the current strengths and limitations of interoperability between the trades’ preferred software. He can be reached at damonranieri@comcast.net.

www.AUGIaecedge.com

71


feature focus

Revit MEP

by: Joel Londenberg

Putting the ‘I’ in your BIM content: Revit MEP families that capture design intent

L

ast year, at Autodesk University 2007, I met someone in the hotel elevator. He pointed to my Revit MEP pin and asked how it was going using the software. I said that there were some frustrations but we were doing ok (there was no point in bragging, the elevator ride was too short). His answer to me was “Yeah, maybe when they get more content.” Then the doors opened and he walked out. This idea of waiting for someone else to make my content didn’t seem to fit. I’ve worked in several offices that used AutoCAD. Not one of them used only blocks made by others. Each firm has always set its own standards for what is shown, how it looks and so on. Even when AutoCAD files were available from outside, in every single case they got modified; cleaned up, paired down, spruced up, and so on. Why wouldn’t this same idea apply to Revit MEP? Long story short (too late, I know) – we have either modeled from scratch or heavily customized nearly every family that is used in our projects. This means every piece of equipment, air terminal, receptacle, symbol, light fixture, plumbing fixture, exit sign, piping and duct system family, view reference, annotative tag and level head (did I miss any?). We’ve done this not because we want to work for Revit, but because we want the software to work for us.

Revit is Easy? There is a difference between something being easy and it being simple. To be honest, Revit MEP isn’t either one. There is inherent complexity in any piece of software that intends to mimic building systems with enough accuracy that it can assist in the engineering calculations, produce 3D models for visualization and clash detection, and coordinated 2D documentation. Any interface that would interact with this complex model is going to be difficult to master. In addition, there are a number of things that we just can’t change. Much of the functionality is simply hard coded like, for instance, the display options for Duct Rise Drop symbols. (See Figure 1) Despite these obstacles, there are certainly enough benefits to be worth its pursuit. So how can we get Revit MEP to pay us back for our efforts, how can we get Revit to work for us? One way is by carefully crafting

72

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

Figure 1: Preset Duct Rise Drop symbol options

our families. They can be easier to use, provide user feedback and help with coordinated construction documents. As we go through this ‘How To’ we will mainly focus on the more MEP specific parts of the family construction. All disciplines need flexible 3D geometry, so there are many sources for learning more about that.

“We . . . Are . . . Family” Let’s begin with an Air Terminal family. This will give us several examples of how we can put more of the ‘I’ in our BIM model. Even if you are not an air-head like me, this will still be useful for learning the family building principles. One of the most detailed Air Terminals supplied by Autodesk OOTB (out of the box) is “Supply Diffuser - Rectangular Face Round Neck - Hosted.rfa”. This is a face hosted family that changes size based on a handful of built in family types. It is appropriately generic so that Autodesk is not unfairly promoting one manufacturer over another. However, when it comes to actual use, there is not enough information built in for it to be helpful with day to day design and drafting, as well as being modeled somewhat inappropriately for display in a project. When considering how your model is oriented to the ceiling, it is good practice to model it protruding down below the ceiling plane. In a surface mounted frame, this mimics reality, the frame is below the ceiling. For a lay-in-grid ceiling the air terminal is technically above the ceiling plane as it sets on top of the t-bar. spring_2009


Modeling this technically accurate case would cause the problem of the air terminal not being visible in a camera view unless the ceiling was specifically cut (this is not possible with a linked architectural model). Also, if you model it to be exactly coincident with the ceiling plane, Revit will not know the correct way to display each of the two coincident surfaces. However, if you simply protrude it slightly below the ceiling plane, it is visible when you expect it to be.

The Min/Max parameters are for reference only and do not limit the actual flow setting within Revit, i.e. they will not prevent you from assigning a flow outside of this range. You can, however, use these parameters for your drafters/designers to make selections from.

Embedding Intelligence You can also use these parameters to create immediate user feedback within the project in just 4 easy steps!

feature focus

Revit MEP

Go to the “Ref. Level” view and create some sort of warning that will notify the drafter while placing Air Terminals in the project. You can use symbolic lines shaped like the common “No Smoking” sign. So that this user feedback never prints on our construction documents, set the symbolic lines type to <Invisible lines>

Figure 2: Revit’s display of coincident surfaces

Most firms will want to base their Revit families, Air Terminal or otherwise, around the specific manufacturer that is in their standard specification. One common Air Terminal manufacturer has face sizes that adjust with each neck size along with optional frames for mounting in lay-in-grid ceilings. You will want to set up your family types to replicate your office standards with such considerations as air flow, noise criteria, pressure drop, etc. Any given air terminal size will have an effective range of Flow that meets these standards. Once you make those determinations from the manufacturer’s catalog data, you can store that effective range in each family type. As you can see from the screen shot below, Min Flow and Max Flow are built in parameters for all Air Terminals. To do this, simply set up family types to represent the size you desire and input your chosen flow range. For example, given a 6” neck size you may choose to limit the design flow to between 0 and 95 CFM.

Figure 4: User feedback – Step 1

Next, select the symbolic lines, and assign the visibility of these lines to a new parameter called “CFM_Error”

Figure 5: User feedback – Step 2

Figure 3: Min/Max CFM parameters spring_2009

www.AUGIaecedge.com

73


feature focus

Revit MEP Finally assign a formula to the CFM_Error parameter that is activated when the flow is not within your set range i.e. outside your company standard. Note that the current Flow setting in the screen shot is greater than the Max Flow parameter, causing the box to be checked.

location and air flow need to be identified. The size of an Air Terminal can be determined with the assistance of the family. For non-typical designs, the Min/Max does not prevent you from specifying outside that range when you want to.

Controlling Geometry Another feature you might like to add is a better display of the lay-in-grid panel. To do this we will once again be linking our geometry to flexible parameters. What we are aiming for is a good display of the 24”x24” panel in a 3D view, as well as in plan view. First, let’s revisit the extrusion that hangs below the ceiling plane. In the image above, it is just pegged to the edge of the face size. A more accurate display should show it about 2” larger than the face size for a surface mount frame and a fixed 24”x24” for the grid ceiling frame. To satisfy both of these situations, you will need to dimension the length and width of the extrusion and label that parameter “Frame_Size”. My preferred method for keeping this extrusion centered is by using a dimension to the center reference planes, with a formula driving it to be half the size.

Figure 6: User feedback – Step 3

Once you have set the Min and Max flow parameters for your various Air Terminal family types, you can then place them in your project. This example shows 3 family type sizes. Currently all three sizes show the same flow rate, however, this is below the minimum flow settings for the two larger size families. The “No Smoking” symbol is only visible when you either select or hover over the incorrectly sized family.

Figure 8: Flexible model geometry

Figure 7: User feedback – Step 4

What have you accomplished by this basic process? You have nearly eliminated the need to keep the manufacturer’s catalog on your desk because most of the relevant data is stored in the family. There is also less work required for the engineer/designer to convey the design to the drafters. For typical situations only the

74

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

You will also need a parameter to set the Air Terminal as either surface mount or grid. To create this parameter, use the add button in the family types dialog box, name it “T_Bar”, discipline “Common”, type “Yes/No”. It can be either instance or type depending on your preference for selecting it within a project. Once you have both these parameters, use a conditional statement to either drive the frame size to be 2” larger than the face or 24” independent of the face. As you can see from the images, this “Yes/No” parameter drives the dimensional parameters which, in turn, drives the model geometry.

spring_2009


michelle louw blog spot

Figure 9: Flexible model geometry – Option 1

Revit Technology Conference 2009 – Melbourne Australia Hi everyone I’m working on a few exciting projects and time is flying by so forgive my brief invite but I wanted to at least make the time to let you know about this event and what I’m currently working on.

feature focus

Revit MEP

Many of you will already know about the Revit Technology Conference that is being held in Melbourne this year (2009) but for those of you who want to find out more please look up the following link: http://revitconference.com/rtc2009/rtc2009_ events.htm To register for the RTC 2009: https://www.amlink.com.au/secure/ei/getdemo. ei?id=2168&s=_0RW11D6P2 I will be speaking at the event myself again this year and am looking forward to sharing more of my experience. I will post my talk handout on this blog after the event for anyone who can’t make it. 18th of June, Thursday, Stream 4 (1.4.3) – Industry Panel Bitter or Better

Figure 10:Flexible model geometry – Option 2

Just like Revit MEP as a whole, crafting families may not be either easy or simple. However, after some time is spent in careful creation, using these families in your projects can be both. Joel Londenberg is currently a Revit Project Manager for Design West Engineering. He leads their mechanical and plumbing design and supports electrical design for a wide range of projects. These projects are in fields such as retail, commercial, educational, medical, custom homes and multi-family housing, and ranging in size from 3,000 to 300,000 square feet. He has also worked for manufacturers performing equipment design using various 3D software packages. Joel has also been part of the team tasked with implementing Revit MEP for Design West Engineering as well as assisting major HVAC manufacturers with developing their Revit content for distribution.

I have been invited to be a part of an industry panel. We will be talking about the lessons we have learnt through our various implementation journeys with Matt Rumbelow. I think this will be an invaluable talk for anyone who is beginning on their own implementation journey or for management who are finding the implementation process more difficult than they had originally anticipated. There will be a wealth of experience on the panel. 19th of June, Friday, Stream 2, (2.2.1) – Advanced Revit Families and Generative Components

I hope to provide some information on External tools, what that all means and what it makes available for Management and drafters. I’ve had to do a lot of research to get some of the information and am still in the process of finding out more… I’ll also be taking a closer look at how components can help you create a standardised and automated Revit office system. Hope to see you there ;-) Michelle To view Michelle’s blog online go to: http://bimboombam.wordpress.com/

spring_2009

www.AUGIaecedge.com

75


feature focus

Revit MEP

by: Jim Keller

Revit MEP Implementation at CTA Group A Struggle with Promise

R

evit was first introduced in 2007 to our firm when BIM was the new exciting buzzword in the A/E industry. It seemed like anyone fortunate enough to use Revit on their projects would soon be the industry leader for all others to follow. However, implementing Revit throughout all of our offices and disciplines proved to be a tougher sell. Our architects and structural engineers embraced Revit early on as Revit Architecture had been available much longer. When we rolled MEP out to our engineers in 2008, it was a different story. They realized that there was a major difference in maturity between the software applications.

familiarity that AutoCAD gave them. Although they continued working by porting things back and forth between the two products, things started to click over time with MEP. They realized that the promise and continuity Revit brought to their project was too big to be ignored. They also recognized, Revit MEP was key to CTA’s cornerstone belief in providing the best possible integrated design.

Getting Better! In order to get our engineers to feel comfortable with the output of their drawings, we had to have a sit down with them and listen to their concerns. One item for example, electrically the symbols were quite different. The symbols that came out of the box left a lot open to interpretation in our engineer’s opinion. They were not used to seeing symbols for lighting, power, etc. being displayed in the manner they were.

...anyone fortunate enough to use Revit on their projects would soon be the industry leader for all others to follow ...

Not Us! It seemed easy for our engineers to find reasons not to get involved with Revit MEP. MEP’s saving grace was that our firm had made a commitment to BIM from the beginning. With energy and load analysis, along with interference checking, the engineers realized what a benefit this product would be for our clients. However, a deeply ingrained engineering mentality of “I have a process that works, why change” meant that a easy or seamless MEP integration into CTA’s integrated design philosophy would be a challenge.

76

On our first project, as soon as the engineers entered the schematic design phase, mixed emotions became apparent. While many of them understood the potential MEP could bring, it didn’t keep their frustration levels from running high. We found out there were several issues to overcome. First of all, our engineers came from a 2D background that allowed them to easily control the look and feel of their drawings. Now came Revit MEP and with that, the perception that control over their drawings was slipping away.

In another instance they had been frustrated because they didn’t realize that they could gain control of how the linked Architectural and Structural models were displayed. To facilitate our discussions we had them print out views and sheets and mark up anything they felt didn’t work. We took those markups and went into our Revit MEP project and made the required adjustments. When it came to addressing their symbol concerns, we ended up creating or editing the families so that the 2D symbology was exactly what they were used to seeing. In some cases this required us to build all new content, in other cases it was just a matter of manipulating what was there. Once we had their buyoff, we implemented these changes in our office MEP template.

Things Look Different! The symbols, line weights and general appearance of their drawings were different now. The engineers felt that the clarity they were used to was gone from their documents. The temptation to do much of their work back in AutoCAD proved too great. The engineers needed readability; they needed the comfort and

Reflection It wasn’t until we got the project out the door, and had a chance to sit down with the entire team, that the benefits could be fully recognized. While our engineers were focused on their tasks and their own MEP model, they didn’t completely appreciate the benefit it gave to our own Structural and

www.autodeskcatalog.com/AECEdge

spring_2009


It Doesn’t Fit? Due to the learning curve the engineers were going through with their first project, it was taking them longer to produce drawings. However, Revit MEP ended up saving the team time and money as drawing duplication was eliminated and interference and conflicts became visible. For example we had an instance where our HVAC team could not get all of their equipment into the basement area. This was easily visible when they started to layout all of their ductwork and ran some interference checking. With the way the structure was designed at first, there just wasn’t enough room. As a result of this discovery, our structure team made some changes, and just two feet was added to the basement area. This level of coordination and integration provided the opportunity to easily catch a real problem and it was made possible and real because we used Revit. Once the engineers were able to focus on the larger picture, they quickly saw how Revit MEP could play a much larger roll in what they are doing today. Looking Ahead Finally getting a project done that utilized all disciplines in Revit made it a much easier decision to start the next project. Before we finished our first project, the perception was that producing documents with Revit MEP couldn’t be done. Once completed, those who stayed with the project had some bragging rights. Sure it was painful

spring_2009

at times, but at this point Revit MEP became real. Our other offices saw the development and what was accomplished. Soon they wanted to be a part of what was going on. They realized that based on the direction we were heading, if they didn’t get on board, they would be left behind. Those who braved our first project came out looking like war heroes. They also brought credibility to the software, and they continue to be advocates for Revit MEP. While it may still be a small step with Revit MEP and our engineers, the value they gained in using Revit will keep them wanting more. Benefits such as the ability to generate three dimensional drawings and integrated design far outweighed the negatives. In time and application our engineers see Revit MEP playing a large roll as an analytical tool. Energy Analysis, static calculations, loads analysis, and cost estimates are just a few of the items that keep them pressing on. Long-term goals have them working on ways to deliver the intelligent model to the contractor and client and removing paper documents as a necessity. Jim Keller is an Associate with CTA Architects Engineers and is their BIM Manager. CTA is a 400 person firm that provides A/E services nationally and internationally.

Some thoughts about Revit files

do-u-revit blog spot

Architectural folks. This is important but more so because CTA is a multi-discipline firm and we have the added motivation to be better coordinated than separate firms might have. We enjoy a level of access and control over the whole process that separate firms do not.

feature focus

Revit MEP

So now with the new feature built into Revit that recognizes the “DNA” of a central file and automatically checks the option to create a local file with the appended username, adding the word “central” at the end could actually cause confusion when your local file is named myproject_Central_dbaldacchino. rvt. This is why we’re probably going to stick with a script for creating local files like in the past, so we can control the naming conventions, besides some other benefits. Hopefully we’ll have an even better userfriendly version, which is still in the works. That brings me to the purpose of this post: Why don’t the developers implement a file extension system that identifies what type of file we’re dealing with? Perhaps .rvc for Central files, .rvl for Local files and leave the .rvt for non-workset enabled files. This would make it totally clear what you’re dealing with, eliminating the need for arcane naming conventions. A unique, easily identifiable icon for each file type would also be a very welcome addition. To view Dave’s blog online go to: http://do-u-revit.blogspot.com/

www.AUGIaecedge.com

77


Three Essential Resources for Design Professionals Using Autodesk Applications The Autodesk® Partner Solutions Resource Catalog – North America & Europe Editions –

Diamond Sponsor Purchasing guides for CAD professionals

Diamond Sponsor Purchasing guides for CAD professionals

Printed on recycled paper

Autodesk ® Autodesk Partner Solutions ®

provides valuable information to:

Partner Solutions

Resource Catalog Europe 2009

Resource Catalog 2009 2008

Locate vendors, products and services to get to market faster Find off-the-shelf applications that can save you time Discover add-on’s to complement and extend Autodesk applications Quickly connect to Autodesk authorized training centers (ATCs®)

• •

Delgo, image courtesy of Fathom Studios

www.autodeskcatalog.com/europe Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor

Media & Entertainment www.autodeskcatalog.com Technology Innovators Special Issue 2009

Gold Sponsor

www.autodeskcatalog.com

autodesk

catalog.com NORTH AMERICA EDITION | EUROPE EDITION

SEARCH

KEYWORD

RSS | SUBSCRIBE | ADVERTISE | ABOUT US | CONTACT

HOME | NEWS | RESOURCES | WHITE PAPERS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | BUILDING DESIGN | MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT | INFASTRUCTURE | MANUFACTURING | PROCESS & POWER

SUBSCRIBE TO E PRODUCT ALERTS

Visit www.autodeskcatalog.com to stay current on news, product announcements and information on Autodesk-compatible applications. Compare product research and read complete feature articles and case studies.

AUTODESK TECH VIDEOS

BROWSE DESIGN CENTERS | BUiLDiNG DesiGN |

| MeDia & eNtertaiNMeNt |

| iNFrastrUCtUre |

| PrOCess & POwer |

| MaNUFaCtUriNG |

| eUrOPe eDitiON | TOP STORIES AND NEWS

g NYacad Releases SolidStructural v.9.6 for AutoCAD Supports history based and direct modeling; available ‘later this year’...

g US CAD Releases Styles Template for AutoCAD Civil 3D Supports history based and direct modeling; available ‘later this year’...

First Name Last Name

g Amazon Reduces AutoCAD LT Price to $975

Company

Supports history based and direct modeling; available ‘later this year’...

Email SUBSCRIBE

BLOGS/TWITTER ED’s EDIT Life on the Treadmill How many engineers think of their career as being spent on a treadmill? It is a larger portion than most.y

JOHNS’S JAM What does Impinj, Virage and Intel have in common? I read in my local newspaper earlier this week that

g iCADsales.com Releases progeTABLE Supports history based and direct modeling; available ‘later this year’...

Can ASIC I read in my local newspaper earlier this week that Carnegie-Mellon professor Randy Pausch g More

g Memory Trends Highlight g Multi-core Hits EDA Software g Collaboration Models g Analog IP Integration Requires

g Adiitional Videos

g Multi-core Hits EDA Software at log IP Integration Requires

COMING SOON!

g SYCODE Releases 20 Import/Export Plug-Ins for Bricscad gMore White Papers

Supports history based and direct modeling; available ‘later this year’... g More News

IN THE NEWS

| CaD, CaM, Cae |

| aeC |

g Feb 6-Autodesk Unveils AutoCAD

g Feb5- Ideate Offers SmartBIM

g Feb 5- SYCODE Releases 20 Import/Export Plug-Ins for Bricscad

2010

Tools for Revit Users

BE FIRST TO KNOW! Order your FREE copy TODAY AUGI | AEC Edge will deliver mission-critical, game changing, industry leading, best practice advice on the AEC industry ¾Feature articles divided by discipline focus

| aUtODesK |

¾Q&A ¾News Briefs

BE FIRST TO KNOW! ¾Inside Track Order your FREE copy TODAY¾Heads Up! Reporting

known Issues and bugs

g SmartPurger 2.8 Released to Work with AutoCAD 2010

g Informative Graphics Releases Redact-It Desktop 1.1 g Feb 6-Autodesk Unveils AutoCAD

g Feb 6

MENTOR MAGIC

| New white PaPers |

Autodesk Unveils AutoCAD 2010 g SmartPurger 2.8 Released to Work with AutoCAD 2010

2010 g SmartPurger 2.8 Released to Work with AutoCAD 2010

g Cadsoft Releases Envisioneer for Czech Republic pdf

¾Upcoming Events ¾Columns on Revit Arch, Revit MEP, ¾Feature Revit Structuralarticles divided by

discipline focus

g 20-20 Technologies Offers Financing for Home Improvements g ICS Sells ArchiLogs Log Home Add-On for ArchiCAD 12

QRA

News Briefs

Inside Track

Heads Up!

Upcoming Events

¾Q&A

www.augi.com www.autodeskcatalog.com

¾News Briefs

For All Marketing Inquiries Contact:

¾Inside Track

FEATURED WHITE PAPERS g Memory Trends Highlight Evolution and Revolution

g More Announcements

AUTODESK DATASHEET DIRECTORY

The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, and anybody who has ever driven a performance car on the German Autobahn knows what I mean... by Kontron

g Multi-core Hits EDA Software at Its Core The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, and anybody who has ever driven a performance car on the German Autobahn knows what I mean... by Kontron

g Collaboration Models The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, and anybody who has ever driven a performance car on the German Autobahn knows what I mean... by Kontron

gMore Featured White Papers

FEATURED VIDEOS g Collaboration Models

The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, vergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”,

 g Collaboration Models

Time-saving answers for design professionals Autodesk applications Autodesk Universityusing attendees — pick up your FREE copies The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, vergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”,

FEATURED ARTICLES

g Collaboration Models

The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, vergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”,

gHP and Autodesk

gIMAGIN iT— Beyond Software. A Solutions Provider.

g Collaboration Models

The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, vergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”,

gSimulate Camera Defocus with GenArts’ Sapphire Plug-ins gIndustrial design company helps make change easier

g Collaboration Models

The German word Fahrvergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”, vergnügen directly translated means “the joy of driving”,

gTurboSquid cornerstone of the exploding 3D art industry

gARTVPS – High Productivity Rendering Solutions Adding Quality and Value to your Autodesk 3D System

g See Complete List

gCONTEX–Quality, Speed and Performance Set Our Scanners Apart From Competitors!

g More Articles

of the 2007 editions at the Extension Media Booth #576 www.autodeskcatalog.com or subscribe online at www.autodeskcatalog.com DIGITAL EDITIONS

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

g International Test Conference

28 Oct 2008 - Santa Clara Convention Center

g EDAC Kaufman Awards

28 Oct 2008 - Santa Clara Convention Center

g Mentor User2User

28 Oct 2008 - Santa Clara Convention Center


>F:;I?=D@;JJ''(&FH?DJ;HI;H?;I

M_j^>F:[i_]d`[jbWh][#\ehcWjfh_dj[hiWdZj^[9Wi^?dJhWZ[Kf fhecej_ed "oekZedÉj^Wl[je$7dZm_j^j^[d[m>F:[i_]d`[jJ''(& Fh_dj[hi[h_[i"oekYWd[d`eofhe\[ii_edWbfh_djgkWb_jo"\Wijfh_djWdZ fheY[ii_d]if[[ZiWdZcWdW][WX_b_jo\[Wjkh[ij^Wj[dWXb[fheZkYj_l_jo ]W_di$B[Whdceh[jeZWoWXekjj^[YWi^XWYajhWZ[#_de\\[hedi[b[Yj>F :[i_]d`[jfh_dj[hi$L_i_jmmm$^f$Yec%]e%YWi^_d,/ehYWbb'#.,,#)+(#'&-/$ All architectural design by Hummel Architects PLLC. Photography by William Cox, The Land Group. *HP Cash In & Trade Up promotion is open to U.S. residents only. HP Cash In & Trade Up cash back is provided by mail-in rebate for eligible purchases made during the promotional offer. Time frames for the promotion may vary. Additional restrictions apply. Void where prohibited, taxed, or restricted by law. To access qualifying product options, full terms and conditions, and claim form, visit www.hp.com/go/cashin69. ©Copyright 2009 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice.


AUGI | AEC EDGE