Thursday, December 9, 2010

Autodesk University Debrief

Wow, what a great week AU was!

So AU (as always) was a great opportunity to catch back up with colleagues and meet some new folks as well. I have attached some pictures from the keynote as well as the link for the keynote video here and will be posting my presentation in a seperate (but related) blog on information management and the idea that we are all becoming information managers.

Great presentations by Eddy Krygiel and Alex Ogata from HNTB on BIM Project Management, interesting look into a relatively new virtual collaboration tool Autodesk Vault (link here) and attended an interesting hands on lab on Autodesk Mudbox (link).

Also seemed to have gotten snagged for an "informal" interview, video link here for those interested.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Speaking at AU this Year

For those of you attending Autodesk University this year (, I will be giving a lecture presentation on BIM to FiM, which has been of particular relevance to the industry and to a number of other folks, who have become interested in the tools out there, what they can do and what are the best practices for linking BIM information to FiM model information.

I should have three case studies completed by then for everyone to gain a perspective on what FiM entails and how to leverage it

Course Details here ....on page 90.

If you happen to make it, feel free to swing by afterwards and we can chat.

Look forward to seeing many of you there at the event!

Monday, July 26, 2010

AECOM Acquires Tishman

Interesting article about AECOM's acquisition of Tishman. It seems to be a trend with the rise of Design-Build firms using BIM and a race to acquire more and more of the "One-stop-shop" Design-Build firm market.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

iPhone BIM app

Good morning all!

I was over on BIM Workx and read about a cool new app for the iPhone. Basically as I'm an Apple addict if it's new, shiny and has an Apple logo on it, I'll buy it...or my wife will want one.

That said, Ian Keough has developed a neat new app to view Revit models on your iPhone with...complete with (drumroll please) intelligent objects! The app is called goBIM and costs $5.99. I have to admit I have been playing with it for about the past two hours and once you get used to the interface it's a cool little tool.

Ian is also releasing the app for the iPad with a bigger screen to better enable in-field functionality on projects using BIM. Stay tuned there.

Site is here. ( )

Cool idea, great tool and no post for a while so hopefully this kick starts your Tuesday.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Ladies and gentlemen -

No post for a while, but that' because we've been doing great things!

To begin we have trained over 300 field staff. No small feat.

With some of the best questions I have ever been asked.

One of them was in regard to how to handle RFI's that have been coordinated through the BIM collaborative process. And of course there are a couple of answers to this question.

1.) The first answer is that if you are fortunate enough to work on a project that is IPD or has contract language integrated into the delivery method such as Design-Build or CM at Risk, that streamlines the approval process, many of these teams can approve changes to the model on the go, as they occur.

This is a dream scenario. Unfortunately it's often not the case that the engineer and subcontractor are one and the same. It's great though when you work on a job that as you are going through a series of clash reports, 4D clash reporting, sequencing simulations, etc..the mechanical team, electrical team and so on can approve the changes on the fly. It's amazing how much paperwork and communication time can be reduced.

This is really where the industry is headed for a number of reasons, the biggest of those being cost savings and time to coordinate a project.

Anyways, moving on to answer #2.

2.) In most cases, we are working with a setup that has the engineer and the subcontractor as two different entities with separate interests. While this is the most common way of doing things there are some real inefficiencies in this process, but there are ways to minimize the amount of legwork required to get model changes approved as fast as possible.

Example - you have 4,200 clashes on a CM at Risk job coming from the engineer that you need to coordinate with the subcontractor to fulfill their contract requirement of "fully coordinated shop drawings."

Do you issue 4,200 RFI's to the engineer? Hardly. Besides having a field engineer who you will probably drive to become an alcoholic, there is a better way of processing these changes.

Solution - begin coordinating the clashes via a GoTo Meeting or in house model coordination session. At the end of every week submit all of the changes to the engineer for approval as a BIM submittal to approve the changes you intend to make. This fulfils the requirement to have the engineer sign off on revisions to the design, while streamlining your effort to issue RFI's. Continue until zeroed out...and hopefully prior to construction. Har har.

Finally there WILL be issues that cannot seemingly be resolved via BIM coordination, because for some reason or another the systems just don't fit as designed or someone hasn't thought everything through. In this case, highlight the issue and forward on to the Project management team for resolution as an RFI so you aren't driving yourself crazy trying to be Superman(or girl) and jam everything into the space.

The basic idea here is to maximize the results, minimize the work everyone has to do and virtually coordinate before the shovel hits the dirt.

As always, comments welcome!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Great Letter from Kimon Onuma

Here is a great and well written letter from Kimon Onuma, explaining the current dangers the AIA and the architectural community at large is facing...or not facing depending on how you look at it. I especially like the part,

"Imagine if authors and screenwriters depended on Microsfot for their creativity. Would they wait for the next version of MS Word to be able to put out a new novel? Do they look to Bill Gates for creativity beyond that of creating the software that they use to write that screenplay? That is where most architects are, we are looking to the software vendors to give us the answers..."

Interesting read and spot on accurate read to say the least.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Changing the Title of the Blog

Much to my oversight, the title of the blog has been Revit - for real for some time and in reality Revit is about 1/7th of the piece of the pie to making BIM work, but initially I set out to have a Revit tutorial blog. However, as life would have it my direction and the direction of this blog has taken a different path.

That said, I give you the brand new revised title, completely lacking in originality, but clear in purpose.....

BIM - for real...much better.

ConstrucTech Article

Good morning all!

I had a couple moments prior to the Holiday break to write an article as requested by the folks at ConstrucTech magazine. Of course, this got me to thinking about how to make the article unique and somehwat valuable to the AEC industry at large instead of the usual "What is BIM?" that we've all heard.

After talkig it over with the folks here at Barnhart, we thought it would be a good idea to go through the books and look at exactly how much the BIM department costs to each job. This then sparked a whole new idea that we should look at BIM from a business perspective and that it would be good to look at BIM from the business side of it's use. Since this first article, I have now been asked to write up four more that further outlines the "Business Case for BIM".

I encourage you to check out the first article at your leisure here or better yet order the magazine, which has the included graphics.

While it expands on the already well known McLeamy curve it was very interesting to look at the use of BIM from the GC's perspective during the construction process. Again, the bulk of effort/money is spent up front in pre-con coordination and use, however it ramps up again prior to project closeout, in the preparation of the As-Constructed BIM which added an intersting twist.

We are also looking at how we can be more cost effective on medium to smaller sized jobs as the delta between these types of projects and the larger jobs is significantly less. We are even looking at training a small batch of Superintendents into "Super Users" that limit the amount of effort (time and money) that we need to bill towards these smaller projects while maximizing the value and pre-existing expense.

Article two, will be about balancing people with software and measuring internal efficiency.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

iPhone Model Viewer

So I first purchased my iPhone a couple of months ago after buying one for the wife is chasing the little one most of the day and it gives her some semblance of sanity in its ability to email, message and take vids and pictures.

After about two months of use, I don't understand my life before it. Needless to say I get over the copious amount of dropped calls (thanks AT and T) and data charges, provided I'm able to surf the net, check emails, text using voice recognition and find a good spot for diner using the urban spoon app.

Recently while perusing the seemingly endless array of apps available I ran across a 3D model viewer app called NaviCAD and of course I have downloaded it and yes you will love it and forever forget the .99 you paid for it like I did. I used some of the Google models available under the gigantic Google warehouse and it works for simple models great, more complex models seem to slow it down a little, but I'm viewing models on a phone!

Of course this instantly put me into "what if" mode. What if we were able to walk through models on site using our handhelds? What if a facility manager could pull out his blackberry and it locates him in a 3D building using GPS and he can scan an object with it and it will tell him everything he needs to know about it? Ah, the mind runs wild...
On a side note, my wife and I are designing and preparing to build a home here,which I have uploaded to Google warehouse and I can't wait to show her what the design looks like using this app.
Now if only there was an app to keep my daughter from climbing on everything....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Interesting Technology

I recieved an email from Houston Neal with Software Advice about a pretty slick technology that allows a user to view a BIM simply by moving his head. Apparently Apple has filed for a patent using this motion sensing technology and the engineers there at Apple think it has legs. It looks like it still might have some development to go, but what a cool concept!

Link here

Eventually it would be great to see technology that allows us to use a hybrid, head motion - voice activated command system as well, to make navigating models in the field and other "non-desktop" applications easier.

Check it out and let me know what you think. Would this be helpful or is this a bell and whistle technology? Either way it could be interesting!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rendering - Post Holiday

Amazing that I'm posting the day after a break like the one we've just had!

Nonetheless I wanted to encourage everyone if they haven't tried the latest version of V-Ray lighting plug in for 3DS Max Design 2010 to do so ( ). Pretty incredible rendering and lighting settings, relatively quick output and the real time map scaler is a life saver.

That's really about it. No other tutorials other than I strongly recommend any time you export Revit files out to 3DS Max or 3DS Max Design to change your export options settings from polymesh default to the ACIS solids. This will save you a couple of redos and hopefully give you the ability to better select layers and faces to edit your material pallettes.

I'll probably post a couple of tips as we get into cranking out a rendered "non-flickering" animation. Stay tuned...

Let me know if you've used Vray. Liked it? As always, tips or tricks are always welcome.