Canadian resources & thoughts on building design technology

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Top 3 Trends for BIM in 2015

As 2015 starts, people like to pull out and dust their crystal balls to identify what will be the biggest trends for BIM. On our end, we see the convergence of many exciting technologies. We can expect that many of these will improve productivity. The following are my best guesses (Edwin's) for the coming year (not necessarily shared by our entire office):

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Beware upgrading to Revit 2015 R2...

Upgrading to a new release is not something to take lightly. It is always best practice to take a non-production copy of the project and test to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises.

There is a very serious and inconvenient issue occurring increasingly often among our clients after upgrading to Revit 2015 R2. They begin seeing an error with certain families along the lines of:
"Family X is corrupt and cannot be edited. Please reload the family to repair the project" At times we have seen this problem spread throughout the project to other families causing a major headache for all involved.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

C4R - Collaborate for Revit and the BIM collaboration landscape

On Dec 7 Autodesk is releasing a cloud based Revit collaboration solution called 'Collaborate for Revit' or C4R. This solution enables firms to collaborate across WAN without complex IT setup, but with the caveat that your project data will reside in the A360 cloud.

In addition to easy global collaboration you also get a tightly integrated instant messenger called "Communicator" that feeds all the communication, files and activity stream into the A360 project dashboard. A360 Team brings the all too familiar "Facebook Newsfeed" like social aspect to team communications.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BIM is a team sport

During a recent webinar I suggested that delivering a building project using a true BIM process could be likened to participating in a team sporting event.
If we look at any specific project as the game to be played certain things should be in place before you begin to play.

You need to know the objective of the game, the rules and where the goal lines are.

The objectives for your game are akin to goals and end uses for the BIM. It is only logical that you need to know what you are trying to accomplish before you can go about getting it done. By extension, well defined BIM goals, clearly communicated to the team, are critical to the success of any project. They can range from the ‘low hanging fruit’ (traditional 2D deliverables provided more quickly and with better coordination), to reliable quantities and construction sequencing all the way to full on post construction operations and maintenance functionality for the model.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Green Building From the Start

webinar slide
As promised during yesterday's webinar, I am posting below a few resources and links to the tools and documents I mentioned.

Please check our YouTube channel for a recording of the webinar as well as previous ones.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Finally!! Revit Collaboration in the Cloud with Project Skyscraper

Autodesk announced back in June that they were going to address some of the collaboration complexities in the Revit product portfolio by introducing Project Skyscraper. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Are You Seeing a Return from your BIM Investment? (Part 2) - The Detail

In my last post, I talked about how firms should be analyzing their technology investment – specifically in BIM.  I made a statement that set out a few assumptions:

For a yearly expense equivalent to one person’s salary in a 20-30 person firm many could see such returns.  In any other walk of life that would be considered a phenomenal Return on Investment and yet to improve all of their staffs’ work environment, to improve the buildings they deliver, and, as a result, take more of their fee home with them, the design professions are not willing to take this “risk”.  As someone who has worked in this industry, I SHOULD understand this!  Even more puzzling is why do savvy building owners, smart risk-takers who are willing to invest in expensive projects, not want to save hundreds of thousands, if not millions due to this technology and process change?”

Let me break down these assumptions.

1. Spend the Equivalent of One Person’s Salary
We work with a lot of firms of this size (20-20 staff). In almost every case a similar scenario has evolved.  A fee is quoted on a project and by the time the project goes to construction almost all, if not all of this fee is spent.  All of the contract administration becomes overhead to the project. Then the changes start to arise and the final product is compromised (value engineered) in order to be delivered.  Every change made costs the owner and the designer in time, money, or quality, often all 3.
In every case, the investment we recommend amounts to between $50,000 and $100,000; less after the 1st year of success.  Most employee’s cost falls within that range. So, if there are 20 employees, this amounts to 5% of their cost.  So, a return of anything over that would be a good investment, and this is without all of the other inherent benefits.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Great Week for Building Performance

Today has been a great day for building performance and simulation. There have been three exciting announcements in the past 48 hours, relating to Autodesk products:
  • The Solar Radiation add-in is now available for Revit through Autodesk Labs
  • Energy Analysis for Dynamo alpha version has been released 
  • EnergyPlus has been "Raised to the power of the cloud"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Are You Seeing a Return from your BIM Investment? (Part 1)

There are a lot of things in this world that I don’t understand – what seems logical to some, is not obvious to others. In our business at Summit, we deal with buildings and how to deliver them in a better way. So I should understand why people with expertise will argue against the logic of such beneficial change as BIM.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Upcoming Webinars to Realize the Full Potential of BIM

Win with BIM
Photo Credit: @yakobusan Jakob Montrasio 孟亚柯
Summit Technologies presents a new series of monthly webinars focused on realizing the full potential of BIM:

Free Webinar: Where to Win with BIM

Tuesday, September 23 at 11:00 am (PDT)

Where should you win with BIM? Everywhere. It should be instrumental in the direction of your organization and at its core, should improve on traditional deliverables. But, is that enough? Bob Heyman, President of Summit will demonstrate how you can improve your delivery, produce better buildings, and gain more work as a result of realizing the full potential of BIM.