Thursday, October 29, 2009

Material Takeoffs Follow-up

Back in April, I posted a tip on using the Paint tool in Revit and how it affects material takeoffs. Ryan Duell has also just posted a useful tip for using calculated values in a material takeoff to avoid calculating all surfaces of an object.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

BIM Content Survey

Access to a wealth of well-made, data-rich content is a critical part of implementing BIM in any context.  Product manufacturers want to get such data into the hands of Architects and Engineers, but where do they start?

McGraw_Hill Construction has an ongoing survey to gather some of these requirements from the design community.  If you haven’t done so already, please participate in the online survey – it only takes a few minutes.

Also visit McGraw_Hill’s Special Section on BIM at

NYC Revit User Group

In case you’re not already a member, the New York City Revit User Group meets monthly and is hosted on at  Our group’s next meeting is on Thursday November 5 at 6 PM and will feature a discussion on “BIM in Education.” Events are usually held at the Pratt Manhattan Campus, but check the group website for updates.

If you can’t attend in person, you can register for the live webcast here.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Infinity Tower

<< Also featured on Arch | Tech >>

One of my favorite recent SOM projects is currently featured in The Architect’s Newspaper. The Infinity Tower is a spiraling luxury residential building reaching 1,038 feet over the Dubai waterfront.  Designed by structural wizard Bill Baker and former New Yorker, Ross Wimer, the elegant structure was designed with the help of the brilliant Victor Gane (Stanford CIFE, etc.) in Digital Project.

“We try to take something that’s complex and make it simple. Simple for the exterior guys, simple for the concrete guys, simple for the sales agent. It’s the same floor plate because every floor rotates around the central column.”


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Revit Subscription Advantage Pack

I seem to be the last of the bloggers to provide a summation of Autodesk’s “Blogger Day” and the preview of a soon-to-be-released “Subscription Advantage Pack” for all Revit platform products.  Such tardiness has its benefits…fellow bloggers have eloquently summarized the new features…and Steve Stafford has graciously listed said posts into one.  Thanks Steve!

By the way, this update will only be available to Autodesk Subscription customers, but there are many compelling reasons to get there…

  • Free software updates, patches, point releases, etc.
  • Cool new tools and add-ons
  • Free access to AU Virtual Premier Pass
  • Training videos, e-Learning, webcasts
  • Direct support from Autodesk (awesome for Revit!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The alter ego

In case you haven’t heard, I have joined Phil Read and Eddy Krygiel over on the Arch | Tech blog…yet I still don’t know how to pronounce “archi-tech-ure.” We’ll be sharing fun and thoughtful posts – some of which will appear on this blog, too!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Did you mean…huh?

Before posting a support request to Autodesk earlier today, I decided to do a quick search in their KnowledgeBase for a potential solution to my issue.  They have a ‘suggestion’ feature similar to Google just in case you misspelled your search terms or nothing was found.  This happened to me once, and I thought something caught my eye.  Searching again confirmed it…I must be searching the wrong language!


Penn State BIM Execution Guides

Over the past couple of years, I seem to have bumped into students from Penn State at a variety of conferences and events.  While appearing resourceful and eager to conduct an interview or have me participate in a BIM survey, nothing ever materialized…until now.

This past week, the folks at Penn State University’s “Computer Integrated Construction Research Program” have posted some valuable resources focused on real BIM implementation – specifically, a BIM Project Execution Planning Guide and associated document templates.

Blog-PennSt-BIM-1   Blog-PennSt-BIM-2









Download this information for free at their website below (registration is required):

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Stereotyped Architects in Virtual Reality

Even in the digital realm, Architects still have those silly poses:


DigitalCoordination-GuyImage extracted from a slide show posted on BIMable from the AIA Houston BIM Association’s Fall seminar.  The presenters were Jeff Chittenden, AIA (WHR Architects) and Jim Jacobi (Walter P. Moore).

Friday, October 02, 2009

BIM Manager to Architect?

As a licensed Architect-turned CAD Manager-turned BIM Manager, I found myself at yet another career crossroad when the economy dipped into recession earlier this year.  To maintain employment, those of us in a so-called “Digital Design Group” needed to become embedded in billable work; thus, I was lucky enough to become part of a project team designing a large project in India.  This was the first project work I’ve been personally involved in since the design phases of One World Trade Center several years ago (we started implementing Revit on that project in February 2004!).  Since January (my, how time flies!), I have been building, coordinating and documenting with a fantastic team of design and technical professionals.  The bond of hard work and close collaboration is something I had missed in the years dedicated to research, development, support, implementation and training.

I’m sure this story resonates with many of those who have crossed the chasm from architecture or engineering into digital design specialization.  I recall a conversation with a friend at Gensler who appreciated remaining as an Architect (or ‘Architectural Professional’ as the case may be) and forgoing a possibly accelerated promotion track in a BIM leadership position.  Now I can say I truly appreciate his point of view!  There are very few A/E firms that can appreciate or support an individual or team dedicated to the development, support and/or implementation of digital design tools.  My firm has a long history of developing and implementing cutting edge technology, but ultimately we are a design firm – not a software company.  In my opinion, it was a blessing to have programs such as Revit, Digital Project, Navisworks and Ecotect become robust enough to enable us to stay close to the cutting edge without the need to build these tools ourselves like we did in the 1980’s (read more, from “The Engineering Design Revolution” an online book written by David E. Weisberg at

Now it is up to me to decide if I fully return to Architecture, stick with Digital Design, or pioneer a new hybrid of the two…think “VDC-certified Architect.”