Monday, December 06, 2010

HOK Open House and Book Signing

If you’re in New York City, please consider attending HOK’s first open house event at our new office location. I’ll be giving a brief presentation about Mastering Revit Architecture 2011 and the IPD process for designing and building our new space.

  • 1065 Avenue of the Americas, 6th Floor
  • Thursday, December 16th from 6:00-8:00 pm

Click here to RSVP before December 10. (Note that you MUST RSVP to gain access to the building.)


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting Ready for AU 2010

If you’re heading out to Las Vegas for Autodesk University next week, I’ve compiled some links to some great preparatory information.

Melanie Perry (aka Mistress of the Dorkness) has a funny, but totally true AU survival guide on her blog. Lynn Allen produced two '”primer” videos on YouTube (Part 1 and Part 2 available below).

Being environmentally friendly, Autodesk does not provide printed handouts for classes – except for hands-on labs – so, here’s how I’ll be going paperless this year…

First, the devices: iPhone 3G and iPad – should cover most of my connectivity, tweeted photos and note taking capabilities. Not sure if my laptop will follow me around full-time.

Second, the apps. My favorite all-around app is Evernote. With a limited free account, I can create notes on either the iPhone, iPad, PC or web browser and they are all synchronized. Seriously thinking about upgrading to a Pro account… This is essential for capturing all my notes from the plethora of great class offerings. It offers text/audio/photo notes, tagging, search and a variety of other features. If you’ve read Total Recall by Gordon Bell, you know that Evernote is frequently referenced as one of the main offsprings of the LifeLogging movement. If you haven’t read it…find it on iBooks now!

Don’t expect to receive a printed event guide this year either. Autodesk is offering a mobile app from EventKaddy. The app will be available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry and should be ready as of Friday November 26.

I have downloaded my class handouts into my Dropbox account which also has apps for iPhone and iPad. This gets the files onto my mobile devices, but I highly recommend GoodReader for the iPad. It fluidly reads a variety of document formats and has nice markup tools. It also can display documents externally with the VGA adapter. Open a file in the Dropbox app and click the link in the upper-right to open in another eligible app. Finally, I’ll be keeping track of the tweets via Tweetdeck on either the phone or pad. ( Also be sure to follow @AutodeskU and the hashtag #AU2010.

I hope to see you there. It’s always been fun meeting readers of my blog, so don’t be shy…come say ‘Hi!’

Getting to AU and registration
Special events and navigating the conference

Monday, October 25, 2010

Event Recap: BIMForum Atlanta

Note: My conference notes were captured exclusively via Evernote on the iPad!

In my last post, I shared just a few pictures from the first pre-conference event at BIMForum Atlanta. In this article, I will summarize the experience of attending my third BIMForum event. In prior years, I had participated in this conference in Falls Church, VA and Dallas, TX – both of which were definitely worth the trip.

This time around, the AGC stuck with the modus operandi of a themed conference. Held at the W Hotel Midtown, the theme was “The Evidence of BIM” or “The Evidence on BIM” – depending on which handout I was reading…perhaps an interesting typo, but I digress. As always one of the main benefits of this type of event is the face-to-face networking - especially outside my ‘comfort zone’ of BIM management. The BIMForum touts one of the most diverse audiences that I’ve seen to date. A quick survey by BIMForum chairman, John Tocci, indicated an even mix of architects, engineers and contractors with a smaller contingency of those representing the owner & facility operating community.

Now, back to the theme…which I’ll simplify as “Evidence” for the sake of this article. The initial marketing leaned towards providing case studies of firms and organizations using or requiring BIM and the benefits they are realizing as a result. Presentations were delivered from a variety of industry sectors, some of which didn’t seem to fit within the “Evidence” theme. I now realize this is not necessarily a bad thing. Recalling the Dallas conference, the overall theme seemed to be forced into the last few slides of EVERY presentation, whether the lecture had anything to do with the theme or not. For that, I’m thankful.

Before I dive into a more detailed review of some key presentations, please note that some or all of the presentation material should be available on the website soon.

BIMForum Tours

What has become a staple of these conferences, I signed up for the pre-conference BIM tour. This time we visited the campus of Georgia Tech, a really beautiful university that is close to downtown Atlanta. First we were lead on a tour of an addition to the school of architecture being constructed by Beck Group. Of interest was the fact that they assumed the role of the subcontractor for the furniture contract and used some interesting tools and techniques. They had quite a learning curve as they worked with point clouds from laser scans of existing stairwells to append new millwork rails. The workflow seemed a bit convoluted (Rhino to Inventor to EdgeCam to CNC Router), but ultimately was the best available to the team.

IMG_0210  IMG_0208


The second part of the tour brought us to the Digital Building Laboratory with Chuck Eastman. This is a large facility that was formerly dedicated to advanced wood engineering, but is transforming into research of other materials such as precast concrete and masonry. You can read more about their expertise and projects at Of note is a new masters degree program being offered next year called Master of Science in Digital Design and Fabrication (MSDDF).

IMG_0218   IMG_0220


Conference Day 1

Back at the W Hotel, we began the conference with a variety of presentations kicked off by Debajyoti Pati of HKS speaking about evidence-based design. He stressed the importance of the role of the designer in identifying the strategic goals of their clients. Based on results from the medical field where research is used in an attempt to reduce preventable deaths at hospitals, Pati suggests that energy performance predictions will improve occupied facilities and clash detection methods will enhance the construction process.

From Georgia Tech, Chuck Eastman discussed the work he has been doing with GSA in simulating and analyzing circulation routes in early design models. He and his students have also been using Solibri to translate models for use in energy analysis software. This is an interesting departure – using a model checking program – instead of using a direct API tool for exporting or relying on IFC. Ioannis Brilakis spoke about his research with automated real-time videogrammetry (ART-V). You really have to check out more info at the Construction Information Technology Laboratoty ( to fully understand the importance of this technology to the industry! Jochen Teizer also spoke about his work with the Real-Time Automated Project Information and Decision Systems (RAPIDS) lab which can be found at

Bruce Hunn from ASHRAE gave a presentation about performance measurement protocols for commercial buildings which was interesting, but a bit of a dry topic. I’ll be sure to collect his slides for future reference if they are made available on the BIMForum website. Following Bruce was Josh Oakley and Frank Fralick – who were our tour guides from Beck on the school of architecture construction project.

Hilda Espinal and Chitwan Saluja from Perkins + Will discussed three of their recent BIM projects using varying degrees of collaboration with others. Nothing too new here, but I was curious to know more about their discussion of contractors making requests to them for modeling adjustments. If the designer is doing more work to help the contractors do less work…how much extra was P+W getting paid? I’m sure I know the answer to that.

Brett Young from Cahill Contractors spoke about their use of BIM – although I didn’t really see how it applied to “marginally historic buildings” as the presentation title stated. That said, Cahill’s main business is in affordable housing in California. They have been using BIM to improve their bottom line in constructing these building types. Two interesting factoids from this presentation: they point clients directly to the Penn State BIM Execution Planning site to better understand the defined BIM uses; and, in understanding the potential additional cost of asking their subcontractors to provide BIM, they stated the highest cost is related to increased meeting requirements resulting in additional labor costs.

They also mentioned one or two projects where they used a 3D model to discover egregious errors in the architect’s drawings. This is something that is a pet peeve of mine – some architects have seem to lost sight of their responsibility to provide coordinated designs. Just because you’re using a BIM tool, doesn’t mean that your designs are automatically coordinated!!

Harry McKinney and Scott Cutler from Clancy and Theys Construction spoke about “How BIM Attracts and Inspires Unexpected Uses” – an interesting look into the application of BIM to a science museum with a large sphere incorporated into the design. They spoke about presenting the model to museum stakeholders, using clash detection to find interferences with exhibits and problems with the vertical clearances (hello, architects?!!). The model was also used to detect quirky maintenance and service issues behind the spherical screen structure before they became real problems after occupancy.

To conclude Day 1, John Moebes from Crate & Barrel delivered yet another inspiring talk about “An Owner’s Changing Use of BIM.” Back at the Dallas BIMForum, John gave a somewhat vitriolic view from the owner’s perspective towards the AEC community seeking to be compensated for their use of BIM. This time around, he shared some fantastic views on efficiency and productivity. His team’s construction schedules are being reduced from 88 weeks to about 56 weeks with a goal of reducing it to around 40 weeks. They can accomplish this by a new method of delivery Moebes refers to as “design – build – bid.” This seemingly odd sequence actually make perfect business sense. Get your critical path trades (foundation, superstructure, electric, enclosure) done with pre-arranged partners, then put the remaining trades out to bid for local contractors. I could go on and on about John’s proposed “AEC moon shot” but you can view one of his recent presentations recorded at KA-Connect in Chicago to get a taste of his motivational techniques.

Conference Day 2

The second day of the conference was an extended panel presentation by a selected group of owners ranging from Target, to Worcester Polytech, to Sandia National Labs. To lead off the discussions, Karie Johnson from AEC Transormations spoke about her work in defining BIM requirement documents for owners. Johnson used a creative reference to the Dr. Seuss character Sam I Am as a segue to a ‘Should you? Would you? Could you?’ presentation about the do’s and don’ts of these types of documents. She has reviewed many documents and shared some really bad passages from them – definitely worth asking for a copy of her presentation for a good laugh.

Guillermo Salazar and Alfredo DiMauro from WPI spoke about their use of BIM on campus, which was somewhat similar to the afternoon talk delivered by Colleen Kasprzak and Ed Gannon from Penn State University. Here you have two organizations with enormous building asset portfolios who are starting to grasp the value of the information – the ‘I’ in BIM – as it relates to operating, managing and maintaining their facilities. One metric referenced by the Penn State presenters was that even a 10% improvement in the productivity of work orders would result in about $3 million dollars in annual savings.

Steven Wolf from Target spoke about his organizations plan to start implementing BIM for construction of new stores. Target’s design and construction process is almost completely based on a highly customized Bentley Microstation environment. Wolf stated that it was a challenge overcoming the strategic difference between the business leaders (“Exactly how are you going to measure your success?”) and the architects (“We like BIM because it’s cool!”) in developing an implementation plan. One interesting area of research they are pursuing is in the improvement of code reviews. Target spends $40-50 million a year in change orders associated with inconsistent interpretation of local building codes. In addition to working with the ICC on guidelines for replicable buildings, they are working with Avolve Software (makers of ProjectDox) on the development of ePlan review technology.

Finally, Birgitta Foster of Sandia National Labs closed the series of presentations with a look at the value of BIM for facilities management in what she calls “Design for Maintenance.” Foster shared some metrics in a similar thread to the earlier statements by Penn State and WPI. First, we were treated to some visual comparisons of mechanical equipment installed well and some not so well. What went wrong with the latter? Given simple, single-line diagrams and unrelated specifications instead of a 3D model and/or diagram, designers and engineers may leave real coordination up to the contractors in the field. Without an intense 3D understanding of a complex mechanical installation, a design team can unwittingly add to the lifetime cost of maintaining it. Foster offered a sample work order template form which indicated a number of hours to service a piece of equipment with “easy access” and double the hours for “hard access.”  It’s issues like these that can easily make the case for the requirement of BIM from the owners’ side and clearly delineate the place of the design team in coordinating the effort before construction.



The owners’ presentations were concluded with a lively panel discussion, which also included John Moebes from the previous day. Moebes was asking MEP engineers why they won’t do LOD400 models, citing the common response is that they assume being more specific would be costing the client money by avoiding a competitive bid. He argues otherwise, that he’d rather be able to efficiently procure a known system than rely on a field installation of a prescribed design.

An interesting take on implementation, particularly at larger organizations, is that amidst larger changes BIM can be the smallest diversion. One final note of interest to the A/E community is that a few references were made to organizations that are beginning to embrace how BIM can change the traditional design process. Ohio State reportedly will pay design fees earlier, but not necessarily more. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is willing to transfer some contingency costs to the design team if BIM is used to reduce some of the unknowns related to traditional methods. It’s all about speed, but at the same fee.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

BIMForum Atlanta Day 1

So, I'm trying to beat Greg Arkin to the punch and be the first person to blog about the latest AGC BIMForum being held in Atlanta. Our first day featured a tour of Georgia Tech including Chuck Eastman's Digital Building Lab as well as a construction site tour of a new annex to the school of architecture by Beck Construction. Really great stuff! More details to come...




Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Revit Subscription Advantage

Hello everyone. My name is James and I'm a lazy blogger.

Yes, I am quite excited to have participated in Autodesk's annual Blogger Day, but brilliant and efficient 'blogitects' have beaten me to the punch as I prepare for my upcoming book event in Toronto.

Here are a few reviews of the soon to be released Revit Subscription Advantage Pack for your enjoyment:

Lachmi Khemlani on AECBytes
David Light on Revit
Steve Stafford on RevitOpEd

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

NYC Revit Users Group, August 2010

The next monthly meeting of the New York City Revit Users Group is this Thursday, August 5 at 6:00 pm Eastern. The featured topic is “BIM for Project Delivery: Methods that Approach Integration” with Scott Wood, AIA, LEED AP from Tishman Construction.

This presentation will explore uses of BIM in post construction document phases, discuss contract language that relates to these uses and describe methods for delivering models that can be efficiently deployed for these uses.

If you are in the NYC area, please RSVP at our meetup site ( or you can register for the webcast by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mastering Revit in the wild!

The first sighting of our new book – Mastering Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011 – has been reported in the US! Eddy got his shipment of promo copies today and just take a look at the size of this one…



Eddy, Phil and I are really proud of the content we’ve developed for this year’s edition. We hope you’ll enjoy it, too. As always, feel free to drop us a line at MasteringRevit or visit our Facebook page.

It’s still available at the discounted preorder price on, so hurry up before it goes up to regular price.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Event: buildingSMART in Architecture

Just a quick note that I will be giving a lecture in New York City at the Center for Architecture on July 13. My presentation is titled “buildingSMART in Architecture” and will be focused on how the design profession needs to step up to the plate and provide more relevance to the building process before builders and fabricators take over our services – and fees.  Several project case studies from HOK will be presented to support the notion of using BIM and integrated design and delivery to support life-cycle information stewardship, rather than just the latest way to deliver paper documents.

Registration is free, but you must RSVP at the AIA NY website by clicking here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Revit and the oil spill

So I decided to take Eddy Krygiel up on his challenge to model the volume of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico by the BP disaster because it was just announced that the actual oil spilled may now be double the original estimates. Reuters says that approximately 2 million barrels may have leaked since the event on April 20.

Oil Spill2 million barrels =
84 million gallons/317 million litres =
415,895 cubic yards/317,975 cubic meters

How big is that? I started to build some masses in Revit to visualize this volume. First, I used an American NFL football field (160’ x 300’ – end zones excluded). The mass would be about 234 feet (71.3 m) tall. I then linked in a model of the Lever House office building (SOM) in New York. If I modeled a mass based on the footprint of the tower, the oil spill volume would be almost 1,400 feet (426 m) tall!

Here’s a link to download a 3D DWF file of this model to explore the scope of this disaster on your own.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Three NYC BIM Events

There are three exciting BIM-related events coming up this month in New York City – two of them are scheduled for Thursday June 10.

NYC Revit Users Group

What’s New in Revit Structure and MEP 2011
June 10, 6:00 pm

As a followup to our previous presentation on the new features of Revit Architecture 2011 (recording available on Vimeo), the June monthly meeting will focus on the latest and greatest enhancements to the Structure and MEP programs. Brian Johnson, PE – a Technical Specialist with Autodesk – will demonstrate the new stuff in Revit Structure while Jeremy Snyder, PE, LEED AP and Chad Konrad, PE, LEED AP from Buro Happold will show off some fantastic new tools in Revit MEP.

RSVP for the NYC RUG meeting by clicking here or register for the webcast.

RICS Americas

The X Factor for Building Information Modeling Success
June 10, 5:00 pm

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors is hosting a panel discussion at NYU focused on the benefits in using uniform measurement standards and BIM. Moderated by Simon Taylor, FRICS, Principal of Questant Corportation, the panel will consist of:

  • James P. Barrett, National BIM Director, Turner Construction
  • David Burney, Commissioner, NYC Department of Design + Construction
  • Greg Schleusner, Associate, HOK New York
  • Andrew Mann, FRICS, Managing Director, Gardiner & Theobald Inc.

For more information and to register for this event, click here.

NYC BIM + NYC RUG Joint Event

BIM Construction to Assemblage: A New Perspective on Supply Chain
June 15, 5:30 pm

A special joint event between the NYC BIM Group and the NYC Revit Users Group will take place at the Gunlocke Company LLC. The presentation will consist of three speakers representing different viewpoints of BIM and the construction supply chain:

  • Dr. Layek Abdel-Malek, PhD from NJIT will speak about the theory of tele-manufacturing
  • Brian Frank, Manufacturing Industry Manager for Autodesk will discuss tools and software that are available or being developed
  • David Campbell, Vice President of Operations & Technology at Hunter Roberts Construction Group will show how BIM is being applied and implemented with specific case studies

For more info and to RSVP, visit the NYC BIM group. NYC RUG members can RSVP by clicking here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Archicad and Revit IFC workflow

My excellent colleague Greg forwarded this video to me. It was created by the developers of Archicad and it shows collaborative workflows between their BIM platform and Revit Structure as well as Revit MEP. This integration is enabled completely through the use of IFC files (Industry Foundation Classes) which are supplemented by free Revit plug-ins that optimize the IFC output. The IFC files are then merged into Archicad using specific filters based on the origin of the export. After merging, the imported model geometry is fully editable.

Recent blog posts on Revit OpEd and Bolt Out of the Red diminish the importance of IFC’s in a Revit BIM environment, but I say that this type of sentiment is short sighted in realizing the bigger picture. I can see the value of developing a direct and specific port for data using a fully open API, but does that mean that every program in the AEC market needs to develop a Revit plug-in for interoperability? Surely, Autodesk needs to spend some time improving the IFC import/export capabilities of Revit and we intend to share some necessary (and reality-based) areas for improvement.

As an aside, I have written a complete chapter in Mastering Revit Architecture 2011 titled “Interoperability: Working Multi-platform” which has all sorts of real world scenarios for sharing data with Revit. I hope you find it useful when the book hits the shelves.

<< Also published on Arch | Tech >>

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

NYU BIM Webinar – next week

There’s still time to register for my webinar on building information modeling offered by NYU. The session will take place on Wednesday May 19 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm Eastern US time. The registration fee is $150.

While this session may not appeal directly to the devoted BIM experts who read this blog, I encourage you to recommend this session to senior team leaders who may not have begun to drink the Kool Aid yet. My webinar will review the essential concepts (what is BIM/what isn’t BIM/BIM tools), the benefits and business case for BIM (uses/opportunities/goals), and how BIM relates to integrated project delivery (IPD).

Webinar attendees will be able to interact with me and ask questions. Feel free to even set up this broadcast in a conference room and share the information with several colleagues.

Here’s the direct link to register:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Revit 2011 Event in NYC

Just announced today…I will be one of the presenters at an Autodesk Product Launch event sponsored by Imaginit Technologies. This free event is scheduled for Thursday April 29 from 8 AM to 12 PM in New York City. I will be demonstrating the new features (not just Powerpoint!) of Revit Architecture 2011 and Scott Burke (Imaginit) will be covering Revit MEP and Structure. I’ve been working with the Revit 2011 platform through the beta phases for my book (Mastering Revit Architecture 2011 – Wiley, 2010) and am really excited about the latest release.

Ed Deal and Tanya West from Autodesk will be presenting a variety of other product highlights including AutoCAD, Ecotect Analysis, Green Building Studio and Civil 3D. Please come and join us for what should be a fun event. (and breakfast is included!)

Click here to register for the event.


Monday, April 12, 2010

NYU BIM Webinar

Over the past year, faculty leaders at New York University have been making significant efforts to offer more alternatives to traditional in-class learning. One of these initiatives is a series of webinars integrated with various course offerings.

I will be presenting an overview of building information modeling for the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies in a 90 minute webinar on May 19, 2010. The fee for this session is $150 and you can enroll online.

This session will be mostly for individuals who would like to get a better depth of understanding into the fundamentals of BIM, available tools, industry benefits and its relation to integrated project delivery.

Click here to visit the webpage for the webinar.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

NYC-RUG rat on the prowl

randyheadshot22 Fellow Wiley author (BIM and Integrated Design, 2011) and blogger Randy Deutsch AIA, LEED AP has written a glowing (and quite detailed) review of our latest New York City Revit Users Group meeting here. I’ve subscribed to Randy’s blog in recent months and it’s a quite impressive read. Can’t wait to get a copy of his book!

As an FYI to Randy and our other webcast attendees, we had a bit of an interesting scenario this month at our lecture location. A group was in our space – right up to the start of our event! I had to start the webinar on an alternate laptop in the adjacent gallery while our guests mingled – then turn everything over to the podium laptop as the Pratt crew changed the room over. Lesson learned? I’ll probably change the start time of the webinar to 6:15 or so to avoid the loss of attention. Thanks to Randy for the feedback.

Take a stroll over to and prepare to be entertained…

Friday, March 19, 2010

Post-Meeting Conversion for GoToMeeting

I found this tip recently and it’s been a real life-saver. If you use GoToMeeting or GoToWebinar from Citrix and frequently record your sessions you might have realized there are two formats in which your meeting can be recorded. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to create a GoToMeeting/Webinar recording, then how to convert it at a later date.

When you are hosting a meeting or webinar, first make sure the Recording panel is available by clicking the View menu and select Recording:


Quick tip: Did you know you could start and stop the recording many times throughout the meeting/webinar to customize exactly what you want to capture?

To view the recording format options, click the Settings link in the Recording panel:


If you use the GoToMeeting format, you won’t go through a conversion process when the meeting ends, but anyone who wants to view the recording must have the GoToMeeting codec installed. If the viewer had participated in a GoToMeeting at any time, they should already have the codec installed. The other option is to “Convert to Windows Media Player file,” but this takes time for a longer meeting recording. What if you need to pack up your laptop right after the meeting?

The problem I’ve found with the G2M format method is that many video hosting sites won’t recognize that video format. If you record in G2M format, you might think you’re out of luck for conversion options, but here’s the solution…

The Windows Media format encoder is on your system as part of the G2M installation. You can actually run this from a command prompt following these steps:

  1. Copy your G2M recording into the following folder: c:\Program Files\Citrix\GoToMeeting\320\ [For 64-bit operating systems, the path will start with c:\Program Files (x86)]. You should keep your filename short and without spaces.
  2. Open the command line. On Vista / Windows 7, click the Start button and in the search box type: cmd and press Enter; in Windows XP, click the Start button, select Run, and type: cmd and press Enter.
  3. Type: cd C:\Program Files\Citrix\GoToMeeting\320\ and press Enter. This should take you to the GTM directory. Remember to add “(x86)” for 64-bit systems.
  4. Type: g2mtranscoder source=GoToMeetingRecording.wmv (replace with the name of your GTM video).

Thanks go to the forum user who posted this solution – unfortunately, I didn’t bookmark the link after finding it with a Google search.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Autodesk Show Reel

Always an impressive compilation, the Autodesk show reel highlights some of the best visualization work of their customers. Check it out…

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

NYC BIM Event – March 2010

The next meeting for the New York City Revit User Group (NYC-RUG) is scheduled for March 18 beginning at 6:00 PM. We will be featuring a presentation titled “BIM and its Application to the Building Lifecycle.”  Our speakers will be Chuck Mies, LEED AP/Assoc. AIA, Richard Thomas, AIA/NCARB/LEED AP and John Aaron Phillips, LEED AP.  Chuck is BIM Solutions Executive with Autodesk who works on a national scale with university clients.  Richard and Aaron are with SHP Leading Design with headquarters in Ohio.  SHP was founded in 1901 and offers planning, architecture, interior design, engineering, construction administration and facilities management services.  They helped Indiana University develop their BIM Standards and Protocols and have also been featured in a recent Autodesk Customer Story.

Chuck, Richard and Aaron will discuss how owners are using BIM to face certain challenges within the building lifecycle and how the industry is poised to support these initiatives.  They will also talk about developing standards for BIM deliverables and use of contract documents such as AIA E202 (BIM Protocol Exhibit) and others.

For a complete presentation abstract and speaker bios, visit the NYC-RUG event calendar.

About the Event

This event is the first joint venture between the NYC-RUG and the NYC Metro BIM Group (a buildingSMARTalliance Interest Group).  Please visit either link to join one or both of the groups for event location and to RSVP if you plan on attending in person.  You can also register for the free webcast by clicking here.

AIA Continuing Education credits will be available for in-person attendees


Saturday, February 13, 2010

NYC Revit Users Group: Broadcasts

The New York City Revit Users Group (NYC-RUG) has kicked off 2010 in grand style.  We have featured presentations from Cory Dippold of Hatch Mott Macdonald and Ian Keough from Buro Happold.  These meetings are broadcast via the Internet and are usually recorded for future viewing.  Some people have asked me about our broadcasts and recordings, so here’s how we do it…

We use GotoWebinar to broadcast our meetings which includes phone or IP audio.  We use a Logitech USB desktop microphone to broadcast the audio.  GotoWebinar has built-in recording which has decent compression – an hour-long presentation may be around 100 Mb.  As an alternative, we can also record with Camtasia from TechSmith, but those recordings would be 300-500 Mb, depending on the production format.

Our meetings are archived on (link to our group’s recordings).  SOM still provides that account as well as the GotoWebinar account.  So far, we’ve archived all the meetings we’ve recorded.  The Screencast account is reasonably priced, $100/yr for 25GB and 200GB of bandwidth (bandwidth is accumulated within a month period).

Other Options

I have also been participating in a buildingSMART interest group in DC which uses for broadcasting their meetings.  It’s far less expensive than GotoWebinar ($10 for a one-day pass) and has free teleconference, but not IP audio (consider whether you have a good conference calling phone at your meeting site).  I don’t think they have a recording feature either.  The performance of the broadcasts is pretty good (I usually watch these sessions on my laptop over my wireless connection at home, which is 802.11n on cable ISP).

I am also looking into other hosting options for our recorded content.  Services like YouTube are for short, viral videos which doesn’t fit our model; however, new sites such as Vimeo and allow longer videos of higher quality.  Check out my new ‘show’ on  Architecture-Tech

The Breakdown

GotoWebinar:  $99/month, up to 1000 viewers in a session, unlimited webinars, IP and phone audio, recording, muting controls, registration, automatic emails, Q&A panel, audience roster, audience attentiveness report, multiple presenters/panelists  $50/month or $500/year or $10/day, up to 100 attendees, includes conference call number

BIM In Education

Here’s one of our recordings from our November 2009 meeting.  The topic was BIM in Education and was presented by yours truly along with Lennart Anderssen from BBG-BBGM.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

BIM+IPD in Chicago

Congratulations are in order for HOK's own David Ivey - Associate and BIM Manager for the Chicago office!  Randy Deutsch AIA LEED AP has posted a great review of the monthly BIM+IPD group David hosts at the HOK office.

Read the full article on Randy's blog: BIM and Integrated
or on Life at HOK.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Web-based AutoCAD

Autodesk Labs has recently introduced Project Butterfly - a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model of AutoCAD. This seems to be modeled in a similar way to their Freewheel service for Design Web Format (DWF) collaboration.  Users can upload DWG files and invite others to view and edit your designs - with or without a Project Butterfly account.

Friday, January 08, 2010

The Third & The Seventh

Is it live...or is it BIM? A fellow Autodesk forum member posted a link to the following short film by Alex Roman featuring Louis Kahn's Exeter Library.  Watch the video, then be amazed at how it was created by viewing the Compositing Breakdown video that follows.  Fantastic technology, art and architecture.

The Third & The Seventh from Alex Roman on Vimeo.


Compositing Breakdown (T&S) from Alex Roman on Vimeo.