FREE WEBCAST! …
" Using Revit to create BIM Construction Documents."
Wednesday January 28th 4:00 -5:00 PM EST
On-line, desktop to desktop demonstration lesson on how HEGRA Architects uses REVIT Architecture to create its BIM Construction Documents (CDs).
Presented and moderated by Ed Goldberg.
REGISTER in advance and receive all conferencing instructions.
Ed Goldberg’s new Revit 2009 book is now available.
For information go to http://www.prenhall.com/
Purchase at discount from:
In this Issue:
The slump in the building industry and related trades is hitting home. On my first night at AU, I asked a fellow attendee what he did professionally, only to learn that, along with approximately 39 other staff, he had just received a pink slip from a well known architectural firm. What are concerns in the field? See this from Architect OnLine. To be fair, most everyone else I talked to mentioned that they were OK … for now, as am I in my own practice. However, because of an uncertain future, even with a free press pass to AU and a free room, I had to think twice before shelling out the dollars for the airfare. I do think, however, that even in this economy, AU is the best buy for the buck in the use of Autodesk’s products and is well worth the cost.
At AU, Autodesk showed a sneak preview of the next release of Revit, featuring freeform design tools and a ribbon bar interface. Using many of their AEC and manufacturing products, Autodesk gave demonstrations of present cutting edge capabilities available for the AEC industry. Also shared were projects that the company’s research & development arm (Autodesk Labs) is currently working on as well as a few sneak peeks into the future. Generally, Autodesk foresees greater interoperability of its AEC software with its software for the manufacturing industry.
Carl also mentioned new trends that he sees in the
software/hardware industry such as Software As A Service (SAAS) –
where users rent software as needed, owning only a keyboard, and monitor.
He also spoke about cloud computing, where users rent high
processing power over the web. This is available from Amazon now. Carl
didn’t make it clear if Autodesk was developing these areas for future
profit, but if so, it would enable many firms to use Autodesk hardware and
software in new ways.
Carl Bass & Ed after the Media session
VICO Office, a new suite of estimating and scheduling applications, featured at AU, is targeted for release in March of 2009. I have been very excited about automated estimating and scheduling from the BIM, as this is one area which adds real value to the construction process. In my opinion, because of VICO’s experience in this arena, Office will be the most comprehensive BIM estimating and scheduling program available.
Approximately 2 years ago, VICO Software purchased Graphisoft’s Constructor and Estimator, based on ArchiCAD and originally developed in-house by a large Finnish construction firm. VICO is increasing its market reach by replacing Constructor and Estimator (repackaged as Vico’s Virtual Construction Suite) with a new product, VICO Office, a BIM neutral platform compatible with BIM industry standard authoring tools, Revit and Tekla in addition to their longstanding support of ArchiCAD. Vico executives stated that support for other popular authoring tools will follow, but no specific BIM products or file formats were named. . Office will allow project stakeholders (designers, engineers, GCs, subs) to work with the BIM tools they like best along with model-based scheduling using Vico’s flowline concept (4D). VICO also claims to be the leader in 5D BIM, which is a complete extension of the 3D model to include 4D scheduling and 5D estimating, based on quantities, means and methods, and locations.
The same components that made up Vico’s Virtual Construction Suite will be part of the VICO Office to which files can be published from Revit, Tekla and ArchiCAD. For example, on the Revit toolbar, the user will select “Publish to Vico” to transfer the geometry, element types, and family names to the Vico database. There’s no file type, no conversion, no import required, all properties are stored in the Vico database, ready for model-based estimating and model-based scheduling. Once in the Vico Office environment, the construction quantities are extracted based on the model geometry.
After the Revit model is published into the Vico environment, the construction elements are identified and the accurate construction quantities are derived from the existing geometry. For each element type (based on for example Families or Layers), the extracted quantities are automatically listed as Takeoff Items. By selecting the Takeoff Item in the Takeoff Manager View (Office’s ‘Bill of Quantities’), the corresponding elements in the model are highlighted so users see exactly what they’re working on and which elements are adding to the selected Takeoff Item and Takeoff Quantities.
With the Quantity Takeoff completed, the user can deploy these in a conceptual or an element-based estimate, depending on the types of elements that are available in the model. During the business development or pursuit phase, many GCs start with a square footage costing scheme, based on room square footage quantities. The model’s granularity that gradually increases as more and more specifics, and thus BIM elements, are known about the project. Inside the Excel-like interface, the user can explode a cell to expose the Formula Editor. Using the Formula Editor, the user can access the multiple quantity types in the model that are captured in the Takeoff Manager and customize their specific calculations to account for consumption rates, waste factors, and escalations. Every line item in the estimate can be further refined with one or more additional breakdown layers, which provides for flexibility in the estimate.
Building this “living estimate” is key to helping the Owner make data-driven decisions that help keep the budget on track. But Vico takes it one step further with customizable pane view that allows virtual construction teams to work closely with the owner. These views utilize an intuitive Excel-like spreadsheet for the Estimator, a highly visual model for the other stakeholders, and a color-coded tree structure for the Owner.
VICO, Inc., based in Boulder, Colorado, has offices in Boston, London, Helsinki, and Budapest, a direct sales team in North America and a reseller network spanning the globe. According to CEO, Mark Sawyer, VICO has the most experienced BIM services team with over 250 completed 5D BIM projects under its belt. Its 300+ Customers include Turner, PCL, Webcor, Swinerton, Hensel Phelps, McCarthy Builders. Among its owner/developers clients are St. Joseph Health System, Optima, LA Unified School District, GSA, and Kaiser Permanente. Selected projects include Mission Hospital (Mission Viejo, CA), Kamppi Center (Helsinki, Finland), California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco, CA), Denver Justice Center, Ritz-Carlton Resort (Lake Tahoe) and the Pittsburgh Penguin’s Arena.
I highly recommend the Ecobuild portion of the conference which featured many green building products, services and information. I believe we are all aware that green building technology is the wave of the future. To whit, according to an Autodesk spokesperson, the recent Greenbuild conference held in Boston from November 17-20, 2008 attracted 35,000 attendees. Again, I emphasize, becoming more fluent in green technology as well as BIM, during downtime at the office is a good investment.
Here’s looking forward to a more prosperous 2009!
Ed continues to attend key industry events and
keep abreast of the newest developments. If you see him at an event,
please come over and chat; he would enjoy meeting you. You can recognize
Ed by his trademark hat – black in winter, and white in