BIM: Bringing a “sea change to the industry’s workflow”

BIM: Bringing a “sea change to the industry’s workflow”

BIM or Building Information Modeling is bringing about new methodologies and possibilities for all the industry players, from designers and contractors through to citizens, end users, communities and public authorities.

Following an EU directive in 2014 recommending the use of electronic tools such as building information electronic modelling for public works contracts and design contests, BIM will be rolled out in the UK in 2016 and Germany in 2018. The Netherlands, Finland, Denmark and Norway have already adopted it, whilst in France, the Housing Minister recently announced that it will be mandatory for public procurement as from 2017.

BIM modelling

BIM or building 2.0, from design to demolition

“Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an integrated process for exploring a project’s key physical and functional characteristics digitally before it’s built, helping to deliver projects faster and more economically, while minimizing environmental impact,” explains Paul Sullivan*, Senior Public Relations Manager at Autodesk, the company that conceptualised and developed BIM. He goes on: “Coordinated, consistent information is used throughout the process to design innovative projects, better visualize and simulate real-world appearance, performance and cost, and create more accurate documentation.” All the team members input data throughout the project, facilitating communication and project delivery.

A simpler definition is provided by the National Institute of Building Sciences, quoted on WSP*: “A digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility… and a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition.”

BIM: the entire life cycle of the building and all the players

But BIM isn’t confined to the design and coordination phase: it covers the entire building life cycle and ecosystem, including urban infrastructures, equipment and services. As such, BIM involves everyone from architects and contractors to suppliers of products, technologies and services, citizens and end users, communities and public authorities.

This week in Paris, a dedicated expo called BIM World* is being organised for the very first time (25th and 26th March) and attended by players from across the building industry.

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BIM: bringing building into the age of data and digital

A description of the challenges and potential of BIM on the website of this new BIM event highlights the vital importance of data: “Technologies such as 3D, augmented or virtual reality, GIS, Big Data, Open Data, Cloud storage and smart grids are now interfaced with digital models of buildings and infrastructure, opening up new possibilities in innovation and service.” And all this data is designed to make cost savings throughout the lifecycle of the building: design, construction, maintenance and use through to demolition.

New skills and jobs

Recruitment consultants recommend that professionals across the industry update their skills and IT tools in order to incorporate the new working methods and tools associated with BIM. A number of universities currently offer MSc courses in Building Information Modeling, and BIM Manager is increasingly featuring on job sites.

According to recruitment firm Hays, the typical BIM Manager has a background in engineering or architecture who’s at home with IT tools and had a sound understanding of virtual building and documentation systems. A BIM Manager reports to and works closely with the Technical Project Manager, overseeing the BIM project, which involves holding coordination meetings and drafting reports on interferences between the different copies of the model.

*Reference articles/further reading

The daily life of building information modeling (Buildipedia)

BIM World

What is BIM? (WPS Group)

How to hire a great BIM manager (Cadalyst).

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Fighting the Wind – How We Contribute to Natural Disasters

Fighting the Wind – How We Contribute to Natural Disasters

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We build our houses as boxes, primarily rectangular boxes of varying sizes and shapes. But boxes have lousy geometry when it comes to shedding wind forces. Why aren’t we building residential construction that is more aerodynamic?

We build our houses as boxes, primarily rectangular boxes of varying sizes and shapes. But boxes have lousy geometry when it comes to shedding wind forces. Here is a new concept to fight against the force of wind – Aerodynamic Architecture!

This past year we have seen the destructive power of wind particularly from tornadoes in, for example, Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa Alabama. We also had hurricane Irene that impacted long stretches of the East Coast. In the aftermath of the tornadoes there was the usual call for stronger building standards to make residential construction safer to minimize damage and loss of life. We have heard such calls before, such as when strong hurricanes have wreaked havoc in Florida and neighboring states. And there have been improvements over the years in building standards even if they have been more modest than needed.

But there is something missing from this discussion; a question we are not asking. Why aren’t we building residential construction that is more aerodynamic? Yes, aerodynamic like we have been doing with our automobiles. We have been making our cars more aerodynamic for a long time, primarily to improve fuel mileage. Compare the Ford Model T to today’s Ford Focus. They are significantly different in shape and ability to shed wind.

Our houses are not unlike the Model T. We build them as boxes, primarily rectangular boxes of varying sizes and shapes. But boxes have lousy geometry when it comes to shedding wind forces. They expose lots of surface area and flat walls can catch the full force of wind causing damage and destruction. And they often have long roof overhangs, section add-ons and wind catching ornamentation. A streamlined home presents lower wind resistance or better “coefficient of drag”, to borrow a term usually applied to automobiles.

And that is a good thing when it comes to hurricanes and tornadoes. But it is not the only benefit. Better geometry can also lower surface area to volume enclosed, reducing energy for heating and cooling. And by reducing or eliminating sharp corners, which concentrate forces, there is potential to reduce seismic loads on our buildings in earthquake country.


But what geometric shape or shapes should we be using for our homes to make them more aerodynamic, recognizing that most people aren’t going to live in geodesic domes. We can take some cues from nature, which doesn’t build boxes, but does have to deal with wind and other forces. Whether it’s the honeybee, who builds with hexagons, the nautilus that uses circular spirals or birds that construct hemispherical abodes, there are many forms that could be adapted to residential construction, some are fairly tame and others more radical. These many different shapes offer the potential for safer and more environmentally benign homes potentially fostering a creative new aesthetic. That could move us beyond the conventional “plywood nostalgia box” we are so emotionally attached to and seem reluctant to give up.

Our preferences in home design are not innate; they are learned. And there is precedent for shifting to different aesthetics from what we grew up with. We see that in our clothes, in furniture and in our beloved cars, just to cite a few examples. But we have to recognize that there is a need to shift before we can create the opportunity to do it. We may have to take a lesson from the energy crisis of several decades ago when we began the march to more fuel-efficient cars. It doesn’t have to come from a government mandate. But more aerodynamic houses should be in our future. Better energy efficiency, safer homes, less earthquake risk are some of the reasons to change. We just need to think outside the box.  Copied into Architectural Evangelist.

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The Revit Catacomb

The Revit Catacomb

“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or the incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable” – William Pollard

This entry is based on a mobile android game called SoulCraft, developed by MobileBits. As I was playing the game, I entered the Egyptian tomb level and I thought: It might be a fun exercise to recreate this Egyptian tomb in Revit.

Below are two screenshots of the level’s environment, using my cellphone’s screenshot function:

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Based on the latter images, a mock catacomb was created with the following rendered result:
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The burial niches were created as Generic Model  families, with the Family Category changed to Window when it was complete. Due to the category change, it was possible to add an opening cut to the niches. A recessed light source was also placed above the niches for illuminating the opening, and respective sarcophagi. I was able to etch the Egyptian symbols into the tapered column by sketching it out using voids.
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Splitting the floor face enabled me to apply two materials to each segment to indicate the different floor finishes. The trim around the wall niches were created using an in-place sweep.
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Enabling the Light Sources in a realistic view, provided a good indication of how the light distribution would look in the rendering.
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See? It’s not necessary to only Revit during working hours. Have fun!

Often Overlooked By Revit Beginners

Often Overlooked By Revit Beginners

One of my earliest posts focused on little tools that are often overlooked by beginners. I thought I’d revisit this topic now that I’ve had more experience working with Revit Beginners. Here are a few more tips that beginners are often not aware of:

1. Wall Location Lines. The location line is kind of an anchor point for a wall. When you flip a wall (ie. change its orientation) the wall will flip about its location line. So if you wanted to flip a wall without affecting its position you could make the wall’s centerline its location line as well. Location line is controled in a wall’s Instance Properties. Some of your choice settings for the location of the location line include face of core, face of finish, wall centerline, etc. When a wall is selected you might notice two blue dots at either end of the wall. Grab this blue dot and stretch the wall to any length you want. You might also notice that when you change the location line of a wall this blue dot will relocate, reflecting your newly chosen location line.
2. How do I fillet two walls (or lines). A common thing for beginners, is to go right to the trim tool in search of a fillet option (because they are likely more familiar with AutoCAD). Well in Revit the fillet tool is located elsewhere. If you are drawing a wall or a line there is a pallet of line shapes that you can draw (square, polygon, circle, arc, etc.) Well fillet is one of those options circled below.
3. Stretching a gridline in the current view only. When working with gridlines for the first time a beginner will often take notice that stretching the end bubble of a gridline stretches the grid in all views globally. The next question they ask is, “How can I stretch it for this view only?” Well there is a little icon next to a grid bubble that reads “3D.” Click on the icon and you’ll notice that it now reads “2D.” You are now free to strech the gridline for the current view only. The location of the original 3D grid bubble is at the hollow circle you see below.
4. How do I host my railing on a ramp or stair?: Ok, so you’ve sketch a new ramp or stair and you want to add a railing to it, but the railing is resting on the first floor and doesn’t slope with your ramp or stair. Well, when you’re in sketch mode shaping your new railing path, there is a tool called “Set Railing Host.” Select this tool and then select your host (stair or ramp). Your railing will now slope with the host as was your original intention. Remember, the railing tool is located on the Home tab and is its own sketch. Do not try editing the sketch of your stair or ramp to add new railings. I’ve seen beginners try this alot.
Reference Often Overlooked By Beginners (Part 2) by David.
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Revit LED Striplight Creation Tutorial

Revit LED Striplight Creation Tutorial

As per Greg Hayslett’s request for a tutorial on the creation of a previous blog post: Revit LED Striplights, herewith the steps to create it using both the Generic Line Based method, as well as the Railing method.

Method 1: Strip Light as Line Based Family

Step 1: We need to create two families, the first being a Metric Line Based family. Create a new family based on the Metric Generic Model Line Based family template.

Revit LED Striplight Creation

Step 2: Create a Sweep by picking the Reference Line as the path. Create a 10mm radius circle profile to represent the LED tube. You can either now choose a Material for the tube, or Associate the Material parameter. This will allow you to change the tube material in the project environment.

Revit LED Striplight Creation

Step 3: We need a light source to embed (Or nest) inside of the line based family. Create a new family based on the Metric Lighting Fixture family template.

Revit LED Striplight Creation

Step 4: Select the Light Source and change the Light Source Definition’s Shape Emittance to Line, and the Light Distribution to Spherical.

Revit LED Striplight Creation

Step 5: Load the Lighting Fixture family into the Line Based Family. Select the light source and edit the Type Properties. Change the Initial Intensityunder the Photometrics area to 2.00 Watt. Set the Initial Colour as per your preference.

Revit LED Striplight Creation

Step 6: Here is the trick:  If you have a straight ceiling line, you will be able to draw a LED tube segment according to the correct size, and create either an array (Cringe) or copy it along the straight path. When you get to a curved ceiling line, you will have to use either the Inscribed- orCircumscribed Polygon Draw tool. We can create a maximum of 32 individual line based segments per polygon draw command. Any unnecessary LED tube segments can be deleted if required. 

When enabling the Light Source checkbox in the Visibility Graphics command for Lighting Fixtures, you will be able to see the “representation” of light diffusion 

Revit LED Striplight Creation

Method 2: Strip Light as Railing Family

Step 1: Create a new family based on the Metric Profile family template

Revit LED Striplight Creation

Step 2: Using the Line command, create a 5mm radius profile to indicate the LED tube.

Revit LED Striplight Creation

Step 3: For the light source, create a new family based on the Metric Baluster Panel family template.

Revit LED Striplight Creation

Step 4: Nest the previously created Lighting Fixture Light Source family (Method 1 – Line based family) into the Metric Baluster Panel family. Position the Lighting Fixture family accordingly.

Revit LED Striplight Creation

Step 5: Load the Metric Baluster Panel family, as well as the Rail Profile family into your project. Start the Railing command and duplicate a Railingtype. Re-name the railing as Striplight_Railing or similar. Edit the Type Properties of the Striplight_Railing family and edit the Rails. Add a Rail using the Rail Profile family, with a specified offset, using the Plastic, Transparent Autodesk Revit material.

Revit LED Striplight Creation

Step 6: Now it’s time to add the baluster (Light Source) to the rail. Edit the Balusters and change the Baluster Family to the previously created Metric Baluster Panel family. You will have to change the Distance From Previous value to get a perfect render representation. I found that in the prvious post, a value of 230mm gave an acceptable result. Remember to set the Posts area for Start Post, Corner Post, and End Post to None.

Revit LED Striplight Creation

You will now be able to sketch the railing path using any of the drawing tools you want. Remember to set the Base Offset of the rail to the requiredBase Offset.

  • Note that if you set the Top Rail option in the rail Type Properties to None, your rail will “break”. The best bet would be to hide the Top Rail per construction view required.

Revit LED Striplight Creation

Reference Revit LED Striplight Creation Tutorial by  Herman Solomon.

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Unknown Facts About The Eiffel Tower

Unknown Facts About The Eiffel Tower

eiffel tower

Had Eiffel not expended his efforts to strike this deal the tower might not have been constructed at all. Considered an abomination by many art and civic leaders, it was said: “They have only erected the framework of this monument, it has no skin”.

The Eiffel Tower, 1889

Designed by and named after the French engineer and bridge builder Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (1832 – 1923) for the Paris Exposition, 1889, the tower is 300m high making it the highest man made structure of the time. It was inaugurated on March 31, 1889 and would have remained the tallest structure but for the completion of the Chrysler building in 1930. However, it remains the most recognized structure in Europe today and was the most popular attraction of the Exposition of 1889. Built in celebration of the French Revolution of 1789, it consists of an open iron framework.

It was nearly never built.

Eiffel discovered that after awarding the contract the Exposition Committee was only willing to grant about one fourth of the funds required to construct the tower. Eiffel was left to fund the balance amount himself. On the condition of sole ownership and control of the profits for the next twenty years, he agreed to find independent funders for the tower. Surprisingly, the tower was paid off within the first year itself.

Had Eiffel not expended his efforts to strike this deal the tower might not have been constructed at all. Considered an abomination by many art and civic leaders, it was said: “They have only erected the framework of this monument, it has no skin”

The entire conception of iron and only iron being a beautiful, ‘architectural marvel’ ruffled quite few feathers in the architectural community. Distinguished cathedrals and palaces have been built out of stone with carefully crafted ornamentation adorning them. Iron definitely can be used for construction as an underlying structure as in the case of the Statue of Liberty. But, exposing your underbelly to the world by using only an iron framework was just poor taste.

A Committee of Three Hundred was formed and they petitioned for its demise:

“Honored compatriot, we come, writers, painters, sculptors, architects, passionate lovers of the beauty of Paris — a beauty until now unspoiled — to protest with all our might, with all our outrage, in the name of slighted French taste, in the name of threatened French art and history, against the erection, in the heart of our capital, of the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower.

Are we going to allow all this beauty and tradition to be profaned? Is Paris now to be associated with the grotesque and mercantile imagination of a machine builder, to be defaced and disgraced? Even the commercial Americans would not want this Eiffel Tower which is, without any doubt, a dishonor to Paris. We all know this, everyone says it, everyone is deeply troubled by it. We, the Committee, are but a faint echo of universal sentiment, which is so legitimately outraged. When foreign visitors come to our universal exposition, they will cry out in astonishment,” What!? Is this the atrocity that the French present to us as the representative of their vaunted national taste?” And they will be right to laugh at us, because the Paris of the sublime Gothic, the Paris of Jean Goujon, of Germain Pilon, Puget, Rude, Barye, etc. will have become the Paris of Monsieur Eiffel.

Listen to our plea! Imagine now a ridiculous tall tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black factory smokestack, crushing with its barbaric mass Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the dome of Les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all our humiliated monuments, all our dwarfed architecture, which will be annihilated by Eiffel’s hideous fantasy. For twenty years, over the city of Paris still vibrant with the genius of so many centuries, we shall see, spreading out like a blot of ink, the shadow of this disgusting column of bolted tin.9

It may have taken every bit of those twenty years to change some people’s minds. All of the other iron buildings built for the Exposition were torn down shortly after (a shame). Today we look upon Eiffel’s tower as anything but hideous. Mary Louis King calls it “a monument to nineteenth century architectural engineering and a frank display of structure and material.” *

By today’s standards of engineering the tower looks over engineered, as iron is ultimately an inferior material. Therefore, a single beam was unable to withstand the large tresses. The simple beauty of this quaint behemoth is derived from this very weakness itself. Upon closer look, you can see an approximate replica of the cellular structure of a plant in the tight lattice work of beams.

The process of converting iron to steel was discovered by Sir Henry Bessmer in 1855. This converted it into a lighter and stronger material but practical implementation and mass production took still many years. Eventually steel went on to replace iron as is evident from the skyline of most major cities. In 1885, fours years before the Eiffel tower was created, the world’s first skyscraper was already built in the form of the Home Insurance building in Chicago by William LeBaron Jenney. Reference architectural evangelist. For know more about it then contact us and click here to see our services.

BIM modeling guidelines from design to construction

BIM modeling guidelines from design to construction

BIM, in a 3D world acts as a glue to hold design and construction together. There are many firms who still don’t have much idea what to do to make BIM project successful. This article is a guideline for such firms, as it details the steps that a construction firm has to follow from design through construction using BIM.

The process of using BIM models is a lengthy one that leads up to and through construction. Proper software and employees are required to do this process effectively. Revit Architecture, MEP and structural as well as 3D Studio Max, Navisworks and AutoCAD are the software’s that support this process.

It is in the predesign stage that we decide, whether BIM is used in the project. Once use of BIM modeling guidelines is approved, the architect starts to work on schematic model. He either uses masses or real elements in a BIM environment. The architect will give a presentation to the owner, after completing the preparation of schematic architectural model. The presentation requires a walkthrough or rendering. The software that helps in this task is Studio Max, in conjunction with Revit. In this stage, the owner can put forward his suggestions on the design. The model enters to the design phase after necessary changes are made.

The role of scheduling (4D) and estimating (5D) starts during schematic design stage. It is the duty of scheduling to make sure that the building construction is completed within the allotted time. Estimating should ensure that they track the cost of the project constantly and systematically. Proper set up of BIM models from the starting stage is necessary for getting appropriate scheduling and estimation. For scheduling, the model of the building should be in mind, while the model is built. I.e. each floor of the building should be modeled in the order they are going to be poured. So, the Navisworks can schedule correctly. The parameters of the construction project should be added to the model in estimating.

Trying and counting all elements of a project from a 2D plan is a laborious task for estimating. But BIM enables the collaborative effort of the design and construction process.

Collaboration is the key element during detailed design. A compulsory weekly meeting including the architect, engineer, project manager, estimator, scheduler and construction manager takes place to make sure that everybody follows the process with same pace. Interference checks and coordination reviews are done weekly basis in this stage of design process. Even though it is a mandatory step to follow, most of the firms are not aware of the benefits of collaborative tools provided by BIM. Firms think that they get enough time to detect clash and run interference checks. But actually what happened is that they waste their time and money by fixing errors in the site. Actually with the proper use of collaboration tools, they could have been detect the clashes in the design phase, is they spend some time in the initial stage.

Some of the coordinated process that make your BIM model more efficient are scheduling, sections, elevations and walk throughs. It is sure that proper use of them will help you save time and money.

Ownership of elements is another significant factor. Ownership of an element means the discipline that originally modeled an element. It is the responsibility of the owner of an element to pay extra attention to the coordination of that element.

It is always advised to model every element type only once, as multiple instances of the same element stretched across disciplines will create headache for coordination and collaboration between models.

Once the design is finished, construction starts. The construction manager and field superintendent will work together with the design team. They check whether the design intent is followed and run their own clash detections on all models. The Navisworks monitoring and workflow tools help to report the identified problems and to track them through resolution. If BIM is used early in the design stage, construction can be made easier. BIM creates a solid link between design and construction that makes revolutionary changes in the industry. Reference bim forum.

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Get Walking to be a Modern Urban

Get Walking to be a Modern Urban

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In the recent times, there has been a cumulative feeling that people are increasingly getting isolated. In more ways than one, the factor responsible for this has been accounted to the way we live, or more precisely the structures that we live in.

In the recent times, which we would call the ‘modern age’, there has been a cumulative feeling that people are increasingly getting isolated. There has been a marked alienation within the social fabric and people live like ‘islands’. In more ways than one, the factor responsible for this has been accounted to the way we live, or more precisely the structures that we live in.

Buildings have a deep psycho-social impact on human behavior. Increasing stress among educated professionals, failure in relationships (high divorce rates for instance), unrest among teenagers (high schools shootings being a case in point), are all accounted to the simple fact that our entire life is spent within walled confines, leaving little room for healthy inter-personal bonding. It doesn’t foster in us a sense of accommodating others in our space. Instead, it breeds segregation within our community.

Modern architects are, therefore, fiercely propagating the idea of having walk-able townships, where every place and thing would be accessible on foot. This movement has come to be known as New Urbanism. Under this model, the practice of getting out of home and reaching for an automobile, in most cases a car, to reach businesses and other buildings would be obliterated. People would just stroll down the roads, thus, facilitating greater social interaction, understanding and human bonding. Simultaneously, it would go a long way in reducing our destabilizing impact on the environment.

Modern day designers hold that tract style residences with sprawling sub-urban neighborhoods catalyze social isolation, leading to failure of communication within the community. So, New Urbanism landscape architects push for well-knit neighborhoods that lay less emphasis on roads and instead, build more facilities for pedestrians and other social interaction spaces. Suburbia is considered to put an end to authentic civic life.

Walkability is regarded the cornerstone to an efficient surface transportation for an urban area. Every trip involves commuting on foot, where you come in close communion with other people. Besides, it’s the cheapest, healthiest and most affordable mode of transport any community can design. Thus, the community also secures its future by making a sustainable use of resources. Crime and anti-social problems too will diminish significantly due to healthy and happy lives of the citizens.

It has been noticed that when affluent Americans cordon themselves away from the community through enclosed neighborhoods, it leads to misunderstanding, fear, and stereotyping within the society. Therefore, as proud modernists, we should ideally have open cities, where people of all incomes, races and backgrounds would steer through their lives in mutual harmony.

By laying the principles of New Urbanism to practice, people will educate themselves to value others in greater esteem and social networks would healthily expand. It would be a fashion to walk to the destination and ditch the car in the garage. Reference Architectural Evangelist.

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BIM 3D Renderings to Construction and Marketing

BIM 3D Renderings to Construction and Marketing

BIM 3D Renderings to Construction and Marketing

At HingePoint, a Dallas BIM consulting firm, some of us have been working on BIM (Building Information Modeling) or 3D design and construction models even before desktop computers existed. Do you ever wonder if people even know what BIM is? When I try to explain what I do for a living to my kids, “we make 3D modeling systems for hotel and restaurant chains, so they can see their building designs like a video game before they are ever built,” they don’t understand. If you are like my kids and aren’t so sure exactly what BIM is either, you are not alone.  I’ve finally found an example from Legacy Towers building being built in 2014 at the Shops of Legacy in Plano Texas that explains it perfectly. In fact, it was as easy as a drive around Dallas when my kids finally understood what HingePoint does for our clients.

BIM 3D Renderings to Construction and Marketing

In this example, we see some best practice uses of BIM for:

1. Conceptual Design – 3D architecture photo realistic renderings of the building that show exactly what it will look like when finished.

2. Design Documentation – Creating 2D and 3D documents for construction documentation, permitting, and installation so that everyone is on the same page throughout the entire construction project.

3. Site Planning and Community Outreach – Showing the community what the building will look like in the context of it’s surroundings. This group did an exception job of showing the building within it’s urban surroundings, and I bet the community was trilled the building blended in so well.

4. Marketing for Commercial Real Estate – The 3D renderings are so beautiful they can be use for marketing the commercial leases available and advertise for the companies involved. This particular site was successful using job site signage making it clear to everyone exactly what was being built.

As I drove by, I explained to my kids what I did at work.  “Hey kids, see that picture of the building? How do they have a picture of the building if it isn’t even built yet?” I asked. They had no idea. I explained that by using BIM  tools, the architects and engineers can design the building and create realistic photos that are similar to or even better than a really great video game or virtual reality.  They were starting to get it.  Then I had to explain “our firm HingePoint helps clients develop BIM systems and integrates them into their business to get these amazing 3D video game-like models to create those photos of the building before it is built.” They seemed to understand, but were not impressed yet.

Then I wondered why they didn’t realize that BIM is so amazing.  Maybe because they’re not systems engineers or civil engineers like the teams at HingePoint. But, then I realized, maybe they think everyone has BIM tools like everyone has video games.  I then said “do you know how most construction firms still build? They use paper print outs like “blue prints” and mail drawing plans around in tubes, and flip through 100’s of pages on huge tables, and nobody has any idea what the building will turn out like except the architect and interior designer, who envisioned the design. Now they were in disbelief, that real companies still used paper to design buildings. In this digital age, it’s no surprise how children take for granted the accessibility of technology, or assume that people (especially AEC firms) use technology as opposed to traditional (ie: paper) methods.  I then explained that HingePoint helps clients find easier ways to convert from paper to digital, from 2D to 3D, and from drawings to photo realistic renderings. Even though BIM seems really complicated, expensive, and difficult to envision to many, that achieving a more efficient digital workflow is much easier to achieve in this day of powerful computers, cloud computing, mobile devices, and great BIM platforms available from Autodesk and other helpful apps.

If you’ve ever had difficulty explaining what BIM is to anyone, we hope this article will help you convey the technology in a more digestible format. In fact, be sure to TXT this article to your kids to explain to them what you do at work! Credits – we want to give credit where it is due. While PhoenixEOS is in not affiliated with this project, we admire the best practices of the team: CBRE Trammell Crow Company Principal Real Estate Investors.

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revit fencing

Revit Devil’s Fork Fencing

Revit Devil’s Fork Fencing

TIA – This Is Africa: A quote I believe made infamous by the blockbuster Blood Diamond. This entry will focus on another unfortunate TIA necessity here in South Africa: Security. Most residential developments are now taking place in Security Complex’s, as it provides some kind of (false, in my opinion) confidence that the chance of crime occurring at your premises are less likely.

None the less, let’s turn a negative into a positive. Why not model the typical middle-class South African security barrier – Devil’s Fork Fencing, in Revit? Following the layout of a previous blog post: Parametric Revit Scaffolding, the first image will focus on the different component types a Devil’s Fork fence segment is typically made of.

revit fencing

Assembled, complete with bars, braces, bolts and washers, the fence actually doesn’t look too bad.

revit fencing

One thing to note however, is that I modeled the Razor Wire a bit thicker than what it would be in reality, for rendering purposes.

revit fencingThe end result can look similar (or even better) than the image below:

revit fencing

As a sidenote: I still cannot understand why Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t win an Oscar for his performance. Brilliant film!