Revit

RevitDB Link

RevitDB Link

One of the advantages of BIM is the ability to generate large amounts of data from a model with relative ease. In Revit, the data is there but the tools to create reports are lacking. A way around this has been to export Revit models to ODBC and use a database package to generate reports that are attractive and include fields that Revit prevents us from scheduling.

Autodesk has released a new plugin that takes exporting to ODBC to a new level — RevitDBLink. There are two features of this plugin that will revolutionize the way those of us involved in information modeling will work: the bidirectional flow of data, and the ability to store other data and fields within the same database as the model.

I will demonstrate how Revit allows the bidirectional flow of data by exporting a model to a database, changing wall heights in the database, and then sending these changes back to Revit.

I start with a simple Revit model.

Revit

Next, I export the model to a MS Access database using the RevitDB Link and selecting a new connection.

Revit

My Access database is now populated with a set of tables from Revit. The image below shows the table of walls.

Revit

Comparing this table with the data in the Revit model shows that the unconnected heights are all set to 20′.

Revit

Within the database I can change these values to new heights.

Revit

These changes are loaded back in to the Revit model by selecting ‘edit and import’ from the DBlink plugin dialog box. The changes are then automatically applied to the Revit model.

Revit

While Revit allows for the editing of properties within the program itself, it is no match for the power of MS Access in generating reports and performing advanced queries on the models.

When using the built in ‘export to ODBC’ function in Revit, the model would overwrite the existing database. With RevitDB Link, tables associated with the project, but not stored within Revit can be added to the database and will be preserved every time the model is exported. Furthermore, the data will not be loaded in to Revit. This allows us to include information that is relevant to our project but may not need to be in the model, or may not associate with a specific object.

With RevitDB Link we can now add fields to an object and make it invisible to Revit. For example, when we export a model with rooms, the database will show only those fields created in the model. In MS Access, additional fields can be added to the rooms table. When this table is uploaded back to Revit, the new fields are invisible.

Not allowing fields created in Access to be uploaded back in to the model may seem to be a flaw in the bidirectional functionality, but I see it as a brilliant move on the part of the developers.

Revit files can become very large. While we tend to think that file size is directly proportional to the number of objects in a model, the amount of information included in the model also adds to the size. A simple model with additional fields added to objects can be larger than a model with many objects and no information. Do we really need all those fields in Revit?

RevitDB Link allows for almost unlimited access to our models and the information contained within them. If anyone has any ideas that they would like to see implemented, post a comment.

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Revit

Revit Repeaters

Revit Repeaters

Revit was primarily designed to service BIM (Building Information Modeling). However, do not get stuck thinking that Revit only fits into the BIM space. Revit can be used for a lot of other purposes as well, as can be seen from the images below.

Virusses, micro bacteria, nearly anything can be created in Revit. We just need to find the workaround. The workaround to create these examples was to use the Revit Repeater command.

The first example is of the HIV Virus.

Revit Revit

Example 2 is of a DNA strand.

Revit Revit

The last example was a bit of a challenge: Microbe Bacteria. Creating the bacteria was quite easy, but getting the correct material representation was a tad difficult. Even though it would have been easier in 3ds Max, remember that this blog aims to keep to the default Revit functionality. I believe the result would be good enough to get the message across.

Revit Revit

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Revit 2016 What’s new

Revit 2016 What’s new

It’s been a few weeks now that Revit 2016 has come out, so what is new in this release?

  • Open a Sheet from a view-From the Project browser you can now open the sheet on which a view is placed. An Open Sheet option has been added to the shortcut menu that appears when you right-click a view in the Project Browser. This options allows you to quickly access the sheet on which the view is placed.
  • Navigating the Property browser– One annoying bug that has plagued property browser is that sometimes when you are scrolling down the property browser it pops you back up to the top of the browsers, well it looks like that has bee fixed in the 2016 version of Revit.
  • Thin Line Weight Enhancement-Maintain line weight settings when you open Revit.
  • Rendering – The rendering engine has been changed again in this version.
  • Revision Enhancements -There is now more control of the revision numbering.
  • Selection Boxes– Now we can select an object and then isolate it in a 3d view with the section box being automatically created.
  • Select host– Now when you select an object you can find out what the object is hosted to. In most cases it is pretty obvious to understand what an object is hosted to. When I see this might become useful is understanding what object a keynote is hosted too especially when you use User Keynotes.
  • Navigate During Redraw– Allows smoother panning.
  • IFC Links and Rooms– Defining Room boundry from IFC elements.
  • Rotate Project North-When rotating project north the annotation elements rotate as well.
  • Energy Analyses Enhancements-Analysing your model has gotten better with Revit 2016 and I think it will continue to get better, you should also keep an eye on the Building Performance Analysis blog, as they are promising to show off more of the capabilities of this enhancement to Revit.
  • Automatic place Room– There is now a button to place automatically place rooms in the model. This may save time placing rooms, but you will still have to go back and name the rooms appropriately
  • Addition Content– It looks like Autodesk has given us some more content with the latest release of Revit. There are some additional doors. I probably won’t use them but there is more content.See Revit OpEd for a in-depth explanation of the door content.
  • Searching the content of the Model-Looking for content for the model has be made a little easier. Now when you are in a long list of items you can now start type some of the title of the content and the list of content will shorten to show just the content that contains the data you typed in. Reference Revit 2016 What’s new by Mathew Miller.

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Get Walking to be a Modern Urban

Get Walking to be a Modern Urban

modern urban

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. For know more about it then contact us.

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Independence for Elevation Marks Everywhere

Independence for Elevation Marks Everywhere

Independence for Elevation Marks Everywhere

Let’s say you have a water closet. The interior elevation mark fits fine in a 1/2″ scale enlarged plan, but on a 1/4″ plan the mark obscures the room.  So, on the 1/4″ plan, you move the interior elevation mark outside of the room and use a simple leader to indicate that that mark references that water closet (image below). Now you go back to your 1/2″ plan and discover that when you moved the elevation mark in one view it moves the mark in all the views!  Bummer.

Independence for Elevation Marks Everywhere

There are several solutions to this problem:

  1. Only use interior elevation marks in 1/2″ plans
  2. Create a dummy tag with open parameters that you can manage manually, or
  3. Duplicate the mark and hide the unwanted duplicates using… Design Options? Yes.

Independence for Elevation Marks Everywhere

 The steps for solution #3 are as follows:

  • Create a new interior elevation mark with the 4 elevations you want.
  • Place another new interior elevation mark, this time with the “Reference other view” option checked, and choose one of the four elevations you wish to duplicate.
  • Once placed, enable the other three views on that tag one at a time (you will be asked to reference three more views).

Independence for Elevation Marks Everywhere

  • Copy the duplicate into all the plan views that require a duplicate.
  • Now that you have a duplicate elevation mark, you can hide in view by element…
  • Or better yet, create a new Design Option Set with two (or more) design options, select the center of the elevation mark, change the “Visible in Option” parameter for the mark from “all” to a design option…  and in the view’s Visibility/Graphics (or the view’s View Template) set the view to display the design option as required.

Independence for Elevation Marks Everywhere

Notes: The focus of this example is on elevation marks, but the  “Visible in Option” parameter is also available in Callouts and Sections. Also be aware that if the crop boundary in the elevation view disappears it’s probably because the mark was put onto a design option. Refer by David. If you have any query then contact us and for our services click here.

To Photo metric, or not to Photo metric

To Photo metric, or not to Photo metric

Revit’s default light sources work. Most of the time though, these default or standard light source definitions will not create an acceptable diffusion of light within a room. We will investigate what results can be achieved between a default light source, and a photo metric light source in Revit.

1.1 Standard Light Source definition

Standard Light Source definition
Standard Light Source definition

1.2 Rendered Result

Rendered Result
Rendered Result

2.1 Photo metric Light Source definition

Photometric Light Source definition
Photometric Light Source definition

2.2 Rendered Result

Rendered Result
Rendered Result

There are pro’s and con’s with both light sources: 

  • Standard Light Sources:
    • Pro: Lighter in size in terms of the data it contains.
    • Pro: Renders are completed faster due to the above.
    • Con: Renders might not be an accurate representation of the actual light diffusion.
  • Photo metric Light Sources: 
    • Pro: Actual diffusion is more accurate due to the IES file attached to the light source.
    • Con: Rendering time will suffer, as there are a lot more data to process.

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Reference To Photo metric, or not to Photo metric

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Organic Architecture, Avant Garde

Organic Architecture, Avant Garde

organic architecture

Organic architecture is the new revolution to have taken over the architectural domain that marks avant-gardism in building construction. It does away with conventional geometric shapes and takes resort in free-flowing curves and natural forms.

After farming techniques went the organic way, architecture happens to follow suit. But don’t be scared of your living spaces being invaded by manure and scum. It isn’t also an anti ‘global warming’ movement to bring about a sustainable model of human existence.

Organic architecture is the new revolution to have taken over the architectural domain that marks avant-gardism in building construction. It does away with conventional geometric shapes and takes resort in free-flowing curves and natural forms.

Yesterday against Today and Tomorrow
The 20th century was marked by dominance in rectilinear and orthogonal design structures because the materialistic aspirations of the industrial age could only be fulfilled that ways. A little reflection would show how mechanical the entire process was. But, the new-age is marked by ‘a free style,’ which highlights beauty and harmony, through its curves and free-flowing forms that is more akin to the human body, mind and spirit. Such architecture enraptures the dwelling individuals and they not only feel better, but also freer and more expressive.

The Modern Manifestation
In this millennium, scientific explorations brought us a more holistic and organic picture of the universe. Thus, a craving for new forms of expression bearing semblance to nature’s diversity emerged. Buildings that resemble a breaking wave or a blooming flower will challenge the existing paradigm and sweepingly transform architecture and building design in the 21st century. The Opera House at Sydney harbor that resembles a boat’s sails and the spiral forms that resemble sea-shells at New York’s Guggenheim Museum are perfect manifestations of organic architecture.

The Driver of Change
Modern computing, information technology and the rapidly expanding computer-aided design (CAD), across all fields of architectural design, have helped architects in giving shape to their creative process. The latest three-dimensional BIM softwares have made it a breeze to design complex and sophisticated building structures. Curved forms like arches, domes, vaults, and spheres are not only stronger, but also more efficient and economical than their rectilinear counterparts. The radical transformation in building design is also putting a simultaneous ripple-effect on other design fields like furniture, lighting, textile design, landscape and interior design.

A Natural Art Form
Organic architecture puts a building in a continuous logarithmic spiral where open-space platforms are suspended from a central mast by cables. The spaces appear to float over each other as if defying gravity. Inspired by the natural symmetry and non-linearity found in nature and organisms, organic architecture is characterized by visual poetry and idiosyncrasy. And in tune, it embodies a harmony of person, place, and materials. 

Organic architecture oozes a surreal free-spirit and is surprising due to its multiple facets. A break-off from static symmetry for embracing the dynamic irregularities found in Nature. Reference architectural evangelist.

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Flexible Ducting Graphics

Flexible Ducting Graphics

By default, we have eight graphical ways to show flexible ducting in Revit. We can either decide to use one graphic for all flexible ducting, or decide to use a specific graphic to distinguish between for example, Standard Flexible Ducting, Insulated Flexible Ducting, etc.

The images below will show what the graphics look like per flex duct instance property.

1. Flex Pattern: Single Line

Single Line
Single Line

2. Flex Pattern: Circle

Circle
Circle

3. Flex Pattern: Oval

Oval
Oval

4. Flex Pattern: Flex

Flex
Flex

5. Flex Pattern: Flex 2

Flex 2
Flex 2

6. Flex Pattern: Curve

Curve
Curve

 7. Flex Pattern: Single Line 45

Single Line 45
Single Line 45

 8. Flex Pattern: Undefined

Undefined
Undefined

Reference  Flexible Ducting Graphics by Herman Solomon.

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Can I get a witness? Autodesk to testify in Washington

Can I get a witness? Autodesk to testify in Washington

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National leaders look to Autodesk Construction team for support and testimony

In just a few days, our very own Stacy Scopano, Sr. Industry Manager, Building Construction, will meet with members of the National Institute of Building Sciences (or NIBS as those in the know like to say).

The hearing, which is being sponsored by Autodesk and supported by the International Code Council, will provide an opportunity for project stakeholders from the planning, design, construction, operations, ownership, and other segments of the U.S. building industry to speak about the productivity and workforce challenges they face and offer potential solutions.

Building momentum

Autodesk’s involvement at the hearing came at the direct request of Ryan Colker, President Barack Obama’s Construction Advisor. Ryan and Stacy both serve on the Board of Directors for the NIBS Offsite Construction Council. Our participation ties in nicely with our overarching thought leadership efforts. Earlier in the year Stacy and colleagues on the construction marketing team helped to draft a survey that drove the publication of the well-received Economist report “Rethinking productivity across the construction industry: The challenge of change.”

To find out more about the NIBS hearing or read about the Off-site Construction Council visit the NIBS home page, or clickhere to read the Economist report. Reference Can I get a witness? Autodesk to testify in Washington by  Julie Jacobson.

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Model Compare

Model Compare

I have recently been asked by a client for the ability to compare different versions of the same model. When I was asked to do this I scratched my head ans said “Oookkk” not really know why and how I was going to do this.

When I started this I asked myself, why would we want to compare models?
-To show the power of BIM. (vague but an answer)
-To see what objects had been deleted in the model (getting a little more to the point)
-To see what objects had changed in the model (getting a little more to the point)
-To see what objects were new in the model (getting a little more to the point)
-To see if the model is following the office standards (Using compare to help with model QC, hmm)

In my research I came across this article written by David light. In this article he wrote back in 2009 he explained different ways to compare models. David talked about using the Autodesk Revit Model Compare add in tool, as well as using Autodesk’s Design Review, and using Adobe Acrobat. Even though the article was written about 6 years ago it is still applicable today in 2015, but now there are a few more process as well.  Today we can use Navis Works to compare models. See Navis works link to see how to do it. The Cad Technology Center (CTC) has a model compare tool which I recently talked a little about. CTC Revit Express Tools:Model Compare

Using Autodesk Design Review, Adobe Acrobat Pro, and or Blue Beam Revu all works the same way. These programs really aren’t comparing models they are comparing two different 2d documents. Don’t think I’m belittling this at all. Comparing the 2d information is extremely import. Having a program highlight and show you what has changed between different versions of the same documents saves a lot of time in finding the changes, good or bad.

Model Compare

CTC’s Model Compare and the Autodesk Model Compare tools are similar in how they work. Both programs look at the databases of multiple models and look for items that are different. CTC’s Model Compare takes a snapshot of the Revit Data base and puts it into a small XML like file, while Autodesk’s Model Compare requires you to open both version of the model to compare the models. Both the CTC and Autodesk Model Compare addin’s create reports that can be brought into Excel. These data centric reports have a lot of information, and generally a lot more information than I would generally use.

Model Compare

Within Navisworks there are two workflows to compare the models. The first method is to use the model compare function within Navis works that works like comparing 2d PDF’s,see  this Navis works link to see how to do it.. The other method is to overlay multiple models on top of one anther. One of the benefits of Navis works is that you can insert multiple files into the same Navis works project. This functionality allows you to insert different version of a model and overlay the models to see the difference graphically. One the different models are in the Navis works project you can change the color of an entire inserted model, not just individual modeled objects. This workflow of overlaying the models I got from one of the engineers I work with at Bridger & Paxton consulting Engineers, who knows Navis works a hole heck of a lot better then I do. Reference Model Compare by  Mathew Miller.

Model Compare

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