Friday, July 20, 2012

Navisworks 2013: Finally a Better Meeting

If you haven't used Navisworks 2013 yet, I recommend you do so today. I've finally had an opportunity to use it this week and I have to say that 3 "minor" changes have made all the difference in the world. The shot below should tell all you Navisworkers and Clash Detectives out there all you need to know.

Hint: Columns 3 and 4
See it? Actual references for the clash location based on the structural grids lines, with offsets! Even more useful than that, however, is the Level the clash is on has been identified. Want to tackle problems a floor at a time? Sort by Level. No more isolated collisions tests by level, no more breaking the model up by floors to get separate data, no more search sets finding levels. These two changes alone are enough to make most of us out there very happy, but wait, there's more!

Mmmmmmm, greeeeen.
Column Grid Lines. Let that sink in. And no, they are not some wonky line-based family from Revit. Navisworks 2013 finds the grid lines in any of the Revit exports you have (in this case, I am using the structural model). They can be viewed by level, or automatically show you the level above, below, or both, relative to your current location in the model.

I speak from experience here. Being a user since version 2009, I can tell you these changes are most welcome and make communication that much easier with all parties involved. The setup time for a meeting has been drastically reduced which means I can spend more time actually identifying problem areas and less time on workarounds.

Thank you, Navisworks 2013, for making it easier to run a meeting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Open Revit Standards

As has been stated so far (BurkeLight, Johnson), the need for standards is so very real, but so nearly unattainable. While there are decent efforts in the works and most companies doing it on their own, they tend to bog down very quickly and get lost in the weeds.

David Fano at CASE and others have come up with a rather unique, new world, approach to standardization in the industry. The Open Revit Standards projects is starting in earnest. Follow the conversation here for more information.

I'm sure this will get very interesting.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What architects do...

What do we do? Are we master builders, draftsmen, scheme designers, conveyors of intent, or construction documentors? The biggest problem with BIM is that it pulls back the curtain on the biggest problem with architecture. 

What do we do?

The expectation from the perspective of owners is that we develop lego-style documents on how to put our building together. That part is our fault. That we even called them "construction documents" was the first mistake. We all know that contractors and their subs do not rely on our drawings to assemble the building. They reference it for things like material patterns and interior wall layouts (among other things), but it's really a C.Y.A. doc to show how much of the building we have thought through so we can explain to the judges later that indeed we did show how to 'waterproof the window'.

Enter BIM
Hi, eveybody!

"That data is there, right? All of it? Everywhere?"
"Well, no"
"But I see it there on your paper"
"Well, yes, but <software/process nuance> and so we just draft it there"
"Oh, what do I pay you for again?"

This is playing out across the industry everyday. We have BIMEPs to describe what it is we include in our modeling effort (or more realistically, what we don't), but it still begs the question "Why don't we take more risk?" Contractors and owners are teaming up to push expectations through the roof and a lot of those land at our feet in the name of "life cycle". Without first understanding what they do pay us for, it's impossible to explain what they don't pay us for. We should be asking for more money and more time to help achieve the goals for the project set up by the owner. Not because we "do Revit" but because that kind of info is most definitely "not in scope".

IPD (or something similar) can't come soon enough, because right now, we all sound like a bunch of nay-sayers rather than team players.