Showing posts with label Models. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Models. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Manage Cloud Models - UI Real Estate

 I wish the list of projects I get when I use Manage Cloud Models (BIM 360 projects) didn't waste sooo much real estate. These big icons are a waste of space, they just mean lots of scrolling. Well if you only have a couple projects on BIM 360 maybe it's no big deal to you. But hundreds? I keep looking for a View option of "List" or "Details" ... something to shrink this bugger down.

That's my experience with Revit 2020 at the moment when a good many projects that I get to look at reside. I'll have to check out 2021 to see if it is any different.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Our Model is Clash Free

Offering a "clash free model" is a bit like the car ads on television that offer a 100k car for $299/month. When we read the tiny print we realize that the monthly cost is more like $1600/month and mere mortals won't qualify for the financing terms. Like the car ads, we have to carefully declare/define what a clash is. What sort of clashes are acceptable (and therefore not considered a clash) and those that are not (and therefore are a clash).

One simple example, pipes pass through walls. If they don't cut a hole in every wall at every location where a pipe intersects with a wall then technically we've got a clash. If it is a poured concrete wall that requires a sleeve it is a bigger deal (even bigger deal if precast) than a wood/metal framed wall with gypsum wall board. By the time we are done defining clashes our client and/or team will feel like they are getting "nickel and dimed" to death. ...and that's just for our work...

We can't offer a clash free model if everyone else working on the project isn't working toward that goal themselves. Our model might be "perfect" (according to our fine print) but if they aren't coordinating their work with ours...and vice versa...we'll still have clashes. It's not a one way street.

It is also a moving target as a project moves through design phases. Are we promising "clash free" when people start swinging hammers or is it clash free within two weeks after receiving an architect's model, at the end of each design phase?

"Clash Free" - It's a worthy goal and one every client and project team would love to achieve. It's not possible without considerable commitment by everyone and can't be achieved in a vacuum by one part of the team. In my view someone casually offering "clash free" suggests to me that they may not have enough experience yet. Anyone who has been part of weekly clash review sessions can attest to it not being a trivial matter.

It seems to me that's just the sort of promise that keeps lawyers busy...

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Level of Development

James wrote a nice post about this subject. It is seductively easy to simplify the concept to just be equivalent to the design process, you know...SD, DD, CD. While you get a quick acknowledgement, "Oh I see...", it doesn't really explain the intentions of the phrase (acronym LOD). In his post he offers these reference descriptions. He also wrote that he is searching for another description for LOD100.

LOD100 = Interpolated calculations (estimates)
LOD200 = Specify it
LOD300 = Buy it
LOD400 = Build or install it
LOD500 = Operate or maintain it

The first thing that came to mind (based on the list) for LOD100 is "Discuss it".

Check out his post and weigh in.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Is a Single Model Viable?

I have a couple clients that have done this with some varying opinions on how successful it was.

  • Great to have live interaction between trades
  • Issues were much more obvious and forced resolution sooner.
  • Less linked file updating issues Helped minimize copy/monitor and redundant content
  • Plot day conflicts between trades, arch printing for meetings and MEP trades printing offset and difficult to have teams "stop working" long enough in advance to freeze development of the model so trades could "catch up" with design.
  • Performance...fairly obvious...file sizes became an issue so only really feasible on modest sized buildings
  • More worksets required, more views etc... browser became difficult
  • Warnings increased because everyone had to "see" other trade warnings

One outcome from attempts was the less obvious choice to merge A and E models, they shared one model for Arch/Elec because so many devices were "redundant" in separate models. This put A/E staff in the same model so they could share lighting and devices etc. Kind of obvious logical pairing but not as obvious to think of initially.

A truly single model can work but project size and the way teams interact can greatly affect how much "fun" it is.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Project Submittals - Do You Require 3D Submittals Now?

With all the hoopla about BIM and IPD one thing I have not heard much about (actually I can't recall anyone discussing this within earshot) is the submittal process. I get the feeling that for most it is still business as usual; catalog cuts, 2D drawings and "can we get an approved or reviewed stamp ASAP?".

Seems to me that it is a natural expectation, or logical next step, that we start requiring 3D submissions from our project's array of contractors. I alluded to the importance of doing so in an earlier post when I mentioned the serious coordination issues associated with theater/stage construction. We were just using AutoCAD and not even modelling solid parts back then. We looked at Pro/E and were put off by the specialized hardware and the shockingly high seat price (shocked us anyway).

I remember clearly asking how I would use Pro/E to create our submittal drawings, which depict how our equipment would work in the building. I was amused when the reply was, "I supposed you'd model the parts of the building you are touching." This was in 1996-7, just when Revit was a mere flash in the minds of Leonid and Irwin. Seems logical now but then it was practically laughable that I'd model the building to virtually install our equipment. If the building was already a model...hmmm, different story or reaction perhaps? A few years later, after I'd left to join an architecture firm, they started to use Autodesk Inventor after dabbling with Mechanical Desktop.

I just mocked up the images posted here in less than 20 minutes, 5 for the rigging component, using a dwg file I downloaded from their site as a guide for the form. Then a few minutes to layout the building form and structure and finally the rest fussing with views.

What are you doing?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Modeling Serendipity

In the debate about should we or shouldn't we use Revit (or 3D etc.) people overlook the intangible stuff that is hard to quantify until you encounter it, the title of the post. I'm writing about that "thing" that happens when you create a 3D model of something you "understand". I'm not trying to be insulting because I know that I've created models of things that I thought I understood and then found I didn't fully appreciate the impact it had on other related items later on.

Once upon a time I worked for a theatrical contractor that specializes in stage curtains, rigging and lighting systems. One of the things I did back then was shop drawing for our projects. We were careful to show how our equipment interacted with the building. Yes...these were drawing done by hand on vellum/mylar and with technical pens/pencils. We eventually used AutoCAD too.

All too often a site visit would find sprinklers and their pipes suspended from "our" rigging steel, ducts in the path of travel of curtains and lighting, drains and other sundry items in the way of our other equipment. Not that we didn't try to coordinate this stuff. Things like this need some room!

Usually when I'd talk to a contractor the story was, "Never saw those shop drawings, wish we had! Well, our stuffs in, work around it!!".

This is where I'd get to be "theatrical" and be a "Prima don". In a job trailer full of angry contractors who have just been told that much of their work would need to be redone I calmly explained that the reason the building is getting built is so that the equipment we are supposed to install actually works. If "our" stuff doesn't work then we can save the client a lot of money and stop building the building, won't need it after all.

As you can see in the image above there isn't a lot of real estate available to just put stuff any old place you want in a stage area. Once supplied with the "bigger" picture, sighs all around and a few "who's going to pay for this?" and they worked it out so we could do it right the second time. This happened more than a couple times over eleven years unfortunately.

Fast forward to Revit and modeling buildings...if our submittal was 3D and their submittal was 3D and everyone's was...we could evaluate this coordination much more efficiently than sitting in a job trailer and arguing about who was right. The sad truth is that too often the 2D drawings in the field don't get in the right hands at the right time. There are great projects and teams and then there are takes all kinds.

Serendipity is when you realize that you didn't fully understand something. It comes when a collection of models means a dozen players solve a problem in an hour instead of spending several hours just trying figure out if there IS a problem. Consider that this usually meant flipping sheets and asking questions like, "What's the bottom elevation of the beam again?" "What's the duct size again?" "It says Top of Steel is 28'-0" but the finish floor is "27'-8", what gives?"

There are so many good reasons to do it...even some you haven't considered...yet. Climb down from the "fence"...

Credit is due for the images above:

The first image above is a custom winch assembly to lift a 22,000 lb. media screen at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The winch couldn't be mounted above so it "self-climbs" and had to be built to lift 34,000 lbs instead, its own weight plus the screen. An aside, I dealt with the sale of a similar winch and did the shop drawings for a project in Seoul when I worked for JR Clancy. The winch had to lift a prop, a small car, very very very fast so that it could arrive in the scene during a change and then disappear during a subsequent change. Oh and that's Rod Kaiser, an all around good guy. There is little he hasn't seen or done in his many years with JR Clancy.

The second image above is a capture from a magazine article featuring the Alden Theater in Maclean, Virginia. The magazine is Stage Directions. The article was written by Kathleen Burke and is called Revving Up. The theater contractor/consulting firm, Pook Diemont & Ohl was hired by the awarded contractor/consulting firm Barbizon Capitol. They used the equipment manufactured by my past employer JR Clancy.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Shameless Plug - Design West Engineering - Architect's Corner

I had the pleasure of working with Design West Engineering nearly two years ago when they were getting serious about Revit MEP. They had a "can do", "will do" attitude that is essential to being successful with a challenging transition like moving to Revit MEP.

Since steal a phrase my friends back in Atlanta used all the time...they've been "kickin' butt and takin' names". This is polite company (my mom reads this blog now and then, since I don't call her enough) so mentally swap out butt for another term and you've got the essence of the message. 8-)

The other day their Revit Project Manager (Joel Londenberg) shared a link (in a post at AUGI) to a document they've posted on a special page at their company web site called Architect's Corner. They've shared a number of articles that are intended to help their clients work with them as well as information they think might be useful in general. For example one is titled, "How to Swap Models".

Joel (Londenberg) and Jarrod Baumann will be presenting Revit MEP classes at AU this year. If you are attending take another look at your schedule to see if you can catch them in action. Their classes are:

ME318-2 Capturing Design Intent: Building Revit MEP Content that Assists your Engineering Tasks (Joel's class)

ME500-1 From Contract to Construction Documents with Revit MEP (Jarrod's class)