Friday, April 18, 2014

SCRUG 4/17/14

Qatar - 2022 world cup. Jay Holland gave a report on the largest BIM project currently in design or construction. KEO International Consultants is managing the design team, which includes AECOM London. The software used to generate the design ranges across the gamut. In the end the client, Government of Qatar, requires an Autodesk Revit deliverable. Jay's presentation included a Sketchup walk through, Rino model, and Solibri model. The design he showed is progress from their schematic phase. The final Schematic Design is due in July 2014.

A bit about Solibri: (like Navisworks you import models and files from other programs), you can examine clashes between models, it uses the IFC model format, you can examine model integrity, it is a rules based software, you can examine naming conventions or adherence to other standards.

Interesting fact about Qatar, the government provides city wide chilled water. Qatar has an estimated 200 years of Natural Gas reserves.

While the showing off of projects are a staple of many a SCRUG meeting, the real meat is showing off features in the software and teaching how to make it happen. Marcello Sgambelluri provided a work in progress version of his next AU presentation.

"Dynamo 101"

What is Dynamo? What can Dynamo do? How or why would I use Dynamo?
Marcello gave us the official Autodesk version and his own version. In the end, the vast majority of users do work on standard buildings and just want to do something that the GUI of Revit won't allow or makes difficult. Marcello is an expert on finding out what Revit can do and which tools to use to get the result you want in the shortest number of steps. 

Dynamo is a programming language with a Python back of house. The front end of Dynamo is visual - boxes with text and wires to connect the text. In typical programming you have to get the text exactly correct or it does not work; error checking and debugging are a fact of life. In Dynamo it is easy to see that there is nothing connected to the "input" or "output". In Dynamo you do not need to name variables. The "boxes" or "nodes" are modules of Python code that do something. Autodesk creates new boxes and releases them every day. Others are allowed to create custom boxes you can download and use them. You can create your own. 

Dynamo can:
  • Create moving pictures in your Revit model
  • Grab and change parameters
  • Pick an edge that Revit won't let you pick
  • Create complex geometry
  • Eliminate "work arounds"
  • Access ALL of Revit's parameters
  • Reorder things
  • Renumber things
  • Create sheets from an Excel spreadsheet
  • Create rebar inside a concrete column and schedule them
  • Attach a beam to the underside of a curve - and update it automatically
The reason to use Dynamo is to save time and increase accuracy. 
The most productive way to use Dynamo is dual screen - go back and forth between Revit & Dynamo.
Dynamo is the future of Revit.

Thank you to Jay, Marcello, US CAD, Microdesk and Keller Pacific. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

SCRUG 3/2014

Autodesk formally launched its campaign to enlighten the masses about the benefits of Revit 2015 today. SCRUG was all about the new features. We were graced with the presence of Steve Stafford - Mr. Revit OP ED. He had on an Autodesk vest and presented the official Autodesk Powerpoint (cleared by Autodesk Legal Department) as if he was Scott Davis Autodesk Employee.

Many other blogs cover the feature list, so I will not repeat that here. There was not any thunderous applause for any single feature or the lot of them together. Many of the features added polish to existing parts of the program. One of my personal highlights was a demonstration of adding a shared parameter to a view title. It is not an earth shattering feature, but a nice to have feature. One of the features, opening up a dialog box when one tries to delete pinned objects, functioned a bit unexpectedly during the demonstration. You cannot delete a pinned object, but if you delete the pinned object's host there, Revit says nothing and both are erased.

Overheard... Cyberpower PC's gaming systems are a good fit for Revit. GSA is looking for a National BIM Director (Contact John Russo for more info). A local BIM conference passed out flyers. BIG BIM Theory is having a BBQ.

Thank you to the sponsors. US CAD, Keller Pacific and Microdesk.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The climate debate

As you may know, I listen to a regular podcast on this website. While it is an economics based site, once in a while they have on climate scientists. This week the format was a bit different. In place of having a single person and an in depth interview it was a debate forum with two climate scientists. The science of climate has become a desperate struggle of two sides - one convinced that the presence of man and burning of fossil fuel has caused an in ordinate amount of warming and that the risk of doing nothing is catastrophic the other convinced that the contributions of man are intermingled with all the other factors and the "damage" of man cannot be separated from nature. Here are some of the debate points that stuck out and my characterization:

  • The burning of fossil fuel has the positive effect of reducing global poverty. No one wants more poverty.
  • CO2 was discovered as a greenhouse gas in the 1800s
  • We do not fully understand all the factors that go into climate change.
  • All the computer models over predict warming at every level of CO2.
  • Melting of the polar ice is not a danger for sea levels - see glass with scotch on the rocks.
  • Melting of land mass ice is a danger - if all the ice on the world's land mass melted it would raise the ocean level seven meters.
  • There is prediction of sea levels rising one inch every decade, but that is not as catastrophic as localized effects like a hurricane that can raise the water level locally 15 feet in a few days.
  • Civilizations can adapt to the raising of ocean levels as long as it is over time.
  • France went from near zero nuclear power to 80% nuclear power - any nation can do the same when it merely has the political will.
  • Not all climate scientists want massive change, just making buildings more energy efficient is fine.
It was refreshing to listen to what we "know" about climate science. I conclude that the potential risk is great, but we have no conclusive evidence that man is causing the risk or merely a bit player in a epic production. I recommend that everyone listen to the debate. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

SCRUG 2-20-2014

The South Coast Revit User Group had its monthly meeting last night. There were visitors from the Santiago High School architecture program (thanks Bill Brown) looking for internships. The highlight of the meeting was a presentation by Nick Kramer. His analysis of detailing and the detailed comparison between methods was stellar. Essentially architecture firms are divided into three methods of documenting 2D details of projects:
• Detailing with lines and text - this method is the same as the centuries old paper and pencil method or AutoCad method
• Using the keynote system built into Revit (material, element or user) - this method uses an external text file to help keep a consistency throughout a project
• Detail Components and detail tags - this method harnesses the database power of Revit

Nick reviewed the three methods and listed the pros and cons of each. There is a great power to the third method. It offers portability - the "notes" are connected to the geometry. It offers fast revisions - a change to one means a change to all whether it is the note or switching the component.

A side discussion developed about the shift in the field of Architecture. Drafters are disappearing. People working on projects are expected to understand what the lines mean in a project. Is the line a door? What is the nature of doors? Doors belong in walls and have size parameters based on code and use. People working in the Architecture industry are required to know something of architecture and not just how to draw or use software. Looking around the industry, several firms have let their "drafters" go. HMC, gkkworks, Perkowitz+Ruth Architects, ...

Architectural projects I took part in

  • 2013-14 Facilities Support Center LEED submittals, NASA AFRC
  • 2013-14 Maguire Aviation Hanger, Van Nuys, BASCON
  • 2013-14 Fullerton Municipal Airport Terminal Remodel, City of Fullerton
  • 2014 DEA Fire Alarm, GSA Los Angeles
  • 2013-14 Fuel Farm, NASA DAOF
  • 2014 Wilshire 4th Floor VBA TI, GSA
  • 2013 Revitalize Industrial/Potable Water Distribution System, NASA
  • 2013 Liquid Oxygen Storage and Dispense Area, NASA
  • 2013 USAO 4th Floor TI
  • 2013 Grandview High School Addition
  • 2013 1875 Lawrence Lobby Remodel
  • 2013 Carr Building 800 Restroom Remodel SAUSD $200K
  • 2012-13 Greenville Admin Revision SAUSD
  • 2013 San Diego HS Substation Replacement SASUD $750K
  • 2013 Close Out Point Loma HS Weight Room SDUSD
  • 2012 Saddleback Valley Unified School District Administration Tenant Improvement
  • 2012 Lone Mountain Data Center
  • 2011-2012 Lynwood High School Bleachers and Concessions/Restroom Building $2.5M
  • 2011-2012 Lynwood Middle School Lunch Shelter & Bleachers LUSD
  • 2011-2012 Lynwood Elementary School Playgrounds LUSD $100,000 at each of 10 sites
  • 2011 Hoover ES Modernization SAUSD $1.5M
  • 2011 Jackson ES Modernization SAUSD $1.7M
  • 2011-2012 Trabucho Hills High School Modernization SVUSD $12M
  • 2010-2011 Language Academy Overcrowding Relief Grant SDUSD $10M
  • 2009-10 Arvin High School Modernization KHSD $1.4M
  • 2009-10 Valley Region High School #4 LAUSD $76M
  • 2009 Taft Elementary School Modernization SAUSD $1.6M
  • 2009 Martin Elementary School Modernization SAUSD
  • 2009 Marina High School Interim Housing MPUSD $400,000
  • 2008 Central Region Elementary School # 21 LAUSD $35M
  • 2007 Mandarina Tahiti Partners
  • 2007-8 Casa De Rosas TNP Construction
  • 2007-8 Mixed Use Heller Development
  • 2007 Jarupa 30 Far West Industries
  • 2007-8 Price Pool House TNP Cpnstruction
  • 2007-8 Marblehead Costal Sports Park RBF Consulting
  • 2006-7 Infra Structure Improvements Avante Homes
  • 2006-7 Denali Avante Homes
  • 2006-7 Bel Fiore Avante Homes
  • 2006-7 Monticello Avante Homes
  • 2006-8 Rasmussen Beach House
  • 2006 Tresor Avante Homes
  • 2006-7 Lancaster Project Heller Development
  • 2006 Denali Avante Homes
  • 2006 Utility Building Fair Oaks Rance Pardee Homes
  • 2006-8 Bower Residence
  • 2006-8 OCEO Single Family Detached Homes Tahiti Partners
  • 2006-8 OCEO Condos Tahiti Partners
  • 2006-8 Butterfield Banning Proshop & Restaurant Pardee Homes
  • 2006-8 Linda Heller Residence
  • 2006 2323 Main Street Standard Pacific Homes
  • 2006 Orangewood West melinium Homes
  • 2006 UCI East Campus STDT Apts Phase 2 American Campus Communities
  • 2006 Spanish Village Condo JLM Realty, Inc.
  • 2005 PA 9 Woodbury Afforable Site NE Quad Bridge Housing Corp.
  • 2005 PA-9A Affordable Apts - SE Quad Irvine Apt Community
  • 2005-6 The Market at 9th & Flower CIM Group
  • 2004 Anaheim Parcel D CIM Group
  • 2004-6 The Mercer Prometheus
  • 2004 Visonia Apartments Sobrato Development Companies
  • 2004-6 Harbor Lofts CIM Group
  • 2004 FC Sec Building NOCCCD
  • 2004 Interiors Board Room PYLUSD
  • 2004 Business & Religion Buildings Vanguard University
  • 2003-4 Whitendale Akers HS Buildings 4&5 VUSD $2.1M
  • 2004 Implementation Phase 2 El Camino Community College District
  • 2004 LRC Orance Coast Community College
  • 2004 Woodbridge HS Science Relocatable IUSD
  • 2004 Woodbridge HS Master Plan IUSD
  • 2003 Fullerton LRC Enhancements NOCCCD
  • 2003 District Education Center Remodel PYLUSD
  • 2003 DEC Facilities Portables PYLUSD $165K
  • 2003 School of the Arts Riverside CCD
  • 2003 Creative Arts Complex Replacement/Expansion Mira Costa CCD $15M
  • 2003 Esperanza HS Gym Building PYLUSD
  • 2003 El Dorado HS Gym Building PYLUSD
  • 2003 Facilities Relocatables PYLUSD
  • 2002 Modify Building 5 Food Service Classroom VUSD
  • 2002-3 John F. Kennedy HS Corono Norco USD
  • 2002 New Restroom Facilities NOCCCCD
  • 2002 Piazza Guardaril Cypress College NOCCCCD
  • 2002 Junipero Sierra HS at Rancho Capistrano Conrardy Design Group
  • 2002 Security Building Fullerton College NOCCCCD
  • 2002 New Child Care Relocatable Fullerton College NOCCCCD
  • 2002 El Dorado HS Restroom & Classroom PYLUSD
  • 2002 Modernization of Six Schools Rim of the World USD
  • 2002 Mira Costa College Horticulture Complex MCCCD
  • 2002 Morse Parking Lot PYLUSD
  • 2002 Rio Vista Parking Lot PYLUSD
  • 2002 Fairmont Parking Lot PYLUSD
  • 2002 Facilities Expansion PYLUSD
  • 2002 El Dorado HS Parking Lot PYLUSD
  • 2002 Golden-George Key Parking Lot PYLUSD
  • 2002 Van Buren Parking lot PYLUSD
  • 2002-4 University High School Classroom Building Irvine USD
  • 2002 Cypress College Headstart NOCCCCD
  • 2002 Topaz Elementary School Headstart PYLUSD
  • 2002 John Tynes Parking Lot PYLUSD
  • 2002 Rio Vista Parking Lot PYLUSD
  • 2002 Sierra Vista Parking Lot PYLUSD
  • 2002 Glenview Parking Lot PYLUSD
  • 2002 Woodsboro Parking Lot PYLUSD
  • 2002 Bryant Ranch Parking Lot PYLUSD $80K
  • 2002 Ruby Drive Classroom PYLUSD
  • 2002 Valencia Restroom PYLUSD
  • 2002 Yorba Linda Classroom Unit Type 1 PYLUSD
  • 2002 Yorba Linda Classroom Unit Type 2 PYLUSD
  • 2002 Woodsboro Classroom PYLUSD
  • 2002 Ruby Drive Parking Lot PYLUSD
  • 2002 Fairmont Parking Lot PYLUSD
  • 2002 Linda Vista Parking Lot PYLUSD
  • 2002 Brookhaven Parking Lot PYLUSD $95K
  • 2002 Repair Piazza Infrastructure NOCCCCD
  • 2002 Parkview Classroom PYLUSD
  • 2002 Brookhaven Classroom PYLUSD
  • 2002 Tuffree Restroom Building PYLUSD
  • 2002 State Street Elementary School BFL Owen & Associates
  • 2002 Hoover Elementary School BFL Owen & Associates
  • 2002 Cypress College Library NOCCCCD
  • 2002 Toilet Building at Parking lot NOCCCCD
  • 2001-2 Piazza Drainage Cypress College
  • 2001 Master Planning Santa Ana USD
  • 2001 Swap Meet Restroom Cypress College
  • 2001 Stage and Lighting Revisions VUSD
  • 2001 Choir Room Revisions VUSD
  • 2001 Stragic Project Review for Code Compliance Gensiasicor
  • 2001-2 Chino Hills Purkiss Rose
  • 2001 Architectural barrier Removal NOCCCCD
  • 2001-3 Quality Self Storage Websco Inc.
  • 2001 George Key Relocatables PYLUSD
  • 2001 Pacoima Elementary School LAUSD
  • 2001 Valencia HS Relocatables PYLUSD
  • 2001 El Dorado Relocatables PYLUSD
  • 2001 Mable Paine Relocatables
  • 2001 Golden Childcare Relocatables PYLUSD
  • 2001 Glenview Relocatables PYLUSD
  • 2001 Glenknoll Relocatables PYLUSD
  • 2001 Valley Oak Middle School Visalia USD
  • 2001 Revisions to Bus drop off
  • 2001 Woodsboro Relocatables Visalia USD
  • 2001 Bryant Ranch Restroom PYLUSD
  • 2001 Yorba Linda Library PYLUSD
  • 2001 Yorba Linda Classrooms PYLUSD
  • 2001 Kraemer Relocatables PYLUSD
  • 2001 Wagner Relocatables PYLUSD
  • 2001 Van Buren Relocatables PYLUSD
  • 2001 Morse Relocatables PYLUSD
  • 2001-2004 Whitendale Akers Special Education Buildings 4 & 5 Visalia USD
  • 2001 Agoura HS Relocate Scoreboard Las Verginas USD
  • 2001 East valley HS LAUSD
  • 2001 Liberty Park II City of Cerritos
  • 2001 Relocatables at various PYLUSD sites
  • 2001 Dos Pueblos HS Theatre Santa Barbary USD
  • 2001-2 Seismic Retrofit Fullerton College NOCCCD
  • 2001 Child Care Playground Improvements Citrus CCD
  • 2001 New Learning Resource Center OCC
  • 2001 Maclay Primary Center Los Angeles USD
  • 2001 Building "A" Replacement Project SOCCCD
  • 2000-1 Mines-Maple Elementary School Modernization
  • 2000 Dos Fuentes HS Modernization
  • 2000 San Markos HS Modernization
  • 2000-1 NW Quadrant Elementary School Visalia USD
  • 2000-1 Valley Oak Middle School
  • 2000-1 Mineral King Elementary School Modernization
  • 2000-1 Goshen Elementary School Modernization
  • 2000-1 Fairview Elementary School Modernization
  • 2000-1 Elbow Elementary School Modernization
  • 2000-1 Crestwood Elementary School Modernization
  • 2000-1 Conyer Elementary School Modernization PYLUSD
  • 2000-1 Veva Blunt Elementary School Modernization
  • 2000 Phase "F" Dormitory and Street Utilities
  • 2000 Student Activities Center Cerritos College
  • 2000 Montebello High School Modernization
  • 2000 La Merced Elementary School Modernization
  • 1999 Indoor Physical Education Facility City College
  • 1999-2002 Elementary School #8 Sylvan USD
  • 1999-2000 Mountain View Multi-Purpose Building Visalia USD
  • 1999-2001 Royal Oaks Multi-Purpose Building Visalia USD
  • 1999-2000 Elbow Creek Multi-Purpose Building Visalia USD
  • 1999-2000 Visalia Elementary School # 4 SE Quadrant Site
  • 1999-2000 Visalia Elementary School # 3 SW Quadrant Site
  • 1999-2000 Visalia Elementary School # 2 NE Quadrant Site VUSD $6.7M
  • 1999-2000 Visalia Protypical Elementary School
  • 1999 Vlovis Elementary School New Site
  • 1999 Coachella Valley Elementary School #2
  • 1999 Calabasis HS Modernization & Gym Addition
  • 1999 New Facilities & Rennovations Visalia USD
  • 1999 Center for Innovation
  • 1999 Learning Resource Center at City College
  • 1999 Drainage Design
  • 1999-2000 Redesign Elementary School # 8
  • 1999 Citrus Learning Resource Center
  • 1998 Alondra Modernization Phase II
  • 1998-2000 Northwood HS Irvine USD
  • 1998 Regional Adaptive Physical Education Facility
  • 1998 HILB Center Electrical System Renovation
  • 1998 Cosmology Addition and Remodel Fullerton College
  • 1998 Phase II Modifications
  • 1998 Paramount
  • 1998 Retaining Wall Guardrail
  • 1998 Math & Science Classroom Buildings
  • 1998 Architectural Barrier Removal Cypress & Fullerton Colleges
  • 1998 Assessment Center
  • 1998 Business Education Building Remodel
  • 1998 Lecture Hall Remodel
  • 1998 Gensiasicor
  • 1998 Clasrsrooms for First Baptist Church
  • 1998 San Diego Learning Resource Center
  • 1998 Code Compliance Buildings 300/600 Cabrillo College
  • 1998 One-Stop registration Remodel Cerritos College
  • 1998 Child Care Addition Cerritos College
  • 1998 Insectary & Quarentine Facility University of California Riverside
  • 1998 Cerritos Technology Quad
  • 1998 Building B-100 Remodel Irvine Valley College
  • 1998 Desert Vista
  • 1998 Cerrritos College
  • 1998 Wellness Center Fullerton College
  • 1997-2004 Special Education Building @ Irvine HS Orange County Department of Education $15M
  • 1997-8 Center of Advanced Research & Technology Clovis USD
  • 1997 Top of the World Elementary Laguna Beach USD
  • 1997 Newport Mesa USD Education Center
  • 1997 Norstar Interiors
  • 1997 Alondra School Modernization
  • 1996 Neutrogena Training Center
  • 1997 P & G Sundor
  • 1996-2004 Whitendale Akers El Diamante Visalia High School