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AIA Integrated Practice 2006 Conference
2006-06-21 | Author: Lachmi Khemlani

In the last AECbytes newsletter, I captured the highlights of the AIA TAP (Technology in Architectural Practice) conference that was one of the pre-convention workshops preceding the annual US AIA National Convention and Expo 2006, held in Los Angeles from June 8 to Jun 10. The TAP conference was followed the next day by an associated, but separate event, the AIA Integrated Practice conference. While both conferences had a similar format, the TAP conference was more focused on the application of technology within the architectural profession while the Integrated Practice conference took a broader look at technology and process changes across the building industry as a whole...

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AIA TAP 2006 Conference
2006-06-15 | Author: Lachmi Khemlani

The title of this year's TAP conference was "Models for the Future of the Architecture Profession: The Risks, Rewards, and Opportunities of Technology." Not surprisingly, most of the sessions were focused on BIM (building information modeling), which was identified as an "inevitable technology" in the opening session, along with collaboration and interoperability...

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Use of BIM by Facility Owners: An "Expotitions" Meeting
2006-05-13 | Author: Lachmi Khemlani

Towards the end of last month, I was invited to participate in a meeting of the "Expotitions" group, a B2B (Business to Business) roundtable of real estate, design, and construction professionals located in the San Francisco Bay area. This group has been around for several years, conducting informal meetings every few months to discuss a wide rage of issues related to real estate and construction. Some of the recent meetings were devoted to topics such as scenario planning, flexible leasing, flexible facilities, rising construction costs, alternate officing, biotechnology and health services, offshoring operations, and so on. The meeting on April 25, the one I attended, was entitled "Building Information Modeling: Future Technology Shift," and featured a panel discussion of four facility owners who were utilizing this emerging technology: the GSA, Intel, LucasFilm, and Walt Disney Imagineering. The highlights of their presentations and the ensuing discussion are captured in this AECbytes "Building the Future" article...

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The transfer of sophisticated Non-Photo Realistic (NPR) rendering technology from the entertainment industry (animation and video games) to the AEC industry will have far-reaching effects on building simulation and on data-driven Building Information Modeling (BIM). The so called "NPR shaders" are small graphics programs that plug into software or reside natively on powerful graphics cards. They enable the same hard-edged 3D geometry to be flexibly re-presented in a myriad of artistic styles, for example, sketchy, watercolor, oil painting, or any of several other traditional analog media styles...

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The BIM Difference
2006-03-27 | Author: Jay Bhatt

There's a reason why the first automobiles were called "horseless carriages." Designers were unable or unwilling to shift their thinking to accommodate a fundamental shift in technology. So they stuck with the familiar—it took until the 1930s with cars like the 1934 DeSoto Airflow before automobile design came to terms with technology. So it was with the introduction of the steel frame to high-rise design. Unable to see past the status quo, designers of the first steel frames clad them in masonry so they looked very much like tall versions of the bearing wall structures the world already knew. It was years until designers regularly exploited the expressive possibilities of steel in now-familiar designs, such as the Lever House by Gordon Bunshaft of SOM in New York...

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Visual Estimating: Extending BIM to Construction
2006-03-21 | Author: Lachmi Khemlani

With BIM, the quantity take-off can be greatly speeded up, since the model has the information about all the objects in the building as well as their dimensions. However, it is important to note that it will, by itself, not enable automatic take-off. This is because the estimating process is a lot more complicated than simply getting a list of objects and their sizes. It also involves analyzing the building design, grouping objects into appropriate assemblies for construction, setting assembly and item variables, and then pricing the objects by taking off these assemblies or items. Thus, unless the BIM model was developed such that the objects are derived directly from construction assemblies, the assembly takeoff is still a substantial process in cost estimating. Currently, however, BIM applications do not model construction assembly details, for example, the nails, studs, drywalls, etc. for a wall object. This is why the approach of Graphisoft's Construction solutions, described in AECbytes Newsletter #15, is to allow contractors to create their own construction-specific BIM models rather than re-work the BIM models created by architects and engineers. Innovaya adopts a middle ground here—it works with the BIM models created in Revit, ADT, or ABS by designers, but it also acts as the quantity takeoff and estimating tool which synthesizes the BIM model and enables it to be used directly with construction assemblies and items for estimating...

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BIM Symposium at the University of Minnesota
2006-02-15 | Author: Lachmi Khemlani

On Feb 1, the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota hosted a BIM Symposium under its "Continuing Professional Studies" program. The focus of the Symposium was on addressing the opportunities and challenges related to implementing BIM in the office, as well as the educational challenges presented by BIM in the design studio...

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1-2-3 REVIT: BIM in China
2005-11-15 | Author: Rick Rundell, AIA

eral months ago we explored how BIM (building information model) was adopted by firms in India, a country experiencing one of the largest construction booms in the world. This month we examine how BIM is working in a country experiencing the largest construction boom in the world: China...

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1-2-3 Revit: BIM Goes to School
2005-10-14 | Author: Rick Rundell, AIA

As BIM (building information model) adoption grows in the building industry, so does the use of the BIM in educational curricula. This month's article describes how university students around the world are learning BIM -- accelerating their design thinking and their studio work as well as laying the foundation for advancing their industry in the future...

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1-2-3 Revit: Building Information Modeling in India
2005-09-15 | Author: Rick Rundell, AIA

India's stable legal and commercial environment, combined with its government's economic liberalization policies, has led to strong economic growth, low inflation and significant increases in foreign investment. The growth of its technology sector -- drawing on an abundant, well-educated labor pool -- is renowned. IT hubs are quickly being established in the suburbs of most major Indian cities, often likened to Indian Silicon Valleys...

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Autodesk Revit Building 8/8.1
2005-09-07 | Author: Lachmi Khemlani

Starting in March 2005, Autodesk Revit officially became a platform rather than a single product. This was when Autodesk released version 8 of its BIM application for architectural design, now known as Autodesk Revit Building rather than just Autodesk Revit. This was followed in June by the first release of Autodesk Revit Structure, a BIM application for structural engineering built on the Revit platform. A third Revit-based application for MEP engineering is currently under development. By expanding the scope of Revit from architectural design alone to a platform that can support collaborative multi-disciplinary building design, Autodesk has successfully addressed what has been one of Revit's biggest limitations so far...

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Cadalyst Labs Review: Revit Building 8
2005-09-01 | Author: Steven S. Ross

Over the past five years, Revit has undergone seven major upgrades as well as acquisition by Autodesk. What was once a slightly cranky, underpowered solid modeler is now a mature, industrial-strength product running on Windows XP. The Revit platform is beginning to show some connection with Architectural Desktop through the ability of Revit Structure to export and read Architectural Desktop structural objects. Its API (application programming interface) is open enough to have attracted some impressive third-party software developers as well. Revit also continues to add drafting tools and has become a fairly powerful CAD program in its own right...

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The 1,776-foot-tall Freedom Tower being built on the World Trade Center site in New York is pushing the boundaries of architectural engineering because of its height and complex design. It's also a major test case for a new generation of design and online collaboration tools for the construction industry...

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1-2-3 Revit: Not All BIM is Parametric
2005-02-15 | Author: Rick Rundell, AIA

One of my first articles for this column explored the pros and cons of the various types of design technologies currently in use for BIM (building information modeling) solutions: CAD, object CAD and parametric building modeling. This month's article will focus on the most advanced of these technologies, parametric building modeling...

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Implementing BIM, Part 3: Staff Training
2005-01-15 | Author: Rick Rundell, AIA

This is the third and final installment of a series of articles on best practices for implementing BIM (building information modeling) solutions. In Part 1, I highlighted success factors for transitioning to a purpose-built BIM solution like Autodesk Revit. In Part 2, I identified process and organizational changes inherent to BIM...

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