March

12

2012

Speaking of Project Auditing, Don't Forget Your Groups and RFAs

We spend a lot of time talking to customers about how to maintain a lean and robust BIM project database but not enough about also keeping the underlying custom content clean. Here's a great tip that has surfaced with many of our customers via our Technical Support that highlights the need to audit Revit content; both for Groups and custom family files (RFAs).

Imported DWG/DGN content is the bane of many a BIM Manager. Ideate Explorer for Revit is the perfect tool to find and remove any hidden Imports. However, what Ideate Explorer for Revit does NOT do is find DWGs that may be nested within a custom family (RFA). If a DWG is brought into a family or Group and then not purged, the imported categories essentially infect the project with unwanted categories found within the Visibility Graphics. This can cause undesired results, particularly when Exporting the project back into DWG/DGN format. To avoid these problems in the first place we recommend using Ideate Explorer to delete any non-essential items from Groups and Custom families as follows:

1. For Groups, select all items as you normally would to make a Group then:

  • Run Ideate Explorer to audit the "Current Selection"
  • Uncheck any Imports or other items not intended to be part of a Group. We would never advocate including an Import item within a Group. In Revit 2012, in fact, this behavior is no longer possible (mixing an Import with other detail items). If this problem has already surfaced, you should check out this article at the Revit Clinic which describes the painstaking procedure that may be required to fix the Group-related problem.
  • Exit Ideate Explorer
  • Use the Create Group command.
2. For custom families, use the Family Editor as you normally would, then:
  • Run Ideate Explorer to audit all of the items in the "Entire Project"
  • Check any Imports or other items not intended to be part of the Family.
  • Exit Ideate Explorer
  • With the unwanted items still checked, select the Delete Key.
  • The last step, before publishing any BIM content for company use, is to purge - twice for good measure!

Family Editor

And, lastly, if you haven't done so already, consider a company policy about both family and group creation per the steps above as it will surely mean fewer support calls!


About the Author


Glynnis Patterson, NCARB - Director of Software Development
Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked with the BIM industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is currently the Director of Software Development Services at Ideate, Inc. and continues to work with AEC clients across the nation, developing, and implementing best practices solutions. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work and builds Lego projects. @GVPinNJ

This post was originally published on the Ideate Solutions Blog.

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March

5

2012

It was less than a year ago when we conducted a survey of the Ideate BIMLink user base. The user feedback from the 2011 survey was instrumental in forming our product direction over the past 10 months. We're pleased to report that since then we've issued an additional two "point releases" and were able to address many of the top user requests for new features within our 2012 product including providing FlexLM network licensing and access to key schedule data. As with last year's version, our survey gave us some great insight into both the value that Ideate BIMLink is bringing to our customers and some exciting ideas about where our 2013 product should be going.

Almost all of our customers are using BIMLink to solve several kinds of workflow issues. Many, for example, are using it to manage sheet-based information or to create new rooms from an Excel space program. Others continue to use Ideate BIMLink to manage large quantities of custom family content. Others are using Ideate BIMLink in unexpected ways such as connecting elements to barcode data for material tracking, or using it as a method to translate an entire project into a foreign language.

Most gratifying to us, however, was learning about the time saved. On average, Ideate BIMLink survey respondents report 20 hours of time saved per project! To be fair, our standalone customers are reporting an average of 11 hours per project while the network customers are reporting and average of 32 hours.  The great news is that either way these are very significant savings and indicate that the payback period for a purchase of Ideate BIMLink occurs during the very first project.

We also want to congratulate the winner selected from our pool of survey respondents: Tamara Youssef. Tamara is a BIM Specialist who works for Dar Al-Handasah Consultants out of their Lebanon office and won an iPad2! Thanks to all our customers for helping us identify and solve BIM data management problems. Get started with a trial version today.


About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, NCARB - Director of Software Development
Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked within the BIM industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is currently the Director of Software Development Services at Ideate, Inc. and continues to work with AEC clients across the nation, developing, and consulting on solutions to Building Information Modeling challenges. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work for eclcofnj.org and growitgreenmorristown.org @GVPinNJ

 

This post was originally published on the Ideate Solutions Blog

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February

8

2012

The days of actually sharing Building Information Models are finally upon us. At Ideate we're seeing a high degree of RVT sharing going on out there, not only across A/E disciplines but also into the construction field. Obvious hurdles still abound as we struggle to define BIM deliverables and what constitutes a "constructability" model but it's exciting nonetheless to see so much progress in the past two years.As we see more owners and contractors performing detailed takeoff analysis derived from Revit models we've become more attuned to the unique challenges of trying to leverage someone else's data. It's difficult enough to "walk through" a project you are not familiar with, and even more difficult to comfortably assess the data behind the model when you yourself are not the creator.

To that end, I thought I'd share a few tips to help avoid some of the common mistakes that can be made when using Revit for quantity takeoff purposes.

Phasing and Schedule Data Challenges Architects and Engineers most typically use phases to graphically represent demolition, existing, and new construction conditions within a project. This allows, for example, items that are existing to be shown in a lighter lineweight, and items that are being demolished to either be displayed as dashed or not be shown at all. Ideate has had many support cases where quantity takeoffs were not giving the expected results due to phasing considerations. Using the wrong Phase Filter on a Schedule can radically impact the takeoff results. Each of Revit's model elements are assigned a Phase Created and Phase Demolished value, as shown. These assignments give Revit the ability to display Views and Schedules as a snapshot in time. When the schedule is created a Phase is identified, as shown. This acts as a filter on the schedule.  In this example, any Wall that has a Phase Created value of "Phase II" will not display in the schedule.  

Consider the simple floor plans shown for Phase I and Phase II of the same project. Each schedule has a different combination of Phase and Phase Filter settings. These phase settings can be edited from the Properties dialog when the Schedule is the active view.

Note that the temporary wall, shown dashed, is visible in both the Floor Plan View and in the Schedule. Depending upon the Phase Filter the temporary wall could be excluded even if the Phase is set to "Phase I." Additionally, this schedule includes walls that are existing. Is this desired for your takeoff?In Phase II, another room is created. The Revit Schedule, when set to Filter on "Phase II" can include only the items created during this Phase OR can be set to show both the new items and the older items. The Phase Filter called "Show Previous + New" will cause the Existing, Phase I, and Phase II items to display. It cannot, however, be used to only show Phase I and Phase II items and it will also not include any temporary items from the previous phase.

So, Before You Start the Takeoff... If you're using someone else's RVT to generate a takeoff, bear these tips in mind:

  • Start by reviewing the Phase settings which can be found on the Manage tab under Phases. Review both the Phase and Phase Filter Settings to understand the lay of the land.
  • In order to get a complete picture of the elements on a per phase basis, you may want to have a Schedule for each Phase and use only the "New" Phase Filter.
  • Additionally, while not as prevalent, Design Options present the exact same set of issues with respect to quantity takeoffs. Revit Schedules may or may not reflect information about the set of data upon which you should be basing the takeoff. Design Option data creates duplicate elements. In some instances the Design Option data may actually be old and not relevant to the bid.
  • The best course of action is to review the Design Options directly with the architect or engineer prior to starting the takeoff.
  • Lastly, Ideate BIMLink can provide peace of mind to the quantity takeoff process by including the relevant phased and design option-based information in-line with the element data. In this short Quantity Takeoff and Phasing video you'll see how Ideate BIMLink can represent all element instances. You can then use Excel to decide which elements should be part of your takeoff.

Learn more about Ideate BIMLink. Want more information on Phasing or Design Options? Ideate offers custom online training during convenient lunchtime hours on these and other construction-related topics. Review the online Revit training topics then contact Ideate's Training Department for more information.


About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, NCARB - Director of Software Development Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked within the BIM industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is currently the Director of Software Development Services at Ideate, Inc. and continues to work with AEC clients across the nation, developing, and consulting on solutions to Building Information Modeling challenges. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work for eclcofnj.org and growitgreenmorristown.org @GVPinNJ

 

This post was originally published on the Ideate Solutions Blog

Read More