Are you curious to see how companies use Ideate Software tools? Want to watch one of our customer-focused webinars again? Would you like a colleague to watch one? 

We make it easy with the Customer Webinars Playlist on our YouTube channel.
These customer-focused webinars are well-attended and often spark interesting discussions on how to use our Revit productivity solutions to streamline workflows, enhance productivity, save time and demonstrate ROI. 

We will continue to add recordings as they become available. Here’s what you will find there now:

CBT Architects – The ‘I’ in BIM – How to Transfer Data to and from Revit

Payette – BIM Managers Set the Stage for Increased Knowledge and Productivity

BD Mackey Consulting – Hitting a High Note: Tuning your Revit Template

Steinberg Hart – Developing Efficient Processes

If you are interested in showcasing your company, BIM management best practices and use of Ideate Software solutions in an upcoming webinar, please don’t hesitate contact us. We’d love to hear from you.

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Companies with one person using Ideate Software tools see that person move away from tedious, time-consuming Revit tasks to more interesting, creative work. That person is happier because he/she can focus on what matters most, and clients are happier because they get more innovative and accurate designs, quicker.

Now imagine the sweeping changes that would occur if your whole team used all the Ideate Software tools.

Making these changes is easier than you think with savings available through multi-product and multi-user pricing:

  • Single-user, stand-alone license annual subscription
  • Multi-user, network license annual subscription
    • All five Ideate Software solutions for one person at a time on the network – US$2,495
    • All five Ideate Software solutions for five people at a time on the network – US$7,000
    • All five Ideate Software solutions for 25 people at a time on the network – US$10,000
  • Enterprise, multi-user network license annual subscription
    • All five Ideate Software solutions to all Revit users in your company – US$20,000
  • Instructor-led online training and access to recorded webinars, how-to videos, and robust Help files 
  • Support from technical experts 
  • Software that works with the current and previous three versions of Revit
  • New Ideate Software releases for subscribed titles within the subscription period
  • International license use (network; no additional fees) 

More and more of our customers around the world take advantage of the bundles. So don’t put it off any longer. Join hundreds of satisfied Ideate Software customers all over the globe and opt for a bundle today. Not sure which pricing option is right for you? Contact us to discuss your current situation, and we will help you discover the appropriate solution for your firm. 

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Recently, I had the thrill and honor of welcoming Steinberg Hart’s BIM-VDC Director Gautam Shenoy to a webinar to share his knowledge of product delivery. With more than 15 years of BIM experience and 10 years of experience working with Ideate Software tools, Gautam has developed a lot of best practices and successful workflow options. He presented some of them at our webinar, which covered some of the following topics:

  • Questions to ask when trying to win a project or on the path to procurement
  • How design technology connects with data 
  • Project delivery methods
  • Timelines
  • How to effectively measure ROI 

Throughout the session, Gautam shared how he and his team use Ideate Software tools to streamline processes, keep their models clean, and enhance collaboration with all stakeholders, including non-Revit users. He also shared this spreadsheet he created to determine the return on investment of IdeateApps and convey that ROI to leadership (click on the image):

Here are some comments from people in attendance:

  • “Definitely liked the ROI slide.”
  • “Gautam's graphic representation of his team's workflow was fantastic!”
  • “Gautam clearly explained how the Ideate Software solutions can be applied to many aspects of the AEC industry and for different project scenarios (design-bid, design-build, etc).”

Did you miss the webinar? Want to see it again? Here’s a link to the recording.


Visit our website for more information on our Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version, or subscribe today. 

About the Author

Richard W. Taylor, Associate AIA – Technical Evangelist 
Richard has more than 30 years of experience working for companies that develop architectural and engineering software solutions, such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 18 years of Revit experience, and he was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked for 12 years at Autodesk, where he presented, taught, and worked to improve features in Revit. Richard holds both a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Master of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. As Technical Evangelist, Richard works with AECO clients worldwide, developing and consulting on BIM solutions. Find Richard on Twitter.

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Earlier this year, I presented some ideas to a focus group on how Ideate BIMLink can be leveraged to gather Area Plan data related to BOMA. Area Plans were chosen over rooms, because Area Plans can have multiple schemes, which are easily separated by views and scheduling. In addition, the Project Browser will separate the Area Schemes by each type, making navigation much easier. Rooms are more challenging to attempt in this manner and can confuse data with other room-specific information. In addition, the room boundary lines are determined by a global Revit setting, whereas Area boundary lines are determined manually or by Area rules.

Area Schemes Created for BOMA

This image of the Project Browser depicts the different Area Schemes created for the BOMA for Office Buildings Standard Methods of Measurement. In this case, we have one scheme for the overall BOMA boundary area and a scheme for both Method A and Method B. You can see that the browser organization is much easier to understand.

The BOMA references presented were the BOMA 2017 for Office Buildings, Method A (Multiple Load Factor), and Method B (Single Load Factor). Regardless of which method is used, the end results will be the same.

After creating Area Schemes for Method A, Method B, and the Boundary Area (not to be confused with Gross Area – they are not the same in this context), the user will need to reference the BOMA guide to understand where the Area boundary lines are to be placed. For example, if you have a Tenant area next to a Floor Service Area, where does the demising Area line reside? The BOMA guide is very specific about these details.


Shown below is an example of a BOMA 2017 for Office Buildings Method B Area Plan with a Color Fill legend applied in Revit. Each Area type (Base Building Circulation, Floor Service Area, etc.) has been depicted as a BOMA Space Classification, which then translates to a color in the Area Plan. The Area boundary lines were determined based on the rules laid out in the BOMA guide.

Once the Areas have been placed, named, and numbered, the user has the option to set the BOMA Space Classification (Building Service Area, Floor Service Area, MVP, etc.) which is used for the BOMA datasheet. The user also has the option to set another value for the color of the Area to be represented in plans. These colors are set to match the colors in the BOMA guidelines.

Gathering Area Data from Revit to Excel Using Ideate BIMLink for Easy Editing

What was then presented to the focus group was how we can gather the Area data from the Revit model using Ideate BIMLink and push that data to an Excel file. While an Area schedule for each BOMA Method is easy to create natively in Revit, one issue that arises is how to combine the Boundary Area schedule with both the Method A and Method B schedules, since you cannot add schedules together. 

Here is an example of the New Schedule option that shows the schedule categories separated. Adding them in Revit is not possible.

In Ideate BIMLink, it is easy to create a link that lists all areas, no matter what the Area Scheme is. This allows a user to export a lot of Area data to one spreadsheet. For us to export the data for only the overall Boundary Area and a BOMA Method, we need to go to the Filters tab (see below image) and filter the data to show only the Area Scheme for Method A or B and the Boundary Area (1). Once the filter is applied, the data that Ideate BIMLink reports will show all the Boundary Areas (2) and all the areas that belong to the filtered Method A or B (3). Once this data is properly gathered, it can then be exported to Excel.

Here is an example of what the raw data export from Ideate BIMLink would look like. You can see that the data is well organized and very thorough.

Options for Restructuring Data for a Leasing Document (BOMA Global Summary of Areas)

For this data to be presented in a leasing document (BOMA Global Summary of Areas) that a client would be interested in, you will more than likely need to take the summarized Ideate BIMLink data and restructure it. Here are a few options regarding restructuring the data:

  1. Use this data to then manually fill in a BOMA spreadsheet that has formulas set in the correct cells. This method has a lot of downsides because doing manual entry can be time consuming and error prone. Any changes to the BOMA data will require the user to revisit the BOMA spreadsheet for manual updates. 
  2. Create a series of Pivot Tables that references the raw data from the Ideate BIMLink export and compose them so that they match the BOMA guidelines for the leasing data tables. The upside to this method is that there is no need to write any Excel macros to structure the data. Also, Pivot Tables have a low learning curve, though they can get tedious at times because formatting them to your liking can take some time.
  3. Write a macro inside an Excel template that gathers all the data from the Ideate BIMLink export and then structures that data to match the look and feel of the leasing table that the BOMA guide references. The upside to this method is that once you get the macro dialed in, the look and feel of the table should be consistent.
Example BOMA Global Summary of Areas Table

Shown here is an example of a BOMA Global Summary of Areas table formatted to match the BOMA guide. This table can be created by using a Pivot Table or a Macro that references the data that was exported out of the Revit model through Ideate BIMLink. Trying to enter this data manually in this table is time consuming and error prone.

Updating Data in the Revit Model 

If the data needs to be updated in the Revit model, all the user would have to do is re-export the data using Ideate BIMLink into the same Excel file that contains the original raw data from Ideate BIMLink. The Pivot Table or Macro that reads the raw data will refresh to reflect the updated data from the Revit model.

Whichever method you choose, you can easily use Ideate BIMLink to gather all your BOMA data and push it out to Excel, so you can use your preferred methods of generating and maintaining the leasing data tables.

Existing Ideate BIMLink customers are welcome to request access to our Revit 2017 BOMA sample dataset.

Not an Ideate BIMLink customer? Download a  free trial version or subscribe today. 

About the Author

Sash Kazeminejad - AIA, LEED AP, BCI, BCC - Customer Success Manager
Sash earned his Master of Architecture from Montana State University and is a California registered architect, LEED Accredited Professional, and a Bluebeam Certified Instructor. He has extensive experience in project management; BIM management; design for architectural firms in California, Montana, and Oregon; and leading classroom and online BIM training. He provides consulting, sales, support, and training solutions to AECO customers around the globe. Find Sash on LinkedIn.


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Software. It is a huge part of how we get through our days, and its usage continues to grow at an exponential rate. Processes that now take minutes or hours once took days or weeks. The future of software continues to be big, and it continues to radically change our landscape.

Third-Party Software Defined

Third-party software is a major industry within the software development market. It typically runs inside or side-by-side software from the first party (the OEM software developer). In many cases, the first party opens its Application Programming Interface (API) up to third-party developers, so they can develop additional software that enhances the original.

Ideate Software’s Third-Party Software

Ideate Software focuses on improvements and workflow enhancements to Autodesk Revit software. We currently offer five Revit plug-in products that helps users simplify their Revit data challenges. As we like to say, we focus on the “I” in BIM, since we do a deep dive into the Revit API to expose important features and new workflows for customers to use on their Revit-based projects.

Charting a Business Case for Third-Party Software

Deciding to procure software such as ours requires thoughtful analysis, both from a usability perspective and an acquisition perspective. For example, when analyzing your current software, you need to understand:

  • Your current needs
  • The tasks you perform to meet current needs
  • How you complete those tasks
  • The amount of daily and weekly effort (hours and cost) it takes to complete those tasks
  • The time and cost savings will result if you acquire third-party tools
  • Who will use the third-party software 

One of the best ways to complete this analysis is by charting a business case in a format that is easy for everyone to understand, from end users to the decision makers. With everything laid out in this form, proposing solutions for buy-in will be easy, because the ROI on cost and time will be apparent. 

Getting Buy-in from End Users and Decision Makers – An Example

One great example comes from Gautam Shenoy at Steinberg-Hart. After the Ideate Software team demonstrated IdeateApps to him and his Revit users, Gautam went to work putting together a needs analysis of each of the nine tools that come with IdeateApps. Once completed, the results were compelling, and the ROI potential was immediately apparent.

Gautam presented his analysis to the decision-makers in his firm and got instant approval to add IdeateApps to their Ideate Software collection. Here is an example of the business case analysis that Gautam created for IdeateApps (click on the image):

Although a cost for manual time vs. app-driven time was not identified in his analysis, the difference in effort between the two was drastic enough that anyone reading the chart would understand that the ROI is huge. Also, information in the Notes column explained the issues in more detail, making the case for the procurement of IdeateApps even stronger.

If you are looking for solutions to workflow challenges and are in the market to purchase third-party software such as Ideate Software solutions, leveraging a chart like this will help you understand the value and validate your claims, as you will easily be able to identify the cost and time savings.

Contact Us

If you have any ideas to share, such as how your office goes about procuring software solutions, we would love to hear from you. We always welcome comments, suggestions, and feedback.

Related Topics

Surveyed Ideate BIMLink users report an average of 20 hours per project in saved time. Learn more.

Visit our website for more information on our Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version, or subscribe today. 

About the Author

Sash Kazeminejad - AIA, LEED AP, BCI, BCC - Customer Success Manager
Sash earned his Master of Architecture from Montana State University and is a California registered architect, LEED Accredited Professional, and a Bluebeam Certified Instructor. He has extensive experience in project management; BIM management; design for architectural firms in California, Montana, and Oregon; and leading classroom and online BIM training. He provides consulting, sales, support, and training solutions to AECO customers around the globe. Find Sash on LinkedIn.


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