June

18

2014

BIM Support Specialist Laura Kay Smith, Kasian Architecture, Interior Design and Planning, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, inspired the creation of a new workflow using Ideate BIMLink--the development of Room Data Sheets for facilities planning. Now the Vancouver Kasian office is spearheading the use of Ideate BIMLink and the Data Sheet as a matter of firm-wide policy for every Integrated Project working with Strategic Facilities Planning.

Kasian invested about $1,800 on software solutions. The firm values associated training and deployment costs in hours at $3,200. Grand total expenditure to enhance collaboration, facilitate coordination, drastically minimize error and enable better decision making earlier with Ideate BIMLink: $5,000.

Ideate BIMLink routinely helps Kasian Architects and Functional Programmers figure out project space requirements. And, Ideate BIMLink feeds the Data Sheets for Kasian projects.

According to Smith, "In the past, we did all the Room data and qualifications by hand, which cost us expensive time. With our new standard that brings in Ideate BIMLink at the beginning of Integrated Projects, we save immeasurable time and money. Of the functionality at the beginning, designers are apt to have less re-design."

As Brigid Barriscale, Kasian Strategic Facilities Planning Manager explains, "When the Strategic Facilities Planning Department used to check data sheets by hand, it took two to three weeks. With Ideate BIMLink, it takes more like two to three hours."

Smith compares the former method that required two weeks of SFP analysts' time versus using only two hours for every project. If the firm averages only 10 projects per year, that uses only 20 hours instead of 20 weeks. And as Smith adds, "There is a lot less chance for error. We are checking with Excel, not by hand."

For the whole story: Kasian Sets a New Facilities Planning Standard Using Ideate BIMLink.

More Ideate BIMLink Case Studies.

 

 

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June

16

2014

The whole point of Revit's shared parameters is that a unique parameter name is created so that data can be embedded within multiple Revit families and still be recognized as being identical.  This allows us to say, for example, that this "SerialNumber" property on this Air Terminal is the exact same property as the serial number identified within a Plumbing Fixture family. If they are not identical, then Revit will display these properties in two different columns within a Revit file. This method of creating a unique value is essential to the integrity of any asset management system.

As we discussed in an earlier post, there does tend to be some confusion about when to use a shared family parameter, versus a shared project parameter or even a simple project parameter. However, once you've decided that a shared parameter is needed, the next decision you will confront is what to name the parameter. This is an important decision, because from the moment the parameter is named it is given a unique identifier, aka the GUID. The GUID is not derived entirely from the name or other settings so it cannot be re-created other than by re-importing a shared parameter from an existing shared parameter text file.

Using Ideate BIMLink to safely rename a shared parameter within Revit.
So, what's a BIM Manager to do when confronted with the need to rename a shared parameter? Any values (e.g. the serial number values) assigned to this shared parameter will be lost if the parameter is deleted. If you've already populated a lot of instance values against a shared parameter that you now need to rename, you'll want to follow these steps:
  1. Save the existing shared parameter values.
  2. Create a new shared parameter with the desired name - preferably by importing from a Shared Parameter text file.
  3. Import the old values into the new shared parameter.
  4. Delete the older shared parameter now, safely!

* So, while it's actually not possible to rename a shared parameter as a method to match another shared parameter, Ideate BIMLink can solve this dilemma by automating the process as described. See how in the video shown above.


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

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June

6

2014


Example of a Clash Condition Isolated in Revit

The clash detection and resolution process has evolved into a mainstream, scheduled activity during the design process and has slowly established itself as a standard quality control activity in most BIM Execution Plans. Not all clashes are issues, but of the identified clashes there are many that the BIM coordination team will be able to flag as coordination issues. These issues, typically referred to as 'Requests for Information' (RFIs)  are distributed for resolution during coordination meetings, with a list of 'Action Items' assigned to every consultant or sub-contractor. The current product-based tools fall short.  There is the 'Switchback' feature that lets you go from a clash in Navisworks to its location in Revit - but that assumes you have both products. Otherwise, there is no automatic exchange of RFIs between products. You could view them in a Navisworks Freedom clash file but then you are left with the task of finding them in the Revit model, something that a Revit schedule can readily do.  Since both products can exchange data with an Excel spreadsheet, there is an opportunity to expedite the process. You can share a  'Schedule of Open Issues' created from Navisworks with Excel, manage the data, then push the data to a Revit Schedule, from which you can locate the clashes. The workflow involves four steps:

  • In Revit, create several parameters across the model categories to document the issues.
  • Export the empty Schedule of Issues to Excel as an RFI Schedule.
  • Map the Navisworks generated clashes (exported HTML report) into the RFI Schedule.
  • Import the worksheet into Revit using Ideate BIMLink.


RFI Schedule Built in Revit

Let's explore these steps in greater detail:

  1. Create parameters across the model geometries and build a 'RFI Schedule': Create new Multi-Category project parameters to document the RFI. In this example you create three custom parameters to keep your schedule short. Additional fields could be added as needed. The parameters created are:
    • Clash Name:  Holds the Clash name coming from the Navisworks Report.
    • Clash Cleared?: A Yes/No parameter that shows if the clash is active.
    • Comments:  Coordination follow-ups, issues, other instructions to the BIM modelers.
  1. Export the empty Schedule of Issues in Excel format: You use Ideate BIMLink to create a multi-category 'link' of user parameters that are then exported into an .xls file.  This schedule will be empty of parameter values but will contain the Element ID of every object in the project. Note that the multi-category link in Ideate BIMLink includes both system family (walls, ducts, etc.) and the other custom families (equipment, air terminals, devices, etc.).

    Export the Multi-category Parameters as an Excel File Using Ideate BIMLink
     
  2. Map the Navisworks Report into the Schedule of Issues: The HTML tabular report generated by Navisworks can be opened and saved in Excel format. You nest this report as a worksheet tab in the BIMLink exported RFI Schedule. The report can be reformatted to display a limited amount of information, or the data can be grouped to display information in a single column (using the Excel formula CONCATENATE).  You can also customize the report to include Clash Priorities, the counterpart clash ID number, and/or any other additional consultant notes. Next, map the Clash Report parameters to the schedule using the "Identity Data" field as the key identifier, and using the Excel formula VLOOKUP to associate a string of information from one database into another.

    The formula arguments of VLOOKUP are not difficult to understand:


    Excel VLOOKUP Formula Explanation
  • What unique identifier are you looking up in the database? (Element ID)
  • Where is the database? (The Navisworks Report range of values)
  • Which column of the database, associated with the unique identifier, do you wish to have retrieved for you? (Second Column from the left)
  • Range_lookup is an optional argument, that has to do ascending or descending order of the identifiers; it requires to be either a TRUE or FALSE value, or it can be be left blank.

    The mapping of information is generated in the same Excel link file. New worksheets or working columns added to the link file will affect the import action.
  1. Import the Schedule into Revit:  This will populate the Schedule of RFI with the Navisworks data. The RFI Schedule of open issues will enable location of the issues in Revit and speed the resolution.  To review any open issue, the user can highlight the element in the schedule, and then show the desired object for resolution, or apply the Isolate view control.  When an issue is solved, you would mark the checkbox parameter as "Resolved", and/or add a date or any other note in the comment field.  New issues/clashes can be added or removed as the design evolves over time. This workflow would be a valid approach for Revit generated models. Non-Revit models would need to follow the traditional resolution process.  A limitation within Revit, is the inability to confirm ID numbers of objects in linked models. In Federated, Revit-based models, you can color-code the counterpart clashing elements thru the use of filters based on the custom 'clash' parameter (ie. Yes/No clash parameter).  The filter will apply a material or surface override to all the elements identified as clashes, which then would be retrieved across linked files via Visibility Graphics Overrides (VG > Revit Links > Custom > Filters). For a consistent, coordination review across multiple disciplines, you can document this process and include the detail, format and use of review filters in the BIM execution plan.


Filter Created Across Files to Highlight Clashes

Consultants can keep track of the resolution progress within Revit and issue progress reports during coordination meetings.  New issues resulting from new Clash Reports can always be added by repeating the workflow anytime. While this workflow is not full automation of the tracking process of an RFI, it is certainly helps to streamline bridging Navisworks and Revit. Interested on adopting this workflow?  Contact us at support@ideatesoftware.com .


About the Author

César Escalante - AIA, CCCA AEC Application Specialist
César is a licensed Architect with more than 12 years of experience leveraging architecture, design, and construction technologies in the AEC industry. He has an extensive expertise managing, implementing, and supporting all facets of BIM, IPD, and VCD workflows that includes the use of mobile and cloud technology during design and construction. César has played an instrumental role deploying successful strategies for multidiscipline coordination of large, technically complex, multimillion dollar projects. An innovative thinker, he is recognized as a leader at the forefront of BIM technologies, and he is a passionate educator. César is a LEED accredited professional and a Certified Construction Contract Administrator. He is currently a member of the buildingSMART alliance and the National Institute of Building Sciences. @VCDwhiz

 

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May

29

2014

Now that Revit 2015 has been published, many of our customers are starting to do their early prep work in advance of their official migration to Autodesk Revit 2015. In light of this work, here are a few simple spring cleaning tips for your consideration. Before You Migrate to Revit 2015... Family Audits
  1. Open your office standard family (.RFA) files created in the past one year.
  2. Launch Ideate Explorer for Revit.
  3. Review all contents and delete anything that surprises you.*
  4. Purge and then repeat to ensure nested content has been removed.
Template Audits
  1. Open your office standard template (.RTE) files.
  2. Launch Ideate Explorer for Revit.
  3. Review all contents and delete anything that surprises you.*
  4. Purge and then repeat to ensure nested content has been removed.

If you don't have time to review all your new content (hah!) then at least be sure to audit your templates,  Titleblock, and Annotation families. These often have non-standard lines and sometimes an import or unexpected raster image may sneak in. *Use Ideate Explorer's built-in audit filter to find the most common culprits.


A toilet and title block family as seen by Ideate Explorer within the Revit Family Editor

Upgrading a Revit Project to Version 2015

Important information from Autodesk about the upgrade process, new to 2015. Autodesk's best practices when upgrading your project. 


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

 

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May

28

2014

Question: Is there a way where I can quickly identify which Revit Schedules have been placed on sheets? There are tons of schedules in the model and it is hard to tell which ones are needed.

Answer:  A Schedule View can be placed on multiple sheets, so programmatically it is difficult to determine the location of a schedule view. However, a 'Schedule Graphic' entity does exist on only one sheet and can be listed by Ideate Explorer for Revit. In the image above there are (4) Revit Schedules and only (3) Schedule Graphics. The Note Block has not yet been placed on a sheet because there is no corresponding Schedule Graphic element.


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

 

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