April

29

2014

San Francisco, CA, 04/29/2014-Ideate, Inc., a multi-decade veteran Autodesk Developer Network member and Autodesk Gold Value Added Reseller today announced the delivery of Ideate BIMLink 2015.0 and Ideate Explorer for Revit 2015.0. The release of these Ideate Software  solutions is concurrent with the Autodesk Revit 2015 product launch.

The solutions have been ported to the 2015 Autodesk Revit platform in support of Revit users' software migration and testing processes. Both solutions support any changes to the data structures within the Revit file format.

Ideate Software is a set of far-reaching BIM data management tools that help the Revit community clean up models, delete problem items, analyze files quickly, improve speed and accuracy in data flow, increase collaboration and overcome repeated workflow interruptions.

Ideate Director of Software Development Glynnis Patterson says, "As we do traditionally, we have shipped congruently with Revit 2015 in support of our customers' operational reality. Certainly, many Revit-users continue to work in and maintain projects in earlier versions. At the same time, our customers may undertake migration and testing processes for 2015. Having congruent versions of Revit and Ideate Software helps our customers move projects forward."

Bob Palioca, President, Ideate Inc. says of the 2015 Ideate Software release, "Providing BIM data management solutions that answer tough challenges is our great delight. We want the Revit community to know, when you are ready to migrate and test your migration environment, we are ready with the tools you need."

Both Ideate BIMLink and Ideate Explorer for Revit carry five star ratings on the Autodesk Exchange Apps Store, and both are available with a 30 day non-commercial trial. For more information, call 888.662.7238, contact [email protected], and for support, contact [email protected].

About Ideate, Inc.

Ideate, Inc. is a leading Autodesk Authorized Developer with 25+ years' experience in software development and specific focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM).  As an Autodesk solutions provider, Ideate has offered quality software, training, support and custom consulting services to the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industries since 1992. Headquartered in San Francisco, California and operating Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) in California, Oregon and Washington, Ideate is recognized as an Autodesk Gold Partner for Architecture, Engineering and Construction, one of Autodesk's highest levels of authorization. Ideate Software is a comprehensive set of far-reaching BIM data management tools.

Ideate BIMLink powers the "I" in BIM, allowing users to pull data from an Autodesk Revit file into Microsoft Excel for fast and precise editing, and push the data back into Revit with equal ease.

Ideate Explorer for Revit lets users search, filter, quantify and select to easily manage the 100,000+ elements in a Revit model. Both solutions help Autodesk Revit users solve problems in AEC workflows and help the Revit community leverage BIM to its fullest advantage.

Autodesk, Autodesk Revit and ATC are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Microsoft Excel is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

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April

24

2014

Ideate BIMLink can help expedite and ease the creation of Space Analysis Diagrams. Programming has to convey data in a way that is clearly understandable in tabular format and diagrammatic plans. Programming diagrams developed under this phase are typically divorced from the data source. Transposing this data into Revit objects typically involves the tedious task of manually retyping the information into Revit Schedules. Now, this can be streamlined by importing the program data directly from Excel into Revit, using Ideate BIMLink, the Revit add-on that imports Excel generated data into Revit.

To demonstrate this workflow, I will use as an example the overall program data of two fictional institutional buildings. I will show how you can connect the information of Revit Area objects with the Program spreadsheets. Then, we will build Space Diagrams with Areas and Area Boundary lines.

Step 1: Build the Area Parameters in Revit:  A solid understanding of the programming data will help you decide how to build the parameters. Area parameters are typically Instance parameters because each area displays different property values. Decide what fields need to be tagged and build those as shared parameters. In the example below, I created five custom parameters, including two Shared Parameters called 'Programmable Area' and 'Neighborhood' that will be used as labels in tags.

Step 2: Build New Area Plan Schemes for Programming Options:  Customize your Area Plan views by adding them under the Area and Volume Computations. You are not limited to the Gross and Rentable Schemes that come out of the box in Revit. You can use Area Schemes to manage your Area Plan options, Zoning Requirements, Buildings, Occupancies, etc.

Step 3: Build an Area Schedule in Revit and Add Area Placeholders:  Add into the Schedule of Areas as many rows as needed to develop your space analysis diagram.  The idea is to create placeholders for each of the required spaces. There is no need to spend time filling out the parameter values because we will do this more efficiently in Excel.

Step 4: Export the Data to Excel:  Using Ideate BIMlink, export the parameters to Excel. BIMLink ships with a 'Link' definition with a preloaded set of parameters of the Area Category. Unlike Revit Schedules, the link is inclusive of all the systems and user created Area Schemes, enabling users to manipulate the data of multiple Area Plans in a single database. Add any additional custom parameters in the Area link as needed, and/or exclude the ones you don't need.

Step 5: Fill the Area Information in Excel:  Populate the Area parameters using the extended capabilities of Excel. There are many different ways in Excel to do this, to name a few:

  • Create external references between the cells of the Link and the Programming report (=[FileName.xls]Worksheet!Range). In this scenario, the two database files will be linked, and the BIMLink link would remain updated.
  • 'Nest' the programming data into a new tab and connect the cells between tabs (=Worksheet!Range).
  • Copy/Paste the data.

The choices you have to edit, sort, and modify the parameter values in Excel are far superior than the out of the box Revit ones.

 Revit, BIMLink, Excel, Parameters, Shared Parameters, Programming

Step 6: Use Pivot Tables and Charts in Custom Tabs:  The beauty of having the data in Excel is that you can use all the available Excel tools to present the data in a way that is meaningful to the client, like Pivot Tables. Build Pivot Tables in Excel to automatically sort, count and summarize the program in the same BIMLink worksheet as long as they are placed in a different tab. Data in the custom tabs will be preserved even if the link is re-exported. Keep the original 'link' tab away from format modifications; this will ensure a seamless import/export process. Another feature in Excel you can use is to assign background colors to different cell values using the Rules under Excel Conditional Formatting


Format Cell Fill Color Using Rules in the Excel Conditional Formatting

Here are few other examples of how the programming data can be displayed using different Pivot Tables, in the same BIMLink file:


Pivot Table 1 Built into the BIMLink Link.

Parameters, Shared Parameters, Programming, Excel, Revit, Ideate BIMLink, BIMLink, Ideate Software, Space Needs Analysis, Pivot Table
Pivot Table 2 Built into the BIMLink link.


Pivot Table Sample 3 Built into the BIMLink link

Parameters, Column Chart, Shared Parameters, Programming, Excel, Revit, Ideate BIMLink, BIMLink, Ideate Software, Space Needs Analysis, Pivot Table
Pivot Table Column Chart Sample

Step 7: Re-Import the Link Data Into Revit Using Ideate BIMLink:  All the Area parameter values will be updated. Again, BIMLink will only read the data in the original tab when re-importing.

Step 8: Build the Space Needs Diagram Using Area Boundary Lines and the Area Placeholders:  Since all the areas live in the project as placeholders in the schedule, pick the appropriate Area from the Options Bar. I applied Color Schemes to the view, based on the Name value, but we can also build others based on the information contained by the Area objects, like Zone Type, or Area Ranges. These color Schemes can also be pre-built into your View Templates.

Parameters, Shared Parameters, Programming, Pivot Table, Chart, Area, Boundary Lines, Revit, Revit Parameters, Revit Space Needs, Space Needs Diagram, Ideate Software, Ideate BIMLink, BIMLink, BIM, Excel to Revit
Space Need Diagram Sample

The BIMLink 'link' may need to be re-exported and re-imported to reflect changes in the space program. By managing the data in Excel and importing into Revit, Ideate BIMLink expedites the process of creating space planning deliverables. The same process is useful in producing other kinds of deliverables such as: Mixed Use Code Analysis, Fireproofing Diagrams, Landscape plans, Master Plans, etc. If you are interested in receiving a copy of these Pivot Table excel samples, drop us a note to [email protected].


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.

 

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April

16

2014

Register here!

Ideate Software Presents - We are pleased to announce that Ideate Software will be holding a half-day seminar event in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 7th. This seminar will highlight Ideate BIMLink and Ideate Explorer for Revit, as well as dive into the subject of Revit Parameters. This seminar is suitable for any Revit user. Please read on for the presentation description and schedule. May 7th 2014

The HUB LA
830 Traction Ave, Suite 3A
Los Angeles, CA 90013
 

8:30am : Light Breakfast, Networking, and Introductions

9:15am : Auditing Your Revit Project with Ideate Explorer for Revit

If you are not yet providing weekly auditing on your Revit models, then your project is at-risk. Learn our top 10 ways to audit the Revit model.

10:15am : A Parameter by Any Other Name

Project parameters, key parameters, family parameters, shared parameters, parameter groups, and GUIDs - it can be overwhelming to dive into the world of Revit data. A well-organized data structure will bring about a higher quality handover document and reduce scheduling headaches down the road. You can't create custom content without first understanding the Revit data structure for each kind of parameter.

11:15am : Mastering Your Revit Data With Ideate BIMLink

With Ideate BIMLink, you can pull a variety of information from your Revit model into Microsoft Excel, and push edited BIM data from Excel back into Revit with speed, ease, and accuracy, saving you a lot of time and money. We will be showing you several ways to quickly edit your sheets and views using BIMLink. For more information:  View the invitation and register here.

 

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April

10

2014

Access to coordinate data (XYZ) data was included in Ideate BIMLink for Revit 2013 just a few years ago, in large part to address some COBie-related requests. Since then we've heard of many other creative ways in which this data is being used downstream.

For reference, Ideate BIMLink provides a variety of coordinate data, depending upon the type of object. In this example the Structural Foundation link properties includes the Point_X, Point_Y, and Point_Z data (on the right) and additional coordinate data could be added via the drop-down list under the Coordinates category (shown circled). For Structural foundation elements there are also coordinates that indicate the start and end points for those wall-based foundations.

Revit, COBie, Ideate, Autodesk, Structural Foundations, point data, structural link properties, VDC, BIMLink,

Coordinate "point" data for Structural Foundations.[/caption] Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) managers were some of the first onboard with leveraging this newly exposed data, exporting wall, foundation and column data for construction coordination work. This was followed shortly thereafter by requests from architects who wanted to be able to identify key inflection points within complex curtain panel systems and from mechanical contractors who wanted to use total stations to located ductwork hangers.

One of the challenges of using the coordinate data with Ideate BIMLink is to report only the points you need. Yes, we can easily report the end points of the curtain wall segments or the insertion point of a pad footing, but what if we need the edge and not the centerline or what if we need all four corners of the footing?

This can be easily controlled by using a custom family that will act like a point node. By placing this family either at the specific locations within the project OR by nesting it within a family, we can use Ideate BIMLink to report only on the coordinates of the 'nodes'

 Edit Generic Models

Generic Model Family, Pad Footing

In this example we've made a small Generic Model family and embedded within our pad footing. Ideate BIMLink customers who want to give this method a try may contact us to request this sample coordinate 'node' family: [email protected]


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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March

25

2014

SAN FRANCISCO, California - 03/25/2014 - Ideate, Inc., a leading Autodesk Authorized Developer and Autodesk solutions provider offering quality software, training, support and custom consulting services to the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry with a special focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM), today announced the publication of its latest "Spotlight on" customer success profile featuring NBBJ Seattle and its use of Ideate Software.
 
NBBJ is a design practice of worldwide scope with locations in Beijing, Boston, Columbus, London, Los Angeles, New York, Pune, San Francisco, Seattle and Shanghai. The firm's comprehensive, end-to-end services include architecture, environmental graphics, interior design, landscape architecture, lighting design, planning and urban design. Important projects in the US Pacific Northwest have included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, the Seattle Children's Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center, Bellevue, Washington, and Amazon.com at Denny Triangle, Seattle, Washington.
 
The firm has been using Ideate Software, a comprehensive set of Autodesk Revit tools, to maximize its BIM advantage by improving information flow, facilitating collaboration and making the management of BIM data faster and easier. Richard Sachs, Project BIM Coordinator, NBBJ, Seattle, Washington says of Ideate Software, "I have been using both Ideate BIMLink and Ideate Explorer for Revit heavily." He adds that without these advantages, "I would not be able to do my job as project BIM lead."
 
The firm has used one Ideate Software solution, Ideate BIMLink, for the sequential labeling and scheduling of 9,000 curtain panels. The fact that the solution is automated and accurate via Microsoft Excel has saved the firm valuable time.
 
NBBJ has used a different Ideate Software solution, Ideate Explorer for Revit, to create selection sets for the panels. As Sachs explains, "Revit allows you to select all Instances by Type, but it's more difficult to select all the Types of one Family; Ideate Explorer makes short work of it."
 
BIM project auditing is another Ideate Explorer for Revit use. With it, Sachs says, "I can easily find CAD imports that Revit gives you no easy way to find. I can select all the room separation lines and move them to the correct workset."
 
Bob Palioca, President, Ideate Inc., says, "Our customers are relying on our robust, resilient Revit tools to power them through their most complex, sophisticated BIM projects. We are delighted with the success of our Ideate Software customer, and gratified to learn of our role in making data management on a vast scale much easier for NBBJ."
 
Ideate has published "Ideate Software Presents: Spotlight on NBBJ Seattle" online. Download the Customer Spotlight Success Study at http://ideatesoftware.com/ideatebimlink/success/

About Ideate, Inc.

Ideate, Inc. is a leading Autodesk Authorized Developer with 25+ years' experience in software development and specific focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM).  As an Autodesk solutions provider, Ideate has offered quality software, training, support and custom consulting services to the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industries since 1992. Headquartered in San Francisco, California and operating Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) in California, Oregon and Washington, Ideate is recognized as an Autodesk Gold Partner for Architecture, Engineering and Construction, one of Autodesk's highest levels of authorization.

Ideate Software is a comprehensive set of far-reaching BIM data management tools. Ideate BIMLink powers the "I" in BIM, allowing users to pull data from an Autodesk Revit file into Microsoft Excel for fast and precise editing, and push the data back into Revit with equal ease. Ideate Explorer for Revit lets users search, filter, quantify and select to easily manage the 100,000+ elements in a Revit model. Both solutions help Autodesk Revit users solve problems in AEC workflows and help the Revit community leverage BIM to its fullest advantage.

Autodesk, Revit and ATC are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Microsoft Excel is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

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This post was originally published on the Ideate Solutions Blog.

 

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