Mentor Announcement #1 Summit 2019

I’m very happy that the committee decided to have a coding class this year.

The mentor of this workshop will be*drum roll folks*..

Frederic Beaupere

Background

Frederic Beaupere is an architect working at Herzog de Meuron since 2012, where he joined the Digital Technologies Group team, working as a BIM Manager. Beside the usual tasks like setup, training and support, he enjoys helping teams with Python scripts on all kinds of tasks. Before joining HdM in Basel, Switzerland, he worked at various offices in Hamburg and Berlin: Laura Jahnke Architekten, Zaha Hadid and Barkow Leibinger, after his diploma at TU Kaiserslautern. He enjoys writing Python both at work and at home.

Motivation

“Standing on the shoulders of giants” is a phrase you can often hear in talks in the Python community. To me this also seems the perfect fit to describe my motivation to run a Python workshop at BILT Academy: Without all these numerous smart people writing Python, pyRevit, and RevitPythonShell, I would not be able to give a Python workshop. So in turn I think it is only fair to contribute back with my humble share, and hope this helps with open-source and collaboration.

Key Learning Objectives

We go through the steps of implementing a pyRevit/RevitPyhtonShell script as we would in the office. These are:

  • Python Basics Intro
  • Write Python Script in RevitPythonShell
  • Port Script to pyRevit

Short Q&A

How and when did you code for the first time, especially with python?

The first time I remember I ever coded something useful, was during university
with autohotkey: I was so annoyed by my scanner driver having to set my preferred settings and open the scan page dialog for each single page, that I created a little helper script that would keep scanning pages with my preferred settings as long as caps lock was active.
Probably one of the first things I’ve written in Python was about 3 or 4 years
ago, when I wrote a little helper, to fix the PDF bill file naming of my telecom provider from “ebill.pdf” to the something like: “20160601_providername.pdf” from information inside the pdf and having it sorted directly from downloads into the correct directory. This is a very common pattern to me: I often start with some useful yet basic and simple script or pieces of logic, before I begin to write or assemble something larger.

How important is coding in the AEC industry?

As nowadays there is hardly any industry without interactions with computers,
I would say coding/scripting is a valuable skill for everybody.
More specifically: I would like to second what I already heard in a couple of coding podcast: Everyone should learn a little bit of coding – not to necessarily to become a professional programmer, but to amplify what they are already doing.
Especially for architects who are on the creative side of thing, I guess it should feel natural to rather create tools than just consuming what is given
.

Why is coding fun to you?

To me coding is both a very creative, fun and useful process. Learning a general purpuse programming language which can be applied anywhere from data science to web or iot on any platform, helps with countless tasks and also makes work way more fun! Often enough a smoothly running program still feels like magic..

What is your favourite coding project?

There are actually already a couple of favourites, but I will name one here
that probably has the best visibility: “rvt_model_services” is an open-source Python project I started, to perform actions (mostly other scripts) on Revit models. The most common task is probably to run quality control and statistical checks on models on a scheduled basis. So it helps to see growth and detect
abberations in models, but as it runs fully automatic, it does not create additional tasks for me, regarding the checks. (Apart from hooking it up to
the system once) Besides this useful functionality, it also informs our teams
via email and chat in case of model corruption so that our maximum potential
rollback for broken models time is reduced. (which obviously saves nerves and
money especially in big projects)

link to the repo

Schedules and Dynamo

Hello everyone,

We have been working on a large-scale Project so far, and I would like to share with you and highlight a very important tool we can use in our workflows to make our work much more clear, fast and consistent:

“Using Schedules with Dynamo”

Especially in large scale projects like multi-purpose buildings, airports, etc, it’s inevitable that there will be lots of model mistakes and corrections, area tags missing, unplaced areas and lots of unestimated things. We shouldn’t forget the fact that, in Revit, everything is processed with data. So every component includes some information. Let’s do a quick example and see how schedules and Dynamo can make our work much faster than the normal way:

Doing Lighting Analysis:

(This is the sample model from Revit)

Let’s create a Schedule that shows our rooms and their information:

As we can see in the schedules, there are some rooms which are unplaced. Let’s imagine that we are designing and modelling a complex and there are hundreds of rooms in the Project. Would fixing this problem one by one be a reasonable way?

Let’s see the Dynamo script:

As we can see, we get all the rooms and filter them very easily. After that, we delete all the unplaced rooms automatically. Let’s go one step ahead.

In lighting analysis with Insight, let’s say that we want to exclude rooms like toilets, corridors, storages etc. Let’s go to Schedule which is automatically created by Revit when using Insight:

In large-scale projects, there will be lots of rooms like this. Let’s dive into Dynamo to automate this process again:

After running Dynamo, we can see the updates in our Schedule:

All in all, the main idea is, we can see schedules where every dirty laundry is exposed, after all, cleaned and folded by Dynamo 🙂

Enscape in practice

Recently at LivingRoomCraftZ, one of our clients asked us to create a demo video clip to present a project we are currently working on. A three minutes video in HD solution should showcase the entire building complex as real and accurate as possible to the investors, stakeholders etc. The site of the
factory complex reaches almost 300ha. Multiple low rise halls and offices are allocated on it. As you can imagine we needed high capacity in order to render a video in this size. Next, we had a high time pressure, we had exactly 5 days to go before we had to present the video.

So we started thinking about which software to use, that on one hand delivers a high solution video of a big 3D model and on the other hand it should be really quick. We thought of 3Ds Max, Premiere Pro, and so on.
After realizing that these are pretty advance and time-consuming solutions, we continued our search. We came to the idea to use Enscape. But could Enscape also make videos? As it turned out, YES and this really easy.

So, I would like to show you how easy it can be to create an architectural video even as an engineer. You can use Enscape in Revit, SketchUp, ArchiCAD and Rhino. Check out tutorial videos here.

  1. Step to do, apply for an educational student license. This might take one or two days until you will receive the activation code.
  2. Install and activate it and open your software you are working in.
  3. Let’s get started! We worked with Autodesk Revit, however, the usage of the plug-in is in each software the same. I would like to refer to the article by Daniel Stine how to set up a video using Enscape.
  4. Render it! The rendering procedure surprisingly didn’t last long. We have achieved a high-quality video within less than an hour.

To conclude, if you ever have any of this situation, high time pressure, high-quality demand and little experience, I recommend to use Enscape, it’s quick and easy to use and you receive a qualitative outcome.

New Committee Member Announcement

Hi All!

My name is Ömer Varol. I am a passionate, enthusiastic and creative student at Istanbul Technical University, Department of Architecture. I am also a Certified Student Expert and Student Ambassador at Autodesk Design Academy. To improve my professional career and experience, I decided to take a university break to immerse myself in a new experience and go abroad. I am more than happy to announce that I have been accepted for an internship at UN Studio in Amsterdam. I am looking more than forward to experiencing a high professional architecture office in an exciting new environment.

Passionately and eagerly interested in technology, especially architectural technologies, I am a person who believes in the power of technology. I think, with the right tools and their applications, technology gives us the opportunity to produce and design anything (not just buildings) for people in the most efficient, functional and aesthetic way.

There are people who say that architecture is dead. In my opinion, architecture is not dead but the definition of architecture is evolving as it has been evolving throughout history. In certain parts of the history, there were times that architects were considered as just engineers. There were times that architects were considered just decorators. Nowadays, as technology pushes the limits, the conceptions of everything are still evolving. As enthusiastic and passionate young generations, I believe, we are the ones who will define them. We are the ones who will shape the future!

With this writing, I would like to announce that I am coming on board as a BILT Academy Committee member with intent to define and shape the future, to inspire all of my peers who are interested in achieving these goals, to work with all of those professionals who are eager to be a part of this movement.

Also, subjects in a nutshell that I have been recently focusing on beside our architectural studios:

“Integrating all kinds of technologies into our design workflows”

  • Building Information Modeling. Coordination, Worksharing.
  • Producing complex and intelligent families to be used in BIM system.
  • Producing and iterating design options and visualizing their data in a very quick and effective way. (Tools like Autodesk Fractal and PowerBI.)
  • Importing and exporting data from Excel, CSV and all kinds of modeling applications.
  • Parametric Design, Designing complex and organic topologies.
  • Fixing and speeding up workflows with Dynamo, pyRevit, and Python.
  • Making physical models with 3d Printers and 3d Pens. (I have my own tools.)
  • Visual Scripting with maxScript (based upon Python.)
  • Building Performance Analysis. (Daylight Analysis, Wind Analysis, Energy Analysis etc.)

Feel free to reach out to me!

Greetings…

Ömer Varol

Ömer Varol

BIM Server for Project and Model Management

Hey folks,

I was writing a little report about how to set up the BIM Server and how to prepare BIM models coming from different native software.
The open BIM Server is an open-source online platform which allows project management to merge IFC models and to provide insight into the models’ accuracy. Additional, diverse plug-in packages can be used, for example, model walk-throughs, queries, checkers and many more.

The goal of this report was to create a use case when having three different models:

  1. the structural model in Revit.
  2. the architectural model in ArchiCAD.
  3. the landscape model from AutoCAD.

One of the main focus was it to prepare the IFC exports so that when merging all models on the BIM Server all elements are allocated as supposed.

By doing so I have noticed that for example the project base point in all three software is interpreted differently.
Further, the properties of the elements have obtained special attention. Especially for the non-structural elements created in ArchiCAD and the structural elements created in Revit.

Read more about it and other findings which you should mind when merging IFCs on the BIMServer. Find the full report here.

Randomly combination of values from two lists using Python and Dynamo

A successful day and again a small step further to a room optimization workflow.

The goal was it to combine two values out of two lists randomly. The first list includes CO2 impact values regarding wall construction materials, and the second list regarding floor materials (CO2 kg eq / m2 material). The values I have should be combined randomly, eg [LstWall x10, LstFloor x2]; [LstWall x51, LstFloo x23], hence the approach here:

1 Defining the lists as Input

ListWall = IN[0]
ListFloor = IN[1]

2. Creating first all possible pair variations

pairs = [(w,f) for w in ListWall for f in ListFloor]

3 Picking randomly pairs

choice = [random.choice(pairs) for _ in range (50)]

Actually very easy if you see it like this .. but yet took me a few days to figure it out 🙂

Keep you posted.

Cheers Jules

Relatics for Project Management

Recently I did a little study in Relatics, a System Engineering tool. This allows you to manage and organize complex projects, creating work breakdowns and organization hierarchies. You can create project structure in it and can even link documents, like PDFs, IFCs etc.

Relatics is based in the Netherlands but used all over Europe. Unfortunately, it’s not open source, but I think when you ask them to get a trial as a student you will get one.

 

Since there are not really any tutorials to find online, I am uploading my studies work, which is a report about how to create a system engineering concept as a functional designer, and also how to use the structure as an end user. As an example, I have chosen a one-family house project. Check it out on our BILT Academy Slack environment.

 

BiLT Academy Summit 2018 Recap

Shaping the future experts within the buildings industry, a motto in where we believe in and have striven for at our very first event in Ljubljana.

The BiLT Academy student movement organized its very first international summit at the University of Ljubljana. Over 63 students from 13 different countries had the unique possibility to get taught by 9 different mentors from all over the world.

We could not have done it without our Sponsors, big thanks to: Autodesk European Education Team, Graphisoft, the Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering of Ljubljana, LRCZ & BiLT Europe!

Also, a big thanks to all the mentors, who have shared new knowledge to us all. These mentors are:

Point Cloud: Conor Shaw, Kelly Cone & assistant: Danielle Contreras
Computational Design: Daniel Hurtubise & Mostafa El Ayoubi
Clash Detection in BIM: Arik Shiby & Moty Vaknin
BEP in constructions: Marzia Bolpagni
Open BIM: Nathan Hildebrandt & assistant: Cristina Savian
Multi – platform workflows: Martin Taurer

And as last, the Keynotes of:
Andre Garcia Damjanov
Daniel Hurtubise
Nathan Hildebrandt

Big thanks to all the students & supporters at the event!

Join our Slack workspace to get involved

Genetic Algorithm tutorial

Hey nerds,

just study about genetic algorithms and how to use them for my case study. The goal is to create a digital automated workflow for optimizing apartments’ room layout. Considering three influencing measurements; 1. The room’s occupational density, indicated by individuals presence throughout the days; 2. The planetary boundary environmental budget through the absolute sustainability value; and 3. The environmental performance of construction materials through using coefficients for embodied energy and GHG emissions.

What I found here is a really good lecture about divers usages of GA, if you are interested in how to structure data before using a GA, check it out.