Mentor Announcement #7 & #8 Summit 2019

Dear all,

I am very excited to announce our mentors for the workshop Collaboration with IFC.

via GIPHY

Drum roll for…

Diane Ramage & Andy Waring

Diane Ramage

Background

I have 30 years construction experience gained within construction across a range of projects and sectors and as BIM Manager at Keppie Design I develop our standards and procedures to align with those of the UK, and now the international, standards, providing guidance to staff and management while ensuring over 70 Revit users have continuing software and procedure skills development.

I’ve been using BIM software and methods since 2004 and have applied them on Architectural projects ranging from small residential units to multi-million commercial and healthcare schemes, working collaboratively with all other project consultants and clients. I have been a passionate advocate of BIM collaboration throughout my career and relish the fact that every day still teaches me something new.

I’m also part of the Keppie team who develop partnerships with further education establishments since I have also previously lectured in Architectural Technology and keep in contact with the education sector, where I’ve collaborated with lecturers in course development. I’ve trained others in implementation of BIM methods, technology and software since 2004 and as a committee member of the Glasgow Revit User Group I’m a firm believer that spreading and sharing knowledge will help the wider construction industry and ultimately be beneficial to the whole industry.

Her Motivation

I take great delight in watching students engage with the subject matter and progress their understanding and skills and I believe my experience can help students put the context of their learning experience into practical use within the “real” world of the construction industry. I’m excited to be taking part in BILT Academy as a mentor because it’ll be an opportunity to share experiential knowledge and help students transition from education to the workplace with confidence in their skills.

Andy Waring

Background

I graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2013 and became an architect in early 2017 completing various projects across the Sports, Education and Justice sectors with a combined project value of £70M in that time. I became the BIM manager of Holmes Miller Architects in early 2018. Holmes Miller has 3 offices, in Glasgow, London and Guangzhou with just under 100 staff. I lead the development and implementation of in house standards and content aligned to international specification and provide extensive training around various standards and tools both in house and externally. I also handle most ICT related matters and specialize in research and development projects ranging from the development of fully automated model validation procedures and various tools to aid parametric design and production. I am also developing integrations between finance software and various analysis tools for the SMT. Outside of Holmes Miller, I am a committee member for the Glasgow Revit User Group (GRUG) and have previously been the chair on various industry summits.

His Motivation

With concepts such as virtual digital construction and BIM becoming mainstream, we need intelligent and motivated students with the right knowledge to be productive and push the industry into the 21st century. Industry collaboration with education is vital to ensure that students are aware and prepared to join us in dragging the construction sector into the 21st century. I am delighted to be offered to opportunity to be a BILT Academy mentor to help guide the innovators of the future.

Key Learning Objectives

01- Learn how to collaborate with IFC files within Revit and to export an IFC from Revit

  • Open an IFC using Revit and save as a Revit file
  • Link a native IFC into a Revit model
  • Export a Revit model to IFC  
  • Export formats
  • Location of Revit IFC Export mapping table
  • Simplified Export process
  • Overview of IFC advanced export settings

02- Learn about the BIM interoperability suite for classification of model elements, and to prepare your model for COBie data

  • Where to access the suite and an overview of the elements
  • Classification manager overview
  • COBie overview
  • Workflow for COBie population in Revit

03- Learn about Revit Model Checker and how to customise it to suit standards

  • Overview of Revit Model Checker
  • Why /when  use model checker
  • Example of validation process using model checker

Short Q&A

1)Where do you see the importance of collaborating with IFC? Why this kind of standards are important for the AEC industry?

Working within Architecture I’m not the greatest advocate of the IFC format, I do think it’s very important that there is a method of interoperability through an open format but I see it more as a necessary complication to my job, since not everyone works across the same software formats. Industry software providers have resisted developing their platforms on a completely open format but the need for IFC import/export adds further time and effort onto projects where fee margins (in the UK) are very tight.


Additionally IFC still is not 100% accurate, and that margin of inaccuracy leave us at risk of being subject to legal disputes, hence it’s important that we adopt a workflow and method to interact with the IFC format, and we always ensure that any output in IFC format is clearly identified as being subject to potential inaccuracy or misinterpretation by the software used to read it as is the case with all exchange formats without a native editing tool

2)Could you briefly explain the difference between Open BIM and Closed BIM approaches? What is the need and role of IFC for Open BIM approach?

Closed BIM relies on every project participant using the same software, being version specific and requires no interoperability between different software formats.  This rarely happens, since CAD, Excel, Navisworks, images would have different formats but are regularly incorporated to inform the project design.

Completely open BIM would encompass integration of all formats, in particular IFC and COBie, and this happens on most design projects, but it can be a difficult, time involved process and unless participants are familiar with good workflows and processes and have additional interoperability tools to handle the tasks involved these integrations can cause expensive delays to project progress.

An ideal open BIM world would see all software platforms linking together seamlessly using the native software platform formats, but this dream is unlikely to become reality, hence the need for tools to use IFC format and interoperability tools.

3)What is the most important message you want to give to the students after attending your workshop?

Always know the limitations of the deliverables you are signing up for, find out if they are fit for purpose and make your clients aware of this from the outset.


We’ve looked at some of the collaboration tools we use to provide our design services. They are not the essence of our design services, and regardless of how much automation and efficiency these tools provide, never underestimate the need for your design individuality, your thought and intellect, your expertise to inform any construction project. They say a bad worker blames his tools, instead be the expert worker who simply uses the tools to enhance inspired design.

Mentor Announcement #5 & #6 Summit 2019

Very excited to announce this year mentors for the workshop Reality Capture. As recognized mentors of last year BILT Academy Summit 2018, they are back again and committed to present and teach students in scan to BIM workflows.

Drum roll for …

Conor Shaw & Kelly Cone!

CONOR SHAW

Background

Conor is a veteran BILT Europe speaker, Edinburgh to be his fourth appearance. As part of the panel discussion on standards in Delft 2013, he spoke about BIM implementation for small companies. In Aarhus, he presented work on scan-to-BIM applied to historic buildings and was rated a top 10 speaker. This was followed up in Ljubljana with some further work into the world of reality capture and BIM. This year he’ll be taking a different track and running a roundtable discussion, digesting the UNFCCC global climate talks and their effect on our industry. Trained as a construction engineer, in 2016 he received his M.Sc in Construction and Real Estate Management from the HTW Berlin. He established Shaw Architectural Solutions in 2014 which offers BIM consultancy services worldwide with clients include Engineers in Berlin, Surveyors in Belfast, Contractors in New York and Architects and private clients in Helsinki. Recently Conor has been involved in establishing a network of professionals with a shared vision of promoting ecological building practices and is currently in the middle of building a 185m2 guesthouse in Finland from wood, straw and clay.

His Motivation 

The BILT Academy mentorship programme is a very positive development of what the BILT conference is about. I have been involved previously with the European Architecture Student’s Assembly, a similar non-profit organisation, and am well aware of the benefits such experiences give to a student in the construction field. The unforeseen outcomes of involvement with an event like this such as; contacts made, experiences gained and personal truths challenged, can be greatly beneficial. In my own experience, it was the ‘extra curriculars’ in which I was involved (and not necessarily university attendance), which, in hind-sight, has had the greatest impact on my professional development. Therefore I see such a program as a very positive undertaking and am delighted to be involved again in Edinburgh!

KELLY CONE

Background

I am passionate about process and technology innovation and how they can change industries and people’s lives. My education is in architectural design and documentation, but my experience within the AEC space is far more varied.

I have implemented various practice technologies into design, estimating, and construction teams and workflows; worked on amazing projects such as the SaRang Global Ministry center in Seoul as a designer, and Renzo Piano’s addition to the Louis Kahn Kimbell Art Museum as a contractor; and have had the privilege of growing and leading one of the most talented VDC & Process Innovation teams in the industry.

Those experiences have taught me there is a better way to create our built environment, and I want to make that way become a reality. As a first step in that journey, I have joined ClearEdge3D to help them develop the tools necessary for design and construction firms to get the most out of reality capture within the AEC industry, with the goal of closing the gap between the virtual and real world.

Motivation

Our education system so often holds up individuals as heroes of design or industry. Piano, Gehry, Calatrava, Gates, Musk, etc… In reality, the changes these people are credited with took hundreds or even thousands of people working towards a similar vision. And a lot of the effort wasn’t people working for those luminaries, it was people in adjacent companies or even industries that made their own impacts that made it easier for those luminaries to succeed. It was all the people on similar paths that lent legitimacy to their efforts. The individuals we hear about are those with the best timing, the most successful, the most well-known, but they are not the titular super-hero entrepreneur that single-handedly changed the world…

That is why programs like this are so important. If you want to change a profession, or an industry, you need to start a revolution. Revolutions happen on the backs of thousands of small but important decisions, and most often happen when new people enter a profession with a passion for how that profession should be. So, by empowering new architects, engineers, builders, and fabricators with the knowledge and the tools to enact the changes our industry needs – each of us can have an outsized impact on pushing change forward. And while none of us may be that person that becomes famous for re-inventing how buildings are made, at least we’ll have played a critical part in making it possible.

KEY LEARNING OBJECTIVES

01-Gain a practical understanding of reality capture and scan-to-BIM technologies

Reality capture: various tools rapidly becoming standard in the AEC industry, and Scan-to-BIM: an emerging technology which bridges one of the most challenging gaps in the industry. The mentors will digest the state-of-the-art for you by putting current trends and technologies into easy to understand terms. Past experience and example projects will be used to convey this KLO.

02-Learn to effectively use semi-automated scan-to-BIM software (Edgewise 3D)

In this lab, we will be getting our hands dirty with various pieces of software such as Autodesk ReCap and Edgewise 3D. We will work on a recently scanned project and participants will get simple instructions from the experts on how to best utilize the strengths of scan-to-BIM software. 

03-Become familiar with benefits and the limitations of such software.

Semi-automated scan-to-BIM software is unquestionably the epitome of bleeding-edge technology, and thus, limitations to the capabilities persist. We will explain what these are and how best to select tools and commands to get the best results from the software. 

QnA

  1. Where do you see the (real) benefits of reality capture in the AECO industry?
    There is a massive gap in the industry in getting survey/scan data into usable formats for designers engineers and constructors. This is scan-to-BIM. it’s not perfect and certainly not applicable to every project (due to cost, scalability, organic shapes etc.). It is almost always the case that larger organizations will make the best use of such technology so its use seems to be most concentrated in industrial and energy projects (with lots and lots of pipes and structure). I believe that such functionality will eventually become a standard output of reality computer technology. 
  2. As we know, there are multiple technical methods for the creation of point clouds, such as pictures or scans. Regarding your experience in the real world practice, which one of these methods is mostly used and why?
    Creating point clouds from pictures (photogrammetry) and from laser scans (LiDAR) are both perfectly good methods and have their individual advantages and drawbacks. Photogrammetry can be quick and dirty, with generally far lower resolution, while LiDAR can be super accurate but tends to come in at a cost often numerous times that of the alternative. Sorry to say, but it depends. In my opinion, we are moving more towards; cheap, automated as far as possible, and sufficient technology use. One can obtain sufficient results from a scanner at a 10th of the cost of having excellent quality. Probably awareness of the levels of resolution and their related costs will become more widely known in the industry and general public.  
  3. To what extent do you consider scan-to-BIM processes to be integrated into real-world projects and where could they be improved in the future, taking into account the latest technological developments in the digitalization of heritage buildings.
    Well as far as heritage and how well is it integrated there, I’d have to say very very minimally. I think that probably not much more than research projects are using this technology in built heritage with some exceptions (Kelly can probably point you to some). How they could be improved? Have the technology taken up and developed as a public good. We need this type of technology to advance so that we can effectively document our built heritage and assist in its maintenance while it’s still here. As always, if we leave it in corporate hands, it will move towards profit, which is inevitably in massive-scale projects and never in heritage. 
  4. How do you see the scan-to-BIM technology in the future usage of digital replicas, so-called digital twins, of real-estate (buildings) or infrastructure assets? 
    Simply as a part of the process to develop these digital twins. 
  5. What is the most important message you want to give to the students after attending your workshop?
    My message would be mostly on the networking and participation side. I think it’s great that they all come here. Participating in such events is the key to effective early professional development and keeps things fun at the same time while continuously learning. Another message might be ‘learn how to learn technology’. Things are moving so fast now that you cannot expect your university to give you the tools you will need 5 or 10 years later. Become a life long learner. 


Mentor Announcement #4 Summit 2019

Hi there.

It is my pleasure to announce the fourth mentor who is going to lead the workshop Project Management in OpenBIM.

David Delgado Vendrell

Biography

David is an architect (MSc. Arch) by ETSAV (UPC, Polytechnic University of Catalonia), and CEO of DDV (since 2004), a BIM consultancy especially focused on implementing this technology in the public sector and also private companies working in the different stages of the asset life-cycle.

He is a specialist in the use of the ARCHICAD platform and the fostering of openBIM. He is the Director of the Master’s in BIM Management (en, es, pt) of ZIGURAT, Global Institute of Technology, and also collaborates as a lecturer in other BIM educational programs. He is an active member of the BIM User Group of Catalonia (GuBIMCat). He is a member and the Vice-President in Design Area of buildingSMART Spanish Chapter, to whom he represented in the recently closed IUG (International User Group) of buildingSMART International. He also collaborates in the “We Build the Future” Commission of ITEC in Catalonia, in the representation of the CoAC, the national Architects Association. He has co-authored the BIM classification system “GuBIMclass”, an initiative of GuBIMCat and Infraestructures de Catalunya.

Motivation

We are professionals, with a technical background and rational approach, from a sector immersed in the process of digitization that other industries already addressed years ago.

To embrace this challenge, we undoubtedly should face the involvement of the most critical resource for this process to be successful: people!

In this sense, my primary motivation to be part of BILT Academy as a mentor is to push for the combination of these two aspects: technical and human. For many years now, BIM talks about collaboration. But, most of the times, people don’t have an appropriate response to those collaboration expectations due to a lack of suitable communication skills.

As a person who also loves communication and social interaction, BILT Academy becomes the ideal environment to explore and enhance this aspect: young professionals, highly qualified, interested in innovation and with the desire for real collaboration. It will be a pleasure to be part of it!

KLO1 – The basic of processes within the framework of buildingSMART standards

• Learn which are the main buildingSMART standards, especially about Data and Processes.

• Understand the basics of IDM (Information Delivery Manual), as the international standard for defining the information that should be exchanged between project participants in the AEC project lifecycle.

• Learn the basics of Process Mapping, exchange requirements and BPMN as the standard to represent which is defined in an IDM.

KLO2 – Agile and Scrum as an alternative for an openBIM project management

• Understand how concurrent engineering processes can help to have a suitable response to changes in BIM design stages.

• Learn the basics of Agile Methodology

• Learn in detail what is Scrum and Kanban, as agile approaches: definitions, team members, ceremonies, artifacts, hierarchies, board examples and metrics.

KLO3 – Applying Scrum and Kanban to an openBIM workflow using visual web-based tools

• Learn how to apply Scrum and Kanban methods in digital cloud-based boards, as Trello.

• Explore the main features of Scrum and its relation with usual BIM design workflows using Trello boards, triggers and other complementary tools.

• BIM projects use case.

At the end of this class, students will comprehend and apply how the Agile methodology combined with BIM workflows, instead of a system based on strict rules to develop their designs, becomes a support guide, as alternative project management to their future projects, where the value is the primary goal of the client.

QnA

What does openBIM mean to you? In which way is it different from closedBIM workflows in the AEC industry?

We can define openBIM as basically an approach based on BIM collaborative processes in which data exchanges occur using open and neutral standards (not proprietary). ClosedBIM processes are wrongly seen as the opposite of openBIM ones. Beyond that controversial binomial, there is a distinctive border, which is the one between native environments (editable ones) vs QC environments (at least, read-only). When we are producing deliverables from BIM authoring platforms, our environment is mostly native. If there is some workflow in which we are using some open standards (such as IFC or BCF), then we could say that there is an openBIM collaborative framework. In my opinion, the “model as a reference” approach, in which openBIM is based, should be the critical point of any BIM collaborative process which must assure and guarantee authorship, data access across the life cycle and data quality-driven results.

To combine technology and humanity, you are planning on using appropriate communication/collaboration methods, based on openBIM standards eg buildingSmart standards. in what way are they different/more efficient compared to conventional standards/closed BIM workflows?

In my opinion, one of the fields in which openBIM, and especially the use of IFC, enables the best performance is in Quality Control within the framework of BIM coordination processes. Many of BIM technicians are applying excellent QA methods within their native environments. Nonetheless, BIM authoring tools can hide or disrupt some results due to their own internal data architecture. In that sense, we can produce or export these data into an IFC Schema-based models; in other words, a neutral and non-propietary file, to validate them. That enables us to put the QC focus on specific standardized property subsets, without the risk of dealing with native misleading data. And this is where a consistent Information Delivery Plan (IDM, another openBIM standard) is needed, which documents exchanges of information in a project.

In which steps/phases of a project do you see the most relevant usage of project management tools, such as Scrum and Kanban?

Design stage, whether in early phases or more advanced ones, is the suitable one to apply Agile methodologies. The results of this stage are the ones in which the client (or the owner) has the biggest expectation. Although designers start their projects with an initial quite-well defined project requirements, it is usually a phase exposed to high levels of changes during the whole period. Agile methodologies enable those professionals to interact in a more flexible, efficient and effective way, not just among the team, but especially with the client.

What is the most important message you want to hand over to the students attending your lab?

Whether if we are good creating a well-performed work breakdown structures in response and following apparent immutable client requirements, what I would like to show that it is quite easy to change our habits. And it starts with ourselves, in our daily practices using friendly tools within the framework of more flexible collaborative practices. We need to adapt our procedures using BIM, as methodology based on digital technologies, in combination with client-oriented project management approaches if we think that value is the crucial factor which client prioritize.


Mentor Announcement #3 Summit 2019

Hi there,

I am very glad to announce the third mentor for the upcoming BILT Academy Summit 2019 who is going to mentor the class Design to BIM, BIM Strategy and Model Management!

via GIPHY

Claudio Vittori Antisari

Biography

Claudio has a master’s degree in architecture and is specialized in BIM and Computational Design. He is the founder of Strategie Digitali srl a Computational BIM and Project Management consulting firm based in Milan, Italy. During his last 10 years of experience, he has had the opportunity to work in different BIM roles in different world areas: from BIM researcher to BIM consultant up to BIM manager. This exposure has given him a deep understanding of the BIM process for architectural offices. Nowadays he spends most of his time helping companies improving efficiency and effectiveness in building design. He participates actively in the BIM national and international debate, taking part in BIM-related events and conferences, participating in university research groups, and giving his consultancy to governance projects. 

Motivation

The BILT Conference in one of the most important events for professionals in the construction industry aiming to improve their knowledge in Digital Design Technologies and to meet people from everywhere in the world. Nowadays there are very few places that can keen a friendly and open atmosphere and at the same time while delivering high-level classes and contents. For this reason, when I got the invite to teach at BILT Academy I immediately accepted. It will be a pleasure to contribute to show this wonderful environment to the new generation of designers and construction professionals.    

KLO1 – BIM vs Conceptual Design: Best Friends or Enemies? 

  • Understand advantages and criticalities of BIM when used in the conceptual design phase
  • Learn how to break down a project brief into a series of BIM related objectives. 
  • Understand BIM Model Uses, data and information production for the conceptual design phase. 

KLO2 – Does your model reflects your ideas? Setting up a BIM Model for the conceptual design stage. 

  • Learn the basics of model management
  • Learn how to translate a BIM Objective into actions on your Revit Model
  • Learn how to create data suitable for the conceptual design stage

KLO3 – Data evaluation, review and strategies for a better evaluation  

  • Learn how to evaluate data from conceptual design in BIM
  • Learn what is an Asset Model 
  • Learn the real benefits available from a full application of BIM to a conceptual design stage

QnA

1. Why is it important in your opinion to connect the Conceptual Design Stage of a project with Building Information Modelling?

There is a big misconception about the usage of BIM in the conceptual design stage, and moreover the usage of design technologies in that stage. We don’t aim to use digital design tool to replace the designer creativity. We need to use BIM in the design stage to produce data-informed design and to use data to evaluate and test our ideas. We want to use data in real-time to improve our design thanks to data-informed decisions. We want to use BIM in this stage to improve democracy in the design stage, with one is the best proposal for a competition? not everything in architecture can be measured, but many factors can be measured, and provide support to choose the better design.      

2. How does Design influence Asset Management in a later project stage?

Well, here the term “garbage in, garbage out” fits very well. In the design stage, we make decisions that will heavily influence the entire life span of a building. Is never too early to start planning of an efficient, comfortable and sustainable building.  

3. What is your personal goal to achieve with teaching/lecturing at the BILT Academy? What should the student learn of it, with which achievement should the student leave your class at the end of the day?

Since my first days in college, I had the luck to meet teachers that always encourage me to share knowledge. They were doing it, and they were pushing students to do the same. In our world sharing knowledge is the key to improve yourself while you are giving your little contribution to improve the world. When I was a student I was really looking at people presenting at BILT as the global organization for professionals in the AEC Industry.  Being part of BILT Academy is an honor for me, and it means a lot. What I can say to the BILT Academy students?  Choose your path, experiment, choose your teacher, do not follow only the traditional path for education. Come to see what I learn in my journey, that the pieces you need and keep growing.  

Mentor Announcement #2 Summit 2019

I am very happy and excited to announce that our second mentor has been confirmed for the Computational Design Lab.

via GIPHY

Our second mentor will be:

Mostafa El Ayoubi

Biography 

A passionate architect and engineer, interested in everything new in the AEC industry. Mostafa is a true believer in data-driven construction and he works on developing/implementing tools and workflows to facilitate design, collaboration and project documentation. He is an active member of the Dynamo community and is the top-rated Dynamo Package developer.

He worked as an engineer in a study office in different fields (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Structure…) for four years. He then started the Data Shapes blog and co-founded the Data Shapes Company which provides cutting edge BIM support, training and workflows to AEC firms.

Mostafa misses his days at the architecture school where he could experiment designs and is really excited and humbled to be back in that environment to be part of the BILT Academy Summit!

via GIPHY

Letter of Motivation

My main motivation for the membership program is to share. Sharing played a huge role in my learning experience. I learnt more from people who were generous enough to share time and knowledge than I did from school. I feel it is time for me to give back.

There were a few key moments in my life when I was struck by words or concepts. Those moments helped me find passion, and that is exactly what I wish to do for people. It often takes hearing the right words at the right time to inspire you for life.

I truly believe that the biggest contribution I can bring to my trade is to share with the community because no matter what you can achieve as an individual, it will never be as big as what you can achieve as a community.

Key Learning Objectives

  • Understanding the basics of parametric and data-driven design
  • Getting familiar with the workflow of producing a parametric structure
  • Gaining a practical understanding of Generative Design

via GIPHY

Short Q&A

Why is the Computational Design important?

The human brain is amazing for coming up with strong intelligent/sensitive concepts. But they are limited when it comes to exploring all the possible outcomes of those concepts given a certain amount of inputs. That’s where computational design intervenes: it allows the translation of design concepts into algorithms that can then harness the computing power of computers to explore more design options.

When did you start working on Computational Design and what was the trigger for it?

I started using computational design 7 years ago as I was working on a project with complex geometries. Implementing computational tools helped master the shapes and be more responsive when changes were brought to the project. After that, I realized that computational tools were also a fantastic means to manage data and automate tasks.

Is Comp Design just about architecture discipline? What is the scope of it?

The use of computational tools is not only for architects. Their scope ranges from design intents to model auditing. It is a means to make machines do what they are good at accomplishing a large amount of repetitive tasks with little to no mistakes. That lets humans focus on what really is their job and do what they do best: be creative and innovative.

Can you tell a little bit about your last or favorite project?

I’ve been lucky enough to work on many interesting projects but I have to say what I like the most is developing tools that can then be deployed for many users. The feeling of providing something useful that makes peoples work easier is what I find the most satisfaction.

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