Venue Announcement

It is official and we are more than happy to announce that the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Ljubljana will host our first Summit 2018.
We are going to have one big room for all the exciting workshops and an own area for the keynote talks. Also, we are going to have a special hall for the students´ presentations at the end of the day. Looking really much forward experiencing the FA Ljubljana.

>> SAVE THE DATE <<

 

I want to provide you with the concrete location, also with a few websites about the Faculty of Architecture.
FA Ljubljana website
FA Ljubljana maps

See you there!

Mentor Announcement #2 Keynote Speaker

Hey there,

thankful and proud I am presenting our second Mentor for our BILT Academy Summit 2018 in Ljubljana.

…. Daniel Hurtubise!

VDC/BIM Manager at Renzo Piano Building Workshop                                      BIM Vood at Data-Shapes                                                                        daniel.hurtubise@data-shapes.net

Bio and Motivation

What an opportunity I was offered by the BILT Academy team, especially considering this is the inaugural BILT Academy Summit! Before I delve any further, here’s a bit of background about me:

I’m a proud Canadian… very proud, hailing from the French part of Canada actually. I’ve been working in AEC for … let’s not go there will you, but too long to remember! I spent most of the last 12 years as the VDC/BIM Manager for Renzo Piano Building Workshop (aka RPBW) www.rpbw.com. Lately, I got involved with friends in a startup named Data-Shapes (www.data-shapes.net) dedicated to all things BIM… mostly the fun stuff though!

When I first heard about BILT Academy it resonated with those words: “Here’s one more opportunity for me to pass on some knowledge of course but most importantly try to influence the way you look at BIM and technology in the AEC World”. This is one more step in the sharing process since I’m also one of the founders of the Paris Revit User Group and the Dynamo Paris User Group. In my life I’ve had several mentors from which I was able to learn, progress and become a better person; one of them, who sadly passed away years ago, told me that teaching is a luxury, not a job! You get to influence people’s life. After several years of teaching at different levels, I could not agree more. It’s great to see some of your student’s years later and realize how far they’ve made it. So, this time I get to spend quality time with students from Slovenia and Europe. Everything is new for me; new country, new city, new language, new culture but one thing remains… the passion for this industry along with the invaluable time spent with younger AEC Explorer’s.

Come over to the keynote in the morning where we will talk about BIM of course… but real BIM. I will explain and demonstrate what BIM is about with some real-life project experience and a bit of humor I hope.

Key Learning Objective

  • What is BIM all about
  • Is BIM a revolution
  • BIM project ingredients
Se vidimo v Ljubljani

Collaborative Design for Students

The first quarter at my University is over; this means a lot of nice projects and research papers have been finished within the last 2 weeks.

One of these courses is Collaborative Design which I would like to present to you within this blogpost.

The main approach was it to collaborate within one Consortium existing out of three companies, Architects, Urban Planners and Structural Engineers. The task was it to create within only eight weeks a development project in Strijp T, an industrial area in Eindhoven. This should include a Project management plan, a design including 3D model, IFC based, and a communication platform.  The main focus was it to concentrate on how to collaborate and create a multi and interdisciplinary working environment. In fact, we were all somehow familiar with the BIM methodology but everyone within their own profession. This is why I would like to show you how we approached this task and made it happen to collaborate altogether within one working environment.

  1. Setting up a Project Management Plan

We used the online environment Relatics in order to set up our project management. There are several parts included which I am going to show you with this graph below:

#1 Project Requirements:

It includes all of the municipality’s vision goals. What needs to be developed and why, including all requirements such as functionalities and buildings properties, size, area, material etc.

#2 Organization Hierarchy:

Includes all participating companies in there set up and functionality towards the project.

#3 Process Breakdown (Process Mapping)

This is one of the most important parts for organizing a project in first place. Most consultancies are creating process plans and event-logs in order to keep track of the whole building planning, modelling and realization process. This allows comparing the “as-planned” situation with the “as-modeled” and “as-built”.  For the process planning we used the software Visio.

The second big challenge within a project was how to set up an appropriate 3D BIM model, especially how to organize and manage it.

  1. Model Management

Every company in our consortium, Architects, Urban Planners and Engineers, had one file in which every team member had access to and could work in. We decided to export weekly all three files to IFC and upload it to the BIM Server.  This allowed us to present it easily towards the professor to show how our design progress was.

An additional solution for managing and organizing the workflow within each company’s model, we decided to use BIMCollab, the BCFmanager. It’s a very handy tool in order to communicate within a bigger project; you can assign tasks and issues towards specifically chosen persons and can so keep track of your models development.  Additionally due to its BCF file format it can be read as IFC from almost every AEC software. This allowed us also to upload the IFC models including the BCF report on the BIM Server.

In this graph bellow a common workflow is visualized. Three 3D models, explained in all Level of Development, steady IFC and BCF exports of each model plus collecting all models together on the BIM Server.

 

If you wanna know more about it don´t hesitate to contact me or to read the full research paper on issuu.

Mentor Announcement #1

Hey there, 

I am glad, that I have the honour to announce our very first mentor and his key learning objective 

*drum roll* 

Conor Shaw ! 

About him

Conor is a veteran RTC/BILT Europe speaker, Ljubljana to be his third appearance. As part of the panel discussion on standards in Delft 2013, he spoke about BIM implementation for small companies. Last year in Aarhus he presented work on scan-to-BIM applied to historic buildings and was rated a top 10 speaker. 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 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 working on a number of straw-bale housing projects. He is currently based on Ljubljana, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the BILT conference! 

His Motivation 

The BiLT Academy mentorship seems 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. Therefor I see such a program as a very positive undertaking and am delighted to be involved, especially at its inception. 

Content 

The class will be based on a talk I gave last year in Aarhus entitled See My Point (Cloud)? Attendees will gain a practical understanding of reality capture and scan-to-BIM technologies. A number of recent as-built modelling case studies from my work will be described. The challenges of using scan-to-BIM technology for both contemporary and traditional building modelling will be discussed, the limitations identified and practical advice divulged. 

Key Learning Objective 

Attendees will:  

  • Gain a practical understanding of reality capture and scan-to-BIM technologies  
  • See real cases of scan-to-BIM in use  
  • Learn about the limitations of scan-to-BIM software when applied to challenging historical buildings

 

Reality capture methods like 3D Laser Scanning are rapidly gaining acceptance as the industry standard for geometric data capture about structures and places, while the emerging technologies like Scan-to-BIM are actively disrupting the status quo for how BIMs are derived from survey data. A familiarity with these topics is of great importance to any future professional in the built environment and the mentors welcome your participation during BiLT Academy in September and can promise a fun and fascinating session!

Backstage work for the Summit

After three intense weeks of work, it’s time for another blog post to keep you updated.

#1 our poster is ready

I would like to say a really big thanks to a great graphic designer, photographer and a brother Mathias Schalk, for the support in helping me with the layout and the design. Thanks to Mathias Schalk!

 

#2 Networking with students and universities

As any new movement, one of the biggest tasks right now is getting connected with students and universities, which we are doing mostly via social media. We are reaching out to different student organizations and groups on both Facebook and LinkedIn, sharing our message and inviting them to be a part of the movement. At the same time, we are trying to get in touch with local universities in Slovenia, which are in Ljubljana and Maribor. As a next step, we will be sending out our public image packages towards all surrounding universities in Austria, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia and so on. We do so because we aim to have both Slovenian and international participants on board. During the event we will be covering students’ needs including food and beverages, and will gladly inform all international students about the local sleeping possibilities.

…But what do the students learn during the summit?

#3 Program and Mentors

As we were working on our program, we tried to include many interesting fields such as computational design, BIM methodologies and point cloud usage. However, this was only a raw idea of what three of us wanted to include. After many talks with Silvia and the BILT team about potential mentors, we researched and contacted viable leads. In the end, we reached out to relative professionals and shared out ideas and visions of our first BILT Academy Summit. Faster than expected we have received many replies from experienced specialists from all over Europe. This encourages us that we are going on the right path.

Here is our preliminary version of the program:

What are the key learning Objective 1, 2 & 3 you may ask…

#4 Key learning objectives and Structure

We found it very challenging to arrange high-quality content in the span of one day. That is the reason for splitting up the entire workshop environment into 5 or 6 smaller groups. Every group will have a mentor, specialized in a specific field that he/she will work on together with the students. This specific field is divided into three key learning objectives.

When it comes to the structure of the event itself, it will begin with a thorough introduction of the main topics for the summit, assignments and problem formulations. Following is the second and third parts, focused on collaboration and execution of the assignments.

We will keep updating you on the process of organizing and structuring of BILT Academy Summit 2018 in our next blog entries!

Learn to Program

Hey guys,

some of you have no clue where to start learning to program. I don’t know if you are familiar with basics like datatypes and control structures or if you are a very beginner, but let me tell you, where and how I began to program.

I started to program in school and learned all the necessary basics. In my bachelor studies I had only one programming course (which was a Java course) but this semester I have two more advanced courses. One again one with Java and the other one with C++.

Anyway, there is no real obstacle to learn different languages, if you get the ideas behind control structures, data types, data structures and object-oriented programming. In the end, you just change some keywords, and so it doesn’t really matter with which language you start. I think Python is a good language to start because it is an object-oriented language and you can utilize your skills instantly and program some fancy IronPython scripts in Dynamo.

I can provide you some useful links, but it depends what type of learning you like the most. If you want to learn it in a really interactive way, you should sign into codeacademy and start the Python course, but be careful. Codeacademy will reward you really fast and often. Programming is the very opposite of it.

That’s why I suggest to learn it in a more traditional way. Maybe go through some free accessible books like: Dive into Python 3.

If you are a student please check your library. Most of them have eBook contracts and you can download really expensive stuff for free. The same holds for lynda. Lynda is a great online course-platform and many universities have a contract with them. For example my university made an unlimited contract, so that I have access to every course on lynda. That’s really awesome.

So the last thing I recommend you is one specific lynda course. It will introduce you basic ideas of datatypes, control structures and object oriented programming. Additionally all examples are shown with Dynamo/RevitAPI. So you will get the basics of Python and you’ll do some cool stuff with AEC software! Click here: Dynamo for Revit: Python Scripting.

Let me know which way you choose and feel free to contact me anytime. Maybe I have some additional and more helpful resources for you.

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Our first time …

Since the BILT Academy has been created and shaped a lot of new things came up that we needed to think of, which keeps us busy. Organizing a conference, creating an online platform with up to date technologies, getting public on social media are just some of the new tasks since October. All this makes a lot of fun but one task needs to be specially highlighted- reviewing all submitted abstracts for BILT 18.

The three of us are a part of the BILT Europe Committee. Together we are one vote out of five in total for Europe. This does not only honor us but also allows us to get a deep insight of the organization behind the conference program. It is exciting to see how much effort and work is behind the selection of an appropriate program. In this blog, I would like to show you how this works and how it will be executed.

First of all, there is the Call for Abstracts, which allows all enthusiastic and ambitious people within the building industry and all around the field to submit papers of their expertise. Multi- and interdisciplinary topics within the AEC industry, facility and construction management and MEP planning are only a few of these. But how does an abstract look like?

Basically, you have three different kinds. A 75 min presentation, a 75 min roundtable and a 75(x2) min lab. Furthermore, you need to categorize your topic in four main tags, from primary tag to software tag. Examples are Model Management, Next Generation, Programming and Coding, Architecture etc. The categorization helps us, the committee, already to outline the topic and to get a first impression what it is about. The main abstract body is the most important part- within around 500 words you can explain how your class would look like. All committee members need to vote on the originality and quality of the content. Personally, this is the most interesting part for me. Eight people, Eight different opinions, Eight different backgrounds packed in five voices are voting over approximately 180 abstracts. This is not only a small hell of a job but also an extreme responsibility beyond current industry out there. With this, we are shaping the entire program for around 400 people conference with the main purpose of connecting, collaborating and exchanging.

The next steps will be a call within the Academy. Since we were dividing all abstracts by the three of us, it becomes more efficient and inevitably necessary to talk it out. Which abstract impresses us at most, which disappoints us? To decide which abstract we take as our “holy cow” and also to exchange abstract´s, in case we did not understand the topic. To analyze our internal outcome of the review/voting we documented all this ID´s, titles plus our personal comments. Merlin, our Manager, is going to make a report to visualize our understanding of the topics. The aim behind all this is to understand what is relevant to nowadays technology and field and comparing it to universities curriculums in Europe to see what education lacks the most. I think this can illustrate not only where the strengths are, but also weakness in our education.

I am really looking forward seeing an analysis or statistics which compares the votings plus the comments we gave. I think it will be quite obvious to see which one came out of the corner from the BILT Academy. 😉

The mighty Dynamo Forum

Don’t reinvent the wheel. If you are trying to solve a problem, which can occur in multiple disciplines then it may be usefull to search through the Dynamo forum. Here is an example:

At my office we use SOFiSTiK Reinforcement add-in for Revit, because it automises many tasks. However, schedule all the rebars and fabric sheets can be quite difficult. The schedule function gathers all rebars which are assigned to one sheet. Therefore if you want to group all the rebars of level 1,.. into one schedule (because of estimation reasons), then you will probably loose the overview of all the rebar marks and compenents where they are part of.

So I searched Google for a solution to this and I found this link which is worth a mint: Dynamo forum link. This Dynamo graph will apply to all of your elements the sheet, where they are included. This. is. huge.

You can use this workflow to filter elements by GetParameterBy… afterwards. You can request it for example if all the rebars contains at least two sheets (one sheet where the whole level is shown, one for the component where they are part of).

BIM for students. Why and how to start?

 

What used to be a transition from 2D to 3D, BIM implementation has become a revolution in AEC building industry. Current trends in the industry should be an important part of any AEC student’s education, and it is crucial to become familiar with software and processes used in nowadays professional life. But how can one learn about BIM if it is not offered in most of the curriculums? This is a problem that we are trying to fix, so if you are a student who is eager to use the newest technology and BIM, continue following BILT Academy and our blog.

Why this topic?

In this blog series, I will try to cover advantages, workflows and implementation strategies that students should use in their school projects to get familiar with the BIM process. The information supplied in this blog is based on knowledge and experience from me, my colleagues, and will feature interviews and quotations from various professionals.

Why to worry about BIM while being a student? There are many advantages to that:

  • Higher chance of getting hired for internships/jobs
  • Helps you produce drawings more efficiently
  • Allows you to access various visualisation and analysis tools
  • Easy collaboration in group work
  • Clash detection
  • Less duplication of work

I have personally used Revit during my bachelor studies and it has helped me reduce drawing production time tremendously. Fast drawing production means more time for studying and… that so-long-needed nap.

What is ‘BIM’?

So now that we know the advantages of using BIM, let’s start with the main question- what is BIM?

Put simply, BIM- Building Information Modelling is a process, used in all AEC fields, starting from construction management spanning to visualisations and facility management. It’s a software application, which brings efficiency and better control of the project through 3D visualisation, data management, simulation and other tools. The National Building Specification released a great and fun visual representation of BIM elements:

BIM periodic table

You can read more about the Periodic Table of BIM elements here:

https://www.thenbs.com/knowledge/periodic-table-of-bimUsing

BIM means to not only input the information, but to also extract it later on, analyse it, use it during construction and after the handover. During these blog series, we will discuss and elaborate on various aspects and applications of BIM.

Where to start?

There are many ways to learn, however, practice shows to be highly efficient when it comes to software and BIM. First of all, I would highly suggest looking up various blogs, trainings and conference recordings, which are available online. Secondly, try a practical approach- working in groups, ideally multidisciplinary based on school assignments and projects.

Here are links to Autodesk University and Academy, where you can find many videos on BIM, depending on your field of expertise:

http://au.autodesk.com/au-online/classes-on-demand/bim

https://academy.autodesk.com/

You can also watch many videos posted on Youtube from various universities, seminars and conferences.

Check out the links to get familiar with main definition of BIM and terminology and see you soon! Stay updated on BIM and technology news on weekly BILT Academy blog!

Are you a student experiencing issues on understanding or implementing BIM? Write us an email via our blog and we will try to answer your questions in our next blog entries!

Refurbishment projects with focus in structural engineering. Visualization of column’s load-bearing capacity

Sometimes it is all about to presenting data in an easily understandable way. Especially when the project hasn’t started yet and you have to present the advantages offered by your office. So my boss came up to me and asked me if I can accomplish a visualization task.
We have a refurbishment project (no digital data available like BIM models, plans,..) and I modeled every column with it’s belonging load-bearing capacity. The load-bearing capacity is the entry of the “comments” property of each object.

column

At first, I thought about to draw isolines of a capacity-surface but it takes too long to compute the surface. I asked Jostein Berger Olsen (http://jbdynamo.blogspot.de/) for his help and he came up with a much smarter idea. He edited my script in a way that circles would be drawn and the properties (like radius and color) depends on the load-bearing capacity. Let’s break down the whole task into some specific subtasks.

  1. Extract all the “comments” data out of each column
  2. As you can see, we have this weird way in Germany to express a decimal digit. Therefore I have to extract the string, erase the last 3 letters (whitespace+”MN”), change the “,” to a “.” and parse the string to a float/double type.
  3. If there is no entry, set the capacity to almost zero.
  4. Creating circles, where the middle points are the middle point of each column and the radius is the capacity of each column.
  5. Create a color range where the range is the normed range of our capacity (use of the Math.RemapRange)
  6. Overwrite the visibility of the circles with the belonging color-range-list.

So that’s it!
Here we have the result:

The python script:

dynamo python

And finally the result:

resultresult2