Good morning, Vancouver!
Here we are on day two of the Revit Technology Conference, day three of my live blogging, and also the last day. There is one more day of RTC, but since I covered the Design Technology Conference on day -1, I'm heading home tonight after dinner at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Above: Tourists at Stanley Park looking at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club at dusk.
BIM for the Smaller Firm
What is a small firm? In British Columbia, there are 769 registered architectural firms, with an average size of 7.6, but more than half have just 1 or 2 people. The remainder are split evenly between 3-4 staff, 5-10, or more than 10.
The speaker is from Summit CAD, a BIM reseller. He says that most of the architectural firms he deals with are small. Problems he has heard:
- BIM is slow; but he has found that do a lot of manual gymnastics to "speed up the model," it is because of process changes: trying to mold existing processes into the way BIM needs to do things.
- BIM is expensive, as $5000 per seat is substantial for licensing cost; but it is a "small" one-time capital cost with a gain in efficiency
- BIM is complicated; but it automates tasks that are tedious, such as automated balloons, and some firms add complication unnecessarily.
- BIM is data-driven and firms do design; but it can inform design and resolve designs for effectiveness, which allows more time for design
- "We're too small to compete" or "We don't have a BIM guy"; but smaller firms can do better than the big guys, because they know their niche market really, really well. Sometimes small firms are more nimble, more efficient, and can adopt technology faster.
Six Steps of the Strategic Implementation
1. Assessment: the process of documenting knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Who in the firm has what knowledge? And why are you wanting to switch to BIM?
2. Planning: the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve the goal. Yry a pilot project, create implementation schedule, select the reasonable goals, and choose team members; communicate stages to staff. Leave out the nay-sayers.
3. Organize: form into a coherent unity, a functioning whole. Implement a new workflow, set naming conventions, views, assemblies, content, and libraries.
4. Template: establish a pattern to get drawings done quickly and repeatedly. Process template for workflows, project-specific generic templates impose the look on the drawing sets and their organization, and content templates with all the content needed, such as doors.
5. Build: ordering and uniting materials gradually into a composite whole. Know what you want before you start and build accordingly, build smarter not quicker, take advantage of style guides and take advantage of parametric families.
6. Reuse: use an item for the same or new function, without reprocessing. Review the last project, audit, and purge what did not work well. Create libraries and warehouse files to store reusable content.
"Ask the question 'Why?' a lot, because a lot of people don't know why they are doing what they do."
"Drafting is not BIM."
Heh: Autodesk is not here at this Revit conference officially, but arch-rival Bentley Systems is. And it is sponsoring lunch!
Tweet from Autodesk's Shaan Hurley (@ShaanHurley): "I really wish I was attending #RTCNA. Sounds like an awesome Revit event, attendees, & presentations. Stay Calm & Revit On!"
Structural Analysis on a Cloud-enabled Device
It's after lunch, and Aaron Maller is talking to us about how to structural analysis using online Autodesk Robot analysis connected to Revit.
He is going through the steps of preparing a model before it can be uploaded to the cloud for analysis. In short, all problems have to be fixed first.
I had assumed that "cloud-enabled device" meant "portable device," but in this class it actually means using desktop computers connected to the Internet.
Above: The working tools of the official RTC blogger -- left to right: schedule of events; f1.4 camera for photos; Android tablet with keyboard for miscellaneous Web access; Android smartphone for backup; Windows notebook computer for writing blog postings and processing photos; and a large flask of hot tea.