Monday, 29 December 2014

BIM Business Culture

BIM Business Culture = Change

It is apparent that BIM will become the normal working process in the future; evidence have shown current benefits of BIM  and even more opportunities it may bring in the future. But how do we embrace BIM? ,there are no two answers to that question,  the only answer is "CHANGE".
I often heard from small companies " How do we implement BIM" , I have highlighted some  areas to be addressed when taking the steps towards transition to BIM.

 1. Implementing BIM means you are changing your software as well as your culture because changing to BIM will affect your workflow between team members and consultants and your projects .Therefore every team member must be ready for this change.

2. Do you sometimes work with contractors and engineers, how do you exchange information or how do you collaborate? This also matters because we are not always alone on a project, your shift to BIM will affect other stakeholders as well, is either they are forced to adopt the change or you can’t work together due to software compatibility issue. It’s easier to transfer CAD drawing to BIM than BIM to CAD in fact in practice nobody will transfer BIM model to CAD since you can achieve everything your CAD software can do in BIM.

3. Deciding on the right software might be difficult and time consuming if you are not familiar with BIM software. Get an experience trainer that could take you through the software and could help you develop a template based on your company workflow. A good way to do this is to take a previous project that you and every team member are familiar with and go through it with the trainer, this will help you to develop your skills in BIM faster and at the same time help you to see the opportunities of BIM over CAD.

4. Remember that training time is an investment, and the productivity paybacks of BIM will quickly cover up the short-term loss of some billable hours. Invest in Training; attend BIM seminars and workshops to improve your skills. All the software have trial versions that you can use for 30 days, if you get an experienced trainer, based on my experience, in 30 days, you can go through all the basic features that are needed for you to execute small projects.

 5. Take time to evaluate how the new process worked so that adjustments can be made.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Revit Phasing/ArchiCAD Renovation in a layman´s term

In this tutorial, my aim is to demonstrate  how Phasing tool in Revit and the Renovation Tool in ArchiCAD can be use for  refurbishments and renovation projects.   More importantly to demonstrate BIM concept in renovation and extension projects.  I will illustrate  the basic things you need to pay attention to when using these tools for your projects. Lets get started.
Renovation Project Example

Basically when you are using the Phases tool (Revit) / Renovation tool  ArchiCAD  for renovation project, there are three features you need to pay attention to inside these tools.

 1. Project Phase (Revit) /  Renovation Status (ArchiCAD).

2. Phase Filters (Revit) / Renovation Filters (ArchiCAD)

3. Graphic Overrides (Revit) / Renovation Overrides Styles ( ArchiCAD)

You can treat this as the state of each elements in your building in terms of existence. When working on renovation projects, you will normally have some elements already existing on site, probably some elements you want to remove or replaced in the future and some new elements you want to add to the existing ones. So the first rule is that all the elements in your project must be drawn in the correct Status/Phase or they must be assigned to the correct Status / Phase. So how can you do that ?

For ArchiCAD users:  There are three Statuses namely;
  • Existing Status, 
  • To be demolished Status,
  • New Status
To put your elements in the right Status in ArchiCAD;
To open the Renovation Tool, Go to Window - Palettes - Click on Renovation. A small box will appear. You can keep this box on the screen because you will need it quite frequently.  

  • Select the Status first by clicking on the status icon and model your building elements in this view(Recommended). To set the Existing Status for existing building, simply draw the building while the "Existing Status Icon " is checked. See the example below.
To Demolished some part of your existing building, 
  • Select the parts you want to demolish and and hit the second icon " To be demolished". You might not see any difference after assigning elements to "To be demolished" but trust me ,ArchiCAD will remember that the object will be demolished. We only need to tell ArchiCAD how we want the object to display in our views which I will explain later. See example below

To add new Elements to the existing building

Due to the default Renovation filter setting in ArchiCAD , if you draw something new in this view and press the third icon which stands for "New Status" whatever you have drawn will disappear, I will explain why is that later but to keep things simple, change the Renovation Filter to"05 Planned Status" in the drop down menu , then press the "New Status Icon"and start drawing the new elements .
  • Note: when you change the renovation filter to Planned Status, all the elements assigned to be demolished disappeared. Don't worry , you will understand the whole magic soon.

For Revit Users By default , there are two Project Phases namely;
  • Existing 
  • New Construction

to open the Phase tool , Go to Manage - Click on Phase

You can add new phase if needed but under normal circumstances, you do not really need additional phase, you can work your way around these two phases.

To put your elements in the right Phase in Revit;

  • In the View Properties Palette under Phasing , click in the box in front of Phase and choose the right Phase from the drop down menu before you start modelling your  building elements(Recommended). 
Selecting Phase Option in the View Properties Palette
Selecting Phase Option in the Elements Properties Palette


Think about the Filter as the way you want your project to be named ,sorted ,organized and displayed in  the views .

The Filter setting  allows you to give names and set the graphical appearance according to how you want the elements to display in the views

For Archicad Users:
You have to open Renovation Filter Option Dialogue box. 
You can Access the Renovation Filter Option by selecting it from the Renovation Filter drop down menu
Opening the Renovation Filter Option Dialogue box
After opening the Renovation Filter Dialogue box, Lets go through some of the options

Renovation Filter : The idea here is that you are creating a view for the names you write in this box and these names will carry along the setting you apply to each Statuses. Although you have the option to duplicate,Rename , Delete or Import new names,but  in my opinion these names are quite reasonable so I always work with them. At least I want one of my view to show the Existing Plan, another view to show the Demolition Plan, another to show the New Construction and another to show the Planned Status or Proposed Plan.

Filter Settings  : After setting up the View names in the Renovation Filter, Select the 01 Existing Plan and go to Filter setting and select the options as shown in the image below. Click OK

Open the renovation tool box or go to Window - Palettes - Renovation. A small Renovation box will appear. You can keep this box at the corner of your drawing area because its a quick way to change the views or assign Status
 Change the Renovation Filter to Existing and see what happens to your drawing. All elements that are assigned to "New Status" will disappear because we have hidden them in the Filter setting. See images below.

For Revit User
Phase Filter in Revit 
By default, Revit gives you some option of Filter Names but for me these name are somewhat confusing so I always change these names to the ones I can easily work with. If you really understand how the Phase Filter works, then you can use your own names if not then I will recommend that you keep the default names and see how they affect your views.
Graphics overrides allows you to change the display of elements in the views that you set up in the Phase Filters (Revit) / Renovation Filter (ArchiCAD). See Example below

ArchiACAD Users: 


Revit Overrides 

Phase Filter in Revit

Graphic Overrides in Revit

Lessons Learnt:

  • All elements must be assigned to the right Project Phase (Revit) / Renovation Status ( ArchiCAD)
  • Create Filters names or use the default Filter names to display different views , For example ; Existing Plan , Demolition Plan and New Construction Plan
  • Use Graphic Overrides( Revit ) / Renovation Overrides Styles (ArchiCAD) to tell how each Phase/ Status will  graphically appeared in each view.
Thank you for reading this tutorial. Please feel free to write comments or ask questions.