In a previous life, I was employed by a large Architectural firm with a primarily residential focus that performed a lot of home design for home builders. One of the characteristics of creating home plans for builders was that they typically desired houses that had mirrored versions of the same plan. While this is done in other construction types, it is typical for most home plans.
ALERT! Breaking News! Computer software can be expensive!!
Okay, I realize that isn’t really breaking news and is something that people already know. However, the fact that people are already aware of that is what can create issues. While various software packages can be expensive, design software is one of those software categories that really is expensive. I have previously written a blog article on architectural design software packages under $2500 entitled “Inexpensive Architectural Design Software“, but those packages are not the mainstream products being utilized. For most companies to compete in the AEC design community, they are pretty much required to utilize a software package that will cost a minimum of $4,000.00 per user. Most software packages also either require you to be on a subscription plan or make you pay a large upgrade fee to remain up-to-date with the software.
Regardless of the method that you use to pay for the software, it is a large expense for each user. However, I must say that is the cost of legally doing business. If a company (or individual) wants to participate in a market that requires design software, then the software costs must be considered part of the business expense. I may not like the cost to play, but I still want to play, so I need to pay.
Details are a vital part of the documentation process for building design and construction projects. CAD users who have used AutoCAD for years have typically developed a large detail library, or at least possess many details used on previous AutoCAD projects. Those details are valuable as a lot of time and knowledge has gone into developing them. It is important to be able to access those details for usage within Revit.
While there are various methods utilized for re-using AutoCAD details, not all of them are good solutions and some can add corruption to your Revit project file and create problems.
Specifying information concerning doors on architectural plans is an important aspect of conveying information to the contractor working in the field. Residential designers and commercial designers tend to have different approaches to this situation as commercial projects generally utilize a door schedule referencing a number tag at the door and residential projects generally have the door size shown directly on the floor plan. While it seems like a door size tag for residential projects would be a basic feature in Revit, there are no default tags to display the door size in typical methods. In this article, we will take a look at a process to create a typical residential door tag. This process can then be modified slightly to create other variations of the door size tag and also window size tags.
The AEC industry is seeing more clients requiring Building Information Modeling (BIM) on projects. Some clients have very detailed standards and expectations for the BIM process, and some clients say that they want BIM but have not idea what they really desire or how to get BIM. And then, there are clients that fall somewhere between those two types. Many clients (especially in the private sector) that have BIM standards in place have not publicized their standards, but will provide it to the design/construction team for specific projects. However, there are public entitites that have established BIM standards and have posted those standards on the internet and are accessible to anyone with internet access. Since it is nice to reference those BIM standards, I thought that I would list various public entities which have BIM standards that you can reference.
It is now the last day of 2012 and I am looking back over the past year and considering what has happened in my world of design software. Working so closely with the software, it is sometimes easy to forget how much has changed or occurred in the past year. Technology and software continually changes so it is never boring keeping up with it. Since I am an architect in the United States who deals with Autodesk software, that will be the focus of the article.
Architectural drawings have been created throughout the years with the intent of accurately and effectively conveying the design intent to the builder for proper construction of the building. Utilization of CAD made it easier for the designer to show the various components that made up the wall by showing lines representing the edges of each of the wall components. When showing the multiple components of a wall, we have traditionally shown the lines representing the two faces of a wall as darker lines than the interior linework of the wall. When using Revit, this same appearance can be easily accomplished.
Autodesk University 2012 is just over 5 weeks away at this point and I thought that I would just write a few comments about it for those going to it or considering going to it. If you are a user or manager of an Autodesk product, I highly recommend that you attend this annual conference which will be held in Las Vegas November 27-29, 2012 at Mandalay Bay.
As an Architect, I find it helpful to be able to look at a floor plan and see the occupancy load for each room, and some building permit reviewers require this information be shown on the plan. My previous blog article addressed creating a schedule in Revit to show occupancy loads for rooms. This article will take off from that point and desmonstrate how to create a room tag to place on a floor plan view that shows the occupancy load of the room.
Working with building codes is an important aspect of working as an Architect during the design stages of a project, and knowing the occupancy of each room is a key component to that. This article will demonstrate how to create a Revit schedule that shows the occupancy load for each room in your BIM file. It will use a key schedule as the source of information for calculating loads, so this article will address creating that key schedule as well.
In October of 2011, I wrote an article on the templates that were provided with the various Autodesk Revit 2012 products. (Link to article) Autodesk made some changes to what templates are provided with the Revit 2013 products, so I thought it good to mention those changes. I like the changes that were made and the provided templates make more sense with the 2013 release.
Windows have been being placed at corner intersections of building walls for a long time, but they have not necessarily been an easy thing to show with design software. AutoCAD Architecture users have found workaround solutions for them since the inception of the software, but that no longer needs to be the case with the 2013 release. AutoCAD Architecture 2013 now has a new command tool specifically for placing Corner Windows.