Wednesday, December 31, 2008

ORUG at Autodesk University 2008

This year we were happy to send one of our own members to Autodesk University, Andrew Murphy of Robert Murphy Architects. We hope to make this a yearly tradition! Andrew's photos were lost on his memory stick so if any of you who attended have some photos, please send them our way. (jpolding at Also, if you would like to share your experiences on this blog please send me the text and photos which I will post for you.

Andrew wrote down a few thoughts from his first experience at AU...

I have often heard it said that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. This need not be the case with Autodesk University 2008, which I recently had the good fortune to attend. Imagine five solid days immersed in the puzzling minutiae of your favorite AEC software…did I mention the AUGI Beer Bust?

I suppose I had always imagined that my first visit to Vegas would take the form of a bachelor party, riverboat gambling trip, title bout etc., however, an opportunity to attend Autodesk University seemed to be at once both exciting AND practical (in a way that a riverboat gambling trip did not).

Weeks before my departure date it was clear to me that I was not merely to attend AU, but rather to experience it. Emails filled my mailbox alerting me to an incredible range of events, keynotes, mixers, unplugged sessions, networking opportunities, and so on. Autodesk’s organization and attention to detail from start to finish were impressive.

As I learned that I would be making the trip rather close to the date, it was tricky to find space in the classes and labs that most interested me. The demand for REVIT and LEED-oriented classes seemed to far outweigh the proposed supply. Two sessions in particular, “Revit® Architecture: LEEDing the Way” and “Sustainability Tools for Revit® Architecture: The IES Sustainability Toolkit Plug-in”, appeared to have equal numbers registered and waitlisted. Despite being ‘waitlisted’ for many classes, I never had any trouble finding space on a first-come first-served basis, the above sessions included.

On the whole, the classes and labs were very well designed and equally well run, while the venue(The Venetian)was as ambitious as the itinerary of AU itself. To suggest that the classes were necessarily the highlight however would be untrue. The Opening Keynotes, General Session, and Design Slam, in my opinion, captured the heart of AU 2008.

On one hand, AU is definitely about improving one’s chops. For me, that meant classes in model management, Green Building, parametric families, custom stairs and railings among others. Simply put, attending classes, labs, and unplugged sessions to improve my technical skills was the goal of the trip. On the other hand there is something greater than the acquisition of a set of skills to be taken from AU. I think that the success of AU lay in the excitement and buzz which defined the event from start to finish. Leaving Las Vegas on Friday morning I was excited to get back to work, not because of anything the city had done, but because I was leaving with a new appreciation for what can be done with my software and also an appreciation for the ability of the Autodesk community to come together for collective gains.

For anyone interested in AU 2009 I would encourage you to make it out to the keynotes and evening events. The class materials and podcasts will be made available once you return, but the real excitement, the heart of the event, is to be found in the event halls beyond the classrooms.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Get paid by Autodesk again...

The only catch is that you have to use AutoCAD for 20hours a week :-)

"Autodesk Research is continuously investigating revolutionary ways to further enhance Autodesk products. We are currently performing a study and seeking AutoCAD 2009 users to assist us in our efforts. Volunteers must use AutoCAD 2009 (or one of the domain specific verticals) at least 20 hrs/week.

Volunteers will be paid $100 in Amazon Gift Cards.

The study consists of the following components:

1) Run a short configuration script on your computer
This will take less than one minute and will have no visible effect on AutoCAD or your system. This script will allow us to collect information about which commands you use and when you use them. User names, company information, and underlying data are never transmitted.

2) Continue to use AutoCAD 2009
We will be collecting the command information over a period of approximately 2-3 months. This requires no action on your part; just continue to use AutoCAD 2009 as you normally do.

3) Complete a post-study questionnaire
The questionnaire will be sent to you by email, and will take approximately one hour to complete. The survey will ask you questions about your like and dislike of various AutoCAD 2009 commands.

Volunteers will be paid $50 upon signing up, and $50 upon the completion of the study.

If you would like to participate, or would like further details, please contact:"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

2-Year Anniversary Expo Notes

Thanks to the 41 people who attended, presented and volunteered at our 2-year anniversary party. We had a great time, the presentations were concise and packed with quality. Plus we gave away some great prizes and swag (thank you autodesk!).

Congratulations to A Robert Murphy Architect Inc on winning the all-inclusive ticket to Autodesk University! And a copy of 3dsMAX! We will be getting some updates on their experience which we will post right here.

In his presentation, Robert showed us how two people were able to complete a large seniors residence. The building is now built and there is talk of a second.

David Constable from KPMB showed us how one can use Revit from small items like furniture to large urban plans. They wowed us with their design, videos and renderings.

Kathy from Stephenson Engineering presented two beautiful Revit Structure models complete with renderings. The first (pictured) which had some very large custom trusses. The second was a project which is built on granite. Using the Revit model Stephenson was able to predict the amount of blasted material to within a metre.

Peter Kurkjian from Sweeny Sterling Finlayson and Co. Architects showed us a local building project. &Co has been making great use of the light and shadow capabilities in Revit. Peter presented some rendering studies that described visually how the natural light would penetrate the building.

Thanks also to Sheena Sharpe from Coolearth architecture who showed her latest school project done in Revit.

Entire Imaging Solutions had an Exhibit table filled with their many interesting creations. They also gave away two scale models of Frank Lloyd Wright's 'Falling Water' (which was 3Dprinted from a Revit model) and $300 towards imaging services. Thank you Entire!

Other News:

Caesar Ruest started the following group:

BIM Executive Group - an informal group of Architectural Partners who’ve adopted Revit in their office, comprised of Executive/Partners from across Canada. The call took place mid September for 1 hour where Partner strategies and concerns were shared. All participants considered this a valuable session and would like to schedule more calls. Another action item from the call was to compile a list of MEP and Structural Engineers who are using Revit and to share the list across Canada. I am compiling this list now.

Reno C Negrin Architects, Vancouver
Richard Zeigler Architect Inc., Toronto
HIP Architects, Edmonton
zeidler partnership architects, Toronto
Kuch Stephenson Gibson Malo, Thunder Bay, ON
Clive McKenzie, HMA Architects, Kelowna, BC
Kasian, Vancouver
IBI, Ottawa
WHW Architects, Halifax

Last week:
November 2008:
BIM Executive Event Toronto – November 13th – Partners only, David Jefferies of Zeidler Partnership will be in the spotlight presenting BIM on The Bow. (attachment) Registration is up to 52 people at this point.
Who Should Attend? Executives, Directors, or Senior Level Managers responsible for setting the direction of their organizations

New as of last week:
Visit for lots of content.
Request for Proposals issued for The MUHC’s Glen Campus (McGill University Health Centre), Redevelopment cost of almost $1.6B
The proposal includes a requirement essentially mentioning that:
“The project is required to be completed in BIM, with a software compatible with Revit.”
Halsall BIM Event (attached)
80 people in attendance
Sep 2008:
PWGSC presents BIM at IIDEX -
Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is developing a formal BIM strategy.

Thanks as usual to Alice Fazooli's downtown Toronto who always do a great job!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hot Rod Results So Far...

And the trophy goes to...

Q9450 Quad Core 2.66Ghz processor 1066 FSB
Nvidia GeForce 6600LE 256 Mb
Vista 32
2 X 2 Gb dual channel 667

Non-Scientific Observations:
high gigahertz quad core chips seem to win consistently and provide the biggest returns
Vista 32 is marginally faster than XP
4GB RAM is marginally faster than 2GB
Most had NVidia cards so we couldn't see a difference.

Points for the future:
Try a variety of video cards if possible
Try tasks other than rendering, like zoom extents, who can open the biggest model etc.
Let's revisit this using Revit 64 bit on a high RAM screamer...

it's not too late to post a time...

Please follow these easy 7 steps (it should only take 10-20 minutes)
1. Open user: ORUG password: ORUG
2. Open Ed Speed Test.rvt in Revit 2009
3. Open Revit render test blank report .xls
4. Set screen resolution to 1280 X 1024
5. Go to the Test Rendering View
6. Click Rendering, Set to Medium and Render
7. Fill out Revit render test blank report.xls, rename and post back to ftp site.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

2 Year Anniversary Meeting Oct. 29, 2008

Date: Wednesday October 29, 2008
Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

Location: Alice Fazooli's, 294 Adelaide St W, Toronto ON, M5V 1P6. Click here for map.

For those taking the TTC, it is conveniently located near both Osgoode and St. Andrew stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina line.

ORUG is proud to announce its 2-year anniversary. To celebrate, we're holding our first annual EXPO! Members are encouraged to bring and showcase their projects to the group. Participants will be entered to win prizes.

Any ORUG member can bring and show their projects but we would like to request that expositions to the Expo have the following minimum criteria to be eligible for the draw:

Revit Model
One exterior rendering that will be submitted to Jay Polding prior to Wednesday October 29. This rendering will act as registration for the prize draw
One interior rendering
One floorplan
One elevation
One section
Brief explanation to the group about the project and the Revit Model
Laptop with the files mentioned above

We are looking for 3 eligible entrants to do "pecha kucha" presentations about their projects. Pecha Kucha presentations require each presenter to use a slideshow of 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds. This results in a total presentation time of 6 minutes 40 seconds.
If you are interested in entering and participating, please email


Exhibition - ORUG EXPO 2008

Jay will provide a brief introduction of the exhibitions in slideshow format.

Our 3 “Pecha Kucha” entrants will then present.

Exhibitors will then set up at individual tables and be able to discuss projects with other members.

Finally, we will be conducting a draw from registered participants. The draw will include two seats of 3dsMAX Design 2009 (Not For Resale version).

Autodesk University 2008
Are you attending Autodesk University this year? Please let us know if you have registered by emailing

If you would like to become an ORUG member or attend this meeting as a guest, please contact Jay Polding at There is no charge to attend.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Revit 64 is Out!

Just to let every one know, if you don't already. Revit 64bit is now available for download for Architecture, Structure and MEP. You need to log in to the Autodesk Subscription site to get this. Here's a press release from Autodesk...

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autodesk, Inc.,(NASDAQ: ADSK) today announced that versions of its Revit software applications for Building Information Modeling (BIM) specifically designed for personal computers using Windows 64-bit operating systems are now available. This marks the company's first venture into 64-bit BIM applications and applies to Revit Architecture 2009, Revit Structure 2009 and Revit MEP 2009. The 64-bit versions are now available to existing Revit platform software subscribers. Customer beta testers reported that the newsoftware applications offer significantly improved performance and stabilityfor memory intensive tasks such as rendering, printing, model upgrading andfile importing and exporting. Some examples of their experience include:

"In every single test I threw at the Revit Structure for the 64-bit system it beat the 32-bit system," said Ken Murphy, BIM manager, Thornton Tomasetti. "On average, we observed approximately a 20 percent performance gain on operations such as saving files and exporting models to other formats for outside consultants. And when it comes to rendering images of large project models, such as an American football stadium with thousands of members, we saw up to a 50 percent performance improvement over the 32-bit platform."

"With 64-bit Revit Architecture we can completely load a very large project into a session and work on it at one time; and that is something that represents a significant efficiency improvement over the 32-bit environment,"said Lonnie Cumpton, Revit task force manager for the Friedmutter Group. "For example, we have a large project that consists of 2.9 gigabytes of Revit data contained in 22 individual files. With 64-bit Revit Architecture we can link all the pieces together into one big model and cut an entire building section to gain an understanding from a section elevation standpoint of the entireproject at one time. Using 32-bit Revit Architecture we'd have to cut individual pieces of sections in each model and then piece them back together. It took us a day to do that. Now we can do it in less than an hour."

"We've been beta testing the 64-bit Revit Structure software and the increases in efficiency and productivity are impressive," said Jamie Richardson, Associate & CAD manager, Ericksen Roed & Associates. "Cutting sections and switching between views is much faster. Moving within the viewsand rotating the model in a 3D view is also noticeably faster and smoother.With what we have seen in our beta testing, and what we're hearing from userstesting the beta on their current projects, we see no reason not to go to the64-bit version of Revit Structure."

The English language versions of new 64-bit Revit software applications areavailable now to existing Revit Architecture 2009, Revit Structure 2009 andRevit MEP 2009 subscribers via the online Subscription Center. The 64-bit software will release in other languages at a later date.

"We're very excited to hear our beta testers report stunning performance gains with the native 64-bit versions of the Revit software applications,"said Jay Bhatt, senior vice president, Autodesk AEC Solutions. "Breaking the four gigabytes RAM barrier is an important milestone, which helps ourcustomers experience the power of BIM in even their largest projects."

Friday, August 08, 2008

Autodesk Project

Please take a look at the following request...

Autodesk is looking for sample Revit files to use for testing purposes. We are looking for high quality project files of any type of architectural, or architectural-concept designs. We are specifically looking for projects that also include landscapes, surrounding context, urban planning or details such as streets, street furniture, parking lots, vegetation etc. in Revit format. The larger the project the better. We want to use it for rendering purposes as well as real-time performance testing. All files will be kept in a secure location and not shared with any architecture company.
The files must be in RVT format, with ones created in Revit 2009 with applied render appearance materials preferred. The files will be used for internal testing only.
We are also looking for similar scenes to use for usability tests with external people who will only be shown the project under a non-disclosure agreement. If you have a project we can use in this way we will contact you to arrange an agreement for the rights.
If you think you might have a file that fits these requirements please contact Ian Hooper at or 416-874-8523.
Thank you,

Revit Goes to University...

University of Southern California School of Architecture Earns Autodesk Revit BIM Experience Award

School Honored for Integrating Revit Architecture Software for Building Information Modeling into Curriculum and Encouraging Sustainable Design Skills

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., August 4, 2008—Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), announced that it has presented the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture with a Revit BIM Experience Award. The award honors the school for teaching building information modeling (BIM) to graduate and undergraduate students to give them the skills highly sought after by leading architectural firms. The award also recognizes the school’s ongoing efforts to promote BIM, including the recent BIM BOP 2008 symposium, which brought together practicing architects, students and faculty to discuss BIM, sustainable design and other key trends in the building industry.

“BIM, and its ability to facilitate integrated project delivery and sustainable design, are transforming the architecture and construction professions,” said Karen Kensek, associate professor of the practice of architecture for USC's School of Architecture. “Offering our students experience with BIM helps them think in 3D so they can fully understand the entire building and start to come to terms with issues of constructability. We also know from our annual architecture career fair that experience using Revit Architecture for BIM makes our students very attractive job candidates.”

BIM is an integrated process built on coordinated, reliable information about a project from design through construction and into operations. By adopting BIM, architects, engineers, contractors and owners can easily create coordinated, digital design information and documentation; use that information to more accurately visualize, simulate and analyze performance, appearance and cost; and reliably deliver the project faster, more economically and with reduced environmental impact.

BIM Courses at USC School of Architecture
USC’s School of Architecture teaches Revit Architecture software to introduce students to the principles of BIM and 3D design. The school also uses the Autodesk Sustainable Design Curriculum to instruct students in the use of BIM for sustainable design. Students can export their Revit models to a wide variety of energy-performance analysis software tools, such as Autodesk Ecotect, Autodesk Green Building Studio and IES Virtual Environment, to conduct daylight and shading studies. The architecture students also learn how to create stunning, photo-real animations and renderings of their projects using Autodesk 3ds Max Design software.

“We applaud USC’s efforts to provide students with highly marketable, real-world skills based on a curriculum that includes Revit Architecture for BIM and sustainable design tools,” said Jay Bhatt, senior vice president, Autodesk AEC Solutions. “We hope that as they enter the workforce they will evangelize BIM and sustainable design practices.”

About the Revit BIM Experience Award
The Revit BIM Experience Award celebrates building industry professionals and educators around the world who are helping to transform the building industry through building information modeling. Autodesk honors organizations with this award for innovation and excellence in implementing the Revit platform (including Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and Revit MEP software applications) for building information modeling on one or more projects.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Revit Architecture 2009 Extensions

You can now download Revit Architecture 2009 Extensions from the Autodesk Subscription Center. Some impressions:

Freeze Drawings: create a 2D drafting view of a plan, elevation or section view.
Text Generator: A few more bells and whistles for text. A temporary solution I hope.
Grids Generator: This is a step in the right direction for creating and editing levels and grids. One thing of note, you can choose to display your grids in 3D. This will draw unconstrained model lines on top of the grids.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

ORUG Member Interview

I noticed this interview on the Bim and Beam blog....

What made my trip to Toronto even more exciting was the opportunity to visit Halsall and to have lunch with Ian Trudeau, Michael Parker and David Brand. After having a great conversation and a few laughs while eating spinach and ricotta Angolotti, Ian and I sat down for a great interview about Halsall and his use of Revit® Structure. Below is my interview with Ian as well as some really impressive images that Ian shared with me. I look forward to my next trip to Toronto!

read the full interview here...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

IES and phases

You can now set the phase to export to the IES plugin analysis. Here's how:

Settings-Project Information-Energy Data-Project Phase

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Get Paid to PLAY!

Autodesk is once again looking for Architects or architectural
technologists who are current users of Revit to help us with a new study
we will be doing July 24 and 25 in Toronto for Project Newport.

For this study, we will ask you to come into our office (at King and
Sherbourne) some time during the day or in the evening. You'll try out
prototypes of new software features while we watch and ask you
questions. The sessions will take no more than 1 hour, and you will be
paid for your participation. (Payment is $50 in the form of a gift
card from your choice of major retailers.)

To participate in this study, you must have at least six months
experience using Autodesk Revit. If you participated in the study we
did in June, you are not eligible for this study.

If you are interested in participating, please reply to this email with
contact information, or call Ian Hooper at 416-874-8523. We will
contact you to book a mutually convenient time for you to come in.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

July 9 2008 Meeting Notes

Thanks to all who attended and presented! Also to Alice Fazooli's for a great venue and service. Here's how the evening went...

After presenting a similar Canadian update at the inaugural ORUG meeting in 2006 Caesar Ruest of Autodesk Canda presented:

BIM and Revit Canadian Update-July 2008

Public Works and National Defense requesting BIM
Bank of Montreal BIM RFP project

Alberta Infrastructure meeting – outcome: choosing a BIM project, & transitioned software to Revit

Vancouver Convention Centre
– Looking Back:
– 2004 discussions with Partner

– Started on Revit 7, finished on Revit 8
– Construction Photos June 2008

Revit is widely used and available to schools across Canada...

• Free downloads and Job postings
• Posted for 60 days, will be reminded and may renew.
• Edit and remove at any time

Hot Rod Event

Jim Clubine from CAD MicroSolutions Inc. in Barrie explained the metrics used for our testing to be done. He also related some technical findings that he had observed, namely processor speed is the key element to speed, RAM comes in a close second and video cards less so. Here were some of the specs of the machines set up...

Q9450 Quad Core 2.66Ghz processor 1066 FSB Nvidia GeForce 6600LE 256 Mb

E6600 Dual Core 2.4Ghz processor 1066 FSB

Q9450 Quad Core 2.66Ghz processor 1066 FSB Nvida GeForce 8800GT 512Mb

Q9450 Quad Core 2.66Ghz processor 1066 FSB Nvida GeForce 8800GT 512Mb
As we recieve and compile the results we will post them.
We have uploaded these files on the ftp site, please follow the steps below.

Ed Speed Test.rvt
Revit render test blank report .xls
Revit render test JULY 7-08.pdf
Please follow these easy 7 steps (it should only take 10-20 minutes)
1. Open user: ORUG password: ORUG
2. Open Ed Speed Test.rvt in Revit 2009
3. Open Revit render test blank report .xls
4. Set screen resolution to 1280 X 1024
5. Go to the Test Rendering View
6. Click Rendering, Set to Medium and Render
7. Fill out Revit render test blank report.xls, rename and post back to ftp site.

One point of interest, the benchmarking journal file from Phil Read cannot be used at this time as it is not 2009 ready. When it is, we will post it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

July 9 Meeting

Please find details about our next Ontario Revit Users Group (ORUG) meeting below:

: Wednesday July 9, 2008

Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

: Alice Fazooli's, 294 Adelaide St W, Toronto ON, M5V 1P6. Click here for map. For those taking the TTC, it is conveniently located near both Osgoode and St. Andrew stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina line.



Revit News Across Canada

An Industry Insider will give us the latest news on the who, what and where of Revit projects.

If you would like to become an ORUG member or attend this meeting as a guest, please contact Jay Polding at

There is no charge to attend.

Hot Rod Meet

Bring your laptop or box to test out what settings and hardware work best. We will have files, monitors, keyboards and mice.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Render Hotfix

Please see this article if you are having crashing issues when rendering...

ps, this applies to the AutoCAD renderer.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

IES Plugin for 2009

Some (including me) could not find the latest page for the IES plugin download for Revit Arch 2009.

Just download install and restart and you will see the IES toolbar right there.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shipping Delays for Revit 2009

Although Revit 2009 started shipping on April 15 it seems that here in Ontario there have been delays. Most should start recieving DVDs next week. In the meantime here are some links if you wish to download it:

Revit Architecture 2009:

Revit Structure 2009:

Revit MEP:

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Revit 2009 Shipping Dates

An update on shipping dates for the entire Revit 2009 line of products:

April 15, 2008

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Area Program Technique

Below is a very useful technique from one of our committee members, written by Sheena Sharp...

A new program can be really daunting, but while I was first exploring REVIT, I noticed the area calculations and became intrigued. So I imported several AutoCAD floor plans of an 85,000 sf hospital that we were renovating into residential suites. I originally had the intention of building walls until I discovered that walls were not necessary to perform area calculations, so I could do preliminary area calculations without building a model, and with area features that are far more powerful than AutoCAD's.

It works like this:
1. Load the AutoCAD drawing in, one floor per level.
2. Go to the "Room and areas" menu and select "area plans".
3. Select "rentable" and the level you want to create. Note that there is now list of "area plans" under views. (I would recommend not creating exterior walls)
4. Select an area plan, and draw a bounded are using the Area boundary tool.
5. Next select the "area" tool which allows you to place an area tag in the centre of the bounded box.

Voila, you have the area calculated. You will find that REVIT is far more forgiving about closing areas: close is good enough. Also, each room is not a loop, as in Autocad, but a boundary forms the boundary for two rooms. Move the boundary and notice how the calculations change.

But the real power is in the schedules. Go to the "view" menu and choose schedules, Areas, Rentable. As an example, when you are starting out, you may want to keep track of the percentages of area assigned to rentable suites and those assigned to circulation and mechanical spaces.

To create that schedule:
1. Right Click on the area element (move the cursor until you see and "x" in the area and right click)
2. Change the name to something that you want to track.
3. Create a schedule in the view menu, and choose the name, the area and the count.
4. Create a calculated value called Percent, click percent, and choose OF area BY grand total.
5. In the sort by tab, choose Name, grand totals and deselect "itemize every instance"
6. In the format tab, select area and then click on the "calculate total box. To the same for Count and Percent.
7. Click OK.

The different "names", are sorted and summed. No more transferring areas to a spreadsheet. No more recalculating when an area changes. In addition, there is a really nice feature to colour the drawings. Go back to the Room and Area Menu and select area colour scheme. Insert it on to the area plan. Select it and then "edit colour scheme" on the options bar. You are able to change the colours, and the variable that is used on the legend. (For the above example, choose "name"). Again, voila, a presentation-ready plan.

I have moved on to creating multiple area analyses, in the same project. You do this by going to the view menu and choosing "new", "schedules". Click on Areas: rentable and rename the set of schedule. You will now be able to create an entirely separate set of area plans with different boundaries.

I recently moved on to using area schedules to keep track of the variance between the program areas and the proposed areas. This is done using the "key schedule" feature. The key schedule has one field which is a "key". When you assign a key name to a room, the key schedule information like "existing area" and "proposed area" is transferred to the new room. Use a calculated value to calculate the difference between the plan area and the proposed area. Even if you decide to delete that room, or change it to another function, the original program information is not lost.

Although I am getting much more comfortable at creating models and presentations, the area calculations remain my favorite part of REVIT for fact that they remove the tedious nature of one of the important tasks of initial design.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

March 26 Meeting Minutes

Thanks to all 50 in attendance for participating in our meeting. We had some very interesting presentations and discussions. Here's a brief review of our evening...

Theme: The BIM Model: New Concerns and Opportunities

The BIM Model- Liability Conversation

The BIM Model- “Printing” a Tactile 3D Model

Charles Simco
Shibley Righton LLP
T: 416.214.5265 F: 416.214.5465

7:00-8:00 The BIM Model- Liability Conversation

Charles was interested in coming to our meeting to learn about this emerging technological change in our industry. As a Toronto Litigation lawyer, Charles defends architects against professional liability claims and also practices construction law, commercial litigation and employment law. Charles made the point that legal practice always has to catch up with technology. Adapting Client/Architect Agreements to BIM technology is another example of that. Only the 2D hardcopy documents are currently the ‘contract documents’ unless this is otherwise specified. Charles reviewed a sample disclaimer. It is basically saying that if the 3D model is to be used by anyone other than its originator, he or she cannot be liable for its content.

Some audience questions...

Q: What happens if the 3D model is the contract document?

A: This should be addressed in a specific contract.

Q: What happens when multiple architects and consultants have different responsibilities in the same model? Who owns the model, who takes responsibility?

A: Same principles apply now as did in the past; keep good records ie. save time stamped hard and electronic copies throughout the process.

Linking Revit files is a clear way of working between consultants without accidental changes.

Revit does provide a very coordinated set of drawings and model which may reduce errors.

Charles mentioned that we can't anticipate every issue that MAY come up. He hasn't heard of 'BIM' being a key issue so far in a lawsuit.

Questions for further discussion:

Q: You can always agree to provide a client with the model but can a client demand it after the fact and there be no coverage under the province licensing acts?

Q: Frank Gehry's 3D contract available?

8:15-9:00 The BIM Model- “Printing” a Tactile 3D Model

Allan M. Agard

Branch Sales Manager
Entire Imaging Solutions Inc.

317 Adelaide St.Toronto, ON. M5V 1P9

Ph: (416) 593-5701

Cell: (416) 710-6448

Fax: (416) 593-5665

Saima Elahi

3D Model Sales Representative

Entire Imaging Solutions Inc.

Office: 905-673-2007 Ex. 240

Cell: 647-296-8725

Entire's 3D modelling advantages are: speed and accuracy

A condo sales office can be opened months earlier using this service.

Entire is also a 2D print shop and committed to working with ORUG to iron out printing issues from Revit.

If you have problems printing contact and we will get the ball rolling.

Domenic from IBI (pictured below, left) shared his experiences working with Saima from Entire on various 3D models.

Models are either powder or polymer
Can be made any size but may need several pieces

Problems with the design (ie. structure) can be discovered early on in the 3Dprint process.

You can purchase Google Earth terrain for most of Canada, import into Revit, design your building(s) and then 3D print it.

The new FBX export from Revit to 3DStudio will really help cut down the time that Entire would have to spend on the model.

Nine lucky people won scale models of the beautiful building pictured below...

Ballpark pricing for the model picture above:
Small(6"x6"x3"): $800
Medium: $2000

Thanks again and if you have any comments or suggestions please contact Jay Polding at the email address above.


Ballenford books – a one-of-a-kind architecture bookstore in Toronto in Mirvish Village – is sadly closing its doors. If you ever venture to try to find architecture books at Chapters, only to discover a wee little section in the corner, then you’ll see the importance of an architecture/design-dedicated bookstore like Ballenford’s. Please forward this to any or all of your architecture friends and get them to buy some books! If we can’t save the store, then at least we might get great books at discounted prices out of it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Welcome New ORUG Divisions

Welcome to the ORUG MEP and Structural divisions. These both will contain relavent technical and industry articles. John Wong will be heading up the ORUG MEP. Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing components are key to the BIM model. This is a key component to fully test our buildings before we build them.

John's Bio..
John Wong, BScE. is CAD MicroSolutions’ resident MEP (Mechanical,
Electrical, Plumbing) Engineering Applications Specialist.
After graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from
Queen's University, John worked for a top mechanical/electrical
consulting engineering firm in the Greater Toronto Area. He
applies his industry-specific experience to AutoCAD MEP, Revit
MEP, and the Integrated Environmental Solutions

Monday, March 24, 2008

Great Revit Learning SIte

This site is great for finding help on almost anything! Many common questions are answered.

FYI, some of the info is a little outdated. Still good though.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March 26 Meeting Details

Date: Wednesday March 26, 2008

Time: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

Location: Alice Fazooli's, 294 Adelaide St W, Toronto ON, M5V 1P6.

Click here for map. For those taking the TTC, it is conveniently located near both Osgoode and St. Andrew stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina line.

Content: The BIM Model: New Concerns and Opportunities

Liability Conversation
This portion will be an interactive, moderated discussion with Charles to discuss industry concerns about legal liabilities and the BIM model.

Charles Simco - Shibley Righton LLP Charles has been recognised as an expert in the practice of Construction law and professional liability. He has been invited to speak about a variety of topics relating to his expertise at various legal and construction organizations.

Printing a Tactile 3D Model
Allan and his Technical Expert will discuss big picture reasons for using 3D printing as well as technical procedures. He may also offer free services as a giveaway.

Allan M. Agard - Entire Imaging Solutions Inc.Using 3D CAD files, Entire has been providing professionals with the highest quality digital 3D colour replication models for the past 36 years. Customization is provided to meet the specific needs of every client. Models are produced in days.

If you would like to become an ORUG member or attend this meeting as a guest, please contact Jay Polding at

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

March Meeting and News

Our next meeting will be March 26, 2008
When: Wednesday, March 26 2008 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm.
Location: Alice Fazooli's, 294 Adelaide St W, Toronto ON.

Theme: The BIM Model: New Concerns and Opportunities

The BIM Model- Liability Conversation
The BIM Model- “3D Printing” a Tactile Model

Invitations will be emailed in early March. More details to follow…

Autodesk to Acquire Green Building Studio
After nearly 10 years of market changing innovation, Green Building Studio is delighted to announce we have signed an agreement for Autodesk, Inc. to acquire our assets. In other words, our Green Building Studio (GBS) web service will soon join the Autodesk product family. Please be assured that our talented team will continue to sell software and train and support architects as they use our web service to design carbon neutral buildings today and in the future.
Read more…

Extensions for Revit®
Revit® Extensions are a series of easy to use applications that extend the capabilities of Revit in various key areas, including structural analysis and reinforced concrete drafting.On January 15 2008, Autodesk completed the acquisition of Robobat who develops these Extensions. All Extensions for Revit Structure formerly developed by Robobat, both fee and free, are now available through the Autodesk Subscription Program.Visit the Autodesk’s Subscription page under Services and Support to find out more about this service and becoming a member. Revit Structure Subscription customers can login to the Subscription Center and download the Revit Extensions at no additional cost.
A great example… Revit 2008 Worksharing Monitor
The Worksharing Monitor facilitates the use of Revit software in a worksharing environment, in which multiple people work on one project. For workshared projects, the Worksharing Monitor answers questions like the following: Who is currently working on this project? Is my local copy of the project up to date? When will my Save to Central operation finish? Has my request to borrow elements been granted? Are any issues interfering with my work on a Revit project? More info…

Autodesk VIZ to become Autodesk® 3ds Max® Design 2009
With the increasing demands for trained staff and richer toolsets, we noticed a significant movement of Autodesk® VIZ software customers to Autodesk® 3ds Max® software. We also learned that approximately 90% of VIZ customers would prefer to use 3ds Max. In surveying our customers, we learned they want:

-New features and capabilities to ease the creation of stunning imagery and cinema-quality visualizations
-The ability of 3ds Max to handle even the most complex projects
-Access to a much larger community of peers and talent pool
-Easy transfer of knowledge and data from VIZ to 3ds Max

To satisfy these desires, we intend to introduce Autodesk® 3ds Max® Design 2009 software, a new and uncompromised version of 3ds Max tailored to the needs of architects, designers, engineers, and visualization specialists.
More info…

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Latest Revit News

New Builds for all Revit Products:
These are fixing a leap year programming glitch among other small things…

Revit Architecture:

Revit Structure:

Revit MEP:

FREE IES (Lighting and Energy Simulation) Toolkit Plugin for Revit Architecture: