Friday 22 March 2013

London Revit User Group - Post 1/2

Last night I presented at the London Revit User Group (#LRUG). Just over a year ago, before the launch of and NBS Create I had presented our BIM intentions. I'll do a couple of blog posts on this as there is lots to cover. The first of these below is an overview of last night. The second will be a more in depth post looking at some of the questions raised in the discussions after the presentation.

What was fantastic about last night was the ability to try and judge progress in just over a year.

Technical content
The feedback last year was that after the initial launch set, users wanted sanitaryware, signage, curtain walling, floor coverings, MEP, structural and manufacturer specific content. The progress throughout the year was that in Q3 last year the sanitaryware and other generic objects went live and now we have many objects from six manufacturers with objects from a further nine manufacturers coming through. Most of the generic content is in multiple formats (not just Revit) and all of the manufacturer content is in five formats. We have started the process off in terms of delivering MEP content.

Software development
The feedback last year was as shown in the picture below...
You said - we did
The screenshot below shows the latest progress on the free Revit plug-in.
  1. Drag and drop the latest objects from the web and into the model
  2. View design guidance from NBS (NBS subscription required) from the context of your design software
  3. Automatically generate an outline specification from your model and then develop this specification through the timeline (performance spec, full spec, as-built spec) using NBS Create
  4. Verify objects in Revit match with objects in the spec - huge improvements in documentation coordination in terms of speed and accuracy
  5. Jump directly from the object in Revit to the associated specification clause
NBS toolbar and resource panel within Autodesk Revit
The last ten minutes of the presentation was looking at IFC. Interestingly I asked the 60 or so delegates to raise their hands if they "think Revit is great". About 60 people raised their hands. I then asked people to keep their hands up if they thought IFC was great. Interestingly there weren't still 60 hands left pointing in the air. :)

We're in the process of developing functionality that takes the content in Revit, exports it to IFC and then the key content from the specification is stamped into this rich IFC file. This can then be viewed in any free IFC viewer and the data format is open source and will stand the test of time.
COBie the easy way - IFC-tastic
I was especially encouraged by the feedback after the event into this IFC work. I think it needs more people to get out there and spread the word about how great IFC really is - in my opinion it is most definitely not a case of IFC vs proprietary innovative software/data - but how both are very much needed to make the BIM process work.

An example we discussed in the pub following the event (where the best discussions take place) was with the automotive industry. Too much standardisation stifles innovation and competition - see the cars produced by East Germany and the Soviet Union in the 70s and 80s. However if you don't have any standardisation you get monopolies and collaboration is hard. With standardisation for example, all cars have the same dimension petrol entry holes, air valves for the tyres, rules on safety etc... You could say the same thing about lights - with standard plugs, voltage, fuses, CE marks etc... - so standardisation, but enough scope to let innovation and competition to produce great products.

The other presentation was from Soluis. Scott Grant gave an introduction to their business model - how through BIM designs could be communicated to all stakeholders in a project. The slide below shows a chart of stakeholder influence against stakeholder interest. Do you really want to show clients and occupiers design intent with just words on a sheet of paper? Do yo you really want to demonstrate construction sequencing with just a gannt chart?
Scott Grant
Martin McDonnell the Soluis MD then showed off some of the software tools that team up in Glasgow had developed. Invest in software development. Turn manual jobs into automated jobs. Become a thriving profitable business. He did this presentation in the context of the developing our promotional video.
Martin McDonnell
And a video and some more pictures...
NBS Sarah shows off her XBOX skills

Best way to prepare for a big presentation - playing on the XBox with Jay Beckham
David Light loses a life much to Scott Grant's horror
No rest for the wicked - pages and pages of feedback in terms of what we do next end of post 1 - post 2 to follow which looks into some interesting discussion points.

No comments:

Post a Comment