Thursday 20 July 2017

Watch the presentations from Autodesk University London

One things Autodesk University do extremely well is post videos of the classes online for the wider global community to benefit from.

It's really nice to see the two classes I was involved with at AU London are now online.

If you are interested in them, please click below to watch...

Introducing Autodesk Forge and its role in BIM workflows: A success story with NBS
Learn about what the Autodesk Forge platform is capable of and how you can benefit from it. In this session Brian Roepke will introduce some of the features within Forge and explain how this powerful, cloud-based software platform can be the build block for your next tool or product. Dr Stephen Hamil will then demonstrate how NBS have utilized the power of Forge to allow coordinated models and specifications to be viewed through the web browser. Live demonstrations of practical customer examples will also be shown from UK architecture and engineering BIM projects.
Class 1 - Presenting cloud opportunities with Autodesk and BDP
Practical examples of how to develop and coordinate information on a BIM project
This class will present how project teams can collaborate to develop information on a BIM project. We will initially look at setting up a plan of work to give clarity on which team members are delivering what information and when. Following this we will look at how designers can develop their designs using standardised BIM objects in Revit. Practical examples will then be given on how to link these objects digitally to the associated specification to better coordinate this information and reduce risk. We will finish by exploring the role of the cloud and big data in future workflows and show practical examples of how the Forge platform can accelerate this. Stephen was part of the team that developed the UK government’s BIM Level 2 standards and tools. As director of research and innovation at NBS, he has been fundamental in developing the products that led to NBS being the first UK Autodesk Solution Associate in 2016.
Class 2 - looking at the BIM workflow
To browse all of the AU Online content click below:

Friday 14 July 2017

Sample specifications from NBS

When writing a specification it can be a little daunting seeing a blank screen and wondering where to start.

So, in a further improvement to our online support material there are now a number of sample specifications available to download from our website. There are a number of sample specifications for:
  • Project management (roles and definitions)
  • Architecture (door and window systems)
  • Electrical engineering services (low voltage system)
  • Mechanical engineering services (heating systems)
  • Structural engineer (piling and pilcap systems)
  • Landscape architecture (paving system)
Each download comes with a guide from the individual NBS Technical Author who writes and maintains the content. The specifications themselves can be opened in Adobe Reader or NBS Create.

The structure of each specification is consistent across each of the disciplines showing what can be achieved when the whole project team used NBS.

Some screen captures below:
Commentary from each NBS technical author

Samplle full specification for a doorset system
Sample performance specification for a traffic kerb system
All of the downloads are free - so please have a look at them at:

Thursday 13 July 2017

EU BIM Handbook

This EU BIM Handbook has been published and may be downloaded for free from:

The drivers for BIM across europe are essentially the same as those in the UK - better information management allowing for more informed decisions that will positively impact the environment, society, resource availability and economic performance.

Those defining policy around public procurement can greatly influence BIM adoption in their region.

The handbook is a joint effort from over twenty european countries. However, in the UK, Mark Bew, Adam Matthews, Barry Blackwell and Richard Lane have all played a big effort here.

The handbook is written in plain language (in English - but presume translations will follow) and has three main sections: 1. Introduction, 2. General guidance and 3. Action recommendations.

1. Introduction
This looks at the business case for BIM and how the handbook can be a central reference point for the European public sector. The basic idea is that by following the guidance and recommendations then digital capacity can grow, a consistent way of working can be developed and behaviours can be changed through communicating the value.

2. General guidance
Section 2 goes into further depth into the business case for BIM. In particular, there is a good section on the value proposition.
Value proposition
The four most important strategic areas are identified:
Strategic focus
...and keeping the theme of 'four'... four core definition areas are highlighted:
Definition areas
3. Action recommendations
Following the guidance chapter, clear action recommendations are given at both a strategic level and an implementation level. Against each recommendation there are actions that are either 'encouraged', 'recommended' or 'highly recommended'.
Example recommendation
The influence of the UK's experience from recent years is there to be seen. Whether this is around communicating the strategy, funding and forming a stewardship team, engaging with industry and institutes, developing a framework for the technical process, use standards for classification and information exchange, develop an educational framework, measure progress against clear goals, provide tools and templates for the development of key documentation etc...

The Handbook also contains a number of case studies from across europe highlighting successes.

At 84 pages in length the handbook it seems a little daunting at first glance, but it is laid out extremely well with a mix of text, illustrations and tables - it is a really good easy read for anyone working in this field.

Download now for free and share with your colleagues :) :

Saturday 1 July 2017

parkrun UK

Today I completed the 14th of the 14 parkrun's that surround Durham.  A quick blog post to say what an absolutely amazing initiative I think parkrun is.

It's completely free, it's run by volunteers in beautiful open spaces around the country and it has a great sense of community whether you are a top club athlete or a six year old wanting to jog/walk around a 5km route with their grandparent.
All fourteen of the parkruns surrounding Durham - Done
After completing the 14th of these local runs, I though I'd look back at my phone for photographs...
Whitley Bay in the rain - keeping pace with my little boy
Christmas Eve - 9am - Chester le Street

The National Trust owned Gibside Hall near Rowlands Gill
The hottest of June mornings in Costa-del-Hartlepool

Almost as hot in South Shields the following week

Newcastle Town Moor and the iconic Wylam Brewery
Sunny Waaaaalllllsend
Saltwell Park Gateshead

My hometown course in Durham running just behind my little girl

...and putting a bit back through volunteering once or twice
The volunteers get ready on at Durham for the junior parkrun
34 runs now across 18 different locations

In the rain at Prudhoe
So what is next? I think I may now need to spread the net and try out the runs at Druridge Bay further north and the likes of Northallerton further south.

So, if you like sport or just want to keep fit - I strongly recommend you try out a parkrun near you:

Update - 13/05/18 - All 23 runs in the North East now ticked off :)
All done (* until Alnwick and Morpeth opens)