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Architects are Lazy (plus ArchiCAD 17 news)

News of ArchiCAD 17

The shape and form of ArchiCAD 17 continue to be slowly revealed. I’m not sure if I’m just more aware this year or if more news is getting shared than in the past. Either way, here’s a very interesting article from Enigneering News-Record that talks about both EcoDesigner STAR and some time frames for the eventual release of ArchiCAD 17. I guess we can start tossing around the phrase “June 2013”. Also note that if you can’t wait until then to get your hands on ArchiCAD 17, start using EcoDesigner STAR beta. It sounds like Graphisoft will be asking individuals who are heavily exploring EcoDesigner STAR beta to join the larger ArchiCAD 17 beta tester group in the coming months. FYI, beta testing is fun.

Calling Architects Lazy

Here’s a snippet from the article (like I said it’s a great read):

Kennedy, who was the CEO and chief technology officer of GBS before Autodesk acquired it, is skeptical that architects will use the GRAPHISOFT energy-code-compliance-report tool. Energy analysis at that level of specificity, which requires inputting detailed data on such things as thermal and materials performance, would require a new workflow, he says.

Creating an engineering tool in an architect’s tool and hoping architects will create an engineering workflow is “aspirational,” he says. Kennedy thinks the tool will more likely be used by the energy code compliance person or energy engineer. Most architects “won’t take on the risk,” he predicts, “when they can hire an engineering consultant for a couple thousand dollars to produce the reports.”

So this is weird. I don’t disagree with Kennedy’s presumptions. But I don’t agree either. Will moving from BIM to BEM be a simple thing that everyone will do instantly? No. Is moving from BIM to BEM something we all need to do? Yes. Will it be hard? I’m sure it won’t be easy. Just like we made the switch from CAD to BIM (and can’t believe that there are people who still do it the old way), this is the next shift that we need to handle. Will we all be BEM proficient in 2013? Nope. 2014? Maybe, but probably not. 2015? Hopefully. At some point we’ll look at our fellow architects who aren’t doing Building Energy Modelling and think “really guys? get with the picture!”

What EcoDesigner STAR requires is a new workflow, but not a cataclysm; going from BIM to BEM will be an evolution. And it’s a paradigm shift we need to begin now. You don’t need to use every aspect of energy modeling today, but you need to be making baby steps where ever possible. You need to prove Kennedy wrong. Don’t be lazy or complacent.

If you haven’t been reading about my adventures with EcoDesigner STAR, head over to BIMEngine and check them out. Even if you’re not an ArchiCAD user, it’s worth gaining some insight. We need to develop new workflows and not be discouraged or convinced by naysayers. We need to evolve and absorb new design criteria. We can’t keep avoiding risk and paying someone else to do the work. If we do that we can just jump on the obsolescence train and ride it to oblivion.

“Innovation, interoperability and community are the things that will drive our industry forward. Without these we will simply stagnate.”
-Rob Jackson of Bond Bryan Architects

EcoDesigner STAR and lonely BIG BIM

You know where this diagram comes from, right?

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  • February 21, 2013

    Conor Moriarty

    I have to admit that when I read His comments in the article, I felt both patronised and annoyed. I used to lecture in the area of 2 & 3D computer graphics in the college where I studied architecture. The autodesk suite of products has been the backbone of most of my work for nearly 20 years. I’ve recently moved to ArchiCAD. Ecodesigner was a big part of my reason for moving. Why? Because it is standard compliant with PHPP. I’m a CEPH and ArchiCAD takes away the tedious job of manually entering the projects into excel. I don’t see autodesk offering a compliant solution to this problem. Maybe he thinks this “sustainability thing” is just a fad!!! Or maybe in a few more years Autodesk will play catch up by swallowing a few smaller companies with better solutions in order to plug them into Autocad. Hey, it means they don’t have to be creative!!!! Why don’t we wait a few years and see…..

  • March 2, 2013

    Kennedy is thinking 1980s…the world has changed and so have the expectations of clients that architects should be doing more, know more and are capable of handling more of the engineering content that underpin the physical performance of their designs. The idea that architects are too lazy or are afraid of dealing with areas of engineering that they should already know a great deal about is simply nuts.

    In the same way that present-day computing environments enable the blurring of white and blue collar jobs (BIM-equivalent design software-rapid prototyping via 3D printing-finished product using -axis CNC machine tooling), so too BIM and all of the engineering and environmental aspects of BIM will enable and require architects to know and manipulate many more dimensions of their designs than has been the case for the past 50 plus years.

    My guess is that those who are afraid of the expanding world of BIM or who won’t step up to the plate and become incredibly familiar with it and adept at using the expanding array of tools (e.g. EcoDesigner Star, MEP and more to come), will wonder how the world passed them by.

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