Shoegnome | Shoegnome Being an Architect in the 21st Century Ain't Easy Mon, 24 Nov 2014 23:46:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 GRAPHISOFT ArchiCAD Now Fully-Integrated with LumenRT 2015 Mon, 24 Nov 2014 23:46:03 +0000 Are you familiar with LumenRT? It looks really cool. If nothing else watch the teaser video. Wow.

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Jared’s Note: This is awesome. If you aren’t familiar with LumenRT, here’s a quick video to blow your mind:

I’m super fascinated with how we can model the environments around our designs. So much potential. I’ll definitely be looking into the connect between LumenRT and ArchiCAD more in the future. But first I’ll probably have to clone myself, learn how to not sleep, or somehow get an employee… But before that I’m sure I’ll at least write more about the possibilities of what we could do with this type of tool.

BUDAPEST, November 24, 2014 GRAPHISOFT®, the leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) architectural software developer, has announced that it is now fully-integrated with LumenRT 2015 on the PC and Mac platforms. The interface includes full support for the export of ArchiCAD geometry and BIM information along with an integrated LumenRT proxy content library of plants, vehicles and characters. With the ArchiCAD LumenRT Exporter (standard on all versions of LumenRT), ArchiCAD users can instantly transform their models into rich, immersive scenery complete with wind-blown trees, moving vehicles, animated characters, wavy water, clouds and atmospheres.


“LumenRT is possibly the best thing that has happened to BIM since BIM itself, by allowing the exploration of BIM scenes in real-time with a true-to-life environment,” said Ivo Venkov, Architect and Founder, PAA Studio.

“ArchiCAD integration has been a top request from our users and we are pleased to deliver this important capability with LumenRT 2015,” said Nicholas Phelps, CEO of e-on software. “The GRAPHISOFT team was extremely helpful during the integration process and we look forward to providing LumenRT to the ArchiCAD user community. We believe the combination of ArchiCAD and LumenRT delivers unparalleled environmental realism in a simple-to-use, real-time platform and is a must have for any ArchiCAD user seeking a more compelling and engaging way to convey their design vision.”

“We welcome e-on software and LumenRT into the ArchiCAD community,” said Laszlo Vertesi, GRAPHISOFT Vice President of Product Development. “LumenRT provides a rich environmental modeling capability that nicely compliments the ArchiCAD BIM solution.”

About LumenRT

LumenRT is the leading 3D immersive communication platform for architecture and GeoDesign. With LumenRT, architects, designers, engineers, and GIS professionals can convey their design ideas and vision in much more compelling and engaging fashion to tell a story by allowing the audience to “experience” the design rather than just seeing it. To learn more about LumenRT, please visit

About e-on

E-on software is the leading developer of solutions for the creation, animation, rendering and integration of natural 3D environments (Vue, Ozone and Carbon Scatter), as well as real-time Immersive Communication tools for Architecture and GeoDesign. Offering a wide array of Digital Nature products and applications, e-on software provides solutions adapted to every project and budget. E-on software products are used worldwide by the film, television, architecture, construction, game, science, educational and entertainment industries. E-on software is based in Beaverton, Oregon, with a European office in Paris, France. Visit their website at


GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ArchiCAD®, the industry-first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud®, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner™, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007. Visit to see the most important milestones in ArchiCAD’s 30-year history.

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Seattle ArchiCAD User Group – December 11th, 2014 Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:24:50 +0000 The next Seattle ArchiCAD User Group is coming up. Get more details and join us.

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ArchiCAD User Group - 18Our next official Seattle ArchiCAD User Group is coming up soon. Register Here.


Thursday December 11, 2014
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM


92 Lenora St
Seattle, WA 98121


Jesse Gallanar, GSNA’s sales manager for Washington, Oregon, and Alaska

What’s Happening:

When you register, you’ll see the official topics of discussion. I listed a bunch of things there, as I’m going to be the “speaker”. But if you’ve ever been to a user group that I’ve run, you know lengthy lectures aren’t my style. I’ll start talking about the items on that list, and return to the list if things get quiet, but I don’t care if we cover even one of those items. What I want to see—and what I hope to facilitate as the speaker—is a two hour discussion about ArchiCAD that continues afterwards at a local bar**. Sound good? So bring whatever you need: questions, a project, a printout, a gripe, a coworker, a friend, a disgruntled Revit user. I don’t care. I just want to get a big bunch of passionate ArchiCAD and BIM users together to talk about what’s important. You in?

In preparation for the event, download my template. There’s TONS Of things in it to talk about. Oh and please share this post and e-mail it to all your coworkers. I know not everyone gets the official e-mails about user groups—especially new and/or quieter employees.


Subscribe to my blog to read more about the tricky world of being an Architect in the 21st century, and more info on various ArchiCAD meet-ups across the globe: Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and the RSS feed. If you haven’t already, consider signing up and attending the BIG North American ArchiCAD user conference in March 2015.


**100% yes we will be having an after-party ArchiCAD nerdfest at a nearby bar. And I think, as with the previous meetings, Jesse will be feeding us.

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KUBUS introduces BIMcollab Fri, 21 Nov 2014 05:03:37 +0000 Official press release about BIMcollab from KUBUS. It takes BCF collaboration to a whole new level. Also they are now giving away for free their BCF managers for Revit, ArchiCAD, and simplebim. That's awesome. I love when people put sharing and promoting BIM at the top of their priority list.

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Jared’s Note: I’ve tested out the BCF manager (for ArchiCAD) by KUBUS and it’s great. So I imagine this extension of BCF collaboration via BIMcollab will be just as stellar and well executed. As part of the release of this new product, the BCF Managers for ArchiCAD, Revit, and simplebim are now free. So you have no excuses to not try them. Also if your BIM software isn’t one of those three, KUBUS is providing for free everything you need to build add-ons for other BIM programs—well you being someone with software development skills. I know a lot of people say “oh working all on the same platform is just easier”; well with advances like this, that statement is more narrow-minded and shortsighted every day.


BIMcollab®: The world’s first OpenBIM issue management platform in the cloud

Eindhoven, Netherlands 4 November – KUBUS announces the introduction of a new ground breaking product in one of the most interesting front lines of BIM: BIMcollab®. This BCF based issue management system in the cloud operates across applications. It helps bridge the differences between BIM tools and targets the multidisciplinary cooperation between companies working on construction projects. BIMcollab® is designed to manage issues during the design and construction phases where BIM is used.

“Most issue trackers lack key features to support a reliable and smooth BIM workflow for the multidisciplinary construction projects. That is why we created an easy-to-use, though powerful, issue tracking system for BIM projects.” says Erik Pijnenburg CEO of KUBUS

Issues found with, for instance, Solibri Model Checker or BIMsight can be published to BIMcollab®. The BIM modeller will be automatically notified and can immediately look up the problematic objects in his BIM authoring tool (Revit, ArchiCAD, etc). Once a solution is designed, it takes only one click to resolve the issue and report back to the BIM manager.

“In any construction project many unexpected problems and issues arise which are hard to manage and keep track of. BIMcollab® centralizes issue management in the cloud and simplifies this process by offering a structured way of storing, sharing and managing issues.” Ronald de Graan director of product management at KUBUS. “But more important, you have the information where it’s needed most: directly within your BIM model checker and BIM authoring tools.”

BIMcollab® offers easy access anywhere and anytime from any device like mobiles and tablets. It also allows creating issues by taking photos right at the construction site. The real-time connections ensure up-to-date information.

With the introduction of BIMcollab® we now offer the full version of our BCF Managers for free. These add-ons for Revit, simplebim and ArchiCAD have a direct link to BIMcollab® from the aforementioned BIM authoring tools.

BIMcollab® will be officially released in the first week of December.

For more information visit


KUBUS offers BIM for Design & Build and is exclusive distributor for Graphisoft and Gold partner of Solibri, Inc. in the Benelux. KUBUS promotes OpenBIM and IFC workflow solutions and is developer of the most widely used software for Building Specifications for Dutch standards, cost-calculations and eco-cost material analysis based on BIM. KUBUS developed BIMcollab®, world’s first cloud based issue management system for BIM. From offices in Eindhoven, Amsterdam, and Belgrade, KUBUS services currently over 3,000 customers within the construction industry of the Benelux.

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Shoegnome Open Template for ArchiCAD 18 Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:28:50 +0000 Did you like my template for ArchiCAD 17? Well I have finally gotten around to updating the Shoegnome Open Template for ArchiCAD 18. Enjoy!

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Shoegnome Open Template - 18 (large)

The Shoegnome Open Template for ArchiCAD 18 has arrived! Here are the download links:

I separated out the FAQ because it was getting long. If you’ve read it before, go ahead and re-skim it. I’ve added and changed a few things.

What’s new in the template for ArchiCAD 18?

A lot of things. The template is completely rebuilt off of the ArchiCAD 18 USA residential template. I didn’t mess much with some things (mostly Fills, Surfaces, and Line Types), but of course completely obliterated or heavily reworked other things (Pen Sets, Layers, Building Materials, Layout book, etc). The most recent ArchiCAD 18 USA template actually isn’t half bad. I finally added all the schedules I’ve been using for the last few months. And I know I forgot or didn’t get to some stuff, but that’s okay. I’m continually working on the template, so I’ll just get whatever I missed/is wrong whenever v18.2 comes out. If you’ve used or looked at my version 17 template, a lot will be familiar, but this is definitely a big evolution. For instance…

Look at the image above. That’s a 100% live section view of the model. Absolutely no 2D. Just the magic of Pen Sets and Building Materials. I’ll write some posts and record some videos over the next few weeks that explain the what and why. Though of course if you download the template, it’ll all be fairly clear.

Clarity is definitely what I focused on in this iteration of the Shoegnome Open Template. I tried to simplify Layers further, rename everything to be even more clear, whatever I could do to make the template easier to understand and use. To that end I also spent a bit of yesterday creating a very small project within the template so that you could see how everything works together. The FAQ talks more about that.

There are some further notes in the file which you should see when you first open it. Read those too. And finally, if you think I’m crazy to head down the path of color drawings, that’s okay. The template works just as well if you ignore the three colorized Pen sets (but I’m getting ahead of myself, that’s a discussion for my 7th Pen Sets post).

What are you waiting for? Go download the Shoegnome Open Template for ArchiCAD 18! Did I mention it’s free, if you want it to be? Because it is. Unless you’d rather send some support money my way. Because you can do that too.

Subscribe to my blog to read more about the tricky world of being an Architect in the 21st century. Want to reminisce about the original launch of the Shoegnome Open Template back in early 2014? Sometime soon I’ll explain why a good ArchiCAD Template and caring about learning BIM is so critical to being a successful Architect in the fast approaching future. Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and the RSS feed.

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Toilet Diagram Fri, 14 Nov 2014 18:25:33 +0000 This diagram makes me smile and made my wife laugh, so...
I'm sharing it.

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Toilet Diagram(click image to see larger)

While working on a post for BIM Engine a few weeks ago, this diagram popped into my head. I don’t know why. It has nothing to do with anything else on the blog, but you know…a toilet diagram is sort of architecture. And I used a powerful BIM program to create the image. So maybe file this under ‘other uses of ArchiCAD and Building Information Modeling’…I mean I guess I could create a schedule of the diagram or make it viewable in 3D? Perhaps a BIMx model?

Or maybe let’s just have a good laugh and a great weekend.

Subscribe to my blog to read more about the tricky world of being an Architect in the 21st century, and maybe some more random diagrams, cartoons, and posts that are complete non sequiturs: Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and the RSS feed.

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Trimble Releases SketchUp 2015 for a Faster, More Intuitive and Flexible Information Modeling Process Tue, 04 Nov 2014 19:31:04 +0000 SketchUP 2015 has arrived. Two releases in one year, yikes! With more IFC capabilities AND 64-bit support this is a HUGE update, arguably the biggest yet. 64-bit means all the RAM you want. So one of the big downfalls of SketchUp (slowness due to large models) might have just vanished overnight.

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Jared’s Note: 64-bit and improved IFC (more on both here) are a BIG FUCKING DEAL. SketchUp maxing out at 4 gigs of RAM due to it’s 32-bit nature was (in my opinion) one of the few remaining examples of it being a second class BIM program. Models get big. Programs get slow. The other major BIM players have been (more or less) 64-bit for sometime. It seemed odd that SketchUp still wasn’t. Well that barrier is gone. The details remain to be seen, but the fact that it can harness all the RAM on a machine is a clear sign that SketchUp is being ramped up to handle some amazing complexity.

So now that SketchUp is in the 64-bit league, and continues to improve it’s IFC capabilities, the big remaining question is internal collaboration. Will 2016 see some form of work sharing? If it does, hot damn and holy fuck.

The speed of improvements and continued evolution of SketchUp since being acquired by Trimble continue to impress me. With each new release, I get more optimistic about the health of the AEC software space in general. I hope Graphisoft, Nemetschek, Autodesk, et al. are watching, learning, and working hard to progress just as fast.

BTW, if you missed my thoughts on SketchUp 2014 and the new world of BIM, read that here before or after digesting the press release below.

New Version Enhances Platform, Adding Speed, Collaboration and Interoperability Capabilities for Better 3D Modeling Resultsbg_sketchup_2015_landing

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 4, 2014—Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) today released SketchUp 2015, the latest version of the world’s most widely used 3D modeling software for architects, engineers, design and construction professionals, as well as members of the global maker community. This release marks Trimble’s second update to the SketchUp software this year and underscores the company’s continued focus on enhancing the platform to make SketchUp faster, more user-friendly and reliable for the thousands of professionals who use it every day.

The announcement was made at Trimble Dimensions.

With a SketchUp user community expanding by more 30 million unique activations in the past year, enhancements to SketchUp 2015 have been designed to deepen and enrich the user experience, while keeping it intuitive. New features make it easier and faster to create, access, share and collaborate on 2D drawings and 3D models. SketchUp 2015 offers 64-bit support for Windows or Mac, while IFC file import capabilities allows back-and-forth sharing of IFC files between SketchUp Pro and any other application.

“For the second release of SketchUp this year, we set out to make enhancements to the platform that might seem simple, but go a long way toward making SketchUp more enjoyable and impactful for our user community,” said John Bacus, director of SketchUp product management at Trimble. “For example, as interoperability continues to be the cornerstone of collaboration among architecture, engineering and construction professionals, the IFC file import is an important addition because it opens up the options for professionals to participate in the information modeling process, sharing files with ease, regardless of the software program.”

Fast, Flexible and Powerful

  • 64-bit Support:  In addition to continued support for 32-bit systems, SketchUp Pro 2015 is available in a 64-bit version for Windows and Mac. Trimble also now offers cross-platform support for all licenses, along with cloud-based license management and checkout capabilities for network licenses.
  • IFC Import:  In addition to export, SketchUp Pro users can now share models between Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools and apply industry standard types that stay with the model as it travels with SketchUp 2015’s new IFC file import.
  • Ruby API and Extension Warehouse Enhancements:  A variety of improvements to SketchUp’s Ruby API (application programming interface) and to the Extension Warehouse of SketchUp plug-ins and add-ons makes it easier than ever for developers to build and share great new tools. Developers can now access and modify information modeling classifications via the Ruby API.
  • Faster Core:  Models render faster with core modeling performance improvements including faster explode, intersect and Fast Styles.

More Easy-to-Use Tools

  • Professional Drafting:  Using SketchUp’s LayOut 2D drawing and documentation tool, users can manage drawings more easily and display more data from their information models, applying object classifications in SketchUp and easily accessing that info in LayOut using an enhanced annotation tool.
  • Modeling Tools:  With the addition of a 3-point Arc tool, users can now draw arced edges four different ways. A new Rotated Rectangle tool allows for drawing precise rectangles unbound by default axes.
  • Expanded 3D Warehouse:  New models of popular brand-name building products are added to 3D Warehouse every day, greatly expanding SketchUp’s free content offering. With over 2.5 million models, 3D Warehouse offers SketchUp users a vast array of free models to choose from. A new “Likes” feature lets users tell the world when they?ve found a great model.

Collaborate Across Trimble Products

SketchUp 2015 also facilitates collaboration with data and files from other Trimble® products.

  • As a “Trimble Connected” product, SketchUp Pro 2015 leverages the new Trimble Connect collaboration environment for design, engineering and construction projects. Based on recently acquired Gehry Technologies’ GTeam™ software, Trimble Connect enables teams to access and manage project data via a cloud platform. A Trimble Connect extension is available in the Extension Warehouse.
  • SketchUp Pro 2015 also supports 3D CAD and BIM services for mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) contractors through the new Trimble MEPdesigner for SketchUp platform, which enables contractors to quickly and easily migrate from a 2D to 3D work environment.
  • Calibrated panoramic photos can be loaded directly into SketchUp 2015 from the Trimble V10 Imaging Rover, to quickly model as-built conditions.

Try, Buy and Use SketchUp

SketchUp 2015 is available now. Every SketchUp 2015 download starts with a 30-day trial of Pro features. Even better, 2015 Pro licenses can be used on a Mac or a PC. Additional details and downloads are available at: Information on new platform licensing options can be found at:

SketchUp in Building Design, Construction and Operation 

SketchUp is a core product of Trimble Buildings, a part of Trimble’s Engineering and Construction segment that delivers solutions to optimize the complete Design-Build-Operate (DBO) lifecycle of buildings. Trimble’s product and professional service offering—spanning top brands such as SketchUp, Tekla, Gehry Technologies, Proliance, Vico Office, WinEst, Accubid, Manhattan Software, and more—improve productivity, visibility and data interoperability, from simulation to renovation. Used in over 150 countries around the world and supported by a global dealer and distribution partner network, Trimble technology is a mainstay of the building industry. Information on Trimble Buildings’ DBO portfolio is available at:

About Trimble

Trimble applies technology to make field and mobile workers in businesses and government significantly more productive. Solutions are focused on applications requiring positioning or location, including surveying, construction, agriculture, fleet and asset management, public safety and mapping. In addition to utilizing positioning technologies such as GPS, lasers and optics, Trimble solutions may include software content specific to the needs of the user.  Wireless technologies are utilized to deliver the solution to the user in the field and to ensure communication between the field and the office. Founded in 1978, Trimble is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Media Contact:   LeaAnn McNabb of Trimble: 408-481-7808

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ArchiCAD Interactive Schedule video Tutorial – Part 1 of n+1 Mon, 03 Nov 2014 22:23:00 +0000 A video discussing various aspects of creating a nice looking and functional window schedule in ArchiCAD using the Interactive Schedule.

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I got an e-mail today about Schedules and decided I’d just record a video response instead of answer the question in writing. I’ve been wanting to discuss schedules in both video and writing for a long time, but I keep getting sidetracked. If this video goes over well, I’ll aim to do more like this. Yes I know this skips some basics, but I’ll do an intro to Interactive Schedules in ArchiCAD another day. In an effort to make the turn around time on this question as fast as possible, I’ll get straight to the video…


  1. I hide the Library Part field by shrinking the placed View on the Layout. I’m not sure if that was clear. By putting working-only fields at the far right of the schedule they are easy to cut out of the placed View. I find that it is better to hide that information on the Layout rather than remove it from the schedule (less maintenance work and this also merges design utility with communication utility).
  2. It is hopefully obvious that while my schedules are grouped by ID or Story, the headlines could be anything: so group Windows by Manufacturer, Zones by Zone Category, whatever you want.
  3. Finally, everything I show here should be extrapolated to all other Interactive Schedules (so cabinetry, rooms, flooring, whatever you schedule). Like I said at the beginning of this post, I’ll do some videos that talk more about those atypical schedules and scheduling tips in general.

Interactive ScheduleSubscribe to my blog to read more about the tricky world of being an Architect in the 21st century: Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and RSS feed. What’s another topic you think I should cover? Tell me in the comments and I’ll try to record a video or write a post about it.

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What does your BIM content say about you? Mon, 03 Nov 2014 20:08:20 +0000 Luke Johnston, the former Marketing and Development Manager for the Britex Group (Australia) has some great advice for BIM content creators.

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Not so quick note from Jared: Luke sent me this post back on July 30th, 2014. I am now just getting around to sharing it. I know, I know. Just remember I posted more in October 2014 than I did cumulatively from June 2014 through Septmeber 2014. And Luke’s is not the only guest post I still need to share. If you are super savvy, you might have noticed this post has been on Britex’s blog since that same day in July. Well it’s a crazy good post and even though I’m months late, I still wanted to share it. Of course three months can sometimes be an eternity and in that time Luke has since left Britex after eight years to start his own BIM-focused endeavors. You can check out his new company here. I’m excited to see what he does there and hopefully I’ll get some more guest posts from him. He’s got such a different view of the world of BIM than the average blogger.

What does your BIM content say about you?

Manufacturers around the world are making BIM content available for their products to meet increasing demand from their AEC clients. But do manufacturers really know what impact their BIM content is having on their brand and reputation?

All BIM content is NOT created equal

At present, most manufacturers investing in BIM content are outsourcing creation to specialist content creators. Few manufacturers possess the skills and understanding to generate quality content themselves. Some of this outsourced content is great and some of it is, well, not so great. Absolutely useless might be another way of putting it.

You are what you BIM

By making their content available to their clients in various ways, including hosting it on their own websites, manufacturers are taking ownership of their content. And rightly so. But like anything that bears your company’s name, it’s a representation of your brand and a direct reflection of your company’s commitment to quality.

If your clients look at your BIM content and see major flaws in the way the content is created, this does not reflect well on your ability to meet your client’s needs. Perhaps more importantly, it doesn’t portray the commitment to quality you want associated with the products you are ultimately trying to sell.

BIM content is a product. Quality matters.

It’s a harsh association perhaps, but when I see BIM content with glaring issues, my opinion of the manufacturer certainly doesn’t improve. If I was a specifier comparing two manufacturers and one had major flaws in their content, how would that affect my perception of those two companies and their approach to holistic quality? Consciously or subconsciously, how would this then translate to my specification decisions?

Ignorance may be bliss…. but only temporarily

When I speak with other manufacturers, those who have BIM content tend to say so with a great sense of pride. Yet, somewhat frighteningly, some can’t even tell me what formats they have available. Even fewer are able to make any quantifiable statements about the quality of their content. Furthermore, short of seeing a few ‘pictures’ of their content, hardly any have actually test driven their content, or seen someone else do it for them. For me, these are major oversights.

I ask manufacturers this question. Would you be happy for a website designer to create a website for your company and make it live without you having reviewed it? Of course they wouldn’t. It would be madness not to review a website, catalogue, press release or even a new product design first before showing it to your clients. What if it’s terrible? What if it’s not right? So why don’t so many manufacturers have at least a basic understanding of their BIM content if they’re using this as a primary part of their sales and marketing efforts? You are putting an enormous amount of faith in your content creator to properly understand your product and produce a quality BIM solution.

BIM ConversationWhy is proofing BIM content any different?

The obvious difference is that most manufacturers can’t really evaluate their own BIM content. They lack the tools and the skills to review their content and will generally only judge the outcome on how the models look from an aesthetic point of view, which is often the first mistake in itself (as I explained HERE). Understanding BIM content is currently perceived as a bridge too far by a lot of manufacturers.

What’s the solution?

I believe the solution is for manufacturers to start learning about BIM and more specifically, learning as much as they can about how their products can and should represent in a BIM format. Mitigate your risks and maximise your potential gains by knowing what a quality outcome should be. At the very least you will be able to understand the feedback you are getting from third parties (i.e. your clients) if you ask for it. And you should. You are also more capable of contributing valuable insights during the creation process.

Understanding BIM is an AEC marketing must

Let me put it like this. Twenty years ago, sales and marketing people knew nothing about websites. But over time we have learnt about ‘foreign’ subjects like SEO, metadata and web design principles. We are now able to critique a website with greater technical ability. An even better illustration of this point is that most of us knew nothing about the products we now promote (I know I knew nothing about stainless steel plumbing fixtures before working at Britex) but we learnt enough to create technical marketing materials. This is what we do. We learn about associated subjects that make us better at our job. We don’t need to be industry experts in all of these areas, but we learn enough to make better, more informed decisions. BIM should be no different. Understanding at least basic BIM principles and BIM content fundamentals will make you better at your job.

Is it worth it? Is it really necessary?

Manufacturers who are truly investing in BIM are already seeing great return on investment in areas like specification frequency, reputation, goodwill and improved processes relating to procurement. There are some fabulous examples of manufacturers who have used their BIM investment to reposition and elevate themselves above their competitors. These manufacturers are not just having content created for them, but working cohesively with their creators and in some cases, creating it themselves. They are learning about BIM processes, articulating the facets of their content with their clients in ‘BIM speak’, attending BIM events and adopting industry standards where applicable. In this sense, BIM shouldn’t be something that is ‘tacked on’. BIM should be integrated.

I believe the day is nigh that any manufacturer seeking excellence in servicing the AEC sector will employ their own quasi ‘BIM Manager’. This person won’t just create BIM content but contribute in various ways to the sales, marketing and operational requirements of the business. A number of manufacturers have already done this.

Understanding the basics of BIM content is not a bridge too far for manufacturers. It’s just another bridge. In fact, it’s right in front of you. Stop looking at it and start the journey of walking across it.

Follow Luke on Twitter

Author Profile:

Luke Johnston was the Marketing and Development Manager for The Britex Group (Australia). A self-confessed ‘BIM Addict’, Luke commenced working with Britex in 2006 and has extensive experience working with a vast range of key stakeholders within the AEC supply chain, predominantly Architects, Interior Designers, Hydraulic Engineers and Building Contractors. In recent years, Luke has coordinated the creation of the Britex BIM library and is a regular contributor to BIM community groups and online BIM discussions. Luke has a particular interest in BIM content generation (Revit + ArchiCAD predominantly) and the key role that manufacturers play in advancing collaborative BIM processes.

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Advantages of BIM in Renovation & Communication Webinar Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:34:38 +0000 Curious about how other architects are using ArchiCAD on renovation projects? Here's a webinar for you.

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Curious about how other architects are using ArchiCAD on renovation projects? This presentation was recently given (and well received) at the 2014 AIA National Convention and the USC BIM Conference.

Calumet Renovation ProjectAdvantages of BIM in Renovation & Communication

Live Webinar | November 13th | 1pm ET

Case Study: STR and Calumet Middle School

The renovation of Calumet Middle School in Calumet Park, IL, is a good example of effective BIM strategy for renovation projects. The architects used BIM to extensively document and graphically present information from within a single building model. In this webinar, we will look at how STR Partners used ArchiCAD BIM software to remodel the school:

  • 62,000SF facility, over 100 years old; did not meet ADA or ASHRAE standards
  • Needed to renovate over 7,000SF + 55,000SF of new construction
  • Work needed to be completed while building was partially occupied and operating.

Attend this webinar to learn how ArchiCAD can benefit your next renovation project by:

  • Enhancing Collaboration: Bring the project team together with a holistic approach to collaboration.
  • Minimizing Logistical Challenges: Easily create phasing models, construction sequencing and flow diagrams.
  • Reducing Bid Costs with Interactive Scheduling: Create highly accurate documents and a wealth of information in the early design stages.
  • Eliminating Redundancy in Documentation: ArchiCAD’s Renovation feature only requires a single model file for multiple construction phases.

Learn More and Register


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What OpenBIM Does For You (and the life cycle of BIM) Thu, 30 Oct 2014 23:27:57 +0000 Have you and all your collaborators watched this video about OpenBIM and why the AEC industry needs to change? I'm going to guess no.

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Have you and all your collaborators watched the OpenBIM video by buildingSMART Norway about why the AEC industry needs to change? I’m going to guess no, since—as of me writing this—the video has only about 5,100 views. It’s a great explanation of the benefits of BIM and OpenBIM (which really should just be BIM, because really is there any reason NOT to be open?).

The video goes through how each key player uses BIM, from client to design team to building authority to contractor (and subs/product vendors) to property caretaker. Design team is such a better term than architect, engineer, etc. as it’s a good reminder that during the design phase the owner/author of the BIM isn’t one individual or entity, but a group. Likewise I think if we say that it’s design team, construction team, etc. then we can remember that within each of those groups are often all the players. So the design team, which might be led by the architect, includes the architect, the contractor, interior designers, the owner, etc. Likewise the construction team might have all those same players but be led by a different individual/company. This seems pretty critical to success when trying to get the most out of BIM. All these individuals need to be involved throughout the life cycle of BIM and the project, but over time the leader needs to change.  I know we’ve all been in situations where the wrong entity has been running the wrong phase of the project. It’s never fun when the contractor, client, or architect is calling the shots when they should really be listening and advising.

In addition to loving the concept of design team, construction team, etc. I really like that the above video starts with the client/owner and ends with the operator/owner. Essentially the life cycle of BIM starts and ends with the same entity. Well not ends, because buildings continue to exist and therefor so should the BIM. Thus it’s not so much as starting and ending with the owner, but just RETURNING to the owner before the cycle starts again—for renovations, additions, repairs, demolition, etc. It requires a bit of simplification and ignores the serpentine nature of getting buildings built, but all of what I just wrote brings me to this diagram:

BIM life cycle

Imagine a BIM file (perhaps a simple spreadsheet or basic model exported as an IFC file) that starts with the owner and continues to get handed-off, developed, and expanded by all the subsequent teams. By embracing OpenBIM it could travel between software packages, depending on the needs and skills of the various team members over the life of the BIM. How great and beneficial would that be? I just love the concept of the actual data starting with the client—the details of that though need a post unto itself.

We Are the Wrong Line on this Graph

So what? Why does BIM matter? Why does OpenBIM matter more? Why does the building industry need to work harder to become more efficient, collaborative, and supportive (all benefits of OpenBIM)?

Productivity over timeThis image, which is a screen capture from the video, should scare us all. We haven’t been doing enough to improve our situation over the past couple of decades. We are the inefficient laggards.

I wrote about another vision of the life cycle of BIM in early 2013. Reread that post and remember that I end with a leap towards augmented reality and the Internet of Things. Think about how much closer we are to that future than we were a mere 20-24 months ago. Remember Smart Things? They are now owned by Samsung. We need to get serious about the life cycle of BIM described above because our buildings need it. Now. We BIM-enabled AEC participants need it. Now. Otherwise we’ll just be cut out and the dream of our work continuing in digital form post-construction will wither and die.

Do you have thoughts about the future of our built environment? Want to share your ideas as a guest blogger? E-mail me! Subscribe to my blog to read more about the tricky world of being an Architect in the 21st century: Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and RSS feed. And now you can join the LinkedIN group too.

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ArchiCAD 18 Hotfix #1 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:47:54 +0000 ArchiCAD 18 Hotfix #1 which includes various fixes plus additional compatibility with OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

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ArchiCAD 18 banner

ArchiCAD 18 Hotfix-1 package (build 4020) was released today. You can read about all the details and download the hotfix (if your ArchiCAD isn’t set to automatically notify you) here. There are a whole host of updates, from BIMx fixes to speed improvements to some crash fixes. As always this Hotfix applies to ArchiCAD, BIM Server and all other components: BIMx, MEP Modeler and all GRAPHISOFT-distributed Add-Ons and Goodies. Additionally this Hotfix (and all future hotfixes) now also pertain to BIMcloud, for those of you using it as well.

This Hotfix, according to the Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite page on the Help Center, is also considered the compatibility update for ArchiCAD 18. If you are only using ArchiCAD 18 (and not 17, which is still waiting for its compatibility update), then you should feel comfortable with upgrading to 10.10—caveats below. If you still need ArchiCAD 17 on a regular basis, read the notes on the link above and decide if you are comfortable upgrading or not.

Some interesting fixes are:

  • 177358 EDIT: Building Material names were limited to 64 characters.
  • 177475 EDIT: Selecting a Favorite with a double click disabled the Tracker on Mac
  • 178259 EDIT/SPEED: Placing an object that writes to a text file took a lot longer than in previous versions
  • 144452 USER INTERFACE: The last visited view was not highlighted in the View Map upon reopening the project

What I find fascinating about many of the changes (if you spend the time to skim them), is that you’ll often learn something new about ArchiCAD. Did you know that it’s possible for ArchiCAD Objects to write to a text file? I’m sure it takes GDL wizardry, but it’s doable! Also have you ever noticed that the last view visited is highlighted in the View Map when you reopen a project? I’m not sure I did.

As mentioned above, there are some fixes that are related to OS X 10.10 Compatibility. Make sure you align your Mac OS upgrade with this Hotfix release. And if you have some deadlines very soon, you might want to hold off updating both your OS and ArchiCAD. Things should be okay, but one never knows. Best to play it safe. That said, I’ll probably update this weekend, because I’m living on the edge. And have no deadlines this week or next. Just more writing to do.

Remember to update everyone using Teamwork 2 (including the BIM Server and BIMcloud) at the same time. I continue to work on Teamwork 2 projects that I’m not in charge of all the users, so I need to coordinate with my teammates to make sure we align our ArchiCAD upgrade.

For more on ArchiCAD compatibility with the never-ending cycle of new OS, click here.

10/31/2014 Update: Did you notice that this isn’t a Hotfix? It’s an Update. I guess starting with this Update, Graphisoft has changed its terminology. Interesting. Or maybe there is a real difference between a Hotfix and an Update. We’ll see.

Make sure to follow Shoegnome on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re not a social media person, RSS feed is also a great way to never miss anything either.

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GRAPHISOFT BIMcloud Extends Workflow Integration to Mobile Devices with Newest, Free Update Tue, 28 Oct 2014 20:59:11 +0000 Graphisoft connects BIMcloud and BIMx, communication ensues.

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BUDAPEST, October 28, 2014 – GRAPHISOFT®, the leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) architectural software developer, has announced a strategic update to its recently released BIMcloud® solution, offering integrated team messaging for mobile devices such as the iPhone/iPad.
BIMcloud plus BIMx
GRAPHISOFT launched BIMcloud in March of this year and has received very positive feedback from both the industry and users. BIMcloud was awarded a Silver Stevie Award in the Best New Product or Service of the Year – Software – Cloud Application/Service category in the 11th Annual International Business Awards.

Thanks to this latest update to BIMcloud, external team members can also be directly involved in the BIM workflow through the integrated Team Messaging that is now enabled for mobile devices as well. An Internet connection is all that’s needed for access from any device, including mobile devices. Here’s how it works:

  • members of the architectural design team run ArchiCAD in the office environment to create and author the BIM project;
  • the BIM project is hosted, shared and managed through GRAPHISOFT BIMcloud, providing access to the projects from anywhere in the world;
  • external team members such as designers visiting the construction site or clients and consultants can join the BIM workflow by using GRAPHISOFT’s BIMx Docs app. The app allows sending and receiving instant messages with annotated model views to other team members, providing invaluable design feedback to the design team working in the office.

László Vértesi, Vice President of Product Development, GRAPHISOFT, said, “BIMcloud is the backbone of the GRAPHISOFT BIM value circle. With this latest update, architects, their clients, and contractors can now get intimately involved in the BIM workflow and send their feedback to the design team placed in the model context, bringing profound clarity to team communication.”

To take advantage of BIMcloud’s mobile integration, users are invited to download and install the latest, free ArchiCAD and BIMcloud product updates, as well as update their BIMx app via the App store after our live, online BIMcloud demo on October 30. Please note that BIMcloud mobile integration for Android OS users will be available at a later date.

Join us on October 30 for a live demonstration of the groundbreaking workflow integration of GRAPHISOFT’s BIMcloud solution with mobile devices by registering for a free, online seminar:

About BIMcloud

GRAPHISOFT’s BIMcloud Solution goes far beyond basic cloud services offerings available on the market today. Thanks to its unique set of features, it is the only cloud solution that offers a true, model-based BIM collaboration environment for companies and projects of any size. With the help of its mobile integration through the cloud, all stakeholders of the design-build process can actively participate in the collaborative work. Its private cloud setup option enables companies working on projects with extended security requirements to keep their data on premise and entirely under control, offering the benefits and flexibility of the cloud to all AEC projects without exception.


GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ArchiCAD®, the industry-first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud®, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner™, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007. Visit to see the most important milestones in ArchiCAD’s 30-year history.

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