Monday, January 30, 2012

Some advise for BIM Managers of Contractors

In Turkish we have a saying "Where logic ends, military service begins."

I always remember this sentence when I am dealing with contractors so that I will not waste my time trying to understand what they are actually trying to do:))

Especially when it comes to BIM Implementation Plans of contractors. I have so many friends who are working as BIM Managers and their main task is to implement a "BIM Process" to the contractor's organization.

They feel like they are the "Don Quixote" of the organization fighting against the giants (windmills actually).

After 8 years experience in the industry, my current opinion is any kind of process change can not be applied to the overall organization of a contractor in one go. Especially BIM!

Contractors thinks and acts "Project Based"not as an overall company. The minds of the engineers and project managers are also set to their own project's success. Nothing more nothing less! 

Yes, if they make long term plans the implementation will be faster, more efficient and less costly as well but who cares:)

So as a BIM Manager do not be Don Quixote and try to beat the giant over a night. Think like a contractor. Focus on a single project.

Take it slow and prepare your implementation plan on based on a pilot project only.

Do internal marketing!

Share your project success with other project teams! 

Show your output! Explain your working methods!

Show your quantities to the QS team and let them compare with theirs! (Do not worry! I have not seen a single case where the manual quantities were more accurate:))

Prepare the minds of your next project's team with the BIM idea!

One project at a time! No need to rush for the success!

Diyane Koseoglu

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Backup your BIM Server in one go!

Good Morning Everyone!

Today's post is again about ArchiCAD and BIM Server and how to backup it in one go.

This time it is a pre-disaster planning rather than a post-disaster planning scenario:)

Jothi explains how to back up your complete BIM Server (including all the projects, users, access right etc) in one go. You can use this method when you are moving the BIM Server from one computer to another or just changing the location.

I hope you will enjoy it:)

Diyane Koseoglu
Jothi Shanmugam

Where are the BIMers of the Middle East?

My new hobby is to check the "stats" page of our blog. I am checking it out almost every 2 hours as long as I have internet access.

I am like a kid at the moment. Every new hit is making me so happy that you can not even imagine:)

Last week, when I was checking the "Audience" part I was shocked!

In the Top 10, there is no single country from Middle East.

Let me give you the list of top 10 countries of last week:)

This reminds me the BuildingSmart's "BIM in the Middle East 2011" survey.

In that report, United States was the first country in terms of number of BIM users and it was followed by Western Europe.

Tough I am no longer sure about the "25%" of GCC:)) If this number is correct then where are you guys? May be the BIMers in the Middle East do not really enjoy reading:))

Just kidding! Our earlier posts such as BIM vs OutlookBIM for Kids and Shell Tool in Action were very popular in the Middle East and North Africa as well.

Anyway, thank you very much for following our blog! Every and each member of BIMES team is very very pleased seeing that our efforts on this blog is really appreciated by the BIM community all over the world:)

Have a great day!

Diyane Koseoglu

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Do you want objective information on BIM?

The last time i read a book about my profession was in 2007 and it was for my thesis! Since then I have been more into internet search! But i was not happy with it at all! Yes, internet is an limitless ocean of information but majority of them is not reliable. Most of the time, I read the online articles, blogs etc with a "Sherlock Holmes" look on my face! "Is this information correct or are they trying to manipulate me" is the question which is flying in my head while scrolling. Last week, I received a book called BIM Handbook. The writers are quite well known in the BIM industry? Chuck Eastman, Paul Teicholz, Rafael Sacks and Kathleen Liston. Well, I have to congratulate the writers for the pure language they used and also being quite objective! Although the BIM topic is not the most entertaining topic, the book is still flowing easily! For the first time after long years, I am not feeling being manipulated by the things i am reading! If you are new to BIM and looking for objective information thisnis the book I would recommend! Here comes a more detailed review about it Have a great weekend! Diyane Koseoglu

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Can "Priority" settings in ArchiCAD make you 32 times faster than other BIM Tools?

Model based quantites!

New starter to BIM usually believes that if you have a model you can extract accurate quantities out of it.

But not always! Accuracy depends on the method of modelling.

For instance, designers/consultants models the columns from slab top to slab bottom so the model is also suitable for analysis software.

However, contractors prefers modeling from slab top to slab top due to the quantity surveying standards in the Middle East.

If you want accurate quantities from your model you should develop a "Modeling Guide for QS".

When you start preparing the standards, things will get more and more complicated as soon as the other construction elements such as walls, beams etc comes into the game.

However with the right priority seetings in ArchiCAD, you can manage to get accurate quantities without worrying to much about the modeling method.

This was the main reason that our BIM Service Team selected ArchiCAD as the main BIM Modeling Tool.

During our evaluation we noticed that due to the unavailability of "priority" settings in other BIM Tools, you have to find workarounds  by clumsier modeling methods which increases your modeling time 32 times compared to ArchiCAD.

We did our tests on a very simple model. (See below image)

If you set the priorities right, ArchiCAD will deduct the overlapping quantities such as column&wall or beam&beam intersections. However in other BIM Tools we have tested, you have to create individual walls in between columns since there is no other practical way of deducting the quantities.

Yes, ArchiCAD increases our BIM Service Team's productivity so our boss is in love with ArchiCAD:)))


Diyane Koseoglu

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Is BIM Getting out of Control?

"In your opinion, what do you think is the best performing 3D design software package on the market, in order to undertake quality 3D modelling on a BIM project?"

 The above is the title of a poll in LinkedIn.

When I see things like this, I feel the word "BIM" is getting out of control.

Not sure since when SketchUp is accepted as a BIM Solution?

People seems to forget about the "I" and focuses on "B" and "M".

Image representing Vico Software as depicted i...Image via CrunchBase
But then look at the VICO software which I totally respect the way it brings new dimensions to BIM.  I always believed that VICO is the right BIM solution for contractors, project managers, cost planners and I definitely find it very smart that they do not have modeling tool but they import models from almost any BIM tool.

Now, here comes the confusion for me.

VICO can import SkecthUp models and add 4D and 5D BIM to it basically.

So you can convert a 3D BM to 4D & 5D B"I"M.

Would I do that?

Probably not:)) But it is good to have the option:))

PS: I guess you all know which one I voted for:))

Diyane Koseoglu!/BIMESmarketing

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Save $$$ even before starting with BIM

Well, as we all know world's economy is not having it's best years!

Especially the smaller companies are suffering a lot!

During the recession in 2008-2009, large companies shrunk to half of their actual size. Sometimes even more. But the smaller companies did not have the room for shrinking! Shrinking meant closing for many of them!

So how can a small company can survive these tough days!

We all know BIM increases productivity, quality of the output etc. I am not going to talk about these well known facts!

How BIM can make your small business survive  these days is by "differentiating" your company from the competition!

Now assume that you are having your meeting with the client!

You can be sure that all your competitors are showing him pretty pictures of their projects.

So you have to differentiate yourself but how?

Use BIM as a supporting sales feature for your company.

- Your company uses the latest technology (BIM) which means you will deliver him the highest quality project. This will built trust.

- Give him a BIMx model that he can explore on his iPad or iPhone. He will be so impressed with you!

- Make a quick enery analysis with EcoDesigner and show him how much you are saving on his running costs by adding those shaders.

This list can continue depending on your creativity:)


I can almost hear you saying "I am telling you that I am suffering financially and you are telling me make huge investments to survive"

No! Not at all!
If you are a small practice, start with a small investment as well!

Instead of getting a full featured BIM software such as ArchiCAD 15 begin with ArchiCAD STAR(T) Edition!

It is a tailored solution for small companies. It does not have all the functions that a large office would need (such as BIM Server and Teamwork) but it does cover all the essentials of small ones.

Then, In the future, when the financial situation improves and your business grows you can upgrade it to the ArchiCAD full version!

Do not pay for training!

Internet is full of free content! Just download the Interactive Training Guides from Graphisoft's website and spend around 20-30 hours and you should be up and running!

Dont miss the opportunity to develop your business! In 5 years time BIM will no longer be a differentiator!

Diyane Koseoglu

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Very Big Problem!

I returned from my meeting and while saying hi to everyone I noticed the strange look on Jothi's face.

"Jothi, is everything OK?"

"No! Big problem, Diyane, very big problem!"

Oupps! Jothi is normally a very calm person and this was the first time I heard such a sentence from him.

He said our biggest client in the UAE moved their office and IT guys deleted the former user account and created a new one but they forgot to backup the BIM Server. Instead they copied some files which the BIM Server does not have access!

Yes, definitely a BIG problem!

I can freak out with small things such as being late for a meeting but when it comes to really BIG stuff I am usually very very calm.

As you can imagine this time, I was very calm as well:))

I calmly said "Don't worry Jothi! I am sure there is a way to access to those files. Please explain me exaclty what they have done."

This is usually the best way to solve a problem.

While summarizing the problem, he will either find a solution himself or somebody in the office will hear and come up with a genius solution:)

In our case it was both! Jothi solved half of it and Daniel helped with the remaining half.

All these happened last Thursday afternoon and every single person in the office was supposed to travel during the weekend and it would be only me and our office admin who would be left in the office.

Obviously it will be my "pleasure" to fix the problem on site since no one else is in town from the technical team:))

This means I have to learn all these tiny little tricks Daniel and Jothi has just discovered!


I took my notebook, sit next to Jothi and start listening!

Oh my god!

I didn't understand anything in the first run! This means many people will have the same experience!

"Jothi, let's make a favor to the ArchiCAD world. Record this as a tutorial please so that we can share. I am sure there will be people who would experience similar problems and this video will save their lives:)" I said.

Of course it saved me from taking pages of notes as well:)))

Here comes the video... I hope you will enjoy it.

PS: I visited our client's office on Saturday and fixed the problem with the help of this video:)) Thanks Jothi:))

Diyane Koseoglu

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Contractors! Please do not fall into the same trap as I did!


One of the strangest organization type in the world!

Especially in the Middle East contractors are gigantic organizations and their internal communication is quite weak!

You would assume a technology such as BIM, which brings clarity to the project and provides better communication would be immediately adopted by contractors.

No! Not at all!

Contractors are usually the latest adopters of any kind of technology. They do not "like" the word "change" at all.

Another thing that I have noticed about contractors is, they prefer micro management to macro management.

Everyone is interested purely on the benefits that BIM can bring to their own project or department. No more no less! They do not care about looking at the big picture!

Let me give you a solid example.

Think about a room of contractors. 100 - 120 attendees listening a 2 days conference on BIM!

They watch presentations about BIM usage for each phase of the project... from design to facilities management...

Guess what is the most popular question at the end?


Well, in order to have 4D you need to have 3D model. Once you have the 3D model you can easily go for 5D.

Wouldn't it be wiser to look at the whole picture and see what BIM can bring to the whole life cycle of the project?

"No, I am only interested in 4D"

Well, what to reply to this now?

This reminds me of myself during Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).

Last year, we decided to buy a TV during DSF. I am not much of a TV watcher actually so I was not very interested in specs. What attracted me was the gifts they were giving with the TV.

One offer was 15% voucher! Yihuuu! I can buy whatever I want:) 300 packs of brownie for instance:))

The other was free PlayStation with Move! Yihuuu! It's really fun!

Another offer was 3D Glasses! Yihuuu! I can watch Nemo in 3D:)) Can I conect it to my computer and view BIMx Models in 3D??

All these toughts were going through my mind and then I noticed that I wasn't focusing on the actual item we are trying to buy for the family but focusing on the item that I would enjoy:))

Very selfish of me:)

Contractors! Please do not fall into the same trap as I did! Remember BIM is a process which can benefit all phases of the project, and not just your project but the whole company!

PS: For the curious ones, we bought the one which gave 15% voucher but I did not buy brownie with all of it:)))

Have a great weekend!
Diyane Koseoglu

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hiring the right people for your BIM Team!

There is a very popular topic in linked in.

ArchiCAD vs Revit

701 comments so far and it is increasing every day.

At the beginning it was quite interesting.
But after  a couple of weeks I lost interest.

The main reason was comments were basically repeating the same things with different words.

(some comments were too long and boring as well.)

A couple of days ago, I saw few interesting comments and returned back to the popular, old topic.

People were discussing the availability of architects/engineers with the knowledge of a specific software is a criteria for selecting BIM software to use.

Well, if a company hires me just because of the software skills I have, I would be quite offended and probably would not accept the job.

I think an architect or an engineer should be more than the software s/he uses.

Last year, we provided an HR consultancy service for a medium size contractor. Our responsibility was to test the applicant's ArchiCAD BIM skills.

We have interviewed around 10 persons and some of them were quite good actually. We wrote our reports and send with the actual test results?

Guess what happened?

They did not hire any of them. They hired an architect with 0 BIM knowledge!

Yes, he did not know anything about BIM but he was smart, experienced and a very good architect.

I think this was the right decision.

We trained their new architect for 10 days and applied the same test and his result was the highest so far.

So, be smart! Select the best BIM Software based on your company needs and hire good people!

Success will be inevitable!

Diyane Koseoglu
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Simple Addons for ArchiCAD

Hi All,

Today has been a busy day for all BIMES team.

Almost everyone was travelling for different projects but at the end of the day we all met in the hotel.

After a long time I had the opportunity to meet with my colleague Fady Londy from our Cairo office. I am calling this as "opportunity" because this guy has amazing knowledge and experience about BIM solutions, especially with ArchiCAD!

Whenever I meet with him, i always gain something:) Nice renders for my presentations, cool BIMx models etc. this time it was very valuable information.

Just after we had dinner, while I was trying to keep my eyes open (I woke up at 4:30am)he opened his laptop and came next to me. When I looked at him i recognized that smile:) it was " i have something amazing" smile!

And he showed me this beatufil set of add-ons that i have not heard before.

Placing dimensioning on sections & elevations automatically, adjusting the elements' height when changing the story height were the main features that left my mouth open!

When i see these beatufil pieces of addons i cant stop thinking why Graphisoft does not acquire these and make it available within ArchiCAD? That would make our wishlist shorter:)))

PS: This post was written yesterday but when i was about to complete it and publish i noticed that i am about to miss my flight:)
Diyane Koseoglu

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Shell Tool in Action!

Middle East!

Where the dreams of Architects come true!

The tallest, the most slanted, the biggest, the most luxurious, the most sustainable buildings... They all come true in this part of the world!

Our clients... They looove free form designs... My colleague Jothi receives a lot of questions about the new Shell Tool.

We wanted to share one of the recent ones.

This is one of the facade elements that our client designed by using ArchiCAD Shell Tool. At this stage I can not tell / show you more about the rest of the project but we will publish the case study soon.  As you know we need to get approvals etc.

Anyway, our client modeled it but since they were still in the design process

- sketch...
- model...
- nope... let's change here a bit more....
- modify..
- seems ok...
- not really... let's change here...

They ended up with so many operations and the result element was basically freezing even their super computers.

By the time, we received the model the design was final. So Jothi just made a "reverse engineering" and modeled the same geometry by using the same "Shell Tool" and operations. The result is a lot more lighter tough since he worked a bit more cleaner...

For the curious ones, here you have a video showing how to model it in a few steps.

PS: The video is uploaded to YouTube but  YouTube is being a bit nasty today. Although it has been more than 8 hours it is still not listed in the searches. Anyway, here comes the YouTube link!

Diyane Koseoglu
Jothi Shanmugam

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Do you have "Build" command instead of "Print"?

This is the joke we usually hear from senior architects / engineers when they first meet with Building Information Modeling (BIM).

The first time I heard it, I just thought it is just a good joke (I even stole it:).

But when I heard it a couple of more times, I noticed the important "fact" lying beneath the joke.

Changing from 2D to BIM was as drastic as having a "build" command instead of "print" for these senior architects and engineers.

No wonder why people are scared of changing:)

Is the change really that drastic?

I do not think so!

I believe it is basically going back to basics. Documenting a 3D Building in a 2D environment sounded always strange to me. Even from the very beginning...

During my architectural education, the first thing we learned was 2D CAD software which did not make any sense to me even at that time. Memorizing strange commands and shortcuts in order to present my design thoughts did not help developing my creativity at all :)

It actually reminded me my first interaction with computers.

I was 8 or 9 years old when my dad bought my first computer and it was on MSDOS. I had a instructor coming every evening teaching me some strange combination of letters to execute the simplest command. Anyway, since I was a good kid and proud of my computer I memorized all those commands but hated using computer.

Some years later, my computer was upgraded and MSDOS was no longer there. At the begining I felt clumsy since it was all new to me but I learned quick since the way it worked was logical. If I want to delete something I was dropping it to "trash bin" :) No need for complex commands. It was intuitive.

I think the same applies to BIM.

BIM softwares are much more intuitive than 2D CAD. You work with real construction elements not dummy lines and fills. These elements act virtually the same way they would act in real life.

If it can not be modeled easily, it can not be built easily too. That simple!

What else can an architect or engineer want :) ?

Diyane Koseoglu

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

ArchiCAD BIM for Kids

Yes, you read right!

Believe me or not but I have met 3 kids in Dubai who is trying to learn ArchiCAD BIM.

World of Contradictions!

We are trying to promote BIM to the construction professionals and they are very very resistant to change yet with no effort there are kids willing to learn.

Let me tell you how I met with these kids.

I received an email asking how to get ArchiCAD and directed him to
Then I received few more emails asking about some technical questions.

I thought giving a call would be a lot easier than writing a long email so we started talking. The email signature belonged to one of our clients but I didn't know the person. Finally I suggested him to talk with the department which has ArchiCAD Licenses than the shocking part came.

He said "Look, I am just 12 years old and it was my father's contact details. I don't know the people in that department."

3 seconds silence...

Than I got out of the shock and asked him what is he going to do with ArchiCAD.

His reply left me speechless:

"I want to be an architect in the future. I tried some software but I found that ArchiCAD is the easiest amongst them. I want to learn more about it."

Wow! Wow! Wow! This kid is planning his career at the age of 12 and developing his skills accordingly.

I was extremely impressed they way he explained his dreams and the way he spoke.

Construction industry definitely needs these kind of kids to graduate and start their careers ASAP :)

Diyane Koseoglu

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Is face-to-face training really required for learning BIM Software?

Hi All,

Lately we are receiving a lot of requests for ArchiCAD and VICO trainings due to the increasing popularity of the BIM in the Middle East region.

Face-to-Face training requests from companies is understandable for me since they usually have special requirements and a tailored training suits them more. Plus their needs are more on the "process" rather than the actual tool in most of the cases.

However when it comes to individuals, I am not sure if face-to-face trainings of ArchiCAD and VICO is really needed. Both softwares have already enormous amount of Interactive Training Guides on their websites.

Even in our company, if a new team member has lack of knowledge on ArchiCAD Collaboration, we do not conduct a training for him. We just give him the link to the ArchiCAD Collaboration Interactive Training Guides (ITG).

Both ArchiCAD and VICO ITGs are very user friendly (we can even call them as idiot proof) and efficient. For instance, someone who is totally new to ArchiCAD can learn the essentials of the workflow with in 8 hours. ITG will be take you through the core  design, design-development and documentation concepts and techniques of ArchiCAD and by the end of 8 hours you will have a completed 10.000 m2 office building project:)

You can download ArchiCAD Essentials ITG from here.

VICO has similar videos specifically targeting Cost Planners and Schedule Planners.

You can download the VICO Training Videos from here.

So, everything is available on the net for FREE! Self-study them and keep your skills up-to-date with market requirements.

Diyane Koseoglu

Monday, January 9, 2012

How to reserve my previous elements after re-joining to BIM project?

Hi Everyone!

Today we have an ArchiCAD Tip for BIM Server users.

In the Middle East, the size of the projects are not comparable with the rest of the world. 40-50 thousand m2 projects are quite common and part of our lives.

This makes the use of BIM Server extremely crucial and majority of our clients are using it actively in all their projects.

Of course we are receiving a lot of questions on how to use BIM Server in a more efficient way.

Today's tip is the answer to the most common question.

"Once I leave the teamwork project, all my elements are released automatically. When I re-join to the project, how to reserve my previous elements?"

"It's time to learn "Selections" palette:)

Our implementation specialist created a 2 minutes video explaining this.

Diyane Koseoglu
Jothi Shanmugam

Thursday, January 5, 2012

BIM vs Outlook

Many people are asking me about BIM Business in the region.

People are definitely enjoying talking about BIM, attending BIM seminars, reading case studies etc but when it comes to action...Hmmm...
UAE BIM Seminar, 22 September 2011, by BIMES

Organizations are too slow in making any kind of decision. Once I met with an IT Manager working for a consultancy and he told me that he had been working on implementing "Outlook" in his company for the last 6 months.

First I thought he was joking and packed out laughing. But then I noticed he is serious and this was even funnier than a joke:)))

At this stage i made a calculation based on my learning curve...

I learned Outlook probably in 10 minutes and I learned ArchiCAD in 40 hours.

If this company implements Outlook in 6 months then it will take them to implement any BIM software in 120 years:)))) In 2132, they will be BIM users..Maybe :)))

Ok! Enough of empty talk.... Let's be serious again.

Of course the example above was an extreme case maybe with some exaggeration. Though I have witnessed extreme cases on the opposite side as well.

Two companies started implementation of ArchiCAD just one day after our meeting:) I love this kind of people:) 

How about the majority?

Well, once the decision of switching to BIM is made by the management it usually takes 1-2 years to investigate the software available in the market.Then another year to implement it.

As you see, it is very very slow but promising:)

Diyane Koseoglu