Saturday, March 31, 2012

Demand on ArchiCAD Training is increasing!

As you know, we have been announcing ArchiCAD Trainings for individuals almost every month lately due to the high demand.

To be honest, we are also surprised with this increase in demand.

We used to do mostly corporate trainings in earlier years but late 2011 and 2012 has been the year of individual trainings.

I am very happy to see that people perceive BIM skills as a real value for their career.

Our plan is to start 6 new training courses:
  1. ArchiCAD Advance Training (Advanced 3D BIM)
  2. Vico Essentials Training (Basic 4D & 5D BIM)
  3. Artlantis Training (Project Presentation)
  4. Vico Advance Training for Schedule Planning (Advanced 4D BIM)
  5. Vico Advance Training for Cost Planning (Advanced 5D BIM)
  6. BIM Process Training
ArchiCAD Advance Training, Vico Essentials Training and Artlantis Trainings will be announced within Q2.

Vico Advance Trainings will be announced in Q3 and the BIM Process Training will be announced in Q4.

I hope you will enjoy them:))

We will keep you updated via our blog and newsletters.

Have a great day!

Diyane Koseoglu

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Earth Hour! 31 March 08:30 - 09:30 pm

I just wanted to remind you the Earth Hour before you start your weekend.

Please don't forget switching of your lights on Saturday!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Contractors! It's time to wake up! It's BIM time!

I found a DVD on my desk yesterday!

A new project which BIM is mandated by the owner!

When I looked at the tender documents, I recognized the project. It was a project that a contractor was educating the project owner on the benefits of BIM. I also helped them with some presentations on Open BIM.

The contractor suceeded!

BIM is mandated in the project and that specific contractor will set themselves apart from the competition. The contractor have established their BIM Unit last year and already have quite a mature team since they brought in some really good, internationally known BIM managers and experts.

Finally a contractor in the Middle East noticed that BIM can be used as a differentiator to win more business. (It used to be designers before.)

Image from Stuart Miles

I am glad the contractors finally started to wake up!

Go contractors go!

Have a great weekend!
Diyane Koseoglu

I am surrounded by Apple fans!

I am surrounded by Apple fans!

A new iPad... a new iPhone... ohhh they are the first one to go and say "Take my money... I want it"

If you dare to say another product can be as good as them, oh my god! Be ready for an anger storm and 45 minutes speech about how good these companies are... and they produce the best products and bla bla...

If you dare to like any of the competitor's products....
Ohh! They will make your life miserable with their arguments until you surrender.

What is my problem with this?

People are becoming more and more biased! They act as if it's their own company or they are getting commission from the sales:)) They are making their purchase decisions without making a realistic comparison with the other products in the market.

If everyone acts like this, certain brands will monopolize the market which will kill the competitors and then what?

Here comes my scenario from hell! No other proper option and we have to pay whatever these companies charge...

Yak! It sounds scary!

But unfortunately it can happen in the software industry as well.

Almost 2 years ago a friend of mine from another BIM Vendor met with one of the leading consultants in the region. He said the meeting started with a question from their side?

"Why would we use software from any other vendor than X?" (Of course X was their competitor:))

In my opinion it is not the smartest question you can ask in a meeting:))

I know my clients did similar things to my competitors as well but I honestly think this is a very wrong business approach. (OK OK! I have to confess. Listening their stories makes me smile sometimes:))

Even if you are happy with your current process and software you should still keep an eye on others. Here are the reasons:

  • If anyone else develops a better software, you will be  the first company who implements it and differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • It will give your company a stronger hand in negotiations with your current vendor. You will not get a good price if the vendor is sure that you are their most loyal client.
  • If there is no competition your vendor will not invest in development as much as they would do in a competitive market.

See, you will not loose anything! Ok ok! Maybe 1 hour of your time but that's it.

Diyane Koseoglu

Sunday, March 25, 2012

BIM for IT Team

Image from adamr

IT team! They are "the team" I always respect a lot and try to have good relations with since they know everything that I do not:))

However the client visit I had yesterday was exactly the opposite case.

Let me tell you the story in more detail.

Our client is a very strong BIM Server user! They deal with large projects and large teams so BIM Server is the technology they can not live without. Since it is so vital for them every architect and engineer in the BIM team knows BIM Server inside out.

Don't tell me "Ohh it's so simple! What can they know more than "Send&Receive? "

Well, restoring the BIM Server with all users, rolling back the projects, migrating the server to a different computer are not complicated commands for them.

But these are the architects and engineers not the IT guys.

To be honest, we made a mistake with them during the BIM Implementation. We did not manadate the IT team to attend the trainings, especially the BIM Server training.

What is the consequence of this mistake?

Image from Victor Habbick

 Whenever IT guys touch any computer  of the BIM Team, they "destroy" something:)) But they really do destroy.

Image from Ambro
So now, the BIM guys do not want anyone from IT to enter their room even. They even told me the two computers that they never let IT to touch are working perfectly. The rest? No comment:))

Actually the problem is IT has no idea about the consequences of their modifications on BIM Server. They claim what they did was a tiny little innocent change.

What is the lesson learnt from yesterday's visit?

BIM Server Training for IT!

We will start working on a 1-Day course tailored for IT. The course will cover license sharing, basic trouble shooting and BIM Server.
 Image from digitalarts

Hopefully this will bring peace to IT and BIM team's relationship:))

PS: Jothi's latest video about how to restore your BIM Server including users, projects, libraries and access rights in Windows OS is now available.

Diyane Koseoglu
Jothi Shanmugam

Saturday, March 24, 2012

BIM & Eyeglasses

Image from Jeroen van Oostrom

I lost my eyeglasses! It has been a week and I can no longer stand it.

 Image from digitalarts

I am writing this post with an extreme headache and pain on my eyes.

I noticed that the symptoms of not having eyeglasses and not using BIM is quite similiar:))

Here comes the symptoms:
  • A constant headache
  • Inefficiency
  • Not willing to look at computer screen (in my case the brightness is just hurting my eyes but in "not using BIM case" you would be sick of drafting and not wiling to look at that screen 24/7)
  • Dying to get some technological gadget (such as ArchiCAD  & Vico or new glasses:)) to overcome all your troubles
I did take an action, ordered my new glasses. Hopefully I will get them tomorrow.

Dear Non-BIMrs,

For your own sake please take an action! Life is too short to live with all those troubles of the traditional CAD:)


Diyane Koseoglu

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Is BIM luxury for your business?

As you know I have been meeting with designers, contractors, project managers and owners regarding to BIM Implementation.

In majority of these meetings, the top management knows the term BIM.

But still there is a common perception of BIM as a "Luxury" item and they need to get BIM only if they have surplus in their budget.

This is quite strange to me.

What we discuss in the meetings is simple! In all the large projects BIM is mandated currently and this is getting more and more common everyday.

Everyone agrees because most of them has also seen the tender documents where BIM is mandated.

Now what do you expect to happen?

If it was me, I would take BIM as a MUST TO HAVE technology to keep my business in the game!

But what happens in real life is usually the opposite. Especially the contractors still continue questioning the technology. Is it really more productive? How much would it save in a project? Why do we need to change?

Come on! We are no longer in early 2000s! I shouldn't be hearing these questions in 2012. Especially after you guys seeing all these tenders!

Sometimes I feel like the older generation construction professionals avoid "change" as much as possible.

It kind of reminds me this image I saw on Facebook today:)

We will see the days people are no longer questioning BIM insallah:))

Cheers and have a fabulous weekend!

Diyane Koseoglu

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

ArchiCAD is not BIM


"ArchiCAD is not BIM"

This statement has been googled twice this week and - like a black humour - ended up on this blog:))

Now these are the thoughts going through my mind:

  • Even on Wikipedia Graphisoft ArchiCAD is stated as the first BIM software. Don't people know this?
  • Why would you make such a search? Seriously, what do you hope to find?
  • Himm! What would be the other results in such a search? (I tried! See my result below)
  •  Why didn't BIMES blog appeared in the search? Himm I should learn more about SEO:))
  • Himm! This can be the topic of today's post.
 GOTO 1000:

 Diyane Koseoglu

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Is Hotlinked Modules a "killer" ArchiCAD tool for you?

Modules in ArchiCAD!

If you look at ArchiCAD help the definition of Modules is as following:

Image from photostock
"Hotlinked Modules can be used, for example, to manage the repetitive structures of buildings such as hotels or offices with a large number of identical rooms: if rooms are placed as a hotlinked module file, you can modify all the rooms in one step, by just updating the module’s source file."

If you look at the usage of Modules in the projects that I was somehow involved, you will see Hotlinked Modules are everywhere! But I do not remember using Modules to manage repetitive structures at all.

Don't get me wrong! I absolutely beleive in using Modules to manage repetitive units such as hotel rooms! But I have no idea why I never use them that way...

Hotlinked Modules are in the same category with BIM Server for me.

It saves my life when it comes to handling large files.

I definitely love linking this file to that one, that file to another one...

It allows the team deal with smaller files and you can still see the complete project in a different file if needed.
  • Site plan
  • Architecture + Structure
  • MEP
  • Furniture
  • Medical Equipment (if available)
These are my most common Hotlinks in a project:)) Depending on the size of the project, we might divide the Furniture files into smaller Modules as well, sometimes floor by floor sometimes department by department.

 You might be wondering why I started to talk about Modules out of blue!

Well, we were working on some marketing materials on ArchiCAD. It's kind of a brief intro to ArchiCAD for the people with very limited time. Yes, mostly managers with low concentration periods:))
Image from Ambro

I did not want to add Modules since it's a very technical feature which would take time to explain and still would not mean anything for a manager who does not go through the nightmares of daily modeling/drafting work.

Of course, when I was saying these, I was thinking of Modules as a feature to manage large and complex projects only since it's my core usage:))

My colleagues kindly reminded me that Modules are also very useful for managing repetitive units such as hotel rooms:)))

Oupps, you are right! :)) I almost forgot about it:))

So, what do you think! Please tell how how do you use Modules mostly in your daily work? Is it really a "killer" tool for you? Should we include it in our marketing materials?

I look forward to hearing from you...
Thanks in Advance,

Diyane Koseoglu

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How to restore your BIM Server including users, projects, libraries and access rights in WIN OS

Good Morning Everyone!

Jothi continues his BIM Server Back Up series with the WIN version of last week's video!

How to restore your BIM Server including users, projects, libraries and access rights in WIN OS...


Diyane Koseoglu

Jothi Shanmugam

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

BIM! for small projects or big projects?

The popular argument of this month! Is BIM beneficial only on big projects?

I am not sure why but there is a common misconception that BIM is worthwhile to implement only on big projects.

BIM brings benefits to any size of project, that's for sure.

So why it is believed that BIM is not really profitable on small projects.

Now let's do some maths...

Assume that BIM saves 3% of the project cost...

In  a 1 000 000 000 $ project the BIM savings will be 30 000 000 $! Sounds good, right? :))

In a        2 000 000 $ project the BIM savings will be         60 000 $! Does not sound that attractive, right? :((

BIM does it's job in any size of project, but the savings amount basically depends on the size of project. Of course you can not save 30 Million $ in a 2 Million $ villa project.

Yet you will not be spending the same implementation cost on a small project.

What about the pilot project?

The pilot project should not be small since you will be investing in training. For instance BIMES charges for the trainer not the number of trainees. This means you will be paying the same amount to train 10 engineers or 2 engineers.

Our recommendation is to establish a BIM unit of 10 engineers for the pilot project. Get these 10 trained properly by the professionals. Once they are experienced enough they can start training the rest of the staff.

As per our experience this system has been the most successful and cost efficient BIM Implementation.

Diyane Koseoglu

Monday, March 12, 2012

How to restore your BIM Server including users, projects, libraries and access rights in Mac OSX

After a long long time, we have a technical post about ArchiCAD and BIM Server.

In this video, Jothi explains how to restore your BIM Server including users, projects, libraries and access rights in Mac OSX. It's quite easy and a real time saver.


Diyane Koseoglu
Jothi Shanmugam

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The cost of NOT doing BIM! Smartest title of the month!

I was just going through BuildingSmart Korea's The BIM Magazine, Winter 2012 issue and I came across with the smartest title of the month!


It is an article by Robert Yori, Digital Design Specialist at SOM. The article is looking at BIM from a professional development perspective. In some parts of the article I felt like it focuses more on the personal development.

After reading the article, I started to think about it!

Everything in the article is true but I do not see much resistance to BIM from individuals. We have been receiving more calls for personal trainings than corporate trainings.

Especially in the UAE, professionals see BIM as a new skill that will differentiate them from the others and they are willing to invest to upgrade their skills.

It's the companies who are asking for THE COST OF DOING BIM in their projects and start making calculations, trying to understand if it is feasible.

Well, while writing the sentence even I thought it sounds right:)) But come on!

I am working on a case study of one of our latest projects in which we worked for project owner. According to our calculations, in the pre-construction phase, the implementation of ArchiCAD BIM already saved 40 Million USD! Yes, you read right! I am sure we will help the owner to save more in the construction phase as well.

Everybody is more or less familiar with ArchiCAD License and training or service costs. I think I do not need to mention it's nowhere near 40 Million USD!

Let's focus on THE COST OF NOT DOING BIM rather than THE COST OF DOING BIM...

Diyane Koseoglu

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I can not wait for ArchiCAD 16!

Hi All!

Last night at 21:44 I received an email on my BlackBerry!
Image from Stuart Miles

Some confidential news about ArchiCAD 16! I had just returned from a long walk and I was tired! I was not planning to read that 21 page document until I saw the Executive Summary! Wow! I read the whole document breathless!
Image from digitalart


I have never been this much excited about any ArchiCAD releases before!

It has everything you have been asking for!

Morever, it has so many cool stuff you have not even noticed you needed yet:))

As soon as we are allowed to speak about it, we will spread the word with conferences, newsletters, new features training events and several live online seminars to make sure that you are all aware of it:))

Can't wait!!!

Diyane Koseoglu

Monday, March 5, 2012

An interview with Ahmet Saffarini, CEO of Eng. Adnan Saffarini Consultants

You can find it on the coffee tables of all the companies somehow involved in construction business in the Middle East.
In their March Issue, they had an interview with Ahmed Saffarini, the CEO of Eng. Adnan Saffarini Consultants (EAS).
EAS is the largest ArchiCAD user in the region so I wanted to share their vision and strategies for the close future, especially about BIM.
Here comes a short teaser from the interview:))

"Another new area of focus for the company is Building Information Modelling (BIM). Saffarini explains:
“We had the recession and this is the time to rearrange your house, to upgrade. We started using BIM - it involves investment but in the rush you will not be able to do it.
“It is difficult to do use AutoCAD on complicated, signature projects. The second thing is that you find many mistakes in your drawings due to the lack of co-ordination - with BIM the coordination is automatic.
It also helps a lot with detailing and it speeds up the process. We consider it to be an advanced type of approach for us, especially in complicated buildings.”
“Now we are using BIM for the new hospitals and we plan to use BIM for more projects, especially specialised ones. For our branches outside the UAE, we were thinking of training the staff to use BIM as their software rather than AutoCAD. I think more and more companies will use BIM.”

Full Article is available from here.
Middle East March Issue is available from here.

Diyane Koseoglu

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Who gets the highest benefit from BIM?

Who gets the highest benefits from BIM in a project?

Owner ?
Consultant / Designer ?
Contractor ?
Facilities Manager ?

Well, I do not want to go into the details of BIM Benefits and try to calculate who gets the most of it. Instead I will just look at the Middle East Market and compare the BIM usage by company type.  The statistics are taken from Middle East BIM Report 2011 by Building Smart Middle East - North Africa - India.

As you see the highest BIM Usage rates belongs to  Governments, Developers (they are basically acting as owners) and Facilities Managers.

 Who is the winner? Owners or Facilities Managers?

According to the statistics, it should be Facilities Managers with 44% but I do not feel comfortable saying it.

I have been in BIM business for the last 8 years but the number of Facility Managers that I met using BIM is less then the fingers you have in one hand. I believe the number of Facility Managers attending the survey was very limited so it did not reflect a correct result.

However in the Middle East the main driver of BIM is Owners by mandating it in their projects. Mandating BIM usage in a projects might seem like increasing the project cost but when you compare it to the benefits you will receive you notice that BIM cost is almost nothing.

Chuck Eastman's BIM Handbook summarizes the usage of BIM by Owners as following:
  • Increase building performance through BIM-based energy and lighting design and analysis to improve overall building performance
  • Reduce the final risk associated with the project using the BIM model to obtain earlier and more reliable cost estimates and improved collaboration of the project team
  • Shorten project schedule from the approval to completion by using building models to cooordinate and prefabricate design with reduced field labor
  • Obtain reliable and accurate cost estimates through automatic quantity takeoff from th building model, providing feedback earlier in a project when decisions will have the greatest impact
  • Assure program compliance through ongoing analysis of the building model against owner and local code requirements
  •  Optimize facility management and maintenance by exporting relevant as-built building and equipment information to start the systems that will be used over the lifecycle of the facility

PS: Apologies for neglecting the blog lately. I have been quite busy and since I ran out of funny topics it's taking me longer to prepare the posts:(

Diyane Koseoglu