Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer Reading List!

Good Morning Everyone!

It has been so hot in Dubai lately. Around 50 degrees. Humidity is just the cherry on top... ( This is a new phrase I learned and I just wanted to use it:)))

Even if we stay outside 2 minutes, it is enough to give you a horrible headache.

And obviously many people are suffering from this. People are forgetting their commitments, coming late to the meeting and etc.

Europe is another issue. They are all on holiday:)))

So what to do now! Shall we also slow things down!


Here comes a summer reading list. Take your iced drinks and enjoy your summer:)))

BIM Estimating: Myth Versus Reality
BIM estimating is not model-based voodoo. The workflow utilizes a quantity takeoff of the 3D model, a database of material and labor costs, modifying the formulas based on past experience, and presenting an integrated view of the 3D model, the takeoff, and the target cost. This article presents a true story about a concrete bid so the reader can de-mystify the construction estimating workflow with BIM.

The Benefits of Cost Planning Versus Estimating
Traditional estimating can be a time-consuming process that involves multiple iterations. Cost planning naturally evolves the estimate as the design changes highlighting cost variances for the project stakeholders.

Five Quick Steps to Compare Cost Plan Snapshots
Estimators have several options in Vico Office Cost Planner to explore "what-if scenarios" for Owner budgeting meetings. One approach is to compare two versions of the Cost Plan using the Compare & Update feature. For example, let’s say that an Owner would like to go back to Plan A even though you’ve already gone down the Plan B (or C or D) path for quite a ways. This article illustrates how to revert back to the first cost plan and pick up where you left off.

Does BIM Mean Estimators Are Out of a Job?
Model-based estimating does not mean that estimators need to learn how to model or can be easily replaced with a few lines of computer code. It simply means learning how to work with model-derived quantities.

Quickly Update Unit Rates for Material and Labor
How do you prepare a construction project estimate when there are spikes in commodities and materials costs due to market demand? How do you factor in new labor rates for subcontractors in your area? Here is a quick tip for updating these unit rates in your Vico Office estimate.

There Is No Easy Button for BIM Quantity Takeoff
As 5D BIM becomes prevalent in the market, many people believe that you simply push a button to get quantities. However, construction-caliber quantities require properly assigned polygons - either from the geometry or manually painted by the Estimator.

Organizing Your Revit Model to Create Useful Quantity Takeoffs
There is confusion in the AEC/O market that a designer’s BIM model can be multipurposed for design-intent, fabrication, and construction. Unfortunately, that just isn’t the case. But there are ways to make any BIM model more useful. This article explains how to use the Revit Mark property to extract better construction-caliber quantities to be used in scheduling and estimating.

Quantities by Location Are Key to Costing, Planning, and Controlling Construction Projects
A straightforward discussion on BIM-based estimating with the AACEI quickly turned into a planning session centered on Quantities by Location. Key to Vico’s construction management platform is the reliance upon quantities per location to cost, plan, and manage even the most complex construction projects.

Why 5D Comes before 4D in Vico Office
While the construction industry counts 3D-4D-5D BIM, Vico does it differently. Because of the tight integration between the Estimator and the Scheduler’s workflows, we count 3D-5D-4D. The Estimator’s components and assemblies are linked to the Scheduler’s productivity rates by Task Manager. This way our quantities per location divided by productivity rates equals durations!

Lightning Strikes at the BIM Storm for Balfour Beatty and Parsons Brinckerhoff
Balfour Beatty Construction and Parsons Brinckerhoff offered Vico an interesting challenge at the BIM Storm: provide a schedule and estimate for three college campus buildings...in 24 hours. It was a breeze in Vico Office. Roll the videotape!

When Estimators Block BIM
Instead of just estimating an accurate GMP, Estimators are now required to provide information which is used by the scheduler to build and optimize the schedule, and by the site guys to buy out the project and to control production. The resistance typically manifests itself as downplaying the importance of detailed cost data, and emphasizing the risk of showing model quantities to subcontractors.

Keeping Construction Practices Connected
Connecting your construction firm’s data and best practices is just one way you can move from a BIM Department to a BIM Enterprise. The 5D Data Pack designed to help you integrate your 3D models with 4D schedules and 5D estimates.

Doing Your First Model-Based Estimate
Model-based estimating is a gradual, but rapid, cost planning exercise. As the level of detail increases for particular elements, its estimate grows more precise.

Applying Quantity Ratios from Past Projects to Concept Stage SketchUp Models
Vico has developed a new best practice for data mining past project information for quanties, cost, and schedule data. This information can be applied to concept stage BIM models (like Revit, ArchiCAD, even SketchUp) to produce very detailed construction estimates and schedules. And, these quantity ratios grow more precise over time - much more precise than standard square foot costs.

The Role That Level of Detail Plays in Your BIM Estimate
5D BIM utilizes the 3D model geometry and properties from which construction-caliber quantities can be derived. These quantities are then organized by location for scheduling and priced for the cost plan. But the 3D model needs to be at the proper level of detail for the elements being analyzed.

A Shortcut to 5D BIM
The Vico Office Data Pack is a jumpstart for your new BIM project. The Data Pack is a combination of the Vico Standard 5D Library and the Vico Standard 5D Warehouse. The Warehouse is a collection of coded building elements which can be linked to the Library’s knowledge base for costing, resources, and productivity rates. This information is ready to go when a new bid is being developed and creates resource-loaded schedules and cost-loaded estimates with element assemblies and activity assemblies, all divided into labor, material, machinery, subcontractors, etc.

Diyane Koseoglu

Monday, July 30, 2012

Batch Rendering in ArchiCAD


I am back again! This time with a technical tip from Jothi.

Batch Rendering in ArchiCAD! Yes, you heard right!  Not Artlantis!

You know Batch Rendering is a great feature in Artlantis and unfortunately it is not available in ArchiCAD as a "Command" but no worries! There is a workaround for it.

Check Jothi's video showin how it works?

Diyane Koseoglu
Jothi Shanmugam

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Announcement of the Lucky Draw Winner is tomorrow!

In my last post, I said things had slowed down so I will be able to write everyday.

After that sentence I traveled more than 15000 km and most of the time I did not have internet access, at least proper internet access.

Anyway, I arrived yesterday morning and there were 23 zillion emails waiting for me to reply so I was quite busy and di not have a chance to come to my dear blog.

However today I am dedicated to  social media:))

First thing I checked how BIMES blog is doing! Not so good:( Since I have not written for a while not many people visited:(

Then I checked how BIMES FB page is doing. Wow! That's great news!

We reached 500 likes!!!!

I am not sure if you remember but we promised to make a lucky draw once we hit 500 likes and the prize would be a  Lacoste T-Shirt! Why Lacoste T-Shirt? I don't know really. Himm Just a second. I think we decided to give away Lacoste T-Shirts after seeing the shoes that Zaha Hadid designed for Lacoste. I really loved them.
Image Courtesy Lacoste

If you ask me why we do not give those shoes then, the answer is simple.
Image Courtesy Lacoste

Because we couldn't find any:)))

Anyway, the big day is tomorrow!

We will announce the winner:)))

Keep an eye on us:)

Diyane Koseoglu

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Some Advise for Contractors that are Planning to Outsource BIM Services

More and more contractors in the ME are planning to outsource BIM Modeling to specialized solutions providers like us and of course more and more new companies are poping up like mushrooms everywhere.

For me it's very very interesting to see the way some of them provides commercial proposals.

Let me first start with explaining the way we provide the commercial proposals for contractors.

  • Get the project design drawings.
  • Our technical team studies the project and even starts modeling to see the quality of the drawings and challenges of the project.  This might sound too much for some of you but it is not. Actually I am very happy with this step as certain things might seen very simple at first glance but when you go into details it might turn into a nightmare. Thus it is crucial to experiment if you want to provide a reliable proposal. I am a big fan of this step since I do not like last minute surprises:))
  • Prepare a BIM Execution Plan and present it to the client. We go through every and each detail in the project and explain the client our methodology and the details of the delivery. This is the stage our clients start to speak the same language with us. They clarify what they want exactly and we tell them which ones are possible and feasible. I see this process as an educational phase for our new clients.
  • Provide a Scope of Work, BIM Inclusion List (Which element will be modeled in 3D, what will be entered as data etc), sample model and shop drawings (not any sample, the model of their project).
  • Once we agree on the BIM Execution Plan and Scope of Work then we provide our final Commercial  Proposal.
All this process takes 2-4 weeks for us and we submit around 40-60 pages. But at the end of the project our clients are happy and we deliver every single document we promised on time since we studied it thoroughly.

However I saw some new companies in the region quoting even 1/3 of our pricing lately. Well, this doesn't make sense at all. No execution plan... No Detailed Scope of Work... No BIM Inclusion List... No shop drawing sample... Just a 2-3 page commercial proposal...

And unfortunately sometimes the client takes only the price as the criteria and then the nightmare starts.

Usually they do get some sort of model but no shop drawing on time. And you know the construction guys on site do not read models. They need shop drawings. If they don't receive it on time then it is a BIG problem.

Unfortunately I saw some cases even the person who made the decision on BIM Service Provider lose their jobs as delaying the contractor even one day is no joke.

So, please be careful when analyzing the proposals and make sure that  the BIM Service Provider understands your exact needs. More importantly make sure that they are have to be construction background and understand the needs of the contractor. Ask for BIM Execution Plans, BIM Inclusion List agree on the exact deliverables.

Otherwise you may end up with some fancy software boxes and a dummy model.

Good Luck,
Diyane Koseoglu

Thursday, July 12, 2012

ArchiCAD vs Revit LinkedIn discussion is hot again! But not in a good way...

Yesterday morning I had a small shock when I checked my emails on my mobile.

17 news comments on ArchiCAD vs Revit discussion.

As you know this has been going on and on and on for almost a year. There are ups and downs but lately it's very hot again.

But unfortunately not in a good way. Recent comments are very disrespectful and has no informative value. Seeing such comments on this discussion was shocking for me.

Here is why:
  1. At the end of the day these are just software. I don't understand why people are getting so upset/stressed/angry about comments on softwares and start calling each other with names etc. I understand these people does not respect to others but don't they have respect to themselves.
  2. The discussion is on LinkedIn, a professional network. Don't they think what the potential employers will think about them? or if they are self employed what their clients would think about them.
Some commentators are my clients and I am once more very proud of them. (When I say "my clients" I am not talking about all ArchiCAD users. My clients which I have a business relation at the moment.) All their comments are very well expressed and always respectful.

Diyane Koseoglu

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Diyane's Top 4 Most User-friendly Interface Desings in ArchiCAD

For the last few days I am obsessed with connecting my iPad and Blackberry to my car's bluetooth.

Well, it have been quite an adventure actually.

First I tried to do it myself without reading the manual!
It didn't work:(

Second I tried to go to the service center!
I drove around 20km and just after entering the service center I noticed that my phone is enjoying its time at home:((

Third I read the unfriendliest manual ever and try to setup myself.
It worked:)) But only for one day.

The next day if the iPad connects then Blackberry is not found. If the Blackberry connects then not the iPad. If I try to fix the connections then none of them works. I have no idea how and why.

And you should see the interface of the car's bluetooth connection system. Kind of nightmare! I am sure it is not designed for humans.

Actually I hear similar comments from the construction professionals who are new to BIM.

Now, I hear them:)))

Talking about the complex interfaces I wanted to list the most user-friendly interfaces in ArchiCAD. Let's start:

Model View Options
I love the previews that shows you every change you make. It used to be a nightmare to teach this feature in the old version which did not have the preview.

Object Settings
Good old object preview is a rocker, we all know that. I also love the graphical object settings. It's great to see the image of the tap you are going to use instead of just seeing a text.

Standard Steel Profile Database Import
I like the graphics that shows which size belongs to where. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying it's perfect. I think there is still room for development:)) but pretty good even as it is...


Project Preferences
I think showing the dimension type just with Graphics is very cool and artistic:)) Wow! I made such a strong statement:)))

Well, there are some more but my time allocated to this post is over:))

See you tomorrow.


Diyane Koseoglu

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Open BIM Build London Live 2012 Award

Open BIM Build London Live!

I am sue the one who are familiar with BIM have heard of this competition.

It's quite an interesting and challenging concept.

You receive the design brief and then you have 48 hours to design and create the BIM Model. No sleep, lots of coffee, stress, fun and BIM!

This year AIDEA won! I am not surprised actually. I had the opportunity to meet with the AIDEA Team in 2009 (I conducted advanced ArchiCAD training and it was the training I enjoyed the most:))  and every single person in the team is a great person. Good architects, good people and a dedicated team to BIM.

There is a nice presentation showing the development of the design from sketches to a conceptual model. Pretty fascinating!

Another video! The team during the competition...

Cool, isn't it?

Diyane Koseoglu

Higgs Boson and BIM

Recently I met with a guy who is a sales manager in a construction products manufacturer. When he asked me what do I do, I was 100% sure he will not know anything about BIM so I gave him a fast simple answer.

But the unexpected happened and he said he heard about it and started asking questions.

Well, he is in sales, his core business is not construction and yet he knows BIM! Wow! Wow!

Seems like BIM is getting really popular!

However when the discussion got deeper, I noticed that his perception of BIM is similiar to my perception of Higgs Boson:)))

I tried to explain him that BIM is not such a complicated thing and have been around for more than 20 years but it didn't work much.

Obviously people like the idea of BIM being very complex piece of technology  and will change everything and create a brand new construction world where the construction materials will be teleported, site excavation will be done by some super laser in 2 sec etc.

Well, it would be good but we are not there yet:))

PS: By the way, I finally understood what is this "Higgs Boson". (Yes, I feel very special now:)) There is a short video here for the curious ones.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rebar Modeling in ArchiCAD! from Eptar...

During the last Graphisoft Partner Conference, some other BIM Solution Providers also had stands and introduced their solutions to Graphisoft Partners.

At the end of the first break Jothi returned back to the conference room and asked me if I have seen the Rebar Solution for ArchiCAD.

This was a rumor I have been hearing for a couple of years now but to be honest I never taught it was really happening. You know Rebar Modeling is quite a complex subject. There are many software which claims they do Rebar Modeling but only very few of them does it in a reasonable way.

So I decided to meet with the guys who have the guts to take such a challenge.

Well, it's a Hungarian company called Eptar founded by two young entrepreneurs. They basically use some smart GDL objects to create the rebar. These smart rebar objects are also very well connected to the concrete elements and adjust when you modify the geometry of the concrete. They have some  demo videos below:


They are still at a very early stage but looks promising!

I wish them all the good luck to and looking forward to see a ground breaking tool:))


Diyane Koseoglu

Monday, July 2, 2012

What does BIM Manager do?

BIM Manager

The job description for the above position is still not clear for many people, even for me.

Our clients very often ask me to recommend someone for BIM Manager position. When I start discussing the details of the job description so that I can recommend the right person, the expectation of the clients are very very different from eachother.


Some of them are looking for a BIM Manager who knows the software... :)

Some of them are looking for a BIM Manager who knows the software better than others...

Some of them are looking for a BIM Manager who is familiar with several software and can coordinate different disciplines...

Some of them are looking for a BIM Manager who can develop strategies and standards to be implemented...

By the way, I met several BIM Managers saying that they have no idea what is BIM and it's just a contractual position:))

I believe as BIM matures in large organizations, these titles and terms will mature as well.

Have a great evening,
Diyane Koseoglu