Saturday, September 30, 2017


Tomorrow I leave for Denmark to speak at the BILT-EUR conference in Aarhus. Jumping on the bandwagon, based on what transpired at BILT-NA in Toronto this past July, I have made some stickers.

This sticker promotes my blog and includes the cool blog mascot my 15 year old son created.

This is the first sticker I have made and wish I could hope in the TARDIS and go back and change a few things... like, the text color and overall size. The sticker is a bit small and the text does not have enough contrast. It will be better next time!

Below are the stickers I collected at BILT-NA. There may have been others, but these are the ones I managed to get my hands on.

These stickers were created by...

Update: Carl commented below on an oversight I made. The "pro-wrestler-like" stickers are promoting the active Canadian user groups Doc - Dynamaniacs of Calgary: and DoE - Dynamaniacs of Edmonton:

Some overachievers even bring t-sheets (Aaron:)). I need to get one of those. Of course, he is the only one in the list above promoting his actual business, and not a side-gig (or hobby?)!

Friday, September 29, 2017

New Revizto Promotional Video

Revitzo just published a nice new promotional video. Several people were interviewed for this piece, including myself. The footage was shot during the BILT-NA event in Toronto this past July (2017).


Thursday, September 28, 2017

How to Check Out a Revit Network License

If you use Autodesk Revit on a network, and use network licensing, you have to check out a license in order to use Revit when away from the office. Not the most intuitive sequence of steps... this post will show you how.

But first, a little background info... many mid to large sized firms use network licensing to save money. With people in meetings, on vacation and such, you never need one Revit/AutoCAD license for each person. Using a network licensing scheme allows you to have the software installed on as many computers as you want, but only 35 people can use the software if you have 35 pooled network licenses. The 36th person is given a message that there are no licenses available. Of course, you would change those numbers based on the number of  network licenses your firm has.
A little Revit history: before the Autodesk acquisition, Revit licensing was exclusively cloud-based, much like Enscape or Revizto are today. You had to be connected to the internet to use the software.
If you forget to check out a license,

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Increased Efficiency Through Training; For Staff and Buildings

I would like to share the highlights from recent staff training I did on Autodesk’s cloud-based energy modeling tool called Insight®. But first I would like to share some “insight” on LHB’s culture of staff training and professional growth from my perspective.

Over the 13 years I have been at LHB, the firm has always supported and embraced new technology and high performance design. To fully leverage the new computer hardware and software, or to properly develop each thermal bypass out of a design, staff need training and mentors. Not everyone has the time, or motivation, to research everything on their own. To help achieve the goals and mission of LHB, the firm promotes, supports and directly offers learning opportunities to staff.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Judging the 2017 AEC Excellence Awards

I had the honor of being one of the judges in this year's AEC Excellence Awards 2017 - in the Sustainable Category.

As you may, or may not know, LHB is a leader in sustainable design; click here to read more on that, if interested. LHB is one of just over 400 firms who signed on to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2030 Commitment initiative. The USGBC-MN staff also have their offices within our Minneapolis office through donated space.

I presented on energy modelling last year at RTC-NA in Arizona and earned a top speaker ranking for that! This November I will be speaking again, on this subject, at the 2017 Minnesota AIA Convention at the Minneapolis Convention Center. I am working on another post which talks about recent staff training I have done on energy modelling.

Additionally...This competition was meant to highlight a design team's use of

Monday, September 25, 2017

ElumTools Blog Post: Luminaire Family Validation Made Easy

Matt Kincaid, software developer at Lighting Analysts, Inc., makers of AGI32 and ElumTools, posted on their blog about a new luminaire validation feature in ElumTools.

In case you don't know, ElumTools (ET) is an add-in for Revit which facilitates professional lighting analysis. One of the dialog boxes available within ET is the Luminaire Manager. Here we see a listing of all the light fixture families in the current Revit project and their settings. By default, all the settings come from the Revit family. Most changes made here, such as picking a different IES file or adjusting the Light Loss values, automatically get pushed back into the family in the current project.

Calculated point-by-point illuminance results in foot candles (FC)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Dell Visits LHB to Make Promo VR Video

Earlier this week, Dell began the processes of creating a promotional video of LHB, an AE firm, using VR on their hardware (yes - Dell, the giant computer company). It was an honor and a lot of fun. It is super exciting to see our efforts implementing VR getting such widespread attention.

Dell hired a media agency, Metia, who captured video of staff, clients and even contractors using VR on a large project we are working on for United Properties. In the image below, LHB architect Karin Stuber is showing our client Gordy Stofer, United Properties’ Vice President, Office Development, the project in Virtual Reality while they are being filmed.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Revit Light Fixture Tips for Rendering

Yesterday I did a webinar for ArchVision which focused on lighting and materials in Revit Renderings and also touched on the third-party add-in for Revit, Enscape.

Here is a link to both rendering webinars hosted by ArchVision:

Below are a few points I touched on in that presentation...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Rendering; Lighting and Materials - Free Webinar and Books Today

It has been a busy week... a quick post plugging today's webinar.

Today I will be doing a free rendering webinar hosted by ArchVision. In addition to information on working with materials and lighting my publisher, SDC Publications, has generously offered to give away three of my Revit books and mail them to the winners.

The three winners will get to pick which Revit 2018 book they would like form the five I have written; click here to see the list (via the Books tab).

Register Now!

Here is the outline (click to enlarge):

Saturday, September 16, 2017

RFO Benchmark; Revit and Hardware Speed Test

If you want to find out how fast Revit runs on your computer and then roughly compare those results with others, you will want to check out the Revit Forum's RFO Benchmark V3.1.

The details...

Friday, September 15, 2017

Custom Curtainwall and Types

This week I did a presentation on Revit's Curtain Wall features for my students at NDSU; see this post for more about the class; NDSU Architecture School - BIM Seminar; Day One. I decided to take one of the examples and expand on it a bit.

The first image below is a shaded view within Revit. Everything here was done with normal Revit commands. The curtainwall is represented by just curtainwall and no other loaded or in-place families. I added the walls, site, interior lighting, etc. just for this post.

This example features a sloped mullion, multiple curtain panels (two glazing colors and a door) as well as a custom mullion profile (the horizontal fin). The aluminum framing also steps up and over the low masonry wall on the right hand side.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Free Webinar: "Revit Rendering with Dan Stine - Materials and Lighting" presented by ArchVision

The long title to this post says it all. As a sequel to the successful first presentation on rendering in Revit, I will be diving a little deeper on materials and lighting.

You can watch the first presentation here: "Revit Rendering Workflows" with Dan Stine (approx. 90 minutes)

The details are as follows...

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My Revizto Webinar Recording

Quick post today... to provide a review and link to the recorded Revizto Webinar I did yesterday.

Webinar: Using Revizto for collaboration and client engagement at LHB (45 minutes)

Here are a few highlights, mostly in images, on what I covered...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Autodesk Survey on Commercial Furniture Content; You Can Help!

Canny Chen, the Revit Content Product Owner at Autodesk, created a quick survey to get input on commercial furniture content we might use in our practice.

I was asked to share this with others so they can get as much input as possible.

Details are as follows...

Templates and Families Not Installed

A not too uncommon issue, in the world of installing Revit, is missing content;templates and families. The issue often relates to the fact that content is downloaded separately during the install process, so internet connectivity is important.

The problem is often obvious immediately when you first open Revit, with a prompt like "The path to the default family template files is invalid". In this post I will provide a few pointers on how to get this issue resolved.

For Revit 2016 - 2018.1 versions...

Monday, September 11, 2017

Revit Roadmap; Product Development Highlights

About a year ago Autodesk published "The First-Ever Public Roadmap" on their blog, with the goal of showing their hand on the general direction of product development.

Some of the features, from the first roadmap, now available in Revit 2018 or 2018.1 are:

  • Navisworks Underlay
  • Dynamo Player Inputs
  • Multi-story Stairs and Railings
  • Edit Circuit Path
  • Multipoint Routing for MEP Fab
  • Customizable Building and Space Types
  • Outdoor Air Rates
  • Hydronic Pipe Networks
  • Pipe Flow Pressure Drop Computed in Background
  • More Steel Conections

For details on the new roadmap...

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Energy Settings Properties Missing

As I just mentioned a few days ago, in this post, with this blog I intend to capture answers to questions I receive from instructors using my textbooks (from SDC Publications) in their classes.

I received a question from an instructor using my Design Integration using Autodesk Revit 2018 textbook in his class. All the computers in the lab were missing the energy settings properties in the Energy Settings dialog; compare the two examples in the image below.

Thanks to help from the great folks at Autodesk, the problem was...

Friday, September 8, 2017

Autodesk Survey on Standard Tile Patterns; You Can Help!

One of the Revit product designers at Autodesk created a simple survey to get input on standard tile patterns we might use in our practice.

I was asked to share this with others so they can get as much input as possible.

Details are as follows...

Autodesk Enhances Offerings in AEC Collections

Fifteen years ago Autodesk acquired Revit Technology Corporation for "$133 million cash" (see Autodesk News Release). Today, in recognition of that milestone, Autodesk just added a few more products to their AEC Collections offering; they are...
  • Revit Live
    Revit® Live cloud service turns Revit and Revit LT models into an immersive experience in one click, helping architects understand, explore, and share their designs. Watch 2:03m Video


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Webinar: Using Revizto for Collaboration and Client Engagement

I will be doing a presentation for Revizto next week! Here are the details...


with our special guest 
Dan Stine, LHB

Using Revizto for collaboration
and client engagement at LHB

Tuesday, September 12, 12PM CDT 
We are excited to invite you to join us for our global webinar hosted by Dan Sine - Author, Educator and BIM Administrator at LHB.

Dan will walk us through a proven workflow for collaboration and client engagement using Revizto. This presentation will simulate a client meeting, highlighting ways Revitzo can be used to explore the model and capture client comments and requested changes. Attendees will get a chance to see how several Revizto features can be used  collectively to demonstrate the design intent and react to client questions with minimal effort. 

We will leave the last 10 minutes for any questions you would like to ask Dan after his presentation.
We are looking forward to seeing you on September 12!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

How to redeem your SDC Publications access code

At this time of year, most schools have begun in the United States. One of the reasons I created this blog, earlier this year, is to capture answers to questions I receive from instructors using my books within their program. If one person has a question, there are likely others who could benefit from the answer. Plus, I can better organize my answers and more easily share links as a reply.

I previously wrote a post on errata as it relates to my books; you can read that here: Even Homer Nods; SDC Publications Book Errata.

Gone are the days of...

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Architech Show; Architecture and Technology Podcast

I have really been getting into podcasts lately. They are a great way to make a long drive seem shorter. I recently posted about podcasts and a few I have been guest on; Simply Complex Podcast; I talk lighting with Marcello. Well I managed to find my way on to another great podcast with a fun group of Australian guys; Joe Banks, Greg Lamb, Will and Nick; The Architech Show.

Joe Banks, Marcus Finch, Dan Stine and Johan Hanegraff at BILT-NA 2017
Joe just earned the top speaker slot, based on...

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Revit Ideas Archived Due to Low Support

Autodesk's primary mechanism for gathering user input for new features and changes to Revit is the Revit Ideas site. I wrote about this, in general, in this post: Revit Ideas.

Turns out, if your idea does not get enough support, it will be archived after about six months. I just received several emails, like the example shown here.

Fair enough, the site feels a bit of a mess. So thinning out ideas that do not resonate with others makes sense. For example, my Bind Revit Link - Maintain Phases Option idea only received five votes.

The challenge is...

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Mechanical Focused Intro of MEPPP Demo with Blake Guither

The new MEP Productivity Pack (MEPPP) has a ton of new features to support MEP design and documentation. Blake Guither, mechanical engineer at Gausman and Moore, gives us an overview of this new package from the mechanical point of view in the YouTube video linked below. Our updated electrical overview video is forthcoming.

There is so much introductory material, this is a one hour presentation! This is in addition to all the short, bite-sized videos, I mentioned last week by CTC's Shawn ZirbesMEPPP Intro Videos.

Just a few highlights highlights:

Friday, September 1, 2017

Revit System Browser - Electrical Example

Autodesk Revit has a feature that many outside of the MEP discipline are aware of, called the System Browser. It can be turned on from the View tab, via the User Interface drop-down as shown below.

From this palette-type interface we can see what is connected, what is not, plus various loads and totals. Thus, it is an important place to review often to make sure you have a properly developed system - whether that be mechanical, electrical or piping (MEP).

As I mentioned in yesterday's post,