Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Product Review: AutoTURN for Revit

AutoTURN is a product that has been around for a long time... as an add-in for CAD we use it to define and verify the path and clearances required for vehicles. Transoft, the makers of AutoTURN, have now come out with a version for Revit. And, while the primary use-case for most might still be civil engineers and landscape architects in CAD for applications divorced from a building, some architects need to do this themselves or, like LHB, design public works projects such as transportation centers (see image below,) city bus storage and maintenance facilities, County maintenance facilities and fire stations which all have large vehicles moving within a building.

I gave AutoTURN for Revit a test drive using the free trial version. It was easy to download and...

Monday, July 30, 2018

Revit Starting View and Titleblock Re-purposing

A nice technique I am seeing more and more is the use of a Sheet View with a custom titleblock for Revit's preset Starting View. This post will discuss what, how and why...

First, in case you don't know, Revit let's you select a specific view to open with every time Revit is

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Past Projects - University of Minnesota Mechanical Engineering Building - Minneapolis

Yesterday I posted about my trip, earlier this week, to the University of Minnesota school of architecture... that post is here: Lighting Design at the University of Minnesota. On that trip I brought Ben Sherman, Dunwoody architecture student and intern working with me at LHB, and we got there a little early so I could show him a project I worked on several years ago. I thought it would be fun to share a past project now and then on this blog, so here it is...

Project: UofM Mechanical Engineering Building Remodel and Addition

Year Completed: 2000

While working on this project I was at a firm called SJA Architects, which is now part of

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Lighting Design at the University of Minnesota

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit with two University of Minnesota College of Design professors and a student researcher about a new Lighting Design Minor they are developing. This will be a great resource/asset for the aspiring architect and interior design interested in a holistic approach to sustainable and high performance design.

Mary Guzowski is a professor in the school of architecture who focuses on daylighting and sustainable design. And my friend Abimbola O. Asojo, PhD, AIA, IDEC, LEED AP who is a professor in the interior design program... I have presented to Abi's students for the past three years and have written about that here: Enscape Blog Post: Best Practices for Lighting and Exposure. And finally, for introductions, is the talented student researcher Logan Stein who, along with another student I have not met - Tianwei Gu, performed several case study tests over the summer.

Pictured above in Rapson Hall, from left to right: Abi, Myself, Logan and Mary

The case studies revolved around the analysis and simulation of a recently completed remodel...

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Drop-down menus are missing in Revit 2018

There are still a number to issues in Revit 2019 related to 4k monitors and Windows DPI scaling. I still recommend you stay way from 4k monitors. I recently got a new laptop and ran into an issue... due to a specific combination of hardware, all the drop-down menus in Revit's properties palette do not work as shown in the first image below.

Read on for the unfortunate workaround....

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Revit Lifeline by Steve Stafford

If you ever want a second opinion on the workflow for a large project or need help on a tricky Revit issue and don't have time to wait for Revit support, consider using Steve Stafford's Lifeline. I did just last week when dealing with a tricky Shared Coordinates issue... he helped me for nearly two hours! And at a $1/minute it was well worth it. Click the links below to learn more!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Revit Parameters - Using the Correct Units - Structural Framing Total Weight

Revit schedules can do some complicated things, using built-in and custom parameters combined with formulas. Often. I seem to start setting things up in a way that is more complicated than it needs to be... when there are easier ways to achieve a desired results.

One things that helps, in many ways, is to use the correct units, or type, when creating a parameter. As you will see in this example, you get the benefit of not having to "normalize" or remove the units of another parameter when using it in a formula and you can change the format and have the value automatically change.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Product Review: MSI WT75 8SM Laptop with Intel Xeon E-2176G 3.7GHz Desktop Processor

While at NVIDIA GTC earlier this year, where I presented on Virtual Reality (VR) in the Architecture/Engineering/Construction (AEC) market, I had the opportunity to talk with Maggie Chen at the MSI booth in the exhibit hall. Through this lengthy discussion and follow up emails I was able to test one of their super new workstation-grade laptops for two weeks. This laptop has one thing in particular that is pretty amazing and could not even be mentioned publicly until today!

This laptop has an Intel Xeon E-2176G 3.70GHz Desktop Processor in it!

Wait, what? Not only is this a new processor, it is a desktop processor in a laptop.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Autodesk Insight webinar series

I was just reading Dmitry Chubrik's weekly blog reviews (translated to English) on his website BIM2B.ru and realized I had not posted about the great new Autodesk series on Insight; their cloud-based energy analysis tool.

Learn everything about building performance analysis: Autodesk Insight webinar series

There are three episodes so far (listed below):

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Revit Basics - View Range plus Discipline

Sometimes restating something again, and a little differently, can help a person understand a topic more clearly. Perhaps this post on Revit's View Range will connect a few more dots for those having trouble fully grasping the concept. Plus, this post ties in the plan view's Discipline setting and the Beyond linetype...

First, notice that the View Range dialog can be expanded and has a helpful graphic as shown here. Revit help also has this detailed description of View Range: About the View Range

Architectural plan view:
  • If an item touches the Cut Plane, or is below it, it will appear.
  • Wall cabinets will appear above the cut plane
    • Actually, casework, windows and generic models appear if at or below the Top Range
    • By contrast, you will notice the specialty equipment (SE) item will not appear in plan.
The Bottom & View Depth typical align and we see nothing below this in the model.

Monday, July 9, 2018

DWG Export Offset Issue

Occasionally, when exporting to DWG from Revit, some elements will be shifted in the resultant DWG as shown in the first image below; light fixtures moved out of the ceiling grids). While I do not know the reason for the shift, I have found it happens when exporting a Sheet with views. A workaround is to export the View directly, not from the sheet.

Here is the exported view (next image) with the light fixtures in the correct location...

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Revit 'Energy Settings' Tip - Avoid Masses Only Setting

I wrote a post a while back about Autodesk's work with gbXML.org on Level 3 Certification and Validation. That post talks about Revit's ability to create a more accurate energy model automatically. This new workflow supplants the previous method which resulted in special mass elements, in some cases, required rooms/spaces to be created. This post highlights the fact that the old  way is still in Revit for legacy reasons, but should be avoided to leverage the latest and greatest features in this area.

First, there is what Revit help says on the topic...

  • Use energy settings: This method exports the energy analytical model created by Revit.
    The energy analytical model is composed of analytical spaces and analytical surfaces, which are created based on parameters defined in the Energy Settings dialog. The exported data provides an accurate energy model for analysis. Before using this method, define parameters in the Energy Settings dialog and create an energy analytical model.
  • Use room/space volumes: This method uses volumes defined in the building model based on rooms or spaces in the model. These volumes may not be as accurate as those created using energy settings. Before using this method, add rooms or spaces to the model.
    The resulting gbXML file contains energy information for the model according to the gbXML file structure, which is based on a gbXML schema. The gbXML schema was created to help building designers get information about the energy consumption characteristics of their building projects. For more information about the gbXML schema, visit http://www.gbxml.org.

Next, I will quickly show the two methods and the resultant energy model in Revit.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Phase Filters and Linked Model Visibility

This has baffled me for years, that Phase Filters must exist in both the host model and linked models or you can run into visibility issues. A Phase Filter is associated with a specific view, so how can one in a lined model have any impact on the host? Well, it does and has been an issue for years.

Here is a recent example I ran into...

Monday, July 2, 2018

Enscape Blog Posts; Water and Videos!

With the new release of Enscape 2.3 I had the opportunity to write a new post and update an old one. The new one is super exciting, and covers the enhanced water and the update covers the already improved video creation features.

I love these two images I created using Enscape 2.3, which shows off the control and quality of water. On the...