Thursday, May 23, 2019

New Contract Documents for 'Interiors Projects' by the American Institute of Architects

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has released six new contracts to accommodate the "unique aspects of interiors projects." They will also be offering a webinar in June to highlight these documents and workflows.


Read on to learn  more...

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

BIM 360 Design - Working with External Consultants not using BIM 360 Design

When working in Autodesk's BIM 360 Design, it is great to work with external consultants live in the cloud. But, what if a consultant does not have a BIM 360 Design entitlement from Autodesk (they are not free)? Many projects do not necessarily justify or require this workflow, so it cannot just be expensed to the project/client.

This post will show a quick way to link these files without even opening them (in Revit). You may also walk away with a better understanding of what Desktop Connector is doing under the hood.


Continue reading to learn more...

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Cost Estimating Directly in Revit

Revit can be used to develop a detailed construction cost estimate which includes soft costs, e.g. Labor Rate, Labor Hours, Overhead and Profit. We can even account for non-modeled items, such as rock removal and tower cranes. This post is based on material I presented in a session titled Interior Design Workflows at RTC-Asia 2015 in Singapore (now known as BILT and DBEI).

Be sure to scroll to the bottom and see images showing the RS Means estimating module built-in to Revit many years ago.


In preparation, we need to create parameters and the schedule with calculated values.

Keep reading to learn more...

Monday, May 13, 2019

Autodesk Unveils Cost Management add-on for BIM 360 Build

Last week Autodesk unveiled a new Cost Management tool that works within BIM 360 Build.


Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, May 10, 2019

Enscape Blog Post: CUSTOM SKYBOX IN ENSCAPE

My latest Enscape blog post is out... and it is on how to create a project-specific custom skybox for use in Enscape!


The baked-in backgrounds available in Enscape are great for a preliminary presentations, but quickly you (and your client) will want to feel the true context of the site. Be sure to check out the post for all the details, including the use of a 360 photo-sphere camera and Photoshop to improve the image.

Below I also share a couple of the images and a little more on the GoPro Fusion for 360 video - which has nothing to do with Enscape... this is just for fun.

Continue reading to learn more...

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

UpCodes for Revit - Real-time Code Checking with AI

One of the coolest new things I have seen recently is UpCodes, which is an add-in for Revit. In their own word, this tool...
"is a design aid for architects and engineers. View code errors in real-time directly in Revit with a “spell check” for compliance."
I think of this tool more as a "Turbo Tax" for building codes, rather than a "spell check" as it is so sophisticated and updated every two weeks. And now... version 1.0.3 includes AI.

The most amazing thing is it just works, right out of the box on any Revit model with any Revit content... at least so far, based on my initial testing.


Keep reading to learn more...

Monday, May 6, 2019

BIM 360 Design Local Files and More

Revit creates a lot of files in your Windows User folder on your local drive. It is helpful to be aware of this, especially if you are having troubles with free disk space or accessing a BIM 360 Design project. I tend to keep these folders clean due to the number of Revit versions/projects I support, and yet mine are still pretty large, in terms of total space used.

BIM 360 Design local files:
Continue reading to learn more...

Friday, May 3, 2019

Tagging Material Information within Revit

Earlier this week, a question was tweeted by Carina Clark, from HED, about the possibility of combining a Material's Mark and Keynote value in a single tag. While this cannot be done (workaround noted below) I was reminded of some realted material in a conference handout I prepared for RTC-Asia back in 2015.

We often want to identify a material in the model with smart "text" - or rather, a tag. In this case, we are talking about a Revit material defined within a System Family (e.g. Wall, Ceiling, Floor), a Loadable Family (e.g. Furniture, Casework, Doors, etc.) or Painted on a surface (which overrides the material defined in the Family).


Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Managing Light Level Design Intent in Revit - Average Illuminance; MEPPP New Feature

As I mentioned in this post, Introducing the MEPPP Universal Lighting Fixture Family for Revit, we recently rolled out an updated version of CTC Software's MEP Productivity Pack (MEPPP). One significant development on the electrical side is around lighting fixtures. In this post I want to share another new feature/workflow added related to managing light level design intent and visualizing preliminary results using analytical views.

Most of the following information is from the MEPPP User Guide, which can be downloaded for free via a link in this post: Promoting Industry Standards for Revit MEP plus Free User Guide, Shared Parameters & More.

Preliminary Illuminance Calculations

Target Illuminance levels can be selected for each room using the Schedule Key shown below. This schedule can be manually edited for a firm’s own standard. Additional rows may be added by clicking the Insert Data Row command.


Keep reading to learn more...

Saturday, April 27, 2019

ACEC-MN Design Technology Forum - Augmented Reality in AEC

Yesterday, at the regional ACEC Design Technology Forum, I had the opportunity to share our work at LHB in the AEC space (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) with Augmented Reality (AR) using the Microsoft HoloLens. Thanks to BARR for hosting this month's meeting.

This post will share the highlights from the meeting, including my slides and video links.


Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Living Wall Example in Revit

I occasionally receive Revit-related questions from professors who use my books in academia. Yesterday I received one concerning performance; a small model around 30 MB. I figured right away it would have something to do with a complex family, and I was right, sorta. The main issue was using Realistic mode in Revit, more on that in a moment, and the number of RPC shrubs placed in the project.

Turns out, the RPC content was being used to create a living wall in an interesting way. This post will show how that was done and talk about a "cure" for realistic mode.


Read on to learn more...

Monday, April 22, 2019

Daylight Factor with Solar Tubes in ElumTools

Here in Minnesota, where I live and work, there is a requirement that all publicly funded projects comply with the B3 program, which is similar to USGBC's LEED program. One of those requirements relates to Daylight Factor. We use ElumTools to run a simulation to derive this value. This post will touch on this more, and a challenge the ElumTools developers helped us overcome!



Read on to learn more...

Friday, April 19, 2019

Revit 2020 - Path of Travel Tool

I posted a link to my AECbytes "What's New" article in the Out There section in RevitFourm.org recently.



Lots of good discussions about the tool, how it works and its limitations... I am sure this V1 feature will be improved to accommodate some of the things discussed, like AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) and codes requiring specific things like all turns be 90 degrees and not going through an electrical room. Jeff Hanson, from Autodesk, has chimed in to respond to a few questions and "set the record straight" comments:)


Continue reading to learn more...

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Two Revit 2020 Hotfixes

Many firms wait until the first major Update (e.g. 2020.1) or 3-6 months before deploying a new version of Revit into production; that is what I do. For those that have, or want to, jump right in there are two hotfixes you should probably install. One addresses an issue where Revit starts in Viewer Mode and the other has to do with Autodesk 2020 products, in general, not playing well with systems set to hibernate or go to sleep. BTW, hopefully hibernate/sleep mode are common. On a related note, LHB participated in a plug load study that resulted in the following report and info-graph:




Keep reading to learn more about the hotfixes...

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Introducing the MEPPP Universal Lighting Fixture Family for Revit

We recently rolled out an updated version of CTC Software's MEP Productivity Pack (MEPPP). One significant development on the electrical side is around lighting fixtures. Over the 8+ years this product has been sold, a lot of customers (electrical engineers and contractors) have requested an un-hosted version of the content. I don't like the idea in principle, and we would almost never use them in our multi-discipline practice here are LHB, but there is always the exception (e.g. architect working in 2D AutoCAD). The main issue deflecting effort in this develop was that we would essential need two families for every fixture; face based and level based (aka un-hosted).

I am happy to report we were able to develop a hosted and un-hosted set fixtures in a single family. It even has a native, non-nested, light source to making modifying the photometry simple and facilitate a smooth workflow for lighting analysis (using ElumTools, for example).

BTW, we have been collaborating with Steven Bunker on this content. A electrical engineer and Revit guru I met in an Autodesk beta meeting! He is fairly active in the Autodesk Forums - click here for that.

Keep reading to learn more...

Monday, April 15, 2019

Phasing Versus Design Options

Quick and simple post today... a reminder for some, and new information for others. The topic is defining the difference between phasing and design options. Read on if you want to learn more...

Friday, April 12, 2019

A Visit to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Earlier this week we took my son, who is a junior in high school, on a college visit to the #1 art school in the USA... the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Who knows if he will get accepted or if we can afford it, but I suggested we 'shoot for the stars' and see what happens... especially given his passion for art. BTW, he created the mascot for this blog when is we 15.

I decided to share some photos I took from the visit, even though they to not do this campus justice; it has an amazing vibe and immense character. I have a few photos of a quick tour of the RISD school of architecture as well, which I initiated as my son is not interested in following me... which is perfectly fine. Given I am an architect, teach graduate architecture students at NDSU and have the #1 Revit textbook in the USA academic market, you can imagine why I would stop in to say hello:)


Read on to learn more...

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Revit 2020 Books - Free Exam Copy for Instructors


Today I am pleased to  announce my line of Autodesk Revit 2020 textbooks are updated and will be ready for Fall 2019 semester. I have a textbook for every user level, covering a variety of disciplines and uses. Many of my books include training videos and instructor support material.
Instructors, request your free examination copies today, and SDC Publications will send you copies as they become available (see
eligibility statement below).

Residential Design Using Autodesk Revit 2020
Residential Design Using Autodesk Revit 2020

Beginner, 688 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-63057-256-3
  • Starts at an introductory level
  • Project based tutorials design a house from start to finish
  • Includes access to extensive video training
  • Bonus material covers Insight 360, finding missing elements, and much more
  • Helps you prepare for the Autodesk Revit Architecture Certification Exam

Interior Design Using Autodesk Revit 2020
Interior Design Using Autodesk Revit 2020

Beginner, 850 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-63057-254-9
  • Written specifically for interior designers
  • No previous experience with Autodesk Revit is required
  • Uses a project based, tutorial style approach
  • Includes access to extensive video instruction and bonus content
  • Helps you prepare for the Autodesk Revit Architecture Certification Exam

Design Integration Using Autodesk Revit 2020
Design Integration Using Autodesk Revit 2020

Beginner, Intermediate, 898 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-63057-250-1
  • Covers all three disciplines of Autodesk Revit in one book
  • Guides you through creating a two story law office while teaching you the BIM process
  • Uses step-by-step tutorials and starts at an introductory level
  • Includes access to extensive video instruction and bonus chapters
  • Bonus chapters include an introduction to lighting design, multi-story stairs, building performance analysis and much more

Commercial Design Using Autodesk Revit 2020
Commercial Design Using Autodesk Revit 2020

Beginner, 624 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-63057-248-8
  • Starts at an introductory level
  • Project based tutorials design an office building from start to finish
  • Includes access to nearly 100 video tutorials
  • Bonus material covers multi-story stairs, Insight 360, ElumTools, and much more

Autodesk Revit for Architecture Certified User Exam Preparation (Revit 2020 Edition)
  • This book will prepare you to pass the Revit Certified User Exam on your first try
  • Designed for users with about 150 hours of instruction and real-world Revit experience
  • Gives an overview of the exam process
  • Describes the main topics you need to be familiar with to pass the exam
  • Comes with practice exam software that simulates an actual exam
  • Includes access to a discount on the actual certification exam

Autodesk Revit 2020 Architectural Command Reference
Autodesk Revit 2020 Architectural Command Reference

Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, 750 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-63057-246-4
  • Comprehensive coverage of Autodesk Revit’s commands and features
  • Includes access to nearly 100 video tutorials
  • Contains expert user tips and tricks throughout the book
  • Essential desk reference for users of all levels
  • Organized in the same way the Revit user interface is presented

Who can request exam copies? 
Only educators in the United States and Canada may request examination copies. All requests are subject to approval and only legitimate requests will be fulfilled. SDC respects your privacy. For more information you can read their privacy statement.


For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn

I also write blog posts for Enscape - a new paradigm in rendering, animation and VR for AEC.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

My Annual AECbytes.com Article - What's New in Revit 2020

It's that time of year again... the new version for Revit has just dropped. Not only that, but you can learn all about the new Revit 2020 features in my AECbytes article.

Sneak peak... three new features are:

#1 Path of Travel...

Read on to learn more...

Friday, April 5, 2019

Promoting Industry Standards for Revit MEP plus Free User Guide, Shared Parameters & More

Please consider the following information which promotes BIM standardization within the AEC industry for Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP). I highly encourage you to share this with your colleagues, consultants and resellers to help promote this ambitious effort!

This is not a sales pitch for the MEP Productivity Pack (MEPPP) per se, but a call to action. We are giving away, for free, our Shared Parameters file, User Guide and some reference material to promote and facilitate this cause.

" Imagine a world where an engineer or designer can use any manufacturer’s family to drop in the model, and have the family tag and schedule instantly or even better yet by having the schedule already filled in with actual selection information"

Read on to learn more...

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Enscape V2.5 plus Two New Enscape Blog Posts

Enscape Version 2.5 just dropped! This includes a material editor in Rhino, a ton of new high quality assets, a new clearcoat material type, video editing improvements and more! I also wrote two blog posts on the Enscape site covering the asset library and the Rhino material editor!

Click the images to follow the links.


Keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

My Interview on Business of Architecture

I had the good fortune to be interviewed on Enoch Sear's Business of Architecture podcast, and that episode went live yesterday. So, if you want to hear my go on about training, book writing, teaching, VR/AR and more, be sure to check it out...


keep reading to learn more...

Friday, March 29, 2019

Revit Content Cut Plane Study

Today's post comes compliments of my friend Pieter Schiettecatte from A+I in New York City.

Pieter shares a study he did on how Revit content in cut, or not, in the project environment based on a few variables. He even provided a really nice diagram (snippet shown here in the intro).


Continue reading to learn more...

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Sharing Revit Shared Project Parameters

This post is a continuation / follow up to the post I wrote earlier this week on creating a sheet index that tracks multiple bid packs; click here to read that. When using something like this, or any shared parameters, you sometimes need to share that information with other firms, or in-house disciplines, you are working with. This post will share an easy way to achieve this.


Read on to learn more...

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

My New AutoCAD 2020 Book

Autodesk's AutoCAD 2020 is officially out today... and, not only is my AutoCAD book updated it is already printed and in-hand! Photos below:) This book has been updated every year since AutoCAD 2005... many schools teach AutoCAD, as many firms still use it, so it remains widely used each year.

The best thing about annually updating the book is I am able to catch errors and make the book match the current software for the best possible student experience. This year I even made four pages of instructor-requested changes AFTER I sent the final manuscript to the publisher!

Residential Design Using AutoCAD 2020
Published March 27, 2019
450 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-63057-258-7


Additionally...

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Revit Sheet Index with Multiple Bid Packs

Here is a way to create a sheet index using shared parameter to track multiple bid packs (BP), where a single sheet can have various significance in each BP.

Read on to learn more...

Friday, March 22, 2019

Midwest University 2019 Recap

Another conference has come and gone... Midwest University 2019 at Mystic Lake Casino and Convention Center in Minnesota. During the keynote, the president of ATG described it as the largest AEC conference in the USA. I had to stop and think about that, but its probably true. Autodesk University has about 10k person but is not just an AEC conference, and with MU having around 700 attendees it is larger than BILT. But, where BILT is focused mainly on buildings, MU also caters to civil engineers using AutoCAD Civil 3D and InfraWorks - which is part of AEC.


The conference had some amazing presenters and attendees... I talked to multiple people from Gensler, Perkins + Will and more. Just to name a few of the presenters... Paul Aubin, Brian Mackey, Michael Kilkelly (ArchSmarter) and Steven Shell. Interestingly, the first three that came to mind are independent consultants, and then Steven is a sole proprietor of his own architecture firm. There where many other great firms and presenters at MU this year.

The North American Committee Chair for BILT, Robert Bell, also presented. I wish I could mention more people but my lunch break is almost over:)

Additionally...

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

LHB SPOTLIGHT: DAN STINE, BIM ADMINISTRATOR

I was featured on the LHB blog this week... sharing a link to that here.

LHB blog: https://lhbblog.com/2019/03/18/lhb-spotlight-dan-stine-bim-administrator/


I hope you like it.


For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn

I also write blog posts for Enscape - a new paradigm in rendering, animation and VR for AEC.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Microsoft HoloLens on LHB Urban Street and Utilities Reconstruction Project

I wanted to share an example of how the Microsoft HoloLens can be used on Public Works projects. With the impending release of the next generation HoloLens 2, the use of holograms in design and constriction is only going to become more prevalent... so check out this post to get up to speed!

This post features an LHB urban street and utilities reconstruction project.


Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Don’t Make New Types While in a Design Option

Today's post comes compliments of my friend Pieter Schiettecatte from A+I in New York City.

There is a bug in Revit 2019 that you might want to be aware of if you work with design options a lot.

If you create a new family type (wall type, floor type, furniture type, …) while working in a primary design option, something weird happens: if you now try to change the Primary, you will get a message saying: “No element in a secondary Option can be referenced by an element outside that Option.” Your only option will be to cancel (the OK button is grayed out).


Additionally...