Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
In next few weeks we will put it to the test and see what improvements it brings to the realm of Building Performance Analysis.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
The second update is the client application for all of the other BIM platforms that can produce gbXML files. Therefore, AutoCAD Architecture 2009 and MEP 2008 and 2009, as well as ArchiCAD users will still have to submit their files outside of their applications.
I almost forgot, black is the new green as the Green Building Studio web interface has changed to resemble the ADSK home page.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
|RAC 2008||RAC 2009|
This morning I decided to put a simple model created in RAC 2008 to the test and, since I suspected that having the structural elements might have something to do with XML output, I placed a simple round (pay attention to the word “round”) concrete column in the center of this test structure. Analysis of the 2008 XML file did not show anything unusual, so I proceeded and opened the same file in RAC 2009. Not to my surprise the newly generated 2009 file quadrupled in size and these are the findings:
|RAC 2008||RAC 2009|
In order to make previously created RAC models applicable, one should declare all of the structural elements as non Room Bounding and by simply doing this the gbXML output from RAC 2009 will be almost identical to the one from RAC 2008. This will increase the usable room area within the project, but we can all agree that this is the small price to pay for being green, or maybe not?
The only slight difference in the file size will be caused by the changed nomenclature within the 2009 generated XML file that is used for more eloquent description of exported surfaces.You can download both the 2008 and 2009 samples and their corresponding XML files by following this link.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
ecoDriver suite of products have been specifically developed for companies and institutions who are keen to reduce their utility costs but who are primarily concerned with improving their organisation’s sustainability.
- Monitor energy & water usage, business travel, etc
- Alert consumers when consumption exceeds targets
- Prompt action to reduce consumption
- Provide feedback on success of action taken
- Engage employees in sustainability endeavours
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Friday, April 04, 2008
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
The first visible improvement starts with Energy Data entry within RAC 2009 Project Information options. The user will have the option to define the ground plane location and project phase as well as the “Sliver” tolerance, which specifies the tolerance for areas that will be considered sliver spaces.
But to me the most interesting one is the ability to specify whether the exported analytical model will contain "Shade" surfacesTypes enumerators or not. If the decision is made to export the model without Shade surfaces, the resulting gbXML file will represent pure space/volume analytical geometry, stripped of any intended or unintended "Shade" surfaces.
The following workflow describes one possible way of merging both gbXML files by using GBS’s VRML browser and a suitable XML editor like XML Marker.
Export two gbXML files: one with "Shade" surfaces turned off and one with "Shade" Surfaces turned on.
Submit the one with "Shade" surfaces to GBS and look at it in the VRML viewer. Examine the surfaces whose name contains “depx” as part of their description and this will help you identify those that you are willing to keep.
Once those surfaces are identified, in the XML editor open the file containing "Shade" surface, copy the entire surface(s) definition, and paste them by appending those after the last element definition in the gbXML file that does not contain any of the “Shade” surfaceType enumerators. Save the modified file and compare the results.
If you work with a relatively small building these results will not be noticeable, but as the scope increases and the complexity of the structure increases, as well as the need to switch from generic building elements to those that have real world thickness, the difference between these different Shading Surfaces options will become more evident.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Before I explain the above statement let us for a second focus on the recent publication “BIM Handbook” by Eastman, Teicholz, Sacks and Liston, in which the authors are somewhat specific in outlining the basic minimum requirements that any BIM platform should meet.
According to the authors, the only key point that does not qualify ACA as a BIM tool is presented by this sentence; “Models that allow changes to dimensions in one view that are not automatically reflected in other views”.
To put the above statement into perspective, it might be prudent when discussing BIM to put the emphasis on the information associated with the building process, and on a given platform’s ability to link and mediate access to different information resources, manipulate it in a way that can be, but it does not have to be, object driven and report it in a way that can be either dictated by the future national standard or by a particular project’s requirements.
Personally I have always been drawn to more pragmatic and budget minded interpretations like this one: “BIM is about creating a richer set of project information, about understanding and being able to recall as much of the project as necessary to allow better informed design decision”, Davies 2006.
So what does this have to do with ACA? Well when it comes to information, it is hard to beat this Swiss Army knife of an application, and if Autodesk really thinks that “AutoCAD Architecture is better for architects”, this release will prove this more so than any other in the last 5 years, but to see this one should look behind the scenes, ribbons, endcaps and few other more in your face changes.
With this release think about interoperability, GSA standard project delivery and Carbon Footprint and than take a deep breath of relief, as the ACA team has finally got it.
Let start with the concept of green-washing as it applies to all of those applications whose claims fell short of promises, but not this time and not with ACA 2009.
With ACA 2009 the architect is empowered again as BIM platform has the ability to specify space loads, occupancy, conditions and thermal properties of the envelope. Than one could say so what? What I say! How about being able to deliver this information via gbXML file for analysis in Green Building Studio (recently purchased by Autodesk) or to the upcoming new release of Ecotect. Needless to say, all of it has been accomplished via the clever use of Property Set Definitions, as many of us have been suggesting for quite some time.
Enough about green: let’s move to BIM standards, and the way the most influential client on the US market defines them. If understanding the minimum BIM compliant project requirements imposed by GSA will ever help you in taking care of your insomnia, go here, but in the meantime the future user of ACA 2009 can peacefully rest knowing that its product has a GSA compliant template with all of the spatial and programmatic classifications built in it.
And, as if this was not enough, the ACA team had to prove how well they can listen and they have linked the object classification and IFC Pset(s) to the IFC Export feature, enabling users to classify ACA objects as IFC compliant classes and associate them with their IFC compliant properties. This means that my Laboratory Casework Library that is made of Doors and Curtain walls can be correctly translated into IFC format and imported and recognized as Furniture with its IFC compliant properties.
Briefly describing these several features does not do any justice to the significance of these quiet changes introduced by the new 2009 release of ACA. In my view it represents a paradigm shift with respect to imaginative handling of objects information and in all honesty extends the shelf life of this platform in ever changing and redefining BIM times. Schematic design in ACA and the related Building Performance Analysis and interoperability are a move in the right direction with the clear goal to award any practitioner that believes in BIM’s well publicized cost/effect curve.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
(VisonREZ news letter)
This is an exciting news for everyone that regards AutoCAD Architecture as a viable BIM platform. hsbCAD brings an amazing palette of software solutions built on AutoCAD Architecture that will, with no doubt, enrich VisonREZ's path toward an integrated BIM solution.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Unfortunately, as this platform is being marketed as just a better drafting tool for those architects that still did not cross over to the other side, most e-space features are being underutilized. Their suitability for program evaluation (a minimum BIM compliancy requirement by GSA), FM required data encapsulation, and now the ability to create quick schematic design energy evaluation models places them in the category of objects that have no true competition in any of Autodesk’s offered BIM platforms. Not to exaggerate, but one can literally make e-spaces talk to the user and report any programmed relationship within the BIM model! (This example will be posted soon.)
In the next few weeks I will attempt to evaluate the quality of ACA’s 2009 gbXML file and its compliancy to gbXML schema 0.35, both in the Green Building Studio environment and hopefully with the new release of highly anticipated Ecotect 5.60 that will be able to import gbXML compliant files.
So, for anyone that wants to get their feet wet and evaluate their schematic design energy models at the early stages of their design process, the 2009 line of Autodesk architectural products is bringing some rather interesting improvements.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Starting today, Autodesk has become a major player in the arena of building performance analysis by acquiring Green Building Studio Inc. , and by doing so the “Factory” can finally stake their claim in green building beyond green marketing.
Green Building Studio, Inc. offers the only web-based solution that provides immediate whole building energy and carbon analysis on any building design scheme. Their product, based on interpretation of gbXML encoded building geometry, allows designers to share information at all stages of design.
If the quality of information contained within most “BIM compliant” datasets ever had to undergo scrutiny of its applicability for delivering better buildings, it would be hard pressed to live up to the hype. Now, the virtual representation of the physical world is one step closer to become a major part of one’s digital building, and the grammar and the vocabulary needed is what Green Building Studio brings to the house of AutoDesk.
When the late Louis Kahn metaphorized architecture as frozen music, he could not have envisioned the decades of CAD/BIM induced white noise. This move by Autodesk represents an enormous opportunity for architects to start composing in harmony with the world around us.
Revit Architecture 2009
Increased sustainable design and energy analysis capabilities through easy exchange with partner applications
Improved visualization functionality with the new Mental Ray engine for rendering, improving speed, quality, and usability
Revit MEP 2009
Air handlers, commercial condensing units, packaged rooftop units, and high-efficiency water source heat pumps
Friday, February 08, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The 40-hour laptop? Nanowires give 10-fold boost to battery life.