Bim Priority List?


RodCole
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Edit:  BIM for those who have not heard of it is Building Information Modeling.

 

I have been working on ways to implement  my own version of BIM recently using CA and other apps.  Some of the fundamental premises of BIM are that you should be able to create a model and then leverage the use of that model using a variety of apps in order to best accomplish the req'd tasks.

 

An example of this would be to create the model and then very early in the design process be able to provide Architectural Visualizations and Cost information.  From there model details can be provided to the engineer in order to streamline the process of design and construction documentation.

 

Another thing that I have been working on recently is providing 3D pdf files of the model as an additional deliverable to the job site.  At this time this requires the use of other software in addition to CA.

 

The reason I started this threat is that I would like to see what value others place on BIM and what features they would like to use in there work if any.

 

Where Chief is concerned this is my personal wish list.

 

1.  Costing........ Improvements to the Material List.  Many great features, but it needs a lot of work in order to be practical.

2.  Better file import and export including layer names and initial coordinate placement of symbols for interaperability.

3.  Expand on and improve the camera callout features of X6.  CAD Details, more callout shapes ect....

4.  U3D or 3D pdf file export with dimensions and text.  3D workplane for correct placement and orientation.

5.  Continue to improve CA ray tracing and the integration of other rendering engines regarding Arch Viz and annimation.

 

There is a lot of hype and techno babble out there regarding BIM these days.  What I would like to get to the bottom of is what it is that is most important to the end users of a program such as Chief regarding real world implementation of BIM.  Please feel free to comment on what your interests are.

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Rod:

 

I've been asking for "industry" BIM for almost a decade

 

CA doesn't seem to be interested and claims that Chief is already "BIM"

 

I don't think they even come close to understanding what "BIM" is about

 

I've seen very few users on this forum who are interested in the capabilities of "BIM"

 

Lew

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I know you have been a proponent of BIM Lew, and that should be a good thing.  I am not so sure that other Chief users would not be interested in BIM if they had a better understanding of the importance of BIM for the future of the design industry.

 

What I am hoping to accomplish with this thread is to see just what aspects of BIM are most important to building designers and their customers.  That way we may be able to sort through some of the media hype and focus on practical needs.

 

BTW  Chief does do many aspects of BIM very well, such as visuallizations.  It also does a respectable job a many other aspects of BIM as well.  What it does not do, IMO is in regards to interoperability with other apps.

 

I believe that to be more of a condition of the industry as a whole rather than a faiing of Chief as such.  But, it is something that needs to be addressed for any meaningful progress to be made in this area.  I am refering to free and open interoperability here, not some version of the Claw from Toy Story only under another trademark.

 

The reason why things are the way they are is not as important to me as what needs to be done to correct it.  That means making it clear to companies such as Chief what the needs of their customers are in regards to BIM.

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I think BIM could be nice for those of you who spec everything in a project. I personally Don't spec much on my projects b/c most of my clients just haven't decided yet, except for some major items. I try to keep my projects as generic as possible for that reason and budget reasons. BIM wouldn't help me much but could help others a lot.

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This topic to me is somewhat like the invention of the steam engine.  You really don't need it until you have to compete with it.  If BIM is done correctly, then it would a great boon to design deliverables, and the end of 2D CAD as the driver of construction documentation.

 

The problem I see with BIM as it is currently done is that it is not complete enough to require meaningful change at this point.  An example would be BIM as promoted currently.  Do parts of the model in 3D, but not too much because it would be too hard and too time consuming.

 

Then we can still do cost and material estimates instead of true material costing based on objects in the model itself.  I understand why it is that way, I just am not in favor of half measures where BIM is concerned.  Another version of this is to construct a 3D model, and then revert to traditional CAD for CDs.  From my point of view, if you are going to do BIM then do it, not half measures and sell it as BIM.

 

From my perspective, it is time to establish what is important about BIM from the standpoint of designers and their customers, not the software industry.  Then we need to do it.

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What it does not do, IMO is in regards to interoperability with other apps

 

Rod:

 

to me this is the "heart" of BIM

and like the "Tin Man" Chief has no heart :(

 

Look at Sketchup - a lowly $500 program - and all the other BIM programs

it can share files with

 

some can even be bi-directional ...

 

good luck with your quest

but like Dylan I think you are "blowin in the wind"

 

Lew

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I think BIM could be nice for those of you who spec everything in a project

 

Perry:

 

Hmmm, not sure if BIM has much to do with spec'ing a project  ???

Maybe it does but at the moment I can't think of a connection  ???

 

BIM is used for costing, energy calcs, structural calcs, collision detection for MEP

and even 4D, 5D and 6D software

 

Chief could benefit from 4D and 5D inter-operability

not so much for 6D

 

Lew

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Lew

 

Could you give a few specifics of what you think should be addressed first in regards to Chief and BIM.  Not so much the acronyms, but the functions and processes that you would like to see implemented.

 

I remember that you are retired, but I also remember that you have been following the developement of BIM for some time now, and have worked with and are familiar with Chief.

 

If you don't mind, would you provide a list of the features that you think would be most important.

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Rod:

 

I'm working off of memory at this point

if you had asked back in 2006-2008 I could have posted a list with links etc

 

I did much of that back on the old forum

 

times are very busy for me as I have opened a museum for my family's history

on the Niagara Frontier

 

so doing BIM research can only happen in slow moments

 

in the meantime look at what BIM software that Sketchup can use

as a good starting point

 

Lew

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Rod:

 

here is some reading material:

 

I think Affinity would be a great companion for Chief

If Chief had BIM

Sketchup does - but not Chief

 

http://www.trelligence.com/docs/Affinity-SketchUp.pdf

 

play video on this page:
http://www.trelligence.com/blog_google.php

 

also watch some these videos:
http://www.trelligence.com/affinity_onlinedemos.php

 

 

 

IT WOULD BE NICE IF CHIEF WAS ON THIS LIST"
http://bimforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/BIM_Tools_Matrix.pdf

 

 

free BIM webinars like this one:
http://www.masoncontractors.org/education/3d-masonry-modeling-using-sketchup-for-the-mason-contractor/

 

BIM FOR DUMMIES:
http://www.vicosoftware.com/vico-office-demos-bim-for-dummies/tabid/306193/Default.aspx

 

Lew

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In my view Chief Architect is perhaps most BIM of of them all , and Sketchup would be at the other end the scale.

 

To me the promise of BIM is more than a parametric 3D model that can talk to others, it is a tool that actually helps you build and take care of the routine work and maybe even help with design decisions. CA does that way better than Revit and Archicad at the moment, admittedly only for residential, and Sketchup doesn't do it at all. Both Archicad and Revit are getting more and more clever in terms of parts and building components that fit together intelligently but things like for example framing are typically awkvard addons.

 

Flame retardant suit on, but I think one issue for Chief going forward will be to shake a bit of the 'builder's tool' image and become more attractive to architects in order to be used on a bit more original and contemporary projects than what we typically see. Assuming that is what the management would like obviously, but I just can't stop wondering why the projects they have in their ads are starting to look very different from all the traditional sample plans we've seen so far.

 

Perhaps the biggest limitation Chief faces is the lack of being able to handle multiple users but it may not be necessary for a while. The fact is, Chief's price point should make it very attractive for most smaller studios, especially now that there is a Mac version. I may be mistaken but from what I can tell you can't buy Revit separately anymore, only as a part of their Building Suite, listed at $6,850. Archicad is $4,250 and although a great tool, not optimized for the residential market and some prefer Chief regardless of price, I know I did.

 

I do agree though, interoperability such as IFC and gladly FBX is a must.

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Lew, the definition of BIM by Bentley Systems who creates Microstation, the today perhaps leading solution at larger Architect firms:

 

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a way of approaching the design and documentation of building projects – by modeling and managing not just graphics, but also information. This information allows the automatic generation of drawings and reports, design analysis, schedule simulation, facilities management, and more – ultimately enabling the building team to make better-informed decisions and to produce better buildings. Generative design enables architects and engineers to pursue designs and achieve results that were virtually unthinkable before. Using associative parametrics and computational methods, designers can explore a broad range of "what-if" alternatives for even the most complex buildings, quickly and easily.

 

Admittedly, Chief is no Microstation but the ambition to make house design more explorative while automating many of the basic steps is certainly there.

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Ncinus:

 

this is the most basic form of BIM

 

Chief is like "Fortress America" in pre_Pearl Harbor WWII

"leave us alone - we don't need you"

 

BIM's main feature - primary feature is inter-operability

 

Chief creates a model - sends it to an energy-calc app

the energy info is added to the model and sent back to Chief - possibly with warnings or errors

 

Chief can then make modifications and repeat the process

 

then on to collision-detection for MEP systems

 

then on to structural apps

 

then on to estimating and material list apps

 

then onto to 4D and 5D apps

 

Chief should NOT be an island

 

Lew

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IMHO you're confusing the concepts. Chief Architect definitely produces a BIM model (yes, I realize that term uses model twice :), which I assume we all can agree on. Now, it sure would be better if it had some structural intelligence and MEP, and hopefully/maybe it will come but is still BIM. Revit existed a long time before it got structural and MEP functionality.

 

What Archicad is proposing in the video is that no one has such a developed BIM solution that it does it all, so interactivity is needed. Hence the drive for what they call OpenBIM, which from what I understand really is a drive to get as many as possible to accept IFC (Archicad has decent MEP but for example lacks structural tools). Regardless, the more the core application can do on it's own I would argue the better, at least for our purposes, and by that I mean the residential/light commercial Chief user. Sure I would love to be able to send my model to an engineer and get it back with proper framing, and one day maybe I will, but surely you don't believe something is a BIM tool just because it can export and import? BIMs main feature per definition is the parametric model.

 

Here, maybe this video will help:

 

http://videos.autodesk.com/zencoder/content/dam/autodesk/www/solutions/building-information-modeling/overview/what-is-bim-video-896x504.mp4

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that no one has such a developed BIM solution that it does it all, so interactivity is needed

 

Hmmm, I read BIM to recommend inter-operability

 

NO software can do it all - nor should it - the cost would be prohibitive

second, while one user might need collision detection another wouldn't

 

Inter-operability is the KEY to BIM

 

For almost a decade I have been recommending that Chief be sold in modules

a Cabinet Chiefer would have no use for the landscaping/terrain features

and the reverse is true for a Landscaper Chiefer

 

if Chief wants to stay as a residential or light commercial (emphasis on light)

then AEC inter-operable BIM is over-kill

 

but then I look little tiny Sketchup - cost $590 - and they can do AEC BIM

so I gotta wonder why Chief can't ???

 

Lew

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Well, I'm personally pretty convinced they want to stay residential/light commercial, and I'm also very happy they haven't split it up as I'm one of those that likes to get involved in both the landscaping and cabinetry. Not at the fertilizer or fabrication level, but enough to specify the larger scheme of things. The residential market has a very limited scope compared to commercial and one of the main attractions of Chief for me is that it is a very allround package.

 

My personal hope for Chief is that they strive very high when it comes to the architectural aspect and the condocs, and then continue to branch out with useful tools for MEP and gladly even some structural. I think it would be great to get help dimensioning lvl's etc based on spans and perhaps even shear walls. I'm hoping equally much though that these excursions never take away the focus of the core building design tools.

 

Don't get me wrong, I also think interoperability is important, but I don't think it key to BIM on the residential level. I want FBX so I can export to 3ds Max, some people perhaps want to export their cabinetry design to 20/20, and some wants dwg to export their site plan to the landscaper. Export formats will take us a long way for some time, but yes, eventually we'll all want IFC. It will take a while before the typical residential landscaper have something in 3D that can be exported back to Chief, but the day will certainly come.

 

Besides, Chief is almost sold in modules today, right? There is an Interior version, a Lite version, and Premier for those of us that like to dabble in it all.

 

PS. There is nothing BIM about Sketchup, have you ever tried it? You can't define a wall type or create door schedules. They have components, which is like symbols, but there is no intelligence in it. There are plugins that can make it more automated and a little more intelligent, but there are CAD plugins for Adobe Illustrator and that doesn't make it Autocad.

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I think Rod has made some good points with regard to BIM in trying to focus on what he wants to do.

 

Focusing on what you need is important. BIM has such a broad and varied definition that you can pretty much say that everything that we do is BIM. But that doesn't pay the bills. What pays the bills is getting the tasks done that you need to do.

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BIM has such a broad and varied definition that you can pretty much say that everything that we do is BIM

 

Doug:

 

So once again, CA is confirming that it has little interest in joining

the "mainstream" crowd in using BIM inter-operability :(

 

Chief's BIM is like watching tv on a B/W set

CA doesn't even realize they are missing color and HD etc

 

sorry to hear that is satisfactory ....

 

Lew

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PS. There is nothing BIM about Sketchup, have you ever tried it? You can't define a wall type or create door schedules. They have components, which is like symbols, but there is no intelligence in it. There are plugins that can make it more automated and a little more intelligent, but there are CAD plugins for Adobe Illustrator and that doesn't make it Autocad.

 

I agree with statement 100%. I generally stay out of the BIM discussions...mostly because it just doesn't apply to my office...but Sketchup is not BIM. Lew, before you state your argument about how we are wrong, do this for me. 

 

I need a simple one bedroom house...nothing special, say 900 sqft. I would like to have complete construction plans and a list of materials so that I can pull some numbers. My municipality requires framing plan, even for small project, so I need those as well. Oh, and I need some schedules and other data for ResCheck. 

 

I can complete that entire requested project using Chief alone....could Sketchup do that?

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And Lew, I think you are stuck in a situation where you can't see the forest for the trees. I think Chief is as much BIM as 98% of it's users want and/or need. The BIM you are pushing towards just doesn't make sense for the demographic that Chief Architect is pushing for. Besides a few special construction situation (that even AutoCAD would need a workaround for by the way) Chief Architect does everything I need and then some.

 

I think you personally have only scratched the surface of the power this software gives you, and are stuck in the "what am I missing" mode. Not trying to offend...just think you are asking for a product that very few in this particular market care about. It's like you're trying to sale paintbrushes to an auto-body shop. While paintbrushes are nice and all, they just don't apply to that business.

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I can complete that entire requested project using Chief alone....could Sketchup do that?

 

Joey:

 

don't know, never used Sketchup

 

Chief has been my only app

 

I bought Sketchup thinking I might learn it

and that my partner would use it - but he never took the time

 

I have seen videos where condocs are created using Sketchup with their Layout tool

 

I don't see how Sketchup can be inter-operable, especially bi-directional,

with so many other BIM apps if it isn't parametric

 

I will study on this question

 

My guess would be that it has to be parametric....

 

 

I think Chief is as much BIM as 98% of it's users want and/or need

 

for residential chiefers - yes

for those who want to do more - no

 

If CA wants Chief to stay at the low-end of the market that is their decision

But I will keep pushing for them to expand their horizons

 

Perhaps Chief needs to go back to having a 10 floor limit (maybe 3 or 4)

I think 3 or 4 floors is the defining break point between IRC and IBC codes

 

I see others watching TV in color/HD and simply wonder why CA is satisfied with B/W

 

Being retired Chief is almost over-kill for my current modeling needs

for my historical preservation projects

 

so my banging the drum for AEC BIM is just me "farting in the wind"

no one can really hear me

but it feels good to let it out anyways :)

 

for almost a decade CA has stated "not interested"

but I'll keep on anyways

 

Rod wanted some feedback from the users and from CA

I think he got some answers - but not what he wanted to hear

 

Lew

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