It was great to put faces to emails and phone calls and to be part of the success of ACUW. Let's do it more often! East coast anyone?
Below is a review of ACUW from Cadalyst AEC Tech News email that I get and wanted to pass it along to the AC community who do not yet subscribe.
All the best,
Neil McCann AIA
Cadalyst AEC Tech News #117 (April 8, 2004)
ArchiCAD University - BIM There, Done That
-Exploding a model
-Integration through visualization
The recent ArchiCAD University West seminar held in Pomona, California, on
March 25-27 focused on the software program's long-established BIM
(building information modeling) capabilities. Organized by architect and
experienced ArchiCAD user Duane Valencia, the seminar displayed innovative
ways in which architects and others have been using Graphisoft's ArchiCAD
to create building information models. Also highlighted were new add-ons
and other programs that interact with ArchiCAD to allow elegant solutions
to traditional building documentation and communication problems.
Though the term BIM was frequently described by presenters as awkward, but
currently unavoidable, Mark Sawyer, vice president of worldwide field
operations with ArchiCAD, twisted the acronym to a humorous and pointed
end. Revealing the upcoming campaign phrase "ArchiCAD - BIM there, done
that," Sawyer received a laugh of recognition from the sold-out audience
of 135 who realize that ArchiCAD has allowed creation of intelligent
models for many years.
EXPLODING A MODEL
Not only was ArchiCAD's ability to create intelligent models featured,
Kimon Onuma, AIA, showed how The SHIP Group uses the program to destroy
The Ship Group, a consortium of ArchiCAD users, has presented its Coast
Guard clients with the ability to test terrorist bomb blast scenarios.
First, The Ship Group builds models with intelligent attributes that
include strength of structural systems, material performance, asset
location, and human behavior activity. Using calculations and data from
the consortium's ballistics and terrorist experts, ArchiCAD is then used
to create a variety of "bombs" with attributes of force and direction,
according to Onuma, president Onuma & Associates, South Pasadena, Calif.
The computer bombs are then tested in a variety of terrorist scenarios.
The damage caused to the building models is studied to influence design
decisions regarding location of key offices, equipment, and other factors.
"While many architects and industry organizations do not think
architecture is ready to produce useful building information models, we
are already producing them and blowing them up," says Onuma, whose keynote
speech was called "The Virtual Building: Revolutionizing the Industry."
Referring to the slow adoption of intelligent modeling capabilities as
demonstrated by ArchiCAD, Onuma expressed his belief that architects may
lose further influence on building. "Design/builders and contractors are
expressing more interest in intelligent building models than architects.
Unless the profession acknowledges and supports the capabilities of
intelligent modeling software programs, architects' positive impact on the
built environment will diminish," he says.
INTEGRATION THROUGH VISUALIZATION
Another keynote speaker, Mitch Boryslawski, partner of View By View, San
Francisco, demonstrated Onuma's point. View By View, a 3D architectural
visualization and multimedia company, was contracted to create an
intelligent model of the 840,000-square-foot Letterman Digital Art Center
to assist with construction coordination of this film production facility
being built for LucasFilms in San Francisco's Presidio. The architect of
the project was not given this responsibility.
Boryslawski said View By View used ArchiCAD to create the base 3D model.
Other software applications were used to create 3D models of the
mechanical, plumbing, and electrical designs. All the 3D models were
combined in the NavisWorks product to conduct conflict checks and produce
design review illustrations. Boryslawski indicated that the powerful
integrating capabilities of NavisWorks may reduce the pressure to create
interoperable 3D model standards.
ACU West, the first ArchiCAD seminar offered in the U.S. in more than 4
years, also covered basic program usage advice, various levels of GDL
(Graphic Design Language) instruction on how to create intelligent objects
for use in architectural models and interaction possibilities with
rendering and illustration software such as Artlantis, PhotoCAD,
Sketchup, and Piranesi.
Valencia based the ACU West on the ArchiCAD University seminar series
conducted in Europe by David Nicholson-Cole, author of the "ArchiCAD
Cookbook." Nicholson-Cole made a presentation on advanced GDL usage. He
will present a seminar focused solely on GDL in Irvine, Calif., September
15 - 17.
Valencia, who attended a European ArchiCAD seminar, said he was motivated
to organize the seminar to assist in strengthening the bond among ArchiCAD
users. "It was not sales driven, it was not a full hands-on training
event-it was largely inspirational for the ArchiCAD community to get
together," he says.
Though it's impressive that the ArchiCAD user base is so inspired it
creates a seminar on its own, the lack of a Graphisoft-sponsored
educational event raises the question of whether there is adequate
educational commitment from the vendor to sustain the program's long-term
stability. Recent changes in management at Graphisoft may indicate a new
approach to this issue.
As for Valencia, he is already considering plans for another ACU West in
the future. (A detailed program outline appears at www.acuwest.com
ACU West http://www.acuwest.com
Onuma & Associates http://www.onuma.com/
SHIP Group http://ship-group.com/start.html
View By View http://www.viewbyview.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Bordenaro is a Chicago-based writer focused on architectural
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