Saturday, December 21, 2013

BIM One Inc

I am proud to announce that my company (Cs2V) now becomes BIM One Inc Virtual construction + Technology due to the increasing number of clients asking for our services.

Thank you for trusting us !

Je suis heureux d'annoncer que ma compagnie (Cs2V) deviens  BIM One Inc. Construction Virtuelle + Technologie dû à l'augmentation des clients faisant appel a nos services.

Merci de nous faire confiance !

Monday, December 16, 2013

BIM for cities !

This weekend I was playing with this relatively new tool from Autodesk called Infraworks (previously infrastructure modeller). Yes, I am now spending my time building virtual cities and learning GIS or let's say it in a more inspiring way I am learning how to create a better world :P !

I wanted to share with my readers what I have been able to build within few hours so
I created this little quiz :

1-Try to find the name of this city :

Clue :

2-Try to find the name of this city :

Clue :

Answer 1: Montreal, QC, Canada !
Answer 2: Toronto, ON, Canada !

This software reminds me this video game called Simcity ... it might be why I like it so much !

Québec city is the next one on my list !

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Linking Autodesk® Revit® Structure and Autodesk® Robot™ Structural Analysis: Beyond the Basics

This class focuses on advanced interoperability between Autodesk Revit Structure and Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional software. You will learn best practices for transferring sloped and curved framing and curtain wall between Revit and Robot. They demonstrate techniques for working with floor openings, analytical/rigid links, and framing offsets. Learn the advanced options that are available in the Revit-Robot link to facilitate model transfer and data fidelity. Increase your productivity by getting the most out of this powerful analytical link.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Revit slab editing tip ... the swiss cheese method !

A lot of you are probably already using this tip but, just in case someone missed it, here is the Swiss Cheese method to edit slabs !

First this method is very useful if you have to create a slab with multiple slope and an irregular perimeter profile like this curved slab here :

You probably noticed  that editing the slab's boundary sketch creates additional nodes with "default" elevation which causes constraints or dimension lines  removal on details. This can be especially painful when you are at the final stage of project documentation, you edit a slab, and get that kind of warnings :

And that result  ... outch ...

The suggestion is very simple. Create a rectangular slab, set the elevations all around with the shape editing tools then removed  the part of the boundary using the vertical opening tool. Obviously, make sure you draw a sketch of the part you want to remove not the part you want to keep !

Voilà !

Monday, November 11, 2013

Revit 2014 update 2 enhancements

Following my last post about Revit 2014 update 2, Autodesk now gives us the enhancement list :

Autodesk® Revit® Platform 2014 Enhancements
  • Disables the ability to paste spot elevations into a Sketch mode.
  • Improves stability when using Results and Compare for Energy Analysis.
  • Improves stability when exporting to AutoCAD 2000 DWG format.
  • Improves Online Help experience by properly redirecting help inquiries to Autodesk Help.
  • Improves stability when enabling Sun Path.
  • Improves graphic display of Analytical Model Walls.
  • Improves data integrity of user defined parameters when utilizing temporary view templates.
  • Improves stability when editing dimensions.
  • Improves upgrade reliability of projects created with a different language version of Revit.
  • Improves stability when selecting materials within the Material Browser.
  • Restores the appearance of area color fills within linked files, when setting the view as By Linked View.
  • Improves stability when upgrading projects which utilize Keynotes.
  • Improves stability when importing IFC files.
  • Improves stability when editing Filters within the Visibility/Graphics Overrides dialog.
  • Improves stability when saving projects which were upgraded.
  • Improves stability when combining Phases.
  • Improves accuracy of Analytical Volumes.
  • Improves display of Imported Categories for DWG files linked into the project using the “Current View Only”
  • option at time of import. Improves stability when attempting to turn on sun path while temporary view properties mode is active.
  • Improves data integrity when export model to FBX.

Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2014 Enhancements
  • Improves display of hidden lines on walls in Floor Plan and Elevation views.

Autodesk® Revit® Structure 2014 Enhancements
  • Improves display of vertical rebar when the rebar extends past the View Range.
  • Improves the location consistency of Structural beams when upgrading projects.
  • Improves stability when viewing a sheet which contains Structural Reinforcement Areas.

Autodesk® Revit® MEP 2014 Enhancements
  • Improves the visual fidelity of point clouds in MEP discipline views in regards to underlay elements in the view.
  • Improves connection reliability between fittings when upgrading MEP projects.
  • Improves connection reliability between fittings when changing the size of MEP elements.
  • Improves the data integrity of the Outside Air per Area value for a HVAC when exported to gbXML.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The broad interoperability that people really want is not delivered today.

BIM interoperability means that the word ‘waste’ needs to disappear and we have to think of everything as a resource. We will not throw data away, we will put it where it can be used again during the building lifecycle.

Figure 1: A BIM Project Flow Chart from

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dynamo-Vasari-Green Building-Infraworks workflow

I've been quiet lately and it's because I started using a couple of new softwares/tools :

"Autodesk® Vasari is an easy-to-use, expressive design tool for creating building concepts. Vasari goes further, with integrated analysis for energy and carbon, providing design insight where the most important design decisions are made. And, when it’s time to move the design to production, simply bring your Vasari design data into the Autodesk® Revit® platform for BIM, ensuring clear execution of design intent.

Vasari is focused on conceptual building design using both geometric and parametric modeling. It supports performance-based design via integrated energy modeling and analysis features. "

Green Building Studio

"Autodesk® Green Building Studio® energy-analysis software enables architects and designers to perform whole-building analysis, optimize energy consumption, and work toward carbon-neutral building designs earlier in the process. Cloud-based energy-efficiency software helps teams achieve sustainable building designs faster and more accurately with powerful energy- and carbon-analysis tools."


"Dynamo is a visual programming environment for Building Information Modeling.

Dynamo extends the parametric capabilities of Revit and Vasari with the data and logic environment of a graphical algorithm editor.

Dynamo is an open source project for developers and designers to become actively involved in building the tool."


Quickly generate 3D models to create infrastructure designs and proposals in the context of the built environment with InfraWorks™ software (formerly Autodesk® Infrastructure Modeler). Accelerate the design process, and streamline decision making. Rapidly generate data-rich proposals to better predict how design alternatives may perform in the existing environment, and more effectively communicate with stakeholders.

So what all these guys have in common ? Well, if you're an architect using BIM tools for conceptual building studies you probably have all these softwares in your toolbox. More coming soon stay tuned !

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Why LOD improve communication in my team ?

There is this big buzz right now in the BIM industry with level of detail and level of development (LOD) of building information models. You can see in a number of places discussions or documents about LOD.

What makes BIM successful ? Some says it is the skills of the team and I think this is true but skills without workflow documentation is like baseball without rules. If your company wants to play BIM, well you need to set the rules first. Below I share my thoughts about reasons why using LOD.

1.LOD as a common language
The purpose of building a contract is to set the liability level, project scope and delivery methods that parties have agreed upon. Level of detail can help define a common language that helps people expressing their expectations. We should see LODetails as definitions of objects complexity in a building information model. They are a few definitions (LOD100, LOD200, LOD300, etc) in the BIM dictionary that everyone use to make communication easier.

2.LOD as a scope
My building information model is better than yours. Very often I  see peoples not adding enough information in their model or too much considering the goal of the project. LOD make scope definition easier. This should always be defined in the BxP (Bim execution plan) to make sure everybody knows the level of development required at each phase of the project from early conceptual design to building operation. Each deliverable should have its own LOD specification so you can clearly understand the container and its content.

3.LOD as a progress benchmark
Defining what is the difference between what was planned vs what is delivered at a specific stage of the project is easier with LOD. Many BIM software provide features such as color display base on filters and values. Let"s think about a system where the user input the progress of objects in their properties so you can see the progress of the project in a color coded view. This is very useful during coordination meetings to demonstrate level of reliability of objects.

4.LOD as a standard for content generation.
Defining content development standards in your company is the number 1 thing to do if you want to make BIM a success story. LOD is helping content creators to standardize the way they work. This ensures a uniform project documentation output but also a better user experience due to uniformity.

Finally, you should sit with your team and agree on LOD definitions. I suggest you start with the document from bimforum which is a very good starter kit and modify it to suit your needs.

LOD external resources :

  1. Bim and lod
  2. Lod spec do i have to model in
  3. A Level of Development Specification for BIM Processes
  4. Bimforum
  5. What is this thing called lod

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Creating metal stud walls in Revit without extensions !

I wanted to demonstrate how you can use curtain walls in Revit and custom  profile families to create metal stud wall. In the following video you can see how reshaping the wall and adding frame for openings is easily done with the curtain wall tools. For those of you working in the structure field and who are not used of playing with the curtain wall tool,  it really worth giving it a try and pushing the boundaries of this tool.

This method works for standard metal stud walls but if you need to create shop detail I suggest  you have a look at the MWF Pro Wall from StrucSoft solution. This is a really interesting tool. I had the chance to visit them at their office in Montreal few years ago and George Ajami, the president, really stay tuned to his clients feedback.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Having big fun with box trusses and adaptive components in Revit !

Here is a video I did to show a problem I am running into with nested adaptive components. I may have missed something and if anyone can stop my headache it would be awesome :-) !

This stick frame is only the beginning of an idea but it's already easier to model box trusses with slopes in 3 direction with that kind of tool + the pick beam into the project then manually creating sections and reference planes in the project to create the final frame.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Revit from conception to manufacturing with all steps illustrated !

In the 2 previous posts (Transforming computational design in functional structures in Revit and Custom IFC export from Revit ... easier then I thought !) I was talking about creating analytic lines from Revit adaptive components and also about customizing IFC export from Revit. Both combine these two topics can literally boost your structural design workflow by increased interoperability !

  1. Conceptual design with Revit conceptual massing tools
  2. Detailled design with Revit adaptive components and repeat and divide tool
  3. Analysis using Revit structural analytic model
  4. Documentation using Revit adaptive components, assembly views and annotations
  5. Connections design and manufacturing using data from a tweaked Revit export to IFC.

Transforming computational design in functional structures in Revit

This workflow is somehow hard to get in Revit because you can't get correct analytic lines from nested families in adaptive component. So you have to create the adaptive component place it with Dynamo on your mass then create manually all the structural framing using the pick line tool in the project.

I found a great video by Nathan Miller on his Youtube chanel. Automating the creation of analytic lines for complex structures like that is something I have tried to do for a while now in Revit. What is interesting about their plug-in is that it automates the process of creating manually all the objects in Revit. However I am not using Rhino nor Grasshopper so I guess I'll have to wait before seeing this same plug-in working only in the Revit environment with Dynamo.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Custom IFC export from Revit ... easier then I thought !

After RTCNA 2013, 3 weeks in hotel rooms and Air Canada lost my luggage twice, here is my post on custom export from Revit to IFC.

For those of you who don't know what is IFC, to make a short story, Industry foundation Classes (IFC) is data schema that makes possible data exchange between different proprietary software applications. The data schema comprises information covering the many disciplines that contribute to a building throughout its lifecycle. The current release is IFC4  but most software currently use IFC2x3. If you're a fanatic of Revit like me you should know that IFC4 export is available through the 2014 release with UR1 
(as pointed out by Angel in the post comments below)

First I would like to explain why I feel the need to customize the export from Revit to IFC. If you go on the building smart website, you will find here the "IFC entities" schema which is the equivalent of the "Revit Category". You will notice that Revit doesn't have a category "Pile" however if you want it to exchange the information properly to a software that have that specific object classification, you will need to customize the export.

Figure 1 - IFCSupertype                                             Figure 2 - Revit pile

Figure 3 - Revit pile category

Figure 4 - IFC export using out of the box Revit settings openned in Solibri viewer.
To map a family to an IFC entity
  1. Downlaod the following shared parameter file : IFC Export Shared Parameter
Add the shared parameters to the family
  1. In the Family Editor, click Create tab/Properties panel/ (Family Types).
  2. In the Family Types dialog, for Name, select a family type.
  3. Under Parameters, click Add.
  4. In the Parameter Properties dialog, under Parameter Type, click Shared parameter, and click Select.
  5. Navigate to the shared parameters file downloaded above and open the file.
  6. In the Shared Parameters dialog, under Parameters, select IFCExportAs, and click OK.
  7. In the Parameter Properties dialog, under Parameter Data, for Group parameter under, select IFC Parameters.
  8. Make sure that Type is selected, and click OK.
    In the Family Types dialog, IFCExportAs displays in the parameter list.
  9. Under Parameters, click Add.
  10. In the Parameter Properties dialog, under Parameter Type, click Shared parameter, and click Select.
  11. In the Shared Parameters dialog, under Parameters, select IFCExportType, and click OK.
  12. In the Parameter Properties dialog, under Parameter Data, for Group parameter under, select IFC Parameters.
  13. Make sure that Type is selected, and click OK.
    In the Family Types dialog, IFCExportType appears in the parameter list.
Specify values for IFCExportAs and IFCExportType
When you add the shared parameters to one family type, Revit automatically adds them to all types in that family. Next, you can specify values for each parameter in each family type.
  1. In the Family Types dialog:
    1. For Name, select a family type.
    2. For IFCExportAs, specify the desired IFC class.
    3. For IFCExportType, specify the desired IFC type.
    4. Click Apply.
  2. Repeat Step 16 for each of the remaining types in this family.
  3. When you have defined values for all family types, click OK.
  4. Save changes to the family.
  5. If you want to load the updated family into a project, open the project. Then return to the Family Editor, and click Create tab/Family Editor panel/ (Load into Project).

Figure 5 - IFC export using the above method openned in Solibri viewer.

You can also export a single object in Revit into different IFC object categories using nested shared families and different values for the IFCExportAs parameter.

Figure 6 - Resulting IFC export of a single Revit element into different IFC subtypes.

An other method to customize IFC export is to use subcategories. By assigning a custom sub-category such as "Pile" to geometries you can control it individually in the Revit IFC export settings.

Figure 7 - Sub-category assigned in the Revit family editor

Figure 8 - Revit IFC export settings and custom value for sub-categories.

You will also like this extension here that replace the out of the box export to IFC in Revit.

Alternate IFC export Revit 2014
After installing the first extension you will notice nothing in the interface but the data in the resulting IFC export will be improved.

Alternate user interface Revit 2014
The IFC Alternate UI provide you a custom dialog to choose the export settings.

With all that stuff interoperability have never been so easy !!! ;-) To read more about IFC and building structures click here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Is this Bentley technician stealing my Autodesk Revit Content ?

By now, many of you have heard about the exciting announcements Bentley did with their RFA interpreter. The RFA Interpreter will enable you to use parametric content in RFA format (Revit family) that is readily available from manufacturers on the internet.

The RFA Interpreter in AECOsim Building Designer WILL allow the RFA to:
·        Access and select the types defined within the RFA
·        Retain its native parametric behaviors and properties, which will be exercisable in AECOsim Building Designer (such as lengths and angles)
·        Retain its business properties (Such as manufacturer, catalog number, and fire rating)
·        Retain its perforator, to allow content to cut openings (such as doors and windows)
·        Retain its mechanical & plumbing connection points (for air handlers, plumbing fixtures, etc.)
·        Retain its 2D plan and elevation symbols
·        Register itself with the DataGroup Catalog, mapping its business and parametric properties to counterparts in AECOsim Building Designer
·        Map RFA attributes to ABD symbology and/or Part & Family
·        Behave like a native ABD element (similar to BXF or PAZ)
·        Support RFA content versions 2009-2014

The RFA interpreter in AECOsim Building Designer WILL NOT support:
·        Revit system types (walls, curtain wall, stairs, etc..)
·        2D only RFAs (title blocks tags, profiles, etc..)
·        Embedded formats (DWG, SKP, etc. placed inside the RFA)
·        Changing the original RFA definition

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

RTC NA 2013 ... Vancouver I'm coming !

rtc2013na_header_896x194It's my first RTC ! I'm so excited to learn new things. Here is my schedule :

LAB: The Omniscient, Omnipotent Omni-Directional Jig: MEP Connectors Mastered (Class Seating)     
Fractal Fun with Revit Repeaters & Adaptive Components        
Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Integration Reality Check  
Applying Open Standards and Levels of Development (LOD)               
Revit Structure Power Hour: 60 Tips for Those Who Already Know What They're Doing              
BIM for the Smaller Firm: Implementation Strategies for Success          
Implementing the AEC (CAN) BIM Protocol       
Create Complex Structural Models that are connected               
LAB: Undocumented: Family Editor (Gallery Seating)
Making Revit Server Work on a Jobsite...Without a Revit Server            
Construction Sequencing: Visual Representation in Extreme and Unusual Environments           
Be Analytical of Your Analytical Model 
Revit Direct to Fabrication & Manufacture

 It will be a long flight 8h ! I can't wait to be there.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Creating smart bridgings in Revit

This video shows the behavior of a custom family I created to model bridging faster in Revit. The main features are :
  • "X" or "V" bridging configuration
  • Automatic length adjustment in bays
  • Scroll list to select the members to use
  • Symbolic representation
  • Start and End setback customization 

You can download the family here. It's not perfect but it's a good start :

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Autodesk® Revit® Platform 2013 Enhancements - Update release 3

Update release 3 is now available for Revit 2013 ! This is a good one, finally !
  • Improves stability when using Hardware Acceleration, Graphics Mode. 
  • Improves stability when opening projects which utilize Extensible Storage.
  • Improves visual fidelity between canvas and printed output. 
  • Improves visual fidelity of hidden lines, MEP pipe centerlines and haloed gaps when not using Hardware Acceleration, Graphics Mode. 
  • Improves Structural family data integrity during upgrade of project.
  • Improves data integrity when canceling Save As operation.
  • Improves interaction between Revit Server 2013 and Riverbed compression.
  • Enables users to browse Revit Server Networks when a bound workstation cannot contact the Domain Controller.

    Autodesk 2D and 3D Design and Engineering Software

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Creating automatic sheets total in Revit ! Because yes you can !

Many users have asked me over the years, how can I extract total number of sheets in Revit and display it in title blocks. As many discussions on forums ( suggests, we can add a shared parameter in the project and in your title block family then enter the value manually and update it every time the total number of sheets changes.

However, there is an other more "dynamic" (some will say more "BIM") approach that will update the count automatically.

Here are the differents steps to follow :

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Family templates, which one is the good one ?

A lot of people get lost when it's time to choose the right family template. In fact, Autodesk added new family templates with the lastest releases. A lot of these new templates don’t add anything special to the family behavior in the project. The only differences between the generic model template and the structural foundation template, for instance, are the category and family parameters already set. This means that I can do the same family using the generic model template. From a new user's standpoint, having this long list of template is more a headache then a real boost.
I decided to do this diagram to help users understand which template to use. It's a first draft but before spending too much time on that I'd like to have some input and feedback from people on which questions I should add to this decision workflow. Let me know your thought !

Demistify project, family, type, instance and shared parameters

I have to explain too often the relationship between parameters, were they are stored and what they control. I decided to create this little diagram to illustrate how it works. A picture worth a thousand words!

Wall foundations

For those of you who doesn't know yet, I have been asked last week why some of my wall foundations width have a different behaviors when I change the wall thickness.

As you can see on the first screenshot you have a structural usage parameter under the type proprieties dialog box of a wall foundation. when it is set to Bearing you have acces to a width parameter wich is the overall footing width.

On the second picture you have the parameter set to Retaining and you can see that the width is now set according to the outside face of the wall and controlled by 2 paramters Toe and Heel wich is not very usefull if you need to schedule your footing's width.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Canam Revit families

Looking for structural content such as steel deck, girts, purlins ? Tired of using the out-of-the-box open web steel joists ? You should have a look at this link :

Friday, March 15, 2013

Opportunitées d'emploi BIM/Revit à Québec

Si vous cherchez un emploi ou une chance de pouvoir travailler avec des logiciels BIM voici une occasion de sauter sur cette opportunitée ! Le cégep Limoilou est à la recherche d'un enseignant du logiciel Revit :

Les bâtiments d'acier Finar sont aussi à la recherche d'un "dessinateur Revit" :

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Both sides of technology in both languages

I watched two kids who were sitting side by side and talked with their cell phones on FaceBook this week without too much stop at this stage because it becomes commonplace. To all readers who follow me you know how I love technology. In fact some of my work requires all these new communications equipment such as video conferencing system. I was first excited a few years ago with the idea to make BIM projects with extended teams with this technology, but now I have a few questions about the effects of the latter on social development in teams. Is that video conferencing beneficial for a company? On the monetary side, probably. On the social level, I have a lot of trouble believing it. I'm not old school, but I still believe that nothing beats direct contact with people. This chemistry that we develop with our business partners and often allows us to put aside our peers in order to solve all the real problems facing this team I think is the main reason why a project is successfull and everyone enjoy it. More people collaborate and efficiency is higher. More efficiency is higher and monetary gains are important. Does remote communication systems are beneficial in monetary terms for a company? It all depends of the price that is attributed to the development of team spirit. What do you think about it?

Je regardais deux gamins qui étaient assis côte à côte et qui se parlaient avec leur téléphone cellulaire sur FaceBook cette semaine sans trop m'arrêter à cette scène devenue courante. Pour tous les lecteurs qui me suivent vous savez comment j'aime la technologie. En fait une partie de mon travail nécessite tous ces nouveaux engins de communications tel que les système de vidéo conférence. J'ai semblé d'abord excité il y a quelques années à l'idée de pouvoir réaliser des projets BIM avec des équipes de travail étendues avec cette technologie, mais maintenant je me pose quelques questions sur les effets de celle-ci sur le développement social dans les équipes. Est-ce que la vidéo-conférence est bénéfique pour une compagnie ? Sur le plan monétaire, probablement. Sur le plan social, j'ai beaucoup de misère à y croire. Je ne suis pas de la vieille école, mais je continue de croire que rien ne vaut le contact direct avec les gens. Cette chimie que l'on développe avec nos partenaires de travail et qui souvent nous permet de mettre nos égaux de coté afin de solutionner ensemble les vrais problèmes auxquels l'équipe fait face c'est selon moi la principale raison pour qu'un projet soit un succès et que tout le monde y prennent plaisir. Plus les gens collaborent et plus le rendement est élevé. Plus le rendement est élevé et plus les gains monétaires sont importants. Est-ce que les systèmes de communication distante sont bénéfique sur le plan monétaire pour une compagnie ? Tout dépends du prix que l'on attribue au développement de l'esprit d'équipe. Qu'en pensez vous ?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cours Revit région Beauce-Appalache

Pour les gens de la région Beauce-Appalaches voici la programmation hiver 2013 du Cégep Beauce-Appalaches :