Thursday, 27 December 2012

Color Schemes in Reflected Ceiling Plans

Color schemes are a great analytical and visualization tool which can be used in floor plan, section and elevation views. Sadly, this functionality has been left out of reflected ceiling plan views. So how do you go about creating a colored ceiling plan?
There are a few of options at your disposal and each has its downfalls.
A) Overlaid Views on a Sheet
Create a floor plan view and turn off everything except rooms, then apply your color scheme. Create a reflected ceiling plan view and set ceilings to 100% transparent. Finally, overlay these views on a sheet.
Composite Views
The main drawback with this solution is that you are unable to work in a composite colored RCP view since the final result only exists on a sheet. Activating the RCP view and editing directly on the sheet results in the other view appearing half-toned, so it’s still not a perfect solution.
B) Plan View with RCP Underlay
Create a floor plan view and set the Underlay to Reflected Ceiling Plan orientation for the same level as your view. Set the Color Scheme as desired…
View Properties
…and uncheck the halftone option for Underlays.
(Manage>Additional Settings> Halftone / Underlay)
The result is similar to A) above, but now you can work directly in the colored view since there is no required compositing of views on sheets.
Hacked Colored RCPThe main drawback with this solution is that you are not truly seeing an RCP view, so some features that occur above the cut plane might not show up properly or not at all. For example take a look at the door: the frame should show up at the head in a true RCP view such as in A) above, and is thus incorrectly represented in this “hacked RCP”. Please also note however that Revit represents cut families based on the representation stored in the family itself, so you have to be very careful with object representation even in a regular RCP view (ex: the window has an extended sill, yet that sill shows up incorrectly in RCP views too).
As with all workarounds, there are no perfect solutions, so make sure you understand all the issues before choosing the option that works best for your project. Hopefully the Factory will eventually enable Color Schemes for Reflected Ceiling Plans as well!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

3rd Annual HOK BIM Awards

Since 2010, HOK has hosted an annual Building Information Modeling (BIM) Awards competition that celebrates projects exhibiting exemplary and innovative use of technology and integrated design. We continue that tradition into 2012 with our 3rd annual competition we like to call “The BIMies.”

Last year, one of our jurors – AEC industry analyst, Dr. Lachmi Khemlani – published a highly detailed article about the internal competition.

The HOK BIM Award trophy is a 3D print representing a concept design for one of our tower projects. The trophy and case were created by Ideate and donated to our innovative annual program.


There were only 4 trophies made, so teams must compete to obtain the prestigious award for each year. This makes the HOK BIMie quite the coveted artifact…



This year 20 entries were received from 19 different project teams (one entered in multiple categories) and from 7 different offices. The mix of project types was also quite diverse: 4 - Commercial, 2 - Aviation & Transportation, 6 - Healthcare, 1 - Interiors, 2 - Justice, 1 - Retail and 1 – Urban City Center.

From the 20 overall entries, the firm-wide buildingSMART team selected three finalists in three different categories. The finalist teams then presented their projects to a panel of industry experts who then deliberated and selected one winner per category.


Our guest jury for the 2012 BIMies included a fantastic mix of industry experts from construction, engineering, education, software, and research.


From left to right:
James Barrett, Turner Construction - National Director of Integrated Building Solutions
Dr. Semiha Ergan, Carnegie Mellon University - Assistant Research Professor
Erleen Hatfield, PE, AIA, LEED AP, Buro Happold - Partner
Matt Jezyk, Autodesk - Senior Product Manager, AEC Conceptual Design Products
Jeff Yoders, ZweigWhite - Technology Editor


The competition assessed projects on the use of integrated and interoperable building information modeling in the following categories:

Design Process Finalists
Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, Office: Los Angeles
Incheon International Airport Competition, Office: San Francisco
Sengkang General Hospital Competition, Office: Houston

Delivery Process Finalists
GHSU Medical Commons, Office: Atlanta
Shell Woodcreek Phase 3, Office: Houston
NY Project (withdrawn)

Collaboration Process Finalists
Marina Mall, Office: London
Msheireb Downtown Doha Phase 4, Office: Washington DC
Wishard Replacement Hospital, Office: St. Louis


Best Design Process:

Best Delivery Process:

Best Collaboration Process:

Best Visualization Process (2011 winner):

Because no projects were submitted in the Visualization category this year, the BIMie trophy will remain in Chicago until another winning project is selected in the 2013 BIM Awards. Congratulations!

Thank you to all who participated in this year's awards. Every project submitted was worthy of recognition and once again, our guest jury had a difficult time selecting only one winner in each category!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

SmartMarket Report on BIM 2012

McGraw Hill Construction has released their latest SmartMarket report on the “Business Value of BIM.” This year’s report builds on the past 5 years of extensive industry research of building information modeling and how it affects various stakeholders in the construction industry.

Of personal interest, the cover image is from HOK’s Francis Crick Institute – a highly collaborative project in London that also included PLP Architecture, AKT II and Arup among others.


This SmartMarket report is unique in that the research illustrates the cumulative data of a multi-year trend analysis and user ratings. You can observe how perception of value and the implementation of various BIM uses have changed in recent years. The report also contains some project case studies and interviews with industry thought leaders including HOK CEO, Patrick MacLeamy.


I also contributed to an article in the report on the development of BIM standards including Levels of Development (LOD). You’ll find that starting on page 46! Download this FREE report now and share your thoughts and comments.

Friday, 7 December 2012

BIM Software Updates

Depending on the product, software updates from Autodesk can come with a variety of terms.  SP#, PU#, UR# and U# are the abbreviations used for Service Packs, Product Updates and Update Releases and Updates.  There are also Hotfixes.  In this post we provide a brief history and the most current update/fix/release.  Are your installations up to date?

Revit 2013

Since the 2013 release, Revit has had UR1, a Hotfix, SP1, another Hotfix and UR2.  The current Update Release 2 is dated December 04, 2012.

Navisworks Manage 2013

Since the 2013 release, Navisworks Manage has had a Hotfix, SP1, another Hotfix and SP2. The current Service Pack 2 is dated November 21, 2012.

3ds Max Design 2013

Since the 2013 release, Max Design has had U1, U2, SP1, PU3, PU4, PU5, SP2, a Hotfix and PU6. The current Product Update 6 is dated November 20, 2012.

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013

Since the 2013 release, Civil 3D has had four hotfixes, next Hotfix 2, then Hotfix 1, SP1, three more hotfixes, then SP1 (NOT the same as the first SP1). The current Service Pack 1 is dated November 29, 2012.

Showcase 2013

Since the 2013 release, Showcase has had SP1, SP2, a Hotfix, SP3, Service Pack 1 (NOT SP1), another Hotfix, and a third Hotfix  The current CATIA CATPart Hotfix is dated October 11, 2012.



Tuesday, 4 December 2012

HOK buildingSMART on Twitter

We are happy to announce that the HOK buildingSMART team is now live on Twitter at the handle @HOKbuildSMART. Our firm-wide leaders will share new – and hopefully useful – information about BIM, technology, open standards, and more. Feel free to follow us and also check out the summary of our most recent Tweetup here.