Industrial AR/VR Forum Skype Presentation

I go to Autodesk University almost every year. It’s a great way to keep up with BIM trends and people, and I love learning about all the new things they are working on. A couple of years ago, I played with an AR app they had in the Hub. Ever since then I have wanted to learn how to create an app for my company that would project a building on a client logo. Unfortunately, I’m not good at learning through Youtube or by reading books online; I need someone watching and showing me.

So, late last year I looked up a class I had heard about at the AR/VR Summit held here in Vancouver BC called “VR/AR Development with Unity” by Circuit Stream. There are two classes a week, and it’s geared to anyone who wants to learn Unity and create VR/AR apps. This class also gives the student 1 class a week spent one-on-one with a trainer who helps develop your app with VR or AR. I loved the class, and think it’s fantastic.  I learned how to use Unity and to program actions in the scenes. The class showed me what was possible and how to get there. The class includes 20 online sessions online – my class has 4 students. I had never used Unity prior to the first session, but by the end of that session I was able to create a landscape.

Circuit Stream approached me a few months ago to talk about my experience in their online class, and I was delighted to present at the Industrial AR/VR Forum held in Houston on Monday March 4th. It was a pleasure to support Circuit Stream and their AR/VR Unity class.

Unfortunately I was unable to go to the conference as I already had a vacation booked to New York City with my Mom, and we all know vacation comes first. The conference was very accommodating by allowing me to Skype in so I would be able to promote this fantastic class.

My opportunity to talk about Circuit Stream was focused on:

    1. What I was building
    2. Why I was building it
    3. My experience with the class

1. What I was building:

My first goal was to develop an app that would allow the client to “take” the building with them. I wanted to find a way that I could get their business card or another graphic to show them their building. Once I started to learn Unity and and understand this idea was possible I moved into  building a floor plate and developing sliders to cut through the model. I am continuing this work during my one-on-one instructor time.

2.Why I was building it:

I’m always looking for a way to improve my ability to sell our design and concepts to the clients with 3D representation. A few years ago I was introduced to the idea of AR and VR in our industry, and since then I’ve been thinking about ways I could use this technology to help advance our firm. It is very difficult for our clients to visualize the end product or even understand what we are trying to accomplish with our design.

3. My experience with the class:

When I started this class, I had never opened Unity. I can now create AR and VR apps. Now I know how the software works I’ve got lots of new ideas about what I can create. The online class format lets you ask questions and work through problems you are having on the homework as a class, which makes the learning fun. The students in my class had different backgrounds and so asked questions I had never thought of, which helped me think differently and understand several parts of Unity.

Once I’ve completed the class I am going to focus on my own VR app that will let my client to see how equipment works in their space. Proving design concept is key for owner/client approval. Now I can put a headset on a client and show them that the 60 ton and 20 ton crane have enough room to lift the enormous Rad from the ship and put it in the maintenance area (for example) – this is going to make it a lot easier to get their approval.

Unity is a powerful tool, and harnessing that power to give clients better access and understanding to the project has been a goal of mine for several years. Thanks to this class from Circuit Stream I now understand how Unity works and how I can use it to better explain my projects to my clients.


VCC presentation prep has opened my eyes to a new topic along the path to Open BIM

I will be presenting today to Junior Drafters getting ready to graduate and go into the world of AEC. I was asked to give them the bigger picture of Architecture and what to expect when the get out. As I prepared my presentation I realized this will be an important topic to share with everyone in the Architecture industry, and struggling to provide BIM.

I realized in my thoughts and preparation that in order to get our industry to Open BIM we need to change the thought process of projects. Yes I’m sure many have gone there before, but the light bulb finally came on for me. We need to flip the process 180 degrees, more time in the Design phase and less time in the documentation phase, Revit gives us the power why not use it.


Now that thought is brewing so we need to teach the clients a new pay schedule and fee structure. How can we get the industry as a whole to change the fee balance? I’ve looked at the AIA providing BIM clarification (E203-2012). I’ve looked through the National BIM Standards V2. I’ve read through the information from the UK Government BIM strategy, and any other document I could find on Implementing BIM on projects. None of them mention the change in the project process, the change in deadlines and fee disbursement.

I believe this lack of documenting the change in the project workflow, in regards to phases, and fee disbursement, is a failing on our part to reach Open BIM.

I think I have found a proposal for AU this year, this is an idea that needs to populate through the industry and be explained to clients. As long as we struggle with the software and ignore the process we will continue to struggle in our Open BIM realization, or even just our ability to fully utilize the BIM process and technologies.

CanBIM Vancouver February 16th-17th 2016

CanBIM Vancouver being hostd at the Pinnacle Hotel Vancouver Harbourfront

Beyond BIM Building Information Modeling has many benefits that go beyond the model itself. Data mining, Computational Design, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Building Energy Analysis, Pre-Fabrication; among other possibilities these processes are proving BIM’s worth and pushing progress in the AECOO field to new heights.

I have been invited to be part of the panel: “Challenges in BIM Production”

This session is an interactive panel discussion with esteemed members of the AEC industry on technology and its impact on design and the design and construction process. A stimulating discussion on how they have taken advantage of the current and what the future may hold.

  • Learn how leaders in the industry are utilizing today’s technology
  • Speculate on future technology
  • Learn from the best
  • See how are other companies managing BIM projects

Always an exciting adventure to share what I have learned and what others have experienced. If you get the chance come join us for this interesting discussion.

Buildex Vancouver February 24-25

Look at the group I’m with for Buildex – pretty excited to help spread the word on Project Delivery. Come join us.

 Wednesday, Feb. 24 • 11:00am-12:00pm • EARLY BIRD $35/REGULAR $45

W33 – The Broken Project Delivery Model 

 Attend this interactive panel discussion and hear esteemed members of the AEC industry address the broken project delivery model. Highlighting current industry challenges, this session will focus in on why the construction delivery process is overwhelmingly low-tech oriented. Panelists will discuss possible ways to improve, deliver and execute project delivery, expanding on the best practices of leading firms and professionals. Panelists will address costing, communication & collaboration, managing the project team, project delivery methodology, and legal matters. This seminar will conclude with panelists taking a future forward look of where industry goes from here.

Bob Heyman, President, Summit AEC

Marwan Bakri, Director of BIM/Virtual Construction Services, Ledcor Construction
Scott Chatterton, BIM and Quality Control Manager, HDR International BIM Integration Lead, HDR | CEI Architecture Associates, Inc.
Charles Leman, BIM Specialist, Bing Thom Architects
Laura Kay Smith, BIM Manager, Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning
Dr. Sheryl Staub-French, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia

Come join us in our discussion on the Broken Project Delivery Model.

Presentation at the @PDXrug thanks to @Ideateinc. 

Drove down to Portland last weekend so I could share the knowledge at the Portland Revit User Group.  Had a pretty good turn out and some great questions.  One of the questions I thought would be good to focus on for the blog this week.

“Sum up selling BIM to a client in 30 seconds”

I like this question, and I don’t think I really answered it to my satisfaction – sorry for that.  So now that it’s been a week let me try again.

In the meeting with your client you want to prove to them the power of the process, and that your firm can provide the services needed to effectively use this process.  So the client asks you “Why do I need to use BIM?”  Your answer can be short and to the point.

The BIM Process will help all of your company’s projects by providing a smarter way to build and design.  BIM can give you the ability to see the construction and correct any faults before the contractor breaks ground.  You can improve your construction time getting the building done months ahead of time.  Create sustainable buildings with energy and cost savings, make your building work for you.  BIM will help lead you to the future of buildings and the built environment.

There I feel better about that answer J

Now I really want to thank all of you from the PDXrug that have reached out to me with kind words and for my material.  Gives me great pride that I can help fellow BIM lovers.

Until next time Portland

Speaking engagements galore!

AS10473: Design Workflow from Concept to Construction Documents

AU 2015 Las Vegas December 1-3

That happened, never thought I would be a speaker at Autodesk University; I guess this is my year.  I’m so excited to talk about using Formit for predesign and moving it to Revit with stops in 3D Max and Navisworks on the way to the finish line.

That makes at least 9 total presentations I will be giving this year – AMAZING.

Presentation on the “Top 5 Ways to Promote BIM in your office

Presentation on Being a BIM Manager (still working out the content) in September for Summit AEC Web series

First run at the Presentation “Design Workflow from Concept to Construction Documentation” at the Lower Mainland BIM User group, in September.

Exciting year for me, thanks to @ideateinc for giving me my first taste of presenting my experience and knowledge.  Looking forward to more in the future.

Hopefully I will see you there.

BIM Conferences oh my

Learning about everything BIM – find a conference today!

How very exciting there seem to be BIM Conferences everywhere you look.  I was just contacted by Aurore Colella, @AuroreColella, for the BIM Integration Congress being hosted August 26-27 in San Francisco, CA.  This looks like a perfect conference for all who want to integrate BIM into their workflow, and understand the benefits.  Integration and Collaboration stop the duplication and miscommunication in your project.  I highly suggest you go check it out if you can.  Sadly I am unable to attend, but I’m putting it on my radar for next year!

Then there’s the Pacific Coast BIM Workshop being held in Anaheim, CA October 1-2, which I will be speaking at.  Brought to you by the BIM Workshops, @BIM_Workshops, providing conferences for the Mountain States, Central States, Pacific Coast and Hawaii.  This is a great place to connect and with all walks of the BIM world.  There’s a lot of great class options, check it out and get registered.  Hope to see you there.

Had a chat with @IdeateInc to set up my date to present at the @pdxRUG July 14th.  Looking forward to going back to my home town to teach the Top 5 ways to promote BIM in your office.  Will be great to see all those friendly faces from my past life.

I have several more presentations planned for the rest of the year.  Autodesk has asked me to be a presenter in their web series that will be August 27th. @SummitAEC has asked me to be part of their web series presentations on September 29th.  I will also be presenting at the next RELM meeting  on September 17th to be held in my office.  Make sure to Stay tuned for a series on Project Delivery a bunch of us BIM’ers will be putting on starting in September.

Lots of exciting learning happening in the BIM community, let’s get our collaboration on!

My first Conference

My first official conference: 4th Reinventing Construction Project Delivery here in Vancouver BC on May 27 & 28 2015.  I’m excited to be presenting on Collaboration in the Design Process with Joe Sam at WSP Canada.

We will be discussing items such as the Project Delivery Model evolution, Project Setup, Lessons Learned and the Developments in BIM Technology.

I wanted to take a minute and explorer the Project Delivery Model Evolution.  We are all seeing the amazing technology advance for Virtual Reality glasses so we can walk around our models.  Even Augmented Reality helping us plan our campuses or find the perfect building location in the real world.

It’s exciting out there and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

My trip to the Bay Area thanks to @IdeateInc

I have to say the trip down to Sacramento, San Francisco, and Oakland was a great success.  I really want to thank @IdeateInc for the opportunity to present my take on the Top 5 ways to Promote BIM in your office.  It was refreshing to hear the success stories, and all too familiar to hear the frustrations.  I hope my tips helped those just starting, and those in the middle of the battle. This trip and the many people I talked to has reinvigorated me role to find more success in the Promotion of BIM, because it is a never ending battle.

This trip made me realize that the industry as a whole is still not coming together.  After all the entire key to BIM is collaboration – Period.  I just read an article in the new REVITworld magazine released last month on What’s in BIM for me?  The fact that in the UK’s pursuit for Level 2 BIM by 2016 two thirds of construction business believes it’s unachievable is mind boggling. Maybe we should take a moment and remember what JFK said about going to the moon, We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” The power that statement provided to America made going to the moon seemed achievable.  I’m not comparing BIM to the moon, however it is a similar concept, everyone thought it was impossible to go to the moon, and the construction industry thinks it’s impossible to have a fully collaborative environment.  It’s amazing to me that we are still fighting this concept, hasn’t BIM been proven to be valuable to all parties, and those that have embraced it have done incredible things.  Educating the world on BIM seems to be the biggest hurdle, and I hope these little successes soon build to bigger ones.

BIM tools are still in their infancy and it is exciting to think we are only on year 15 of Revit.  Every day someone is coming up with a new idea, or a new way to create that much need database giving us greater collaboration.  I hope in the next 2 years that the concept of all consultants working in the same model is not so foreign and added to every BEP.

Perhaps the new generation of Architects, Engineers, Contractors, and Owners can help advance the idea of BIM and in another 15 years we can look back and say remember when….


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