Architecture + Technology | MSc. BIM, BSc. Arch. Tech. (Hons)

Revit – Section Box

Category : Architecture, Revit Jul 24th, 2018
Revit – Section Box

A simple but effective tool within Revit is the Section Box in a 3D View. Open a 3D View. Select…

Revit – Multi Category Tag

Category : Architecture, Revit Jul 24th, 2018

The power of Revit to create coordinated drawings with 3d models doesn’t stop there! As architects, technologists, designers, engineers we have all had to notate drawings, revise the notations and sometimes miss a note to update. With multi-category tags, this is all solved. Take a wall finish for a planning drawing as an example.

This workflow will pull in the information entered with Type Properties of the wall under Description (see above).

Open an elevation or preferred view that you wish to tag. Select the Multi-Category Tag as above.

Select Load Tags to choose “Type Description”

Once your tag is loaded, hover the tag over your wall and you will see the “Description” appear.

Drag the note as you want it to appear in clear space or so that it is readable. This same process can be applied to any view type, including 3D views (must be a locked orientation). As you can see in the example below the same tag works on window “Type Description”

And the best thing, if the note updates in your type properties, then so will every other note. Enter the information once and it is reused throughout your project, including schedules which I will cover in another post.

Tech Updates – July 19th

Category : Technology Jul 19th, 2018
Tech Updates – July 19th

Forge Dev Con comes to Germany in October 2018 – The Robot That Carries Out Site Inspections – Uk Governments Estate Strategy…

Introduction to Computer Science – Week 0

Category : Programming, Technology Jul 16th, 2018

Image Source - CS50 Class Notes Coding Basics

With the power of Autodesk Forge, Revit API, Dynamo, Python, Design Script and even more to push the design sector even further. This is a course to entice a frame of mind to adapt to a changing industry. In this series of blog posts, I will document my learning while keeping it as relevant to understanding Autodesk software and beyond…

Having spent the past 14 months in consultancy and the previous 12 years in technical & design roles across architecture, engineering & construction firms, I have realised that understanding the software that we use more and more is almost obligatory. With new technologies emerging on a daily if not hourly basis, in 5 years time who knows what the role of an architect or engineer will actually entail.

In my spare time I have set out to better understand the science behind the software we use daily, this is why I have embarked on a free online course from Harvard University – “Introduction to Computer Science” through Prior to going on a hiking holiday recently to Finland, I downloaded some of the course videos to pass away some of the long train & airport transit time.

Each lecture runs for 60 – 90minutes and includes videos, class notes and tutorials to get you learning the basics. Languages covered include C, C#, Python, Javascript, HTML, CSS & SQL. It is laid out in quite a practical and easy to understand way, with many analogies for non-programmers.

Starting with the Week 0 lecture, it covered the basics of how binary and computer languages operate. Abstraction was then explained as a problem-solving method to retrieve data, with the example of searching a phone book for a name. Starting with the first letter of the surname, and turning to that page initially, this in principle saves you having to look through every single page of a phonebook and phone number for the name you require. This is the principle of abstraction, as you have minimised your search size. In programming, targeting functions to search for data efficiently works similarly.

With abstraction in mind, functions were explained in a basic coding environment, including what indented lines mean (usually an answer to an if or else statement). And all of these ideas plus functions, conditions, boolean expressions, loops, and more work across several programming languages.

The first assignment is using “Scratch”, and Scratch is relevant because; much like Dynamo it is a visual programming tool, so a relevant learning point there already. Although a lot more basic, it uses similar principles by using “sprites” or objects (in Dynamo these are called nodes). Scratch allows you to run animated functions by connecting these sprites together to understand the terminology of function statements and the principles underlying them. It is a bit basic but the next lecture we move onto learning the programming language “C”.

Stay tuned for more…

What is the Autodesk “AEC Collection” ?

Category : Technology Jul 13th, 2018

What is the “AEC Collection” ?
As the name refers, it is a collection of multiple software products, hence the title “AEC Collection”. It supersedes the previous Building Design Suites, yet includes several more products for use by Architects, Structural, Civil and M&E Engineers and more. The Collection includes 20+ products, that enable a design business to implement Virtual Reality, Efficient Workflows, Collaboration, Analysis, Visualisation, Vehicle Tracking and more into their current workflows.

What are the Benefits of an AEC Collection ?

The most obvious benefit being value for money, wherein a company might buy 2 or 3 separate Autodesk products. The AEC Collection will usually cost less, with the included products being a bonus. For example, an architect or engineer might buy Navisworks + Revit, in reality buying the AEC Collection is an immediate cost saving when you are getting these products plus Autocad and a lot more.

Included products…

  • Revit​
  • Revit LIVE​
  • InfraWorks​
  • Navisworks Manage​
  • FormIt Pro​
  • Insight​
  • ReCap Pro​
  • 3ds Max +Interactive​
  • Dynamo Studio​
  • A360 Rendering​
  • 25GB Cloud Storage​
  • Structural Analysis for Revit​
  • Structural Bridge Design​
  • Robot Structural Analysis Pro​
  • Advance Steel​
  • AutoCAD ​
  • AutoCAD 360 Pro​
  • AutoCAD Architecture​
  • AutoCAD Electrical​
  • AutoCAD Map 3D​
  • AutoCAD MEP​
  • AutoCAD Plant 3D​
  • AutoCAD Raster Design​
  • Fabrication CADmep​
  • (AutoCAD) Civil 3D​
  • Vehicle Tracking​

Tech Updates – July 12th

Category : BIM, Technology Jul 12th, 2018

Image Source –

Having returned from a great holiday in Finland, I thought I would share some technology updates happening over the past few weeks.

  1. Autodesk acquires Assemble Systems
    • This brings further value to Autodesk’s BIM360 Cloud Platform by adding workflow capabilities that include bid management, estimating, project management, scheduling, site management, and finance. Assemble is already integrated within the Revit toolbar and I look forward to seeing where this technology takes BIM360. FAQ Link
  2. Autodesk University London 2018 – Recordings are now posted..
    • To share one of my favourite AU classes – Watch Here. Kean Walmsley delivered a succinct class on Autodesk Forge and it’s use cases including Project Dasher. He also shared some great tips when starting to use Forge. Thank you Kean 🙂
  3. EdX – Free online courses
    • EdX offers free online learning from leading education institutes. 1000’s of course materials from Harvard, MIT & Berkley to name only a few, the format are recordings, class notes and assignments to complete as part of your learning. A certificate of attendance is issued on completion for a small fee. A well worth investment of time to up skill in your own time.
  4. Microsoft Surface GO
    • Microsoft have announced their competitively priced tablet computer, due for release in early August. This is said to rival the iPad market and will be priced at around €400/£350. See Here
  5. CITA Tech event Ireland

Copenhagen Architecture

Category : Architecture Apr 23rd, 2018

As an Architectural Technologist, my role in architecture is to analyse and assess the technical reality of building designs, both before and after construction. On a recent visit to Copenhagen in Denmark, I was impressed by the modern architecture and its juxtaposition to the traditional buildings. Around 10 or so years ago, I became familiar with Danish modern architecture through Bjarke Ingels work.

Danish culture seems quite practical yet with appreciating enjoyment in life at the same time, similar to their philosophy of Hygge. This is evident in their architecture and a good example of this is Architect Bjarke Ingels of


His buildings break the rules of plain box architecture, yet it delivers functionality unimaginable to most people, myself included. His project The Mountain, is a ground breaking interpretation of apartment living yet residents enjoy stepped gardens with exceptional views. The undercroft space of the building, is used as a public car park instead of packing in endless apartments with lower quality living experience for residents. The car park generates turnover for the owner, while the apartments are of the highest quality in finish and design. Each unit has a garden space larger than a usual balcony with a hanging garden of greenery to ground the sky view and reduce overlooking.

The Mountain is so called because of it’s stacked nature that appears structured but feels quite organic in form when you are up close to the building. The undercroft car park is clad in perforated metal that at a relatively close distance and quite far distance forms a mountain range graphic. This adds to the intrigue and interest of this building as it sits in it’s suburban context served by a lengthy cycle path leading 5kms direct to the city center.

The Mountain is a refreshing reflection of Danish architecture that delivers high quality apartment living.

Initial Design Stage – Energy Analysis in Autodesk FormIt & Insight

Category : Architecture Apr 5th, 2018
Initial Design Stage – Energy Analysis in Autodesk FormIt & Insight

This is a blog post on using Autodesk FormIt Pro and Autodesk Insight 360, in this case I have chosen…

Architectural Workflows Design to Site

Category : Architecture Apr 3rd, 2018

This post will take a brief overview of design, tender, construction to on site completion using a range of software to support each stage. The software is as crucial to each stage as are people and the processes form the 3 factors that lean of each other, without one it will be less effective. Each of the topics covered in this post will be further explored in the coming weeks…



Using an iPad and Autodesk FormIt Pro, a massing of geometry is created to determine our site constraints. Geo Locating of the site within FormIt will allow a shadow analysis to see any impact from or to the site context.


A solar analysis is then performed to see how the sun will impact on building orientation.



An energy assessment of the building by generating an Insight analysis further informs on building operational average costs taking into account glazing ratio, orientation, window type and various other factors.



Using the collaborate feature within FormIt, the geometry can be presented and discussed with the client by sharing a link while they and you are in completely different locations.
Taking geometry from FormIt into Revit is an integrated workflow using the plugin within Revit. This means your are not updating a separate 3D file in parallel to your design drawings. All of the imported geometry can be converted into Revit object types.


Detailed Design

Having brought your model and drawings to a level of detail using construction detailing and Revit types then further using that model to leverage additional information.


Within Revit construction rates can be applied to for example wall types, can have a square meter or linear rate, it will probably best to agree the rate with a QS or take it from a recent project.



In addition, all of the rates and their associated object or building elements can be scheduled into a spreadsheet of quantities required and then checked against a QS Bill of Quantities.



Taking the Revit model and bringing it to site. What does this mean ?? Ok, so we are used bring drawings to site, what if we could access the drawings on an iPad ? This is done using BIM 360 Field or BIM 360 Docs, Issues and inspections can be assigned to locations and accessed on site through your 3D Model on an iPad.



A Digital Roadmap For Ireland’s Construction Industry

Category : Architecture Feb 24th, 2018

In December 2017 Ireland’s National BIM Council published the Roadmap to Digital Transition For Ireland’s Construction Industry 2018-2021. The release of the roadmap is seen as a positive leap towards BIM focused technologies & workflows in Ireland. The 2021 Vision set out in the roadmap aims to increase collaboration, reduce design & construction time and connect information digitally. The roadmap is underpinned by the BIM Innovation Capability Programme, a global study researching how other countries are approaching BIM at a national scale. The roadmap channels this global research by identifying Leadership, Standards, Education & Procurement as the four main areas to drive the construction sector to digitisation in Ireland.

 “The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed”. – William Ford Gibson

Image Source –

The key targets of the roadmap aim for open standard 3D models to be used within a planning or building compliance context. This will support automated processes and drive efficiencies within public departments. Over 30% in a process can be wasteful labour or materials, the roadmap aims to bring this down to 20% and in turn reducing construction costs. This will be implemented through driving education across all business sizes from Large Multi nationals to Small & Medium Enterprises. The SME consideration is mentioned significantly throughout the roadmap to support training. Ireland accounts for 12% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Europe yet only 1% of GDP, this is a good opportunity to increase construction exports through goods and services in overseas markets.  Reducing delivery time of projects by 20% across the design and construction phase will bring further efficiencies to the industry. Centralising project information and digital collaboration is key to driving this time reduction. Contributing digital information from our construction data is valuable to smart growth, communities and cities. This will support Ireland being a key leader of digital transformation across Europe and globally.

To achieve the roadmap targets, leadership within the public and private supply chain will create a frame to support the industry. While adopting standards in line with International and EU Standards to ensure Ireland can increase collaboration, through open standards and similar documents in line with PAS1192. Having this common standard enhances construction information being shared and the opportunity for exporting construction services. An education and training initiative that includes SME’s is noted as being an important element to drive the digital transition. The final part of the roadmap targets procurement as the area to drive a Government Mandate. Several publicly procured projects have already mandated BIM and are being used as pilot schemes. The Grangegorman redevelopment in Dublin is a €2 Billion public project that has had several stages of completed construction in the past 12 months. This project is seen as a key driver of BIM in Ireland.

To support the 20% time reduction, 20% exports increase and 20% cost reduction a wider uptake of technology and education can support this achievable target within Ireland. As we move forward to train and support companies moving to BIM, the technology and support are intricate elements to make the roadmap successful.

Subscribe to our Digital Transition webinar series or register to watch recordings:

  1. Feb 7thFive Ways a BIM workflow supports Ireland’s Roadmap to Digital Transition
  2. 21stHow BIM can automate your Irish Building Regulation & Planning Compliance
  3. Mar 13thDigital Collaboration on BIM Projects in Ireland

Image Source – National BIM Council /

Download PDF Roadmap Document – Roadmap to Digital Transition For Ireland’s Construction Industry 2018-2021