Chartered Architectural Technologist | MCIAT, MSc. BIM, BSc. Arch. Tech.

Revit – Survey Point & Project Base Point

Revit – Survey Point & Project Base Point

The Survey Base Point is a constant location or point of origin that can be a point on your site or the national grid system if you prefer. If it is a location on your site, it should be an existing point or landmark that will not be moved as a result of the proposed construction. Consider this as a real-world point of location that constantly exists.

The Project Base Point should be a meaningful point in your building or proposal. This can be for example an intersection of gridlines or a chosen for example “Bottom left Corner” of a proposed building. The location of the Project Base Point is relative to the Survey Base Point. If you move the Project Base Point “Unclipped” then the coordinates will update. If you move it while clipped, it will move the location & buildings in your project. You can consider this a transient point in the project, as it can change if the project requires it. Building designs change constantly, therefore your Project Base Point may also too.

If available, check your BIM Execution Plan or Employers Information Requirements as these should specify the relevant points to set.

The Digitisation of Architecture as a Business

The Digitisation of Architecture as a Business


The transition from drawing board to computer was a leap into progress. However, the act of drawing, erasing & redrawing compelled designers to really consider what they were doing before they put ink to paper. Across BIM projects, a similar mind-set enables a similar quality in design.

The CAD process is; “ok, how do we draw this?”, however, BIM enables the “ok, how do we actually build this?” as the question. BIM is an opportunity to interrogate and improve building designs in a revolutionary way.

Technology across many industries has driven business revolution since the first industrial revolution and Architecture, Engineering and Construction will prove no different. With this in mind, the complete digitisation of the business of architecture is inevitable. BIM is only a portion of the industry shift that is currently growing in momentum.

The technicians, technologists and architects are no longer just drafting robots. They are virtual master-builders. 4D construction, cloud-collaboration & computational design are now a part of daily operations, with these digital capabilities enhancing architects’ workflows now a reality.

The customisation of our personal lives in how we absorb music, TV, film, news and social-media dominates the broader tech-industry. Individualism is driving this trend, which has exploded over the last 5-10 years. The evidence of these trends in AEC lies in the power to iterate and automate designs with ease. Through designing and connecting information from the built environment through API programming, visual-scripting & remote-collaboration, the digital shift will continue to surprise us in years to come.

Empowering the industry with knowledge in these key areas, is the key to digitising the business of Architecture, across both Engineering and Construction.

Jonathan Reinhardt

Starting to use Dynamo ? Some basic tips to get you started.

Category : Dynamo, Revit
Starting to use Dynamo ? Some basic tips to get you started.

Dynamo generally operates using 3 x types of data – Numbers, Strings & Booleans.

  1. Numbers = Integers (Whole Numbers) or if Dynamo requests a Double it wants a decimal “1.2” is 2 number’s, hence Double. (Double is a Computer Science term).
  2. Strings = these are sequences of text, they can also be used to update Revit parameters for example.
  3. Booleans = This is simply either “True” or “False”. For example is 5 less than < 10, this would return a “True” output.

If you hover over an Input port, as shown below, it will state what Data type it can take in. The below example node accepts a Double or the Default value is 0.

Related image

BIM360 Design – Adding Teams

Once you have created your project within BIM 360 Design, adding teams will automatically generate the folders within Project Files for the named team.

ABC Architects or 123 Engineers are separate companies, however, you can set them up as teams for the purpose of folder creation within BIM360 design. Teams can also include individual people or roles, with varying access rights to their folders.

BIM 360 Design – Consumed Folder

I have come across some confusion regarding the Consumed folder with BIM360 Design. The Consumed folder within BIM360 Design is a temporary holding area for linking in 3rd party models. For example, an Architect will have a Consumed folder and the Structural Engineer will have their own separate Consumed folder. If the Architect is linking in the Engineers model through BIM360 design, they should first copy the latest Engineers model into the Architects Consumed folder. Within Revit, using the Insert Tab > Link Revit > External Reference/BIM360 > Architects > Consumed, and the model should be linked in from there.

The purpose of this workflow is to avoid linking into the live shared model of other consultants, as this will cause any changes in their model to go unidentified or automatically accepted. This allows you to manage the version of another consultant’s model that you are using for reference.

Revit – Section Box

Category : Architecture, Revit
Revit – Section Box

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

  1. Open a 3D View.
  2. Select “Section Box” in Properties tab.
  3. Pull blue arrows to the preferred view, you can also rotate the section box to suit the orientation of your building.
  4. To hide the section box but to keep the cut view, select the section box & type “EH” for element hide. Alternatively, you could apply a view filter with set to hide the section box.




Revit – Multi Category Tag

Category : Architecture, Revit

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
Tech Updates – July 19th

Introduction to Computer Science – Week 0

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…