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

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

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.

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…

What is the Autodesk “AEC Collection” ?

Category : Technology

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

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