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Posts by Carl Servais TLCD

Summertime STEM Education and Architecture

mike hauser algebra academy, tlcd architecture, summer school for architects, 3d models, algebra and architecture

By Carl Servais AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

The Mike Hauser Academy is a summertime program through the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce that focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. The program provides students entering 9th grade with hands-on experience from STEM related employers in the area. TLCD Architecture hosted the class the week of June 20th and I had an opportunity to work with fellow designers, Nick Diggins and Stacey Walker to shape the curriculum for the week.

We had a lot of fun leading the students through the process of measuring an existing space, creating scale drawings by hand, developing a design based on a functional program, and finally modeling their design in 3D. The students did an amazing job working together throughout the week, which culminated in a presentation of their design to the group, complete with floor plans and a 3D rendering that could be viewed with Google Cardboard viewers. They particularly enjoyed seeing their own pictures as scale figures within the renderings. Check out these stereo panoramic renderings of the students inhabiting their designs:

green screen, avatars, mike hauser academy, santa rosa chamber of commerce, tlcd architecture, 3d model, STEM, science, technology, engineering, math

Lucas and Ginger

http://pano.autodesk.com/pano.html?url=jpgs/736133b5-4d1f-4157-9609-ffea6be8b99c

Dorian and Janai

http://pano.autodesk.com/pano.html?url=jpgs/4c793c80-ec79-4125-b49d-709875031e62

Jerry and Montse

http://pano.autodesk.com/pano.html?url=jpgs/6fba6e88-9cab-42c4-981b-e570b20bc6ba

TLCD Architecture: Revit Tips for January

Revit Tips Graphic_crop

Door, Window, and Frame Types by David Moyer

Are you still making drafting views and using annotation lines to depict your door, window, and frame types? There are better ways. Ways that leverage the Building Information Model and assure that when a change happens these type views are automatically updated. Today I have two such options for you to consider: 1. Legends and 2. Elevation Views.

  1. Using a legend to create your door, window and frame types is very fast and easy, but It has some drawbacks; you cannot reference details from a legend and this method does not work for curtain walls. Thus if you want to refer to your window head detail from the Window Type View you can only add a text reference for this purpose, not leveraging the automatic update feature that Revit offers with regular views. For curtain walls we have no choice but to use method 2 detailed next. If you want to learn how to use a legend for your door, window, & frame types please refer to the following instructions: http://revitknowz.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-create-door-legends.html

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Carl’s Excellent Adventure: Leadership Santa Rosa Part 3

Carl-composite

My story about the second Leadership Santa Rosa program day, Government and Politics, truly began several months ago at the Class XXXII retreat where several of my classmates and I had a discussion about the reunification of Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa, an important and contentious project which has been in the works for many years.  That spirited discussion inspired me to complete our homework assignment by attending the City Council meeting in September where the City Council decided to move ahead with funding the project, and that meeting became a tipping point for me to speak out in support of the City Council’s decision by writing a letter to the local newspaper, the Press Democrat.

And so, with my freshly inspired spirit for civic engagement, I entered the City Council chambers again in October to learn all about government, policy, and politics during our program day.

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Carl’s Excellent Adventure: Leadership Santa Rosa Part 2

SelfieWithACow

The topic of Class XXXII’s first Leadership Santa Rosa program day was Agriculture.  After our fascinating pretour of a mushroom farm in Sebastopol, I was excited to see what the day would bring, but not so excited about starting at 6am.  Ugh!  I can’t complain too much though, since our first stop was the Bucher Dairy, a 2nd generation family-owned organic dairy farm on 360 acres near Healdsburg, where they are up every day at 1am to start milking the cows. Yikes!  They have 700 dairy cows producing milk for Clover Storneta, and in recent years planted a 40 acre vineyard to support their own wine label, Bucher.  I learned a lot about how the farm operates and how they have integrated new technology over time to increase efficiency, including creating their own “plate cooler” that works like a heat exchanger to passively cool the milk with stored water.

Our next stop was Santa Rosa Junior College’s Shone Farm for a panel discussion with Tony Linegar, the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner, Karissa Kruse, the President of the Sonoma County Wingrowers, and Doug Beretta from Beretta Family Organic Dairy.

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Carl’s Excellent Adventure: Leadership Santa Rosa Part 1

I recently began my two-year participation in Leadership Santa Rosa, an “educational program intended to develop and equip effective community leaders via exposure to pertinent issues, broad thinkers and the richness of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County.” The program was created by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce and as a part of Class XXXII, I hope to join the distinguished group of community leaders who have graduated from the program over the years, including TLCD Architecture’s own Don Tomasi (Class VIII) and Jason Brabo (Class XXIV). Through a series of full-day educational and interactive seminars, I will learn directly from experienced leaders about various aspects of our community including challenges we face and opportunities for our future.

mushrooms, gourmet mushrooms, mycopia, leadership santa rosaThe topic for our first program day was “Agriculture” and our first official activity was a tour of Gourmet Mushrooms, a mushroom farm off of Gravenstein Highway north of Sebastopol. Justin Reyes, the Manager for Sales and Marketing, led us on a tour through the facility where they grow seven varieties of gourmet mushrooms that are sold under the Mycopia brand at groceries throughout the United States, including our local Safeway, Raley’s, and Whole Foods. The mushrooms are grown in bottles packed with a special wood based substrate that is first “seeded” with mycelium, then incubated for several months, and finally moved to harvest rooms where the mushrooms grow. Their mushrooms have been certified organic and their operations are highly sustainable, including using very little water and producing very little waste. All of their used wood substrate is sold to local farms for compost and the approximately 1 million bottles in circulation at the facility are continuously reused.

Mushroom Mycelial Biomass, mushrooms, gourmet mushrooms, leadership santa rosa

Photo courtesy of Gourmet Mushrooms, Inc.

The tour was incredibly fascinating and I learned a lot more than I ever thought I would while wearing a hairnet. I can’t wait to see what other experiences this journey will bring and I promise to keep sharing them with you! For now, I’ll leave you with a few fun facts about mushrooms:

  • The largest living organism on Earth is a mushroom in Oregon that is over 2,000 acres and can be seen from space.
  • Fungi are their own kingdom, but they are closer to animals than plants.
  • Nearly all plants have a symbiotic relationship with a partner fungi.

Stay tuned for more in my Leadership Santa Rosa Series – there are a lot more adventures to come!

To learn more about the farm Gourmet Mushrooms, Inc. watch this video.

TLCD Architecture: Revit Tips for September

Revit Tip of the Week, TLCD Architecture

Editing Requests | by David Moyer

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

This week’s tip comes from Steve Stafford’s Blog – Revit OpEd. Thinking this might be one of the reasons we find folks owning elements in Models when they have not been in those models recently.

http://revitoped.blogspot.com/2015/07/withdraw-your-editing-requests.html

In the past I wrote about how you can become the unwitting or accidental borrower of elements when you create an Editing Request but then close your local file before the request is resolved.

Therefore it is a good habit to Retract (withdraw) any Editing Requests you create before closing your Local file. If you form a habit of creating Editing Requests then also form the habit of Retracting any that are still pending when you leave the project for any reason.

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIMThis is not a request…

 

 

 

 

 

Ideate Explorer | by Leslie Smith

I watched a webinar on Ideate Explorer presented by Richard Taylor. He is a longtime Revit user (pre-autodesk) and refers to himself as a “technical evangelist”. His presentation was very informative and well presented. If you haven’t used this tool…you will – once you see what it can do.

At TLCD Architecture, Ideate Explorer is a Revit Add-in we all have in our add-ins tab.

For easy access you can add this to your Quick Access Toolbar (same thing for other tools you frequently use).

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

The webinar provided the top 10 tips

  1. Delete Imports – get rid of pesky .dwg files floating randomly in your project
  2. Audit worksets – by filter by workset you can see if components or elements are misplaced and relocate them.
  3. Audit groups – unfortunately groups sometimes don’t get named in a recognizable way…just what is “group 57” and where is it…
  4. Check Grids, Levels and Reference Planes. Ever place a family and it doesn’t show up cuz it’s hosted to Level 1..but you are working on Level 3…urggghhh
  5. Audit Views and Viewports
  6. Audit Revit Families including in-place creations.
  7. Cleanup Text and Dimensions
  8. Audit Keynotes and Revisions – Easy to get rid of Bid clouds and tags
  9. Review Model and Detail Lines
  10. Scan Element Count.

I especially find #1 Delete Imports useful…since these don’t show up in the browser and can be near impossible to find. There is a brief (1.5 minute) video available on Ideate website demonstrating this feature:  http://ideatesoftware.com/ideateexplorer/videos/

#7 Cleanup Text and Dimensions is very helpful especially when working on those projects we keep pulling forward from the past.

  • You can select all instances of a text style in your project and switch them all at once. Here’s how…
  • To use an old project as the basis for a new project, first open the old project as a detached from central. Save as your new project and Close.
  • Open again and create a local.  Open a new project using the TLCD template (not central just new project)
  • (so you have two projects open)
  • Go back to your Project Local file. From the Manage tab –  transfer project standards from the new project (created from the template).
  • Select the “check none” button and THEN…Select the things you want to transfer.
  • In this case we will choose “text types” and from the popup box choose “overwrite”.
  • Overwrite will catch some but not all font changes needed to match our current standard.

Here’s where Ideate Explorer comes in handy… TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

  • From the Add-ins tab or your Quick Access Toolbar select Ideate Explorer.
  • A box will pop up on your screen. This will float on top of your Revit window or can be pulled off to the side.
  • To globally change the text styles -> select display option “entire project”  -> scroll down to the “text notes” category.
  • All of the text styles used in your project are listed. Expand the tree by clicking on the + symbol.
  • For our example we will change two types 3/32” text (50) and TLCD 3/32” text (1922)
  • Check the boxes for those two text types and all 1972 instances will be selected.

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

Notice 1972 items have been selected…click ok. The Ideate Explorer box closes and you are back in Revit. (note with version 2016 the box doesn’t close and is more interactive)

The Revit properties box will now show those 1972 items are selected.

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

 

 

Using the dropdown arrow choose your new text type.

 

 

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

Voila! All 1972 instances changed in one quick moment.

Now if you activate Ideate Explorer and go to the text notes…you will not find the two old types listed. But will find your 1972 instances of TLCD 3/32” listed. The final cleanup step would be to purge unused text (Manage tab). I encourage you to explore “explorer”.

Here’s a link to the support page for more info. http://ideatesoftware.com/ideateexplorer/support/

Auditing your Revit File | by Carl Servais

We open Revit files all the time, and there’s always this mysterious Audit button that is left unchecked.

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

Should we be checkin’ that box?  Well, here’s some advice from Sash Kazeminijad, an Application Specialist from Ideate: http://ideatesolutions.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-importance-of-auditing-revit-models.html

The Importance of Auditing Revit Models

We have recently had several cases come through tech support in which folks were receiving error messages when attempting to edit their families in Revit 2015 R2. The message states “Family is corrupt and cannot be edited. Please reload the family to repair the project.” Receiving messages such as this one can be a little disconcerting, especially when you are in the middle of a large project. The fear is that the Revit model is corrupt or heading for corruption. In most cases, you may have to look for an archived version of the model or a local file to create a new Central model from, since most corrupt models are difficult to manually repair.

As we discovered, the recent rash of corrupt families within a Revit model has to do when a Revit model was upgraded to Revit 2015 R2. This corruption was more than likely due to the end user not selecting the “Audit” checkbox when opening (or upgrading) their Revit projects for the first time in Revit 2015 R2. Had the “Audit” option been selected, the family corruption issue may not have occurred.

The audit feature in Revit will scan, detect and sometimes fix corrupt elements within a Revit model. So when should you select the “Audit” option?

1. Whenever upgrading a Revit project from one version to another. For example, if you want to upgrade your Revit project from Revit 2015 to Revit 2016, select the “Audit” checkbox prior to opening it for the first time in the newest version.

2. Select the “Audit” checkbox when upgrading ALL models to Revit 2015 R2 for the first time.

3. If your Revit model is starting to take its time opening or you notice general performance issues, then auditing it may improve the time it takes to open your project.

4. If you receive messages such as “Data in file <revit project name.rvt. is corrupt and needs to be manually recovered” or “Family <family name here> is corrupt and cannot be edited. Please reload the family to repair the project.”

5. If you are doing any sort of Central File maintenance, including creating new Central Files.

Remember, it is always a good idea to make an archive copy of your model prior to Auditing and Upgrading to the next release of Revit. The reason being is in case the upgrade process introduces errors or corruption issues that cannot be repaired, or if you find a compelling reason to go back and work in the previous version of Revit.

Autodesk Certification | by Leslie Smith

It’s that time again…

Autodesk is offering Revit 2015 Certification testing for the discounted price of $45. This is a once a year deal – “Open Doors Certification Day”. The testing date is Friday October 2.

Here’s the link to Ideate:  http://ideateinc.com/educate/certification.html

Whether interested in certification or not it’s always good to invest in self-learning. This is a screen shot of the exam prep “roadmap” provided by Autodesk. It’s a good checklist to see where you are with your Revit skills.

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TLCD Architecture: Revit Tips for July

Revit, TLCD Architecture

Relinquish All Elements by Carl Servais

RevitEach time you synchronize with central, make sure you relinquish all the worksets and elements that you have been working on by checking all of the available check boxes in the dialog box.  Each time you create a new view, you have created a new workset and you may not even realize that you have ownership of that workset.  If you don’t have the “View Worksets” item checked, you will not relinquish that workset, which means everyone else is locked out of editing that view.  If you close the file without relinquishing worksets or elements, it can be a real hassle for other folks to work in that model if/when they need to edit something that you own.  In summary, make it a habit to glance at those check boxes before you click “OK.”

Wishlist & Bug Report by David Moyer

Merry Christmas…I know it is only July, but it’s never too early to make your list for Santa or Autodesk.Revit, santa, TLCD Architecture

Ever wish you could get Autodesk to finally fix that thing in Revit that drives you crazy? Whether it be unintended behavior in the program that you want to see eliminated or a new feature that you wish the program offered, you can have an impact by letting Autodesk know your desires. Where you ask can I get a hold of one of those Software Architects” and give them a piece of my mind?

Well as one might expect, direct interaction with these folks is an opportunity that is few and far between. I wonder why that might be…hmm. Anyhow they do have the following webpage where you can leave your comments, frustrations, and wish-lists for REVIT: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=1109794

I encourage each of you to take a moment when you run across something you feel could be improved in the program and leave a comment at the above website. When the same comments come from multiple sources they will pay more attention than if these comments only come from a few of us.

Microsoft Word - 2015July.docxNot good enough you say! I have no idea if I have been heard! Well I agree and so do the good folks over at AUGI (Autodesk User Group International).  This is an independent group of Autodesk users which Autodesk has recognized as representing you and your architectural computing needs. AUGI maintains a wish-list for REVIT that gives us a unified voice with the power of the entire AEC community behind it to help Autodesk develop our software with the features we need.

Not only does AUGI present this list to Autodesk on a regular basis they ask that we rank these wishes so Autodesk will know which are the most important ones to get into the software. You can find the AUGI REVIT Wish-list here: https://www.augi.com/wishlist

Revit, Designer, TLCD ArchitectureJoining AUGI as a Basic Member is free and you will be able to see that other users may be having the same issues with REVIT that you have – how they may be working around these items, and what they think would be the best way to improve the software to eliminate such problems.

Now all of you be nice and give Autodesk your input and maybe, just maybe we will have a Merry REVIT 2017 release come Next Year.

Funky Schedule and Simpson Resources by Leslie Smith

Funky Schedule

We had an issue with certain components not showing up in the room/furniture schedule. They were visible in the views and the component properties all looked good. The project has multiple phases with demo of existing (demo’d in new construction phase) and new work (in new construction phase) typical of how we do it.

It turns out that the existing walls that were being demolished were interfering with the family’s ability to associate to the new room. Even though the room displayed correctly and graphically everything looked ok in the views, the items were not showing in the schedule. After some trial & error, the fix was to uncheck the room bounding checkbox in the demo’d wall properties. Then the components all showed up in the schedule.

Since we had no existing/demo items scheduled, this worked well. Not necessarily the perfect fix…but in this case it worked.

Simpson Resource

Simpson Strongtie has both Revit Models 3D and Detail Components 2D. These can be downloaded individually or a zip of all the 2D or 3Dfamilies…From the webpage http://www.strongtie.com/ go to the “Resources” tab, “Drawings”, “Revit Drawings.”

TLCD Architecture, Strongtie

Select desired download…be aware that the Masterformat keynote number is not automatically associated.

Strongtie, TLCD Architecture

Overriding Consultant Model Colors Using Filters by Carl Servais

Have you ever received a Revit file from a consultant, linked it into your model, and then found many of the consultant’s model elements are colored something other than black?Revit, TLCD Architecture

Often times, the color can be difficult to change, because it might be an override from the consultant’s model, or it might be an object style in the consultant’s model, or it might be something else entirely.  You don’t want to open the consultant’s model and make changes to their model because it might take a while for you to discover the cause of the color change, and you will have to make all of those changes again when you get an updated model from the consultant.  You might ask the consultant to change their model, but then they might have a reason for using the colors.  In my opinion, the best solution is to let the consultant do their thing and fix the problem on my end by using a view filter.  A view filter works because it falls high enough on the element visibility override hierarchy within Revit to overcome any settings that are coming from the consultant’s model, and it is applied to a view, so you don’t have to override each element.  In fact, if you use the view filter in a view template, you can control the visibility of multiple views from one place.  Here’s how to create a view filter:

Open the Visibility/Graphic Overrides for the view you are working.  Click on the Filters tab and click on the Add button:

Microsoft Word - 2015July.docx

Click the Edit/New button to create a new Filter:

TLCD Architecture, Revit, View Filter

Create a new filter, give it a name, and then select all of the element categories that you want this filter to apply to.  For example, if you are overriding a mechanical/plumbing model, select all the ducting and piping categories:

TLCD Architecture, View Filter, Revit

This might take a bit of trial and error if you find that you did not get all of the categories that your consultant is using in their model.  Here’s the categories I used on a recent project:

Revit, TLCD Architecture

Now you just click “OK” to create the filter, and you just need to highlight your newly created filter in the “Add Filters” dialog box and click “OK”:

TLCD Architecture, Revit

Now you should be back in the “Visibility/Graphics Overrides” and you should have your filter in the list.  Now you need to tell Revit how you would like to override the elements.  Select the Projection/Surface, Lines, “Override” button:

Revit, TLCD Architecture

Override the color to black and click OK:

TLCD Architecture, Revit

Back in the “Visibility/Graphics Overrides” dialog box, when you click OK, you should see the colored elements turn black:

Revit, TLCD Architecture

Keep in mind, this only fixes the view you have been working in.  You will have to apply this filter to all the views that have colored elements showing up.  Use View Templates to provide control over similar views, like interior elevations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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