Archive for September, 2010


Posted: September 26, 2010 in Assignment 2
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(Building Information Modeling)

Due Date: September 27, 2010

Maximum Point: 100/100

The intent is to give you a taste of working with a BIM tool AutoDesk’s Revit (you may use Bentley System’s equivalent as an option if you choose, but I cannot help much).

* You’ll create a sample building taking advantage of a few of the BIM capabilities of the software.
* For newcomers we’ll give step-by-step instructions, but experienced users there’s an option.
* The end-product will be a single drawing incorporating multiple “views” of your project
* You’ll write some conclusions and present your project in class.


My House

Posted: September 26, 2010 in Assignment 2

I had learned Revit a year ago for my ARCH-192 course at Drexel University. At the time I used Revit 2009, which had the old interface. For this assignment the challenge and the primary goal was equating myself with the interface and new features of Revit 2011.

For this assignment I chose to draw up my own home, since I have been intending to do so for some time and did not get an opportunity. Revit is an incredible tool to use for a 3D modeling. Since I was leaning this software for both my classes and work, I was able to come up with advantages as well as disadvantages of the software. The greatest advantage of Revit is the 3D modeling and rendering capabilities. It has real intelligent data libraries built in, which are fairly customizable. AutoCAD consumes too much memory when dealing with 3D views and the renderings are poor. Moreover, materials assignment in AutoCAD is rather complicated. Such issues have been addressed and resolved in Revit. Another reason Revit is popular for large scale projects is for the 3D coordination purposes of the internal building systems (HVAC, plumbing, and electrical).

The drawback is, that the HVAC and plumbing are well addressed, but electrical aspect of Revit MEP is neglected as it is with majority of Autodesk products. In producing the 3D coordination drawings for the contractors, electrical contractors have to use the plumbing tool, and redefine them to be suitable for their purposes. From the architectural standpoint, as mentioned earlier, Revit is great for the conceptual design and rendering, but it is extremely complicated and time consuming to be used as a construction document tool.

With this project I had an actual building to be duplicated and was forced to make the software suit my needs rather than making my design suit the software capabilities and my knowledge of it. It brightened my horizon in Revit’s controls and object editing capabilities. For example I had learned how to edit wall profiles of individual wall to create bent shapes. I was also able to reacquaint myself with the new interface and found it to be much more convenient and easier to master that the 2009 interface.

Below are the PDF files of the project sheet files:

– 1st and 2nd Floors
– Exterior Elevations
– Perspective Views
– Rendering

Posted: September 21, 2010 in Assignment 1


Due Date: September 22, 2010

Maximum Point: 103/100

Course Understanding

Posted: September 21, 2010 in Assignment 1

This course focuses on the design of the building systems rather than an aesthetical building design. The topic discussed listed on the syllabus is as follows:

  • Introduction to Building Systems concept
  • Development of key A/E parameters
  • Analysis techniques for building systems – Introduction
  • Structural building systems
  • Mechanical building systems
  • Electrical building systems (more…)

My Future Skills

Posted: September 21, 2010 in Assignment 1
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By the end of this course I believe I will have improved my skills in a variety of building  design areas: From a technical standpoint I will have improved my Revit skills, refreshed my SketchUp skills, and learned building performance analysis tools. Also I will learn Collaborative Design Methods, I will have an improved ability to work in groups and arrive at constructive and joint conclusions. Remote communication will be a challenge to be overcome. (more…)


Posted: September 21, 2010 in Assignment 1
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I am inclined to agree with most of the suggestion presented in ‘Teamwork’ web page. However, in the setting on this course, some of these points are more feasible than others.

Forming Team – while it is absolutely important to have a compatible team, it is not always possible to do so. Most of the time individuals cannot choose their classmates or their co-workers, so they have to make the best out of a team of unfamiliar individuals. Forming a team should be rephrased to be more as ‘Items to be discussed prior to task delegation’. When teams are assigned, discussions about experience, scheduling, availability, goals, etc. should be had and tasks delegated accordingly.

Phases – I agree with the notion of four phases. Along with the discussions from the forming Team section and learning the experience, the ideas of the project should be explored and each member should be asked to present their ideas. With the idea presentation and team reactions, these four phases will inadvertently present themselves and will be resolved in form of discussions and suggestions.

Roles – I both agree and disagree with role assignment suggested. I agree that when time is of essence and especially in a real world situation everyone should be delegated a task they have the most experience in. In an educational setting, however, I believe task should be delegated in the reverse way. Each individual should receive a task they do not have extensive experience in. This way each member of the team acquires a new set of skill they did not have before and they have their piers with experience to assist them with the process.

Meetings – I agree that everyone should come, but there are many students with conflicting schedules. I myself, for example, might be forced to attend meeting via Skype, just because my schedule if by far more complicated than an average college student as I work full time.  But these are issues different with each group and should be addressed immediately. Other ideas, especially food, are great and they help to make meeting more structured and productive.

Decisions – Everyone must have a say in decision making, and individuals should be willing and able to let go of ideas not supported by the majority, especially those who assume a leader role. Ideally, taking time to make decisions works, assuming there is time.

Records – I agree with it being an important aspect of group work. From experience, however, I have learned that this is a very difficult task to remain dedicated to. Generally, those taking meeting minutes end up being left out of the discussions. Rotating the task is a great idea. Generally, it is most productive, when one person is organizing all of the records. This way they are easily accessible and organized in a consistent manner.

Disputes – resolving disputes may be one of the most challenging tasks. From experience we all have learned that there are people who  try to get a good grade without doing the work.  All of the suggestions presented are good, but difficult to execute (especially the not yelling part).

When to do it – Skills and time availability should be addresses first meeting – no argument. Idea generation/ brainstorming works great in groups, but it can also be done remotely. We are creating our own web pages, where we can set up a discussion board/ blog and post our ideas as well as criticize other ideas continually without taking the time for meetings. In the meeting these ideas can be summarized and the favorite ones can be discussed in greater detail.

Extra Credit

Posted: September 21, 2010 in Assignment 1
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Improving this assignment would be difficult, since it covers a wide range, It would help if there was slightly better coverage in Web Design, as no other course teaches that.
Below is a list of applicable site which would help in this course:

– Energy Codes and Standards 1
– Energy Codes and Standards 2
– International Code Council
– National Fire Protection Association
– American Society of Civil Engineers
– Structural Engineering Institute
– U.S. Green Building Council