Showing posts with label Architecture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Architecture. Show all posts

Thursday, March 14, 2013

App to measure and draw floor plans

I have not tested this app but it looks like it’s pretty easy to use and could be useful if you want drawings of existing buildings.

MagicPlan measures the size of the room, draws the floor plan and creates a
DXF file, PDF document, JPEG images and a web site with an interactive floor plan. MagicPlan requires gyroscopes available only with iPhone 4, 4S, the new iPod Touch, the iPad 2 and the new iPad.

If you have tried it please comment below what you think about it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

AutoCAD Architecture Classification Definitions Export/Import

How can AutoCAD Architecture Classification Definitions be exported and imported?

With JTB World’s ClassificationDefinitionTools this can be done. I’ve now updated the tool for AutoCAD Architecture 2013 and AutoCAD MEP 2013. Windows 8 is also supported as long as you are able to run the Autodesk product in question on it.

Here is the program’s import form where the first column defines the level in the resulting classification tree. This will also work fine with thousands of classification items.

After importing this definition the result in the Style Manager is as below.

One user is using ClassificationDefinitionTools to add OmniClass Construction Classification System (known as OmniClass or OCCS) classifications to AutoCAD MEP drawings. “There are over 10,000 of them so this tool makes it easy.”

Trial is available at here.

Monday, September 17, 2012

AutoCAD Architecture 2013 database connectivity with ACA_db

ACA_db is an app/add-on from JTB World for AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD MEP.

Make use of AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD MEP more fully in your BIM process. Property Set values can automatically be updated back and forth to one or many external databases. If you make changes to the Extended Data values within a Property Set they can be synchronized back to the external database. Any Property in a Property Set Definition can be exported and all editable Properties can be imported.

With the new release ACA_db 4 there is support for AutoCAD Architecture 2013, AutoCAD MEP 2013, both 32-bit and 64-bit.

Synchronization between database and CAD

ACA_db will improve the BIM process and experience and will improve quality of your data and remove redundancy and conflicts of data.

Contact us to get a time limited license file for free.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Autodesk Seek adds New Quality Assurance Icons

Autodesk Seek will be enhanced with a file quality rating.

Here is a chart showing the file quality icons.

This is an example showing one rated product an one that is not yet rated.

From the press release:

New Quality Assurance Icons Expand Evaluation Support to Meet Needs of Growing Customer Base

Autodesk has announced the integration of a new quality rating system within Autodesk Seek, a free web service that enables architects and design professionals to quickly discover, preview and download branded and generic Building Information Modeling (BIM) models, drawings and specifications. To help architects, designers and manufacturers ensure quality when using intelligent models, drawings and specifications found in Seek, Autodesk will evaluate and rate each item using a set of seven icons. Additional ratings will be introduced over the coming months, beginning with ratings for chairs, doors, tables and benches. Additional model types will be evaluated throughout the year.

“The steady growth in the number and variety of models we have made available through Autodesk Seek has proven the system’s value as a key component in our BIM initiative,” said Jonathan Rydz, co-leader of the Bradley BIM Development Team, Bradley Corporation. “The addition of the rating system will ensure that our users know they have the best quality models.”

Some stats: Autodesk Seek is right now averaging 850,000 searches per month and 1,800,000 visitors this year alone, with nearly half of all visitors downloading files.

Via AutoCAD 2012’s Content Explorer, Autodesk Seek can be explored. Not sure though if the ratings will show up there.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Automation of Surveying

I remember how in early 1990s I was creating programs to import and export coordinates from AutoCAD to a total station and how it was used to locate the holes to be done for chair foundations in a large public hall.

The image is showing aerial LIDAR surveying from a paraplane operated by a Scandinavian Laser Surveying company.

What about those in the surveying trade?

Houston Neal over at Software Advice says:

“Surveying is going through a technological renaissance. The increased adoption of machine guidance systems has renewed the importance of the surveying trade. This technology calls for a highly-trained workforce, and surveyors are the most qualified for this job. But to get in on the action, surveyors need to learn to use this technology and re-brand themselves.”

“In addition to getting training, surveyors need to brand themselves as machine control experts. Contractors, land engineers and surveyors are all vying for this title and no one has proved themselves in the role yet. Land surveyors are the most qualified for the job, so they should position themselves accordingly. And to support this claim, they need only point to the existing state laws that require surveyors to be part of the machine control setup process.”

Read the whole article at Automation of Surveying Creates Disruption and Opportunities

Sunday, October 31, 2010

8 levels wood buildings

Here are some pictures of Sweden’s highest new built residential buildings in wood. Walls and slabs are made of massive wood. Construction was done in a dry environment under a movable roof.

Limnologen is an eight-story building with 134 apartments, constructed using wood as the main building material.

Buildings with low energy consumption
The building is a part of the project Valle Broar, which aims to support wood-building technology and create the modern wooden city in Växjö. Limnologen is the first high building in Sweden whose construction is based on wood and has been conducted and evaluated in close collaboration with leading experts in wood building, who are active at universities within Sweden and abroad.

Environmental benefits
Wood buildings have many environmental benefits. The material is responsible for low carbon emissions during production and sequesters carbon during its lifetime. Producing wood is energy efficient, does not tear on finite resources and in addition wood buildings consume less energy than other types of buildings during their lifetime. The building only consumes 65 kWh per square meter and year. Wood buildings, in particular the ones that have a high level of pre-fabrication, are flexible and it is possible to recycle building elements. In the end of the lifecycle the material does not need to be deposited, but can be combusted and converted to heat and electricity. To the environmental benefits come other desirable attributes, such as it being highly fireproof and creating a good working environment. ref.

More pictures of Limnologen at Midroc Property Development as well as at Linnéuniversitetet here and much more here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Building materials made of corn stover

I found this green product interesting and with a lot of potential.

CornBoard™ is a version of wood composite board that uses corn husks and stalks (commonly referred to as corn stover) remaining in the field after corn is harvested. The structural composite is prepared by mixing the fibrous corn component with a polymer matrix, laminating the mixture, and applying heat and pressure.

In contrast to traditional particle board, plywood, or medium-density fiberboard, CornBoard™ developed at CBMI will be repurposing an underutilized biomass material.  For every acre of corn grown, (over 86 million acres are grown annually in the U.S), over 4,000 pounds of corn stover is left in the field.  Appropriating this biomass material into new and innovative products is an efficient and environmentally conscious means of stewardship.

CornBoard™ is a green technology in that it traps CO2. Typically, when biomass is left to decompose in the field, the CO2 previously captured and consumed by the growing plant is released back into the atmosphere. Conversely, when the corn stover is made into CornBoard™, the CO2 is “trapped” in the material. Sequestering CO2 in CornBoard™ alleviates the contribution of the decomposing biomass towards an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.

CornBoard™ also provides an alternative to wood products, thereby reducing the demand on a less renewable resource. According to CBMI, just 2 acres of leftover corn stover biomass would produce enough CornBoard™ to build a two story house supplying the roof decking, flooring, and outer wall sheathing. CBMI uses a non-toxic resin binder in CornBoard™ production.  This method is a safer and more environmentally conscious choice than a traditional formaldehyde-base binder.

CBMI can produce CornBoard™ in varying densities, allowing for a variety of applications. Due to this flexibility, CornBoard™ is not limited to being a wood composite board replacement, but is also being developed into a variety of products including home and lawn furniture, kitchen cabinets, door cores, and even a full line of longboards.

Via Illinois’ Technology Basis for Unique and Versatile Corn-Based Structural Composite and more at the Corn Board Manufacturing website.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10MW offshore wind turbine

This is a bit old news but I thought it was interesting in several ways. This is Arup’s Aerogenerator X visualized by architects Grimshaw. The diameter is 274 meters and an innovative design and construction that can generate 10MW and new versions in the future possibly up to 20MW.

"In order to reduce the fatigue stress, the blade sections and thicknesses are increased which further increases the blade self-weight. These issues continue throughout the device. Drive-train mountings must be stiff enough to support the heavier components inside the nacelle on top of the tower, otherwise the systems can become misaligned and the support structure is also exposed to extremely large dynamic thrust and bending stresses, which are amplified significantly with any increase in water depth".

The innnovative design is the conclusion of an 18-month feasibility study called the NOVA project undertaken by Cranfield University, QinetiQ, Strathclyde University, Sheffield University and Wind Power Limited supported by consultant engineers and project managers. The NOVA feasibility project was funded by the Energy Technologies Institute, a public private partnership comprising BP, Caterpillar, EDF, E.ON, Rolls-Royce, Shell, BP, EDF, EON, Caterpillar, the UK Government and Wind Power Limited.

More at Arup.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Apple staircase

When you think Apple you might not think building design or construction but perhaps not surprisingly, the staircase received a design patent in 2002 with Steve Jobs' name first, followed by several others. The staircase design itself received a design patent, and the complex glass and hardware system received a separate technical patent.

More details at

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Autodesk Sustainable Design Center

On Earth Day Autodesk released the new Autodesk Sustainable Design Center. We all know the big need for sustainable design and this new site will help in general and especially if you want to know how Autodesk’s products can fit in. Lear too from several interesting customer stories like how AutoCAD and Civil 3D are butterfly-friendly.

Here are some of the links from the Autodesk Link List.

Page Name

Autodesk Sustainable Design Center (landing page)

Autodesk Carbon Footprint

Green Leader Perspectives

Sustainable Design Resources

Key Issues

Clean Tech Development

High-Performance Buildings

Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program

Green Manufacturing

Green Consumer Products

Green Vehicles

Roads and Transportation

Smart Utilities

Greening Government

Sustainable Urban Development & Design

Teaching Sustainable Design

See also these related blog posts:

Retrofits game by Autodesk for Greener Buildings

Guide to Sustainable Design for Architecture, Engineering & Construction

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Retrofits game by Autodesk for Greener Buildings

Autodesk wants to raise awareness about the benefits of greener, more sustainable buildings and of course to sell some software (nothing wrong with that though).

Buildings are the leading cause of green house gas emissions so it makes sense to “Don't Just Stand There. Make Buildings Better” as the slogan is.

Follow on Twitter at and
visit to play the game. You won’t see me make it to the leader board as I’m not that good.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Revit Wood Wall Framing tool

This is good news now that residential building also is expected to increase in 2010. This means Revit can be even more used for this industry.
“Single family housing for 2010 will advance 32 percent in dollars, corresponding to a 30 percent increase in the number of units, to 560,000.” -ref
Revit Subscription Advantage Pack will include this for Revit Architecture and Revit Structure and is now available for subscription customers.

We’ll see how this will compare with MWF from StrucSoft.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

ACA_db 3.0 released with 2-way sync between AutoCAD Architecture and database

ACA_db helps to make use of AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD MEP more fully in your BIM process. Property Set values can automatically be updated back and forth to one or many external databases. If you make changes to the Extended Data values within a Property Set they can be synchronized back to the external database. Any Property in a Property Set Definition (PSD) can be exported and all editable Properties can be imported.

Synchronization between database and CAD

Contact us to get a time limited license file for free.

Blog Action Day 09: Climate Change – what can be done

Today is Blog Action Day 2009 so it’s a good day to consider the theme Climate Change and what can be done to be more environmentally friendly.

Here is a study Microsoft did on the environmental benefits to provide software to consumers online instead of shipping DVD’s.
The study concluded that downloading Office 2007 avoided 8 times the amount of carbon emissions compared to producing and shipping a DVD and its associated packaging through traditional retail distribution channels.
The study determined that carbon emissions avoided through online purchasing of 10 million copies is equivalent to:
  • the electric consumption of 7,715 US households, or
  • 13,008 passengers cars driven in one year, or
  • 231 acres of avoided Amazon rainforest deforestation.
Software Downloads Help Microsoft and Customers Reduce Carbon Footprint
At JTB World we only provide our software electronically via download or email.
In the summer of 2007, sea ice was roughly 39% below the summer average for 1979-2000, a loss of area equal to nearly five United Kingdoms. Many scientists now believe the Arctic will be completely ice free in the summertime between 2011 and 2015, some 80 years ahead of what scientists had predicted just a few years ago. Read more about highest safe level of CO2 to 350 parts per million.
1979 vs 2007
In 2009 the sea ice was
1979 vs 2009 
This is what it looked like in September 2009. Via NSIDC that has a lot more info.

A pair of German merchant ships traverse the fabled Northeast Passage. Ironically melting of the Arctic can help to lower fuel usage and carbon emissions for some ships.  Read more.

Sustainable design and building, green building, LEED, are things that will help.
Autodesk’s sustainability site and guide to sustainable design.
Yesterday I was reading about a house that produces more energy than it consumes. The article is in Swedish though. Three layers of insulation on the walls and two layers on the roof.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Stockholm lighthouse

This is a suggested building project for Stockholm, Sweden. In Swedish it is “Stockholmsfyren”. With its 187 meter and 54 floors it’s aimed to be higher than Turning Torso in Malmö and Kaknästornet in Stockholm. Now we have to wait and see if this will become reality or not.






Architecture by Rosenbergs arkitekter and a Swedish article at ymby.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yankee Stadium within Navisworks

Autodesk, together with Turner Construction Company completed one of the most high-profile building projects of the year – the new Yankee Stadium. Turner used the latest BIM processes and Autodesk Revit-based products and Autodesk’s Navisworks Manage software to streamline workflow and collaboration while allowing their building professionals to effectively gather design data for visualization, simulate scheduling and identify interferences. 

Turner Construction leveraged BIM and Autodesk’s Navisworks Manage software to create 3D models of every major building component – from architectural and structural elements to electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems. Navisworks combined this separate data into a single “virtual” model of the stadium that helped the Turner team and multiple subcontractors coordinate efforts and identify potential costly inconsistencies before breaking ground. 

The Indiana limestone exterior, shown at Gate 4, mirrors the exterior of the original Yankee Stadium in 1923.

"in progress" photo of the entrance to the stadium:

"in progress" photo of the entrance to the stadium

Mechanical room within the stadium, model versus actual:

Mechanical room within the stadium

Corridor within the stadium, model versus actual:

Corridor within the stadium

MEP fabrication/layout coordination

MEP fabrication/layout coordination

Press release from Autodesk below:

Autodesk Helps Turner Construction Score Big with New Yankee Stadium

Turner Construction Reaps Collaboration Benefits of Building Information Modeling

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., June 24, 2009Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), a world leader in 2D and 3D design and engineering software, has announced that Turner Construction Company utilized Autodesk Navisworks Manage software as an element in the Building Information Modeling (BIM) process used to complete the new Yankee Stadium project.  As part of its construction management process, known as Virtual Trade Coordination (VTC), Turner used the latest BIM processes and Autodesk Revit-based products and Navisworks Manage software to help streamline workflow and collaboration among subcontractors.   

“Turner is experiencing  tremendous growth in the use of BIM during both preconstruction and construction phases as a tool to help us dramatically improve the building process while reducing field initiated RFI’s and changes,” said Jim Barrett, manager of virtual construction technologies for Turner Construction.  “The Yankee Stadium project typifies our commitment to BIM and the tangible and measurable benefits we - and more importantly, our clients - are experiencing in schedule, quality, cost and safety improvements on all our BIM projects across the United States.”

Turner’s Virtual Trade Coordination Process Applied to Yankee Stadium Project

Turner Construction Company effectively applied its experience to foster a results-driven, multi-disciplinary collaboration on the Yankee Stadium project.   The company has already managed more than 100 BIM-based projects at an estimated value of $20 billion as well as purchasing and using 400 licenses of Navisworks Manage throughout the firm.

BIM design software was used to create 3D models of every major building component – from architectural and structural elements to HVAC, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems.   With Navisworks Manage software as an essential component of the company’s VTC process, digital data from multiple design and engineering software sources were combined in a single “virtual” model of the stadium that assisted the Turner team and all of the project’s subcontractors in more quickly identifying systems spatial clashes and conflicts to be fixed before the construction phase. This early, coordinated, real-time, whole-project review and analysis helped to minimize costly changes and unexpected scheduling delays in the field.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Turner Construction Company, and together we’ve seen the benefits of BIM and a collaborative project delivery process that includes the entire team, from owners to trade subcontractors,” said Jim Lynch, vice president of AEC industry marketing at Autodesk. “We are pleased that Autodesk Navisworks Manage was a component in the success of one of the most high-profile building projects of the year—the new Yankee Stadium.”

Navisworks Manage software enhances the review process by enabling design and construction management professionals to aggregate existing design data for visualization, simulate scheduling, and identify interferences to improve productivity and project quality. Design data created in BIM applications such as Autodesk Revit-based products can be combined with geometry and information from other design tools and reviewed in real-time as an entire 3D project. The combination of Navisworks Manage software’s precise fault-finding analysis, interference management, dynamic project schedule simulation, and more photorealistic visualization enables advanced project analysis. In addition, entire project models, of various file sizes and formats, can be published and viewed in NWD and 3D DWF file formats for better team collaboration.

BIM is an integrated process that allows architects, engineers and builders to explore a project digitally before it’s built. Coordinated, reliable information is used throughout the process to design innovative projects, accurately visualize appearance for better communication, and simulate real-world performance for better understanding of important characteristics such as cost, scheduling and environmental impact.

About Turner Construction Company

Turner Construction Company provides construction management services to leading institutions and companies who recognize the value of a partner who works diligently and creatively to find the best possible solutions for each particular project. In 2008, Turner completed in excess of $10 billion of construction on more than 2,000 projects throughout the world. Turner’s use of building information modeling (BIM) helps visualize, quantify, and simulate the construction process to produce higher-quality buildings and exceed their clients’ expectations.

About Autodesk
Autodesk, Inc., is a world leader in 2D and 3D design and engineering software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art Digital Prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are real. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

# # #

Autodesk, AutoCAD, DWF, Navisworks and Revit are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

© 2009 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium is a stadium located in the The Bronx, a borough of New York City. It serves as the home ballpark for the New York Yankees, replacing the previous Yankee Stadium, built in 1923. Much of the stadium incorporates design elements from the previous Yankee Stadium, paying homage to the Yankees' history. The projected total cost of the stadium is $1.5 billion, making it the most expensive stadium in the world.

The exterior was made from 11,000 pieces of Indiana limestone, along with granite and pre-cast concrete.

Approximately 51,000 fans can be seated, with a standing room capacity of 52,325.

Yankee Stadium II

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lego Architecture Coming Soon

Looking forward to see what Lego comes up with on the Architectural theme in the future. According to the Lego Architecture site Architecture is Coming Soon. Seems like it will be possible to build the Sears Tower.

I also found John Hancock Center, Empire State Building, Seattle Space Needle on

Lego Architecture

There is also a Frank Lloyd Wright Lego collection with Fallingwater and Guggenheim Museum in NY. As you can see they are quite simplified.

Guggenheim Museum

And here the Museum in the real world.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Another kind of dragonfly

Interesting organic architecture raising up to 600 meters. Vincent Callebaut’s Dragonfly is a concept of an urban farm concept for New York City’s Roosevelt Island.

Via designboom.

Monday, May 18, 2009

TimberTool 1.5 released

TimberTool is available now with support for AutoCAD Architecture 2010 and both 32-bit and 64-bit as well as AutoCAD Architecture verticals.

TimberTool makes it easy to convert closed polylines into mass elements and makes the bounding box width and depth correct for scheduling purposes.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Swan

Scheiwiller Svensson Arkitektkontor have created this proposal for a new skyscraper to grace the Swedish city of Gävle.

The Swan

For an animation see this page.

If the house will be build the company will most probably use GenerativeComponents from Bentley as they today are using products from Bentley as well as Rhino.

Some of the latest blog posts

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