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Vincent C

Thermal Render?

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Good Question, I remember seeing the article and thinking wow here we go VW is diving headlong into high end civil cad. Sort of a disappointment that we don't see it or even know about it anymore.

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Ah but not to us if it is at all reliable, then it can be a very useful tool in the early stages of a design to determine the best solution....

Edited by Vincent C

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it can be a very useful tool in the early stages of a design to determine the best solution....

Bang on the money. We don't need an engineering tool, we need a design tool.

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I'd like to see graphical feedback for all kinds of parameters too, not just thermal analysis.

Say, for example, you set up your site and feed in data such as height restrictions, wind speeds, no go zones, etc. on a grid. Then when you're creating a massing model it would go a certain colour (or something) if you encroach on those areas.

The possibilities for graphical design feedback are endless.

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None of the engineers we work with use VW. This has never been a source of problems for us. VW is not required by our engineers to check our designs.

Secondly, and frankly more to the point, we don't want our engineers to need VW to check our designs. We don't want to work in a closed system like that. We want to be able to work with any engineers, whatever software they choose.

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Chris,

For structural engineering, I'd encourage anyone to look at Nemetschek Scia Engineering . We've been working with them a lot lately to establish workflows between Vectorworks Architect and Scia Engineer. This is described in the latest BIM in Practice project, D.C. Riverside Office Building .

You could also contact Mark Flamer, an engineer, a Vectorworks and Scia user, and Community Board member, active on the Vectorscript/SDK forum, about this workflow. He may even surprise you with a few tricks up his sleeve that he is working on.

This is primarily an IFC-based workflow. We are also pursuing other interoperability avenues with other vendors via IFC. Expect to see more information over the course of the net few months. These tools are "best-in-class" for the industries that they serve. Rather than trying to be everything for everybody, as Christiaan likes to point out so often, we will focus Vectorworks Architect being an architect's/designer's tool and let the technology of other applications dovetail, when necessary, through integrated workflows via IFC.

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Chris,

I must somewhat agree with your rantings, in regard to energy modeling and analysis (EMA). I think that most architects DON'T understand how complex it really is and how much they need to know in order to get good info in and understand the results that come out of the software applications available today.

MOST applications for EMA are really geared toward experts in the field (read engineers), not designers (architects), no matter the marketing spin the vendors put on the products (I will say that ThermoRender is a little different and more designer friendly...but, then again, I'm biased ;-)).

The other problem I have seen, quite frequently, that even among our competitors' products (Revit), the end users struggle very much with using "integrated" tools like Ecotect. Why? Besides the complexity of the input data needed, the models that users try to analyze are often too complex and detailed and the geometry is very difficult for the software to resolve in order to do the required analysis.

In reality most of these tools are most effective with simple geometry that has a lot of data attached to it. They don't really care about the geometric thickness of a wall being modeled, they just need the u/R/K values, and other factors, on a simple boundary plane, for that construction. This means that a very simple model, even to the point of just being Space objects, is the most effective analysis model source.

I think that the architecture market has been ill-served, to this point, by many vendors making claims about EMA for designers that don't hold up. The tools and workflows haven't been developed yet to make it easy, or make sense, for the architect to use, beyond solar shading, shadow, and daylighting studies.

For EMA, what designers (not engineers) really need is a tool that gives them a comparative workflow between a data baseline (code or minimum standard) and multiple design options (including simple data factor and/or formal iterations). And this tool should be able to suck in relatively simple model geometry from any source, using IFC, NOT gbXML. This workflow allows the designer to make high-quality decisions EARLY in the process when they matter, between meeting standards, or comparing the trade-offs of pursuing one design option or another. For the most part designers should be relying on really basic rules of thumb and early consultation with exports to gets the best pathway to good results anyways, not relying on analyzing a far too dedicated design and model.

I think ThermoRender is a step in the right direction for our users, but we need more eyes on it to make that judgment.

The tools that engineers need to use should be left to the engineers and be used for more detailed analysis and system design and code verification.

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This workflow allows the designer to make high-quality decisions EARLY in the process when they matter, between meeting standards, or comparing the trade-offs of pursuing one design option or another. For the most part designers should be relying on really basic rules of thumb and early consultation with exports to gets the best pathway to good results anyways, not relying on analyzing a far too dedicated design and model.

This sums up perfectly what we need as architects.

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Chris,

All the structural engineering was done using Scia Engineering 2010, by another party (not me or any other Nemetschek Vectorworks employee). The documentation of the structural elements is NOT within the scope of this part of the project. Nemetschek Scia may choose to release examples of their documentation for the project, if you check with them.

The purpose, if you read the PDF on Interoperability, was to demonstrate using IFC to exchange domain reference models between disciplines, instead of just 2D DWGs. This allows design/coordination to occur between different users in a more robust way.

There will NOT be any more details, unless I choose to pursue a LOD 400 model of some component (like the solar shading devices). The documentation is NOT meant to replicate a CD set. Don't have the time, resources, or need to do so.

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In summary Jeffery. Revit can do it, but the user doesn't know how much information to send. Where as VW can't do it, is not going to provide in software solution and will wait for a third party that can read a file mark up type which is still in development.

And When asked to show a detailed example of how VW can interoperate with other NA software this is not a priority and something NA does not have time for.

NA say VW is a BIM capable tool, I'm sure theoretically one could deliver some aspects of BIM. Just like theoretically some one could drive from LA to new York with out a map. However If I was to take that road I would probably buy the new car with the navigation first.

Edited by Assembly

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justin,

Some of the other BIM in Practice projects have examples of drawing with more detail. I just don't have the time, budget, or resources to trick out a set of CDs with every project. That is NOT their purpose. I'm sure there are plenty of you peers who can show you examples of their BIM-based CD's in Vectorworks, if you ask. Or you could search the Board for previous posts.

Our interoperability with IFC works very well, with applications that correctly support IFC. Autodesk's idea of interoperability is to use Revit, but only if you use a Autodesk Revit product. There are NO other applications that write .rvt files. All Revit "interoperability" is done through pluig-ins and COMs NOT file exchange.

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Jeffery.

For me BIM provides the potential benefits of improved coordination of building consultants which leads to clashes on site. BIM is new to the industry. The thing that affects my bottom line will be the improved efficiency that comes from a model exchange. It reduces me having to redraw the engineers drawings over mine. It provides the opportunity to clash test and reduce on site muck ups. While it would be good to provide the model for the Facilites management- for me this stage of BIM can wait.

Yes Revit is a closed system. Becuase it does not use IFC does not mean it is not interoperable. The different packages Revit provides allows all members of the design team to have software for their specific requirements. The file exchange is seamless between consultants. At this stage in the BIM development this is key. The Revit users are exchanging model files back and forward. It is providing clash detection. In a local building currently under construction the Head Contractor has engaged an independent architect to BIM the project using Revit. In the Project all components larger than 20mm have been modeled. NZ distance from the world requires significant lead times to order materials. The BIM model has been used to order cut to size pipe work from Germany. With a 3 month lead time, the services are effectively constructed before the floor slabs. The project that had allowed 10 working days per floor to install the services have literally cut their time in half. The file sharing that is happening today with Revit is what Interoperability is.

VW is behind on the race. If NA does not want to put the time effort and resource into 1) developing methods and workflows and 2) providing worked examples with guidance on how to implement the standards, methods and workflows then those who want to explore BIM will likely move to a platform that has proven itself.

If you can give me the contact of one NZ architect or Structural engineer who is currently exchanging and sharing IFC BIM files that can clash detect elements across architectural structural and services then I will happily eat my words. Because it is the small offices like mine who have invested so much time into the VW platform who hope like heck VW will catch up. Frankly there is a lot I love about VW and really don't want to change. But if VW does not prove it self to be a good and reliable BIM tool soon then change is what we will likely do.

I had 5min on VW2011 the other day, it was only quick but was a bit disappointed. I annotated a box in 3D (yay). I cut a section view port and the Text did not show up (BOOOO). I hope it's just I missed a setting. BUT if the Section VP don't show the 3D annotation... then what's the use of having a tool to annotate a model?.

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You know, even though all these arguments all bare weight I still don't understand why everyone keeps pointing out how far behind the likes of ArchiCAD Revit etc etc VW is! VW is a low budget product! Considering this and considering the features it delivers and considering how intuitive many of these features are, it still has to be said that VW is (far) ahead. It just is not a fair fight! The fact it does compete with these apps is also proof of the ingenuity of the NV techies.

Just keep posting the demands you find important (including a raise in price) on the Wish List forum, time and again it is proven that many if not most are actually implemented. If there is to be a discussion it should be about priorities of the implementation of these demands.........

I'm sorry Justin, this is not solely directed at you but a comment in general. I'm sure that programs like Bentley Microstation already do all these things and more but it probably costs about 5 times as much as VW, it's easy to demand this type of functionality but it also means you have to be prepared to pay for it....

Many small firms use VW this is probably mainly because it doesn't cost much however it is rather strange to then demand similar functionality similar to programs at least 3 times the price.

Edited by Vincent C

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You know, even though all these arguments all bare weight I still don't understand why everyone keeps pointing out how far behind the likes of ArchiCAD Revit etc etc VW is!

It's a fair observation but only to point. Nemetschek sees ArchiCAD and Revit as BIM competitors. Don't see why we can't either.

In any case I know many low-cost apps that beat the pants of their more expensive competitors.

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Perhaps they too have become so used to the comparison that it has become a truth.....

........I would much more prefer NV actually concentrating on fixing that which does not function properly/adequately in basic BIM ie stairs, doors, windows, drawing coordination etc and lagging behind in more advanced levels of BIM (Clash control, single file teamwork solutions etc) than the other way round.

After having been part of the NNA/NV family since VW 11 I can't see that they really are seriously trying to compete with Revit and ArchiCAD, they do because they regularly come with some really nice features that knock the socks off the others, but not when it comes to the whole package......

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Justin,

If you want an example of IFC usage in a workflow with structural and mechanical, look at the new BIM in Practice project, DC Riverside Office Building . That is the purpose of the project. Besides the documentation and models currently available, we're working on further documentation of the details of the workflow as a paper/booklet.

The reason I create these demonstration projects is because so few of our users have completed any themselves, or have refused to share anything they have done. They are out there, but it seems every time they come forward, they get jumped on by their peers on the Board.

My point is trying to get our users to understand that if they are using Vectorworks Architect and all the tools and PIOs, as designed, and using database worksheets, then they are doing BIM, on their desktop. Learning how to use IFC in Vectorworks is the next step to moving beyond the users' own desktop and sharing data with others. This is where BIM really counts.

Revit DOES support IFC. The quality of its support may not be perfect, but depending on the workflow that may not be a real problem.

For clash detection, you have an option to use Navisworks, or better yet, Solibri Model Checker . Solibri also gives you more options to leverage the data in the IFC file beyond clash detection.

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this tool should be able to suck in relatively simple model geometry from any source, using IFC, NOT gbXML.

I'm completely ignorant of why this is, I'm sure there are a number of academic or economic reasons why either/or stances evolve, but I wonder if "NOT gbXML" means we are out in the cold when we don't have to be.

What software options do we currently have that will accept IFC model data to do designer orientated energy analysis?

If Vectorworks supported gbXML export, would that situation be improved?

Edited by M5d

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It's a fair observation but only to point. Nemetschek sees ArchiCAD and Revit as BIM competitors. Don't see why we can't either.

Here's a thought:

The real competitor must be Autodesk (Revit) and Bentley Microstation, ArchiCAD is after all a part of the Nemetschek family. Seeing NVW has such trouble developing door/window/stair PIOs, why not start over from scratch and create some kind of cooperation with Graphisoft and start to develop PIOs that work for VWs AND ArchiCAD!? This would be a great step in the right direction for interoperability and compatibility, should this cooperation span across a wider plane and incorporate the development of the single file server solution together even better ( Graphisoft has after all come quite far with this), imagine being able to work on the same server file as ArchiCAD users! Now that is taking on the competition for real!

Edited by Vincent C

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I received an exported from ArchiCAD to dwg file today - stupid idea no doubt

When it eventually came into VW

Had to explode it first outside of VW and it was upside down

Sat looking at my puter thinking - ggggrrrrr - maybe I will just stand on my head

How then can we expect any interoperabilty between ArchiCAD and VW?

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Perhaps the problem (still) is that infernal dwg......I have tested exporting from ArchiCAD to VW via IFC and walls actually come in as VW walls!, the rest is pretty dead.......and ofcourse no 2D

Edited by Vincent C

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