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gentlegiant67

stories 2012

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What does all of this have to do with Stories anyway?

only that this BIM feature characterises the application as a whole as 'not quite good enough'....that's why we're discussing alternatives...

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Are stories an IFC (read BIM) class?

I agree, BTW, that VW stories aren't as well thought out as they should have been. The simple fact that stories can't overlap seems to be a significantly limiting factor. How is one supposed to deal with buildings that terrace up or down a hill? So, I can certainly understand why this thread was started and why there is so much chatter about stories.

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Every IFC file should have the following spatial/logical aggregation (from root container to each successive container):

IfcProject -> IfcSite -> IfcBuilding -> IfcBuildingStorey (Yes, the IFC2x3 specification uses the "Queen's English" spelling)

Most elements - walls, slabs, windows, columns, beams, etc. - are required to be "contained" within a Building Storey. This is even the case for objects which span multiple floors, they need to start from some point and "belong" to that level/storey.

In IFC, few elements are even allowed to exist outside of a building storey (usually as IfcBuildingElementProxy), and are exceptions rather than the rule.

The current implementation of Stories in Vectorworks is very similar to that in Revit and ArchiCAD, where the levels/storeys directly stack on each other and are parametrically constrained in this way. This seems to be a convention which, at this point, we have followed. Our implementation also automates the mapping of Vectorworks Stories to the IFC Storey definitions in the Layer Mapping pane of the IFC Export.

We are well aware of how this affects some building types, such as split levels. To automatically accommodate such instances, however, would require another level of user interaction and complexity... and it appears that more complexity is NOT wanted by some people in this discussion. But I have not seen Revit or ArchiCAD handle the situation any better, if at all. In fact, in Vectorworks, if you are willing to compromise, you can create split level buildings with design layers that are NOT assigned to a Story right along side the Story layers. And you can still manually map them to IFC Storeys in the IFC Export dialog.

If you want more control, more flexibility, you are going to have more complexity in the interface and the objects, and less automation. If you want more automation and less complex UIs, then you are going to get less capability and flexibility.

Edited by Jeffrey W Ouellette

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And another thing....

AutoCAD and Revit are NOT industry standards. I don't see ISO/ANSI/ASTM specifications for the use of either of them. Their pervasive use in the market is due to many factors, but NOT legal standardization.

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Sorry for taking this OT: Jeffrey, does GBXML belong to "legal standardisation"? The Australian Building Codes Board recognises GBXML as a spoke in the BIM wheel. In another thread I repeatedly attempted to elicit confidence from you that the established energy analysis vendors were going to embrace IFC for data exchange, that was the impression you were giving a year ago as you portrayed GBXML in a very negative light, but now you avoid comment.

Regardless, when Bill referred to AutoCAD & Revit as the "industry standard" we all know what he meant.

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Sorry, Jeffrey, I think that you might have taken me a little too literally. I certainly understand that they are not a true standard. My point was simply that, at least in the US, they hold the lion's share of the market. Whether we like it or not, the are the default in US architecture and engineering.

I have not yet used software that used this concept of stories so I'm new to the concept. I can certainly see how IFC would have a story class. That makes perfect sense. Does it allow for decimal (or other) sub-stories? Similar to a structural grid, you might have 1.5 or 1.3 and 1.6.

I can certainly see how the interface would need to be more complex in order to deal with fractional stories and I don't think that it's a deal-breaker for me. I haven't messed around much with the stories in VW but I can certainly see the advantage for buildings with whole stories. Just a bummer that I'll have to do without it or add more complexity to my model/file setup if I have to deal with sub-stories.

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...AutoCAD and Revit are NOT industry standards.. ...Their pervasive use in the market is due to many factors, but NOT legal standardization.

Not yet...

Many governmental agencies and large corporations effectively require the use of Revit or ACAD because their facilities people want the files when the design is completed.

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imo the first sentence contradicts the third, and the middle one is the clue.

the information doesn't (and can't) depend on just one piece of software, otherwise all engineering projects' technologies should be the proprietary ones.

You're forgetting one thing: we already have DWG for interoperability during transition.

the future IS information AND communication.

Exactly, I'm talking about now and the last 5 years of development.

NV should have concentrated on the ability to produce 2D documentation from a 3D model (including plans, elevations, sections and schedules). aka "little BIM"

If they'd done that we'd now be in a much better position to transition to big BIM (via IFC) when our clients start asking for it and team members start using it.

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We use VW for large projects, we work with very large contractors. We're stuck with what is now a large investment in VW in terms of Apple hardware, software, training, and most important...experience. Like every other medium sized practice we need to move to BIM, and we'd prefer VW to evolve into a BIM package rather than throw away our investment and start again.

If VW ARCHITECT needs to cost what Revit does, so be it.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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Whether we like it or not, ACAD & Revit are the industry standards.

They're not industry standards. At a stretch Revit is maybe heading towards a de facto standard, but it's not a sure thing yet.

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If you want more control, more flexibility, you are going to have more complexity in the interface and the objects, and less automation. If you want more automation and less complex UIs, then you are going to get less capability and flexibility.

This is a myopic way of looking at software design. I want more power; the ability to do more with less effort.

If you can't think of ways to provide more power then you're just not thinking hard enough.

Siemens Synchronous Technology is a prime example of providing power. Siemens thought hard enough.

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imo the first sentence contradicts the third, and the middle one is the clue.

the information doesn't (and can't) depend on just one piece of software, otherwise all engineering projects' technologies should be the proprietary ones.

You're forgetting one thing: we already have DWG for interoperability during transition.

i don't consider dwg as a future interoperability tool. it's only a status quo (unfortunately).

and it's exactly the usage of dwg in those almost 30 years of building tasks' procedures which constantly winds up in such money losses that the whole industry is craving for a better performance.

the future IS information AND communication.

Exactly, I'm talking about now and the last 5 years of development.

NV should have concentrated on the ability to produce 2D documentation from a 3D model (including plans, elevations, sections and schedules). aka "little BIM"

If they'd done that we'd now be in a much better position to transition to big BIM (via IFC) when our clients start asking for it and team members start using it.

and i don't consider dwg as a tool for reliable communication to ensure the controlled workflow either.

fractal and incomplete 2d information (which is the bottom line of any dwg drawing) is for me no information at all.

rob

Edited by gester

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i don't consider dwg as a future interoperability tool. it's only a status quo (unfortunately).

That's what I meant.

Point being we could all be doing little BIM now, with DWG and PDF for electronic sharing of documentation as we do now.

IFC is a later piece of the puzzle, to enable big BIM.

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as i see it, the 'm' in bim is only possible when the information gets spatial. and that's the beginning. in other words: small bim is for me when the things get 3d.

the real bim is 4d AND 5d (time and money). and that's what the hype is all about.

rob

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The 4d is connected to the 3d it's not acceptable to be forced to do things with 3 or 4 steps if it can be done in 2..... regardless of the costs.

I think the confusion, frustration etc. Is to be found in the i in BIM. Ie. What information? How detailed? Showing what? And for whom?

Edited by Vincent C

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that's why the lod (level-of-detail) hierarchy for the bim scheduling has been conceived. vico software company has even developed a tool for an improved scheduling, called flowlines (opposite to common gantt).

people are working hard, and i'm glad it gets further :)

rob

p.s. i don't work for vico in any way ;)

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The 4d is connected to the 3d it's not acceptable to be forced to do things with 3 or 4 steps if it can be done in 2..... regardless of the costs.

I think the confusion, frustration etc. Is to be found in the i in BIM. Ie. What information? How detailed? Showing what? And for whom?

I think these are especially legitimate questions. As others have pondered, is it just the designer who now must research, process and then include for all potential users in the building's lifespan this now vast amount of building information about it? Will we be able to be compensated for these new requirements and data and all the time inherent in providing them for these potential users- and now do we also increase our potential liability by having so much of the information demanding to be included at the front end of the process by us?

I'm just a small-time residential designer mostly but I can see these issues percolating down even to our slim margins.

Again- this becomes a little off topic so apologize to OP.

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What information? How detailed? Showing what? And for whom?

Thats depends on Risk-> Probability, Analysis of complex morphing Data-> increasing CERTIFICATION.

Energy and the Enviroment is redefining your role(and mine) .... and Enviromental Engineers are winning out(behind closed doors) ,and you can also factor in consideration for, changing Government Regulations to planing ,Insurances, liability, Public perceptions, Etc,Etc.

The bottom line is the professions that controls the bulk of the processes will dictate to the clients the prefered Software used (Eg freedom Tower Sketched in VW->finished in revit?).

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this is a very clear situation: the whole industry is changing, and new standards are being worked out on a daily basis.

sticking to 2d and to dwg as a communication tool simply prolongs the accomodation time to new building process' mechanisms. the whole thing gets not only 3, 4 or 5d, there are new building contracts, the new project documentation delivery method (ipd) and the environmental questions, which are a fixed part of the project workout nowadays.

stories in vw is a small step in the right direction. the question is: whether we (vw users) want small steps, bigger steps, or leaps? imo, if vw wants to be competitive, there's no time left for small steps anymore.

in other words: the industry is changing, are we willing to change our personal working methods either?

rob

Edited by gester

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as i see it, the 'm' in bim is only possible when the information gets spatial. and that's the beginning. in other words: small bim is for me when the things get 3d.

the real bim is 4d AND 5d (time and money). and that's what the hype is all about.

Sure, but my point still stands. We could have progressed enormously toward this goal if the initial focus from NV had been to efficiently produce 2D information from a single model.

As it stands we're still using a 2D workflow.

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I see where we're not understanding each other now.

sticking to 2d and to dwg as a communication tool simply prolongs the accomodation time to new building process' mechanisms. the whole thing gets not only 3, 4 or 5d, there are new building contracts, the new project documentation delivery method (ipd) and the environmental questions, which are a fixed part of the project workout nowadays.

I agree that the long term goal is big BIM.

My point is the transition would be a lot better if we didn't have to do this jump:

2D workflow --> big BIM

But instead could do it like this:

2D workflow --> single 3D model/2D output --> big BIM

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(..)My point is the transition would be a lot better if we didn't have to do this jump:

2D workflow --> big BIM

(..)

that's what i mean, too. 2d output is still no bim for me.

such communication is neither spatial nor fully parametrized.

and that's why i value ifc data format, although it's implementation is not yet ripe enough, no matter what software package i use.

rob

Edited by gester

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But you're confusing doing big BIM with transitioning to big BIM.

Of course 2D output is not big BIM. But 2D output is still what our clients require now. What they don't require is for the 2D output to be produced from 2D information. We could be creating our 2D output from a single 3D model (and could have been doing so for years), helping us up skill and transition to full BIM in the process (as well as helping minimise internal co-ordination errors).

Transitioning to BIM as opposed to jumping in feet first is meant to be a selling point of VWA, but it's not really valid because VWA to this day has never provided a robust economic-to-use 'single 3D model/2D output' workflow (at least not for practices that comprise more than 1-2 people).

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Of course 2D output is not big BIM. But 2D output is still what our clients require now. (..)

Right, it's the status quo now.

On the other hand: our client has recently required the information how to use the delivered ifc file.

And that's where bim begins.

rob

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But I'm not arguing about the definition of BIM. I'm arguing about how VWA could be developed to better serve a transition to BIM. Forget the bit you quoted from my previous post and focus on the rest of it.

'Single 3D model/2D output' doesn't "prolong the accomodation time to new building process' mechanisms". Rather it provides us the chance to transition to a 3D workflow so we're ready to use a BIM workflow and provide IFC files when our clients want or need it.

Edited by Christiaan

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