CodeBook attacked by drone at RTC Aus!

Phew! RTC 2012 at Woollongong Beach last week (post) was really busy for CodeBook. There were lots of CodeBook users there, we had a constant flow of interest through the CodeBook stand, and every break was peppered with 10 to 30 minute demonstrations. Most evenings also saw me doing demonstrations under the heat lamps.

last demo at RTC 2012There was a real sense of community among CodeBook users too. Our stand became the natural ‘meeting place’ where existing clients would freely talk to other Revit user delegates about CodeBook if I was tied up with a group. I also found that delegates were being escorted to the booth by existing users and encouraged to ask questions and take information away with them.

CodeBook was mentioned in numerous presentations. Chris Razzell (Hassell) and David Foley (Norman Disney Young) did an outstanding case study presentation on a current project – where they have used linked models and CodeBook to capture the service-related equipment and validate it alongside the architectural FF&E. It was a very positive outcome and the audience were impressed.

Talking BIM (and CodeBook)Danielle Currie and Andrew Harp (both Silver Thomas Hanley) did a presentation about how the responsibilities have changed and improved with the move from CAD to BIM and the implementation of CodeBook on their projects. The discussion produced another flock of delegates to the booth wanting to see a demonstration, ask questions or set up future appointments after the event.

CodeBook attacked by drone!

Lastly…. Wesley Benn (chairman, from BD Group / RTC Events Management) nearly erased Danielle and I during a test flight of a Parrot AR.Drone 2 in the exhibition hall. This is a four heli-bladed device (like this) with a wireless live camera feed, controlled from an iPad. The out-of-control Parrot hit the CodeBook stand rear wall where Danielle and I were taking down the posters – it was travelling around 80kph when it crashed. Dani employed the drop-and-roll technique while I opted for the matrix lean. Wes copped a great deal of flack for further endangering a rare RTC species: women. On the flipside – our fabulous booth got even MORE attention….

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CodeBook used on shortlisted HOK London BIM project

AECbytesPlease forgive yet another AU2011-related blog post – and another plug for Lachmi Khemlani’s AECbytes newsletter – but CodeBook is mentioned in her description of the project finalists in HOK’s second Annual BIM Awards. This is an internal competition to evaluate and award projects within global architectural firm HOK that have exhibited exemplary use of BIM technology in four main categories: design, delivery, collaboration and visualisation, and Lachmi was one of the judges prior to a special awards ceremony at Autodesk University.

As a UK-based company, we were especially pleased to see HOK shortlist a London project, a biomedical research facility for the Francis Crick Institute, in the collaboration category. On this project, the design team, HOK, was co-located with the client, project manager and contractor, and all parties had access to a large number of BIM tools – including CodeBook – and adopted a shared BIM strategy. Lachmi highlights the role of CodeBook:

“The use of a Codebook database was also important, as it allowed the connection of room and furniture data with the main models. The vision was to allow this data to be used for procurement as well as downstream for asset management later.”

The project did not win the overall award, but it was a close-run thing; Lachmi noted “the overall quality of the projects was so high [that] the choice of winner in each of the four categories was far from unanimous among the jury members.” Well done to the Francis Crick Institute team for getting to the final shortlist (and thanks for using CodeBook as part of your collaborative effort).

Think healthcare, think complexity….

Hospital, LondonWhen I first started designing healthcare facilities back in the 1980s, they were fiendishly complicated buildings. While the basic structures posed few challenges, the nature of the activities they housed and the diverse range of equipment and services needed to support those activities meant we were constantly managing incredibly detailed information. And because hospitals typically contain numerous spaces with identical or near-identical layouts and equipment requirements, there was a lot of repetition of this information.

I quickly realised that computers would help ensure greater consistency of output and reduce the time we spent on drawing repetitive room designs. For example, I created libraries of furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) for a major hospital project. However, the drawing of room elevations still required an army of students. And no matter how good they were, there was no automatic validation of drawings other than by eye.

The arrival of personal computers, spreadsheets, databases, and the compound increase in computer power and capacity changed the game. Now textual elements could be linked to graphics – and designs could be automatically checked against project requirements.

Today CodeBook helps designers and fellow professionals create and manage a model for a building containing all its information, from the originating brief to the day-to-day operational management of the completed, occupied structure.

I think CodeBook’s foundation as an application for complex healthcare buildings has made it the success it is (HOK London won an award in 2007 for its use on the Royal London Hospital for example). CodeBook can be used to manage the owner/operator requirements of just about any large building requiring sophisticated management of FF&E, particularly where those requirements are often repeated tens, 100s or even 1000s of times. No wonder, therefore, that we are seeing designers use the application for airports, hotels, railway stations and prisons – among other things.

Peter Mann