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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Last Minute Changes

Making last minute modifications to your floor plan can be risky, but we all do it. We think we have everything worked out, then we realize we need to move a wall to make room for an additional chase that our MEP engineer is asking for. We think to ourselves, "No problem. This should be a five minute change." We use the stretch command and instantly it's finished. Our drawings are printed, stamped, and sent to the architect of record for signature. We lean back in our chair sipping a cup of coffee thinking how glad we are to have that project out the door. Then it happens... we get the dreaded roll of drawings back covered in blood. We wonder just how many red pens were actually used to create so many redlines. Your first thought is, "what in the world could be so wrong with my perfect set of documents?"

If this scenario has ever happened to you, then you were probably not using the Autodesk products to their full advantage. Last minute changes are where BIM (Building Information Modeling) products like ADT and Revit shine. If your documents had been tied to a single model, then your ceiling plan, enlarged plans, interior elevations, sections, life safety plans, square footage tables and other details that were affected would also have been changed. We are all human, we make mistakes. In last minute changes, we tend to forget what a simple change can effect.

BIM makes so much sense to use, but as architects we think its too hard to learn, or that the way we produce our documents has worked for years-- why change what works. Change is always hard, but change will push your firm to a level above your competitors. We know in the long run it would be better if we could take advantage of all the features in ADT, but we throw our hands up claiming it doesn't work right or that it would take too long to produce. Well, it might take a little longer the first few times, but once you understand how to do it you will never go back.

Alacad offers several classes to help you gain this knowledge. We also offer what we call "over the shoulder" training. In this case, we work with you while you are working on a billable project to teach you how to use these techniques. If you are struggling with changing your old habits, or you think its too complicated, give us a call and let us assist you.

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