2022-06-23

Revit and Room Bounding for Cubicles and FM

A few weeks ago, I was tagged in a thread on Twitter. 

A designer, seeking to improve processes and workflow, was asking how to improve their client's method, because they felt it could be done more effectively. 

That's the type of seeking I LOVE to see. 

Except... the client was already doing what they had to do for their lifecycle and could not change it.

The question came down to cubicles, and storing data related to it. He felt that the addition of rooms/room bounding lines was labor and effort that may not be necessary. But, I was able to confirm for him... 

Cubicles need to be rooms. 

Why? 

Glad you asked. 

When a Facility Owner / Operator connects their Revit Model to their IWMS [disambiguation], the room records in Revit will connect to the room records in the target database. 

Everything starts with a room record.

The reason Facility Managers specify design output / handover / deliverables  in .RVT or .DWG is that their CAFM has a plug-in that installs with either of those programs (and those programs only), which connects known entities types in Revit with specific tables in the IWMS. 

Any data that are a part of those specific types of entities in Revit, will populate as metadata into the appropriate records (and sometimes connected tables) in the database (usually SQL or Oracle, but you shouldn't need to care about that).

It was only through a mutual connection that I was randomly brought into this conversation to speak for the owner's side. So, please... ask your FMs WHY before you go assuming they are wrong in their approach and move forward with your ideas for improvement after that point, if they are still needed.

Your data has SO MUCH LIFE beyond the construction or renovation you are currently working on. And sometimes, a little more effort is necessary to fit with our myriad other systems.

Also, don't ask the PMs on the client side, they have high turnover and don't know why the FMs do 99% of what they do. If you want an actual answer, find the SME in the receiving facility, working with the CAFM, they'll be able to tell you. 

There was an Autodesk Discussion Group thread ages ago (intended to be working with FMDesktop but it still applies) to how we need cubicles to be Rooms in Revit today with ARCHIBUS or Maximo or Tririga or FM:Systems FMInteract et al. if you'd like to verify what I have stated here.

Want to learn more?

You can listen to this podcast where I discuss document handover for facilities clients

For further information on who the owners are, and how they access and utilize your data throughout the lifecycle of the building, please see this video presentation.

Here are two back to back presentations on BIM in FM, the first speaker is from Penn State. We did not collaborate beforehand, but both of our presentations aligned. THESE are the issues important to FM.

Lastly, I'll point you to this podcast episode of BIMThoughts on how Facilities is more than just HVAC. Having multiple people, it's a far more organic discussion and touches on a variety of facility concerns.

Story time!

This specific (massive) renovation project was back before I mandated BIM in my facility, so we were only discussing AutoCAD deliverables, but was a perfect example of communication saving time, and lack of communication wasting time:

Contractor #1: Asked me why we needed layer standards and why we needed one plotted output sheet per dwg file. 

A1: we need layer standards so we can quickly identify and merge content, or quickly locate specific items during an emergency (I worked in a hospital). 

He countered with, do you merge the sections and details into those plans? Do you search for layers in sections and details. 

No. No we do not. Sections and details are searched for by their identifier and not merged. BAM, he saved his team a load of effort, because he could skip schedules and details and sections that did not matter to us (which I noted in later revisions of the standards). 

A2: We needed one plotted output sheet per file (example Sheet M1 is one file, Sheet M2 is another file), because we used a document management database. Any of the 200 people on the maintenance staff could filter through a dozen pieces of information and drill down to just the 'blueprint' that they needed. They click the link and that specific file comes up and they can access it through a DWG viewer quickly and easily, in case of emergency. 

No worries, he ran some type of script that duplicated his files and then removed all but one of the layout tabs, bam, one layout tab per file.

Contractor #2: Never spoke to us at all. Just told their PM who told our PM that the CAD standards were stupid and unattainable and would take over a year to complete, etc. 

That PM (I'm looking at you, Leslie Hoffman! <3 ) called a meeting with their designers, both PMs and me, to talk it out face to face.

A1: Layers are impossible to translate with any speed or accuracy. 

... they were renaming them by hand. 

Never used a layer translator or script or anything. I told them point blank that Contractor #1 had completed all of their revisions in less than 2 weeks, though their scope was larger. I delicately suggested they should hit Google or ask me for suggestions on how our other contractors are handling their compliance. (As an aside, EVERY design team, should have at least one person on staff who is capable of scripting changes on a large scale. That's why we have computers instead of drafting tables these days, for efficiency. I shouldn't be the one responsible for teaching my contractors this stuff, FMs have other things to do.)

A2: Cropping model space to meet the single layout requirement was impossible with any speed.

~blink blink~ 

They took (and I could see where they'd think this) our requirement for document management regarding a single layout to mean that not just layouts were being manipulated but what they showed in model space. Model space was not ever mentioned in my documents (I later added clarifying language that only Layouts applied, modelspace could remain the same without impacting us). 

BONUS ANSWER: They did not ask, but it was worth stating, our RFP included our specs for deliverable, it was part of a bid, and was available to them from before the project even started. Why were those standards not read until handover?

They could have started out using AIA layering and ensuring their pipe labels were done correctly, instead of going back to fix it later. Set up one template file up front that complies, and use that for everything dealing with our projects. Easy-peasy at the end.




 

2022-03-11

Job Search Dos and Do Nots

I do the annual surveying of the design industry, which includes questions about salaries, job security, benefits, etc. Consistently, year after year, 80% of people say they got their jobs through someone they knew, not through just cold applying to jobs.

Aka, networking!

image from forbes
How DO you get started in networking?

  1. Get to know your local design community. Are there autodesk user groups or trade organizations? Join them. 
    • Show up, ask questions. If you can, answer questions.
  2. Display your knowledge. If you can present in public, offer to present to schools or local educational events (the AIA, AGC, etc). 
    • If not, contact someone who blogs about your industry and ask if you can write a guest post, they’ll appreciate having content written for them, and their readers will hear your name, and their network might share your topic with others.
  3. Not up for talking or don’t have an article topic in mind? Hit up some forums or social media hashtags and try answering questions. 
    • Even if you cannot answer them, commiserating or clarifying their questions can still help you develop a reputation.
  4. Ask folks which skills are most in demand? 
    • I tend to find that folks around me who have designed MEPFP components are very rare, so studying up on that can help you find these jobs to stand out in, and they pay more than a lot of other specialities.

How about some DO NOT dos?

  1. Do not post on forums “I’m looking for a job”. 
    • You will most likely get deleted, and no one cares if you’re looking for a job, they care what you know and can help them with, and that you can read the rules of the site you are using.
  2. Do NOT cold contact hiring managers or internal recruiters, or try to pressure your mutual contacts to pass on their information. 
    • That is completely unprofessional and not respecting of the person’s time.
  3. If you do have a friend inside a target company do NOT apply to a job before talking to them.
    • Their HR Software might have a referral engine that depends on them making the referral first, so that if you apply first and then ask for a referral later, they cannot do it.
  4. Do not be invisible online. Have a LinkedIn profile at the very least, WITH a photo. 
    • Almost everyone in HR and a lot of hiring managers will Google you and be suspicious if you have zero online footprint.
  5.  Do NOT add people on LinkedIn and then immediately slide into their DMs with 'who can you introduce me to'? 
    • I know finding a job is your priority, but you need to build a relationship with people before asking them to perform uncompensated labor for you. 

The main thing to keep in mind is that people do not hire someone for skills, they hire people they will want to work with. If you get along with them, and have a good reputation, you will find it much easier to discover opportunities.


See other online networking tips here: 

How to keep up with social media

How to get started with social media

2021-06-25

What a Facility Owner wants you to know

    I cannot count how many times I have spoken to the AEC industry on a perspective from the Owner's side. It is so important to have our voice heard, for design teams to learn from us as we learn from them and we meet together to create a sustainable lifecycle for our buildings and data.

    But with the last team who approached me, I was not sure what to present on, and the organizer, Karen Kensak, suggested something like Digital Twins. I was like, UGH not another shiny technology, when people do not even deliver what they are contracted for most of the time. 

    So... that became the topic of my conversation. They do not record their presentations, so I decided to record my own and post it, because it is a really important discussion. 

    Behind every technical analysis I have responded with over the years, is a disappointment that most design teams are not consistently meeting contracted requirements. 

    Yes, I lay plenty of blame on the Owner's side, from the PMs not understanding or caring to Finance closing out books and sending out final payments before requirements have been met... but just because someone lets you get away with something, does not mean you should.

    If you do not care to watch an entire video, and prefer podcasts instead, I did touch on some of the same topics (although a little less forthrightly) on an episode of BIMThoughts last year. After hearing the playback of that interview, I felt I should make a presentation addressing how I always dance around the real issue for us owners, but did not get around to it... until today.

    We have such passion and energy in our industry, among those of us who share knowledge. But not everyone is like us. They do not understand or do not care or have too many time pressures, whatever the issue is, if we close the loop, it will benefit all of us.

if you do not see a video embedded here, try switching your browser to "View Web Version" or click directly on this YouTube link

    Not only will it make the next renovation easier, faster, and cheaper for all parties involved, it should help our economy as a whole. As I refer back to (yet again) the NIST study that shows that there are billions of dollars of lost information in our industry every year, most of which is borne by the capital facilities portion, aka, our clients.

    I also mentioned in my talk, the article I wrote about the 'alphabet soup' of acronyms for FM, so here is the link: TLA/FLAs for FIM/IWMS



Facilities Management Q&A forum: https://www.augi.com/forums/forumdisp... Salary Survey 2021 https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2021AUGIsurvey Are you looking for a new job? https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2021JobSearch

2021-05-04

What's new in ARCHIBUS v26.1

In the past, ARCHIBUS has been on a longer release schedule, but they are currently putting out new versions quarterly, for their clients who choose a SaaS model.

I was able to join in on the most recent new features webcast, which was focused on user experience (UX) and return to work (RTW RTO).

Topics: 

  • Space Console: Query Search
  • Space Console: UX
  • Move Console: UX
  • ARCHIBUS Workplace: Accessibility
  • ARCHIBUS Workplace: Hoteling
  • Reports Central
  • Badging Connector and Report
  • Framework Controls: UX

Space Console: Query Search


 

Machine generated alternative text:
Space Console Query Search 
Designed to quickly 
search and access 
specific information 
Create a flexible 
query 
Locate employees, 
divisions/ 
departments, 
buildings, etc. 
Find employees in 
permanent or 
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r 
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Q 
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Area ft2 
15,437.85 
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The main strength of CAFM/IWMS/EAM systems is the data being in one place, and normalized. So all improvements into finding, querying, reporting on data get me really excited.


In addition to spaces, you can also find employees with this function, whether they are permanently assigned to a space or hoteling.

 

Ying Qin ran a demo of Space Console Query Search so we could see it in action.

There are three switches for this query feature:

  • Query
  • Employee
  • Quick Search

 

Machine generated alternative text:
Query

 

Query search is for a space manager who knows the data

Switch this dropdown to employee, to search for people (by employee ID or name)

Quick search is the 3rd option

 

Machine generated alternative text:
Category INCL ES C'office", 
- MET - Met Millimeters 
Floor 01 
Floor 03 
_ OFFICE 
_ OFFICE 
BEDFORD • AB • AB Building 
Floor 01 - OFFICE 
Floor 02 - OFFICE 
Floor 03 - OFFICE 
Floor 04 - OFFICE 
Floor 05 - OFFICE 
Floor 06 - OFFICE 
Z.'4'.UY

 

Can use 'contains' in the searches

Drill down into results and set room highlight types

 

Machine generated alternative text:
O 
SRL 07 
Employee 
Employees 
O selected 
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C) 
Employee Code 
CHAPMAN, ABBY 
SRL-07-707D 
unassign 
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OPERATIONS-LEADERSHIP 
707 
7070 
CHAPMAN, ABBY 
707C 
TANAKA, DANYEL

 

 

Machine generated alternative text:
Space Console 
Employees 
Employee Code 
ABBY 
SRL-07-Ä7D 
NCOS 02 
OPEMTONS-LEAOERSHEP 
ABBY MAN

Space Console: UX

 

Machine generated alternative text:
Space Console UX 
Designed to save time when 
navigating the Space Console 
Print floorplans without 
highlights 
Zoom while selecting 
employees or rooms 
Drag and drop employee 
names 
ell' 
NCOS 04. 
Highlight Rooms By Occupancy 
4571 
Sabrina Logan 
4602 
4572 
Kelly Grant 
Elise Hagen 
4574 
4570 
John Voss 
4569 
margaret cohen 
4575 
4STR1

 

Space Console User Interface improvements now include the ability to:

  • Can print blank floorplans with no highlights
  • When selecting employees or rooms, zooms in on results
  • Drag and Drop Employees (names and numbers)

 Move Console: UX


Machine generated alternative text:
Move Console UX 
Allow Move Coordinator 
Move Console 
Move List 
to speed work 
All Move Types 
Create Move Request in 
Configure Opti o ns 
Move Console 
Filter Moves on Division, 
Project Code, Name and 
Move Order 
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My Date 
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project Code 
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Requested (0/15) CJ 
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Request a Group Move 
Request a Mcwe for a New Hire 
Request a Mue for an Employee Leaving 
an Equipment Move 
an Asset MOVE 
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EMPLOYEE TO MOVE 
project Status 
cv for Approval 
ing 
Department 
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Department 
Clear Cancel 
Department C Ode 
ro Date 
Project Name 
project Descrtgoon

 

Improvements include these abilities:

  • Can now create a move request from within the console
  • Can filter moves based on their Division, Project Code, Move Name and Move Order

ARCHIBUS Workplace Accessibility

 

Machine generated alternative text:
Archibus Workplace Accessibility 
0-00 AM - AM 
030 AM - 9m AM 
1100 AM - 11:30 AM 
2:00 PM • 2.30 PM 
2:30 PM • PM 
Roll out 
Workplace to all 
employees with 
confidence. 
WCAG 2.1 
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AA Compliant 
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Choose Meeting Time 
Start Date 
04/05/2021 
11:30 AM -12:m PM 
Duration 
9m AM. 9.30 
12:00 PM - 12:30 
PM • 3:30

 

Improvements to the Workspace App are summed up by:

  • Features for visual and hearing impairments
  • WCAG (web content accessible guidelines) 2.1
    • Level A compliant
    • Level AA Compliant

 ARCHIBUS Workplace Hoteling

Machine generated alternative text:
Archibus Workplace Hoteling 
Help keep employees safe while 
enhancing their desk booking 
Workspace Reservations 
experience 
Limit the number of days to book 
ahead 
Limit to all-day bookings only 
Enable a health check before 
checking in 
Book near a colleague; see who else 
has booked a desk while searching 
Workspace Booking 
TGD Technoiogy Center 
Select a workspace 
04/05/2021 
05 •a 
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ENGINEERING - Floor 11 
Health Check 
Start d ate 
04/05/2021 
Check 
have not experienced any Of these symptoms in the past 48 
hours: 
• fever or chills 
• cough 
• shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
• fatigue 
• muscle or body aches 
• headache 
• new loss Of taste or smell 
• sore throat 
• congestion or runny nose 
• nausea or vomiting 
• diarrhea 
• Unenclosed Workstation 
• 1 space

  • Ability to limit the booking window (application parameter)
  • Limit to all-day bookings (previous settings were morning / afternoon) (this application parameter is either/or, it cannot be utilized both ways)
  • Enable a healthcheck, with configurable text, prompt before booking is finalized. If you don't check in, the reservation will be released
  • Book near a colleague, because you can see who else has booked, during your search for a space

 ARCHIBUS Workplace UX

Machine generated alternative text:
Archibus Workplace UX 
Make as easy to use as 
possible 
Removed pins on floor plan 
during booking 
Removed room labels on 
floor plan during booking 
Workspace Booking 
05 
Workspace Booking 
Recu 
Starl Oate 
Fun Day 
Room Type 
Department 
9m - SOO PM 
AM . 1:00 PM

 

 

ARCHIBUS Workplace User Interface improvements make room selection less busy and easier to navigate

  • Removed pins on floor during booking
  • Removed room labels on the floorplan during booking

Reports Central

 

Machine generated alternative text:
r 
Q 
Building - "NC05" AND Division LIKE 
BEDFORD - NC05 - TGD Technology center 
Floor 04 - NC05 - CORPORATE MGMT

Machine generated alternative text:
Reports Central 
A Archibus 
Created to easily 
analyze the data you 
need to make 
informed decisions 
Create simple reports 
with charts 
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filtering, selecting 
fields 
Publish and share 
reports with 
executives and peers 
Reports Central 
Tables Reports 
A" Work Requ•sts 
Arc hived Work Requests per Mon thJWeek 
Historical Work R •quests 
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Reports Central 
Code 
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Occupmcy by floor

 

Octavian ran through a demonstration so that we could see the reporting improvements in action.

 

Reports Central

  • Create simple reports, with charts
  • Quickly modify by filtering and selecting fields
  • Publish and share reports with others

 

This one excites me.

ARCHIBUS has always been my favorite CAFM platform, but it was a bit of a contrast when I began using FMInteract from FM:Systems because the reporting was so much easier to get going with. I literally had zero training and was able to get going with FMS / FMI reporting (to be fair, I had prior exposure to the slightly strange FMI database structure as an ARCHIBUS Solutions Architect performing data mapping for migrating clients, so that surely helped. It was very easy to get going with in reporting.).


These new changes look to be leveling the playing field a bit more with regard to the usability and lowers the barrier to entry in ARCHIBUS reporting.

 

Machine generated alternative text:
A Archibus 
Home 
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Real property 
Capital Projects 
Space 
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Sustainability & Riü 
Workplace Services 
Technologies 
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Equipment Parts 
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Equipment Ports 
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Machine generated alternative text:
Equipment 
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Filters 
Cost to Replace 
Building Code 
Floor Code 
Equipment Code 
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2000000003 
2000000005 
2000000007 
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2000000013 
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2,000.00

 

They support 4 chart types currently, but will be adding more in future releases

Machine generated alternative text:
Chart Save 
Chart Options 
Bar Chart 
C umn Chart 
Li Chart 
Pie Chart 
18

 

  • Bar Chart
  • Column Chart
  • Line Chart 
  • Pie Chart

 

Machine generated alternative text:
I s greater than 
Equals 
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Equa 
Title* 
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Equipment by Cost to Replace 
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my report visible to others 
Application• 
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Then you can save your report, either privately or shared with your team. When you publish the report, you dictate the Application and Process or Role to store it as.

 

This reporting can be restricted or allowed by Role. The 'publish report' is not a PNAV (process navigator) item, it resides within the Reports Central Process, and published reports will only be visible to those with the assigned application/process/role dictated by the reports.

 

One limitation is that there is no support yet for math. No averages or sums are available, but they will be in a future release.

 

If you are a report designer, you can lock some of the filters, so the asset manager who receives the report cannot add a filter. Basically, there is control how much filtering the end user will have access to based on your target user role.

 

Since this is version 1 for this feature, ARCHIBUS would love to get user feedback on it to help inform future releases. If you do not know how to submit feedback, contact your ARCHIBUS Business Partner.


Access Monitoring: Badging Connector

 

Machine generated alternative text:
Access Monitoring (Badging Connector) 
Monitor capacity and 
social distancing 
compliance 
Import employee 
badge data 
Support contact 
tracing by 
tracking facility entry 
Monitor space access 
and utilization 
RCeSS 
5 
Floors 
1,652 
Seats 
99 
Assigned 
utilization 
Code: A 
Date 
202' 
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Access Monitoring (Badging Connector), these features can help ensure social distancing compliance by monitoring the current capacity / occupancy of your space:

  • Imports employee badge data
  • Supports contract tracing by tracking entry to facilities
  • Monitors space utilization and access

As an aside: I have heard that this company, DLR group, is doing a lot of exciting data-centric forward-thinking work in the AECO industry re: IoT and IAQ, including not using badging or grid scans of occupancy scanners or other similar data sources for occupancy counts, but also using thermo data to detect changes in air temperature, indicating occupancy increases to unsafe levels. Neat stuff. 


Framework Controls: UX


Machine generated alternative text:
Framework Controls UX 
Designed to save time by 
allowing easy locating and 
uploading of items 
Update drawing control's 
toolbar icons 
Allow drag-and- 
dropping documents to the 
form's document field 
Highlight a selected tree node 
BOSMED 02 
Work Request 
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Department by Division 
ACCESSORIES Accessories 
• ADMN S E RV'CES Adm 
• ADMINISTRATION Administration 
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• 227.298 
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FURNITURE T

 

 

Framework Controls User Interface

  • Updated drawing control toolbar icons
  • Ability to drag and drop documents into the document field
  • Highlights in the tree which item you have selected

 

These changes apply across the product.


New Features and FAQ


There was a future features / backlog / roadmap portion of the presentation, but I will not be discussing that today, as it will be made public by ARCHIBUS at the appropriate time.

Likewise, I will not be sharing my notes and screenshots on the FAQ portion of the call, as much of that was regarding items currently in development which have not yet been released. Disappointing, as I have SOOOO many comments regardings some of them.


I always love new features, but, as someone supporting IWMS software, most of which is still (an average) of 60% customized, it does make me nervous. ;)