Tag Archives: Building Information Model

CDM Regulations 2015 – UPDATE- The Architectural Technologist

Mud Scraper to a church in BromsgroveMany of you will now be aware of the changes brought about by the new CDM reg within the UKs, that become effective on the 6th April 2015.

These new regs are a major game change and something there is very little time to get organised, so this blog is to introduce my slide set, I will be using to present to my AT students.

You are welcome to my slide set, but please give me credit if you use, or better still invite me to your office or Institute and I will present, the latter has all the bells whistles and bits I can’t add to a slide set, plus all my links and some hand outs. For this there will be a fee, of £85 per person, min 10 people.

The current slide set below is obviously under construction, so please keep checking back to get the most up to date version.

Update note :

I have added a few more slides, and a lot more links to this presentation


Architectural Technologist – BIM for the SME

BIM for SME's
BIM for SME’s

We all know the importance of BIM, yet so many of us think its the larger practices that need it most, but a recent article in the CIOB magazine “CM” by John Eynon outlines the need for us Small to Medium Enterprises SME,’s to step up to the crease and take it onboard, in an article entitled BIM: Size is not important.

The article has many good points and some excellent links to the Bim Task Group and more importantllly Bim4sme,

You should be able to see the full article on the CIOB construction manager web site. In fact the site is a gold mine for good reading, and CPD research, there is an excellent Google custon search button, that I used to find the above article.

I am writing a small course for my students to take on this at the beginning of there training, but so many of us, and I meet a lot of Technologists in my travels, are not embracing BIM in the slitest way, some and I saw this myself, are still drawing in a single layer or class, not using any of the tools they have paid out for, and yes they are  using up to date software, yet not using it.

So here it is again, the summer is here, bet an agenda together and practice BIM.

Architectural Technologist – BIrmingham City University – BIM event


Seacole Building of Birmingham City University
Seacole Building of Birmingham City University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BIM is the buzZ word in our industry, but it depends on who you talk to as to the meaning if the word, most, if not all have their own thoughts on it, CAD companies seem to think, only they understand it and their software, in a new format, is the only way to understand it, and use it. They keep telling me only 3D can be used for BIM, rubbish, 2D is more than capable of achieving a high level of BIM

Do you really think I’m that gulable, BIM has been about for Ages, In the form of notes and class or layering structure withing the CAD program’s, so why do the CAD companies seem to think its worth spending money buying their software, I know that 3D takes BIM to a much higher interaction, than can be achieved with current 2D CAD, and the generation of sections and elevations suddenly becomes so quick, and interactive, but the effect to create a 3D model is so often out of place in my level of work, extensions and small cut an carve work. Plus my contractors would still required the same information, my 2D plans provide. so at what point do I change from 2D to 3D, there is no real answer, at my age change like this requires a major upheaval of systems I have put in place that work, but that should not be the answer, it should be now, change, 3D will take longer short term, but the benefits will out way the pain !!, so yet again I pledge to make some move over to 3D, but please, all the CAD companies, I will not buy new program’s, the one I have is more than adequate, but if, and only if, they introduce a program that does not involve updating all my files, I might look at it.

So I was quite please to receive a note from Birmingham City University, promoting a BIM event that gives the users, a chance to show and talk about their current use of BIM, with a panel that is not just selected CAD developers, but real construction proffesionals who are day to day, in the construction business.

The event, if I can call it that, is on the 4th July, it will present BIM in action, focusing on design, cost and construction, with the hand over of the BCU building as the focus, a real live building.

The speaker list is like a who’s who of construction in the West Midlands and to be honest, worth attending just for the social contact and possible work, yet alone the BIM angle :


Hosted by Birmingham School of the Built Environment (Birmingham City University)

The 2016 Government Construction Strategy in BIM implementation is fast approaching; many Clients, Architects, Contractors and Quantity Surveyors are seeking to understand its potential impact.

In 2011 Birmingham City University appointed Willmott Dixon as the contractor on their £61m City Centre scheme providing a purpose-built home for the world-class provision for the University’s Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) and Media Centre.

The project is the first phase in a £125million investment plan at Birmingham’s Eastside using BIM.

This event, the first in a series, will present BIM in ACTION focusing on the design, cost and construction with an indication of the handover of the new building. The event will offer a unique insight into the practicalities, challenges and solutions that the team have faced in the implementation of BIM.


BIM in action

Demonstrate best practice

Highlight solutions

Lessons learnt so far


  • Chair – Birmingham School of the Built Environment
  • Client – Birmingham City University
  • Architect – Associated Architects
  • Quantity Surveyor – Faithful and Gould
  • Contractor – Willmott Dixon
  • MEP – NG Bailey
  • Structural Engineer – Ramboll

There will be a cost for this event of £25 for CIOB Members and £30 for Non-Members. If you would like to reserve a place please book via the ‘book event’ button below or contact Georgina Floyd. wdanish@ciob.org.uk

The cost of £25 is small fry, and must surely represent the best value for money event ever, ok £30 for those of you who have not taken up CIOB membership.

If you would like to attend, , reserve a place via Georgina Floyd on wdandish@ciob.org.uk

Or go to the http://ciob.org.uk/events/bim-action web site

 Don’t forget, I will host a tech hangout every Thursday @ 12:30 pm, call in to chat, moan,find out something, anything to do with Architectural Technology. follow me on Google + “+stevescaysbrook”

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Architectural Technologist – BIM report for NewZealand

BlankMap-NewZealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found this excellent report on BIM for Newzealand via a Google+, at it’s simplest it’s a survey of BIM use and understanding in NewZealand, but at the top end it’s a whole lot more than that, with some useful insite into CAD, the construction industry and how BIM might be use and for that matter, is being used. It took me roughly an hour to read it the first time with interruptions, so I’ll claim that in my CPD list. also made me check the hours formula on my sheet and correct !



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Architectural Technologist – Editing & Changing a polyline in a Vectorworks drawing

Vectorworks Viewer
Vectorworks Viewer (Photo credit: Scays)

Sometimes when I’m drawing I do things automatically, and I happen to be changing a polyline entity, not by pulling or pushing the vertices, but by simply removing the portion of the entity and re drawing it, then linking the bits back together with add surface. My client saw me doing it and asked for a quick video, this below is some of my efforts.

I have the river on a separate layer,  using navigation pallet  I showed the important layers in grey to aid navigation. All the river,paths and certain tributaries are classed making it so easy to just highlight the required items and work on them.

I can’t claim any time for this, but you might, by practicing the technique. If you have any problems I can show you live in a skype link or Google Hangout.

If you have any large garden that needs plotting, Vectorworks is very good at allowing you to layer the garden and show it off to it’s best, we also tag all trees and add our own search engine to Vectorworks, although we are now finding pdf printouts and the use of Goodreader, as just as effective.





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Architectural Technologist – Brainstorming or Cogito

konstrukshon Ltd
konstrukshon Ltd (Photo credit: Scays)

Whilst at Dow Construction Products as the Tech man, I partook (!)  in many a brainstorming session, in the early days, ideas were stifled by a lack of understanding of the reason we were put into the room, but as time went on, we stated to open out, pulling ideas and thoughts into the room, with someone or perhaps more than one person trying to keep up with the stream of ideas.

For any company, its essential part of new product generation, but and there is always a but, to strong a dominant person in the crowd, and it is all for nothing, so many times a group has been railroaded by groups to get their own message across.

The best sessions I ever attended were open, and free of intimidation, we explored all sorts of ideas, and came away with at least one new product. The group was chaired by a guy who would not have “not invented here”, all ideas were listed, no ranking of ideas, just ideas, themes were explored and split, into what ever.

My point in all of this is that if your ever to have a brain stormingsession, it must be run by someone strong, who will not allow groups or individuals to take over, all ideas must be equal, film all of the session, and review it, post large paper hangers to the walls for sketching, have pens of all colours to hand for every one,  no pen control, write everything sketch everything. Most important have several machines linked to the net, search and review any finds.

good ideas and problems - morning session brai...
good ideas and problems - morning session brainstorming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is this just for big corporates, hell no, I use it for myself, the techniques are almost identical, except the room is not there, I tend to do these sessions, over several days, or even weeks,  I let ideas flow, I write in my moleskin, and copy to evernote, I phone people, I email, and some days I just write, putting down thoughts, and out of it sometimes comes a path, product, concept, do I go looking for something, sometimes, but so often I just see where a thought goes. Jon Pickup and I have had sessions like this, talking about Vectorworks, presentation, drawing techniques, construction, all come out, the point is without free open mind sessions.

Running these sessions if a little different to partaking in them, I have rules,

  • no idea to be shot down
  • No pen control
  • No rank- boss control
  • All ideas are equal
I appoint several people to write notes, if it’s a small group it’s one, but for large groups I use two, maybe three, they are independent, they write what they here.
No breaks, no external influences, no separate meetings, we are there for a session, ok toilet breaks are needed, but go as you need,  and I limit the session, three hours max, but there is no mimimum, I have coffee, and usual small snacks, fuel for thoughts. Just as a note, I have some of my best ideas and thoughts whilst in the pub, alcahols is so good for freeing the mind, where do you think the name of my company “Konstrukshon” came from !, but please, in-moderation.
If the session looks to be waining, I try offering notes, thoughts that I have prepared, but if it wains I cut the session, and ask for another day, sometimes this is the only way, weather personal problems, work, they all have an impact and the smart organiser should see this, don’t flog a dead horse, regroup another day.
In one session I attended, we ranked the final sheet of ideas, I’m not keen on this, my rule is all ideas and comments are equal, I rather they be allotted a sponsor, to see if they can be expanded, but this sometimes allows ideas to be quashed, so I am so I prefer a small group  to act as a review board, I’m careful to appoint a single open minded group, that reviews the progress of these ideas, pushing the owners to develop the idea, and then and only then do we start to rank ideas, sometimes they are just not good, but until they have had chance to develop, I let them be free.
At some point, the group picks ideas to take further, and develop, the rest are not forgotten, they are just rested, added to the idea pile, tagged and noted, I use evernote here a lot. My boss in Switzerland used to have review sessions, we would look at the old list, in those days paper files, to see if anything could be picked up, technologies and methods change, and just occasionally they got a new lease of life.

Do ideas come from nothing, no, they are wisps of thoughts, passing images, chance conversations, article in magazines, so I read, I search any idea, followup, talk, note, my reading list is wide, from Dickens to Rupert Bear, to Scifi, to Startreck, to discovery channel, to the local news, I travel, not because I need ideas, but because I love travel, but it’s yet another thought generator, which is why I prefer the train, it allows thought, dreams idea.

Rupert Bear
Rupert Bear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aeroplanes are so get me there quick, the time differences are mind killing, I need time to acclimatise.

So there it is, brainstorming, idea generation, call it what you want, I don’t care, just let me free, let me dream. If you want to try a session, contact me, we start the moment you ring. CPD is so massive here, I can’t begin to try and explain the importance of this subject, and the need to sit and think, expand the mind, generate ideas. My word for it is Cogito.

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Architectural Technologist – It’s April time for as new spreadsheet

Templars burned at the stake.
Templars burned at the stake. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s April, and I’m trying to sort out my new spreradsheet, to record my CPD activity, nothing will change, I had thought about making some spiffy charts to show what I had done, but to be honest, I just don’t see the point other than showing how clever I am doing it, so we stay the same.

I an looking at making it more of a backend database program, and it that comes off, then watch this space.

As it’s Friday the 13th I will take it rather easy today, not that the date worries me, just think of all those Templar knights waking up and being thrown into jail, thats were the superstition comes from Friday 13th 1307 when Philip the fair of France decided to liquidate the debt he had to the Templars. Although so many other events happened on this day when the date alined, but I like the Templar history thing.

So it’s a site inspection morning to watch a concrete slab being poured, the only problem is the location, at the rear of the property, and to far to use slides, so it’s a barrow and two men, one to do the hard wheeling and one to spread. If we get there just at the end we will not get dragged into helping :-)

I have also to check that the underfloor ventilation is still adequate, and that the large pipes running under the slab are well lintoled up and covered in pea gravel, oh and not forgetting the quality of the brickwork, the contractor could not get the right brick size to match the colour, so I have gone for colour, and texture to match, and hidden the joint and obvious brick bed difference behind the very convenient rain water pipe.

I had a note on my class use video for Vectorworks, asking why I used a “0” class, simple realy, the class list in the drop down box list, numbers first then letters, so for the times I want to draw say tyhe location od a tree with guide lines or draw an object up before I classs it, I use “0” as its always at the top of the class list, Vectorworks include a null class, but thats always half way down, so thats always removed.

One point I did make in the video, is to always class each object used, and make a separate class for the object placement, it does not help if you use a load of correct classes to place objects in say a wall, and then use on of then to place the wall, which for some reason you turn of and find the whole wall disapear, because it was placed in the same class, everything must be spearate, even the viewports, I have about three I use, no border, with red border and one for a black border, so often when I first started out, I found viewports disapearing when I turned of items.


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Architectural Technologist – Google heads up display

A spiral stair made whith Google Sketchup
A spiral stair made whith Google Sketchup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have refrained from mentioning the gossip on the Google heads up display engadget has one of the best reviews, but its just getting to much, so here goes. The video below came on stream, yesterday and its already, as I type, got 473,000 hits, so some one has clocked it, but I doubt they have sat back an thought, other than cool, where can I buy, my social networking is going to get so much better, but this morning I did sit back and think for a while, for the Architectural Technologist this has to be a little more interesting than just some of the points in the video, like mail, photo and camera work. for instance, can I overlay my own drawings on the screen as I walk, making notes, live to my office staff. Will it bring up construction notes and building reg info on request.

So much I can see this being used for, but and here is the massive but, what format will it be accepted in, Google already has Sketchup, and I can see the vision, that they had now, some one was thinking so far into the future, at Google, maps, buildings construction information, all this could be in Sketchup, so easy, and why bother with any one else’s CAD format, when Sketchup can do so much, and what it can’t do yet  like BIM info and the more sophisticated data work we are used to in Vantagepoint Cartographics with Vectorworks, why not introduce export functions.

But be sure for what ever reason you use your particular brand of CAD, be sure its compatible with Sketchup, google Earth and what ever else Google comes up with regarding data.

As a last though, and probably one of many I will add throughout the day on Google+, will it recognise QR codes of specific materials and bring up manufacturer info, not thats useful, the symbols need not be big, just enough for Google software to pickup,,,,,,,,,,,, more on my Google+ +steve Scaysbrook



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Architectural Technologist – Vectorworks worksheet use in practice

Rendered view 1
Rendered view 1 (Photo credit: Scays)

I got a note from Jon Pickup this morning re this excellent little video of one of Jon’s contacts who has made excellent use of Vectorworks build in worksheet and database function. Take a look at the video below, it does not take to much to work out the way Bill has done it, by using a symbol with data attached, then using a worksheet, (spreadsheet ) to collate the required info. Making good use of the 2012 3D drawing to creat simple yet effective client drawings with just enough info . Excellent. Plus great use of Google earth to highlight a property, and turn it into a decent client drawing. Again it high lights the need to attend Jons lessons, but as I have had to miss so many recently it just makes me aware of what I’m missing.

I wanted to use a photo of Joh Pickup as the lead photo , but realised I have not got one, so Jon, please send, I had to use the bus stop perspective again .

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Architectural Technologist – Long Day, but did you miss me !


Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Yesterday, I just did not have time to write a blog, usually if I know this to be the case, I will post date a blog, but yesterday, I thought I had time in the morning to write, but as lady luck would have it, I had other work to sort before I went out to spend the day with a client installing Vectorworks Dropbox and Skype on a new Mac., together with a working copy of a large Arboretum Vectorworks file.

This was not a simple hand over of a single Vectorworks file, we have had problems with shifting design layers, and I’ll blog later on this specific point, so we have desided to work group reference a series of surveys that don’t normally require any more drawing work, that are there for reference only. We are also setting up a series of print files that are also work group referenced to all the files, that the gardening staff can use,

But it’s the simple use of Dropbox and Skype that wowed the client, no longer does he have to worry about things he just Skypes me, and shares his screen to show me wehat he wants, or needs help with.or needs certain areas altering, because I can do it real time all he has to do is refresh the screen. Even the very large photo stock now being generated will be shared this way,, all the client has to do is load and geolocated photos to a specific Dropbox folder, we see them and add links to the Vectorworks files.

So there you have it, a long day, with only a single pint and excellent beef and ail pie to keep me going, plus endless coffee.

Zemanta, the program I use to link previous blogs and outside links has just been updated with the ability to add photos, so each link has it’s own phto, not sure about this, does it take up to much room, I wil review it over the next few blogs and let you know. But thinking about CPD, there is a little here, it’s all about servicing your client, making sure he is happy, and using the best communication means out there to add quality to your relatinship with him, or her.


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