Thursday, July 20, 2017

July SCRUG Happy Hours

When commuting via Metrolink to Orange County, the Streamliner Lounge in Orange became a favorite stop-over (when trains were delayed). Located 3 blocks west of Orange Plaza at the Orange Metrolink Train Station, it shares the renovated historic Santa Fe Depot with Ruby's Diner.
In the early days of rail transport in the United States, railroads tended to be built out of coastal cities into the hinterland, and systems did not connect. Each builder was free to choose its own gauge. When American railroads' track extended to the point that they began to interconnect, it became clear that a single nationwide gauge would be a good idea.
The US has a National BIM Standard, developed under the auspices of the National Institute for Building Sciences, and sponsored by the Building SMART Alliance. Large owner/operators may have their own BIM standards (i.e. Kaiser Health, University of California). Other markets such as housing are less demanding when it comes to ‘process’. Speculative development values ‘product’ more.
AECO business development overseas does include a broad interest in the development of standards for BIM, driven largely by the 2016 UK BIM Mandate. I returned to the U.S. with a heightened awareness of BIM standards and procedures, and a great deal of related resource material.
The AEC (UK) BIM Standard was released in November 2009, and the supplementary UK Revit Protocol in 2012. I will be sharing copies of the document, which I have updated to align with recent software enhancements and adapted to U.S. terminology.
I'll be at the Streamliner this Thursday beginning at 5 o’clock. I invite all my SCRUG colleagues to stop by for fellowship and networking (BYO).
  • Happy Hour ends at 6 p.m.
  • Southbound trains depart at 7:47 and 10:23.
  • Northbound trains depart at 6:22 and 9:17.
I also have some interesting professional news to share that relates to the ideas above.
A. Jay Holland

Thursday, May 4, 2017

May SCRUG Meeting


I've been involved in two trials of Assemble and can relate that it is a really cool platform. Assemble is a great tool for non-Revit users to interact with BIM. I like the ability to upload directly from the model, the automatic versioning of uploads, and the bi-directional data flow.

We are fortunate to have Conner Burke of McCarthy Construction to present a case study highlighting all of the platform's features:

Topic Name: 
Improving Workflows Between GC’s and Architects Utilizing Revit & Assemble During the Design Phase 

During the Design Phase, certain efficiencies can be gained by creating specific workflows aimed at increasing speed and accuracy. To do this effectively, a high level of collaboration is necessary, specifically by utilizing programs like Revit and Assemble. Understanding the intricacies of these programs allows the Design Team and GC to communicate more simply and effectively, opening doors for such things as model Based RFI’s, continuous cost modeling, and more precise pricing exercises. Using these new means and methods, we can track more accurately and ultimately give an owner a more involved experience than previously thought available.

To RSVP please visit:


Assemble Systems is a cloud-based model data management solution used for unlocking the power of model-data. Assemble Systems allows both non-Revit and Revit users the ability to access, analyze and share model data for model validation, estimating, visual variance (model comparisons), custom reporting, and more. In this presentation, we will show you how project teams are using Assemble to transform AEC processes and improve project predictability.

Connor Burke is the Senior VDC Estimator with McCarthy Building Companies in Newport Beach, California. He joined McCarthy in 2014 and has been involved in a number of projects, ranging from higher education projects to large commercial and healthcare projects. He is currently overseeing the implementation of company-wide training for Assemble Systems and other BIM tools for Preconstruction. He helped create McCarthy’s Continuous Cost Model, which is a collaborative approach to IPD projects that allows for real-time, live cost estimating, and is also heading up the estimating efforts for the Education sectors self-performed concrete work. Connor is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

About Assemble Systems:
Assemble Systems, with offices in Boston and Houston, provides construction data management solutions. Its core offering, Assemble Insight is a cloud based platform allowing AEC firms to leverage 3D data for increased project insight, advanced project collaboration and data driven decision making. Assemble is used today to manage over 7,000 projects.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Revit 2018 Preview

CoLab at LPA

More than fifty guests were present for the presentation by Scott Davis.

Scott Davis

The presentation was streamed live on GoTo Meeting.

Guests enjoyed the soft taco bar thanks to the generous contributions of our sponsors.

To stay informed of news and events:
Register for meeting announcements at

South Coast Revit Users Group Blog

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Autodesk Project Quantum: the Future of BIM?


Some may have already seen information about Revit 2018 that has been 'leaked' from the Beta program. Apropos for this era.

There always seems to be some delight mixed with disappointment after these announcements. The Autodesk embargo will be lifted before our meeting takes place. I find it best to have no expectations.

There are huge challenges ahead for AEC practitioners who wish to collaborate in real time, and to solve the inefficiencies of the building process that we have been discussing for more than two decades.

In an exclusive interview, Martyn Day speaks to Autodesk chief software architect Jim Awe about the company’s vision of the next generation of BIM tools.

You are invited to SCRUG's preview of Revit 2018 on Thursday, April 20th, presented by Autodesk Senior AEC Technical Specialist Scott Davis.

To RSVP go to

~Allen Jay Holland

Thursday, March 30, 2017

SECRET April SCRUG Meeting


The South Coast Revit Users Group is pleased to welcome Autodesk Senior AEC Technical Specialist Scott Davis to our next meeting, scheduled for April 20th. The topic of the April meeting is no secret. Scott will formally present new features to be found in Revit 2018.

Scott is one of the ‘Original Gurus’ of the Southern California Revit community. He recently celebrated his 10th anniversary with Autodesk after serving eight years as Technical Coordinator at WLC Architects. To make things interesting Scott will be flying in from Oregon just hours before the meeting.

This meeting is always a highlight of the year. Join your friends and colleagues at LPA, Inc. on Thursday, April 20th at six o’clock p.m. To RSVP go to 

~Allen Jay Holland

Thanks to our sponsors Kelar-Pacific, Microdesk, and US CAD, and host LPA.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pilots Wanted

Linking between Building Information Models and Project Specifications is an aspiration of many design organizations. It is the missing link between Design BIM and FM&O BIM.
Designers use BIM for design, validation, visualization, analysis, and quality assurance. Many take a cautious approach to Information, supplying only the minimum. 
However, owners are increasingly demanding that data for facility management shall be derived from BIM and be useful for Operations and Maintenance. Even a ‘Smart Home’ gets smarter if the information needed to manage all its IoT devices is managed in a virtual model.
As with many aspects of the design professions, specification writing has become a role in itself. While larger firms can afford dedicated staff, smaller firms may outsource the work to a consultant. Those professionals should be keenly interested in a cloud-based solution that provides remote access to models in a web browser.
A SCRUG member since 2010, Seamus McGrady served as VP of Sales and Marketing at InterSpec, (developers of e-SPECS) for almost 10 years. In 2014 he and a partner launched ChalkLine, Inc., developers of VisiSpecs.
VisiSpecs is comprised of three applications: 

  • VisiWord integrates Microsoft Word with enhanced document management features.
  • VisiRevit is the Add-in which enables automation, integration, coordination, collaboration, and editing for those users in Revit.
  • VisiView provides non-Revit users the same functionality to view the model, elements, and data.

Pilot Program:
For upcoming meetings in Orange County and Los Angeles, Seamus has asked me to recruit two members who will receive a free license to pilot VisiSpecs on a real model and document project. These users will share their first-hand experience at the meetings, tentatively occurring in April.
Members interested may contact me via email or through LinkedIn.
For additional information, visit the ChalkLine website

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Meeting Report - February

Clive Jordan and LOD Planner

Thanks to all who attended the February meeting. More than fifty members were present! Dozens more viewed the invite but couldn’t decide. If you’re one of those, here’s what you missed:
Clive Jordan introduced LOD Planner, a web-based tool for collaborative creation of an LOD plan, the basis for establishing the level of trust associates with BIM objects and data.
An excellent synopsis of the meeting has been published by Christopher Ganiere on his Architect-Life blog:
LOD planner is a question based tool to help one create the LOD document to add to design & construction contracts. Why should one adhere to a rigid set of deliverables or an arbitrary schedule. One may customize what is needed by when the next chunk of design information is needed to meet the next deadline. One can prioritize based on the goals of the owner, contractor and/or design team.
  • Why have super detailed geometry when no renderings are required?
  • Why load up the model with data that will never be accessed?
  • Why have accuracy to 1/16" when accuracy to 1'-0" is all that is necessary?
In short, do what is necessary & pay what is needed to get the desired results.
As an added attraction, SCRUG founder Jim Balding previewed BIMsmith Forge, and received feedback from members to be used in its further development.
BIMSmith Forge is a web based interface to simplify the process of building system familes.
  • drag and drop for placement of wall layers or ceiling layers. They have
  • drop down menus for when choices are limited.
  • products offered by a manufacturer are listed as model options.
Once you are done designing the wall or pick one of the prefab walls in the "drawer", the website gathers all the information available for the components making up the new wall, packages it into a zip file for integration into projects or templates.
The highlight of the evening came when Jim noticed the resemblance between BIMsmith's "Earl" and SCRUG's Don Sutherland.

Please join SCRUG on LinkedIn to be added to the official membership registry. Check your profile information and group contact settings.
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Thanks again to our sponsors Kellar-Pacific, Microdesk, US CAD, and our host LPA, Inc.