Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Passing the Torch

It's now official. John Stebbins and Nick Kramer will assume the leadership of the leadership of the South Coast Revit Users Group.

Nick has recently been named Director of Technology at Perkins & Will, after several years at HMC.

John is eminently qualified as one the pioneers of BIM in the O.C. and also a great teacher and communicator. John and I worked together promoting Mac 3D software Architrion almost 25 years ago.

Join us on Thursday, September 19th for an evening of celebration and fellowship.

Friday, September 6, 2013

September SCRUG Meeting

Bon Voyage Party
Thursday, September 19th

Time to party with the SCRUG!
I am relocating to Doha, Qatar to work with KEO International Consultants on the AL Wakrah Sports Complex for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The South Coast Revit Users Group will continue under the guidance of other long-time and well-respected users. My thanks to all those who have contributed to the success of SCRUG.

Thanks to our generous sponsors:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July SCRUG Meeting

Welcome Back!

Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, July 25th, at the offices of LPA in Irvine.


The focus of our meeting is the venue - the new "CoLab" at LPA. As described by our colleague Ann Laughlin:

"We are opening a new meeting space at LPA. It is a large collaboration venue with lots of cool, high tech options.  It is called “CoLab” and is an experimental space for collaborating using the latest technologies.  There are areas to gather, play and touch devices. The space includes iPads that communicate with a large touch screen TV, an Apple TV projection, Windows 8 flat large screen mark-up table, MAC computer, tablets. There are dozens of laptop connections all over the space. Plug and go. The lab is all about exploring better ways to collaborate and Revit is at the heart of our collaboration tools."

In addition, SCRUG charter members Jim Balding and Stsve  Stafford  will be on hand to recap their experiences at the recently concluded Revit Technology Conference in Vancouver.

Stay up to date on meetings, news and other SCRUG events!

Thanks to our sponsors:

Monday, June 24, 2013

BIM-4-Homebuilders - RESCHEDULED


Due to logistical issues, the BIM-4-Homebuilders Forum has been postponed.

The tentative date for the event is now October 27th.

All of those who registered will receive a full refund.

There is no meeting scheduled for June.

Please join us at our next regular meeting.

Friday, May 24, 2013

May Meeting Summary

Thanks to all who attended the May SCRUG meeting.

Aiden Bearden, Lauren Kruzel, Taylor Jaskot and Blair Allen - students from Bill Brown's program at Santiago High School - shared their Revit project work. These "kids" still have one more year of high school, and they know Revit well!

Autodesk Software Infrastructure consultant John Rodriguez demonstrated the capability and versatility of InfraWorks, an infrastructure design and presentation tool.

Derrick Renn presented Express Tools for Autodesk Revit: BIM Manager Suite and BIM Project Suite - Revit add-ons that are intended to boost productivity by automating routine tasks. Both packages contain free tools.

Jim Balding and Steve Stafford shared news about the recent Revit Technology Conference in Auckland and upcoming RTC in Vancouver.

Our next meeting is Thursday, June 27th: 
SCRUG's BIM-4-Homebuilders conference. Please register.


Thanks to our LPA 'hostess' Ann Laughlin.

Thanks to our generous sponsors:

To stay informed of group news and events join SCRUG Local on LinkedIn.

Monday, May 13, 2013


Building Information Modeling has gained acceptance in market sectors other than home building. BIM has become a requirement for large and complex projects, but even with the current upturn in the housing market, many builders - and the designers who serve them - are hesitant to get involved.

At the SCRUG BIM Housing Forum, a panel of the leading residential architects and builders in Orange County will discuss their outlook with regard to Building Information Modeling.  The purpose of the conference is to promote the awareness, adoption and use of BIM and other advanced technologies within the housing industry in Southern California.

The BIM-4-Homebuilders Conference will define and clarify:

  • What is happening in the residential BIM world? What is possible?
  • What does "collaboration" really mean? 
  • How can we reduce cost and/or increase profit.
  • How does BIM support Lean, Green, and Sustainable architecture?
  • What is the "MacLeamy Curve" and why is it important?
  • How and where do we get started with BIM?

The conference will open with an informal mixer/meet & greet followed by the forum discussions. Questions from the audience will follow each topic. The event will be held at the Marconi Automotive Museum, a unique local venue which supports charities for children in Orange County and beyond.

Please join us on June 27th for this fun, exciting and important event!

May SCRUG Meeting

The next SCRUG meeting will be held on Thursday, May 23rd.


Student Revit Work

Those who are new to the group may not be familiar with visionary high school teacher Bill Brown and his devotion to BIM education at the high school and community college level. I have invited his students from Santiago High School to present their work and accomplishments to the group.

Technical Presentations

I've asked for assistance from our sponsors to present some facets of the BIM process which may not be well-known to many users.

John Rodriguez will present Autodesk InfraWorks, an infrastructure modeling and presentation software package. Infraworks allows users to "quickly and easily create civil infrastructure design models.

Some users may not be familiar with all of the add-ons available for Revit. Many of them are free, and they are as easy to install and use as adding an 'app' to your smart phone. Derek Renn will show a collection of Revit enhancements that are intended to enhance productivity and speed work flow.

Thanks to our sponsors for their generous support.

Friday, April 26, 2013

SCRUG April Meeting Summary

Thanks to everyone who attended last night's meeting. Thanks to our sponsors Kelar Pacific, Microdesk, ProGroup & U.S. CAD. Special thanks to Ann Laughlin of LPA for helping with logistics.

Reg Hiebert and Roque DeLa Torre of ISEC displayed some incredibly complex and detailed families for a hospital application, and talked about their process of development and the evolution of this technology, which does involve laser scanning and precise placement of these assemblies using modeled building data.

Randy Sharp shared his insight into process change and described how the roles of architectural project team members must change and what skills they must acquire to successfully perform in a BIM project environment.
"To efficiently work in the BIM environment we must learn new ways to work. New ways to work mean new ways to describe the traditional roles of a project delivery team."
The next SCRUG meeting will be Thursday, May 23rd. Bill Brown's students from Santiago High School will present their Revit work.

Other agenda items to be added. Join SCRUG Local on LinkedIn to stay up to date on meetings, news and other SCRUG events.

Friday, April 12, 2013

SCRUG Meeting Update - April

The April SCRUG Meeting is this Thursday, 6:30 p.m. at SCRUG's former home, LPA in Irvine. The meeting may be recorded for future webcast.

RSVP for the April SCRUG meeting.

At SCRUG, Roque DeLa Torre's presentation, Subcontractor Coordination in the Real Worldwill highlight the fact that implementation must take place throughout the industry. And I guarantee that a few feathers will be ruffled when, in Essential Roles of the BIM/Revit Team, Randy Sharp describes how everyone in the organization must commit to process change. 


I re-launched the SCRUG in part to focus on the home building industry, which has been slower to adapt than other market sectors, and because of the awareness that there are still many firms that are not fully committed and therefore are struggling with BIM implementation.

Revit implementation challenges are the same for everyone involved in this area of architectural practice. BIM adoption was slowed in part because of the efficiency of CAD methods that have evolved over the past decade. These efficiencies were driven by the limitations of CAD and in some cases are opposed to the whole concept of BIM.
Anyone who has used Revit extensively knows that it is more efficient and yields a better product than traditional methods. In contrast, many CAD users do not realize how dramatically that technology has affected our profession, with every efficiency accompanied by invisible costs which may be as intangible as the benefits of BIM, however no less real. The process of Building Information Modeling returns the overall responsibility for design to the architect. Responsibility that has been given away in bits and pieces for the expediency that is demanded by CAD.
Revit implementation requires commitment, perseverance, and encouragement on all levels. While focusing on production and deliverables there must also be an emphasis on moving BIM upstream. The benefits of BIM and Revit are known to all. The real challenge is finding the right approach to training, transition and implementation that provides the confidence users need to overcome the obstacles that are encountered during process change.
A. Jay Holland

Friday, April 5, 2013

April SCRUG Meeting

Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, April 25th. Location to be announced.

Subcontractor Coordination in the Real World

Speaker: Roque DeLa Torre

This presentation is a look at Revit from a construction standpoint, beginning with the process of developing models to full interaction with installation teams working in the field. This is a unique perspective of how Revit can benefit both the design aspect and final implementation of a project, which will highlight the importance of the developing intelligent models that react to project changes.

ISEC Inc. is a specialty interiors subcontractor with offices across the U.S. Roque is a highly accomplished Revit specialist with an international back ground of collaboration with design teams in both Architecture and Construction. Roque's experience extends to Revit Structure and MEP. He is a member of ISEC's Revit development team.

This is a condensed version of the class that Roque will give at the upcoming Revit Technology Conference this July in Vancouver, B.C.

Essential Roles of the BIM/Revit Team

Speaker: Randy Sharp

AEC firms need to evaluate their technology strategies along with their processes and personnel to ensure they have appropriate systems in place to best serve  their organizational needs.

This presentation will feature the use of Navisworks as the primary digital tool for coordination, quality assurance, and construction administration, and emphasize concept that every member of the team must acquire the appropriate skills according to their role in a project.

Randy is a unique Revit early-adopter who has actually swung a hammer for a living, with more than 20 years as a journeyman carpenter and building contractor on both commercial and residential construction. He is a BIM Strategies Specialist who has assisted several firms with their transition from CAD to Revit.
Thanks to our sponsors for their generous support.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Future of SCRUG

I was surprised last month when the LA-RUG user group announced its 2014 Preview to be held in Orange County. I assumed that The Consortium had withdrawn after the re-launch of SCRUG. Their last meeting in O.C. was October 2012.

Why LARUG | OC Exists is an unedited excerpt from an email that I (and many others) received from Jay Zallan, President of LA-RUG, which outlines the intentions of that group. I decided it would be in the best interest of the membership not to hold two conflicting meetings, and gave our full support to the LA-RUG.

The South Coast Revit Users Group has received commitments from our sponsors, Kelar Pacific, Microdesk, ProGroup, and U.S. CAD, to support and expand this group. However, due to the overlap between the two groups, the SCRUG has agreed with Autodesk Territory Manager Chuck Keeley's proposal to share this sponsorship with LA-RUG. 

We will reduce the number of our meetings, skipping every third month, allowing LA-RUG to benefit from the support of our sponsors. I also invite the LA group to collaborate on
 joint SCRUG/LA-RUG meetings, combining presentations from both L.A. and O.C.

The next two SCRUG meetings are tentatively scheduled for April 25th and May 23rd. Location and topics to be announced. I thank everyone for their continued support of the South Coast Revit Users Group, the first and foremost Revit users' group in Orange County.

~A. Jay Holland

Friday, March 29, 2013

Revit 2014

Thanks to all our members who attended the presentation at TAYLOR. Thanks also to the sponsors of the South Coast Revit Users Group, Kelar Pacific, ProGroup, U.S. CAD and especially Microdesk, who agreed to sponsor food for the event on very short notice. Thanks to Scott Davis and the other presenters for their efforts.

The new features and enhancements included Revit 2014 were announced this week. Blogger David Light is known for his coverage each year. Enjoy.

The new features and enhancements are also described on the Autodesk website.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

February Meeting Summary

As shown here, last week's meeting was well attended, although fewer showed up than were expected. None of the food and refreshments was wasted. Thanks again to our sponsors Microdesk, ProGroup, U.S. CAD and Kelar Pacific.

Dan Richardson shared two of his intricately detailed models, and Luis Ashelford's presentation, "Designing your own path to proficiency in Revit
described his learning process and the variety of resources that are available for those who want to learn. Both Dan and Luis are Revit free-lancers and are available to help others who are just getting started, or need additional help. 

Ryan Ghere demonstrated the impressive ASSA ABLOY Openings Studio™ add-on for Revit, and explained that his company provides free assistance with door and hardware schedules and specifications.

recruited these three friends to promote the idea of participation. Among our members who have volunteered to present in the future are Randy Sawn, Don Sutherland, Steve Bennett, and Randy Sharp. 

Our next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, March 28th.

Join SCRUG Local on LinkedIn to receive meeting announcements and other group information.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

SCRUG Sponsors


Last week I met with our sponsors – Kelar Pacific, Microdesk, ProGroup and U.S. CAD – to discuss their continuing support of the South Coast Revit Users Group.

Among the ideas mentioned in this consensus building session were these:
  • The SCRUG is a valuable resource to the local professional community.
  • The primary purpose of SCRUG meetings is networking, it is a place where BIM practitioners at all levels can meet and learn from each other.
  • Every user who attends is already someone’s customer. The etiquette that governs in any business also applies to SCRUG.
  • The goal of transition from CAD to BIM is vigorously supported by SCRUG. Sponsors are encouraged to invite their customers who are in transition to SCRUG meetings and events.
  • Sponsors will support SCRUG’s growth by promoting membership to their customers.
  • Sponsors may assist and support their customer’s presentations to the group.
  • Sponsors may participate with technical presentations to the group.
  • All four sponsors will continue support the group by providing food for meetings in a regular rotation. Microdesk is the February sponsor for food. Beverages and ice will continue on a voluntary basis.
  • KTGY will continue to host the meeting until the seating capacity is exceeded. LPA has agreed to resume as the group’s host whenever necessary. Other meeting locations will be considered. The overwhelming preference is that meetings should be hosted by users rather than vendors.
  • I am personally committed to the advancement of BIM in the single and multi-family housing industry. In the coming months I intend to convene a BIM in Housing round-table event, bringing together architects, owners and builders to discuss the benefits of implementing Building Information Modeling.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

South Coast Revit Users Group - February


The next SCRUG meeting will be held on Thursday, February 28th. All of our presenters are long term members of the group.

Luis Ashelford is a self-trained Revit aficionado who transitioned from a successful career in business to pursue his passion for architecture. He is an expert on the work of famed Southern California architect John Lautner. He is also an amateur astronomer. Luis will display examples of his work and talk about the process of self-training.

Dan R. Richardson is a senior architectural professional with more than twenty-five years of experience. Primarily a self-trained Revit user, Dan’s work exhibits a very high level of expertise and his understanding of the role of BIM in the entire architectural process.

Ryan Ghere is a BIM visionary with a variety of experience in the architecture and construction industries. He is currently a BIM consultant for ASSA ABLOY, a global provider of doors and security solutions. Ryan will present the ASSA ABLOY Openings Studio™ information portal designed exclusively for architects, contractors, distribution, and end user facility owners working in a 3D Building Information Model (BIM) environment.

The ASSA ABLOY "openings" suite of software tools are used for creating, visualizing, extracting, modifying, and exporting door, frame and hardware 3D models and product data for use throughout the design, construction, and facility management processes.  These data rich objects include pricing and specifications, as well as link-outs to other supplemental information such as catalog and technical sheets, installation and maintenance instructions, and LEED and life cycle performance documents.

Web-based, the Openings Studio software application integrates seamlessly with Autodesk Revit® Architecture. The cutting edge configuration tool can be used to analyze and import existing architectural door models and create revised versions containing detailed door, frame, and hardware parameters and data.  These "complete openings" can then be exported back into the BIM project model at various levels of detail at the discretion of the user. Openings Studio users are able to build custom "door family" libraries for use in Pre-Design or Pre-Construction that can be individually tailored to the specific needs of a firm or client.
Sincere thanks to our sponsors Microdesk, ProGroup, U.S. CAD, and Kelar Pacific, and to our host firm KTGY Group, Inc.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Deafening Silence


So far I've received one response to my request for volunteers, from Victor Alvarez-Duran of Danielian Associates. I am posting it here, along with my response.

Hi Jay,

The reason you mentioned is what prompted me and my colleagues to start our own group OCRevitUsersGroup several years ago. Because of the holidays, we haven't met since December. Some of our activities have been organizing training sessions which have been on weekends that focused on fundamentals, intermediate and advanced. Our regular bi-weekly meetings have been set as Q&A and 1 hour training sessions to review modeling solutions based on member feedback. Our member list is comprised of about 45 people from different firms which you have listed below. Attendance may only be a handful, but the response and correspondence among up helps stay ahead of the game.


We used  to do training and Revit fundamentals back when the group was small and most users were on the same level. For Q&A we have had “Stump the Chump” sessions where users cold get specific questions answered.
Now, with a more diverse membership and various skill levels, that is more difficult. Beginners are challenged by advanced topics; advanced users are bored by basic skills training. Also, I personally believe that structured training per se should be handled by the resellers and other sources that are available. There are classes available at OCC, Saddleback, and elsewhere.


Once again, the re-launch of the SCRUG will only succeed if we have participation by our members. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

SCRUG Presenters


The re-launch of the SCRUG will only succeed if we have participation by our members. I've heard that the biggest gripe about meetings in the past was “too many vendor presentations”. That means we need our members to step up and be willing to share their own experiences with Revit and BIM. This means you.

I am reaching out to all who signed up for last month’s meeting to make this small commitment to the success of the group. This includes Revit users at Taylor, MVE, LPA, TCA, BLA, Langdon Wilson, GKK, IDAE, AO, AECOM, WHA, DLR, PSA, DLR, Hidey, Danielian, MulvannyG2, Gensler,  and many others. That is a pretty impressive list. And for free-lancers and those between gigs, this is a great way for you to showcase your skills.

Although I have not yet lined up a presenter for the next meeting, I am simply asking all those who are willing to participate in the future to contact me for further discussion.

Thanks in advance.

A. Jay Holland

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January Meeting Report

Thanks to all those who attended the re-inaugural meeting of the SCRUG. Thank also to our Sponsors Kelar Pacific, Microdesk, ProGroup, and U.S. CAD, and our host KTGY Group, Inc.

An Owner's Perspective on BIM

Louis Navarrete, BIM Manager for Brookfield Homes, presented “An Owners Perspective on BIM”. Brookfield is the unequivocal leader among homebuilders who have embraced Building Information Modeling. Louis emphasized the importance of Brookfield's BIM Guidelines as the means to achieve the results that were desired.

Brookfield’s goals and objectives for BIM include 3D perspectives, virtual clash detection, coordination between disciplines, increased productivity, virtual walkthroughs, more efficient design, improved workflow, consistency of their products, and downstream marketing.

The tools used to achieve these goals include Ideate’s BIM Link, Autodesk Quantity Take-Off, Metal Wood Framer (StrucSoft Solutions) and Stadia, an immersive environment for viewing 3D models.

Ideate’s BIM Link allows users to export and import data between Revit and Excel, facilitating the standardization of data required for QTO.

Autodesk QTO allows cost estimators to create synchronized, comprehensive project views that combine important information from BIM tools together with geometry, images, and data from other sources, export to Microsoft® Excel®, and publish to DWF™ format.

StrucSoft MWF is used by Brookfield for cost analysis in the early stages of project development, and is mandated for use by their engineers in the construction document phase.

Stadia Interactive Rendering is a cloud-based application based on gaming-engine algorithms which provides the ability for real-time walk-throughs in the early stages of design.

Brookfield has also developed a custom export utility (with StrucSoft Solutions) that will eventually be made available to the public.

Revit Development at KTGY

Following the featured presentation, yours truly, Jay Holland, presented an overview of several Revit projects completed or underway at KTGY.

Several projects were presented, with emphasis on the methods for managing projects with multiple building models in a single set of documents.


John Stebbins will be instructing a BIM Structural/MEP class (Arch 157) at OCC beginning January 30th. For more info phone John at 714-865-4712 or register at

Nick Kramer’s BUG-IE group is planning a post-AU meeting featuring top presenters from AU 2012. The event will be held in Pomona, live and by video from user groups in Colorado and Arizona.

~Next Meeting~

The next SCRUG meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, February 21st. Location and topics to be announced.


The SCRUG on LinkedIn has gone global. I have accepted members from around the globe, and our membership now totals more than 500!

To facilitate communication with members in the U.S. Southern California region, I have created the SCRUG Local subgroup.

The purpose of this subgroup is to identify and communicate with members in the Southern California region who will be participating in local user group meetings.

If you are a member of SCRUG on LinkedIn, and reside in the region, please join SCRUG Local.


Welcome to the official blog of the South Coast Revit Users Group. Its purpose is the dissemination of announcements, news, and other items of interest to members of the group.

The South Coast Revit Users Group is the first and foremost Revit user’s group in Southern California. Initiated by well-known BIM strategist Jim Balding nearly a decade ago, we have about 200 active members who meet every month for Revit-related presentations and networking. The history of the group was featured in the premier issue of AUGI-EDGE magazine.

I served as co-chair of the group from 2005 to 2011. Now, after an eighteen month hiatus, I have re-launched the group.

We also have a home page on LinkedIn. Anyone can join to stay informed about meetings and other activities.