Friday, October 20, 2017

October SCRUG Wrap-Up

Thanks to all who attended the October SCRUG.
It was a pleasure to welcome Chris France of Advance2000 to learn about the latest developments AEC Cloud Computing Technology and Virtual Desktop Integration. Thanks to KTGY for hosting the event.
We have held six very successful meetings this year, and we intend to wrap up with SCRUG Holiday Event in mid-December. Visit our blog and SCRUG on LinkedIn to stay informed.
~Allen Jay Holland - SCRUG Chairman
Thanks to our sponsors:
Kelar Pacific - Microdesk - U.S. CAD

Friday, October 6, 2017

October SCRUG - Revit Collaboration Strategies

Working in Revit can be a challenge between different offices of the same firm. It is a nightmare trying to collaborate between 10-30 consulting firms scattered across North America (or the world).
We will look at the “state of technology” and the pros/cons of various strategies for AEC design and construction collaboration. Technologies such as Panzura, Nasuni, Citix, Vmware, C4R, A360, non-Revit design tools, and hybrid/project clouds are just a few that we will discuss.
Chris France, Regional President Advance2000, has specialized in Information Technology for over three decades. He started his career as a software and systems engineer and progressed to program manager of major DOD systems. He worked for IBM, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, and then was CIO at Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, a Charlotte-based design firm.
Chris leads the charge for “private cloud computing” services At Advance2000, and is a published author and speaker on this important business strategy. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from The Ohio State College of Engineering and a master’s degree in business from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

To RSVP visit

Thanks to our sponsors - Kelar Pacific, Microdesk, & U.S. CAD

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

September SCRUG Meeting


Please join me in welcoming Sam Keville as co-organizer of the South Coast Revit Users Group. Originally from Massachusetts, he has been a Californian for ten years, and holds a Bachelor's Degree from Sci-Arc in Los Angeles.

As an example to all, Sam is presenting his own thoughts on a topic, as a basis for further discussion and enlightenment.


Making Money with Revit - Delivering the Promise of BIM

This is a conversation about the current state of BIM: What does it take to deliver a successful project file in 2017?

This talk breaks down medium to large Revit projects as an overview of the team, process, and product.  We dive into some of the most important workflows to deliver a file which is usable by the client, contractor, and firm for future projects.

There will also be a bonus gift share included, so please join us in the discussion.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Welcome to SCRUG Collaborator Sam Keville


Please join me in welcoming Sam Keville as co-organizer of the South Coast Revit Users Group. Originally from Massachusetts, he has been a Californian for ten years, and holds a Bachelor's Degree from Sci-Arc in Los Angeles.

His early career focus in work has been as a designer, 3D modeler, team leader, and visualizer, experienced in competition-style deadlines and producing large amounts of iterative design assets in a limited time.

His goal is to connect architecture and technology while using the most cutting-edge modes of representation in meaningful and progressive design processes.

His practical skills include computational design, 3D modeling, content creation, rendering, and digital fabrication. Sam is currently working on campus style projects at AO, using Revit to improve communication and coordination between design and production teams.

Sam promises to utilize his BIM expertise as well as his irreverent attitude to assist the revitalization of the group.

Allen Jay Holland

Friday, July 28, 2017

August SCRUG Meeting - dRofus


Everyone knows that BIM is all about information. We have also learned that populating a Building Information Model with that information does not happen automatically. The ideal that has been envisioned by BIM developers and academics is that the model can eventually evolve into a tool that can be used to manage its real-world counterpart, and even that they remain connected in some way.

It's difficult to learn (and then to advocate) that the process of populating the model is not additional work. This change from "the way we are doing it now" is very disruptive. People must learn new skills. Is it that or be replaced?

Room Data Sheets are summary views containing both graphics and data for specific rooms or room types and may be required by some clients. Among their uses is to facilitate program validation. Does the design satisfy the program?

Architectural Programming is an aspect of design in which few people now can participate. It is "the research and decision-making process that identifies the scope of work to be designed." An architectural program is a list (schedule) of the owner's requirements, developed independently or in collaboration with the design team. Unfortunately, most team members join the process after the design is already "frozen". And sometimes the decisions that contribute to a building's evolution may get lost or overlooked. 

This should not be so. This is, after all, one of the Big Ideas of BIM. All the information in one place. Throughout the building life-cycle.

These are some of the aspects of design addressed by dRofus.
"dRofus is a unique planning, data management and BIM collaboration tool. dRofus provides all stakeholders with comprehensive workflow support and access to building information throughout the building lifecycle."
Technical manager Brok Howard will present an overview of the platform and a deeper look into its interaction with Revit.

Join us Thursday, August 17th at six o'clock p.m. (Location TBA) for this interesting event.

Allen Jay Holland

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.
Register on Anyvite to receive meeting notices via email.

Thanks again to our sponsors Kellar-Pacific, Microdesk, US CAD, and our host LPA, Inc.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

BIM Planning and LoD

For members not familiar with BIM planning, it is the process of developing and documenting the various responsibilities of the stakeholders involved in a BIM project.

As defined in the Penn State guide, the stages of BIM planning are:

  • Identify BIM Goals and Uses
  • Design the BIM Project Execution Process
  • Develop Information Exchanges
  • Define the Supporting Infrastructure for BIM Implementation

Level of Detail vs. Level of Development

The LoD concept was developed by VICO Software for construction cost estimation. Faced with the problem of determining how accurate, or how definitive, were the model elements to which they wished to assign costs, they developed the concept they called "Level of Detail".

  • LOD 100 meant not very definitive (an area or volume rate is accurate enough)
  • LOD 200 assume the number of items in the model is correct, but use an estimate for each,
  • LOD 300 items are identified and actual cost can be used,
  • LOD 400 is a measure what has actually been supplied so can be used to assess payments.

In developing E203, the AIA decided to apply this system to all uses of a BIM model, from energy analysis to 5D programming. They renamed it "Level of Development" as an indication of the decisiveness of the information, because "Level of Detail" could get confused with the amount of information.

The LoD challenge

The purpose of an LoD table is to tell stakeholders what information they CAN USE. It is a measure of the certainty, or confidence, of that information. LoD typically varies according to project stage - but not always. LoD requirements may also vary among different BIM uses, to be recorded in the BIM plan, and appended to consultant and owner agreements, so that all project participants understand their responsibilities.

In the templates provided by Penn State, the Model Definition (MOD) table provides a breakdown of model elements against project stages. The author of each model element is recorded here, with attention given to when certain elements are handed off to others.

The Information Exchange (IE) table lists the same model element breakdown against the various BIM Uses that have been previously defined in the plan.

The first time I encountered this task, I admit to having the same incredulous reaction as BIM blogger Antony McPhee:
"Are they serious when they say every model element type has to be listed with it's own author and LOD? And use Uniformat or Omniclass or Masterformat? It is not just the massive amount of work to do it, who will ever refer to it? Do they really think the mechanical engineer is going refer to it to find out if he has to model duct work because some-one else might be going to do it?"

When I noticed the announcement of LOD Planner, I was intrigued. Clive Jordan was with VICO when the LoD concept was developed. His recent work with "a large real estate owner" provided the inspiration for a tool that would simplify this arduous task. In his case study:

  • 53% fewer clashes compared to the control project
  • 98% of constructability issues solved vs only 31% on the control project
  • 2 month saving on project duration with a higher quality output.

Sometime in our near future our BIMs (models and data) will become the primary deliverable for building and development projects. Owners will insist on receiving their data in a form that is useful and reusable.

The South Coast Revit Users Group will convene on Thursday, February 2nd, featuring a presentation of LOD Planner by BIM pioneer Clive Jordan.

To RSVP go to

Monday, January 16, 2017

SCRUG LinkedIn Contact Settings

We use LinkedIn Groups as the primary database for SCRUG membership because members are responsible for keeping their own info updated, and are likely to do so whenever changing jobs (and email addresses).

To assure that you will be notified about meetings and other events, please check your Group Contact Settings:

Go to

  • Click on the "gear" icon and select 'Group Settings'.
  • Make sure your email address is current.
  • Select the 'Announcements' check box to receive email notifications.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

February SCRUG Meeting


The South Coast Revit Users Group will reconvene on Thursday, February 2nd, featuring a presentation by BIM pioneer Clive Jordan, Founder and CEO of LOD Planner.

In 2004 Vico Software (then a division of Graphisoft) began work on a Model Progression Specification (MPS). Webcor Builders teamed with Vico to further develop the concept, and then brought it to the technology subcommittee of the AIA California Council’s Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Task Force. The AIA National Documents Committee adopted the approach, provided further development, and incorporated it into E202, published in 2008. (See The Paths to BIM Nirvana)

The core of the MPS is the LOD definitions – descriptions of the steps through which a BIM element can logically progress from the lowest level of conceptual approximation to the highest level of representational precision. As explained by favorite BIM blogger Antony McPhee, “LOD, as in "Level of Development", is a measure of how seriously you take the information represented by a BIM element. It is not necessarily a measure of the amount of information.”

The significance of LOD to SCRUG members may follow market sector involvement and other local conventions, including the surprising lack of emphasis on formal BIM planning, as revealed in last fall’s (admittedly small sampling) survey of the group’s BIM maturity.

“LOD Planner is a cloud-based web application dedicated to easily planning the required geometry, accuracy and information for BIM projects. LOD Planner combines this approach with traditional classification structures, rich BIM images and a Lean project delivery approach.”

Previously, Clive served as BIM and Process Integration Leader at The Irvine Company and was with Vico Software (now part of Trimble) during the time when the groundwork for intelligent BIM was being laid.

To RSVP go to

~Allen Jay Holland

Download a copy of the 2016 LOD Specification

References and additional info: