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TM Internal Collaboration.......Lessons Learned Neil Munro OPUS Architecture.

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Presentation on theme: "TM Internal Collaboration.......Lessons Learned Neil Munro OPUS Architecture."— Presentation transcript:

1 TM Internal Collaboration Lessons Learned Neil Munro OPUS Architecture

2 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Overview Opus International Consultants are one of the largest multi discipline consultancies in New Zealand. The building sector within Opus consists of Architects, Structural Engineers and Building Services Engineers located in offices throughout NZ. Opus recently made the decision that Autodesk Revit would be the principle design & documentation tool throughout the building sector. The implementation of Revit throughout the different disciplines is at different stages so with this in mind it was decided that to help up skill users we would document a large multi discipline project using only Autodesk Revit. The Project This project was large and complex in nature, it involved 4 different sites throughout New Zealand and within each site there was around 10 separate sub projects.

3 Revit Technology Conference 2010 The Teams Because of the scale and location of the projects staff resourcing was spread amongst the following 7 offices: Auckland - Architects + Building Services Hamilton - Architects + Building Services Rotorua - Architects Napier - Architects Palmerston North - Structures + Building Services Wellington - Christchurch - Architects + Building Services Structures + In total there was around 30 Revit users from all disciplines working Collaboratively + Structures

4 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Lessons Learned When setting up a complex multi discipline project there are 5 categories that need to be addressed. 1. Project Setup and Management 2. Revit Knowledge 3. Hardware / IT Limitations 4. Documentation 5. Communication

5 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Project Setup and Management With a project as complex as this one we did not have clear protocols in place, including the need for and a work description for a Revit Manager. If a Revit Manager was in-place at the project start up stage a large number of the issues on this project could have been avoided. Revit Manager Below is a list of some of the main responsibilities of a Revit Manager Determining the best method of setting up the project up Ownership of Revit models Liaising with Project Manager’s on resourcing Revit support / help desk On large scale projects there might be a requirement to have Revit Managers in-place for each discipline, on smaller projects the Revit Manager role could be done by one of the more experienced Revit users on the project.

6 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Project Setup and Management One of the first duties for the Revit Manager is to determine how the project is going to be set up, best practice methods should be followed where possible. Project Setup Issue No 1. For each site only one model was created, this model had the site plan information and all the existing buildings individually modeled. Best Practice. Each of the existing buildings should have been modeled individually then linked into a separate site plan model. Outcome. Each of the existing building models had to be cut and pasted into their own separate models. This was a time consuming exercise as all 2D data was lost during the process of cutting & pasting.

7 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Project Setup and Management Issue No 2. The location of Revit Central files, all central files were located on a single office server, and this caused major time delays in opening and working on local files because of the various WAN bandwidths between all the other offices and Hamilton. Opus at the time of this contract did not have WAN accelerators in-place. Best Practice. Because we didn’t have WAN accelerators installed all the teams should have worked locally then at set dates uploaded current models to either a FTP web site or to the Hamilton server. By doing this the Revit users would have been able to work at normally with no time delays. Outcome. Unfortunately the project had very tight deadlines so it was deemed that it would cause to many issues to relocate all the central files, even today to open one of the 30mb central files it takes around 30 minutes.

8 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Project Setup and Management Issue No 3. Either the decision was not fully communicated or instructions were ignored as to the preferred way of modeling collaboratively, on this project both of these methods were adopted. Best Practice. A Revit Manager would have made the decision of what method was going to be best practice for the project environment taking into consideration WAN speeds etc. Outcome. Because both methods were being adopted it caused confusion between users and disciplines. 1.All disciplines working within one single central file. 2.All disciplines working independently with their own central files, with all models being linked to each other. +

9 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Ownership of Revit Models Issue. No one person knew everybody who was working on the project; central files were copied, deleted, renamed and moved. The knock on effect of this was huge with users either having to constantly create new local files or even worse some users continued to work on out of date local files, a total communication breakdown. Best Practice. A Revit Manager would assume control/ownership of the Revit central files, if a new central file was needed then the Revit Manager would first notify all the users working on that project to save back to central and to stop working whilst a new central file was created after which an instruction would be issued for all users to create a new local file. Outcome. Even though a Revit Manager was eventually appointed, Opus at that time did not have a protocol in place that listed all the responsibilities and procedures the Revit Manager had to follow, therefore no-one identified the need for single ownership of the Revit models for all disciplines and therefore individuals had to try and sort the problem out themselves.

10 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Liaising With Project Manager’s on Resourcing Issue. With having more than 30 Revit users from 3 disciplines and from 7 different offices no one person knew exactly who was working on what so if there was an issue with a central file or if someone had locked out a workset it was a major exercise to find out who was currently working on that project to notify them of the issue. Best Practice. By liaising with the Project Managers on resourcing the Revit Manager should have a constant up to date list of who is working on what, therefore communication between the team would become easier and more efficient. Outcome. Unfortunately there was not successful outcome as the Revit Manager was not appointed at the appropriate time and once appointed he did not have a protocol in-place to guide him in his responsibilities, therefore no one person knew exactly who was working on what and a knock on effect was that we lost a huge amount of time trying to locate users to notify them of any issues.

11 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Revit Support / Help Desk Issue. No consistent answers for problems, without a Revit Manager and therefore one point of contact users were getting different answers to solve common issues that occurred. Even when a Revit Manager was appointed users did not use this person as a single source for answering queries therefore some common issues went under the radar and the same issue had to be answered numerous times. Best Practice. By having the Revit Manager as a point of contact you can manage any issues more consistently, a database of issues could be generated then circulated within the teams so that everyone knew of the issue and the solution. Outcome. Fortunately this time Opus has an excellent in-house Practice Interest Network (PIN) where users can obtain answers to queries from all subscribers to the various PIN’s, therefore giving each user a large resource for getting queries answered quickly.

12 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Revit Knowledge Issues. Hindsight Solutions. i. The Revit models were not set up properly at the start of the project. ii.Revit users working in the central file. iii.Revit users not Relinquishing Worksets. iv.Revit users renaming Central Files and not notifying other team members. v.Project Managers blaming Revit for all the delays. a.Item 1could have been avoided if an appropriate experienced Revit user was involved in the project at the start, along with a project start-up protocol. b.Items 3, 4 & 5, a short training session as to how to work in a workset environment that involves multi offices would have avoided most mistakes and by having a Revit Manager taking ownership of the Revit models he or she would be able to detect early when issues arise. c.Project Managers need to understand how Revit works, Revit has different work flows than CAD, once PM’s have a better understanding they will be able to program deliverables more accurately.

13 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Hardware / IT Issues Issue. Most of the hardware issues raised by Revit users on this project related to PC performance, this was actually a misconception as the specification of the Revit workstations used on this project exceeds Autodesk’s system requirements. The issue was WAN performance was hindering the user, the band width between the offices was not good enough to handle the traffic created by hosting all central files on one office server, the result was users had to wait at least 20 minutes for local files to open, reload latest, save to central etc. Hindsight Solution. The above highlights how important it is to have an experienced Revit user or users set up complex projects, in hindsight Revit users should have worked locally then either uploaded Revit models or DWF/PDF to a FTP site or to a central office server at regular set intervals, Opus now has protocols in place to guide users. Another solution would have been to install WAN accelerators; if this solution was in-place for this project then the way the project was set up by having all the central files on one server would have worked. Good Practice. When working on multi discipline projects you must ensure that all users from all disciplines are using the same build of Revit, no matter if it is Architecture, Structures or MEP.

14 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Documentation General Statement. Revit is not AutoCAD and we should not attempt to try and force Revit documentation to look like as if it was done using AutoCAD. Issues. There were two issues regarding documentation. 1. The most common issue was the quality of the contents of the documentation. Good Practice. Project Managers must ensure that they allow for adequate documentation reviews. 2. The other issue was that the output drawings looked as though they drawn by 7 separate companies, users seemed to have ignored templates and protocols established early in the project. When working on in-house multi discipline projects you must have a documentation protocol in-place that covers all disciplines so that the output drawings comply with the protocol and therefore look as though one person has modeled or drawn everything. Users must realize the importance of following protocols and templates.

15 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Communication Issues. Because a Revit Manager was appointed mid way through the contract and he didn’t have a protocol to follow some instructions weren’t filtered throughout the team. One of the responsibilities of a Revit Manager is to keep everyone in on the communication loop. An example of breakdown of communication on this project was a documentation change was made by the Project Managers and an instruction went out to all disciplines but some ignored it therefore the instruction was not filtered throughout the full team. Therefore you had the annotation within the Architectural drawings with a text height of 2.5mm and the other disciplines were using 3.5mm. General Statement. Communication within the various teams is essential; some large organisations even relocate staff so that the whole multi discipline team are sitting together throughout the duration of the project.

16 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Communication Good Practice. There are now numerous ways to improve real-time communication between disciplines listed below are some different options. 1. Internet / intranet Project Management, e.g. ProjectCentre 2. Internet base messenger services, e.g. MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger 3. Autodesk are developing a product which has a Lab name of Project Bluestreak, this will be a web based collaboration environment accessed by project group members.

17 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Summary For large multi discipline projects you must ensure that you have the following in-place. 1. Revit or BIM Manager, this should be compulsory on these types of projects. 3. Staff resourcing so that all disciplines have the adequate experience to work in this environment, it may mean some additional training to up skill users. 4. The project should be set up in an appropriate way to suit hardware/ IT limitations. 5. A documentation protocol should be in-place that covers all disciplines. 2. A protocol that guides the Revit Manager in his or her responsibilities.

18 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Positives, Things That Worked Well It might be hard to believe that there were positives! 1. The project was designed and fully documented within the very tight timelines set by the client. 2. Staff could see the benefits of all disciplines working together in a model environment. 3. Revit knowledge gained from the experience was invaluable for all team members. Lessons Learned….

19 Revit Technology Conference 2010 Neil Munro Questions


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