Review: Mastering Autodesk Revit Architecture

As previously referred on a previous post (Building Information Modelling (BIM)), Autodesk Revit Architecture is a pretty easy software to learn how to use regarding Building Information Modelling, however, not everything you want to learn will be clear on this software.

You have two options when you get stuck figuring out a way to do something on Revit; 1st option is to keep staring on the screen until the way to do something will magically come in your mind or you will read about it somewhere, whether that is the internet, a video in youtube or a book.

This post will be a review of the book 'Mastering Autodesk Revit Architecture', which is highly recommended if you want to learn to use Autodesk Revit and chose option 2 and read about how to use it rather than stare at the screen.

I am aware of the fact that watching youtube videos is an efficient and fast enough way to learn how to use any software and I agree with that way, but I personally have been trying to learn off youtube how to use Revit but not everything you want to find out will be there, as there are a lot of things you need to cover to the point that you will be creating, not only models, but also all kinds of drawings.

I firstly loaned the book from my library to finish off a design I was doing on Revit and I found it t be very useful.
Cover of Mastering Autodesk Revit Architecture 2014
The book is written by James Vandezande, Phil Read and Eddy Krygiel. It is written in a such a way that it is easy to understand and learn rapidly. And even though the book is really thick, the appendix on the back provides a massive help to find what you need.

After my loan has expired and had to return the book I found myself in immediate need of that specific book and I ended up buying it, and I don't usually buy books if I am not sure I will need them, but this book you won't just need it, it's not just a must-have for Architectural Technician, it's a goldmine.

Sewage Treatment: Contain, Use & Reuse

It's been a long time since there was a post about sustainable development technologies and this is going to be one of those posts.

The sustainable technology that this post will be discussing is the sewage treatment. This type of technology is based on the principle 'Contain, Use and Reuse'. It's all about using the water again and again avoiding any pollution of the environment and the waste of precious water.

How this system works is that the water used from the tap, which is drinkable, is filtered and stored in a tank after it is being used for the dishes etc. Then, the water from the tank goes through pipes that pass from the shower, tap in the bathroom and the washing machine to be used there for a second time (not a drinkable water but clean enough for cleaning and bathing) and after that the same water again is being used for flashing the toilet, being used for watering the plants.

A sketch which shows the same principle of the sewage treatment
The method described above, is one of the many possible orders that the water can be used (and the most logical, the water for flashing the toilet always being the last would be ideal in all circumstances). 

This method, however, is not the same every time as it is a principle. What I mean by this is that from this idea, many other where born which are basically about reusing water in an efficient way to avoid the waste of water and the pollution of the environment. One example of the principle used is in the picture below which shows the sink connected to the toilet, the water that will be used from the tap will go through the sink and be stored in the tank of the toilet to be used for flashing it. (Designed from ROCA)


Normally there is only one post every week, but there is going to be a small exception to this rule that we have and make another post. The reason why I am doing this exception is because if i post this next week it is going to be already too late.

Yesterday I received an announcement on me e-mail about a lecture that will be taking place in London South Bank University regarding Building Information Modelling.

You would think that this is not as important as it sounds or that you are fed up attending to evening lectures that are not directly connected to your course etc., but that might change your mind when you learn that this lecture is actually committed by RIBA.

The fact that the lecture is sponsored by RIBA doesn't mean that it's the only reason for somebody to attend. Building Information Modelling is the new technology that professionals in the construction industry will be using for collaborating in a project with a lot of people. It is very important for students to get to know about BIM and learn to use it in their projects as it is going to be a highly required skill in the future.

The event will take place in Keyworth Centre Building at London South Bank University on the 5th of December at 19:30.

To register for attendance you need to send an e-mail at ribasouthlondonbranch@gmail.com
There is going to be an entrance fee of £5. Even though everyone would prefer to go for free, five pounds is not that much to spend.

Spacemaker VR

Scrolling down my FaceBook news feed, I came across a blog post by ArchDaily about a new way to present your BIM models to your clients.

The Spacemaker VR is a new way to present your projects and designs to your clients making them feel the exact space of your design as well as feel like they are in it. It can view any of your 3D files such as .3ds, .ac, .bsp, .dae, .dwg, .dxf, .fbx, .flt, .gem, .geo, .iv, .ive, .lw, .lwo, .lws, .logo, .md2, .obj, .ogr, .osg, .shp, .sta, .stl, .wrl, .x.

The software comes with oculus goggles where you can view the model. By moving your head up and down, and any direction the model also moves. That way the new technology will give the viewer the sense of space. The software together with the oculus goggles costs approximately £300 ($500).

View the video below to get a better idea on how the new technology works.

The Details of Modern Architecture Volume 1 & 2

Two books that are great to add in your collection is definitely The Details of Modern Architecture. It comes in two volumes, the first volume covers the period 1890-1932 and the second volume covers the period between 1928-1988. Both of the books were published in 2003.

The author, Edward R. Ford, provides comprehensive analysis of both the technical and the aesthetic importance of details in the development of architecture as well as explaining the detailing and construction techniques that distort, camouflage, or enhance a building. He discusses critical details from a technical and contextual standpoint, considering how they perform how they add to or detract from the building as a whole, and how some have persisted and been adapted through time.

Engineering & Construction Recruitment Exhibition 2013

The Engineering & Construction Recruitment Exhibition is going to take place in Birmingham in the 29th and 30th of November.

It is a great opportunity for students and  young professionals to break into the business as a lot of recruiters are going to be there.

For more information about the event visit: http://goo.gl/gnkWDm

You need to register (open an account) with https://www.engineerjobs.co.uk/ and you are going to receive a registration code through e-mail, make sure you save it as they are going to require that in the entrance.

Venue Adress:

Hall 11
National Exhibition Centre
B40 1NT

The Bauhaus Movement

After a long time of posting, this post will be discussing the Bauhaus movement. You would think why an Architectural Technologist would care about the movements in the history of architecture, but in fact an Architectural Technician is like an Architect meets Engineer meets Surveyor etc.

Therefore a Technician needs to know about the previous movements in the history of architecture in order to be able to design, and since the Bauhaus movement was all about marrying technology and design.

The Bauhaus movement is, however, very connected with the technology of architecture and design as it aimed to combine crafts and arts together. It was mainly about designing furniture and different home items using steel structure and technologies that could make the life of an occupier much easier, in a way.

The Bauhaus Institute in Weimar
Walter Gropius was the founder of the Bauhaus movement in Weimar, Germany in 1919. The aim that Gropius had was to connect art, design and the industry of architecture. The Bauhaus was a school where students both theoretical and practical learning. Part of practical learning was ceramics, mural, stained glass, typography and even dance and theatre was part of the students’ learning. The idea was to design and manufacture beautiful and practical products. Gropius was inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th century and Gropius aimed to bring artists and craftspeople together.

The reason why Gropius wanted to build a bridge between craftspeople and artists is because machines would be used a lot in the future and therefore he wanted to embrace technological developments.

The interior of the Bauhaus school in Dessau
Image taken by Matthew G. Beall Photography | Bauhaus Sairs and Windows | 2012
The Ministry of Education placed the staff on six months contracts and cut the fundings to half, that led to the closure of the Bauhaus, which was announced from the end of March 1925. After that the Bauhaus school moved to Dessau.

The movement of the school from Weimar to Dessau affected the direction of the school on a high level. Walter Gropius chose Hennes Meyer to be the next director in 1928 of the school, which he would later regret this decision. The new director of the school encouraged the design of wallpapers and textiles, lamps and furniture. Meyer, later on created a big conflict by forcing the resignation of few instructors of the school as well as encouraging the formation of a Communist student organization, involving the school to be part of political differences that were taking place at that time in Germany. This became a threat to the existence of the school as well as the personal safety of the students and the staff. Gropius eventually fired Hennes Meyer in 1930 due to a sexual scandal that Meyer was involved in with one of his students.

The third and last director of the Bauhaus was Ludwig Mies van der Rohe where he managed to eliminate the politics and brought back the basic principles of the Bauhaus and was moved to Berlin. The school was closed in April of 1933 and in July of the same year the master’s council decided not to reopen the institute due to the conditions caused by the National Socialists because of the many and sometimes politically desperate compromises in the past years.

Barcelona Chair: A typical example of a Bauhaus work by Mies van der Rohe
After the closure of the institute and the end of the movement’s era, the Bauhaus wasn’t completely erased from history. In 1999 the Bauhaus Dessau College organized postgraduate programs that was accepting international participants. It has been supported ever since from the Bauhaus-Dessau Foundation, a public institution founded in 1994. But it doesn’t end there, the American Art School rediscovered the Bauhaus school. The Master Craftsman Program in Florida bases its artistic philosophy on Bauhaus.

The Bauhaus movement also had a massive impact in architecture, mainly in Western Europe, USA and Israel. The openness, clean lines and simplicity described the Bauhaus as ‘the international style’, which influenced generations of architects along side with other movements such as De Stijl and the Russian Avant Garde. Ever since the movement, the machine was considered as a positive element, as industrial and product design were important components, as well as being one of the most important contributors in the field of modern furniture design producing furniture using modern technology, an important example is the Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe as also referred previously, which is one of the most iconic pieces of the Bauhaus that illustrated the bridging between art, design and machine production.

The CITA BIM Gathering

This is especially for the viewers from Ireland! (Or whoever can travel to Ireland for the specific event)

I received an invite from the CITA BIM Group from twitter regarding the event they are hosting of an integrated 2 day BIM Conference Leveraging Building Information Modelling to Create Cultural and Lean Transformation of the AEC Sector as part of the Irish Government's 2013 Gathering Initiative on the 14th and the 15th of November

For more information regarding the gathering and how you can register if you are interested to attend visit their website: http://gathering.cita.ie

The Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Roher

The Barcelona Pavilion, originally named as the German Pavilion, was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as the face of Germany for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. The pavilion was designed to represent the German section and would host King Alphonso XIII of Spain along with the German authorities.

The Barcelona Pavilion (reconstructed)
In Mies’ eyes, the pavilion was nothing more than a building, it wouldn’t host art or any sculptures inside it. The pavilion would be a place to escape from the exposition transforming the pavilion into a sculpture itself.

After the International Exhibition has closed, the pavilion was brought down in 1930. The Barcelona Pavilion has set a milestone not only for Mies’ career but also for the 20th century architecture.

Because of the significance of the Pavilion they decided to reconstruct the building. The pavilion was reconstructed in 1980 by Oriol Bohigas, the head of the Urban Planning Department at the Barcelona City Council. Architects Ignasi de Solá-Morales, Cristian Cirici and Fernando Ramos researched, designed and supervised the reconstruction of the pavilion. In 1986 the pavilion was finished and open in the same site as it was originally constructed. For the reconstruction of the pavilion there was used the exactly same materials that were originally used for the pavilion in 1929.

The pavilion’s design is based on a formulaic grid system developed by Mies that serves both as the patterning of the travertine pavers and also as an underlying framework that the wall systems work. The Barcelona Pavilion has a low horizontal orientation, which is established from the low flat roof that appears to cover both the interior as well as the exterior of the pavilion.

The low height of the building can be said that forces the visitors to focus their vision to adjust to the views framed by Mies. The walls that are offset inside of the pavilion encourages the movement of the visitors enabling them to walk through the pavilion at take them from the small openings to open spaces.

There are two pools in garden of the pavilion, one small and one bigger pool. Both of the pools are establishing the reflection of the light throughout the pavilion. The small pool is located in the rare side of the interior space, which helps the light to reflect inside the pavilion and illuminate on the marble. The larger pool stretches across the rest of the plinth, which compliments the volume.

The materials used for the pavilion are glass, chrome, steel and four different kind of marble: Roman travertine, green Alpine marble, ancient green marble from Greece and golden onyx from the Atlas Mountains.

A 3D model of the internal space of the Barcelona Pavilion showing the materials used for the pavilion including the marbles.

For more detailed information about the Barcelona Pavilion and Mies van der Rohe himself visit http://goo.gl/BiWL8p