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BIMstormô | Build Boston 15 Nov 2007 Part 1


Onuma conducted a live BIMstormô charrette to simulate the building of Boston at the Build Boston Conference. We invite all to participate.

You can follow along by downloading the Revit Files (IFC) Google Earth Files (KML) or selecting the following schemes: Build Boston 1~9 and selecting network link at the bottom of this page:

Participants also were able to build their own BIM and submit it to the charrette by downloading the Excel template here:

One can either follow the BIMstormô in real time or collaborate, as we build out 10 city blocks in Boston in less than an hour.

Build Boston - Building a New World of Architecture
by Mike Bordenaro

Build Boston, the second largest architectural gathering in the United States, focused on the changing design processes enabled by advanced technology. From November 13th - 15th the waterside World Trade Center convention facilities were a hive possibilities.

There was plenty of information about doors, windows, sealants and green roofs for the approximately 15,000 attendees, but the highlights were seminars focused on new ways of practicing architecture.

A full-day Integrated Practice Symposium was kicked off with Autodesk's Phil Bernstein, FAIA outlining "10 Imperatives to Change the World."

A two-day Building Information Model Symposium started with Graphisoft's Patrick Mays, AIA, noting the power of Bernstein's presentation. Also noted was the distance covered since Mays' first AIA regional BIM Seminar in Seattle five years ago.

There was great perspective about rapidly developing changes impacting the future of architectural practice issues such as legal, insurance and education issues. However, one breakthrough presentation showed what is possible now.

It was barely noticed by the majority of those assembled because it seemed so futuristic. But an improvised, live, online demonstration of international architects working on a massive design charrette arbitrarily located across the street from the waterfront conference center took place in one small section of a panel discussion.

In the course of 10 minutes more than 100 people watched a large screen as data from the audience, visuals from Google Earth, data from numerous design and analysis programs and a five-architect, international ensemble improvised a jazzy presentation of how people are making architecture today. The performance slowly built from an Excel spread sheet, to 3D block diagrams in one software program that converted into a 3D building in another program. The ensemble of on-line designers quickly moved data to analysis programs and landed the results on a 3D Google Earth map of the lot across the street from our location on the Boston harbor.

What many say is not possible actually occurred in real time in front of those who attended, "The Future of Architecture" presentation at Build Boston.

Kimon Onuma, AIA, led a team of international architects in the online, interactive, complex design exercise in real time. A week earlier a large software company implied this type of exercise was not possible.

It is not possible with only the software of one company. But Onuma demonstrated that software based on open standards can provide an amazing amount of collaborative assistance for complex design problems - today.

At the end of "The Future of Architecture" two presenters indicated that it was not possible to currently link all the systems presented during the 90-minute presentation. An audience member from software developer Nemetschek then publicly pondered when industry leaders are going to accept that Onuma's approach to open standards is already working.

For example, a similar but more extensive demonstration occurred with the City of Rotterdam from November 20th - 23rd. The Onuma Planning Systemô planning software enabled 60 different designers to share their data in a 3D building model representing more than 3 million square feet of a riverside building complex planned for Rotterdam that was viewed on Google Earth by all remote participants in real time.

Rotterdam had just approved legislation that said all building software must share data on public projects but was not happy with how the data was presented. Within 24 hours of learning about the ONUMA Planning System, 60 designers were sharing data on the web in real time and public officials saw a presentation that satisfied their intention for data-rich visuals that enable consensus decision making.

These demonstrations show that it is already possible to have effective data sharing in deeply meaningful ways with software from Autodesk, Bentley, Graphisoft, Nemetschek, Microsoft Excel and almost all open standards design software.

But Build Boston was the first time Onuma planned an international charrette as part of a conference presentation. At his FIATECH presentation earlier this year, Onuma was inspired to take data from the Smithsonian Institute's presentation immediately preceding his and adjust his presentation to immediately represent their building needs in block diagram form landed on a 3D Google Earth map of Washington, D.C.

At Build Boston, Onuma intended to show a large, international design charrette in real time. After days of slides of complex, multi-screen design "war rooms", animated movies showing buildings rising from the ground, and PowerPoint presentations of successful case studies from the recent past, it was powerful to know what can be done today.

But it wasn't all peace and love among architectural technology fans at Build Boston. A presentation on Building Commissioning unveiled the term "Building Information Missing". This is an appropriate comment on the fact that no single technology provides all the solutions for our complex set of global problems.

However, the term also points to a solution. When very little information is missing and we can visually verify its presence - we will be able to make the best decisions possible at the time.

Linking a series of informed decision making is one of our best options to solve the world of problems we face.

It was encouraging to see a demonstration of one approach to this process live at Build Boston.

2009-10-19 11:26:05
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