“Green” BIM Webinar: Low Energy Building Design for New Projects and Retrofits with GRAPHISOFT EcoDesigner

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Architects know that sustainability is the most important trend in architecture and construction today. Discover how GRAPHISOFT’s award-winning EcoDesigner can help your design decisions by providing precise forecasts about the annual total and specific energy consumption, monthly energy balance, and carbon footprint of your project.

This webinar will take place Tuesday, March 1 between 12:00pm and 1:00pm (New York, EST) and also between 8:00am and 9:00am (London, GMT). A spanish language webinar will also take place on Tuesday, March 8 between 5:00pm and 6:00pm (Madrid, CET).

Register at: www.graphisoft.com/green-bim

Using BIM to design a ‘Net Zero’ home

Courtesy of John Zona III

In nature, nothing is perfectly square, and organisms orient themselves by the sun. Both truths explain the fresh design of the “net zero” Zona home.

The Jacksonville, Florida, residence, designed using software from , the personal home of by architect John Zona III and his wife. It features a main residence and guest cottage/studio, both with American football-shaped footprints to minimize the considerable cooling demands of homes in Southern climes.

Webinar: BIM & Single-Family Residential: Using Technology to Lower Costs, Speed Construction, and Improve Performance

While building information modeling (BIM) is traditionally thought of as being effective on large, complex projects, more and more architects are also using it on single-family residential projects to lower costs, speed construction process, and make better-performing, greener buildings. Hear from architects using BIM for residential work about the benefits-and some of the challenges.

Learning Objectives:

• Discuss how BIM can be used to improve the design and construction process.
• Explain how BIM can be used to make better-performing buildings.
• Identify the advantages to implementing a BIM-enabled process on smaller projects.
• Discuss challenges to implementing a BIM-enabled process on smaller projects.

The will take place next February 17, from 2:00 to 3:00pm EST. For more information and registration, click here.

Overlay 2D AutoCAD DWG on Google Maps with AutoCAD WS

Courtesy of Shaan Hurley

AutoCAD WS is a program that is available for free and only requires a browser such as Safari, IE, Chrome, or Firefox with Flash installed.  It allows users to upload, edit, markup, and share in real-time with DWG files, while also uploading and storing files such as  ZIP, Doc, and PDF files.  It also gives users control over who can download and views drawings that have been uploaded.

First launched in October 2010, it has another useful feature that many users are unfamiliar with which allows users to overlay their AutoCAD DWG files over existing Maps in any of the standard views types:  Street, Satellite, Hybrid and Terrain.    This tool adds context to your plans and gives a more precise reading of your drawings an designs in existing site conditions in real-time.

More after the break. (more…)

A Holistic Perspective in Sustainable Construction Projects

Even during the construction process, the surrounding vegetation is handled with much care. Green roofs will provide insulation and wildlife habitat

Truly sustainable construction projects do not solely focus on environmental performance, but also incorporate aspects of innovation, economic feasibility, architectural quality and above all social impact. These so-called five target issues serve as the basis for the adjudication process of the competition for sustainable construction projects and visions. Naturally, each project has its own focus, but to be successful in the competition they have to perform well in all five target issues.


ARmedia Augmented Reality Plugin 2.0 has been released

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Inglobe Technologies released last week the new version 2.0 of the ARmedia Augmented Reality Plugin for Google SketchUp and Autodesk 3ds Max, after presenting a preview of the software at the Google 3D Basecamp 2010.

Thanks to AR-media™ Plugin v2.0 architecture, engineering, construction firms and professionals can now enjoy the potential of Augmented Reality technology by means of a plenty of new and useful features inside their preferred 3D modeling software.

ARmedia Plugin’s Augmented Reality allows AEC professionals to visualize and study their 3D creations directly in the physical space that surrounds them through a suitable visualization interface.

The new version of the software enhances and completely replaces the former ones by adding new and useful features that allow users to design complex and astonishing Augmented Reality scenes, and to manage a variety of parameters that are crucial in the workflow of every AR project.

For more information, including a trial version of the software, click here.

ArchDaily on Google Chrome

Our favorite browser is now Google Chrome. It works on every platform here at the office (Mac, Windows, Linux), it’s fast, secure, easy to use, helps you search the web and makes our life easier.

We also developed an extension for Chrome so you can see the latest projects featured at ArchDaily straight on your browser just as you can see on the image above. To install the extension just go to the Google Chrome Extensions link, click the Install button and follow the instructions.

If you want to further customize your Google Chrome, you can try the Michael Graves or Karim Rashid themes designed especially for the browser.

Happy browsing.

Webinar: Bridging Continents – Online BIM Collaboration around the World

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Our profession is based upon collaboration, and tools like BIM have made it easy even on a broader scale, allowing teams to collaborate around the globe on the same project. Graphisoft will host a with 22 architects working on the same model so you can see how it works.

The Webinar will take place Tuesday, November 23. You can register and find out more in the official website.

How Architects Work in the Current Times

DesignJet -

“What defines the Internet is its social architecture. It’s the living environment that counts, the live interaction, not just the storage and retrieval procedure.” -Geert Lovink, 2005

Last week we were invited to the HP Designjet Launch and BIG’s House 8 Presentation. The experience was really striking, because being there with some other architects and bloggers, made us think about how work systems are changing so fast, that some times is difficult to even notice them until you find yourself inside that system, working and sharing information without any limitations.

That made us re-think about what social networks and web 2.0 are doing in the field of architectural production. All the new tools we’re discovering every day, make the practice more collaborative and open. Some months ago, we wrote in a guest post for Ymag:

Now communication is more dynamic and also it may be a little bit confusing because of that. With blogs actualized every single day and using social networks as facebook and twitter, architects may have a personal contact in between them, with the users of their buildings and also with researchers that are working on new materials and constructive solutions.


‘Prefab-ulous’ Classrooms Ease Disruption of School Renovation


As if learning in the classroom weren’t challenging enough, school renovations can disrupt teachers who are trying to teach and kids who are trying to learn. Too often during a renovation project, students are displaced into shaky mobile-home-style classrooms and/or packed into gyms and music rooms.

© Kris Celtnieks

Recent Oregon graduate Kris Celtnieks has an answer for these problems. His full-size pre-fabricated temporary school building would be a middle ground between stable, permanent space and the shanty feel of mobile classrooms. His buildings would be quickly assembled on vacant spaces near schools under renovation, providing learning-friendly space with good acoustics, pleasant lighting, and a solid framework. They could be quickly configured to the site and sized for enrollment. When renovations are complete, they could be disassembled and infinitely reused. As conceived, they feature a fabric roof, adjustable microclimate, and a self-contained waste-processing system.


Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac video tutorials

As we told you earlier, Autodesk for Mac is now shipping and you can download a free trial.

After the break you will find more videos to get started on this new version. Happy drafting!


Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac now available

A few months ago we told you that for Mac would be available on October. We just found out that it started shipping today, and you can also download a full 30-day trial. Students can also download a free version.

Anyone already using it? Share your thoughts on the comments section!

Real Time Sharing is POWER. And EFFICIENCY. And PRODUCTIVITY: The Open Collaboration Webcast

The originator of the virtual building concept, GRAPHISOFT hosts a free one-hour webcast – “Real Time Sharing is POWER. And EFFICIENCY. And PRODUCTIVITY: The Open Collaboration Webcast” on October 21st.

The will show that Open Design Collaboration with enables the AEC industry to work like they want to right now. It is Interoperability Redefined, so that architecture and engineering teams can collaborate using their own BIM models in a dynamic IFC based workflow. Come see engage intelligent data exchange with Revit Structure, Tekla Structure, Autodesk MEP, Revit MEP and more.

To register for the event click here. More information after the break. (more…)

AutoCAD WS: AutoCAD’s mobile app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

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As we told you a few weeks ago, Autodesk has launched an iOS based mobile app for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. AutoCAD WS will be available soon for free, and you will be able to view, edit, and share DWG files on your mobile devices. More about it after the break. (more…)

Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac OSX in October, iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch versions announced

AutoCAD for Mac

It all began last year when Autodesk sent a survey to its customers asking how they imagined for Mac OSX. Then, back in May, we saw an early preview of the software running on Mac. This was a leaked version, and didn’t say anything (we asked!) about it.

But today, Autodesk issued a press release confirming it: Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac OSX will be available to the public in October, at a MSRP of $3,995 (same as the PC version – Autodesk Education Community version available for free).

The announcement also included a free mobile version of AutoCAD for mobile devices, specifically for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

And this announcements clarifies some things. Back in May we sat down with Phil Bernstein, VP of Industry Relations & Strategy at Autodesk, and talked about AEC software, social networks and the cloud.

Phil said something very interesting in regards to integration of Autodesk software: “3 screens: computer, cloud and mobile”. More than new, standalone versions for mobile devices, Autodesk is pushing forward the integration of workflow and collaboration across their software (not only Autocad), a move in which the cloud will play a key role. A hint of this was seen earlier in Autodesk Butterfly (part of Project Bluestreak), a technology developed by Autodesk Labs.

This move will sure change a lot of things. Collaboration, SaaS (Software as a Service), and eventually lower costs, among others.

You can pre-order a AutoCAD for Mac starting tomorrow.

Revit for Mac? Let the rumors begin.

When Europe met Asia…with delicious results

© 2005 digital scan by Leonore Hietkamp

Some of Shanghai’s most revered architecture was designed by a Hungarian, László Hudec (1893-1958), whose works are on display at Shanghai’s Museum of Contemporary Art as 3D virtual reality building explorations.

These tours are part of the museum’s tribute to Hungary (through Sept. 5), which highlights that country’s contributions to film, music and design. Museum patrons virtually “fly through” every nook, cranny, form, plane, space and detail of three architectural treasures that exemplify Hudec’s Art Deco and Modernist style:

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Park Hotel: At 22 stories, this was the tallest building in the Far East for decades and Shanghai’s tallest building through the 1980s. Hudec was inspired by New York’s and Chicago’s skyscrapers, which he experienced firsthand in 1927. Completed in 1934, the Park Hotel is a masterpiece of modernism and Art Deco and a symbol of Shanghai’s rapid development in the 1930’s. Virtual visitors marvel at the hotel’s elegant Art Deco lobby.

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Moore Memorial Church: Re-built by Hudec in 1931, the church was originally built in 1887 to serve the Methodist community. Gothic vaulted ceilings, stone ribbing, and stained glass windows exemplify the neo-Gothic style. The bell tower on the southwest corner, at 42.1 meters, was the highest tower in Shanghai at the time. This is one of several sacred buildings that Hudec designed in Shanghai on a pro bono basis.

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D.V. Woo House: Completed in July 1938, this was one of the most spacious and luxurious homes in the Far East at the time. Known as the “green house” after the hue of the glazed tiles that covered its surface, this residence integrates modern architecture with Art Deco. The home was famous for its staggering array of rooms, including a banquet hall, ballroom, billiard room, bar, chess room, greenhouse, and sunroom. It was also the first home in Shanghai with an elevator and air conditioning. The Italian marble staircase, copper handrail and copper radiators were all novelties at the time.

Hudec was trained in Budapest as a classical architect. A visit to the USA in 1927 shifted Hudec’s vision from an eclectic, neo-Classical style first to Art Deco and then to Modernism. Hudec’s transition to Art Deco helped his buildings capture the excitement, promise and glamor of Shanghai’s golden age of prosperity. Hudec was one of the most interesting and culturally astute architects of the early 20th century, bridging the gap between European architecture and Chinese culture. His commercial, residential and religious buildings are especially noteworthy given that many are still in use today in their original function.

Disclosure: is one of our partners, sponsor of our section.

The Venice Architecture Biennale 2010 on your iPhone/iPad

You don´t need to be in Venice to witness its Architecture 2010.

By downloading Biennale App for free, you can navigate through the different events and exhibitions,  from the Vernissage to the conclusion of the Biennale.

More information after the break. (more…)

Augmented City: the future of Augmented Reality in Architecture?

Augmented Reality amazed us over the last few years, evolving into something beyond simple visualization.

Augmented City, a video by Keiichi Matsuda, envisions a future on which AR interfaces are part of our environment. We have seen some interesting examples on visualization, installations, and even as a marketing tool.

How do you imagine a future on which AR is incorporated into the spaces we design?

Seen at MAKE, via @chr1sa