AD Interviews: Viktor Várkonyiv / Graphisoft

Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been an invaluable technological advancement for the architecture, engineering, construction and building management industries. But for people who don’t use it on a daily basis, can seem overwhelming.  This animated video breaks BIM down in layman’s terms explaining what it is, how it works and what the benefits of using it are.

Read on after the break to learn more about BIM and our interview with Viktor Várkonyi, the CFO of Graphisoft, one of the frontrunners in BIM development.

Live Online Seminar: Introducing ArchiCAD 17

The latest software from GRAPHISOFT was announced recently. ArchiCAD 17 will be shipping soon. The company has also announced an upcoming free online seminar that will familiarize you with all the new features and enhancements to the software.

Scheduled for June 18, the demonstration of will feature the actual model used to design one of Moscow’s most prestigious buildings, the Mosfilmovskaya Street multi-purpose building complex.

All the information after the break.

GRAPHISOFT’s EcoDesigner Star

Courtesy of

GRAPHISOFT has developed another tool for your BIM toolbox. This tool – the Star – creates a streamlined energy analysis workflow. Essentially – architects can use their ArchiCAD BIM as a Building Energy Model (BEM).

What does this mean for designers and energy consultants? Implementing BIM in your everyday design practice already requires less timeto complete and deliver an architectural project. Now, with EcoDesigner Star coordination and collaboration are further enhanced as those processes are shortened and more productive. Additionally, EcoDesigner Star offers standard-compliant energy analyses on the BEM and produces a detailed building performance report, all within the familiar ArchiCAD design environment. EcoDesigner supports authoring tools in ArchiCAD by fully inegrating energy evaluation and reporting, according to international energy standards into the BIM.

The Porsche Tower

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Before even stepping out of the car, residents of the Porsche Design Tower will experience extravagant luxury. It features a one-of-a-kind robotic parking system that allows owners to park their vehicles in sky garages directly next to their units. Miami, Florida based Archiform 3D used to initially create the tower from the architect’s sketches. They shaped the building and its features in cooperation with Porsche to pursue and receive initial city approvals.

Expansion of Communication with Graphisoft BIMx

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So what exactly is BIMx and how can it be used? Graphisoft BIMx is an interactive 3D presentation tool that allows all the stakeholders in a project to have access to the building model, without requiring any specialized skills. BIMx is a game changer that allows for innovation with the types of models created and the presentation/utility of these models.

Mac OSX Mountain Lion and Software Compatibility for Architects

Mac OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion

has released the latest version of their operating system: Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Over 200 new features have been integrated into Lion with the intent to streamline your work and life. Some of the highlighted features include the built in iCloud that keeps all your content updated and in-sync with your Apple products, a unified notification center to help you stay updated on everything, and ready-to-go dictation that makes typing optional.

Although this all sounds great, what about software we architects use on a daily basis?

A word of advice before you upgrade:

GRAPHISOFT announces ArchiCAD 16 + Live Webinar

GRAPHISOFT recently announced the release of the next upgrade to its BIM design software; ArchiCAD 16. This version of ArchiCAD provides solutions that respond to some of the most dynamically developing segments of the BIM industry. They are building components, freedom of design and energy efficiency.

The value of BIM software can be measured only by how well it is used, within a given workflow and how well a team accurately generates and shares data across project teams; ultimately managing that data throughout the building lifecycle.
On June 19th, in a live webinar, will cover the basics of ArchiCAD and give attendees a foundation to make the most of the new tools found in ArchiCAD 16.

More after the break.

Unlock the Power of Collaboration with Open BIM

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GRAPHISOFT® recently announced it has joined forces with buildingSMART® International, Tekla® and several leading software vendors to launch a global program in order to promote collaboration workflows throughout the AEC industry.

From their release: Open BIM is a universal approach to the collaborative design, realization and operation of buildings based on open standards and workflows. Open BIM is an initiative of buildingSMART and several leading software vendors using the open buildingSMART Data Model.

More info after the break.

GRAPHISOFT BIMx™ for iPad/iPhone

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GRAPHISOFT recently released an innovative, interactive communication tool for architects. The add-on for ArchiCAD 15, BIMx, is an easy-to-use mobile design demonstration tool for exploring, communicating and sharing building concepts.

Through BIMx, 15 users gain unprecedented ability to share entire BIM models with anyone through an interactive community on Facebook or through iOS devices. BIMx demonstrations can be executed on a desktop computer or laptop as well. More information and some images after the break.

GRAPHISOFT BIMx™: The Latest GRAPHISOFT Innovation for the iPad/iPhone

Courtesy of

Our sponsor GRAPHISOFT recently launched their new mobile device, called GRAPHISOFT BIMx™, which is their latest innovation for the iPad/iPhone. The development makes BIMx an interactive environment with game-like navigation, available to anyone, even those that do not hold a license of the professional authoring software in which the building model was originally created.

BIMx models can be viewed on the iPad/iPhone through a purpose-built app directly linked to the BIMx community for “social” model sharing on Facebook.

More information on their innovative product after the break.

Mac OSX Lion and CAD software

Mac OSX Lion screen capture

Yesterday Apple released the latest version of their operative system: Mac OS X Lion. I started using it yesterday and it works like a charm on my Macbook. At a first glance, there’s a lot of focus on handling all  your applications thanks to features like Mission Control (an improved view of everything running on your computer) and Launchpad (a new way to organize your apps). Other interesting feature is Airdrop, which will allow you to easily share files with your co-workers. There is also a lot of focus on security, back up, system recovery and versions of files, that I know will be very useful for architects.

But what about the software we architects use on a daily basis? A word of advice before you upgrade:

Disclaimer: Graphisoft is the sponsor of our Software section.

Australia’s 1st completed Building Information Modelling (BIM) High Rise wins more awards

Courtesy of Investa / Photographer: Gerrit Fokkema

Coca-Cola Place (previously known as ARK) has won the Property Council’s NSW Development of the year. This award is the equivalent of the “Oscars” for the property industry in and is yet another for this 21-level iconic building north of Sydney, New South Wales in .

The Property Council’s Innovation and Excellence Awards is the pre-eminent property industry program in Australia. The annual awards celebrate the achievements of the sector’s finest professionals and companies.

Integrated into North Sydney’s heritage precinct, the form of Coca-Cola Place breaks boundaries, challenges traditions and sets new design benchmarks. It was conceived as a set of layered elements which responds to the grain of the Heritage Street, natural environment, public domain, and city skyline. Completed in 2010, it was conceived, designed, documented and built using Building Information Modelling ().

More about it after the break.

Classics modeled with ArchiCAD15

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Last week we told you about ArchiCAD 15, Graphisoft’s latest version of its premium design software for architects. Although you can see many videos showing the new features of the software, it’s great to see some projects modeled with ArchiCAD 15. Specially if we can see some of the projects we have featured in our AD Classics section, like SOM’s USAFA Cadet Chapel or William Van Alen’s Chrysler Building. Check the other two videos after the break.

Graphisoft ArchiCAD 15

Last week, we attended the AIA 2011 National Convention in New Orleans, where Graphisoft presented ArchiCAD 15, the latest version of its premium design software for architects. ArchiCAD 15 enriches architectural forms available for designers to unleash their creative minds. The new version also expands the scope of the workflow to include renovation & refurbishment projects.

The evolution of forms has always walked hand-in-hand with the evolution of structures. From the simplest barrel vaults to the most sophisticated rib vaults, the architect has always aspired to combine durability, utility and beauty (Vitruvius). These very principles can be seen in the finest examples of modern architecture as well. ArchiCAD 15 expands the design capabilities of its BIM tools, including new Shell structures, to support the broadest spectrum of architectural shapes and forms found in both classical and modern architecture.

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- ArchiCAD introduces the new Shell tool – enabling designers to unleash their creative minds and to create enriches architectural forms.

More features after the break.

UK’s Moonstone Project Achieves Zero Carbon Rating with ArchiCAD

Moonstone Project, designed using ArchiCAD

The award-winning Moonstone Project, designed using ’s ArchiCAD software, is one of the UK’s best performing houses, exceeding the UK’s Code 6 Sustainable Homes Guide; the house also exceeds the German ‘Passivhaus’ top standard for energy efficiency by over 65%.

Developer John Croft had a dream to build his own home in the idyllic setting of the Cotswolds. It took a few years, a lot of patience, research, and work to make this home the best it could be. At 16,000 square feet (1,500 square meters), with a third of its structure underground, Moonstone meets a zero carbon footprint – an incredible accomplishment considering the house is 21 times larger than the average UK home. The house literally needs no energy as it was designed to meet, or exceed, the very highest environmental standards, while providing a beautiful and practical family home.

More after the break.

DA|AD: Not Your Father’s Architecture Firm

Courtesy of &

The Lighthouse Christian School (LCS) was a beacon of goodwill even after a deluge washed away its pre-school in May 2010. Although few had lost more than the school community, LCS leaders hung a banner amid the ruins that read, “Southeast Nashville Recovery. How can we help?”

“At their time of greatest need, the LCS community was helping other flood victims rebuild their homes, so it was an easy decision, an honor actually, for us to give them a hand,” says architect John Abernathy, founding partner at DA|AD of Nashville. Abernathy and his firm were recruited to design and oversee the pre-school building’s resurrection, featured on the popular US TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

“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 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 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.