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Archireport: The Site Report App That Has Changed Thousands of Architects' Lives

Sponsored Article
Archireport: The Site Report App That Has Changed Thousands of Architects' Lives

In 2011, Julien, a young entrepreneur, started to build his own house. During the preparation phase, then the construction phase, he realized the difficulties encountered by his general contractor to communicate effectively with the different stakeholders of the project. He told Morgan, his associate, about this problem; in the meantime, Apple unveiled its new iPad 2 with a camera. It wouldn't be long before the idea of a tablet tool grew in their minds: Archireport App.

They decided to meet with different architects and general contractors in order to understand the difficulties that they encountered in their everyday work. A recurring issue comes back in their speeches: the time spent writing site reports.

The 10 Best Revit Apps and Add-Ins

08:00 - 13 September, 2017
The 10 Best Revit Apps and Add-Ins, via Enscape
via Enscape

This article was originally published by ArchSmarter as "The 10 Revit Apps You Should Be Using in 2017."

I recently asked ArchSmarter readers what tools they’re using to be more productive in Revit. Over 75 different add-ins were recommended! I tallied up all the votes and came up with this list of top-ten recommendations. There are some repeat nominees from my previous round-ups (which you can read here and here) as well as some welcome newcomers. 

So who made the cut? Here’s this year’s list of the top 10 Revit apps you should be using.  

9 Important Photoshop Tips for Architects

09:30 - 29 August, 2017
Image created using <a href=''>render by InHAUS</a> licensed under CC0
Image created using render by InHAUS licensed under CC0

This article was originally published by RenderPlan as "9 Powerful Photoshop Tips for an Effective Workflow."

A powerful software like Photoshop can turn an average looking image or drawing into a stellar asset for a project. The trick is to learn to use some of its best features and optimize your workflow for maximum efficiency.

Over the years Photoshop has become the go-to tool for architects for any kind of image-based editing. The software has become indispensible thanks to its versatile features. It is a powerful tool for tweaking renderings or create them from scratch. Some of the most renowned visualization artists rely heavily on Photoshop and use very crude masses done in 3d programs as a starting point. From photorealistic renderings to editing photographs of built projects and beautifying line work, Photoshop can be an architect’s best friend.

This New App Wants to Answer All Your Building Code Questions

09:30 - 13 August, 2017
This New App Wants to Answer All Your Building Code Questions, © UpCodes
© UpCodes

Perhaps nothing can kill a project budget or give an owner heartburn quite like costly code fixes during (or in the worst case, after) construction. As architects, we do our best to navigate construction codes during design, but there’s no denying their complexity. Projects have to comply with multiple different codes at both the federal and local levels; different codes sometimes even contradict one another, leading to headaches for the design team.

However, a new website and mobile app hopes to make understanding and complying with building codes easier for architects and designers. “The solution we provide is a search engine tailored for architecture,” explains Scott Reynolds, co-founder of UpCodes. With his background in architecture, Reynolds has partnered with his brother Garrett Reynolds—who has a PhD in machine learning—and through UpCodes, the pair to ease some of that building code-driven frustration.

This Super Fast Algorithm Edits Photographs Like a Professional – Before You Take Them

16:00 - 7 August, 2017

In the past decade or so, smartphones and social media apps have revolutionized our culture's relationship to images. From Instagram to Facebook to Pinterest to Youtube, photographs and videos are now so ubiquitous that they have become literally disposable, with apps such as Snapchat trading on their promise to delete your images after a certain period of time. But while smartphones are a very visible driver of this change, what is often forgotten are the huge developments in image-editing software that have supported this revolution—from the HDR built into your smartphone's camera to the wide range of filters provided by Instagram.

Now, as reported by MIT NewsGoogle and MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory may have created another cosmic leap forward: an algorithm that can provide automatic, professional-level image retouching so quickly that you can see a preview before even snapping the photograph.

This Accurate, Augmented Reality Virtual Ruler Is Pretty Impressive

18:00 - 13 July, 2017

Not many people would consider augmented reality particularly useful; it makes for fun dog selfies and other filtered images. But our tunes will probably change with the release of AR Measure™, an app that turns your phone into an accurate ruler. Using augmented reality, the app can calculate distances in 3D spaces captured with your phone's camera.  

Created by Laan Labs, the same company who brought us FaceSwap, the app is developed on top of Apple's ARKit framework. How does it work, you ask?

How To Improve Your SketchUp Skills

08:00 - 24 May, 2017
How To Improve Your SketchUp Skills, 3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.
3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.

For decades, SketchUp has been one of the most well-known 3D modeling programs in the design world, owed to its intuitive working tools and labyrinth of user-generated accessories, from open source libraries to plugins. Quite often, SketchUp is the software of choice for engaging children with architecture, due to its availability, flexibility, and ease of use.

Later in your design career, you could be forgiven for dismissing SketchUp as a 'rookie tool', a beginner's level below the advanced stages of Revit, Rhino, and AutoCAD. However, as SketchUp has evolved throughout the years, it now contains a formidable array of functions, capable of producing complex, exportable results in an organized, efficient manner for students and senior partners alike.

From geo-location to sun-paths, here are 10 very useful tips to make you the model SketchUp user of the office.

See Frank Lloyd Wright’s Missing Works Recreated in Photorealistic Renders

09:00 - 6 March, 2017
See Frank Lloyd Wright’s Missing Works Recreated in Photorealistic Renders, Larkin Building (1903-1950), digitally reconstructed by David Romero. Image © David Romero
Larkin Building (1903-1950), digitally reconstructed by David Romero. Image © David Romero

With the help of a vast array of software, Spanish architect David Romero has digitally recreated a series of iconic works by Frank Lloyd Wright, two of which have been demolished and a third that was never built. The three projects were based in the United States: the Larkin Administration Building (1903-1950), the Rose Pauson House (1939-1943) and the Trinity Chapel (1958). 

"The 3D visualization tools that we have are rarely used to investigate the past architecture and the truth is that there is a huge field to explore,” said Romero in an interview with ArchDaily about his project Hooked on the Past. Romero worked with AutoCAD, 3ds Max, Vray, and Photoshop while restoring black and white photographs, sketches and drawings of these works.

Rose Pauson House  (1939-1943). Image © David Romero Rose Pauson House  (1939-1943). Image © David Romero Trinity Chapel (1958), an unbuilt project by Frank Lloyd Wright. Image © David Romero Trinity Chapel (1958), an unbuilt project by Frank Lloyd Wright. Image © David Romero + 29

Being an Architect: Then Versus Now

09:30 - 16 January, 2017
© Sharon Lam
© Sharon Lam

Architecture, as a profession and discipline, has come a long way since Vitruvius. It continues to evolve alongside culture and technology, reflecting new developments and shifting values in society. Some changes are conscious and originate within the field of architecture itself, made as acts of disciplinary or professional progress; others changes are uncontrollable, arising from architecture's role in the wider world that is also changing. Below are just some of the changes that have taken place in recent decades:

10 Awesome Sketchup Plugins That Will Up Your Modeling Game (Explained With GIFs)

08:00 - 25 November, 2016
10 Awesome Sketchup Plugins That Will Up Your Modeling Game (Explained With GIFs), © Wikipedia user: Takuro1202, bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0
© Wikipedia user: Takuro1202, bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0

After the success of its 6th edition in 2007, Sketchup became one of the world's most widely used 3D modeling software products. This is thanks to its intuitive toolbar, interdisciplinary use within the creative industry (not just architects) and having a free version that doesn't use watermarks.

Its open source library helped the software to provide a wide range of 3D objects, while hundreds of users developed their own plugins not only to solve the problems of each version but also to exploit the potential of their tools. 

We’re going to introduce you to 10 of the plugins shared by Sketchup Tutorials Facebook page using their demonstrative GIFs. If you don’t know how to add a SketchUp plugin, don’t worry! You can learn in this video also posted by them.

This Free Tool Takes 3D Models into VR with One Click

16:30 - 26 October, 2016
 This Free Tool Takes 3D Models into VR with One Click, via Tech Crunch
via Tech Crunch

The emergence of virtual reality applications for architecture has been one of the big stories of the past few years – in the future, we’ve been told, VR will become an integral part not just of presenting a project, but of the design process as well.

That future may now be upon us, thanks to new tool from New York City startup IrisVR. The company has released Iris Prospect, a program that enables you to send your plans and models directly into VR with a single click.

A beta version of the software is currently available for free download from their website, making VR accessible to anyone.

Modelo Empowers Collaboration and Presentation for Architects

14:33 - 6 September, 2016
Modelo Empowers Collaboration and Presentation for Architects, via Qi
via Qi

The dynamics of presenting architectural designs are changing. Deadlines mushroom from nowhere while timelines shorten. Clients push for high-fidelity renderings earlier in projects and marry themselves to conceptual images of perfection unaware that they will only ever be realized on a screen after hours of post-production.

The Stencil App That Gives You Custom Stencil Tools for Digital Drawing

09:30 - 6 September, 2016

Today, Morpholio has unveiled a new addition to their flagship Trace app. The new addition, called simply “Stencil,” offers a quick way to add figures and annotations to your Trace sketches using a tool that has been familiar to architects for years. The update to the app features a number of pre-loaded stencil designs, but thanks to its new digital twist, the act of stenciling is also augmented through the ability to take any image you can find or photograph and turn it into a stencil in seconds.

Courtesy of Morpholio Courtesy of Morpholio Courtesy of Morpholio Courtesy of Morpholio + 97

10 Steps to Simplify Your Firm's Transition to BIM

09:30 - 24 July, 2016
10 Steps to Simplify Your Firm's Transition to BIM, OHSU/PSU/OSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building by SERA Architects and CO Architects. Image © SERA Architects
OHSU/PSU/OSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building by SERA Architects and CO Architects. Image © SERA Architects

So you’re convinced that BIM will be a good addition to your firm. Unlike more conventional CAD, BIM is composed of intelligent 3D models which make critical design and construction processes such as coordination, communication, and collaboration much easier and faster. However, for these reasons BIM is also seen by many as a more complicated software with a steep learning curve, with the potential to take a large chunk out of a firm’s operating budget during the transition period. So how do you actually transition an entire firm’s process to BIM? Here are ten steps to guide you on your way.

How to Adopt BIM: 3 Ways to Approach Your Firm’s Pilot Project

09:30 - 25 June, 2016
How to Adopt BIM: 3 Ways to Approach Your Firm’s Pilot Project, Courtesy of Autodesk
Courtesy of Autodesk

These days, BIM is becoming standard practice. Most people involved in the construction sector—from the architects and engineers who use BIM to the governments that are implementing mandates for BIM in certain project types—are well and truly sold on the benefits it brings, including efficiency, collaboration, cost-savings, and improved communication. As a result, many practices these days that haven’t yet switched to BIM give the same reason: the dreaded transitional period.

Of course, these fears of transition are not entirely unfounded, as new software, staff training and teething problems are an inevitable part of upending your existing workflow. These initial costs create a barrier for many busy practices who simply can’t afford the time or money right now that would enable them to unlock BIM’s benefits down the line. The key to solving this conundrum of course is to minimize the initial costs—and one way of doing this that many experts recommend is to start your firm’s transition to BIM with a single pilot project, in which you will be able to establish a workflow and define standards that suit your practice, and transfer these lessons onto later projects.

But what is the best way to select this pilot project? Should you work on a large or small building? A complex work or a simple one? Here, three early adopters of BIM share what they learned from their own pilot projects, each with very different characteristics.

5 Ways Computational Design Will Change the Way You Work

09:30 - 15 April, 2016
5 Ways Computational Design Will Change the Way You Work, Adapted from an image © hanss via Shutterstock
Adapted from an image © hanss via Shutterstock

This article was originally published on ArchSmarter.

These days, nearly every architect uses a computer. Whether it’s for 3D modeling, documentation or even creating a program spreadsheet, computers are well entrenched within the profession. Architects now need to know almost as much about software as they do about structures, building codes, and design.

As our tools become more powerful and sophisticated, we need to evolve and develop our working methods in order to stay competitive. I’ve written previously about how architects should learn to code. A lot of the problems we need to solve don’t fall within the capabilities of off-the-shelf software. We need to tweak and customize our tools to work the way we work. Creating our own tools and software is one way to do this.

That said, the reality is that not everyone has the time or the inclination to learn how to code. It’s time-consuming and you’ve got projects to run, show drawings to review, and buildings to design. Fortunately there are new tools available that deliver the power of programming without the need for all that typing.

Enter computational design and visual programming.

Moleskine Synchronizes Analog and Digital Sketching with their "Smart Writing Set"

13:00 - 11 April, 2016
Courtesy of Moleskine
Courtesy of Moleskine

Moleskine has announced a new product which it hopes will allow users to "bridge their analog and digital worlds." The Smart Writing Set is a system that includes the Paper Tablet, a specially-made Moleskin sketchbook which works in tandem with the Pen+, a digitally-enabled pen that recognizes the notebook and tracks the user's movement. The Pen+ then sends this information to the new Moleskine Notes App (for Apple users) or Neo Notes (for Android) in order to record the user's notes digitally, in real time.

New Web App Lets You Navigate Downtown Miami’s Growing Skyline

14:00 - 9 April, 2016
New Web App Lets You Navigate Downtown Miami’s Growing Skyline, Renzo Piano's Proposed Tower at 87 Park in Downtown Miami. Image Courtesy of Terra
Renzo Piano's Proposed Tower at 87 Park in Downtown Miami. Image Courtesy of Terra

While certain cities in the world have instantly recognizable skylines, other burgeoning cities like Miami are still finding their architectural identity. A new online, 3D-map by the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) outlines the over 100 new towers being erected in the city by architects including Renzo Piano and OMA, set against Miami’s existing cityscape. The projects are color-coded according to their status as either proposed, under construction or built. You can access the interactive map here.