Dec 16 2016

Come see us, last free tickets!

We have a few tickets left for the The Annual BIM Conference: Multi-Disciplined Collaboration For Progress. This is first come first served, the event is on the 24th of jan in London. Contact the support desk to secure your ticket and come say hello.

http://www.salford.ac.uk/onecpd/courses/the-future-of-bim-looking-beyond-2016-london

 

Dec 16 2016

None Linked Revit Families

Why isn’t that item of equipment scheduling?

This is something that keeps us busy on the support desk, items of equipment not being found and almost always its simply because the item has not been added to the library!

We have added a new tool to CodeBook which is called up when updating the designed equipment lists if family’s are found in the Model/Room that do not exist in the library.

 

 

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If there are items in the model that are not in the library, CodeBook will load this form and give you a number of options.

1)       Ignore, if you are aware of this item and do not want CodeBook to report it in the required list, or prompt you again about it, tick ignore. CodeBook will then mark it as ignored and mark who ignored it. Clicking Continue will allow Codebook to continue on with the update of the list. These items can be later un-hidden.

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2)       Add Items, if these items have been missed and do need to be reported on, it’s now possible to add these on the fly to the CodeBook library. You can enter a code, give each item a group and a class, to add click “Add items” and then continue. The items will now be added, the update will complete and the new items will be shown in the designed equipment list

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Un-hide items

If you now wish to un-hide items that you ignored, this can be done via the library editor > Ignored Items

To un-ignore, un-tick ignore, enter a code, group, class ect, then click “Add items to library” Next time the equipment list is updated these will now be included.

444

We have also updated the get family details and location tool that sits on the Codebook Revit add-on:

555The form has been stream lined and now includes the function to un-hide items of equipment:
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Oct 06 2016

Attainia User Summit

Peter will be attending the Attainia User Summit to be held in Phoenix this October, to demonstrate new functionality that allows CodeBook to be used with the Attainia Medical Equipment database. CodeBook can be used to create furniture and equipment layouts in Revit and AutoCad. It  provides comprehensive tools to validate and schedule these equipment layouts, and identify any discrepancies with the original programme.

Sep 02 2016

CodeBook Required FF+E feature

Editing of the required equipment lists can be a time consuming task, especially if the items are individual rather than being managed by assemblies and unions.

One of the new features recently added is the Required FF+E Editor which allows easy no fuss reporting, as well as a customisable editing tool for the required FF+E lists.

The “Required FF+E”  function is located in the Home tab of the Ribbon menu.

ff1

Which fields are displayed in the grid can be defined using the navigator on the right hand side. Items can be added from the library using drag and drop, and items can be dragged from room to room.

This view can be sorted by clicking in to the yellow bars at the top of the form. The context menu provides many useful functions.

ff2

If you wish to add notes, or other instance based information it’s just a case of clicking in the field and typing in the value.

Equipment lists can be copied and pasted from room to room, bulk omits and updates can be carried out. Rooms can be copied and pasted.

The contents of the filtered Required Equipment Grid tool can be exported to Excel, if you have a specific set of data you wish to output.

 

For example:

ff3

 

May 09 2016

Flex reports tutorial

Reporting is easy! and now getting reports looking the way you want them is easy!
we are slowly adding to our on-line tutorials and have just finished our flex reporting tutorial. Take a look for your self and see how easy it is to generate your own custom reports.

Apr 14 2016

CodeBook tech tips – Library Properties

Hello and welcome to today’s tech tip! Today we will be looking at the library properties section of CodeBook. Some of you may be already familiar with this but for the most part I believe this new functionality may have been passed over.
Firstly to access the library properties section of CodeBook select the Build tab and then select the library properties:

2tt

At first the library properties is unassuming, what it does however allow us to do is view the library exactly how we want to see it. For instance if I wanted to see all the Equipment Codes, Descriptions, omniclass and master spec codes, I can select these from the check boxes and refresh the view.

2tt

What’s the fuss? Well you can directly edit this grid now and enter data or edit data much more quickly than before. If you want to filter perhaps the codes to all the outlets you can enter text in the yellow filter section above:

3tt

We can then export this grid content out to a XLS/CSV file and edit the data on bulk in excel, or perhaps hand this XLS out to a MEP engineer and have them full in the extra data we need to host along items in the library..

Mar 17 2016

CodeBook Training Videos

At CodeBook we are always looking for ways to improve our documentation and the information we provide to make picking up Codebook  as easy as possible. We have put together a number of training videos covering all key points in the CodeBook process, from installation, batch loading, importing, equipment creation though to reporting, c-sheet creation and exporting of data in to COBie So if you are a new user, or perhaps an old user coming back to a new process please check out the bellow link. CodeBook Tutorials

Apr 27 2015

CodeBook Room Data Collector Part 3

Part 3,

One of the questions we get asked almost daily is what if? What if Joe Blogs adds 50 power outlets to a range of rooms?

Well, Should Joe have the ability to do this in the first instance would be the first question that’s asked, the second question would be how can we tell if alterations have been made without manually checking?

When dealing with small projects the data can be held in an XLS file, changes can be made, and we can assume that this document will be taken as a single source of truth.

However, with a large project, or when multiple people need to access the files to make changes, files get duplicated and changes made in different files, and we no longer have the single source of truth. Furthermore, it is good, or even essential to know what changes are being made, by who, when, where and why. It is also useful to control just who can change what data.

With Room Data Collector project team constraints can be created easily, simply open the project properties and select “Define or Modify Constraints”
rdca1

 

Here we can create new constraints or edit the permissions of the existing constraints:

rdca2

 

We can control exactly what information can be changed by this constraint even down to the grp/class of the items that can be edited.

Once a constraint has been setup, it’s possible to assign this to a user, to do this select the project properties and select ”Room Data Collector” then click on “List of Usernames and Constraints”

You can now setup a username, and specify the password as well as constraint to be used:

rdca3

When the user logs on to the Room Data Collector they will be asked to enter there username and password before being allowed to continue.

rdca4

Viewing changes,

Now we have Joe Blogs setup with a username and password we can limit the mistakes that are made, it’s also great however to still be able to easily keep track of the changes from a management perspective if nothing else but to sign off on actions actually taking place.

This can be done with in CodeBook using the settings section under “Room Data Collector” by selecting “Record of User Edits”

rdca5

Here we can see that our user has edited our room data:

rdca6

We can see what edits have been made, the old value and the new value, it’s even possible to view the changes between a specific date range. It’s also possible to create an excel report based on these changes:

rdca7

So, in summary we can control exactly what gets edited, by whom and we can review and validate all changes and additions to the Room Data Sheets.

Apr 14 2015

CodeBook Room Data Collector Part 2

Part 2 – Room Data Collector,

Now the premise has been explained I would  like to talk about the practical side of the Room Data Collector.  I will break this down into sections that explain setup, data capture design, and use.

Setup

Before any data is collected we need to decide what information needs to be collected, how we would like to name and describe the fields that will hold the data structure that data, and their data types, for instance text, number, yes/no. We also need to either define a list of rooms, to which data is to be assigned. Or preferably a list of standard rooms that can be used to form templates, and later assigned to the full project room list.

For this stage of the process CodeBook PRD is used.

Creating the database,

Room data collector runs on our SQL platform so open CodeBook in SQL mode and select the new project wizard:

p1

Codebook will now run though creating a new database for use with Room Data Collector and CodeBook.

Importing the list of Rooms

The list of rooms to populate data against can come from a variety of sources, it could be an XLS import, directly from Revit or even created by hand inside CodeBook.

Setting up data collection

Again with CodeBook PRD we can setup exactly what data you wish to collect, and how the data is to be collected, format, layout and type.

Open CodeBook PRD and the newly created Room data collector database, select the “build” option and then the Lookups option:

p2

The values you wish to have in the Room data collector can be controlled by hiding or un-hiding fields,  setting the arrangement of the fields using the sequence value, and the method in which the data is collected. See the red boxed area above.

In the Activity noise level example we can see that this displays as a drop down in the RDC:

p3

If we change the collection method to list we can capture data simply by selecting the item:

p4

The location of each section can be controlled by changing the category of the lookup, or altering its lookup sequence to group with other similar values.

In the next blog, I will cover keeping track of the changes to the data as well as securing against unauthorised changes.

Apr 07 2015

CodeBook Room Data Collector

Creating briefs and programmes is something  we have all experienced. Typically those on healthcare get a slightly easier time of it due to the products that have been built up around the industry, but as we expand out of healthcare and in to schools, airports, labs, prisons etc. we see the same problems time and time again. Data collected in miscellaneous  Excel files scattered around a network that everyone has the ability to change, and no one has the ability to track, secure or monitor the updates.

It gets worse, at the end of this process you end up with a melee  of xls files formatted in many different ways, PDF’s and even hand written mark-ups. Yes, we have been asked if there is a way to  automatically import these,  and then  share this information with BIM, and  validate the results.

Well, there is an easier way, we call it RDC or Room data collector. It’s designed to be used before CodeBook is even looked at.

We have looked at the way people need, and want to collect data. The collaboration that needs to occur and the flexibility to change the data that needs to be captured. Going further we have also looked at the deployment options in terms of data hosting, and application hosting to make the process as painless as possible.

The concept: RDC can be installed locally, or in the cloud. It’s an application like CodeBook that links back to a database. The design team can use the RDC to easily assign room data and equipment to a Room. The layout can be easily manipulated to reflect your RDS layout so adding and updating/changing information remains intuitive.

Why is this beneficial? There are a number of reasons!

1)      Collaboration: the RDC can be used by all members of the team. They can manipulate and edit data directly  Passwords can be set by the p[roject manager, and which data is editable can be controlled by the project manager and all changes are live and instant

2)      Tracking of information: any time a change is made, the username, time, PC, date and the change is collected. You know what happened, when and by who.

3)      Workflow: once the data is in RDC it can be used to create many different style reports, it’s accessible in an open format and can be used with CodeBook for BIM design validation. No one should ever have to manually type out room data and ff+e lists again!

4)      I could go on, but the main reason for use is usability and time saving which equals money saved and more effective use of everybody’s time. With RDC, brief building is as easy as drag and drop.

Part 2 of this will follow in a few days, discussing workflow and actual usability, as for now I leave you with pictures as this blog would not be complete without pictures.

 

Dec 16 2014

AU Show Reflections

CodeBook on the road at Autodesk University 2014

AU Show Reflections

Like every year I write my post AU blog recovering from jet lag, a hectic and punishing show schedule and not forgetting the post show party!

This year was no different except I didn’t publish my blog straight away.  My excuse, somebody got their first it stopped me in my tracks because it didn’t portray the reality I saw, heard or experienced.   I decided to I needed to rethink my report and reflection on my original views and thoughts.

So here it is from the top!

It’s shocking and awful truth Autodesk had nothing really new to show or announce despite the glitzy Key note Speech.  Sorry I forgot to mention A360 which made me a little excited about  its potential user benefits and I had similar experience with BIM360.

Towards the end of the Keynote I had a “light bulb” moment the “apple fell from the tree” and hit me on my head bringing back to earth”!

Autodesk really doesn’t get data:

  • How it’s needs to be store and managed
  • Users information needs for collaboration and federated workflows
  • Sheer volume and magnitude of data associated with rooms, equipment, doors, MEP and finishes
  • The simple fact project data-sets growth are accelerating
  • Data management needs across multiple Revit models
  • How important non graphical data validation is for users to enable them to verify requirements (program and brief) against design

 

I took the opportunity to further investigate and it was a real shock when asking an Autodesk staffer about A360 when they stated it’s just a more sophisticated “Drop Box” and another on the BIM City couldn’t explain the “I” in BIM and really just kept going around in loop about 3D modelling.

So yes it’s now very very obvious Autodesk are focusing on sharing files i.e. discrete documents and files NOT data-sharing and it’s clear they don’t understand or see the value or benefit of non-graphical data and its associated Meta information across multiple Revit models being store and managed in centrally.

 

AU for CODEBOOK

CodeBook Room Data Collector (RDC)

blog2

 

Our major product announcement was the launch of Room Data Collector.  A new product designed to revolutionize room and asset data collection making it easier and quicker during pre-design and post-construction.  Eradicating the need for piles of Word, pdf and Excel documents which tend to have an accumulation of scribbled notations.

blog1

 

CodeBook Project Database Server (PDS)

CodeBook’s products don’t restrict clients to where their data is stored:  whether it’s a client’s own on-premises server or 3rd party hosted server and now a further option our new hosting services.

CodeBook flexible new project data storage options allow client’s to decide the optimal storage location for their specific project (s):

  • Hosting Service – for clients who want the performance enhancements SQL delivers without the hassle of investing in servers, software and technical support
  • Managed Service – for clients who require all parties internal and external involved on the project to access data collaboratively in a federated workflow and who want to take advantage of CodeBook data management experience to support live projects.

 

CodeBook Hybrid Cloud Desktop Client Solution

For the first time a real alternative to SaaS Solutions.  With none of the restrictions, limitations or disadvantages associated with a fully SaaS based data management solutions.

Our Cloud services allows CodeBook to offer the advantages of storing and accessing project data via the Cloud plus significant advantages associated with a suite of comprehensive desktop functionality with a user interface which is intuitive, highly flexible and user customisable.

We recognize all clients and their clients are different so we have designed our products to be user customizable enabling Clients to meet the specific data and reporting demands of different clients, projects, building types and project sizes.

 

CodeBook Room Information Manager (RIM) – 2015 Release Announcement

We didn’t announce the new name for CodeBook Pro at AU, from January 2015 it will renamed as Room Information Manager (RIM) and are moving away from version numbers to a year convention for future versions.

New Product Features

  • Revit 2015
  • Crystal Reports
  • Finishes Validation Module
  • Room Information Change Tracking
  • Equipment List Tracking
  • Much more …..

 

All it leaves me to say is Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and New Year from the CodeBook Team and we look forward to talking with you in 2015.

Dec 01 2014

CodeBook Releases Room Data Collection Solution

News release

December 1, 2014

 

CodeBook Releases Room Data Collection Solution

Helping architects, designers and engineers to streamline information workflow, increase productivity and reduce costs

December 1, 2014, London, UK: CodeBook expands product range with the addition of a new ground breaking product aimed at enhancing architects and designers ability to collect room program information at the earliest stages of pre design and will have a major impact on improving BIM data management and data integrity delivering a consistent data workflow from pre design to handover.

Room Data Collector (RDC) easily and quick captures room program data from designers and users clients during pre-

roomdatacollecter

design.  RDC data easily, quickly and smoothly transitioned into CodeBook Pro to handles program and design validation and the collection of more specific and detail room and asset information during post program design and construction stages.

Clients have been saying they really required a smarter, more efficient and productive method and approach to their current “tick box” workflow which requires users to rekey Word, Excel and pdf forms when the program is finalized.  Plus the new solution must be intuitive for users use from day 1 requiring little or no training.

Our development team’s solution fully addressing these issues allowing users flexibility to fully customize and define layout, terminology and data aspects including room data and the fixtures, furniture and equipment (ff+e) requirements.  It fully replicates existing word, pdf paper and spreadsheet workflows.  Bringing together all various formats used to achieve room data collection which is collected into single location without any of the disadvantages of data inconsistencies, costly transposition mistakes and lost data

CodeBook Room program solution is a superior and revolutionary product which will have a major impact on design efficiency by increasing productivity and reducing costs which can be used on any size of project and every building type.

For more information, contact:

Andy Hamer, CEO CodeBook Solutions Inc – tel: +1 858 605 1522 / + 44 (0) 1276 537 282, mob: +44 (0) 7912 869 976, email: andy.hamer@codebookinternational .com

Editor’s notes

Codebook International (www.codebookinternational.com) developed its first software application in the early 1990s and has been providing software solutions to design teams, contractors and building owners worldwide ever since. CodeBook International combines software development expertise and the experience of construction industry professionals. The CodeBookPro database application manages information from project inception through to facility management after project completion. Interoperable with industry standard CAD and BIM tools, CodeBookPro links to models, shares data and gives detailed reports and validations throughout the design and construction phases of a project. On completion the building owner takes possession of a detailed room information database linked to the 3D building model.

CodeBook Solutions Inc is a US-based business set up to provide a single source of sales, consultancy and support for North American architecture, engineering and construction and operation (AECO) customers.

Nov 27 2014

CodeBook Tip of the day SQL Database Management,

CodeBook Tip of the day,

We are seeing more the move towards SQL server as a database platform, as such we are seeing a jump in the questions surrounding database management with in SQL server. Today’s blog is going to be about the management side of using CodeBook with in SQL.

Everyone can now breath-out because this is all CodeBook side, were not going to ask you to become proficient with SQL management studio!

Most of our work today will be surrounding the “Database” tab on CodeBook:

1

We’re going to run though exporting your data back to Access, copying, renaming and restoring data.

Copying a database,

Select the option to “Copy” from the Database tab

2

CodeBook will now ask which type of data you wish to copy, i.e the project, equipment library, ect and then which specific database of that type you want to copy. If then asks you to enter a new name for this database. To complete the task select “Copy” its as simple as that. If you copy a project this copy of the project will still have attached the same Room Data Library and Equipment Library as the original project.

Delete a Database,

So you have made a copy and the its no longer needed, or perhaps you are performing some housekeeping. To delete a database is equally as simple.

3

Select “Delete” and then Codebook will load the delete from.

4

Here you can select the database type, which then filters the drop down for the specific database. To delete, select your database and then click “Delete” note * you cannot delete the database you already have open or its library’s.

Rename a Database,

This is exactly the same as above, select the database you wish to rename, enter the new name and then select “rename”

Export a Database,

We understand that change is hard and people like to use the tools they are used to, there are also proprietary reporting tools that have been built in house over a period of time that plug directly in to the image database so the need to get at ones data in access is real.

CodeBook allows for export of an SQL CodeBook project

and library as well as image databases.

To export a database select “Export”

5

You will then be asked which database type you wish to export. If we use “Project mdb File” as an example.

6We can now see the selection of project available for export. Select the database you require and then select “Select” CodeBook will now ask you where to save the new access database. This can then be opened up in CodeBook using access mode rather than SQL mode.

Importing an Access Database,

To import a CodeBook project that’s in access, or a library simply select the “Import Database” option:

7

CodeBook will now ask you where the database is you wish to import, and what you with to call it.

Nov 03 2014

Equipment Reversions Tracking

As a project develops over time the required FF&E lists for the project will develop and undergo multiple reversions. Tracking what’s changed, why its changed has always been easy with the ability to add notes, reason for updates and date tracking from the required list.

But, what if you need to look at the original equipment brief, or reload the changes from the last reversion? Well now you can!

CodeBook allows for a Equipment list reversion to be created at any point, and then reloaded back in to the required equipment list with all the notes and tracking data that the list was stored with!

We have put together a short overview on the new function. If you have any questions please contact support@CodeBookInternational.com

 

Equipment Revisions Management from CodeBook International on Vimeo.

Nov 03 2014

CodeBook Room Finish Reporting

CodeBook can schedule the system families for ceilings and floors and apportion them to the appropriate CodeBook room in the project database, this allows for direct and easy comparison that your Revit model matches the original sheduel.

we have attached an overview to show this function, if you have any questions please contact support@codebookinternational.com

CodeBook Room Finishes from CodeBook International on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

Jul 25 2014

Is technology available to deliver BIM Level 2 or Level 3 today?

A few weeks ago I attended a presentation where the speaker representing the UK BIM TASK Group suggested technology wasn’t available today to delivery BIM Level 3 because the Task Group hasn’t yet defined its requirements; therefore products with this capability don’t exist.

 

level3

BIM Organisation Struggles

Many organisations will struggle to implement Level 2 in the short and mid-term and long term Level 3 for a variety of reasons in no particular order:

  • No need to change current processes to manage data
  • Fear of the new, unknown and change
  • Management and workforce inertia
  • Lack of data management knowledge, skills and resources
  • BIM scepticism  – it’s a fad
  • Capturing BIM data is a cost which we aren’t being paid for
  • Failing to see data is a valuable commodity which can generate higher fees
  • Investing only when contractually forced too
  • Concerns over IP ownership and the liabilities of sharing graphical data working in federated models

 

It’s really NOT because the technology aka software and services don’t exist, they do!

 

We know data inside out and back to front!

Partner with the team who have beenat the cutting edge ofdelivering centralised data management solutions to aid collaboration and integration for nearly 20 years.  You can have confidence we know what we are talking about designing a solution to meet the practical needs of users today and the future and we’re happy to share our experience.

Forward thinking organisations designing, constructing and operating other building types catching up fast recognizing the benefits of BIM and centralized data management with CodeBook Pro.  CodeBook Pro is in use across the globe on projects large and small and on many different building types from education, healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, transport, justice, defence to name but a few.

CodeBook Pro delivers an intelligent, structured database solution to meet the ever expanding data management to capture, manage, and validate non-graphical building data across all sizes of project from small to large in every type of building and has been used by AEC professionals in architecture, engineering, construction and FM across the globe.

 

Apr 22 2014

CodeBook Releases Room Picture Maker Revit® App

News release

 

April 23, 2014

 

CodeBook Releases Room Picture Maker Revit® App

 

 Helping architects and designers to streamline information flows and increase productivity

April 23, 2014, London, UK: CodeBook Solutions Inc. (CBS) launches its second in a series of Revit® apps making workflow simpler, quicker and reducing workload increasing productivity.

CBS Room Picture Maker The purpose of the CBS Room Picture Maker is to create JPG files of each room in an Autodesk® Revit® project, using a Revit view as a template, so that the graphic style can be as desired and is available for download on Autodesk Exchange

RPM

CBS Room Picture Taker is available for the introductory cost of US$29.00.  Download via Autodesk Exchange and for enterprise pricing contact CBS directly.

CBS is developing a series of Revit® apps to create a set of tools aimed at making working with Revit® easier and quicker.  CBS Flex Documentor is scheduled to be released in the next few days and others are under currently under development.

For more information, contact:

Andy Hamer, CEO CodeBook Solutions Inc – tel: +1 858 605 1522 / + 44 (0) 1276 537 282, mob: +44 (0) 7912 869 976, email: andy.hamer@codebookinternational .com

Editor’s notes

Codebook International (www.codebookinternational.com) developed its first software application in the early 1990s and has been providing software solutions to design teams, contractors and building owners worldwide ever since. CodeBook International combines software development expertise and the experience of construction industry professionals. The CodeBookPro database application manages information from project inception through to facility management after project completion. Interoperable with industry standard CAD and BIM tools, CodeBookPro links to models, shares data and gives detailed reports and validations throughout the design and construction phases of a project. On completion the building owner takes possession of a detailed room information database linked to the 3D building model.

CodeBook Solutions Inc is a US-based business set up to provide a single source of sales, consultancy and support for North American architecture, engineering and construction and operation (AECO) customers.

Mar 24 2014

Tip of the day

Room templates are an incredibly powerful tool for allowing consistency between multiple rooms even spanning multiple buildings and projects.

They allow for concise data entry and design changes to be carried through multiple rooms with an effortless click of a button allowing a one to many template to room relationship. Does anyone really want to sit and manually change the floor finish for 50 rooms – Then push this data manually in to Revit? I don’t!.

Key to making this all happen is the initial template creation process and in true CodeBook fashion we have even made this easy.

CodeBook has the “Make Room types and Room Data Templates” function located in the “Room Tasks” section of CodeBook to automate the process of creating templates:

templates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the rooms you wish to make in to a template have been added to the build list and the naming style of these defined, select the option to “Apply task”

These templates will then be added to the Room Data library and available to each project connected to these libraries.

Happy template creating!

Mar 17 2014

Equipment Loading – time saving tip

Equipment Loading – we all love to hate it!

 

It’s the task we all love to hate, its time consuming, boring and tedious, but it needs to be done!

Hopefully this little tip can save you some time. CodeBook has a little known “Room Tasks” function which is located here:

rmp1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Room Tasks option allows one to perform bulk tasks on a selected set of rooms:

rmp2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The task we are interested in today is “Load Required Equipment”

CodeBook can take the tedium of checking against a check list finding the item, and then placing the item/updating the parameter information.

Items can be placed for just a single room, selection or rooms, department or level.

 

If the required items are pre-set out assemblies then they will be placed as per there original arrangement, if the room contains loose FF&E these will be placed staggered to the centroid location of the room.

Mar 17 2014

Have you calculated the cost of not implementing building data management

Have you calculated the cost of not implementing building data management (BDM)?

It’s truly amazing how much money is being wasted on every project where building data management (BDM) solutions like CodeBookPro haven’t been implemented.

changeI have heard the arguments against implementing building data management (BDM) solutions: Revit does this for free, it’s another system we have to learn,  I can buy an Excel tool for US$10.00 to do it, Excel is better and simpler to use and the real classic we haven’t got the time we’re really busy.

Design and construction costs are coming under increasingly greater scrutiny where owners are or are beginning to evaluate total life costs including the design and construction stages and the operational costs of the building life cycle.   Owners are actively seeking long term cost reduction over the building life cycle which they will demand whether you have introduced efficiency or costs savings or not and they demand more work for less from its suppliers.

How does a Building Data Management (BDM) solution like CodeBookPro reduce costs and increase productivity?

Quite simply it captures all the data in a centralised structured database which bi directionally links with Revit allowing users:

  • Management of multiple Revit models ensuring consistency of data across a whole project which multiple buildings and phases
  • Room and equipment information in libraries for all Revit models to capture common data and ensure consistency
  • Exemplar room templates which can be used to manage the data across 1,000’s of rooms making changes to equipment or room information globally in a key stroke
  • Increases the speed of room and equipment loading and ensures quality consistency across the whole project
  • Quickly validates the brief (program) against the design because it knows what’s in the brief and in Revit for a room, floor, phase, building or the whole campus
  • Can capture all the data the owner needs for input into their FM system

And the really magic outcome of implementing Building Data Management (BDM) – all the data can be reused on project after project with no more need to reinvent the wheel and incurring costs for the recapture of knowledge you have already paid for.

Throw away Excel for complex building data management its yesterday’s technology

Mar 11 2014

CodeBook Releases Schedule Importer Revit® App

News release

 

March 10 2014

 

CodeBook Releases Schedule Importer Revit® App

 

 Helping architects and designers to streamline information flows and increase productivity

March 10 2014, London, UK: CodeBook Solutions Inc. (CBS) launches the first in a series of Revit® apps making workflow simpler, quicker and reducing workload increasing productivity.

workflow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CBS Schedule Importer purpose is to create Revit® rooms and populate or update the Revit room parameters with values from an Excel® file containing a schedule of accommodation and for more Information follow link.

Take advantage of the convenience of data editing with Excel®.

CBS Schedule Import is available for the introductory cost of US$49.00.  Download via Autodesk Exchange and for enterprise pricing contact CBS directly.

CBS is developing a series of Revit® apps to create a set of tools aimed at making working with Revit® easier and quicker.  CBS Room Picture Taker is scheduled to be released in the next few days and others are under currently under development.

For more information, contact:

Andy Hamer, CEO CodeBook Solutions Inc – tel: +1 858 605 1522 / + 44 (0) 1276 537 282, mob: +44 (0) 7912 869 976, email: andy.hamer@codebookinternational .com

Editor’s notes

Codebook International (www.codebookinternational.com) developed its first software application in the early 1990s and has been providing software solutions to design teams, contractors and building owners worldwide ever since. CodeBook International combines software development expertise and the experience of construction industry professionals. The CodeBookPro database application manages information from project inception through to facility management after project completion. Interoperable with industry standard CAD and BIM tools, CodeBookPro links to models, shares data and gives detailed reports and validations throughout the design and construction phases of a project. On completion the building owner takes possession of a detailed room information database linked to the 3D building model.

CodeBook Solutions Inc is a US-based business set up to provide a single source of sales, consultancy and support for North American architecture, engineering and construction and operation (AECO) customers.

Mar 07 2014

CodeBookPro in used on largest hospital project in North America – CHUM Montreal

It was a great opportunity during my recent visit to Montreal to see an actual building CodeBookPro has been

chum1implemented on and talk all to those involved in the design and construction of the project.
On my first morning I was surprised to open my hotel room blinds to the see the CHUM under construction and be able see the daily increase in the building height.
chum2Having walked around Montreal I knew how very cold it was with daily temperatures in Montreal last week from -20C to -6C. So I really felt for the construction crew working on the building in the open and for a few shielded from the elements behind plastic sheeting. Plus it was amazing to think concrete can be poured in these temperatures!

chum3

The CHUM is a truly an amazing Uber sized healthcare project which CodeBookPro has the capability to handle with ease:

Rooms: 15,000
Equipment: 500,000
Data: 60 Million (Est)

Feb 26 2014

CodeBook Pro and C-Sheet Creation

C-Sheets, Room elevation drawings, call them what you will. A rose by any other name is just as much hard work to create!
Autocad, Microstation, Archicad, Revit – it doesn’t matter what package you are using CodeBook can help with this time consuming task.
We have put together a short overview to demonstrate the simplicity involved in using CodeBook to automate this task.

CodeBook C-Sheet from CodeBook International on Vimeo.

Feb 24 2014

Tip of the day – Quick find

Another time saving tip for all of you FF&E loaders, ever wanted to find an item really quickly in CodeBook or wanted to see the text based information associated with the graphic?
We’ll all you need do is select the home tab on the CodeBook Pro window and make sure Furniture Fittings and Equipment is selected select “Quick Find” This turns in to a dropdown, select

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Clicking on the item in Revit will now open the FF&E library in CodeBook to reveal the items information.

Feb 19 2014

Get off of My Cloud

CodeBook strongly advocates Open Cloud with no limits on access to your data does your Cloud BIM Data Management Solution provider feel the same?

The Cloud is a great for aiding and supporting wider collaboration on intra and inter team working: (1) enables project databases to be hosted either an on corporate server or 3rd party BIM Cloud, it’s starting to make even more practical sense with project database’s growing in size as designers, engineers and owners associate more and more data into their 3D models; (2) allows quick and easy application deployment and (3) ensures when a user is working remotely on site or visit another office the local internet connection doesn’t place them at a disadvantage.

In our experience clients want the ability to deploy applications in way which optimises the user’s operational requirements which could in fact be a mix of users accessing the application installed on their pc and / or accessing a hosted application.

What we don’t accept are Cloud based applications which (1) delivering significantly less functionality dumbing down the function needs which restrict user productivity, (2) probably more significant the restrictive nature in which clients data is locked permanently into one solution not allowing users to export their data for backup or in other solutions and (3) where without continually payment clients valuable data is lost or inaccessible.

If the Cloud is too truly deliver efficiency and productivity increases to the AEC sector, then access to data should be really completely open, exportable and flexible because if the data is locked in, restricted and inaccessible then the promised advantages in reality can’t be delivered!

Before making that decision about which Cloud based BIM data management solution you choose to capture and store your building information for yours and your clients valuable data make sure it’s really has (1) all the functions and reports you need to complete project from brief to handover (2) your data is available to export and is accessible and (3) you know what happens when to your data you stop paying your subscription. It’s too late once your months into the project!

CodeBookPro works in the Cloud the project database can be hosted and along with the application. And because CodeBook’s stated strategy is to keep the project database open and available in industry standard formats Access, SQL, XML, and Excel. Our clients never need to worry about whether they have access to their data in years to come.

Remember it’s your data, it’s your knowledge and it’s highly valuable; don’t except anything less than complete and open access to your data.

Feb 13 2014

Codebook and SQL

CodeBook has historically used a Microsoft Access .mdb database as a backend storage location for data. Over the years this has proved to be a very stable and very convenient way of storing data allowing for easy access, easy backup and most of all, portability of data.

As BIM has come in to its own we are finding the volume of information that now needs to be captured and interrogated has increased massively. When once an access database was more than sufficient larger projects are now creeping towards the edge of what’s technically possible.

CodeBook Pro now supports SQL server as a repository of data, where MS Access puts the batten down SQL server picks it up and is massively improved in terms of database size limitations, number of users and interoperability of data. SQL server allows for the data to become accessible, not just portable.

Using CodeBook Pro with SQL server is simpler than you probably think, firstly you need to install SQL server, Codebook Pro supports both the free express version as well as the full fat version. It’s probable your IT department already have an SQL server running and CodeBook Pro is happy to share the same server instance.
So, SQL server is installed and a user/or group of users has been given the correct privileges, what now you may ask?

When opening CodeBook Pro you should note the SQL option on the left, 3rd down. Pressing this switches CodeBook Pro in to SQL mode.
Step 1) Telling CodeBook Pro where the SQL server is, this will be the server name or IP followed by the SQL server instance name.
Step 2) Setting a local CodeBook Pro temp path
Step 3) Authentication, This is the SQL username and password you have been given.

sql 1a

Once the correct information has been entered click “Check Connection” this will check all the credentials entered are correct and give you a ok, or a error.

From this point we can list the databases already on the server by clicking “Refresh Project List”

sql2

Select project will now list the projects, clicking on the relevant project and clicking open will open CodeBook Pro.

If you are starting for the first time, CodeBook Pro has the option to import from an Access dataset, this could be an already existing project or perhaps even one of the sample projects we provide with CodeBook pro.

Importing the dataset is as easy as pointing towards the database you would like to import and clicking ok (and giving it a name)

Once in CodeBook day to day use remains exactly the same but with one key difference, Speed.
We have estimated that on larger projects moving to SQL server can cut processing times or Syncing Rooms or Updating Designed Equipment lists by up to 80%.

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There are other benefits of moving to SQL server, security being a key one. Once in SQL it’s now also possible to connect your data to other services, even allowing other offices access to your CodeBook pro database over the internet.

As always, if you have any questions please contact us @ support@codebookinternational.com

Feb 10 2014

Tip of the day

Here is a little known feature with in CodeBook that could completely change the structure of how you organise your project. Nested rooms

nested1

The nested room function can be accessed by right clicking on the project explorer and selecting “Modify Room Nesting”

nested2

This allows CodeBook to nest rooms with in each other, the benefit of such is there required and designed areas are calculated as a total space rather than separate (although the latter is still possible)
As this feature is used there is scope to also include required and designed equipment lists in this feature.

Feb 05 2014

CodeBook Pro V12 Release News

codebooklogo

 

 

 

CodeBook Pro V12 Release News

The newest version of the world’s leading and most advanced solution for building information and program management is available for download from 09:00GMT today.

New Features

Navisworks Integration

Navisworks model items can be referenced to the CB library either as distinct FFE items or linked using the associated names mechanism

XML Reporting

All reports can now be exported as an XML file for report generators

Nested Rooms

Nested Rooms allow the grouping of several rooms as child rooms of another room.

C-Sheets

C Sheet equipment schedule now writes entire schedule to a single shared param, that can be included as a label of the view sheet title family.

Speed Enhancements

Speed enhancements to Room sync and Equipment list updates, especially when Revit phases are being used.

Other Productivity Enhancements
See list below
CodeBook is an architectural productivity tool that provides extensive benefits to both the architect and other members of the design team and building contractor throughout the design and construction phases of the project.
The resulting coordinated building model comprising both the graphical cad model and a database of all the room data and equipment requirements of the project form an excellent source of data for an FM model or the building operators.
The CodeBook database is open source, the data is easily usable and joined with other data sources. The software is licenced, not the data the user creates. This allows it to be part of an integrated building information model, accessible to the entire design team.

BOOK YOUR DEMO TODAY
CALL + 1 858 812 7711 / + 44 1276 537 282 alternatively email Andy Hamer andy.hamer@codebookinternational.com

Enhancements
• Added an option to save each room to a different Word document with the Flex Room Data and Equipment reports.
• The wall host of doors is now recorded in the door instance of the room editor
• COBie export now uses room category for the space category, was previously hard coded as Omniclass F2: Rooms
• Room Editor FFE now has option to edit required equipment list with a grid, in addition to the tree
• Can now include the Room Category and Owner codes as part of the room number format
• When exporting rooms from Revit to CodeBook, can now select to export rooms from a selected phase
• Option to force the equipment compares to be by union, rather than union members
• Delete Homeless rooms, will now remove all floors and departments that contain no rooms
• Project Explorer organisation option to list FFE by class, group and code. This provides an easy way to view all the rooms that include a particular item of FFE
• The import room wizard now allows room match to be made on room number, room code and briefing codes, not just instance id
• Equipment Update dialog now includes a tab on the navigation bar to display the phase sequence.
• Can now map the Union Code as a type parameter, in addition to the equipment code. For non-unions will be null. This can be useful for identifying the parent union when working with nested families
• Added option to specify the cutline height for plan and ceiling views when creating Revit CSheets
• Instance parameters written to the designed equipment list will now be written using user units rather than the Revit internal stored units. For instance when using MEP parameters such as air flow
• Place equipment using the Room Task Manager, no longer requires the Revit room to be within the current Revit project
• Added several new options to the Room Task Manager to carry out actions on a selection of rooms defined in a build list
• Room List Area xls reports now have an option to exclude rows for rooms that are marked as circulation. Set this option using report settings
• When placing assemblies or selection from Room Editor, the user will be prompted for the host element
• Assigning equipment to Room, no longer requires the Revit room to be in the current Revit project

 

Contact Support@CodeBookInternational.com for more info

Feb 03 2014

CodeBook time saving tricks!

Having used CodeBook in anger on a number of large projects I can understand how daunting navigating around large equipment library’s and room structures can be some times, especially if you are unfamiliar with the project.

I thought it time that we impart some of our knowledge to help you get to where you want faster!
Over the next few months we hope to put together a few tricks and tips, stay tuned!

Project Explorer,

In v11 we re-designed this area of CodeBook massively, as such it’s been recognised that the organise function has been missed by many people, if you right click on the project explorer you should have the ability to organise by:

Department
Floor
Room Type
Room Category
Room Owner
Equipment

PX1

One interesting option is to organise by Equipment; this organises the project by equipment class, and then code, then the rooms these are listed in:

PX2

More to follow!

Jan 22 2014

What’s the future for Excel Spreadsheet for managing large volumes of building information?

AEC professionals are using Excel spreadsheets for data management on small, medium and even large projects. To make the spreadsheets usable to enable them to manage the project data they are divided into separate spreadsheets for room data, FFE, doors and MEP by department, by floor for each. This approach offers little or no ability to bi directionally link with the design package; manage common data or model validation. It provides questionable levels of quality assurance which potentially allow costly mistakes to creep in at every level.
That’s not to say they don’t play a part in the workflow where they are used as a simple and effective transport mechanism allowing the export to and import from partners and 3rd parties to add additional data, without the need for them to invest in software they will use infrequently, and where for quality assurance and security you may not want them to have direct access to the mass data in your database and playing a major out for deliverables and reporting.
Building Information management implementation increases year on year being used on more building types and sizes and increase in actual data required to be capture and managed. So why would the AEC sector continue to use spreadsheets never designed to operate or have the functionality of a database and at what point and dataset size do they lose their effectiveness and stop working.
We are already seeing existing clients max out their Access database because of the increasing demands for more data to be captured and managed. Migrating their datasets to SQL for enhanced performance speed, data management and user access for improved collaboration.
Using a 3rd party external database solution such as CodeBookPro V12 with a well-developed API for bi directionally linking between 3D drawing solutions such as Revit brings the ability to easily manage large data sets and multiple models, Delivering high levels of quality assurance, reduction in mistakes and rework both at design and construction. Introducing a cohesive and structured 3d work flow across a whole organisation were knowledge is capture, retained, improved and re used saves time, money and increases profitability.
The upside is a spreadsheet needs little or no training, however, this has to be balance against the downside that they weren’t designed to act like a database.

Jan 17 2014

Let’s forget the three letters in BIM!

Take a step back from the hype, spin and lies to concentrate on only the “I”.
It does not matter whether we call it “information” or “data” these are facts plan and simple. The cumulative effect of capturing facts is the development of knowledge and as we all know knowledge is power.
So let’s forget we ever heard those three little letters for one moment because they often cause confusion and consternation amongst the potential benefices – the architect, the contractor and the owner. Soon everybody loses sight of the benefits of capturing data from brief to handover from any project, any size and any type.

The benefit of capturing the data is the development of knowledge which can be used again and again on new projects which in fact is nothing new in the healthcare sector, it’s now that other building types are catching up. With each new project the continued expansion, refining and development of general and building type equipment libraries, room zone and or space templates, cost data, supplier data, location data and asset data.
I hear you saying all buildings are different and we always have to start from a blank sheet of paper. The development of equipment libraries and room templates will never ever be 100% the same for each project even of the same type unless you’re really lucky and its really is exactly the same type of building.

The capture and management of data in equipment libraries and room templates will probably only every give you a starting position where 80% of the data is right but 80% has to be a massive improvement over the current situation where little or no data is reused.
Yes there has to be an investment in software, training, implementation, hardware and in some cases people and a change to the organisational structure to achieve an effective workflow which allows the capture and reuse of data and the cost benefits, aka ROI, are downstream and pay back will be achieved over a number of years.

We can band figures around about how high the ROI if you implement this workflow. Exact figures are hard to come by due to the many factors effecting an organisations cost base – all organisations are different, how much internal inertia to change there is and it depends where in the lifecycle an organisation adopts this workflow.

The bottom line is the capture and collection of data to create knowledge of future project makes business sense and the ability to exchange with other partners in the design and building process enhances further the efficiency returns, reduces costs and increase profits.

whether you purchase CodeBookPro V12 or one of our competitors you will implement a solution to manage all your data outside Revit or other BIM solutions. BIM is a process comprising of number enabling products to achieve a true BIM workflow.
You have all been there before as I was reminded at local BIM Hub yesterday when you moved from drawing boards to CAD. The same things where being said then about CAD as they are about BIM – no clients wanted it, nobody want to invest because it was expensive and nobody wanted to change, the method they had worked. But change you did and then everybody saw the benefits. Those that didn’t change went out of business. And yes, we couldn’t design and construct building in the timescales we do today without CAD and BIM will have a similar impact on timescales.

CodeBook has been at the centre of BIM developments even before it was called BIM and the concept was developed for all building types. We have been capturing and managing data for nearly 20 years with our roots in healthcare sector where there has been a long-term demand for the management of complex datasets – 15,000 rooms, 500,000 pieces of equipment which equals around 60 million data points. Try managing this volume of data with spreadsheets without being bi-directionally sync’d with Revit.
Dataset aren’t going to get smaller they are going to grow and grow as the benefits of data capture and management become widely accepted across all building type as the most efficiency way to design and operate buildings.
CodeBookPro V12 is the most powerful solution on the market delivering data capture and management for today and tomorrow.

Jan 15 2014

CodeBook in the Cloud

Multiple offices? Collaborative working? Multiple disciplines same dataset?

As tech moves forwards, datasets get larger and more and more people want to utilise a common data source the “cloud” starts to make a little more sense. No one really wants to move large datasets about, maintaining multiple datasets and making sure version control is practiced rigorously is hard work. Did you send your clients the correct dataset? Need to make a change but dataset already with the M&E. It’s safe to say we have all been there.

What if I said it’s possible to deploy CodeBook, and a dataset on to a cloud based system?
The “cloud” does not have to be public, many companies are now maintaining their own cloud based systems for internal use.

The next question, why would you want to do this?
Well, deploying Codebook via a cloud based system can improve workflow in a number of key ways.

Collaborative working – we are finding its more and more common now for company to be sharing workloads between multiple offices. Traditionally a project would be broken down and worked on in sections, then combined at key points. With CodeBook in the cloud everyone can work on the same data, at the same time.

Multiple disciplines – i.e M&E, No longer issue datasets for edit, then re-importing. It’s now possible to allow direct access to the data and the application to perform the edits live in real time.

Remote working – Snow day? Have to issue documentation but not at your own workstation. CodeBook in the cloud can be accessed by any internet connected windows PC. No need to install Revit or CodeBook locally.

Take a look at our overview presentation.

CodeBook In the Cloud from CodeBook International on Vimeo.

Jan 08 2014

CodeBook and Navisworks

One of the problems we face in the BIM world is not every one chooses to use the same BIM design package, this can make data integration and collaboration challenging.
You may well be designing the architectural layout in Revit, however the M+E contractors may be using something completely different.

You still want to be able to schedule, validate and report on the M+E assets within this other model but not integrate it with in your own Revit model.

AutoDesk Navisworks looks like a great solution for this, it’s able to import and read a wide range of data formats and allows for easy interrogation of the data held including the parameter data assigned to each and every single object with in the dataset.

CodeBook comes in to its own here as we are now able to read data from Navisworks, CodeBook is able to scan the dataset and load a CodeBook library from each FF&E/M&E asset found. This includes loading of any parameter data connected to this object.

If this item exists within a boundary of a room recorded from the Revit model that CodeBook has been synced with, CodeBook can then add this item to the designed MEP equipment lists. Congratulations! You can now schedule and report on assets not loaded within Revit.

While we strive to support all common BIM design packages we understand that data can come from a massive range of sources, our goal is to make managing, utilizing and reporting from these as easy as possible.

CodeBook and Navisworks from CodeBook International on Vimeo.

Jul 12 2017

CodeBook Lookups import

If you have ever had to import an XLS containing Room data in to Codebook, you to have felt the pain of having to save settings and add a lookup field that you thought already existed!

A new feature that should go along way to making life just that little bit more easier is the define Room Data Field tool that’s now been added to the import Room data XLS import tool.

If the lookup or text field has not been created, you can now select “Define new Field” as part of the dropdown, this form will then load and you can create the lookup on the fly:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 12 2017

CodeBook dynamic update feature

CodeBook dynamic update feature.

 

In today’s blog I wanted to talk about a new feature, this one is a biggy. We want to make Codebook more intuitive and easy to work with so the dev team have come up with something they like to call “Dynamic update”

Instead of having to manually sync rooms when changes have been made, Codebook will now do this live as soon as the “Save” button has been selected in the Room Editor (providing Revit is open) This cuts down time syncing, and you can be sure that changes are being made live, quickly, easily, and intuitively.

We have also looked at how we deal with the creation of Rooms in CodeBook & Revit, till now Rooms created in CodeBook have had to be manually exported to Revit and there was a bit of a disconnect between the two. Now, as soon as a Room is created in CodeBook, CodeBook creates that Room in Revit ready for you to place it.

While we are sure you will love the new way to work, we understand that there are set workflows teams are used to. If you need to turn this off it can be done via the “Settings” option and located under the CAD & BIM settings section under the “Revit” menu.

We have created a short clip on how to use this feature and how to switch it off, and on.

 

 

 

 

Jun 02 2016

CodeBook constraints tutorial

Preventing accidental data change/mistakes and giving control to the project manager is the topic we are covering today. CodeBook allows the BIM or CodeBook manager to put in place a set of constraints on the dataset for a user, or a group of users. The Constraints limit the ability to set and change specific types of data in Codebook. In the demo bellow, I wished to constrain access to the dataset and allow edits of just the M+E information.

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