CodeBook in AECbytes

AECbytesDr Lachmi Khemlani was a welcome visitor to our CodeBook stand at Autodesk University last month (post), and has written about v.11 and the application’s new user interface in her AECbytes e-newsletter.

She describes our BIM collaboration and information management solution and its purpose, and its integration with Revit and other BIM applications, and usefully links to an October 2009 article by Rahul Shah on technology adoption at MAAP—an architecture firm specializing in medical projects in the UK—describing how they use CodeBook.

v11screengrab

AU2012 and EcoBuild America

We had a great response to the new version (v.11) of CodeBook and lots of visitors to our stands at both Autodesk University in Las Vegas and Ecobuild America in Washington DC recently (post; if you’re interested, we’ve posted some photos from these events in an album on our Facebook page).

While at AU2012, we met Greg Haywood and others from AECCafe.com and they shot a short video interview with me – and the video is currently displayed in the site’s video section. I hope I managed to get the key points about CodeBook across, and I was keen to mention our target markets: healthcare, education and government agency projects.

We’re showing v.11 of CodeBook at AU2012

It’s just a week to Autodesk University 2012 (post), and at CodeBook International we are busy packing our suitcases and preparing to show our awesome new Version 11 of CodeBook in Las Vegas (November 27–29 – come and see us on stand 1B).

As well as a radically revamped, richer user interface, which also includes a dashboard for displaying project status and progress, CodeBook v.11 has improved reporting and batch process management, plus enhancements for Revit users, including automation of C-sheet creation, support for Revit Design Options and Revit Phasing, and COBie support.

It is such a step forward, that I think of it almost as a new generation product, but let’s not go over the top with the marketing-speak.

In our news release about the release, Peter Mann, founder and CTO of CodeBook International, says:

“As the business has grown in 2012, I have been able to devote more time to the look and feel of the CodeBook application, and we have been developing the user interface. With many BIM users adopting dual-screen working, we are now presenting a more comprehensive view of the data stored in CodeBook, simplifing user tasks and reducing repetitive processes. This work has also benefited from the very useful feedback received from users of the CodeBook Mobile app launched earlier this year.”

We won’t be flying straight back after AU either. We’re off to exhibit at EcoBuild in Washington DC, December 3 – 7, where we will be on stand 325, and we’re hoping some of our East Coast friends come and see us there.

 

Australia CodeBook User Group gears up for third meeting

CodeBook user group Australia - logoThe Codebook User Group – Australia on LinkedIn is holding its third meeting next week, on 30 October 2012 at 6pm EDT (5pm in QLD, 3pm in WA). This follows the inaugural meeting in August and the follow-up in late September. Chris Razzell confirms monthly meetings are now planned for the last Tuesday of each month.

The October User Group session is titled “Codebook – on your marks… get set… Go!” and will include a presentation about how to set up a Codebook project from scratch ready to use with your drafting/modelling platform, along with user input from past experiences, plus a hands-on demo. The session will be run simultaneously in four locations: Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Please join the LinkedIn group if you want to get involved, or email cbug.au@gmail.com.

Update (5 November 2012) – Following the October user group meeting, the Australian CodeBook community is considering organising some CodeBook-specific sessions on the eve of RTC AU next May.  The ninth Revit Technology Conference is going to be held in Auckland, New Zealand, from Thursday 16 to Saturday 18 May 2013, and Chris has suggested holding a user forum on 15 May.

Update (23 November 2012) – next User Group meeting is on 27 November discussing:

“Look(up)! Is it a bird … is it a plane … no, it’s a CodeBook Database!” – will include setting up your room data look-ups, how to assign them across your project using the super powers of data templates and room types, and what kryptonite to avoid.”

We like this.

Consortech to resell CodeBook in Canada

Consortech logoWe have been seeing a lot of interest in our application from customers in Canada, and I am delighted to say CodeBook Solutions has appointed Consortech to be our first Canada-based reseller.

Headquartered in Brossard, near Montreal, with other offices in Quebec City and Ottawa, Consortech specialises in software and consultancy services in architecture, construction, structural and civil engineering, and geomatics.

The recent explosion of interest in BIM has made designers, contractors, owners and operators more aware of the value of information created throughout project delivery processes. Through Consortech, CodeBook will now be supporting professional collaboration on key projects across Canada.

Pierre Genest, President of Consortech, says:

“We have identified CodeBook as a strong addition to our BIM range. Being interoperable with a range of different BIM design tools, CodeBook streamlines information flows for architects and engineers, and provides better data to owners and facility managers running complex buildings. It powerfully complements the applications we already deliver to Consortech customers.”

CodeBook how-to videos

It is a constant challenge for us to explain CodeBook briefly, particularly as the benefits will vary considerably from user to user, as they use the application and toolset for different tasks. To try to explain how CodeBook can deliver real time-savings on particular workflows, we have begun experimenting with some simple videos.

The first video was produced using Camtasia and has no voice-over; instead, it describes a process (using CodeBook to extract data from Revit to produce a LEED Lighting report) through a sequence of on-screen captions.

Using CodeBook to take Revit data and create a LEED lighting report from CodeBook International on Vimeo.

The second video is an introduction to CodeBook from Cyril Verley, founder of CDV Systems and COO of CodeBook Solutions in the US. It outlines what CodeBook does, how it can be used to translate and manage data from different design applications, and then describes how it can be used to manage processes across large, complex projects such as university campus developments.

Turbocharge your BIM and CAD with CodeBook from CodeBook International on Vimeo.

These videos have been produced to ‘test the water’ and get some feedback – Is this something you would like to see more often? What kind of videos would you like? – and also with the hope that they might stimulate other CodeBook users to produce their own short videos. We will be experimenting with some further videos – someone has already suggested that we could break Cyril’s video into a series of shorter pieces.

Australia CodeBook User Group plans local meetings

The Codebook User Group – Australia on LinkedIn is planning its first meetings – on 28 August 6pm EST. John Temple (regional principal at Brisbane-based Woodhead) is aiming to organise local meetings in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, all linked together via the web. Venues to be confirmed! In the LinkedIn discussion, he writes:

This is intended to be a collaborative, user focussed group aimed at helping us all to be more effective and efficient. Sharing experiences, lesson learnt, helping each other through challenges, looking to the future, etc.

This is not just a technical group; it is about design and delivery. The group has a broad spectrum of members already, including experienced technical wizards, keen new blood and relatively old men of healthcare briefing / documentation like me.

Update (29 August 2012) – I ‘lurked’ online, joining the User Group meeting via the web yesterday. My CodeBook Solutions colleague Cyril Verley participated from the US, and around 60 people in four locations across Australia also joined in, but CodeBook CTO Peter Mann is consciously trying to help the group become a strong independent voice. He sent a note to Chris Razzell saying:

I would like to wish you every success with the inaugural meeting of the user group. Please give my heartfelt best wishes to all present and I look forward to seeing the group flourish. I am sure you will all benefit from coming together and sharing your professional knowledge. My absence is not disinterest, but a genuine wish for the group to be independent, so that it can develop to be a strong and meaningful pressure group and community.

Chris has posted the first presentations online, via the LinkedIn group, and plans are already being made for the next meeting.

It’s the little things that count…

screen grab of CodeBook Lama blog postMany thanks to Chris Razzell for producing a very detailed and positive review of the latest (26 May 2012) release of CodeBook. In his blog post – “It’s the little things that count …” on Codebook Lama – Chris says he was:

very impressed with some great new functionality and lots of small enhancements that have been made. These little tweaks will save a mouse click here and there, simplify processes and make day to day work just that little bit easier ….

As he goes on to say, we have indeed been looking at “game changing” functionality and it was great that Andy and Cyril could talk about our mobile tablet version at the recent RTC US event in Georgia. Feedback from that event has also got us thinking about the many little things (and some not so little!) that CodeBook can do to help users produce reports and other deliverables more quickly, and we are thinking about highlighting some of the “quick wins” in a series of short presentations or videos.

Clarifying the CodeBook-Revit connections at RTC USA

For this week’s Revit Technology Conference, we produced some new banner stands, and on one of them we have tried to summarise up the CodeBook offering in a single graphic:

CodeBook summarised

We think it captures most of the key points we usually make about CodeBook, and, on the evidence of the first day at RTC, it seems to quickly grab the attention of people walking past our stand (#14).

Today, CodeBook Solutions’ chief operating officer Cyril Verley will be presenting at the conference, describing how, using CodeBook, BIM and CAD data can be seamlessly exchanged with key owner/operator applications for FM, GIS, etc. Such talks normally stimulate a surge of interest on the stand, so we are looking forward to it!

LinkedIn

Cyril has also been participating in online conversations in a LinkedIn group about healthcare use of Codebook and Revit, responding to a posting about Revit. In one contribution, he sums up the differences between CodeBook and other tools:

Here is why CodeBook is the perfect addition to any project using Revit, Autocad or Microstation…

  1. CodeBook allows the “comparison & validation” between the “required FF+E program per room” vs the families in the Revit model. Revit does not.
  2. CodeBook can manage data from files using Revit, Autocad and Microstation at the same time. Revit, Autocad and Microstation do not.
  3. CodeBook exposes and links the BIM and CAD data to FM programs (like Maximo) and GIS programs (like ArcGIS). Revit, Autocad and Microstation do not.
  4. CodeBook manages and updates parameter data across multiple Revit models and families automatically. In Revit this is a manual process.
  5. CodeBook keeps the Revit model size down because the “parameter BIM data” is managed outside BIM.
  6. CodeBook now has a “web app” for handheld devices that allows the editing of “instance parameters” of all BIM assets on a room for the GC’s commissioning needs and the Owner’s FM and GIS needs. No need to open Revit or even know Revit.

RTC fast approaching and AU2012 on the horizon

In just over a week’s time, I will be in Stone Mountain, Georgia for the US version of Revit Technology Conference, picking up the baton passed by Tessa from RTC Australia last month (post). We will be on stand 14 showing off the prototype of our new CodeBook Mobile application for building information modeling (BIM) data management.

We're exhibiting at AU2012However, this certainly won’t be the last big event where you can come and find out more about CodeBook. After our successful show last year (post), we will be taking a stand again at Autodesk University in Las Vegas, 27-29 November 2012, where we will be on stand 1b.

With interest growing in our BIM collaboration and information management toolset across north America, we are looking forward to two busy shows.