AU2013 – Adam Ward Diary 3

Adam Ward concludes his Autodesk University experience with an action-packed last few days…



The final ‘official’ day of AU2013 started great and the early night before meant we were ready for the day’s activities. After a quick breakfast the first class of the day was:


Case study of BIM on the Shanghai Tower

This was a presentation on how BIM was used and implemented on the Shanghai Tower project. The reason for BIM in the beginning was to improve collaboration and information sharing.


 BIM on the Shanghai Tower


The Developer involved in its construction was a very small company with only 50 employees (20 of which were engineers). The project however had over 1000 subcontractors that had to be managed. Some interesting notes from this presentation:


Subcontractors were responsible for their own coronation with the other trades and a clash free model was submitted by each trade and managed by them.


Despite the complex form, no curtain walling had to be reworked on site.


BIM was monitored throughout the design and construction and contributed to 60% reduction in site work, 90% reduction in hazardous materials and waste, 70% of MEP and pipework was fabricated off site.


Laser scan was used to validate the as build model.


FM data was managed in their own proprietary software platform that was created for the project called ourBIM and was implemented at design stage.


There were various software packages that were used in the design and construction of the tower.  The image below shows what was used for what.


Software used on the Shanghai Tower


MP2884: Design of Stadia using BIM

This presentation was a case study by Mott McDonald showing how BIM was used on the design and construction of the new Casement Park Stadia in Belfast.  It showed how tools such as Rhino and grasshopper were used at early design and brought into Revit using the tools available from GeometryGym via IFC. 


We were also shown how analytical and structural analysis and optimisation were used and the workflow between the different tools including STEPs people movement and lighting analysis (an area which needs to be improved in BIM according to the presenter).



Navisworks was used for time lining, and logistics planning although quite basic. They briefly touched on how they were using VICO office linked to the engineering models to pull off cost and quantities directly from the model.


Overall it was a good case study once it got going, but as with most of the case studies I attended, it lacked the technical depth I would like to have seen.


The final class I attended was:

AB1796: Advanced techniques for building data in Autodesk Revit

This class was by Mario Guttman from CASE inc and was one of the classes that was great.


Mario showed how we can utilize the data already in a Revit model and extract or link the data to an external database for more advanced analysis and documentation, such as room data sheets etc.


Although nothing shown was new to me, Mario gave a great explanation of how the data is structured in Revit – and how this can be used using nothing more than Revit’s built-in functionality and Microsoft access.


That concluded my classes at AU2013, and I think I had a fair mix with only a few duds. 


Straight after Mario’s class I headed over to the Autodesk University Closing Session, appropriately titled ‘Let’s get this party started’.  This was a quick recap of the week’s activities, followed by Moon Express who debuted his team’s design for the new spaceship that they are planning to send to the moon in 2015 (Dr Dave has his doubts). They showed how Autodesk software helped their small team accomplish what 20 years ago would have taken whole governments to achieve.


This followed by a half hour show by Penn & Teller, officially closing down AU2013.


A quick shower and change and the only official event left to attend at AU2013 was the Closing Party. This year they continued the theme that they started last year at Planet Hollywood, which was kind of like having different parties within a party.




Although there was free beer, food and activities, it definitely lacked the atmosphere of last year’s party and soon fizzled out by 9pm so we headed up to one of AU’s after parties. This time it was the Global E Training party, which was unique as it was hosted in their hotel suite.



The Global e-training party                                                          Beer in the bath


 Global E-training fun


We left the Global E Training party, just after 12am and headed to meet everyone else who had congregated in TAO nightclub, where part 2 of the TITAN AEC party was just starting. I can’t remember much after this but I was told I retired to my room ‘early’ at about 3am.



Friday was one of our free days and after a long lie in we ventured outside the hotel and wandered the strip.


Later that evening a couple of us (@angryBIM, Dr Dave and @BondBryanBIM) decided it would be a good idea to head to the stratosphere to do the rides at the top. This was without doubt one of the most terrifying things I have ever done and no rush to do it again anytime soon!



With most of the AU and #ukbimcrew already left Vegas, the cowboys started to turn up for the USA National Rodeo Finals, and we thought it would be a good idea to get some tickets and go see the rodeo final that night.





The Rhodeo was exactly as expected; unfortunately I had to leave early as I’m allergic to horses (something that I forgot when I booked the tickets). It turned out well and gave me a good opportunity to catch up with some sleep before drinks later that evening.


I met back up with the remaining #ukbimcrew stragglers that were left in Vegas later that evening and because it was our final night we kept going as long as we could, finally retiring at 7am the following morning (Paul managed an impressive 10am – a hour before checkout)!



Still going strong at 5am






Sunday was the day we had to return home to the UK, but we had a fair few hours to kill so we had breakfast and found the nearest comfy seats in a bar and slept before heading to the airport.