All posts by Karen Rayner

PlusSpec 17: What’s It All About?

By | Architects, BIM, Builders, Construction, Design, Designers, Estimating, Estimators, IFC, manufacturers, PlusSpec, PlusSpec Updates, SketchUp 2017 Review, VDC | No Comments

We are super excited about our next update: PlusSpec 2017. And so are many of you! We have never had so many people reach out to us and ask, ‘What’s new in the next release, and when will it be ready!?’

 

So, we thought we should share a sneak peak of some of the improvements and NEW features that will be making it inside PlusSpec 2017, which is due for release in the coming weeks (yes, weeks!).

 

The PlusSpec team have worked incredibly hard, and we would like to thank our whole team (especially our developers) for putting in the hard yards and making PlusSpec 2017 another successful journey. However, there are still plenty of milestones and ideas that we are working towards – some which will appear in the next update, and some that will need to be fine-tuned for the one following.

 

PlusSpec 2017 will improve your ability to take full control of your model by having more freedom to customise, edit, add and change elements of your model, with greater ease and efficiency. We’ve improved many tools/features, including the beam tools, roofing tools, flooring tools, windows and doors – and we’ve even added some new materials from one of our Australian Building Suppliers (Stramit).

 

roofing_options_gif

New roofing options coming soon with PlusSpec 17

 

 

But what does it all mean?:

✓ Work faster

✓ Better Communication

✓ More efficiency

✓ Better Project Results

✓ Make informed decisions at concept stage

 

 

Okay, sounds great, but what’s NEW?!:

 

✓ NEW Handrail Tool: Have the ability to add handrails to stairs and balconies

✓ IFC Tool; Room Quantities: Feasibility studies for air conditioning, Reporting and Measurements (cubic/square).

✓ Beam Tool: Allowing users to add structural and non-structural beams to their models.

✓ Load bearing point identifier: Visual identifier that outlines areas where reinforcement needs to be allowed for.

✓ Hip Roof Tools: Dutch gable, Mansard, dual-pitch ability, Dormer options, and optimised use of the edit roof pitch tool, allowing users to add and remove roof edits.

✓ Sloping Roofing: Trace any sloping roof from 2D or 3D, with the ability to change overhangs mid-draw

✓ Create a 2D roof plan: Project your roof plan onto your floor plans,etc.

✓ Floor & Ceiling Joist: Add structural steel beams to the model to customise and edit.

✓ Joist Tool: Specify more beam/joist types.

✓ Windows & Doors: Add architrave lengths to window and door architraves as well as improving existing functions for more customisation and estimating abilities

✓ Composite Tools: Add materials/layers to ANY building component (Estimation purposes only).

✓ NEW Materials: Added Stramit products to the Australian Material Library (Floor & Ceiling Joist Tools and Beam Tool).

✓ And much more!

 

We will provide a comprehensive list of ALL features and functionality of PlusSpec 2017 when it is released towards the end of April 2017. We’ll be posting these on our Release Notes and Blog pages.

 

Share your thoughts and share this page with your colleagues and friends!

Sustainable Design and Construction: How to consider the environment with PlusSpec BIM software

By | Builders, Construction, Design, Designers, Environment, Estimators, manufacturers | No Comments
New Year’s resolutions are often taken seriously for the first few days, but it’s not too long before old habits kick in. If one of your resolutions was to do your part to save the environment (and not just to lose those extra pounds you gained over Christmas) then let us help you make a difference by taking a look at Sustainable Design & Construction!   Our environment (and our responsibility to take action to maintain it) is often not recognised enough. Here at RubySketch, we have been busy acquiring relationships with manufacturers who support, design and supply Eco-friendly products, where these models are free to download in the RubySketch library for your use in PlusSpec! PlusSpec has become a key driver of success for many companies through the use of it’s intuitive technology.  Project stakeholders are able to effectively and efficiently communicate throughout the design & build process – and they can rest easy knowing that they are choosing environmentally safe products throughout the process.   In this post, we’ll focus on some of the Australian brands in PlusSpec that are doing their part to build a better future for the environment.

Taubman’s: Pure Performance

  You wouldn’t think by choosing a brand, you’d also be choosing a more eco-friendly solution when designing! We love Taubman’s Paint. The variety of colors and paint product ranges leave us in awe. Needless to say, they also address the environment and health and safety of the community through their products, too. taubman's_paint_window_in_plusspec sustainable construction design Taubman’s Pure Performance paint addresses many of the concerns of homeowners, such as allergies and chemical contents. It’s 100% water-based, contains Microban antibacterial protection, and is low in VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) – meaning it has a lower odour than high-VOC paints. If you’re not convinced yet, it has also received approval from the National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice program.   Using Taubman’s Paint range inside of PlusSpec is incredibly easy. Edit the wall you’d like to use, then choose ‘paint material‘ under the material that you want to paint.   Colour consultation using Sketchup and PlusSpec Sustainable Design and Construction    

Eco-Friendly 3D Models We’re Proud Of:

Every product in the RubySketch 3D Library is special and has value, due to the time and dedication of each manufacturer to create something truly special for us to use in our construction projects! To name name’s, these are some of the Australian sustainable design construction products that you can currently find in our library and use in your projects:  

Weathertex

Weathertex has been a market leader for supplying external wall timber products since 1939, which are 100% natural and have a better than zero carbon footprint. Check out their models in our Library for you to download for free.  Their product range are also available within PlusSpec.  

EcoBuild Solutions

Ecobuild Solution’s Insulfloor is a durable lightweight insulated floor sheet that has excellent thermal properties and will help reduce your electricity bill. It’s rot proof and unaffected by vermin. Need a flooring option? You can get access to their free 3D models here and also in the PlusSpec software.  

AWS Architectural Window Systems

From paint, to walls, from floors to windows; Even your choice of window suppliers can have an impact on the environment! AWS windows are created from aluminium – a highly abundant, natural occurring mineral unlike fossil fuels. Selecting AWS, you can be confident your windows will last MUCH longer than typical PVC windows, are stronger and light-weight (no broken backs!). When the time comes for an upgrade or replacement, the aluminium can be re-melted, re-purified: RE-CYCLED! AWS in the RubySketch Library.  

Sustainable Design & Construction: Easier with PlusSpec

2017 New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be forgotten! Take action to improve your sustainable design and construction with the support of PlusSpec and our partner manufacturers, who create innovative and sustainable products for the design and construction industry. Create unique designs, estimate, and/or build projects with the added selling-point of “environmentally-friendly products sourced within PlusSpec”.

Wearable Technology in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Industry: Microsoft Hololens

By | Architects, Architecture, Augmented Reality, BIM, Builders, Business, Construction, Design, Estimators, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Technology, Trades | No Comments

Wearable technology is the way of the future, in and out of the workplace. We didn’t realize we needed a smart watch until Apple and Samsung told us we did – and now half of us can’t live without one. Innovative and accurate technology is now at our fingertips (quite literally) more than ever, and that has now expanded into work site technology.

 

We seem to be doing just fine with the technology we’ve got, but wearable technology has been taken to a whole new level with clothing, smart helmets and eye-wear, which have been created to make life easier. Various innovative enterprises are now partnering and delivering worker’s (and definitely compliance officer’s) wildest dreams. These tech-savvy entrepreneurs are improving the way we design and communicate, making our job sites safer, efficient and sustainable. So, what’s the fuss all about?

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