Category Archives: Sketchup for Construction & Estimating

There is a reason why Hollywood Designers use SketchUp

By | Architects, Architecture, Augmented Reality, BIM, Builders, Business, Construction, Design, Designers, Estimating, Estimators, manufacturers, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Software, Technology, Uncategorized, VDC | No Comments

Image by Luke Whitelock. Copyright owned by Marvel Studios

And the answer is simple.

 

No other CAD or BIM software (or any other acronym that you want to use) has actually been made as a design tool. Our competitors are merely ‘virtual drafting boards’, and have been created so that their users can create 2D drawings in a slightly more efficient way.

 

SketchUp on the other hand, is the first 3D CAD design software. The Trimble SketchUp team believe that Architects and Designers should be focused on design (above everything else), and that’s why they created SketchUp as ‘a pencil with superpowers’. It enables you to design in 3D, in the same free way that you can design with a pencil and pen (the traditional, and only other way to truly design). But most of us can’t really draw anyway, right? Well, drawing with SketchUp in 3D makes you look like a pro. And no other CAD software comes close.

Luke Whitelock is an Assistant Art Director with over 12 years experience working on large movies for clients as diverse as Marvel, Fox, Universal and Disney. Luke plays a major role in bringing movies to life and realizing the finished movie sets. He has worked on some ‘big name’ movies, such as “Inception”, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Doctor Strange” (among many others). Check out his IMDb bio. He is currently finishing work on “Avengers: Infinity War”.

Image by Luke Whitelock. Copyright owned by Marvel Studios

Luke has now used SketchUp in his work for over 10 years. In the last 5 years, he made a transition from 2D board drawing to using only SketchUp and Layout for his work. Aside from dreaming up the sets of block buster movies, he also helped to design the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” Theme Park at Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida.

 

Luke has been very vocal about how great SketchUp and Layout are, and within the Film Art Departments he has converted many of his peers.

Image by Luke Whitelock. Copyright owned by Marvel Studios

As you can see from some examples of Luke’s work, his designs are not only highly creative and emotive, but also very technical. Because the 3D model is so complete, and illustrative, he is also able to quickly turnaround projects within a couple of weeks and then see them go into production immediately. This is because SketchUp enables him to do three things seamlessly:

  • design
  • communicate his design in a way that everyone immediately understands (3D, colour, perspectives, etc).
  • communicate technically (so that the designs can be built)

Movie Draftsman and Art Directors need vivid imaginations, and ensure that they use the best mediums to help them design, and then communicate their vision.

 

In the words of Luke, ‘Much of what we do in the Art department relies heavily on everyone being able to understand the design, not just from a construction point of view but also from the perspective of all the other departments, whether thats rigging, SFX, Visual Effects, Set Dec or the Director of Photography. A SketchUp model can be viewed by everyone and immediately everyone knows what they can expect to get with regards to a finished set. Quick turnarounds and last minute script changes are not as painful as they once were, as the beauty of SketchUp and Layout means I can change the design and the drawings will automatically update saving hours of labour and stress. I love SketchUp!!’

We share Luke’s statement, and we believe that these same principles that are so important to being able to successfully design movie sets have exactly the same importance for the design of buildings.

 

So why do Architects and Designers use software that have not been made primarily to help us design, and then communicate the form and feel of our designs in ways that everyone understands (especially our clients)? Why are we using ‘Virtual Drafting Boards’ and trying to communicate the old way (in 2D)? 

 

Shouldn’t we be using software that helps us design (first and foremost) – but also communicates the form, feel, and function? Just like in the movies, design is all about emotion. You should be able to communicate directly in your immersive 3D model – more 3D, less 2D!

 

However, we also understand that Architects and Designers also need smarter ways to draw, specify products, and capture information/data in the model. We understand the power of BIM – and being able to model parametrically (having the ability to adjust every element in your drawing through attributes, rather than having to redraw, or manually adjust). We understand that you need to be able to design and specify real building materials and products. We understand that you need to be able to be able to work with consultants and be able to update your work to suit their specifications. We understand that you need to be able to easily manage the cost of your designs so that they meet your clients budget. And we understand that you are supposed to do all of this and more within strict deadlines.

 

This is why we created PlusSpec for SketchUp.

 

At RubySketch, we don’t think the same way as our competitors. We want to change the way that we design and build. We believe that 3D technology should be more than just another way to create 2D plans.

 

We challenge the traditional ways of doing things by creating software that ends the communication breakdown between architects, builders and manufacturers (not to mention clients).

 

PlusSpec for SketchUp gives you total design freedom, as well as the best of Building Information Modeling, Virtual Design and Construction & One-click Feasibility studies. This is the ultimate design tool for Architects and Designers. With PlusSpec for SketchUp, you will create 3D ‘Virtual Design and Construction Models’. These are exact, virtual replicas of what will be built, and contain all of the information about the project within the model (everything that anyone would ever need to know). And because it is true 3D, you are able to communicate the feel, form and function a ‘natural way’ (from within the interactive and immersive 3D model): the same way we see the world with our eyes; the same way that we lose ourselves in movies. If you have highly bespoke/complex elements in your design. use the easy SketchUp tools and 3D sketch it, then ‘BIM-it’ with PlusSpec – and you don’t need to be a guru or BIM Manager to do it!

 

It just so happens that our software is simple to use and user friendly.

Become part of PlusSpec HERE

 

See some more examples of Luke’s work HERE.

SketchUp also recently interviewed another Hollywood Visual Artist, by the name of Chris Rosewarne. Check out this very interesting article HERE.

Tilt panels and prefabricated concrete building components in Design, BIM, Estimating, CAD software

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Builders, Construction, Design, Designers, Estimating, Estimators, manufacturers, modular, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Software, Tradies, Uncategorized, VDC, Waste reduction | One Comment

Modular construction comes in many forms. Designing concrete prefabricated panels to suit transportation and load capacity of a crane can be a challenge. There are software packages that do this in a high LOD (level of detail), such as Tekla, which allows the addition of reinforcement and output of working drawings. In many cases this level of detail is not required at design conception and feasibility stages. In these cases software like Plusspec for SketchUp can be a great way to detail and pre-prepare for input into Tekla. The advantages of doing so become evident quickly, especially when it comes efficiency and cost calculation.

 

PlusSpec allows the creation of concrete walls in totality, yet it also has the ability to segment walls to suit manufacturing addition of voids/openings and transportation sizing. One of the many advantages is the output of quantities according to wall segments and connections.

 

The other benefit of PlusSpec is how you can output files. PlusSpec works inside of SketchUp, and for those who know Tekla structure would know that SketchUp files can be imported into Tekla very quickly and efficiently so that the BIM and virtual design and construction life cycle can be completed.

 

For more information visit: www.plusspec.com

The team at RubySketch recently worked closely with Brickwork’s new Pronto Panel system. Check out the construction details on the RubySketch library, which are FREE to download!

PlusSpec and Sketchup VDC BIM detail of pronto panel

We also recently released the Dincel Construction System in the wall tool inside of PlusSpec. So if you love using the Dincel Construction System, there is no better way to design &/or estimate with it!

Dincel Wall Tool

Is there a modular system that you would love to see inside of PlusSpec? Leave us a comment. We’d love to hear what you’d like to see!

Check out some photos from a recent visit to a well known manufacturer/vendor:

SketchUp 17 Pro Review

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Construction, Design, Designers, IFC, PlusSpec, PlusSpec Updates, Sketchup, SketchUp 2017 Review, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Sketchup tips and tricks, Software, Uncategorized | No Comments

SketchUp 2017 Release: What we (the RubySketch team) like best:

At a glance the obvious changes are evident by the little man in the corner (when you open SketchUp). The previous mascot has been replaced with Chris, who’s sporting a nice new blue/grey polo shirt, beige pants, sports watch and slip on shoes. Unlike previous versions though, Chris isn’t Dynamic, so you can’t mess with his colours via the on-click function (but most people didn’t even know that you could do that, so it’s no biggy!).

The  most obvious change to SketchUp is the rectangle tool. You will notice that it now has a small pre-drawn rectangle, which will help you automatically select the axis that you want to draw on. You can even lock the axis by using your arrow keys, which is super useful (for new and pro users alike).

 

One other thing to note is that SketchUp has changed the location in which they save components. This is a big help! Now you can easily load/insert your components into your projects with ease.

 

The speed of SketchUp has improved dramatically (at least 20% to 30%) and this is one of the improvements that we like most. However, our favorite improvement in SketchUp 2017 is the new graphics (line work, transparent materials, shadows, etc) in both SketchUp and Layout. If you want to to see the difference for yourself, open a model in SketchUp 2016 and 2017. If you don’t notice the difference, open > Preferences > Open GL, and then select a higher number in the Multisample anti-aliasing drop down box.

 

All in all, it’s a thumbs up from us over here at RubySketch. Well done to the team at SketchUp, but as always we are looking forward to seeing whats lined up for SketchUp 2018!

 

Andrew Dwight has made an “off the cuff” screen grab video and added it to the RubySketch YouTube Chanel, which I am sure many will get some great Sketchup 2017 tips from.

Let’s take a look at some of the best new features from the SketchUp Release Notes:

SketchUp

SketchUp

  • The graphics have been completely reworked, so everything you draw will look even sexier!
  • Transparent materials quality and speed has been improved.
  • The modeling window is now DPI aware and will look way better on your display.
  • The Offset tool has been improved so that any overlapping geometry is trimmed automatically to create clean boundaries with no overlaps.
  • The inferencing tools have been further pimped so that you can draw easier and faster.
  • A new Component Origin inference has been added so that you can find and snap to a component’s origin.
  • Persistent IDs for entities have been added, which keeps dimensions and labels better attached in Layout when the model changes
  • Smarter Graphics Card Settings have been implemented to ensure that SketchUp runs the best it can on your computer.
  • The UI for the Add Location tool has been reworked. They have ditched the old Google UI and created a new UI by Trimble, which leverages Trimble’s geo-data infrastructure.
  • The printing quality output directly from the SketchUp model has been improved.
  • You can now change the axis colours. This is particularly beneficial for people who are colour-blind.

SketchUp Layout

SketchUp Layout

  • The Graphics in Layout have been improved, so that your drawings will look better than ever before.
  • A Table tool has finally been added. You can now create a multiple row and column table that can be easily customized to suit your requirements. This is perfect for schedules, cut lists (and the list goes on).
  • You can now import .csv, .tsv, and .xlsx spreadsheet files into Layout as tables – and they will be dynamically referenced, so if your link file changes, you can update the reference to display the new data, or re-link to an updated spreadsheet.
  • Dimensions have been improved. You can now drag a dimension line without affecting the dimension’s offsets or connections.
  • A new Offset tool has been added so that you can now have greater 2D drawing ability.
  • It is now easier to do a click-drag sections (to select multiple objects in your Layout file) without accidentally moving anything.
  • DWG exporting has had a major rework.:
  1. You can now export a multiple page document into one dwg file.
  2. Dimensions (and other 2D objects) will be exported as native dwg objects so your dimensions will not be exploded, and circle and arcs will no longer be segmented splines.
  3. Defined linetype scales are now being respected
  4. Clipping masks are now exported (they were previously unable to be exported).
  5. Text will now remain as the correct font, location and stype

PlusSpec by RubySketch

SketchUp keeps getting better, but how much is your time worth?

 

Learn how PlusSpec will enable you to draw 50 times faster inside of SketchUp.

PlusSpec will set up your model for you, 2D drawing in Layout, construction drawing, shadow diagrams and detailed sections have been automated.

PlusSpec is smart, it sets up layers, groups and components for you, just like the pros do: walls, floors & roof are easily modified, hidden & textured.

PlusSpec automatically generate structure, BOQ’s, Estimates & Specifications – all at the click of a button!

The tutorials are built in and PlusSpec is easy to learn, so get your copy while you are here.

What are you waiting for?

Get PlusSpec TODAY!

Please note that the SketchUp 2017 release incorporates a lot of General fixes and improvements, which we have not outlined in our review. For the Full Release Notes, see the SketchUp Website.

 

Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Official SketchUp 2017 Video HERE!

Brickworks Australbricks now have their full range of bricks available inside of PlusSpec for SketchUp

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Construction, Design, Designers, manufacturers, PlusSpec, PlusSpec Updates, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Software, Uncategorized, VDC, Waste reduction | No Comments

We are happy to announce to our Australian users, that Brickworks Australbricks have further partnered with RubySketch, and now have their full range of bricks available inside of PlusSpec.

 

Every single brick! Can you believe it?

 

Combined with PlusSpec’s new Material Library search function, Australian users can now set their State (Vic, NSW, WA, QLD, SA, TAS) and only have access to bricks that are actually available in their region. This will ensure that you do not accidentally specify a brick that you can’t actually use!

 

Austral Bricks Full Product Range

 

Key benefits of PlusSpec for Brickworks Australbricks Customers:

Architects and Designers

  • Ability to design with any Australbricks products, with a true representation of colour and texture.
  • Ability to generate unprecedented feasibility studies and/or material quantities, with no extra work.
  • Communicate more effectively with Clients, Builders and trades: Ensure that everyone understands the design.

Builders

  • Ability to automatically generate a Take-off and Estimate, and to select if you want to calculate the bricks by the m2 of bricks, or by the exact number of bricks.
  • Round up bricks to match the pallet sizes. This will prevent accidentally under-ordering, or over-ordering.
  • Other benefits include: communicating with subcontractors, error reduction and human error when interpreting specifications.

Homeowners

  • PlusSpec enables unprecedented Communication. Clients will know what they will get, before it is built.
  • Don’t like the brick now that you see it? Have another brick specified with the click of a mouse!

PlusSpec will have a booth at SketchUp 3D Basecamp

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Business, Construction, Design, Designers, manufacturers, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Sketchup tips and tricks, Uncategorized, VDC | No Comments

SketchUp 3D Basecamp 2016 is being held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado from June 13th – 15th, and PlusSpec will be there as a sponsor!

 

The 3D Basecamp, by SketchUp, is the place to be to meet and be inspired by some of the best SketchUp users from around the world. This year, the team at SketchUp are also introducing a 3D Bootcamp (being held on the weekend before 3D Basecamp), which is a two-day intensive training workshop. This sounds like it will be a great way of learning how to become a SketchUp ninja.

 

If you are one of the lucky ones to have a ticket (3D Basecamp and 3D Bootcamp are both sold out), we hope that you’ll come find us and have a chat. We will have a booth/table, and we will be demonstrating how PlusSpec is the professional BIM solution that SketchUp users have been waiting for.

 

We will be giving away heaps of prizes, so you won’t want to miss out by being shy.

 

Tickets to 3D Basecamp have been sold out for ages, so make sure that you get in early next year so that you don’t miss out.

 

The official layout has not yet been released, but we won’t be hard to find. In the meantime, please take the time to browse the event page and have a look at the 3D Basecamp Schedule by clicking here.

So what’s on at Basecamp?

 

Monday

Lighting Design using SketchUp | goo.gl/VIo6Pe

Down to the Details: Model Everything in SketchUp | goo.gl/1mGe1M

SketchUp in Big, Data-Driven Projects | goo.gl/NbmmwI

Performance Based Design in Action | goo.gl/UbjtcN

SketchUp Basics Training: Part 1 [3-hour hands-on workshop] |goo.gl/Ch5ARp

Cities and SketchUp: Planning the Future in 3D | goo.gl/bS1LNG

A Complete Residential Project in SketchUp | goo.gl/rqtkRu

Virtual Design & Construction at JE Dunn | goo.gl/9hPSjE

Timber Framing and SketchUp | goo.gl/TBEJcK

SketchUp Basics Training: Part 1 [3-hour hands-on workshop, cont’d] |goo.gl/Ch5ARp

Paved with Good Intentions: When Good Models Go Bad | goo.gl/KWev8t

Information Modeling in SketchUp: An Overview | goo.gl/fpRfkD

SketchUp for CNC | goo.gl/rLeQ2A

SketchUp Basics Training: Part 1 [3-hour hands-on Workshop, cont’d] |goo.gl/Ch5ARp

 

Tuesday

Plans & Elevations 2.0 [3-hour hands-on workshop] | goo.gl/5M2wDV

SketchUp Basics Training: Part 2 [3-hour hands-on horkshop] | goo.gl/1xyiqI

Proposals to Projects: A SketchUp Interior Design Workflow |goo.gl/QrLKbE

Deploying 3D Environments for Education, Virtual Reality, Gaming and More | goo.gl/mdB2Bl

Spreading SketchUp Through an Organization | goo.gl/1c0WMA

Plans & Elevations 2.0 [3-hour hands-on workshop, cont’d] | goo.gl/5M2wDV

SketchUp Basics Training: Part 2 [3-hour hands-on workshop, cont’d] |goo.gl/1xyiqI

Dream Up: Planning, Designing, and Building Amazing Attractions in SketchUp | goo.gl/DsZqaW

Smart Modeling for Complex Construction Documents | goo.gl/cm4Pog

Empirical Sketching for As-Built Modeling | goo.gl/WUBn7d

Building Beautiful Drawings: The SketchUp Arch-Viz Platform [3-hour hands-on workshop] | goo.gl/H4IOwU

Everything You Need to Know about Materials [90-minute hands-on workshop] | goo.gl/HpxA8W

Component Based Modeling Fundamentals [90-minute hands-on workshop] | goo.gl/krASdt

Context is King: Creating Context Models from Concept to Render |goo.gl/qY5QEU

SketchUp in the K-12 Classroom | goo.gl/JHv2bF

 

Wednesday

Extension Open House [3-hours, informal presenations] | goo.gl/wUaO0f

How do I […] in SketchUp [3-hours, informal presentations] | goo.gl/tFs2Gv

Rendering with V-Ray | goo.gl/NP7j3n

Content Quality is King: Making Models that Work Great | goo.gl/qaObh8

Timber Framing in SketchUp [2 hour, hands-on workshop] | goo.gl/TBEJcK

Extension Open House [3-hours, informal presenations] | goo.gl/wUaO0f

How do I […] in SketchUp [3-hours, un-conference] | goo.gl/tFs2Gv

Scripting 101: Learn to Code in SketchUp [90-minute hands-on workshop] |goo.gl/5j5nU5

Rendering with Podium | goo.gl/DD12SM

Quad Modeling for Smooth Geometry | [90-minute, hands-on workshop] |goo.gl/aH5YvT

 

Now that is a great line up, we look forward to seeing you there!

Manufacturer Spotlight: Taubmans

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Business, Construction, Design, Designers, IFC, manufacturers, PlusSpec, PlusSpec Updates, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Software, Uncategorized, VDC, Waste reduction | No Comments

We would like to thank Taubmans for their latest PlusSpec ‘shout-out’, and for their ongoing support.

 

Australian users will be very happy to hear that the full Taubmans colour range is Coming Soon to PlusSpec!

 

Check out their latest Flyer:

Taubmans Coming Soon to PlusSpec Flyer

Taubmans regularly send out flyers with their paint brushout samples – and every user of the Taubmans Colour Centre requesting paint brushout samples will receive this PlusSpec flyer.

 

We recommend that all of our Australian users register to utilise these services from the Taubmans Colour Centre, by clicking on the ‘Register’ link found Here. This is the easiest way to see what your favourite colours look like off the screen, receive other promotional items from Taubmans, and stay up to date with all of their latest news.

This is just the beginning

We’ve been working on a new BIM Paint tool that will change the way you design, estimate and specify paint.

Interior design in combination with design and construction is a huge step forward for our industry.

Find out more here in our latest release.

Deborah Singerman Article: Why Architects and Designers are making the switch from Revit to PlusSpec 3D software

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Construction, Design, Designers, manufacturers, PlusSpec, Revit, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Software, Uncategorized, VDC, Waste reduction | No Comments

PlusSpec for design and construction

Award winning professionals use PlusSpec!

We would like to thank Deborah Singerman for her article on our latest 3D software, PlusSpec 2016. We liked it so much that we thought we would share it on our blog also:

 

Why Architects and Designers are making the switch from Revit to PlusSpec 

By Deborah Singerman

 

Ian Veroni from Dymaxion Design is a perfect example. When Ian Veroni won a copy of PlusSpec at a design conference, he stopped using Revit, and has never looked back.

 

What do you like about PlusSpec?

I previously used Revit from Autodesk as a design tool, but I immediately found PlusSpec to be very intuitive. It integrates with Trimble SketchUp, but takes it to a new level of BIM: it has the ability to construct everything together, assembling components and generating the build information, structure and BOQ for feasibility, simultaneously. It’s a great tool and has enhanced my ability to produce documents quickly, and better communicate my design intent to my clients and builder.

 

Which features do you mainly use?

You are able to bring in industry standard products from manufacturers, such as kitchen cabinetry, doors and windows. I also use the branded products built into the software. I like it that PlusSpec uses real products and manufacturers. I do not use all of them because I can create my own as well. Because of this, I am engaging more and more with building suppliers. The ‘Building Information Modelling’ aspects are very easy to manipulate (so that I can capture the correct information), and I love that I also can see this information visually.

 

This makes designing so much quicker; mind you, this does not take away from the fact that the design process still takes some time. You still have to do the annotations, dimensions, bill of quantities, though you can generate quantities quickly and with little data input from yourself. I am reliant on the builder giving me cost information to input, which will allow me to tell the client the expected quantity of e.g. brickwork, and they get a good sense of that and can say, ‘ok’. I can apply cost per square metre and see if it comes close to realising the budget, and it means that I can give the client a ballpark figure for their budget purposes – and understand cost implications at any given time, so that I design within their budget.

 

PlusSpec’s new tool for truss design is also brilliant: absolutely amazing. It allows you to create trussed roof framing, which helps resolve conflict and clashes in the roof design.

 

How else has PlusSpec helped you?

The parametric components combined with SketchUp’s 3D environment have made it so much easier to communicate with clients. There is not just the 3D model for them to look at but a 3D model that has built component features within it. For instance, with SketchUp you are creating surface finishes and so forth, independently – but with PlusSpec those components and finishes, the brick types, interior wall finishes and so on, are built in. They are all part of the parametric assembly. You can add your component height and generate the design around that, so it is a lot easier to focus on design work and concentrate on actually designing.

 

My clients are now tending to look at the 3D work more and more, and can anticipate the finished product in 3D format to get their design ideas quickly. This means you can engage a client in the design process from the get-go. PlusSpec delivers highly conceptual solutions so the client can visualise their own building, and you can more easily discuss their requirements. In the past they might ask, ‘what is that little bit over there’ but now they can can see it in context immediately and say ‘oh that’s great, I get it’. Or they can let you know if, for instance, they think a fixture is going to be a bit too close to a bathtub or cabinetry as an example.

 

On a day-to-day basis, how do you incorporate PlusSpec into your work?

I previously worked full time at Woolworths Ltd. as national design manager and started my own business a year ago. I moved up to the Hunter Valley a year ago too. I am mainly doing residential work and one of two small commercial projects such as an outbuilding for a winery and a storage facility for a large property which includes an upgrade to an existing building. I live in The Vintage, a golf course (designed by Greg Norman) development with a hotel and residential component, in the heart of the wine region.

 

I deal with engineers, builders and contractors. I am currently going through a design review and council Development Applications. These plans can vary with their comments. Documents then need to change rapidly and PlusSpec helps tremendously with this documentation. I can also pull a lot of data out of the parametric information and apply that to the specification as well.

 

Builders sit here with me and have been astounded by the information I can give them just with a mouse click. It is very useful for them – especially because PlusSpec automatically generates customisable structure, and allows me to show details of the design in 3D.

 

It is very collaborative software. As a designer using the PlusSpec tool with an owner and builder is absolutely huge. It has really helped me with clients; it has taken about 80 per cent of the work I have to do. You can collaborate, which is difficult to do in an industry that does not change quickly. It’s all there.

 

I am passionate about my work, and that passion has been enhanced by PlusSpec.

 

Deborah Singerman’s original article can be found here.

 

About the author:

Deborah Singerman runs her own writing, editing, proofing and project management consultancy, specialising in the urban built environment, design, creativity and community. @deborahsingerma; dsingcbeat@ozemail.com.au

Le BIM pour SketchUp: Supporting our Friends – Adebeo

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Construction, Design, Designers, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Sketchup tips and tricks, Software, Tutorial, VDC | No Comments

Distributor Spotlight

 

Parlez- vous Français?

Venez comprendre les raisons pour lesquelles votre logiciel ne se compare pas et, observez par vous-même comment PlusPec pour SketchUp change la facon dont nous concevons, communiquons et construisons.

 

PlusPec est Simple, Puissant, Professionnel et Abordable – et il devient rapidement le plus puissant BIM et Logiciel d’estimation au monde.

 

Rejoignez la révolution BIM !!

 

Adebeo est le Distributeur officiel Francais et Suisse de PlusPec. Contactez-les directement et obtenez votre licence aujourd’hui !

 

Stramit Colorbond Steel Roofing now available inside of PlusSpec for SketchUp

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Construction, Design, Designers, manufacturers, PlusSpec, PlusSpec Updates, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Software, Uncategorized, VDC, Waste reduction | No Comments

We are happy to announce to our Australian users, that Stramit Building Products have partnered with RubySketch, and now have their Stramit and ColorBond roofing range available inside of RubySketch and PlusSpec for SketchUp.

 

John Bull, Stramit’s Marketing Manager, recognizes the value of PlusSpec for the industry. “PlusSpec is the solution the industry has been waiting for. Now anyone can specify our products, while completely reducing error.”

 

Key benefits of PlusSpec for Stramit Customers:

Architects and Designers

  • Ability to design with real Stramit products, with a true representation of colour and texture.
  • Stramit products and the ColorBond® range  can now be designed virtually in 3D, just as it would be constructed on site. This enables 3D details to be easily created to clarify complex conditions, and to better understand products specification, procedures and requirements.
  • Ability to generate unprecedented feasibility studies and/or material quantities, with no extra work.

PlusSpec_Stramit Colorbond Roofing

Builders

  • Ability to create a 3D roof with Stramit products in seconds (including the structure), with simply a few clicks of a mouse.
  • Ability to automatically estimate the size of building products required, including: roofing, guttering, fascia, valley iron, and down pipes, with all the correct ordering codes.
  • Other benefits include: communicating with subcontractors, error reduction and human error when interpreting specifications.

PlusSpec_Stramit Colorbond Roofing

Homeowners

  • PlusSpec enables unprecedented Communication. Clients will know what they will get, before it is built.
  • Stramit customers will be able to see what the Stramit products look like and be able to walk around their home in virtual 3D (unlike 2D plans).

PlusSpec_Stramit Colorbond Roofing

 

Check out the full article by the BDAV (Page 33).

 

About Stramit

Stramit Building Products is a major Australian manufacturer of roll-formed steel building products, including roof and wall cladding, guttering, fascia, purlins, flooring and structural formwork. These products, along with complementary products and services, are delivered through a nationwide network of manufacturing and distribution centres, strategically located to ensure coverage of major metropolitan and regional markets.

 

Construction Estimating and Quantity Take-off

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Construction, Design, Designers, manufacturers, PlusSpec, PlusSpec Updates, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Uncategorized | No Comments

3D model with structural timber Steel, HVAC, and trusses for 3D BIM, VDC & Estimating

 

What is the best estimating software to use in residential and commercial projects?

Estimating a project can be hit and miss, and it takes a long time to ensure you are accurate. There are a lot of programs available on the market these days, and it is tricky to know which one will work for your business.

 

It is hard for a custom builder to actually sit down and do a complete quantity take off by themselves. Honestly, it is very expensive. Larger volume builders offset these costs by building from set plans, which will be used hundreds of times. Moreover,  custom variations are how they make money on each project.

 

The same cannot be said for small building companies. Every hour spend quoting, is an hour of free work. Small builders do not get paid to prepare a quote, so they are forced to spend tedious hours after work, compiling their quotes for free. I remember those days very well, and I will never go back.

 

Many custom builders send plans to a quantity surveyor and pay a premium, with no guarantee on accuracy. Others get their partners to help. I must say sitting down after a day on site to work for free is not something that I would wish on anyone. Cracking a beer, having a game of golf (or any other leisurely activity), and spending time with friends and family is what we should be doing when we get home.

 

Nevertheless, quoting is part of our work, so we need to do it quickly, accurately and efficiently within working hours.

The largest majority of errors when quoting/estimating stem from a 2D plan. Simply tracing over a floor plan may allow you to achieve easy measurements like flooring, plate lengths and approximates on square meters (for internal linings, etc) – but may be fraught with error and oversights. The truth is that most cost estimators and builders can easily miss combining elevations, sections, window layouts, plumbing, electrical and engineering plans. It is difficult to say the least – especially when you have a plan set of 40 or more pages, which is a common occurrence on many small to medium projects these days. We assume that more detail would create more accurate estimates, yet there is a point where over detailing will actually equate to more time and a higher chance of error.

 

Estimation and quantity take-off error, can also be attributed to the fact that builders do not get paid to quote (especially in the residential market). Most builders know from experience the approximate price of a job, by simply looking at the plans. However, this is hubris and should never be relied upon. I guess this is the reason why many builders do not even bother submitting a formal price? Either way, it does not do you or the industry reputation any good.

 

I was browsing through an industry magazine today,  and I read advertisements from 5 different programs, each boasting that they had the best software for estimating and quantifying from plans (4 of them had to be wrong, right?). Some even preached that their software produced 3D.  However, as soon as you dig a little deeper, you realize that you either you need a degree to run the software, or that the software simply does the easy stuff (which you could more easily do with a ruler, calculator and paper).

 

Estimating software needs to produce more than square meter, cubic meter and lineal meter calculations. Estimating software also needs to show you potential issues, so that you can accommodate for them and associate a cost to them. In my 25 years of construction and estimating, I know firsthand that the majority of mistakes were due to inconsistencies in plans, or the unforeseen details that were hiding within the lifeless 2D lines. 2D plans were a necessity once, but not anymore. We now have the technology to be able to watch sport live on our phones, video chat for free with someone on the opposite side of the planet, or perform complex tasks with the click of a button. And yet we still use endless pages to communicate complex structures. This has to stop. It is increasing the costs of construction as well as the risk of error.

 

Some programs come with pricing pre-installed, and it is a big help – particularly for the Design Industry. However, if a builder was to quote off the standard prices, how would he or she know that the prices are geolocated to the project? I am sure we all know that a project in a densely populated area would be less expensive than a project out in the country… If manufacturers are on the East Coast and projects are on the West Coast, common sense tells us that the delivery cost will have a substantial impact on the project cost. Sure the quantities and labour rates may be right, yet the delivery costs will be well short. Furthermore, many of the specified products may not even be available.

 

One way to counteract this, is to add in provisional allowances, to cover the medium price of a product. It gives the client an indication of the amounts that they have to spend on bricks, or finish items. However, we all know it would be so much better to have the finished product in the original estimate. This way, the price is fixed and administration staff can be better used creating a full set of purchase orders according to the quote. So why can’t we simply insist on this?Clients need to see how the products you have estimated will look together. Clients need to see how things go together. It is very unusual for a client to have a full finish schedule before the builder quotes a job. Traditional estimating software does not allow this. However, PlusSpec does.

 

SO, what’s next for PlusSpec? Well, I am pretty confident that we can cover the quantities in very little time, yet real power is achieved when products can be ordered and automatically added to accounting software. Estimating software is one thing, and accounting software is another. A great estimating program is not a great accounting program, and to work well, they need to talk together. The Take-off needs to go directly to the accounting software, and orders need to be able to be placed on site.

 

I am pleased to announce that PlusSpec will soon export orders directly to Xero. You heard it here first!

 

PlusSpec = Design > Engineer> Present> Estimate> Account> Purchase> Deliver> Construct.
‘The future of Estimating Software is here.

Top