April 20, 2018
New digital sketching app creates perspective drawings

For years, leaders of architectural firms have bemoaned the lack of hand drawing skills among recent graduates and young professionals entering the practice. With a tendency to bypass hand drawing and rely primarily on computer-aided design software and BIM, it seemed for a time as though hand sketching was a dying art among architectural apprentices. To that point, the late Michael Graves observed in a 2012 op-ed piece in The New York Times that it had “become fashionable in architectural circles to declare the death of drawing.”

As digital design and drawing tools have become more sophisticated in recent years, however, it’s clear not only that the art of hand sketching is alive and well, but also that technology is ushering in a revival of illustrating and is transforming the process of architectural drawing for the better.

“What we’re seeing right now is a huge renaissance in terms of the generation who is already out in offices, and they’re saying to us, ‘We are so happy to be drawing again,’” explained Anna Kenoff, co-founder of creative app development company, Morpholio. Recognizing a need in the market for architectural tools that go beyond simply doodling on a tablet, Kenoff and company launched Morpholio Trace, a drawing app created specifically for architects and designers that infuses “digital magic” into the analog tools of trace paper, technical pens, rulers, triangles, and stencils. “Our app puts scale drawing at the center of the experience, letting designers work intuitively with an iPad Pro and their hands while not losing any accuracy in the process” said Kenoff.

April 13, 2018

The last few Revit annual releases have been boring. Autodesk decided to step up their game this year. There is a lot of new features, many of which have been requested for a long time. Here are our favorite ones. Click here to see the official Autodesk blog post.

This is the probably the most exciting new feature, solving a lot of problems with patterns in earlier releases. You can now have two patterns for each region and material, one in the foreground and one in the background. In the example below, we create a Masonry style filled region with a solid grey background. In previous versions of Revit, you had to create two different region style and put them on over the other to get the same effect.

It also seems the Background parameter has been replaced by a Masking yes/no parameter.

In the example below, we create a CMU material using this double pattern feature. The surface pattern has both the block pattern as well as a light grey pattern. The cut pattern can also be customized with 2 different patterns.

This feature is going to be very useful to indicate multiple colors and tint for exterior materials while style using the Hidden Style visual style. It could also be useful to help add a grey tint to existing elements when using phases.

These days, every serious Revit user is using a second monitor. Up to this point, you could not spread Revit views on multiple screens. The only use for the second monitor was to put the Project Browser and Properties panels. The workaround for this issue was to open a second instance of Revit, which was an awkward and slow process. In Revit 2019, you can now spread views on your second display. As you see below, you get a very beautiful, minimal style since all the options, menus and properties are left on the other screen.

April 9, 2018
Doxel's lidar-equipped robots help track construction projects and catch mistakes as they happen

Doxel is a startup that came out of stealth this week with a US $4.5 million funding round. Their business is making construction cheaper, and their secret (as with so many startups now) is combining massive amounts of data with deep-learning techniques.

Using lidar-equipped robots, Doxel scans construction sites every day to monitor how things are progressing, tracking what gets installed and whether it’s the right thing at the right time in the right place. You’d think that construction sites would be doing this by themselves anyway, but it turns out that they really don’t, and in a recent pilot study on a medical office building, Doxel says it managed to increase labor productivity on the project by a staggering 38 percent.

The concept behind Doxel is straightforward enough: Construction projects have plans and budgets and timelines. If you stick to the plan, the budget and timeline (the things you really care about) should be what you expect. But construction projects with plans and budgets and timelines all depend on a big pile of humans doing exactly what they’re supposed to do, and we all know how often that happens. With that in mind, it may or may not surprise you to learn that 98 percent of large construction projects are delivered (on average) 80 percent over budget and 20 months behind schedule. According to people who know more about these sorts of things than I do, productivity in the construction industry hasn’t improved significantly in 80 years.

April 2, 2018
BIM pilot project reveals the housebuilding sector could save millions

A BIM pilot project headed by Stewart Milne Timber Systems, has shown that technology and collaborative working throughout the housebuilding sector, could save the industry more than £500 million a year. 

According to a recent survey, the 15-month pilot project looked at the cost and efficiency of savings across the housebuilding sector. The project concentrated on digital designs, construction and sales through Business Information Modelling (BIM).

The study suggested that faster planning consent, savings from processes and reduced marketing costs, could save up to £3000 per household.

Stewart Milne Group has created the UK’s first BIM library. It allows architects and designers to create ‘smart’ digital versions of new homes from a suite of TF offsite product solutions accessed via an online portal.

Stewart Dalgarno, product development director of Stewart Milne Group, who led the project said:

“Technology plays a central role in industries like automotive, and has been used to customize the buyer experience for new homes in Japan. In the UK we haven’t yet embraced technology and industrialization with anything like the vigor we could.”

The project asked 21 housebuilding supply chain businesses about BIM and revealed low levels of readiness. Almost all participants said that they were not BIM-ready, and 58% confessed that they were not even aware of BIM.

In light of this revelation, Mr. Dalgarno confirmed that the project had found a compelling case for housebuilders and their supply chains to move towards a digitally integrated future for their services. He said that in doing so, the sector could make significant savings, benefit from a boom of productivity and produce more brand value and high quality homes with fewer defects to meet the growing demands of the industry.

March 26, 2018
10 upcoming trends in BIM – What more to expect in 2018

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is widely gaining popularity in construction. With increased adoption in the coming year, these are the 10 upcoming trends in BIM to watch out for:

In 2018, more and more companies are expected to move beyond 3D-BIM to 4D, 5D, and even 6D BIM. 4D-BIM provides the visual representation of the construction schedule. 5D BIM and 6D BIM add two properties to 3D-BIM: costs and materials. Along with the standard design parameters, details such as geometrics, aesthetics, and thermal and acoustic properties are now included in a project so as to enable engineers to see how a decision affects the costs of a design at an early stage. 6D BIM primarily focuses on the long term. The new versions of BIM maximize the return on their investment.

Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way installers and modelers function. IoT makes releasing BIM data to prefab workshops, suppliers or modelers easy. With up-to-date data, designing can be done directly using ready-to-order products that can be delivered directly to the building site.

Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR) are bringing in huge transformations in the construction sector. Virtual Reality, as it enables installers to examine extensive 3D models through glasses, make it extremely suitable for giving project presentations to the client. Augmented Reality is going to come up as an excellent training tool for conducting clash testing on site. With AR, the possibilities for remote management are immense.

March 13, 2018
Affordable 3D-printed housing model unveiled

The first affordable 3D-printed housing model was yesterday unveiled by Austin-based startup ICON. The company uses the Vulcan 3D printer in order to generate an entire home for $10,000 with plans to bring costs down to $4,000 per house. Using concrete rather than plastic, the model features a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and a curved porch. 

"ICON has developed a method for printing a single-story 650-square-foot house out of cement in only 12 to 24 hours, a fraction of the time it takes for new construction." - theverge.com  

The first model is a step toward providing shelter to those underserved communities. Jason Ballard, one of ICON's three founders, says he is going to trial the model as an office to test out their practical use. Once testing is complete on their model, the Vulcan printer will be moved to El Salvador to begin construction. ICON also intends to build homes in the US.

The model will have a living room, bedroom, bathroom and a curved porch. 'There are a few companies that have printed home and structures", Baillard says. "But they are printed in a warehouse, or they look like Yoda huts. For this venture to succeed, they have to be the best houses." 

ICON says its 3D-printed houses will create minimal waste and labor costs are significantly reduced.

March 7, 2018
Balkrishna Doshi wins Pritzker Prize 2018

Indian architect Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi has been named the 2018 laureate of the Pritzker Prize, architecture's most illustrious award.

Balkrishna Doshi, one of India's most influential 20th century architects, is the 45th recipient of the Pritzker Prize. He is the first Indian architect to be awarded the prize.

Doshi and his practice Vastu-Shilpa has a portfolio spanning over 70 years, including collaborations with both Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn.

"My works are an extension of my life, philosophy and dreams trying to create treasury of the architectural spirit. I owe this prestigious prize to my guru, Le Corbusier," said Doshi.

"His teachings led me to question identity and compelled me to discover new regionally adopted contemporary expression for a sustainable holistic habitat."

After graduating in Mumbai, Doshi began his architectural career in Europe. He apprenticed at Le Corbusier's Paris office and later went on to oversee the construction of some of his mentor's pivotal projects in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad.

Some of his own key projects include the Ahmedabad School of Architecture (1966), which he both designed and founded; the barrel-vaulted studio he created for his studio Vastu-Shilpa in 1981; and his experimental, cave-like Amdavad ni Gufa (1995) gallery.

In 1989 he designed Aranya Low Cost Housing, a labyrinthine complex of russet homes providing affordable residences for 80,000 people in Indore.

March 6, 2018
INDOOR - Architecture seminar at CASA DA ARQUITECTURA

CASA DA ARQUITECTURA - Portuguese Center of Architecture receives, on the 9th and 10th of March, a seminar with the presence of reference names of the national and international architecture that are represented in the exhibition "Poder Arquitectura".

They are architects from various backgrounds who bring experiences from countries such as Sri Lanka, Brazil, Switzerland, Hungary, Italy, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Portugal to In Porto, such as Inês Moreira, Vijitha Basnayaka, Guilherme Wisnik, Manuel Correia Fernandes, João Belo Rodeia, Paolo Tombesi, Sporaarchitects Bruno Figueiredo, Ivo Poças Martins, Miguel Judas, Pedro Appleton, Jorge Carvalho, Luis Santiago Baptista, Renato Rizzi, Whiterford Watson Mann, Aires Mateus, Nuno Grande, Ricardo Carvalho, BIG, Nuno Brandão Costa, Pedro Bandeira, Marina Tabassum, Joaquim Moreno.

Integrated in "Please Share!" - curated program by Roberto Cremascoli, which now enters its Ato4 -, INDOOR presents a series of debates involving architects and internationally renowned offices represented at the "Poder Arquitectura" show, which started at the inauguration and continues until the next 18 March.

The exhibition "Poder Arquitectura", curated by architects Jorge Carvalho, Pedro Bandeira and Ricardo Carvalho, occupies the 800 square meters of the Exposition Nave with "a proposal of reflection around eight powers that align, inflect and diverge between namely, the Collective Power, Regulatory Power, Technological Power, Economic Power, Domestic Power and Media Power. "

February 12, 2018
2nd Portuguese Congress of Building Information Modeling (ptBIM)

The 2nd Edition of the Portuguese Congress of Building Information Modeling will take place on May 17 and 18, at the Centro de Congressos do Instituto Superior Técnico.


The increasing importance of the digital representation of the construction industry and infrastructures, made possible by the Building Information Modeling (BIM) methodologies, is introducing very relevant changes in the design, construction and management of operations. These digital processes introduce new paradigms of relationship between the various 'actors' involved, with great impact on the ways of developing the work.


The purpose of the ptBIM Congress is to promote a technical-scientific discussion forum in the Portuguese language, involving the active participation of the professional and academic communities in the areas of Architecture and Engineering. It is intended to emphasize problems and implementation efforts in the Construction Industry and to strengthen the networks of professionals that incorporate BIM practices in their activities.


The publication of the 'Contratação BIM' guide, developed by the 'Contratação BIM' Task Force, was also set up within the BIM Technical Commission for Standardization (CT197-BIM), with the support of the Instituto Português da Qualidade (IPQ) and the Institute Instituto dos Mercados Públicos, do Imobiliário e da Construção(IMPIC).

February 9, 2018
Herdade of Freixo Winery wins Best Industrial Architecture Building of 2018

The Herdade do Freixo winery spirals along 40 meters and is a kinf of subterranean Guggenheim. Inaugurated in 2016, it has now received the 'Building of the Year 2018' ArchiDaily Award.

This peer-based, crowdsourced architecture award showcases projects chosen by ArchDaily readers who filtered thousands of projects down to the 15 best works featured on ArchDaily in 2017.

As in previous years, the winners showcase a wide spectrum of different types of building, giving an insight into how diverse the profession has become in recent decades. High-profile practices take their place as ever, with winners such as Foster + Partners’ Apple Store in Chicago and OMA’s office building in the Hagueshowing that establishment firms are still able to make their mark, as in more traditional award systems. Alongside these are previously unsung heroes, such as Emergency Architecture & Human Rights with their series of classrooms for the children of the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan—designers who have demonstrated their ability to make real, positive change where it is needed most. Finally, there are projects such as the Santa Fe de Bogotá Foundation by El Equipo de Mazzanti or Heatherwick Studio’s Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, which challenge the still-common belief that world-class examples of virtuoso architecture are concentrated only in historically privileged parts of the globe such as the US, Europe, and Japan.