Last month was a month to celebrate. We began shipping VectorWorks 12 to many of our users who have been eagerly awaiting this latest release. Already, we've been hearing good things from many of you, and we sincerely appreciate all your feedback. Some of you have thoughtfully acknowledged the effort that goes into a new release, and we'd also like to thank you for your kind words.

However, we're not finished yet. We've been working to add more graphic content to our website to illustrate many of the new and improved technologies in version 12, so you can see some of these capabilities in action. I'd like to draw your attention to the product pages on our website, where you can now find a link to QuickTime® movies that accompany many of the product feature descriptions.

A few of our New York firms also had reason to celebrate. Leven Betts Studio, Marble Fairbanks and Audrey Matlock Architect all won AIA-NYC and AIA-NYS 2005 awards, and I'd like to congratulate them for their achievements. They were competing against an unprecedented number of submissions this year and doubly deserve to be recognized for their talent. And, of course, we're thrilled that VectorWorks played a part in creating the winning projects.

As the end of the year and holiday season approaches, we look forward to many more occasions and accomplishments to celebrate.

Sean Flaherty
Sean Flaherty
CEO, Nemetschek North America

Version 12 is Here



Sacco + McKinney Architects, P.C.
Latham, NY

VectorWorks Architect's 3D modeling and rendering capabilities help New York architectural firm win design-build competition and deliver on deadline

Sacco + McKinney Architects, P.C.
Just ten months before the start of the fall semester, Union College awarded a $10-million renovation project to Sacco + McKinney Architects, largely on the strength of the firm's presentation to college trustees and administration.

The liberal arts institution had recently purchased a former Ramada Inn and wanted to convert it into a residence hall that would include housing, dining and a conference center. Six firms were invited six firms to compete for the design-build project. And Sacco + McKinney—an eight person firm—beat out five competitors, most of which were much larger AutoCAD© firms.

Burying AutoCAD© alive
"We won the design-build competition largely due to our presentation power," says Jim McKinney, one of the firm's principals and lead architect on the project. "Once we got the job, we saw the presentations from the much larger AutoCAD© firms we were competing against. And the modeling capabilities within VectorWorks Architect absolutely buried them alive. Most of the AutoCAD© firms were floundering around with black and white line plans and hand sketches. I was surprised that that's all they could launch with more than ten times the number of people. These 100+ -seat AutoCAD© firms simply couldn't produce the level of modeling we were able to produce as a four-person team using VectorWorks."

He continues, "Once the administration saw the exterior models and interior renderings we created with VectorWorks, they were sold. Our ability to produce these robust images, as well as the ability to communicate the design clearly and accurately really cemented the deal.
Sacco + McKinney Architects, P.C.
Eliminating the guesswork
Within the two-week time period the firm had to produce designs and pricing, the ability to go from 3D to 2D very quickly gave them another advantage. The builder was able to produce an accurate estimate that was very competitively priced, which also helped the firm win the job.

"We were able to take the 3D model, project it into 2D, generate some elevations and give them to the building contractor to do an estimate," explains McKinney. "Being able to quantify everything very quickly and succinctly in 2D with VectorWorks Architect gave the builder confidence to tighten his numbers. When estimators can do that, they're more competitive, because they don't have to guess."

Racing against the clock
But competing against five big firms wasn't the only challenge. The New York-based firm had just ten months to complete the renovation before students arrived for the fall semester. According to McKinney, the builder allotted the firm two months to produce all construction drawings.

"Again, the ability to go from 3D model to elevation to plan in VectorWorks Architect helped us immensely; we could keep moving off the work we had done," says McKinney. "Being able to auto-generate door schedules and finish schedules, as well as use other built-in capabilities saved us a lot of time, since we didn't have an army of people to do all this."
Sacco + McKinney Architects, P.C.
Saving time with RenderWorks
Being able to create renderings without having to export drawings into another program also saved the design team a lot of time.

"Because we were under such tight time constraints, VectorWorks Architect's built-in rendering features and RenderWorks allowed us to get started on our presentation right away," explains McKinney. "We were able to achieve the results we wanted without having to go outside the program into another program. Now, with image props, our results are even better."
Sacco + McKinney Architects, P.C.
Transitioning from design to construction
Another benefit Sacco + McKinney realized with VectorWorks Architect was the seamless interchange of technical documents among consultants and subcontractors in the field. The firm worked with teams of structural, mechanical and civil engineers, as well as an interior design firm to complete the job without a hitch.

"All our VectorWorks files translated seamlessly into AutoCAD© files all our engineering consultants used," says McKinney. "There were no issues or stumbling blocks with the translations—there never are.

"In fact, the interior designer used our renderings as a basis for their designs," adds Kristen Sallee, another architect in the firm who worked on the project.

Taking full advantage of VectorWorks
McKinney made the switch after seeing a CAD shoot out at a trade show eight years ago and has been using VectorWorks ever since.

"As a small office, we can't afford an IT department, so we want software that's easy to use without extensive training," he explains. "The simplicity, the reliability and the sheer power of VectorWorks Architect are big benefits for us. And you just can't beat the cost. VectorWorks is an extraordinary value for all the capabilities you get."

For more information about Sacco + McKinney’s, please visit, www.saccomckinney.com

How can I work more efficiently with VW 12 tool palettes?

In VectorWorks 12, tool palettes now contain customizable tool sets, which allow you to organize the tools in the manner that suits you best. (See Image 1-1) Tool palettes provide a quick new way to access the Workspace Editor, where you can customize your tool palettes and tool sets. Click the triangle at the bottom of any tool palette to display its utility menu. Select the Customize command, and then select the appropriate Workspace Editor option. (See Image 1-2, 1-3) You can also use a tool palette's utility menu to control the display of its tool sets and tools. The views can be set to text only, icon only, or both text and icons. (See Image 1-4) Tools and tool sets can be arranged alphabetically (in ascending or descending order) as well. You can click and drag a tool set and place it anywhere on the desktop to create a secondary, temporary palette. These "tear-off" tool palettes are handy for quickly accessing frequently used tools.

Where can I select the paper size for my drawing?

VectorWorks 12 no longer has the Set Print Area command. To set the printable area, select File > Page Setup and specify the printable area on the Page Setup dialog box. From there you can open the Printer Setup dialog box and select a paper size.

How can I customize my viewports?

In VectorWorks 12, you can override class attribute settings for a viewport. This can be useful to emphasize a particular aspect of a design. To override a viewport's class attribute settings, select the viewport. In the Object Info palette click Classes. (See Image 3-1) In the Viewport Class Properties dialog box, select the class to modify and click Edit. (See Image 3-2) Make the desired changes to the class attributes and click OK to return to the Viewport Class Properties dialog box. (See Image 3-3) A check mark displays in the column to the left of the class name in the Viewport Class Properties dialog box to indicate that edits have been made. (See Image 3-4) Click OK again to return to the viewport and view the changes to the class attributes. (See Image 3-5)

Is there a quick way to select objects in inactive layers or classes?

Use the new Force Select command to quickly and easily select an object that isn't in the active layer or class (even if you couldn't normally select it due to a different layer scale, or the current class or layer option settings). Image 1 displays a row of yellow plants that are in the active class and layer (Plant Line class and Design Layer-2).The group of small gray plants in the background are in the None class and Design Layer-1. To make a change to the small plant group, right-click (Windows) or Ctrl-click (Macintosh) one of the plants, and then select the Force Select command from the context menu as shown in Image 2. This selects the small plant group and activates its class, layer, or both (as necessary), as shown in Image 3.


VectorWorks 12 Ships with New Project-based Training Materials

VectorWorks 12 is now shipping with two new training resources, the VectorWorks 12 Upgrade Companion and the VectorWorks Core Concepts training CD. These training materials are project-based, so new and upgrade users can learn to use features in the context of a real-world project.

All upgrade users receive The VectorWorks 12 Upgrade Companion with their upgrade orders. Designed to give existing VectorWorks users a jump start into VectorWorks 12, this convenient CD provides detailed explanations and illustrations of the new capabilities in version 12. Advanced features are explained in detail with narrated animations and instructions on how to integrate them into existing workflows. Plus, all topics are linked to the VectorWorks 12 online help system for added explanation.

All new users receive The VectorWorks Core Concepts training CD with their order. It is designed to help users who are unfamiliar with VectorWorks (or are new to CAD) get up and running quickly. It introduces the VectorWorks drawing environment to users. The CD reviews basic drawing and modeling techniques. It provides users with an overview of VectorWorks database/worksheet and scripting capabilities. The CD also explains core concepts, such as printing and import/export options, as well as ways to find additional help.

For more information on VectorWorks 12 and training resources, please visit www.nemetschek.net.

VectorWorks 12 Feature Demos Now Live

New feature demos have been posted to Nemetschek North America's website. Each QuickTime® movie offers an interactive glimpse of each feature in action, so you can see how VectorWorks 12 will help you work more efficiently with better results.

Observe how a dramatically simplified interface helps you find what you need quickly. Find out how simplified VectorWorks tool palettes and menu commands help you work more efficiently and new options make customizing the VectorWorks interface much easier. See how live sections let you easily create section views that update automatically as your model changes. Witness how to create more photorealistic renderings with the indirect and soft lighting effects radiosity provides.

To view all feature demos, visit the Feature Demos page of Nemetschek North America's website.

Users Applaud VectorWorks 12

Here's what some of our users have to say about VectorWorks 12:

"Live sections in VectorWorks Architect 12 have already become indispensable to our design process. We create 3D models in the beginning stages of our projects, and live sections allow us to present sections and views to customers and consultants very early in the process. When we update the 3D models in each phase of development, changes in live sections are immediate—which saves us a lot of time."
Lorenza Barabino
5+1 architetti associati
Genoa, Italy

"I am very excited about VectorWorks Spotlight version 12, and also with the improvements to RenderWorks. Volumetrics at last! Up until now, I've had to farm out my renderings to a very talented colleague who runs another animation program to get proper volumetrics. Now, some of the new features in RenderWorks will really help my process enormously. I'll now be able to respond to clients edits more efficiently and save a considerable amount of money! Most renderings of live shows need to show the atmosphere and dynamic of the live experience rather than the clinical perfection of previous versions. In essence, although I can achieve photorealistic "pictures" of the show, I am usually selling a concept of the performance environment and the various base looks therein. In my opinion, VectorWorks Spotlight continues to be the gold standard by which all others are compared."
--Alex Reardon, touring production designer and VectorWorks user since MiniCAD 5. Recent credits include Duran Duran's 2005 Astronaut world tour.

"One thing that really excites me about VectorWorks Landmark 12 is its connection to geographic information software, so you don't have to own a copy of ARC GIS, but you can take the shape file with all the data in it and export the same data as a graphic in VectorWorks as a shape file with all the data connected to it. This is really an amazing feature, because legacy GIS software packages are even more difficult to use than legacy CAD packages. In general, it's wonderful being able to use a software package that keeps getting better. Using VectorWorks is like getting into a well-designed car. It's an exhilarating experience driving it."
Madis Pihlak
Associate Professor
School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
College of Arts & Architecture
The Pennsylvania State University

"VectorWorks 12 is an exciting upgrade. So many ‘wish list' items got extensive consideration. We can hardly wait to put it to work."
--Tom Pearce
Boykin Pearce Associates
Northern Colorado User Group Leader
Denver, CO





Nov 11 - Nov 13

ETS/LDI Conference & Expo

Orlando, FL (Booth #1069)

Nov 15 - Nov 17

21st Annual Build Boston

Boston, MA (Booth #250)

Nov 15 - Nov 17

AIA Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN (Booth #213)

Dec 01 - Dec 02

JLC Live Pacific Northwest

Portland, OR (Booth #933)

Dec 14 - Dec 15

Ecobuild & AEC-ST Federal 2005

Washington, DC (Booth #623)





Nov 30 - Dec 2

Columbia, MD

• Intro to VectorWorks
• Landmark Fundamentals

Dec 5 - 7

New York, NY

• Intro to VectorWorks
• VectorWorks Fundamentals

Dec 7 - 9

Los Angeles, CA

• Intro to VectorWorks
• VectorWorks Fundamentals





Nov 10

Tampa VectorWorks User Group

Rojo Architecture Offices at Net Park
Tampa, Florida

Nov 12

Hampton Roads Vectorworks User Group

CBN Scenic Services
Chesapeake, Virginia

Nov 16

Boston VectorWorks User Group

The Constitution Room (Seaport Hotel)
Boston, Massachusetts

Nov 16

Minneapolis VectorWorks User Group

Mall of America, Apple Store
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Nov 21

Northern California VectorWorks Users Group

The State of CA Building
Oakland, California





Nov 29

Wine, Cheese, and VectorWorks!

Nemetschek North America
Columbia, Maryland

Dec 07

New Practices Roundtable Technology: Hit or Miss

Center for Architecture
New York, New York

AIA Accreditation
NNA is pleased to offer AIA Continuing Education credit for our seminars. The VectorWorks and VectorWorks ARCHITECT classes are AIA CES certified, so attendees can earn up to 24 CES learning units. For additional information, contact training@nemetschek.net.


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