eDispatch Vol 52

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the technology term of the day in architectural circles. At every architectural trade show we attend, there is a line of industry press representatives and customers asking whether VectorWorks Architect "does BIM." We've been reluctant to join in the hype on this term, because it is not well-defined and some other companies are using it to foster their own product goals. The biggest reason you haven't heard much about BIM from NNA, however, is that it isn't that revolutionary to our customers.

BIM is very simply the concept that your design systems should not just be simple drafting representations of a building but instead should "know" architectural information about your designs. A wall should be a wall, instead of just parallel lines. Installed doors have lights, jambs, and leaves instead of just textured extrudes and polygons. You should be able to draw a building component once and use it in multiple views that automatically update if you make a design change. Does this all sound familiar? It should, because it has been the course VectorWorks has been on since we first introduced the wall object almost 15 years ago.

We also don't think BIM is the solution for all types of architects or architecture. Robert Anderson, our vice president of integrated products, has been traveling around to local user meetings to spread our view of this trend, and we've finally pinned him down to record it for web viewing this week. Take a look at it to see what we view as the strengths and weaknesses of this new industry direction and how VectorWorks Architect fits into the picture. Watch it now

VectorWorks Architect will remain flexible for those that want to work in a 3D-centric design world and for those who want to continue drafting and taking advantage of our product's award-winning graphic capabilities. I think one reason we've been so successful is that we realized early on that the architect is at the center of the design process, not the technology. NNA has created a product that you can use to practice architecture more efficiently, not change the way you do architecture. Be wary of anyone who tells you otherwise.

Sean Flaherty
Sean Flaherty
CEO, Nemetschek North America

VectorWorks Training



Parque Amazonia
Morris Architects
Orlando, FL

Working to Save the Amazon Rainforest with VectorWorks Landmark

More than 19,000 acres of endangered land. One big masterplan. Morris Architects designs the ASLA-award-winning Parque Amazonia in South America's Amazon Rainforest with a project based on ecotourism, sustainability, conservation and education to help promote awareness through ecotourism. And VectorWorks Landmark helped them put it all together.
The Parque Amazonia site consists of roughly 19,000 acres along the banks of the Guama River, which is part of the Amazon River Estuary. The masterplan preserves 13,000 acres of primary and secondary rainforest in state-controlled conservation areas. All proposed improvements are limited to 1,900 acres—just ten percent of the site—on primarily open land which had already been deforested in the 1800's when the Pirelli rubber plantation occupied that area. The remaining 4,000-plus acres of open land will be a combination of open space and reforestation areas to further buffer the existing forest and flooded forest systems. No clearcutting will be done to keep the forest intact as the project's main attraction.

A project of Amazonian proportions
The biggest challenge for the Morris Architects team was getting their arms around the sheer size of the site. But the ability to import GPS data into their VectorWorks Landmark masterplan was critical to the project's success.
"Park Amazonia has been a challenging and inspiring project to work on, and VectorWorks Landmark was instrumental in the success of the project," says Parque Amazonia's design lead Todd McCurdy, associate principal and director of landscape architecture and planning with the firm's Orlando, Florida, office. "Each time our project team traveled to the 19,000-acre Amazon Rainforest site, we used VectorWorks Landmark to integrate the GPS data gathered with our concept site plans to help us understand the vast land and verify locations of vital areas. We were able to analyze any piece of that huge site to understand what was going to go there and how it was going to work and figure out if what we were thinking in the studio was going to translate into reality."

In some instances, McCurdy and other project team members Jim Pope, principal with Morris Architects, designer Ana Monnaco and Walt Geiger, design principal, used the VectorWorks concept plan with GPS coordinates located on it to determine exactly where they were when Brazilian team members led them through the jungle on foot, upriver in small boats and over the site by helicopter.
Next steps
Parque Amazonia will be built in four construction phases over a twenty-year period. Morris Architects began a new contract on the project to take the project to the next level. The firm is helping the government of Para prepare requests for proposals for developers, so construction can begin.
Read the full story "Working to Save the Amazon Rainforest" on the Case Studies page of Nemetschek North America's website.

How can I create default wall styles in VectorWorks Architect so they are available in all my files?

You can easily create custom wall styles by adding them to one of the library files where the default wall styles are located.

From the VectorWorks application, select File > Open. Navigate to the Libraries\Defaults\Walls folder. Select either Wall Styles Imperial.mcd or Wall Styles Metric.mcd, depending on your requirements, and click Open.

From the Resource Browser, create a new Wall Style resource. You can do this by either selecting "New Resource In.." from the Resources menu, or by right-clicking in an empty resource area of the Resource Browser and selecting "New Resource In…" from the context menu. Select "Wall Style" as the resource type to create. (See image 1-1) Define the wall style parameters in the Edit Wall Style dialog box and name the wall style resource. (See image 1-2) Click OK when done.

If you already have wall styles created in other files, simply import them into the Wall Styles Imperial or Wall Styles Metric library file.

When all desired wall styles are created, save and close the library file. Once VectorWorks is restarted, the newly added wall styles will be available in all your files.

How can door and window symbols I've made display in the door and window schedules?

The ID Label Tool allows you to attach door and window record information to custom symbols to display on the proper schedules.

Select one of your door or window symbols in the drawing. From the Dim/Notes tool set, select the ID Label Tool. Next, click on the drawing just outside the symbol where you want the ID label to appear. Click again on the edge of the symbol. The ID/Specification Tool dialog box opens. From the ID Type list, select the type of object you want this symbol to be converted to, and click OK. (See image 2-1)

Select the symbol, and notice that the Object Info palette now identifies it as a door or window. To enter schedule information, click on the Settings button at the bottom of the Object Info palette. (See image 2-2) The Door or Window Preferences dialog box opens. Since this is a custom made symbol, some settings will be grayed. On the Data tab, select On Schedule to add this item to the appropriate schedule, and then complete the schedule data fields. Click ID Settings and complete the ID Settings dialog box as needed. Click OK to save your ID settings, and then click OK again to close the Door or Window Preferences dialog box. (See image 2-3)

When the schedule is either generated or recalculated, the custom items will display with all the information you added.

Why did some of my VectorWorks files disappear or revert to older versions on Windows?

The Windows System Restore feature incorrectly identifies VectorWorks files as part of the Windows system state. When you return a Windows system to a previous state, Windows incorrectly restores previous versions of VectorWorks documents, or completely removes VectorWorks documents that did not exist at the restore point. The only exception to this rule is for VectorWorks files saved within the "My Documents" hierarchy; files located there are not affected by the restore process. If you must perform a Windows system restore, first copy VectorWorks files to the "My Documents" folder or to backup media before initiating the restore.


VectorWorks User Featured in Southern Living

"White Hot Ideas for the Kitchen" in the July issue features a kitchen redesign by Austin architect Mell Lawrence. The first step was to add 15 feet to the eating area. More room meant that Betty's pine table could be centered in the room. Instead of windows, French doors span one wall and lead to a patio. "We wanted to let in as much light as we could and get a great view of the garden," says architect Mell Lawrence. Read more

VectorWorks User Featured in Cadalyst Daily

Cadalyst contributing editor Kenneth Wong explains how VectorWorks helps TV set fabricator blackwalnut achieve sometimes-unrealistic demands of the television industry. Read more

VectorWorks Spotlight Helps Light Up Belle & Sebastian 2006 World Tour

Lighting designer Tyler Littman found VectorWorks Spotlight to be instrumental in designing the lighting for a series of outdoor venues on the US leg of the Scottish band's tour. Read more

VectorWorks Projects Showcased in New Designers Exhibition at London's Business Design Centre

Students from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (BCUC) exhibited their projects at this event- the largest graduate design event in the United Kingdom. Read more

Several AIA San Francisco 2006 Design Awards go to VectorWorks Users

Berkeley-based Arkin Tilt and San Francisco firm Kuth/Ranieri won 2006 awards. Read more

VectorWorks Landscape Tutorial 12 Training Manual Now Available

This exercise-based manual instructs learners how to import a site plan, add plants, schedule plants, calculate hardscape areas, create 3D site models and 3D buildings, and create 3D designs for presentation purposes and much more. Read more





Jul 19


Philadelphia, PA

Jul 20 - Jul 21

Design DC

Washington, DC (Booth #121)

Jul 28

AIA Florida Annual Tradeshow

Boca Raton, FL (Booth #57)

Aug 18 - 20

TNLA Nursery Landscape Expo

San Antonio, TX (Booth #1624)





Jul 19 - 21

New York, NY

• Intro to VectorWorks
• VectorWorks Fundamentals

Jul 26 - 28

Atlanta, GA

• Intro to VectorWorks
• VectorWorks Fundamentals

Aug 2 - 4

San Francisco, CA

• Intro to VectorWorks
• Architect Fundamentals

Aug 9 - 11

Columbia, MD

• Intro to VectorWorks
• Architect Fundamentals

Aug 16 - 18

Chicago, IL

• Intro to VectorWorks
• VectorWorks Fundamentals

Aug 23 - 25

Boston, MA

• Intro to VectorWorks
• Architect Fundamentals





Jul 21

New York VectorWorks User Group

King & King Architects, LLP
Manlius, NY

Jul 22

New Mexico VectorWorks User Group

Patrick Higgins' mountaintop cabin

Aug 2

NYC VectorWorks User Group

Architectural Systems, Inc.
New York, NY

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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