Autodesk 3ds Max
May 22 at 1PM EST
Solutions Specialist, MEP
View Chris Riley's Bio
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May 13, 2013
10 Tara Boulevard, Suite 420
Nashua, NH 03062
AHA Consulting Engineers is an MEP engineering design firm of 100 experts in offices throughout the East Coast, that specializes in MEP engineering, building commissioning, sustainable consulting, energy modeling and building information modeling. In order to remain competitive, the firm recognized the need to make the transition to BIM by upgrading its software, training its staff on new systems, and transitioning to a BIM workflow.
Microdesk assisted by getting AHA up to date on the latest MEP BIM software and providing custom training for their team of MEP engineers. This included creating a comprehensive BIM transition plan and new standards that reflect the new technology and workflows. By providing project mentoring on pilot projects, Microdesk was able to ensure the success of the implementation by integrating training with project work.
Microdesk continues to provide ongoing on–call training, consultation and support to the AHA team in order to ensure continued success with leveraging their technologies effectively and efficiently.
Autodesk, Inc. is the leading provider of 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas.
Feature Data Object (FDO) Providers for Autodesk Geospatial Solutions enable the seamless connection of technologies by automatically translating data, allowing users of products such as AutoCAD Map 3D and AutoCAD Civil 3D to access data stored in a variety of spatial formats across platforms. However, many organizations that manage GIS data using Autodesk products also maintain data stores in ESRI proprietary formats such as file geodatabases and ArcSDE, which did not have an FDO provider option. These organizations would have to invest a significant amount of time and resources attempting to translate data across platforms, and risk data loss in the process.
Microdesk was engaged to develop a new FDO provider that delivers seamless access to ESRI data formats such as file geodatabases and ArcSDE. The FDO Provider for ArcGIS was developed using the ArcObjects Cross–Platform C++ API and has undergone a series of updates to provide compatibility with the ArcGIS 10 platform. The FDO provider developed by Microdesk is now available for Autodesk's 2011 and 2012 geospatial solutions.
Consulting Engineering Services (CES) is a multi–disciplined mechanical, electrical, plumbing, engineering firm that specializes in alternative energy and sustainable design solutions for Education, Health Care, Research & Development, Corporate Office, Sports & Recreation, Community and Private Estate projects. In order to remain competitive, the firm recognized the need to make the transition to BIM by upgrading its software, training its staff on new systems, and transitioning to a BIM workflow.
Microdesk, Inc. assisted CES by providing BIM development consultation and complete BIM transformation services. This included upgrading and deploying the latest AutoCAD MEP and Revit MEP across all user workstations; creating standards and workflow processes to help lay groundwork for the company's BIM transition; and developing a comprehensive BIM roll–out program, which included a custom training curriculum and project mentoring to help users apply skills learned in the classroom to current project work.
The Columbia Construction Company is a Boston–based construction management firm with an 80–year history of providing construction services for the academic, corporate, life sciences, healthcare and hospitality sectors. Columbia prides itself in providing quality services using the best technologies available.
In order to remain on the cutting edge of today's design technologies and fully utilize their programs, Columbia commissioned Microdesk to provide comprehensive on–site training and help them effectively embrace Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools. Microdesk assisted Columbia with streamlining their workflows by increasing collaboration with design teams and delivering more informative models to the owner, decreasing change–orders and reducing costs to their clients.
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Con Edison, Inc. provides electric, gas, and steam services to millions of customers in New York City, Westchester County, northern New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania. The agency was challenged with the need to update outdated systems to the Autodesk suite of products as well as introduce Building Information Modeling and Integrated Project Delivery organization–wide.
Microdesk applied a phased approach to implementation to ensure Con Edison&rwquo;s success with their BIM transition. For the civil/utility engineering team, this involved new software installation and creating classifications to organize Electric, Gas and Steam networks, as well as various templates and procedures in order to standardize processes. Microdesk then provided custom training on the new tools and processes.
The BIM transition process for the architecture, MEP and structural engineering teams began with a pilot program, where select individuals were trained on the latest BIM Revit tools. Microdesk then developed a series of Revit–based templates for use on a pilot project and mentored team members to ensure a successful implementation. Once the pilot was completed, additional program needs were addressed and with rollout continued to the rest of the organization. Microdesk continues to provide ongoing training and project assistance.
DMJM Harris, an architecture and engineering company now known as AECOM, specializes in transportation and infrastructure design and engineering.
When presented with a challenge to develop a means for accurately mapping and monitoring perimeters surrounding airfields in the New York metropolitan area, DMJM Harris commissioned Microdesk to design a mobile solution that combined GPS, CAD and GIS to accurately collect the locations and characteristics of physical assets/objects in the field.
To expedite the field–based data collection process, Microdesk created an extension to Autodesk's AutoCAD Map 3D to allow field personnel to collect features and assign attributes using any compatible GPS device in conjunction with a ruggedized tablet PC. The field crews could then import their data into an enterprise GIS database upon returning to the office.
E.S. Boulos Company (ESB) is one of the oldest, largest and most experienced electrical contractors in New England. A subsidiary of the Northeast Generation Services Company, ESB provides construction and maintenance service to power, industrial, commercial and institutional facilities throughout the Northeast. To stay ahead of changing market requirements for electrical contractors, ESB wanted to be an early adopter of Building Information Modeling technology for use in their 3D modeling, design coordination and clash detection processes.
ESB already had the BIM tools, including AutoCAD MEP, Revit and Navisworks, in place. Microdesk assisted ESB with identifying methodologies for how to leverage their existing tools and put processes in place for improving workflows and increasing efficiencies. Microdesk also provided on–the–job training, eventually getting their over 400 employees transitioned to a fully integrated BIM workflow.
"As an industry leader, ESB is not standing still. We knew we had to train our team on using AutoCAD MEP, Revit and Navisworks from the ground-up. Microdesk played a big role in making these trainings a success."
Denis St. Pierre
E.S. Boulos Company
DW Smith is a New Jersey–based civil engineering, surveying and environmental firm with over 50 experts specializing in land and infrastructure development. The firm needed to upgrade its outdated software, train its staff on new systems, and create and implement improved design and survey standards in order to remain competitive.
Microdesk assisted DW Smith with their upgrade from Land Desktop to AutoCAD Civil 3D software and developed new corporate design standards to reflect new technologies and improved workflows those technologies provided. A custom training program was then created for 20 users on best practices for use of both AutoCAD & AutoCAD Civil 3D. Then, in order to ensure the successful application of lessons learned in the classroom, Microdesk civil engineering specialists provided project mentoring.
The Harvard University Facilities and Operations department is responsible for managing the University’s 12 million square feet of building space and over 150 acres of University–owned landscape. The department sought a way to improve their facility management processes by centralizing data collected from the engineering field staff.
RMF Engineering was tasked with performing a Utility Infrastructure Condition Assessment of the Cambridge campus that would result in the creation of a field book that the facilities staff would use for day–to–day operations. This was typically a manual task that resulted in a static book that quickly becomes out of date. The goal was to change the game and provide Harvard University a living document system.
As a sub–contractor to RMF, Microdesk developed an integrated GIS that would enable facilities staff to inventory, document and manage their chilled water, steam and condensate distribution system assets throughout campus. The system, designed on a centralized spatial database using MapGuide Enterprise, provides the ability to assemble, manage, and present key utility information through a web browser. Common attributes, properties, associated diagrams, schematics, and digital photos are all tied to the utility assets, unveiling the key details to the facility staff. Microdesk also created web and desktop tools to enable University staff to manage their utilities assets.
Latham International, the largest manufacturer of swimming pool components and pool accessories in North America, employs a design group of 40 and a manufacturing group of 100 people across four locations. A seasonal business, Latham depended heavily on its highly skilled team to efficiently complete custom designs during peak season. Latham sought a solution to improve customer service commitment times, reduce overtime costs and enforce design standards.
Microdesk assisted Latham by developing a solution to upgrade their design technologies and developed custom applications to interface with those new technologies that would automate time consuming processes. The application ultimately increased efficiency by 50%.
"We met our service commitments, our first goal. Our second goal was to improve lean processes internally, and Microdesk did that for us as well. We experienced a significant increase in the quality and consistency of our designs."
David J. Keith
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is a state organization with a staff of 150 civil engineers, land surveyors, field crews, and mobile inspection crews responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the state's highways and bridges. The department, dealing with inefficient, outdated systems recognized the need to upgrade their technologies as well as standards for deliverables from their subcontractors in order to adopt more efficient Building Information Modeling workflows.
Microdesk assisted MassDOT by providing the necessary software upgrades and facilitating the transition to AutoCAD Civil 3D by developing comprehensive internal standards and templates, as well as BIM deliverable standards requirements for all MassDOT consultants. To prepare the various internal engineering teams, Microdesk provided user–specific product and standards adoption training for all surveyors and road design for civil engineers in the five districts across the state, as well as training around the BIM deliverable standards for outside consultants. Microdesk continues to provide ongoing on–site project mentoring to ensure successful adoption by the internal design and survey teams.
NELSON is an international design and consulting firm that offers a full array of facilities oriented services including architecture, interior design, strategic planning, engineering, and workplace services. NELSON required a signature drawing standard in client deliverables to provide their team of designers and project managers with a standard path and eliminate inconsistencies and inefficiencies.
Microdesk assisted NELSON with developing a firm–wide CAD/BIM strategy. Implementation of the strategy began with transitioning their design teams to AutoCAD Architecture and MEP, and conducting corporate–wide training to increase understanding and adoption of standard steps and procedures put in place. Microdesk also assisted with a second phase to transition the firm to Revit.
"Microdesk is currently working with NELSON to expand our design capabilities by integrating a Building Information Modeling (BIM) solution based upon Autodesk's family of Revit products. As our BIM, CAD and technology partner, Microdesk proactively helps us hone our competitive advantage."
The New York City Transit Authority relies on several agencies to undertake inspection of its transportation systems, including the MTA Subway system. A leading engineering firm acts as Program Manager overseeing the inspections, a process that involves coordinating the activities of several inspection firms and gathering the information collected for reporting to the NYC Transit Capital Programs group. They are also required to assemble the data collected, calculate subcomponent, component, and station ratings, and generate formal station reports. With data coming from multiple sources and in a variety of formats, this was a challenging and inefficient process.
Microdesk was engaged develop a web application and supporting database that would enable all inspection firms to record their inspection data in a single, secure location. Microdesk's solution involved the development of a data model to reflect the business rules of the inspection rating calculations. With this data model in place and centralized, the report generation process could then be automated. A web application using the data model was then created to provide each firm access to record their inspection activity.
Perkins Eastman is a leading international design firm specializing in architecture, urban design, and interior design, offering programming, planning, design, strategic planning, and consulting services. To remain on the cutting edge, Perkins Eastman wanted to introduce Building Information Modeling as a design solution and sustainability offering to its clients while minimizing the impacts of implementing these new technologies and workflows on production.
Microdesk assisted Perkins Eastman by assisting with the development of an implementation plan that would minimize project downtime. This process included the creation of new internal design standards and guidelines for the modification of project workflows. To bring the architects and designers up to speed on the new tools and best practices for utilization, Microdesk developed a project–based classroom–style training program followed by project–based shadowing, which enabled teams to continue to work on project tasks throughout the BIM adoption process. Microdesk continues to provide project mentoring and support on an ongoing basis to ensure continued success.
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) conceives, builds, operates and maintains infrastructure critical to the New York/New Jersey region’s trade and transportation network. These facilities include America's busiest airport system, marine terminals and ports, the PATH rail transit system, six tunnels and bridges between New York and New Jersey, the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, and the World Trade Center. Microdesk has been providing CAD, BIM, GIS and application development/integration services to the Port Authority for more than 10 years.
Microdesk was recently tasked by the PANYNJ to maintain, enhance and support their Traffic Engineering’s data management system used to record, report, and analyze all traffic–related accidents that occur on agency property. The web–based solution created, dubbed "CRASH" (Crash Records Analysis for Streets and Highways), is a database–driven, spatially–enabled recording system that acts as a single repository for all data related to traffic accidents.
By recording the details of each accident directly from Port Authority Police Accident Report forms, accident factors such as weather conditions, time of day, number of vehicles involved, and type of accident are all input into the system. Each accident is plotted at a specific location in space, enabling spatial queries to be run against the accident data. The CRASH system is used by Traffic Engineering to power analysis–driven reviews of existing traffic conditions to evaluate areas that should receive highest priority for engineering improvements such as better traffic control signage, wider on–ramps, or new turn lanes.
Raytheon provides state–of–the–art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. Microdesk, in partnership with M2 Technologies, was contracted to develop a system that would provide Patriot Missile System field technicians with an interactive electronic field manual and troubleshooting aid to help them better navigate their massive stores of files and technical documents.
Microdesk developed an automated system that connected their several thousand AutoCAD diagrams cross–referenced with technical documentation text. A user–friendly viewing interface enables staff to easily perform queries for either keywords or fault codes and quickly navigate to the appropriate diagram within the graphic set. The resulting system fundamentally changed the way field technicians interact with and utilize their technical documentation.
R.W. Sullivan Engineering (RWS) is a full service mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering and code consulting firm that specializes in addressing architecturally complex buildings and applying sustainable engineering solutions. To remain true to its commitment to sustainability and improve processes that would enable them to remain competitive, RWS wanted to make a commitment to becoming a BIM–ready organization.
Microdesk assisted RWS by acting as a BIM technology advisor to assist with their transition to BIM. The first phase of the transition involved upgrading their software to the latest versions of AutoCAD MEP and Revit MEP. Microdesk then assisted with creating standards, workflows and processes to lay groundwork for the BIM transition. A custom training program was developed for the MEP engineering team, and today Microdesk continues to provide training, project mentoring and ongoing on–site BIM management support two days per week to support the firm's ongoing transition.
SAIC is a Fortune 500 company specializing design/build services in infrastructure and energy projects worldwide. Planning an upgrade of all of its design technologies for their engineering, design and construction groups, SAIC required a solution to deploy the latest Autodesk products utilizing technologies to manage base applications and standards from a single location to all offices.
Microdesk supported SAIC by creating, testing and deploying enterprise application images for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, Civil 3D, Revit Architecture, Revit MEP and Revit Structure tools. Microdesk also assisted with the development of enterprise standards and support files to provide consistency of use throughout the organization, and to automate implementation utilized RoboCopy to synchronize support files on desktops in more than a dozen offices. Microdesk continues to provide ongoing training and technical support.
The NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) is the design and construction management agency serving the New York City school system. Working with outdated systems and tools, the SCA needed to transition to the latest version AutoCAD, and in a parallel effort wanted to introduce 3D modeling capabilities into their design groups.
Microdesk initially assisted the SCA by developing and executing a roll–out strategy of the new Autodesk technologies. Following implementation, Microdesk updated the existing CAD Standards to include new features and workflows and provided custom training to the entire design staff. Additional training was provided for the teams selected to participate in the 3D modeling pilot.
Microdesk has since maintained an on–going relationship with the SCA, assisting with a full BIM transition and the creation of new BIM deliverable standards, among the first of their kind in New York City, which effectively require all consultants to submit design deliverables in BIM. This will provide complete, accurate BIM models which the SCA can leverage for facility operations and maintenance.
Sciame is a leading Construction Management firm in the New York tri–state area focused on projects that are highly designed and technically sophisticated, including Educational Facilities, Hospitality, Retail Facilities, and Historic Restorations. The organization recognized an immediate need to expand their BIM and Virtual Design & Construction capabilities to perform clash detection and construction sequencing. In parallel, they needed to build internal capabilities to support future BIM projects.
Microdesk helped Sciame to devise and execute a plan focused on a fast paced implementation to meet their immediate needs. This included a training program specific to performing 4D & 5D analysis on existing BIM projects. Microdesk then provided training on how to convert their existing CAD projects to BIM. Microdesk continues to provide project assistance and mentoring to facilitate a complete transition to BIM.
Sea–Dar Construction is a Boston–based full–service construction organization that provides estimating, pre–construction planning, construction, scheduling, and design–build services. Their mission is to build trust one project at a time by delivering projects on time and on budget. In order to remain true to their mission, the firm wanted to make the transition to BIM to leverage technology to improve collaboration and streamline workflows.
Microdesk assisted Sea–Dar by acting as a technology advisor to developing a BIM coordination plan. This involved facilitating coordination meetings to help drive improved project collaboration processes and reviewing models using Navisworks technologies to help identify issues and strategies for addressing them. Microdesk also provided custom training for the company's internal team of MEP engineers. Microdesk continues to maintaining an open ended contract for on–demand services as required.
SMMA is a multi–disciplinary firm based on Cambridge, Massachusetts, specializing in architecture, engineering, interior design and planning. A growing workload requiring the use of Building Information Modeling for analysis and submittal requirements meant the team needed an implementation and training plan in order to meet these demands and remain competitive.
Microdesk assisted SMMA with the initial transition by providing Revit training for internal staff and creating BIM standards and workflows to help expedite the onboarding of new designers that join the team. Microdesk continues to provide staff augmentation, lending the full–time on–site support of a Microdesk technical specialist for extended periods of time to ensure project requirements and schedules are met.
"As a multi-disciplined, fully integrated A&E firm, SMMA was a BIM technology early adopter. To quickly advance our staff's Revit skills and achieve our BIM commitments, we partnered with Microdesk to provide tailored Revit training and project support. This elevated our staff's software abilities to a high level in a very short timeframe and enabled our project teams to create well-coordinated BIM models across all disciplines and on many different project types."
Lu Chin, AIA, LEED AP
Symmes Maini & McKee Associates
A major higher education institution had undertaken a project to build an advanced cancer research facility, which would represent the gold standard in interdisciplinary disease–focused research towards ways to revolutionize the treatment of cancer. This university engaged Suffolk Construction to lead the design and construction of the 370,000 sq. ft. facility, as well as develop a fully integrated Building Information Model (BIM), to be delivered to facilities management for use in operations and maintenance. Suffolk enlisted Microdesk to develop the as–built MEP model, as well as integrate the architectural and structural models, along with all their attached building elements, from ducts to doorknobs, into a single BIM 6D model.
Over 54 miles of pipe were modeled and properly connected to system information. Over 5,000 lighting fixtures and 22,000 power devices were properly circuited, 3,000 data receptacles were properly addressed, and all objects were sized to the manufacturers' specifications, from mechanical equipment to valves to flex connections. Throughout the modeling process, the Microdesk team also uncovered opportunities to automate several modeling processes. As a result, over 60 custom applications were developed to aid in the conversion of as–built drawings into intelligent Revit objects.
Facilities Management now has the ability to access any data necessary from a single digital source to complete tasks such as visualizing improvements, planning renovations, managing assets, trouble–shooting common facility issues such as leaks or noisy ductwork, loading circuits virtually for testing, and other building operations and maintenance tasks. Staff will even be able to access this information using tablet computers or mobile devices to diagnose issues in the field.
Thornton Tomasetti is an international leader in engineering design, investigation and analysis, with over 600 employees around the world. They have served clients in more than 50 countries on projects of all sizes and complexity, including the tallest buildings and longest spans to the restoration of prized historic properties. Maintaining its tradition of staying on the cutting edge, Thornton Tomasetti recognized the need to introduce Building Information Modeling into their workflow to streamline design processes.
Microdesk assisted Thornton Tomasetti by providing the technology upgrades and installation, as well as an employee training program on all of the new AutoCAD platform applications. Then, to initiative the BIM transition, Microdesk develop a pilot program that would first introduce Revit Structure through training and mentoring. Microdesk also assisted with the development of standard procedures and templates as part of this process, which were later adopted firmwide as transitioning continued.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a federal design and construction management organization charged with building and maintaining America's infrastructure and providing military facilities where our service members train, work and live. In keeping with their mission to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions to the Nation's engineering challenges, the Corps desired to introduce Building Information Modeling into their workflow to reduce costs and streamline project schedules.
Microdesk assisted the U.S. Army Corps by reviewing and revising their existing BIM Standards and developing necessary project templates to improve standardization of processes. Microdesk also executed a training program on Revit–based applications and Navisworks and provided onsite project mentoring to ensure the success of initial Pilot Projects.
The Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) is a transmission only electric power company with a system of 534 miles of transmission lines, 25 substations and a 200 megawatt back–to–back HVDC Converter. A complex organization with hundreds of employees and constituent partners working in the field, VELCO lacked the ability to externalize its sophisticated document management system and make mapping information and other data broadly available across all offices and to staff in the field.
To address these issues, VELCO contracted Microdesk to develop a web–based portal that would make the GIS information available system–wide. A custom energy grid web mapping portal was created to provide integration between GIS data, enterprise document management and land management data, which significantly improved workflows, information accessibility and worker safety.
"Now, for the first time, the distribution utilities in Vermont can see VELCO geographic information overlaid on their own information. This is beneficial in improving the safe and efficient management of their crews, as well as their interaction with land owners."
Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO)
Based in Watertown, MA, with offices throughout the East Coast, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc (VHB) provides multidisciplinary planning, design, engineering, and consulting services for some of the nation's most complex infrastructure and development initiatives. Looking to improve workflows and design processes, VHB needed to standardize their AutoCAD platform products and versions across workstations throughout their 21 offices.
Microdesk supported VHB by reviewing existing workflows and introducing new standards. Microdesk then created and testing deployment images for AutoCAD, Civil 3D & Raster Design and assisted with deployment during off hours to all of the firm's Microsoft–based workstations, providing a synchronized system–wide updated with minimal work–day impact. To ensure ease of ongoing management, Microdesk establishing synchronization tools to provide updates and service packs from a single source, as well as tools to maintain standards on a file–based method from a single source. Microdesk continues to provide ongoing training and support, as well as custom application development.