Thursday, March 23, 2017

Phased Out


So I've been working on a large scale project that would already be elaborate enough, but has been made even more of a clusterfuck thanks to it being broken down into phases.  I actually don't know what software the Architect/Engineer are using to develop their plans - although based on how shitty they look, Revit is a pretty good bet.

I started the project (which I've probably talked about before), and did the first phase (which was rather huge) to completion, when I received what was ostensibly the second phase drawings from the electrical engineer (they sent the wrong system drawings the first time).  I was confused to see that what they were referring to as 'phase 2' was actually half of the building that I had originally designed as Phase 1.

I made the mistake of assuming that they knew what they were doing - but it seemed logical, because they had separate systems, and were basically two buildings that made up a ring.  I went ahead and broke them out into Phase 1 and Phase 2 to match, but then a few weeks later I received a panicked phone call from our guy (in one of our out-of-state offices) who had been told by the electrical contractor that the Phase 2 I had issued was part of Phase 1.

Fortunately I had already completed what I thought was Phase 3 (part of the problem is that nobody I talk to has any fucking clue what is supposed to be in each phase - despite there being very clear terminology that could be being used to describe each one, instead of just numbering them), and so I told him to give those drawings to the electrical contractor while I figured out what the hell was going on (because they sure as fuck weren't going to).

My contact with the electrical engineer was no help, so I bypassed him and contacted the architect, who cleared up the confusion (or at least clarified where the confusion had originated).  For some reason the electrical engineer had broken down Phase 1 into two 'packages' (meaning I had done it correctly the first time, and only became confused when they resent their second package for no discernible reason).

I went ahead and put Phase 1 back the way it was, changed Phase 3 to Phase 2, and then got started on the actual Phase 3 - which is now on hold because I'm trying to dig through a pile of comments on a separate project (while others pile up).  I had already made some adjustments, and received a accusatory e-mail (from the same guy who was panicking about the phased project - although it turns out that they had someone leave their office, meaning this guy just had everything fall in his lap) asking why I hadn't addressed the rest of the comments.

It turned out the reason I hadn't addressed the rest of the comments is because, while they received them a week ago, they HADN'T BOTHERED TO FUCKING SEND THEM TO ME.  Most were fairly simple, but the last 2-3 have required me to get drawings from the mechanical engineer (since the electrical engineer for this project hasn't updated their drawings yet), and it was still a motherfucker to discern what the hell they were talking about.

It didn't help that the comments themselves were spread across a set of fire protection drawings (that I received first), an e-mail, another marked up set of drawings attached to that e-mail, AND a list of comments attached to the e-mail (that the comments in the e-mail referred to extensively).  I just slapped it out before moving on to the next set of comments from an AHJ - two of which are just notes to add, but three of which refer to equipment not shown on the engineer's drawing.

The AHJ actually called me the other day to ask about two of the items (one of which is actually on the Mechanical comments but affects me anyway (which is why, unlike most people, I always read every comment and not just the ones directed at me).  I forwarded on questions to someone who (hopefully - but doubtfully) has answers, and then (mostly to spite the motherfuckers working on the large multi-phased project) I decided to dive into a fairly simple project I received information for the other day and CAD files today.

It won't take long to finish, so I'll probably be back to Phase III by the end of the day.  And when I get it done - there's a Phase IV, which is a free-standing building (so basically it's own little project) that I wouldn't have even known to look for if I had continued down the path that the electrical engineer had me on (because I would've assumed I was finished after doing the part I'm currently on).

We're going to be facing a lot of whacked out confusion over the next few weeks/months due to that guy leaving with several projects at varying levels of design, review, installation, commissioning, etc. - the only saving grace is that Revit is nowhere to be seen.  I'm sure a Reviteer would be the first to point out that it has all kinds of tools for managing project phases, filtering etc. - which is great, except that then you would have to use Revit.

And I'd still be on Phase 1.

Fuck stupid people who refuse to communicate - and fuck Revit.


Next Time: Model Student

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

2017 Revit Continues To Be A Thing?

Hola Amigos,

I haven't had much in the way of Revit bullshit to complain about lately - other than a handful of projects that keep coming to me that are exported into CAD from Revit, each requiring copious amounts of cleanup due to the vast number of mistakes, oversights, and garbage-in/garbage-out design techniques being used by the Revitards responsible for sharting them out.

I figured I would do a little bit more reading up on where Revit stood for 2017, and came across this review from 'Sean David Burke' (self-admitted volunteer member of the Autodesk alpha and beta testing programs and participant of the Autodesk AEC Blogger Council - meaning that if he had the Revit dick any deeper down his throat, it would pop out his ass and go back in his mouth again).

The line under his review title asked the question "Is the latest version of the popular BIM software upgrade-worthy?'  The answer is obviously 'Who the fuck cares?  You will be forced to switch to it', but despite this fact, he goes on to attempt to make the case that yes, this upgrade really is a good one.

I probably laughed for a good five minutes solid when, while mentioning the end of perpetual licenses, he says that 'customers will likely demand more for their investment'.  Demand?  Who the fuck does he think is using Revit?  Autodesk's 'customers' are mostly companies purchasing licenses for their employees to use - so long as they are getting the licenses, they couldn't give two shits or a fuck if Revit ever improved anything.

With that said - the first 'improvement' on his list is... MODERNIZED TEXT EDITING!!! Congratulations!  Autodesks 'flagship' software is now capable of editing text (no word on whether they ever figured out shape fonts - did I mention the same people who tried to force feed me Revit were the same ones who opted to switch from 'Archquik' to 'Comic Sans'?).

Yes, Revit 2017 has a 'completely redesigned text engine' that 'improves compatibility with imported and exported Autocad DWG files and creates a pixel-perfect WYSIWYG experience in the text editor' (yeah, that doesn't sound like someone flipped on the buzzword bullshit generator).  You can now 'format the text with confidence, knowing it will look the way you intended'!!!

Then, after distracting us by mentioning that the text tool gets it's own ribbon menu (oh joyous day...), he mentions that projects that are brought into 2017 that have longer text notes may or may not read as intended and may or may not run into other graphics on the sheet due to 'overall height of characters in certain fonts, blah blah blah.  In other words, you can be 'confident' that your carefully tweaked text will most likely be fucked up when you are forced to convert to 2017.

Next on the list is 'Improved Schedules and Tags Tools'.  Since they decided to make an attempt at giving Revit word processing capabilities on par with Microsoft Word 95, I guess they decided they might as well get the schedules up to the level of Excel 3 or 4.  Oh - and tags can hold formulas now - so everyone can just shut the fuck up about wanting that.

By item #3 'Enhanced ability to show depth in drawings', it's already getting padded out.  I mean seriously - Revit needed MORE fucking view settings?  Then it's off to the races with more buzzword bullshit like 'parametric flexing' and 'effecting large cascading changes'.  He quickly moves on to 'Dynamo' - even though it's not actually a new feature in Revit 2017, but a standalone computational tool.

After watching Reviteers struggle for weeks on end to put out buildings that are mostly right-angles (with the occasional vaulted ceiling or curtain wall) I can't imagine how fucked a project would be if they were attempting to program Dynamo or Grasshopper for Rhino to generate an elaborate design.  I'm sure large-scale firms have projects with budgets big enough to keep a couple of savants around to figure out the necessary algorithms, and more power to them, but pretending like this in any way benefits the vast majority of users is a fucking insult.

Least (and last) is #5 - an easy button for energy analysis.  Besides the fact that he immediately jumps track into how it uses the cloud based 'Autodesk Green Studio' shows that this is, yet again, not an actual improvement of Revit, but just a way to access another existing piece of software.  He then opines the fact that while 'AGBS' has had an intuitive dashboard makeover, it has not made its way into Revit (big surprise there).

Next is the requisite babbling about cloud-based applications, and the obvious need for additional improvements to Revit (get to demanding buddy!) before the vomit-inducing cost for the software (or more accurately, the right to use the software for a little while).

It's almost enough to make me say fuck Revit, fuck Revit users, and fuck Autodesk.

Until Skull We Fuck,

Next Time: Seriously - How Do These People Get Out Of Bed Without Hurting Themselves?