October 30, 2009

Tech Note: Harnessing the Power of Civil 3D

AutoCAD® Civil 3D® software is not your typical design and analysis software. AutoCAD Civil 3D uses a dynamic engineering model that helps project teams explore civil engineering projects digitally before they are built.

Get all the details at
Harnessing the Power of Civil 3D

Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010 - Curtain Wall Type

Trying to create a Louver system, but struggling with arrays and formulas and parameters in a Revit family?

Try using the Curtain Wall tool instead!

  • Create a custom mullion type (Select a mullion>Element Properties>Type Properties>

  • Specify the Louver angle under ‘Angle’ and the size of the louver under Thickness and Width.

  • Now create a new Curtain Wall Type and check ‘Automatically Embed’, the Panels to ‘Empty Panel’, Set the spacing as desired, Border Mullions to None and Interior Horizontal mullion to this custom mullion type.

  • And there it is!

Submitted by:
Shruti Harve, MS, LEED AP – AEC Solutions Application Specialist
Shruti holds a Master of Science degree in Architectural Computing from University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom and is a LEED accredited professional. Her experience includes working in architecture and construction firms in India and the United Kingdom as well as structural engineering firms in the Bay Area providing design, 3D modeling and drafting services. Shruti is an Autodesk Architectural Desktop Certified Expert and provides training and support for Revit Architecture and AutoCAD Architecture.

October 27, 2009

Ideate Assistance Program Helps Unemployed AEC Pros

The Ideate Assistance Program is designed to help unemployed members of the AEC community network to upgrade their skills and regain employment in the AEC industry. In collaboration with the Autodesk® Assistance Program, we offer qualified participants:

- Free Educational Software
- Low Cost Training
- Free Online Training
- Invitation to Networking Events
- Employer Discount

Hear from Bob Palioca, Ideate President, Steve Blum, Autodesk Senior VP and program participants on Ideate's YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/IdeateInc

Or check our website for complete details


October 22, 2009

Z Corporation - Automated, Monochrome 3D Printer

If you've been intrigued by the idea of a 3D printer, but didn't think they were affordable, Z Corporation has just introduced the ZPrinter 350. Features include:

- automatic material loading
- snap-in binder cartridges
- integrated recycling of unused build material
- self-monitoring operation
- control from both the desktop and printer
- 0.8 in/hour (20 mm/hour) vertical build speed
- 8 x 10 x 8 in (203 x 254 x 203 mm) build size
- 300 x 450 dpi resolution
- office-safe build materials, aggressive dust-control, and zero liquid waste

A 3D model is a compelling way to communicate your vision to a client. To learn more, contact sales@ideateinc.com

October 16, 2009

Woohoo! Great Job Team California!

Sincere congratulations to everyone from Team California.

The Refract House project from SCU+CCA took 3rd place overall! Richard King, Director of the Solar Decathlon, said the team thought "outside the box" when announcing the awards. The teams' creativity and hard work paid off!

•Architecture – 1st place
•Communications – 1st place
•Engineering – 2nd place
•Appliances – 2nd place
•Home Entertainment – 2nd place
•Hot Water – 3rd place
•Market Viability – 3rd place
•Lighting Design – 6th place
•Net metering – 12th place
•Comfort Zone – 14th place

For more details:

Ideate is proud to have provided Autodesk Revit training and courseware to the students - the tools the team used to develop the “excellent drawings” cited when the First in Architecture was awarded.

October 15, 2009

Which Manufacturers are in the SmartBIM Library?

Are you considering the SmartBIM Library product, but want to know which Manufacturers are included? Here is a link that is continually updated to show all the Manufacturer content that is delivered pre-published in the SmartBIM Library.


The advantage to using SmartBIM Library is that with more than 21,000 high quality Revit architecture and engineering family types, including the manufacturer specific objects and generic objects, you can choose from pre-published material, saving significant time. Reed, an AIA partner, created these SmartBIM objects to meet the high standards architects demand.

To learn more, contact Sales@IdeateInc.com.

Latest Updates on the Solar Decathlon

For all the latest updates from Washington, D.C., check out the Solar Decathlon Blog:


or follow Refract House on Twitter:


Why is Ideate following Team California's Refract House entry so closely? Well, we are proud to be a Megawatt sponsor and been instrumental early in the project, providing the Autodesk Revit training and courseware that the team used to develop the “excellent drawings” cited when the First in Architecture was awarded.

Go Team California!

October 14, 2009

Great event by Portland CSI at ZGF's Office

This month's Portland CSI chapter meeting was a Project Tour of the new Twelve West building. We had a chance to meet the architects responsible for the design, representatives of Hoffman Construction and key subcontractors. It was fascinating to learn about everything from the siting (choosing the less traveled side of Burnside), to the distinctive entry staircase to the carefully chosen materials. It is a thoughtful and well executed project, designed for long-term sustainability.

The tour concluded with a presentation by John Breashears and Craig Briscoe of ZGF on the wind turbines atop the Twelve West building. With no precedent for wind turbines on a tall building in an urban environment, the ZGF project team had to forge their own path - learning about turbine technology, wind patterns, construction techniques...you name it. The result is a set of four wind turbines that will produce enough electricity to power five of the building's residential apartments. What is almost more important than the resulting power generation, is the fact that turbines are there and will be tracked over time - a reference point and baseline for future projects.

Compliments to Portland CSI, ZGF and all the tour speakers for a well done event.

Chapter Meeting
Project Tour: Zimmer, Gunsul, Frasca, Architects, LLP Office at Twelve West
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Twelve West Building 1223 SW Washington StreetPortland, OR 97205

Rising 23 stories above Portland, Oregon’s evolving West End neighborhood, TwelveWest is a mixed-use building designed to meet two LEED Platinum Certifications and serve as a laboratory for integrated sustainable design. It features street level retail space, four floors of office space for ZGF Architects LLP, 17 floors of “eco-chic,” homes for lease and five levels of below grade parking. The building has an eco-roof, rooftop garden and terrace space, complete fitness studio and a theatre. Four visible wind turbines sit high atop the building representing the first U.S. installation of small-scale wind turbines in an urban, high-rise. TwelveWest serves as not only an anchor in a rapidly transforming urban neighborhood, but also as a demonstration project to inform future sustainable building design.

October 8, 2009

The Solar Decathlon Begins Today!

More great updates from Washington, D.C.

The Solar Decathlon begins today!

After two years of planning, designing, engineering, and building, our SCU+CCA Team California is ready to welcome the world through the doors of Refract House on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.! Team California was one of only 9 teams (of the 20 participants) to pass all inspections in order to be eligible to begin competing today. More great news: Student Project Manager Allison Kopf (SCU ’11) has the honor of joining Energy Secretary Steven Chu to address the crowd at the Opening Ceremonies. And, as if that were not enough, SCU and CCA students were thrilled to learn that CBS will be interviewing Secretary Chu for its news program 60 Minutes (which boasts more than 9 million viewers!) in OUR SOLAR HOUSE this morning! We will post the air date and more information soon. Our student team is making us proud—working around the clock on getting the house ready for competition and visitors, talking with media, and preparing for the blitz that is the Solar Decathlon.

Sure to be a topic of buzz on the National Mall, one of the innovations being introduced in our 2009 entry is a carbon meter. Thanks to a grant from the California Energy Commission, Santa Clara University has been working with
SolarTech (a PV industry consortium) to develop this concept. Over the past year, it has been developed and tested on SCU's campus on our 2007 Solar Decathlon entry, Ripple House. With great results being achieved, students were excited to install the meter on Refract House to measure carbon offsets at real-time rates. In the future, it is expected this type of monitoring will allow homeowners to be compensated for saving energy while contributing to the health of the planet, enabling a potential economy of carbon cap and trade.

News Flash: On October 9, 5-6 p.m. EST, student team members will be available on facebook and gchat (refracthouse) to answer your questions. They are looking forward to hearing from you!

Keep track of the overall standings here.
Watch this fun video from The Washington Post showing our SCU and California flags waving, and our student, Preet Anand (SCU ’10) getting the last word! More on our team in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. A great photo of our team with Secretary Chu here: cnet news and an interview with NPR.

Heidi Williams
Communications Manager
School of Engineering
Santa Clara University

October 7, 2009

LEAP's 26th Annual Sandcastle Contest

Ideate, Inc. was a proud sponsor of the Turner - POLLACK - Sidemark 2009 Team and a supporter of the HOK Team, who both created great sculptures during the LEAP Sandcastle Classic, October 3 in San Francisco.

Photos from the Turner - POLLACK - Sidemark Team:

Official web site:

October 6, 2009

Team California's Completion of Refract House

Here's today's update regarding Team California's (Santa Clara University+California College of Arts) completion of the Refract House for the U.S. Department of Energy's 2009 Solar Decathlon.

The countdown has begun! Our 800-square-foot solar-powered house is now being reassembled on the National Mall in Washington D.C., and our team is working feverishly to make us proud at this prestigious competition. As you know, our students are competing against 19 other teams from universities and colleges in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Puerto Rico, and Spain.

Following is a brief update on our Team's progress in D.C.

Refract House made history yesterday as it was "the first Solar Decathlon house ever to be connected with a microgrid." Richard King, Solar Decathlon Director, writes all about it in his daily journal on the official Website for the Solar Decathlon. He also notes, "Inspection Officer Tom Meyers believes the work being done by the student teams is about 10 years ahead of what is used by today's architects, engineers, and contractors," and lists as an example SCU's own bamboo structural I-joists that feature an open-web design to ease construction. Similar to the bamboo I-beams developed for SCU's 3rd place winning 2007 entry, these trestle-shaped beams have been altered to allow ducting, electrical wiring, and plumbing to run through while maintaining structural support.

At the opening ceremonies on Thursday, October 8, SCU student project manager Allison Kopf '11 will be one of only two students selected to address the crowd along with Energy Secretary Stephen Chu.

Keep up with all the Solar Decathlon news on these blogs:

School of Engineering Solar Decathlon Blog

Refract House Website

Richard King’s Daily Journal http://www.solardecathlon.org/2009/daily_journals.cfm

October 8: Opening Ceremonies, 1-2 p.m. Team California Student Project Manager Allison Kopf (SCU '11) is one of two students selected to deliver the welcoming address!

October 9-13 and 15-18: Public Tours. Team houses are open 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday - Friday and 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. There is no cost to attend the Solar Decathlon, and you do not need to register in advance. ALL HOUSES ARE CLOSED WED., OCT. 14. Some houses may be closed 1-2 hours on other days for competition judging and measurement purposes.

October 16: Awards Ceremony, 10 - 11 a.m.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your encouragement, your support, and your confidence in our Team!

Heidi Williams
Communications Manager
School of Engineering
Santa Clara University

Ideate is so pleased to have provided Revit training to these creative students!

Congratulations to Ideate Customers - 2009 Best Civil Firms to Work For

Congratulations to Ideate's client partners who do right by their staff, earning a place on the CE News 2009 Best Civil Engineering Firms To Work For.
  • Fehr & Peers
  • Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
  • West Yost Associates
  • Mead & Hunt
  • Roth Hill Engineering Partners, LLC
  • BKF Engineers
  • Nichols Consulting Engineers
  • RMC Water and Environment
  • DKS Associates
  • Blackburn Consulting
  • Winzler & Kelly

Complete list

Detailed article

October 1, 2009

Watch Ideate's Friends Compete at the 26th Annual Sandcastle Contest

Ideate, Inc. is a proud to be a sponsor of the Turner - POLLACK - Sidemark 2009 Team and a supporter of the HOK Team, both competing in the LEAP Sandcastle Classic, October 3 in San Francisco.

LEAP is a nonprofit organization that helps raise money to bring visual and performance artists and architects into the classrooms of schools throughout the Bay Area. Engineers, architects, designers, and construction teams all join forces with kids from a local elementary school to build huge sand castles, all for a great cause.

Turner - POLLACK - Sidemark Team
This year, the Pollack team consists of Turner Construction, Sidemark, and students from Francis Scott Key Elementary. Collaborating with the students, Charlotte's Web was chosen for this year's sculpture.

HOK Team
"Come out and support your co-workers and friends as well as the 5th Grade Students at Claire Lillenthal.

The theme of the Contest this year is Classic Children's Books. Our Team has chosen to use the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs as our book!!

Our final design for this year's sandcastle Contest will be Foggy with a Chance of Ice Cream!"

Larry Lane, Intermediate Architectual Technician, HOK

Here's a 3D print of the HOK Team's design, executed on Ideate's Z Corp printer.

Complete event details...

Update 2 Available for 2010 versions: Revit Architecture, MEP, Structure and more

If you have been concerned about stability in the 2010 versions, our Technical team anticipates you'll find a lot of improvements in Update 2.

This download is the latest update for Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2010 software as a standalone product and as part of AutoCAD® Revit® Architecture Suite 2010 and AutoCAD® Revit® Architecture Visualization Suite 2010 software. It is available to users who have purchased a valid license for Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010, AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2010 or AutoCAD Revit Architecture Visualization Suite 2010. For a complete list of improvements, download the Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2010 Update Enhancement List at:

This download is the latest update for Autodesk® Revit® Structure 2010 software as a standalone and as part of the AutoCAD® Revit® Structure Suite 2010 software. It is available to users who have purchased a valid license for Autodesk Revit Structure 2010 or AutoCAD Revit Structure Suite 2010 software. For a complete list of improvements, download the Autodesk® Revit® Structure 2010 Web Update Enhancement List at:

This download is the latest update for Autodesk® Revit® MEP 2010 software as part of the AutoCAD® Revit® MEP Suite 2010 software. It is available to users who have purchased a valid license for AutoCAD Revit MEP Suite 2010 software. For a complete list of improvements, download the Autodesk® Revit® MEP 2010 Update Enhancement List at: