AEC Tech News (#240)

19 Nov, 2008

Implementing BIM in Old Construction p>

Brigham Young University's Clyne Curtis talks with Cadalyst about using Revit in the management of a historic campus.

By Melanie Perry

Melanie Perry

As more firms across the country embrace BIM during the design and construction of new buildings, we can’t help recognizing the potential benefits of using these models during the entire lifecycle of the facility. But the majority of facilities have been operating with paper documents and 2D CAD files for so long that, for them, making the transition isn’t quick or easy.

I recently interviewed one facilities planner who has been embracing the use of Revit for Brigham Young University’s space and asset management. I met Clyne Curtis while taking his classes at Autodesk University, where he shared his experiences and exchanged ideas with other facility managers. I was pleased when he agreed to chat with me about how his facility is approaching the challenge of implementing BIM long after construction has been completed.

Melanie Perry (MP): Can you tell us a little bit about your campus?

Clyne Curtis (CC): Brigham Young University, a private institution, is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is part of the Church Educational System. The original school, Brigham Young Academy, was established October 16, 1875, on a little over one acre of land in what is now downtown Provo, Utah. The university's nearly nine-million square feet of facilities are located on the 560-acre main campus, which includes 311 buildings: 95 for academic programs, 59 for administrative and auxiliary services, and 157 for housing.

MP: What is your role at the university?

CC: I have been at BYU for nine years as the CAD manager. I am based in the facilities planning department, which is part of physical facilities for campus. My primary responsibility is the maintaining of an accurate, up-to-date database of all the building floor plans and their gross and net areas. These floor plans are used by numerous departments on campus including our space management folks, our cost needs analysis office, and our Office of Information Technology.

In order to keep the plans and areas current, I typically take the drawings generated by our architectural designers (if it’s a larger project, we outsource it to an architectural firm), and cut and paste their changes into my CAD database drawings. I then update a second set of drawings, which contain polyline boundaries of the building footprint for gross area, and the room boundaries, which define the net areas.  Read more »

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Cadalyst contributing editor Melanie Perry works in facilities engineering for a large medical facility. She is a St. Louis-based freelance writer and blogger specializing in CAD, CAFM, and other technology topics. Reach her at


Extreme Landscaping: Behnke Nurseries Edition

When the producers of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition approached Behnke Nurseries about participating in the reality show's seventh season premiere, the family-owned nursery knew it faced a challenge. With just two weeks before filming was scheduled to begin, the company accepted and got to work.

The nursery’s challenge was to design a traditional landscape to complement a brand new, 4,800-square-foot, Colonial-style house. The two-hour season opener would feature a single mother with four kids of her own as well as ten nieces and nephews who were in danger of being forced into foster care because the family had been living in a hotel.

The nursery's landscape design and installation department had only one week to design a plan for the one-acre lot and just three days to complete installation -- a third of the time the crew would normally spend on a project that size. With the tireless efforts of volunteers working nearly around the clock, the support of several donors, and help from Vectorworks Landmark, Behnke got the job done.

Extreme Capabilities

Using Nemetschek's landscape design program, Vectorworks Landmark, Behnke's landscape designer Andrea Becerril created a design that included front-yard plantings, a U-shaped driveway in the front, and a patio and outdoor fireplace in the back, with plantings. The plan also included a mature tree and brick-seat wall to serve as a memorial for the new homeowner's sister who had died of cancer.  Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Webinar: BIM on Midsize to Large Projects -- Focus on Commercial
December 3, 2008
12 Noon PT
This Webinar will review how to use BIM tools on a commercial project for design and construction documents. Read more»

Ecobuild Fall and AEC-ST Fall
December 8-11, 2008
Washington, DC
Ecobuild Fall and AEC-ST Fall covers green building, sustainable design, renewable energy, environmental planning processes, and more. Attendees include AEC professionals, owners, developers, and facility managers. Read more»

Webinar: Affordable BIM for Small Firms -- ArchiCAD Start Edition
December 11, 2008
12 Noon ET
This Webinar demonstrates how small practices can use the Start Edition's building information modeling technology to develop their concepts, compete for business more effectively, and boost efficiency. Read more»

Webinar: Automated Code Checking of BIMs in an e-Government Environment
December 16, 2008
2 p.m. ET
Presented by the Construction Specifications Institute, this webinar will discuss how initiatives such as building information modeling will change the design, construction, and approval of buildings with respect to building codes, standards, and regulations. Read more»

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on