AEC Tech News (#263)

20 Jan, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff

What a Difference a D Makes

When it comes to conveying the vision of a building design, Selser Schaefer Architects found that 3D can succeed where 2D fails.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Bringing a building design to fruition requires investing long hours, planning countless details, and — most importantly — securing client approval. Before the stakeholders will give their okay, however, they must be convinced that the design meets their needs, both practical and aesthetic. This is the part of the process when architects must become fortune-tellers, conjuring a compelling vision of the building-to-be. But what happens when architect and client gaze into the same crystal ball and see two different images?

That's what occurred when representatives from Oklahoma's Selser Schaefer Architects presented their design for the Tulsa Community College Center for Creativity to an executive committee. The Selser Schaefer team relied on various 2D architectural drawings to convey the design: the site layout, floor plans, a typical building section, and four exterior elevations. The linework for these drawings was extracted from the schematic-level BIM (building information modeling) model the team had created in Bentley Architecture, with Adobe Photoshop used to add shadows, colors, textures, and annotations.

Unfortunately, the 2D presentation fell flat. "[The clients] understood that the solution we were presenting was meeting the needs they [had specified] but ... we could tell that they weren't quite getting the whole story of the design," said Shannon West, an architectural intern at Selser Schaefer.

Part of the communication problem stemmed from the complexity of the four-story building, which had to accommodate many different uses, including events, distance learning, radio broadcasting, and media production. It was also crucial to the college's goal of creating a downtown campus — and the city's efforts to redevelop downtown Tulsa — that the building reach out to its surroundings, offering both literal and figurative transparency and fostering a spirit of collaboration. Read more »

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.


CAD Manager's Toolbox:
Archiving Installation CDs and DVDs

Maintaining backups in case of disaster is a chore, albeit an essential one. Make it easier by storing just the files, not the disks themselves.

By Robert Green

I recently experienced a machine crash that made me very glad I had the backup disks I needed to recover. After some thought, however, I've decided that I've been spending way too much time and effort keeping track of disks when I could have digitally archived those backup files. I'd like to share my method of archiving disks with you, in the hopes that you too can clean house and manage all your installation disks this way.

Step 1: Locate the original disk (CD or DVD) and the required product installation key information provided with it.

Step 2: Place disk in drive.

Step 3: Use your CD writing software (I use Roxio CD Creator because it came preinstalled on my machine, but you can use whatever you like) and find the Save/Create Image task similar to what I've shown below. Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events


WinEst 2010 User Conference
March 1–3, 2010
Seattle, Washington
Attendees can learn more about estimating and industry topics like building information modeling (BIM), as well as meet one-on-one with technical support experts. Read more »

AIA 2010 National Convention
June 10–12, 2010
Miami, Florida
Bringing together more than 22,000 architects and building industry professionals, the AIA 2010 National Convention will showcase innovative design and construction industry products and services. Read more »

COFES Russia Seminar
September 14, 2010
Moscow, Russian Federation
This invitation-only event will bring together senior executives from firms in manufacturing, construction, and design to discuss innovation in the face of the current economic situation both globally and within Russia and the CIS. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

What’s New at


AU Online Offers GIS Learning on Demand
Were you too busy to attend every Autodesk University class that interested you — or even to make it to Las Vegas in the first place? Now you can take in some sessions from your home or office. Read more »

New Year, New Resolutions for CAD Managers
Determining to eat better and get more exercise is a good start, but don't stop there. In 2010, resolve to be proactive and organized in the office, too. Read more »

Announcing the Return of Cadalyst Magazine
Longitude Media, the new publisher of Cadalyst, is proud to announce the return of Cadalyst magazine. The great content you expect from Cadalyst is available again in the print format you enjoy. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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