Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Additive Information... And the Human Implication.

I'm working on an Egress Plan on Revit, and awhile back i took my best shot at automating it. For this particular job, we are taking the SF, calling 90 percent sales, 10 percent stock, and calculating the number of exits based on number of occupants, based on the SF.

Now, it was fairly simple to do, until i decided i wanted a check in place in case i didn't have the correct number of exits. This wasn't difficult, more than irritating to set up. And in the end, while it works, every person must now know how it works: Exit tags by doors are really Area Tags, that way the value of Door Capacity can be a property of the Area. This lets a string of formulas and calculated values all stem from the area of the "Area", which works nicely.

There is a schedule on our drawing sheet, that only shows up if some of the values are not correct, warning you to go to your automated schedule to check the exits and such. This was a great idea i got from Steve Stafford. (Works great Steve!).

This method hasn't let me down yet, unless.... I simply never define an "Area." Maybe there is a space that was "Area 2c03", but somewhere along the way it got bisected by a demise wall, and the origin for said Area is on one half. Well, if i never place an "Area" entity in the other half, all of the calculations are moot, yes? Depending on what platform you work in (I'm in Revit obviously, but that isn't the point of this post) there may be options, depending on how different platforms work. Ours treats Areas and Rooms as objects, and they have to be placed.

This instance aside, it got me thinking about the subject of Object Omission: BIM, 3D modeling, Live scheduling, yadda yadda... They do wonderful things for us. But along the same lines of garbage in garbage out, what happens when its NOTHING in = ________ out?

I'm not sure its far off, but i DO wonder: With everything that used to be done longhand, and everything that isn't now, when is the time coming when smarter programs like Revit can tell us when we completely forget something? Already, if you try to fill out an application online, and you miss a text field, they will not let you proceed. I could see us building enough intelligence in to a program like Revit that it knows you've...

*placed the components to establish a space.... But you didn't include a way in. (How DO you get in those rooms we model and forget doors? LOL)

*Defined a space with geometry, but never with a "space" object (Room, area, etc...)

I know there are already Programming Programs (haha) out there... Trilligence Affinity comes to mind... That can establish the "Space objects" and criteria ahead of time, before the geometry takes form... Is this the start of a program that can warn us when we simply forget to complete something? I'm very interested to see... So far we've been able to schedule everything, and calculate anything.... But we cant do much with nothing, can we? Share your thoughts...

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