Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015, What a Year

As years go, 2015 must stand out, for me it was packed with everything, from a lot more teaching at the beginning, to my sons move to Hong Kong, to my blog being hacked, to a long holiday in France.

The blog though was and is a highlight, who ever hacked my site, a pox on you, but it caused me to review the whole set up, and move to Blogger, a simple yet effective platform, it does not have the bells and stuff Wordpress has, but I suddenly realised that its the content, not the fancy gizmo bit, interesting they are, that make a site, so a lot more effort on content. So how is it going well thanks for asking, so far the reach, according to Google Stats, is remarkably good, so far I have hit a large area, but I have a way to go.

The last time I looked at the map on Wordpress, I saw mostly dark green, so Thanks to the USA for getting there first, on the new site, I have auto directs from all my old site, so is your still going there, I hope no problem.

So 2016, whats my wish list, well Blogging, I would like a few more speaking engagements, see my personal website for more details. Next, I want to get at least one book out, I have two on the go, one on Architectural Technology, and one on 2D Vectorworks. Travel is high on the list, I want to see just a few Architectural buildings from my wish list. Academic papers I have a load on the list, so I want to get two or three published, one I have already sorted for ICAT, so two or three to go.

The Web site is more or less sorted, so 2016, I want to use it more, adding documents and articles.

My Bucket list of places, grows with every film, I watch, so some for the blog, some for me, my pictures tend to go on Flickr, so part of my list is to sort that out, is it still for me.

My own CPD is complicated, but part of my list has to include a Masters started this year, thats partly sorted, so 2016, needs to be finalised.

I have neglected YouTube for a while, so thats back on my list, to produce a few more, but split between my Students and me.

Thats it,  my 2016 wish list / Bucket list, lots to do, and certain changes to my past years.

Monday, 28 December 2015

A new Blog " hoffou framtioar"

I have started a new blog, as if I don't have time for this !, but I think its important to separate my futurist ideas and concepts away from my CPD blog, so head over to" hoffou framtioar" which I hope is reasonable translation from Icelandic for "look to the Future".

Why this name, well it was available, second I like the idea and third, I think I have Viking stock somewhere in my past lineage, so it all seemed a good idea at the time.

There are many things  I would like to write about, but they tend to blur with my CPD, so this is an attempt to isolate these thoughts and allow them room to grow and develop.

If I can I will save links and items connected with a particular subject in a public Evernote folder.

Algorithms for Big Data

The question I have, is should we learn how to use algorithms for Big Data, I am currently writing a paper on the use of IFC, IoT and big City data and my honest answer looking at all of this is yes, or at least if your not directly involved in it, at least understand it.

This article Teaching Algorithms for Big Data, is a great starter, in understanding the concept, but at its very simplest its all about adding as much useful information to our specifications within a 3D drawing as possible.

At best its great CPD, just trying to understand the very concepts and its impact on our detailing and design, not just as a single building, but as a large scale planning implementation

Related articles

Friday, 25 December 2015

Thursday, 24 December 2015

A Major Move

Today I have removed my old Konstrukshon Web site, try as I might, I just could not remove the links some one had added, so I have changed all passwords, and removed the complete site and redirected to my new home in Google Blogger framework.

It took some time to get the html right and uploaded, but its all done, I still have a lot of the older posts, I use IfTTT to copy to my Evernote account, so I can easily see any old articles.

Don't forget, to visit my personal Prof Stephen J Scaysbrook page  for more up to date info, or my Company page for Konstrukshon Ltd.

Cite This For Me, Chrome App

I am at present finishing one Academic paper and I have at least 4 lined up to write, my biggest problem, and its not a major thing really, but getting web citations right, I find painful, that is until I found a great app on the Google Chrome apps page, that works a treat.

Its so simple and easy to use, and the button to bring it into play is on the top right of the Chrome bar. It seems to be for web sites only, but this was always the worst thing to cite, and this little app makes it so easy.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Car Parking

One of my lectures I give is the design of car parks, and as part of this I walk my student round at least one car park, explaining the design and operation.

Yet this is a low level approach to the problem of cars and what to do with them in big cities.
This article on ArchDaily, and very obviously one sided, takes a look at how Audi, might tackle the problem with self parking cars and reduced volume car park, with no pedestrian space.

Its an interesting problem, the other side is the way Uber might evolve and then there is Googles auto drive car, here we might just send it away to drive around till it's needed.

So many interesting concepts. Last time i was in New York I saw what can only be described as car jack that held two cars in what I recognised as garage car lifts.

I take the train to Birmingham every now and then, its a reminder just how difficult the problem is, getting onto a crowed train and putting up with time tables and ticket machines, only emphasises the need to sort out parking, because its so easy to drive in compared to the alternatives.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Computational Thinking

I have just signed up for a course run by Google called Computational Thinking, as if I don't have enough to do over the Christmas break, still I have no work to mark, just three planning applications and a building regs drawing to complete.

But what intrigues me about this course is that its there for free, and its a subject I can't ignore, we as technologists, spend so much of our time on computers solving construction problems by drawing them, but that if there is a better way to approach the problem. Our regulations, and here I talk globally, are complex, often require calculation and last but not least, understanding, some times the law is not quite clear.

And then there is BIM and big data, this subject on its own justifies my time here.

I also want to be able to teach the subject, so perhaps I can mingle with other like minded educators and see how they approach the subject.

So I thought, why not take a look at this course and see if I can learn something different that may help tackle the problems we face daily and approach it in a different way. after all, we all have quite powerful computers sitting on our desks, can we use them in a different way to find answers to problems, or perhaps not even use it, just change my approach to problem solving.

Thats it, my spare time over Christmas sorted,  I will let you know how I get on, I plan to tackle this in small chunks, say an hour each morning whilst I an keen, I am a morning person, I fade as the day grows so morning is best.

Until I find more out, I went to Wiki to see what it says about the subject

"Computational Thinking (CT) is a process that generalizes a solution to open ended problems. Open-ended problems encourage full, meaningful answers based on multiple variables, which require using decomposition, data representation, generalization, modeling, and algorithms found in Computational Thinking."

Sounds interesting does it not !, and the CPD is top notch.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Cognitive Internet of Things and IBM

The video below is, in my mind a must view presentation by Dr. John E. Kelly III, Senior Vice President, IBM Solutions Portfolio and Research, on the massive amounts of data we will generate from the way we will use sensors and the general IoT ( Internet of things ).

It was only put up a few days ago The vast amount of money ($3b ) IBM is investing is staggering,  plus a hub in Munich Germany, plus the acquisition of a weather company in addition of the money already set aside. Its this last purchase that points to the direction they may take.

The leader of this new section is Harriott Green a leader in Industry.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Paris Climate Talks

Do we as Technologist really need to follow the Paris Climate Talks, the answer has to be yes on several levels, one we are probably more qualified than many of the people, who attended the meet, and decided or tried to decide, how we should tackle the problem, and secondly we can easily influence a lot of the problems by our detailing, specification and general design, plus its not a country problem, its a global problem, and we should take an interest.

So whats the best way to take note, well the article on the Huffinton Post by I think Eric Mann, is a dam good start, its a good intro into both the issues at stake, and the very political problems, plus the general misunderstanding on the measurements,

I suggest reading up on the Global temperture, the Nasa site is a good start, then try Roy Spencer and NOAA and finaly the Wiki Global Warming Page, if a tad frightening.

More sites

The Engineer

Then I suggest you take a look at any Passive Haus design page, the Passivehaus trust is a great start, or same site but their rules of thumb

Thats it for today, a bit doom and gloom, but its a problem that will not go away that easily, its going to take more than a bunch of political animals who have no real tech knowledge to sort it out, that I am afraid is really down to us.

There are many who seem to think its a load of whooy, well they have their opinion, but the evidence speaks for its self, its here, and its happening, todays graph I have seen fro several different sites, all say the same.
Take an interest please.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Rotunda

I worked at James A Roberts Rotunda in the early 70's I was there for about two years, so when I found this video, It was a must view

A site view not to miss, watch and learn

This week, I shall take some of my students to the top of a carpark roof to view a construction site below, its the ideal way to watch a site in daily operation, see the way the site is laid out and where and why construction is started.

We take with us the gantt chart and look for items that should be completed and whats just started.
I wanted to add a time lapse video, but it just got messy, so the photo is all I can do, except it will be the same photo spot and on each Friday, so given enough photos I can make a nice time lape video.

There is so much to be learned by just sitting and watching, shadow, rain its worth the time to observe, and see how it interacts with your details.
I like to touch and feel, old details, even on the surface there is still things to learn, drip details, overhangs, change of material, and in an old city ike Birmingham, there are detail example that have been working well for over 100 years.

So often details are the result of committees, groups of well meaning people who look after buildings and add things without realising the effects, adding pipes, drainage, ramps, thinking the builder will sort it out, so often not,,,,,,,

Monday, 14 December 2015

CPD records

I have for some time kept my cpd records via a spreadsheet, but over the last year, mostly due to teaching commitments, I have not kept it up, but as I have a little more time, I am back, and have started to fill in my records again.

Its an important job, you do need to keep a track of what, when and why, and where you got the information, I tend to store so much of what I read in Evernote, its just so easy to click the elephant and store a web page, or use my iPhone to scan in a page or article.

I wrote a detailed article on the spreadsheet make up some time back, take a look at my personal page for details, and also you can see the sheet with up to date hours as I type.

I have several projects on the go, and my paper to finish, so lots to go at

So Christmas is creeping up, and I still have loads to do, most of my presents are done, first time ever, normally I am rushing about, but this year for some reason its all done, thanks to Amazon I must state. Todays photo a small sketch I made to show brick coursing to my students, which reminds me I need to book the next CPD event, Ibstock have agreed to come and talk.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Vectorworks Marrionette

I received one of Jon Pickups weekly mailing list of topics discussed, and the highlight for me was the discussion on the way Marionette can be used, with BIM objects.

I am now in the final stages of my paper for ICAT and make mention of this fact, but the real power I don't think we have seen yet, and it will take a lot of experiment and trials to see how far we can take Marionette.

In the mean time tale a look at Jons post, and see his notes and I hope, the excellent GIF that steps through the problem. As always Jon is at the fore front of presentation and media use, I remember way back before Skype was mainstream Jon and I were constantly playing with the technology.

The use of GIF is not new, but it fits here so well

Thursday, 10 December 2015

PAS 1192-2 --- Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling

Its a long title, and Google might blow a fuse, but this time I am taking no notice, "PAS 1192-2 --- Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling" is a document we should all have read, and if you have not, then do so, its the route the government has set for the introduction of BIM,

OK its a long document, and the content is very much gov speak, but the underlying tone is the foundation of BIM, and like it or not, its the future, and here I speak global, not just the UK, there will be no country constraints, building are going digital.

You might also want to read an excellent article on the CIOB web site, and cedrtainly watch the youtube interview with BIM Task Group chairman Mark Bew. The page itself might be behind a fire wall, but the interview is on youtube, see below.

I would also recommend downloading PAS 1192-2 its free and can be obtained via the BSI shop for free, mine is in Evernote and well read. The reading list once you have just made the first read is enormous, and mine needed refining a tad, I am lucky, being a Visiting Prof at Birmingham City Uni, I get to use the excellent library, and have access to gov docs for free. plus I can sit an talk with other Prof's who teach this subject. I am planning a CPD event in the near future, where I will try and explain the documents and some of my research, with if they will agree, some of the lecturers.

Birmingham City Uni have an excellent Masters course being planned for the new year 2016, and you can bet its going to take apart a lot of the PAS 1192 doc and more. As soon as I can I will post more on this.

The image I have used today is the one you will see on almost every BIM presentation and shows the BIM maturity levels you will here so much about. The goal of 2016 is level 2, but this is only part of a much larger graphic showing the different standards related to each level, so a much needed document and read.

The video for some reason is in 6 parts, but watch the first and look to the side bar in Youtube for the remaining.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Mind Maps

I so often take my iPad into lectures or meetings and start Evernote to type notes re the meeting, and end up using my Moleskin to add notes that I find difficult to typer. They are links doodles and mind maps if concepts, ideas and just abstract thoughts that come into my mind. I so often then add the pages, there is always more than one, to the end of the evernote typing.

Tere are no rules to taking note, much lime my rule for Moleskins, I just make notes, scribles, links, pictures, sketch, all the time. I can look back and see thoughts long forgotten, if I write neat, then Evernote can find it, but sketches and doodles are still a little much for it, but hey, there is time.
I read several article over the weekend, and found a link to an excellent article on mind maps, How to use mind maps and a follow up, Mind map art, mine look nothing like theres, !! also an excellent article on "The Nw Yorker"

I still keep looking at Google Keep, but its so lacks behind Evernote,

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Big Data

In a conversation with a few friends over the weekend, it suddenly occurred to me, that a lot of small company information lies in so many CAD formats to just plain old word, and text files.
practices hold vast amounts of data, so often stored away in a variety of formats, from defunct documents like wordstar, remember that,  scanned drawings, the current collection of CAD file formats, IFC, and spreadsheets in the millions..

The trick will be to pull this information into a single cohesive viewable format, so welcome to big data, and the incomprehesable world of fragmented data.

I was always taught, keep data simple and regulated, but data is so often not cooperating in this, its all over the place and in so many different formats, and its often corrupted in some form or other.

So how do we get all this information to talk, thats the quest I am now on, its a long term project, but all linked to my CAD, BIM, internet of things paper, the more I look the more it expands to new areas. Googles Hadoop is an open-source software framework for storing data and running applications on clusters of commodity hardware. It provides massive storage for any kind of data, enormous processing power and the ability to handle virtually limitless concurrent tasks or jobs.

In short its the backbone of the new data

So I have or am, pulling together a presentation on the way ahead for Architectural Data, its not BIM, its not CAD, it has to be more, and so much lies outside your company or even personal data hives, on the open web, waiting to be linked and searched.

Should you learn more about this, yes, should you hand out this and all your data to an external company to make sense of it all, maybe, perhaps not, but one thing is sure, putting your head into the sand and hoping it will pass you by and everything will return to as it was, is not an option.

If your interested in attending a lecture on this subject, contact me and I will add you to my mailing letter list and let you know when and were. or if you want an in house lecture specific to your
company, again, make contact and I will get straight back to you.