Thursday, March 24, 2011

RUGLeeds Meeting No.1

What a way to kick off RUGLeeds, last night was the first Revit User Group meeting in Leeds, UK. After 4 months of planning with Chris Senior of Revit Elemental the time had arrived to launch the user group. We had almost 50 attendees with people travelling from far and wide to see what we were doing.

We had a number of people make the short 10 or so mile trip across West Yorkshire from places such as Wakefield and Bradford, a couple of people travelled 40 miles from Sheffield, and one guy travelled 42 miles from Manchester.

We had a group of attendees who travelled 72 miles from Nottingham, and the guys from _Space travelled a massive 97 miles from Newcastle to present at the opening meeting!

RUGLeeds managed to cover a wide area in the opening meeting, and if we are honest, we were quite surprised by the turn out.

The night started with an introduction from myself and Chris Senior, we gave a summary of our background, and why we formed RUGLeeds.

Moving on to an open floor discussion - 'What do YOU Want from RUGLeeds?'

The main talking points were sharing best practice, collaboration and setting up a wish list, something that could perhaps be done in conjunction with the other UK user groups, so we become a UK voice and try to build a relationship with Autodesk.

That was followed by an overview of Revit Architecture 2012 by Simon Dickinson of MicroCAD.

Simon covered the key improvements that have been doing the rounds since Autodesk lifted the NDA on Revit 2012.

The grand finale was excellent, James Austin and Adam Ward from _Space Architecture gave us all an insight into their BigBim approach in designing, manufacturing and constructing the _spachus modular eco home. Focusing on how parametric modelling techniques have enabled the process.

The detail that went into some of the nested families used in this process is nothing short of incredible, and the formulas built into the families were very clever, a simple example is a timber beam that would increase it's size relative to the distance it was spanning. The concept of using Revit in for manufacturing, paying special attention to the process involved was fascinating, and issuing information to site in a set of 'ikea' style animated assembly instructions that were viewed on an iPad or iPhone is a different level of thinking.

For more information about what _Space are doing with BigBim visit the Big Bim Website

The night finished in the Adelphi pub in Leeds, with a few people (myself included) staying until closing. I eventually made it home at around 1am. (That is what I call networking!)

I would like to thank Buro Happold for providing the venue and refreshments, as well as everyone who attended and had some input into the evening, and a big thank you to the speakers, and a pat on the back for myself and Chris for making this happen.

We have certainly set the bench mark high with the first meeting, the standard of presentations were excellent, and the number and variety of attendees was perfect. The challenge now is to continue in the right direction.

In the coming weeks me and Chris will be looking at the formation of a committee, I will keep you posted.

A testimonial from one of the attendees is below

"That came together very well last night. It was well organised, focused and gave everyone quite a lot to take away. Thank You."

Remember to search RUGLeeds of Linkedin or Facebook to join the group.

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