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PK Ocean SprayPointknown was tasked with capturing Ocean Spray’s HQ, over 160,000 SF of Office Space and Labs over 3 Floors  set on  hundreds of acres of woods and bogs in Lakeville, MA.  Because of the nature of the building and deliverable we were able to capture the bulk of the features and geometry directly with PKNail Pro, allowing us to measure and model in real time in the field.  Interior Wall Partitioning, Bathroom Layouts, Windows and Doors.  After the geometry was completed we placed the acoustical tile grids, and placed objects directly with the Revit interface.

For surveying and documenting buildings having a set of tools allows a provider to offer the right solution set to your clients.  Not everything’s a nail so carry more than a hammer.  We first developed PKNail Pro because we needed another tool set in the field, and started offering it commercially because clients asked us if we would provide it.  Does it do everything, no; it was intended and designed to capture typical conditions very well, and quickly by turning measurements directly into Revit based objects, walls, windows doors, locate / place wall based objects from plumbing to electrical to fire protection and it does that very well.

Quote of the Project Upon Early Arrival and Hearing Barking/Howling:  “No…those aren’t dogs, those are coyotes.”


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AEC Alliances, Purchases, Cats Living With Dogs

staypuftLike a ship that has long passed ripples from Apple’s long held strategy to combine software and hardware has finally come to shore in the AEC marketplace when Autodesk recently announced a ‘collaboration’ with Leica.  This shatters their long held belief that they would “never partner with software.”  Straight up from the copy on their splash page.

“Smart integration empowers our customers to construct more efficiently and more accurately by making design and reality fit together.”

I have to say this has been a long time coming because if anything Autodesk is excellent at marketing and mostly sort of listening to their customers and marketplace something Leica is beyond woeful at.  They are a classic engineering company who makes great products and convinced of their products greatness believe it will have a market.  I wonder if they have ever in their existence put together a customer focus group.  While Autodesk continues to partner and acquire multiple companies in the 3D and Built Environment space Faro, Leica’s main competitor, acquired Kubit in March.  Trimble now owns Tekla, Sketh Up and Gehry Technolgies . 

What does the Leica / Autodesk union mean?  I would think at least when you need to export point for layout, instead of just picking a generic export you would then export to Leica’s family of products as an option.  Perhaps Cloudworx and Recap combination, as I would believe if you are firing up a Leica scanner, their would have to be some link directly to the Autodesk family.  Is this friendly oligopoly good for the industry.  Well when Windows dominated the marketplace people argues their monopoly was good as it provided a defacto standards, just like Rockefeller argued Standard Oil’s position of owning everything allowed for efficient pricing.


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Trimble Acquires Penmap : Customized Software for The Surveying Market

images_fishSUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb. 15, 2013—Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) announced today that it has acquired a suite of software solutions from Ltd. of Bradford, United Kingdom.’s solutions include both office and field data collection software specifically designed for the cadastral and surveying markets. The comprehensive software suite enables Trimble to further address local application requirements and customer needs by providing complete customized surveying software solutions for the cadastral market. Financial terms were not disclosed.

So that’s interesting news.  Penmap’s last press release previous to this one was in 2011.  Additionally they don’t seem to have an ipad app, but rather handhelds and rugged pcs. So what gives.I threw ipad in there only because someone in every meeting will ask you, does this run on the ipad.  Also on there website they refer to technology and laser technology that is a couple generations old.  And while I’m all for acquisitions and exit strategies, this one makes me wonder if they a large government contract hidden somewhere..  Anyway while I was on this thread I though I’d post Trimble Acquisitions from 2012 and through this date 2013.  Let me know if you see the thread.  Except for owning the mapping of the physical and natural world.

Trimble Acquisitions 2012 – Early 2013.

Feb 15th – Penmap (Cadastral and Surveying Markets)

January 3 : ALK Technologies (Transportation and Logistics)

November 2, 2012 : Vico Software (Field BIM)  –    Thanks John for the reminder

October 5 2012 : Refraction Technology (Structural Monitoring Solutions)

September 19 2012: Logicway (Transportation and Logistics: Payroll Automation)

August 27, 2012 : TMW Systems (Transportation and Logistics)

July 2, 2012 : WinEstimator (Construction : Cost Estimating)

June 11, 2012: GeoTrack (Transportation and Logistics : Oil & Gas)

April 26, 2012 : SketchUp (3D Modeling)

April 6, 2012: Gatewing (Survey Solutions : Aerial Mapping)

January 12, 2012 Plancal (MEP Market)






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Happy Thanksgiving Everybody…Who Can’t Get Behind That

Like I tell my kids everyday, we pick people up we don’t put them down.  Enjoy your family and friends,  have an extra piece of pie,  pet your dog,  play touch football.  Just take a minute.


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All Work and No Play : Forget It : Summer Music Addition

It’s summer so get out there.  A real small list of bands worth checking out, and while the venues I mention will have a Boston centric bias, since, well I’m here;  you can do a lot worse then getting out to see the following.

Galactic , and they are playing the Chicken Box on Nantucket on August 13th, if you are on the island, then there is no where else you should be, if you are not, well worth the ferry ride.

Pimps of Joy Time , the sound that these cats put out on stage is tremendous, what they are doing live…tremendous.  I don’t care if you say, “hey funk is not my bag”, wrong, you’ve been carrying the wrong bag.  find them, get the album, buy the t-shirt.  They will be playing the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival, Saturday August 18th, bring the kids.

Thomas Mapfuno, the Lion of Zimbabwe, afro funk acid pop, don’t try to label it and go listen, select tour dates.

Michael Franti and Spearhead,  good message, good vibe, good music, Playing the Life is Good Festival September 22.

Note:  I realize that anyone who gets to this blog is generally following the niche of architecture and technology but this blog, at least intially was intended to inform, but also be a reminder to myself what is happening that is germane in this world, but occasionally the world at large, and lord knows when I am penned inside on a summer day in front, well today, 3 screens, having something playing through pandora or itunes, or finding something on stereomood or soundcloud keeps your toes tapping and your mind from napping.





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Happy 4th Everybody

People all over the world wake up one day and say or think to themselves, “I’ve got to get to America.”  Watching America’s Got Talent last night, because…people reaching for their dreams, I’ll watch it every time but a singer says, “I gave up everything to come to America, because that’s where the opportunity is.”  We’re a nation built on this; of individuals all over the world waking up and saying, “I’ve got to get to America.”

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”  We are a nation of strivers.  It’s in our DNA.  So many come here with nothing and make something.  It is this constant regeneration that makes us strong, makes us great.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Go out and pursue some happiness, treat people the way you like to be treated.  Happy Birthday America.  You’re Awesome.



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Trimble Keeps its Appetite Up: Acquires WinEstimator for 5D BIM Win.

Announced today is that Trimble acquired WinEstimator.  This acquisition according the press release is to leverage Meridian Systems Portfolio to add cost estimating and cost modeling, the 5th D of BIM.  WinEstimator was founded in 1992.  Chomp.



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Beat the Heat in Boston

The extremely non-exhaustive list to cool yourself down in and around Boston.

Get to the Beach and then Treat Yourself

Cranes Beach & Wingaersheek Beech, Head north on 128.  Enjoy the water, and then take the short drive to Essex and go get fried clams and soft serve, call in your fried clam order if you can.  Try Woodman’s, Farnham’s (they got picnic tables over looking the tidal marsh) or try the Village, and Essex Seafood, which has always been a solid go to.

Horseneck Beach, terrific beach going south on 24, Westport, MA almost always less traffic, then go to the Back Eddy for something to cold to drink and a snack.

You’re in and around the city.

Find a Roof Deck and/or Pool, a variety of posts on the subject from, but it seems the Colonade for a pool stop is always mentioned. And outside of the city, Indigo in Newton is pretty nice stop.

Walk the Greenway, play in the fountains, get gelatto, try the Gelateria  in the North End.

Have a cold drink in a well air conditioned bar by the Garden, then walk over the river, across the locks into Charlestown and do the same thing there.  Your choice for locations, there are many.  But go ahead and stop at Emack and Bolio’s on the walk back.

Play in the Fountain at the Christian Science Center, walk into the Pru and Copley to soak in the air conditioning, play “how much are these shoes” at Nordstrom.  Have a friend stand back from the shoe tables, have them guess.  Most likely off by a factor of 10, go get a coolata at Dunkin.

If you are feeling particularly flush and it’s after 5, go get a martini at the Oak Room, used to come with side car sitting in ice.  That will frame the rest of your day.  Air Conditioning set on igloo.

Take your dog for a walk at the Middlesex Fells Reservation, or bring him/her to a pond, throw a stick. Jamaica Pond, Spy Pond, Fresh Pond, etc.  You might not get cool, but look at the dog, so happy.  And now I’ve seen Canoe and Kayak Rentals at Spy Pond.

So there’s a start, generally, a cold drink, cone or a slush, water, you get the idea.



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Steve Jobs : Bus Driver

I’m going to miss Steve Jobs.  Why?  I did not know Steve Jobs, never spoke with him but only knew him, like most of us, through his and his people’s creations at Apple, Pixar and I guess to a degree at NeXT.  Steve Jobs was a visionary, and that is not a title that can be handed out, it has to be earned and he earned it.  I always felt good knowing that he was out there, driving what’s next, driving the bus and the fact is, I don’t know who’s going to be the next driver and that makes me sad and like anyone’s passing I am sad that his family and friends will no longer be able to enjoy his company.

On life, and death. Everything else is secondary. Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Stanford:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

“Don’t cry that it’s over.  Smile because it happened” – Dr. Seuss.


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“Owners have to be willing to spend more upfront” : Suffolk saves over $800K on one project. #BIM #Revit

Soft costs.  Used to be that 20% of any one project was the yardstick for soft costs, design, engineering, etc.  And it always seemed like it was the money that owners/developers loathe to spend.  Think about it ‘soft costs’ even the term makes you want to get rid of it or squash it.  But we are getting closer to full BIM embrace and a recent post on the Building Design Construction Web Site which highlighted some of Suffolk Construction’s experience using BIM.  Says Peter Campot, President of the Healthcare/Science and Technology division of New England’s Suffolk Construction

We need to transition from design as you go to a design and construction process.  We reinvent the wheel everyday right now. Would you ride in an airplane that was a prototype? Buildings are the same way, each is a one-off, but if you build it virtually you’ll build it right. Value-engineering, I would argue, is neither. If we get the construction model right there ARE no RFIs. Higher quality is what I care about. I’m in a reference business.  We need a paradigm shift. We need to restructure and transform the industry. Owners have to be willing to spend more upfront. It does come back to them in the end.

Jeff Yoder’s on his post goes on to state that Suffolk uses BIM on every project over $10M.  They use clash detection on every BIM project and recommend full BIM on any project over $50M.  They also purchased ipads for all their full time employees and use over 50 BIM related technologies and software.

What would be interesting to know is to see a costs schedule of building the ‘typical’ way and then using virtual construction methods.  For example, how much did a fully realized BIM model cost vs. 2D CD (Construction Doc) package, and then see the costs savings layered on top that.  Let’s get to apples v. apples, dollars v. dollars comparison, but I can’t believe there is any doubt that BIM saves you money, and maybe owners would be willing to split the difference in ‘savings’ or maybe there is a carrot out there the industry can adopt to share the ‘BIM’ winnings.


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