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How to Better Manage Your Revit (and Other) Content with UNIFI

Michael Kilkelly, author of ArchSmarter blog, reviewed the UNIFI Content Management solution.  He liked the solution so much he is now going to purchase it!  We’ve posted the article below and the link to his site can be viewed here. 

“Hey Michael, got a second?” I hear from across the office.

“Remember that window family you created?” Steve asks me. “You know, the one with all the depth parameters.”

I had made a bunch of window families over the past few months. I wracked my brain to try to remember which one he was looking for.

“You mean the one I made for the Crosstown project?” I reply. “It had a bunch of depth parameters.”

“No, the other one. I think it was after Crosstown. It had different transom types.”

“Oh, I know which one you mean. I’ll go find it.”

I dig through the office family folders looking for the .rfa file. I think I find the right one so I email it over to Steve.

“Nope, that’s not it.” he calls out. “The one I need has a transom type.”

“Hmm. . . ” I say as I try to remember the family he’s thinking of.

I spend another ten minutes digging around. I don’t see anything similar in the office library so I start looking in project folders.

“Did it have an arch top option?” I ask him.

“Maybe”, he replies.

Thirty minutes later, I find the family he’s looking for. Turns out, it was in the wrong project folder and was never added to the office library. Also, I hadn’t created it. Our colleague Lisa did. So much for Steve’s memory.

“What was I working on?” I ask myself as I get back to work, almost an hour later. Nothing like a “quick question” to set you off your game.

Sound familiar?

Managing Your Revit Content

It takes a lot of time to create Revit families. A “simple” family can take hours to create – from building the model, to adding some formulas, to testing the parameters. The benefit is that you can reuse that family in future projects. An hour spent today could save you five to ten hours over the course of the year.

But what if you can’t find those families after you create them? All that time you hoped to save is spent looking for the file. Or worse, you have to recreate it from scratch.

Building Revit content is an investment. Relying on fallible memory and a rickety folder structure isn’t the most efficient way to keep track of your valuable assets, is it?

What if you could find the exact family you’re looking for in seconds? What if you could preview it before you load it into your project file? Better yet, what if you could do this with ALL your digital files, including DWGs, images, documents, and spreadsheets?

It turns out you can, with UNIFI.

What is UNIFI?

UNIFI is a cloud-based content management system. It organizes and provides access to your digital files. It’s like a search engine for your files – but better.

UNIFI saves your content to the Amazon cloud infrastructure. Since it’s in the cloud, you can access your content from anywhere – your office (or offices), your job site, or even from home. Unlike cloud-based storage services, like Dropbox and Google Drive, UNIFI indexes and categorizes your files on upload, making them easier to find and manage.

UNIFI dashboard

Access is not limited to people inside your firm. Outside consultants can get access to your UNIFI library as well. In addition, high-quality manufacturer content is also available through UNIFI Connect. No need to build your own content when you can download it straight from the source.

How Does It Work?

The first step to organizing your content on UNIFI is to upload your files to UNIFI’s cloud server. You can do this using their desktop app or Revit add-in. Individual files, whole folders, or even all the contents from your Revit project file can be uploaded. UNIFI reads the files and extracts the important metadata, such as author, date created, and file size.

UNIFI upload content

Users can add tags to uploaded files. This is where the power of UNIFI really shines. All the Revit families from a project, for example, can get tagged with the project name. If you’re looking for a family from that project, you can search by family type and project name. Uploaded files can have any number of tags. Tags are also user-defined, giving you a lot of flexibility in their application.

Once uploaded, users can access the files in Revit through the UNIFI add-in. The interface provides access to all the various libraries, as well as manufacturer provided content.

UNIFI company library

Users can give content a rating (1 to 5 stars) as well as “favorite” content they use frequently. You can even filter your searches to only look for content you’ve marked as a favorite.

Searches can also be saved. Say you’re inserting light fixtures in a large project. Rather than recreate the search each time, you can save your search parameters and re-run the search from the UNIFI interface.

UNIFI_dialog_02

Once you’ve found the family you want, inserting it into your project is very easy. Click the item you want to insert from the UNIFI interface. UNIFI will download the .rfa file and activate the “Place Component” tool.

What’s even better, UNIFI recognizes the version of Revit you’re using. When you insert content, it downloads the correct version every time, regardless of the version that was uploaded. No more wasting time upgrading files!

It’s All About the Content

Sure, managing Revit component families is a great feature but what about all the other Revit stuff? Good news! UNIFI works with Revit system families as well.

Do you currently save your system families in a container file? This approach, while standard practice, can be problematic. You need to open each container file to see what system families are available. Container files also need to be upgraded for each new release of Revit. There’s a lot of work involved in keeping them current and up-to-date.

Fortunately, UNIFI makes container files a thing of the past. All your floor, roof, and wall types can be stored and retrieved from UNIFI. Likewise, drafting views and schedules can also be saved to your UNIFI library.

What’s more, you’re not just limited to the content in your firm’s library. Through UNIFI Connect, users can subscribe to manufacturer “channels” and download the manufacturer’s content directly from UNIFI. No need to go to their website or search online catalogs. Plus, all the content on Connect has been vetted through UNIFI’s stringent QA/QC process. Participating manufacturers include Miele, Legrand, and Lotus, among others.

And UNIFI is not only for your Revit content. New this month is multi file format support. UNIFI can manage your AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, and SketchUp files, as well as images, documents, and spreadsheets.

multi format with UNIFI

Revision Control

Remember the time when you tweaked that awesome parametric heat pump family and forgot to save a new copy? Then when someone asked for the original you had to undo all your changes? Ugh, what a waste of time.

UNIFI file revisions

That won’t happen with UNIFI. Every change to your uploaded content gets saved as a revision. You can roll back your changes at any point. Now that’s powerful!

Pricing

Sounds great, right? So, what’s this going to cost? UNIFI recently updated their pricing structure to make it affordable for small and large firms alike.

First off, you can get a free trial for one month for up to five users. After you check it out and find you can’t live without it, UNIFI costs $14 USD per month per user for up to 30 users. For firms with over 30 users, enterprise pricing is available.

For a firm with 10 Revit users, a subscription to UNIFI will cost $140 per month. I’m willing to bet those 10 users will save more than a few hours using UNIFI. If their hourly rate is $100 an hour, it will have paid for itself twice over. And that’s just one month. Over the course of a year, think how much time you’ll save having all your content right at your fingertips?

Get Started with UNIFI Today

As architects and designers, we’re skilled at creating beautiful and useful content. It’s a big part of who we are and what we do. But we’re not always so skilled at organizing that content for later use. Often times we just recreate it because it’s easier than finding a needle in a haystack of project folders. What a waste of time.

Don’t reinvent the wheel time and again because you can’t find a file. Instead, treat your content like the time-saving resource it is. UNIFI is the perfect tool for maximizing the value of your content. It makes managing your files easy and effective.Want to experience the power of UNIFI for yourself? Click here to sign up for a free trial. You can use UNIFI for 30 days with up to 5 users. Start saving time today!

Want to experience the power of UNIFI for yourself? Click here to sign up for a free trial. You can use UNIFI for 30 days with up to 5 users. Start saving time today!

Note: UNIFI sponsored this post and paid ArchSmarter a fee for reviewing their software.

Microsoft Azure Customers Seamlessly Integrate with UNIFI for Single Sign-On (SSO)

UNIFI Labs is pleased to announce that Microsft Azure customers can seamlessly integrate with UNIFI’s content management solution.  Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory supports rich enterprise-class single sign-on with UNIFI out of the box. Getting set up is easy, Azure Active Directory provides a simple step-by-step user interface for connecting to UNIFI.

UNIFI is committed to partnering with leaders across the technology and building industry to provide our customers with the most comprehensive solutions in the market. For more information, please visit the Microsoft Azure site.

Dodge Data & Analytics, UNIFI Labs partner to provide high-quality BIM content for design, construction professionals

Collaboration enables building product manufacturers to develop superior BIM models, make them more accessible to design and construction community

NEW YORK – June 19, 2017 – Dodge Data & Analytics has partnered with UNIFI Labs, Inc. a single source cloud platform offering Building Information Modeling (BIM) content management and creation solutions along with hosting services via UNIFI Connect, to deliver BIM assets for building product manufacturers (BPMs) seamlessly to architects, contractors and engineers.

Leading BPMs who list their products in Dodge’s Sweets building product database will benefit from UNIFI’s cutting-edge BIM content development to improve the quality of their BIM content. By making their sophisticated models available through Sweets, BPMs will help streamline product selection for architects and contractors, in an industry where the BIM standard is becoming indispensable throughout the design and construction process.

“With this partnership, UNIFI becomes the preferred provider of BIM content for our thousands of leading manufacturer customers on Sweets,” said Mike Petrullo, Chief Executive Officer, Dodge Data & Analytics. “This will help streamline materials selection, enable manufacturers to reach new customers and improve the industry’s standards for the highest quality, most accurate BIM models, all available through a single source. Our collaboration represents the union of two strong brands and is the basis of a deepening strategic relationship between Sweets and UNIFI.”

“Dodge’s leadership in delivering deep insights to BPMs into how to better serve their customers will enable UNIFI to create high quality content for these organizations that fits the needs of architects, engineers and contractors and will further the adoption of BIM content and increase efficiencies across the industry,” said Mark Eslinger, Chief Technology Officer, UNIFI Labs.  “We look forward to working closely with Dodge to create solutions that continue to forge tighter relationships between manufacturers and their customers.”

The UNIFI partnership, along with Sweets.com, Sweets app for Revit, and Sweets app for AutoCAD, reinforces Dodge’s focus on simplifying product selection through streamlined workflow.

For more information about the partnership, Sweets, and UNIFI’s BIM services, visit https://www.construction.com/about/partners.

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About Dodge Data & Analytics: Dodge Data & Analytics is North America’s leading provider of analytics and software-based workflow integration solutions for the construction industry. Building product manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors, and service providers leverage Dodge to identify and pursue unseen growth opportunities and execute on those opportunities for enhanced business performance. Whether it’s on a local, regional or national level, we make the hidden obvious, empowering our clients to better understand their markets, uncover key relationships, size growth opportunities, and pursue those opportunities with success. Our construction project information is the most comprehensive and verified in the industry. We are leveraging our 100-year-old legacy of continuous innovation to help the industry meet the building challenges of the future. To learn more, visit www.construction.com.

About Sweets: Sweets is the building product information source for the entire project team.  Architects, designers, contractors and owners can research, compare and select products to help ensure their vision and intent are realized.   Sweets users have access to a comprehensive store of building product information including CAD and BIM files, product specifications, warranties, catalogs, installation guides and more.  Learn more at www.sweets.com.

About UNIFI Labs: UNIFI is the essential cloud platform to create and manage digital building content. The UNIFI content creation team utilizes a unique blend of industry knowledge and proven expertise to create BIM assets of the highest quality, which are used by the world’s leading design firms. The UNIFI content management platform ensures data consistency and anywhere access to BIM content that is directly integrated into Autodesk Revit workflows. Learn why leading architectural, engineering, construction and manufacturing organizations trust UNIFI as the complete solution for their building content management needs at www.unifilabs.com or contact us at 702.527.6460. 

Dodge Data & Analytics Media Contact: Ben Gorelick | Spector & Associates, +1-212-943-5858, ben@spectorpr.com

UNIFI Labs Media Contact: Dana Marotto, +1-415-722-9775, dana.marotto@unifilabs.com

Read the original release here.

UNIFI Labs Teams Up with ENGworks to Connect Building Product Manufacturers with AECOs

UNIFI Connect to Provide Content Hosting Solution to BIMXchange Users

UNIFI Labs, the global leader in cloud-based BIM content management and creation, is excited to announce a strategic content hosting partnership with ENGworks, an internationally recognized Building Information Modeling (BIM) service and solutions provider. The partnership will support the ongoing growth of UNIFI Connect as the building industry’s premier source for publicly available, quality controlled manufacturer content for architectural, engineering and contractor (AEC) firms.

As a member of UNIFI’s strategic partner network, ENGworks will leverage their strong relationships with leading global manufacturers to help add the highest quality and most in-demand manufacturer products to UNIFI Connect. “ENGworks is a well-respected content creation partner in the building product manufacturing community. We are thrilled to be working with their team to connect the high-quality content they create for leading manufacturers with our AEC customers through UNIFI Connect,” shared Michael Rolnick, UNIFI’s CEO.

As part of the partnership, ENGworks will be retiring their BIMXchange content management system by the end of 2017. All active BIMXchange users will be provided with a nine month complimentary trial of UNIFI’s cloud-based content management, as well as receive support in migrating their content over to the UNIFI platform. Christopher Di Iorio, ENGworks’ CEO, stated that, “We are excited to take our expertise in content and tools and push it to the world’s users through a robust UNIFI platform that services the end user needs.”

About UNIFI Labs

UNIFI is the essential cloud platform to create and manage digital building content. The UNIFI content creation team utilizes a unique blend of industry knowledge and proven expertise to create BIM assets of the highest quality, which are used by the world’s leading design firms. The UNIFI content management platform ensures data consistency and anywhere access to BIM content that is directly integrated into Autodesk Revit workflows. Learn why leading architectural, engineering, construction and manufacturing organizations trust UNIFI as the complete solution for their building content management needs at www.unifilabs.com or contact us at 702.527.6460.

About ENGworks

For almost three decades, ENGworks has continuously developed new processes, tools and services for Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Trade Contractors, Construction Managers, Manufacturers, as well as Owners and Operators. Today, ENGworks is an internationally recognized Building Information Modeling (BIM) service and solutions provider.

Our Goal is to help our clients design and build better projects by saving construction costs and time through implementing the full potential of BIM; we have taken cutting edge technology, sharpened it, and then applied it to everything we know about BIM technology and the AECO Industry.

For more information on ENGworks, and the products and services they offer, please visit: http://www.ENGworks.com/

Media Contacts:

ENGworks: Lance Gardner, lance.gardner@engworks.com, 918.406.5924

UNIFI Labs: Dana Marotto, dana.marotto@unifilabs.com, 415-722-9775

What Revit Wants

Multi-format Support is Coming to UNIFI

Luke Johnson provides an update on new product features coming to UNIFI  along with information about the upcoming Standards webinar on May 3.  Read more here!

UNIFI is a Preferred Digital Collaboration Tool for Automation

Check it out – UNIFI is the preferred digital collaboration tool for Automation.  Click here to read the entire article by Daniel Kalnins at Ridley.

 

news

UNIFI Introduces Content Audit Services

Offers Free 1-Hour Consultation

UNIFI Accelerates BIM Advancement To Drive Business Benefit

UNIFI Strategy Library Audit Increases Value of BIM Content

While there is no panacea for building industry BIM content and libraries, UNIFI continues to lead the evolution by building out the tools and analytics that enable AECs to optimize their BIM investment.  The release of UNIFI’s new Strategic Library Audit accompanied by a robust set of usage analytics is the next step in the BIM maturity journey.  The Audit reviews your current BIM content standards & library strategy to provide a strategic roadmap for improving the overall quality & productivity of your content library.  The analytics provide unique insights into what content is used, how often, by user and by project.

AEC firms have made substantial investments in BIM and the industry still struggles with BIM process challenges and strategies for extensive, quality-controlled content libraries.  The cost of “bad” BIM content adds up quickly – whether it’s difficult to find, near impossible to place; does not document or schedule, fails to coordinate correctly or even causes project models to crash – bad content impairs project productivity and adversely impacts the bottom line.  UNIFI’s Audit accelerates BIM advancement by assessing the current state of your BIM content, identifying potential problem areas, and providing an actionable plan for improvement.  Advanced BIM organizations enjoy a wide range of benefits through consistent documentation and standards, including enhanced project efficiency and streamlined coordination with partners, and project risk mitigation.  By leveraging the power of UNIFI’s cloud, AECs gain an essential understanding of their BIM content’s quality level and are also able to access that information on-demand as libraries evolve.  AEC’s are driving their business forward by converting quality content into Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality renderings for clients, thus transforming themselves into data providers so owners & operators can better construct and manage their buildings,

“UNIFI is committed to providing our customers with tools and resources to ensure that their investments in BIM are fully realized” says Ben Fox, CTO of UNIFI Create. “Ensuring that BIM content libraries are consistent and aligned with firm-based standards not only increases the productivity of a firm, but of the industry as a whole.”

National BIM Manager for Jasmax, Melanie Tristram says “Having access to a service that interrogates significant volumes of content and generates reports identifying areas for improvement is a highly valuable prospect”.

Take the next step in the BIM evolution in partnership with the proven expertise and leadership of UNIFI. To assist AECs in optimizing for BIM maturity, UNIFI is offering a free one hour consultation to assess the quality of your BIM content library. And, as an additional incentive, any content services identified during that Audit will be given a 30% discount if you engage with our content creation team before November 30, 2016.  Contact us at info@unifilabs.com or call us at 702.527.6460.

About UNIFI

UNIFI is the essential cloud platform to create and manage Revit and digital building content. The UNIFI content creation team utilizes a unique blend of industry knowledge and proven expertise to create the highest quality BIM assets along with maximizing the investments in existing assets.  The UNIFI content management platform ensures data consistency and anywhere access to BIM content –across teams and global offices. Learn why leading architectural, engineering, construction and manufacturing organizations trust UNIFI as the complete solution for their building content management needs at www.unifilabs.com or contact us at 702.527.6460.

 

 

UNIFI Connect Ensures Access to Quality BIM Content

UNIFI Connect Bridges the Gap to Bring AECs and BPMs Closer Together

UNIFI, the world’s foremost cloud-based platform for creating and managing BIM content, has partnered with leading global Building Product Manufacturers (BPMs) to establish the building industry’s premier publicly available, quality controlled BPM content library – UNIFI Connect. Leveraging UNIFI’s industry-leading search and expert content creation capabilities, all content hosted on UNIFI Connect meets our stringent, industry-leading content quality benchmarks.  Users enjoy seamless integration of content into Autodesk Revit project models via the UNIFI content management platform.

Up to this point, the prevalence of public content libraries hosting content of varying standards and minimal quality control has presented AEC BIM leaders with a serious challenge in ensuring only high quality content reaches their firm-based content libraries, and in turn, project models. This lack of quality BPM content has inhibited BIM maturity for AECs of all sizes, slowing their project delivery timeline and driving additional costs to their clients.

UNIFI Connect eliminates uncertainty surrounding external content by establishing a trusted source for BPM content, ensuring all content hosted meets UNIFI’s stringent quality standards by passing it through our proprietary content auditing tools. AECs gain access to high quality BPM content is easily accessible and inserted into models through UNIFI’s content management platform. BIM leaders can now be assured the BPM content their designers are inserting into projects is high quality and easy to find, as well as receiving analytics on which products are being used across projects. Additionally, enabled by their industry leading content management system, UNIFI Connect provides AECs with the ability to make BPM libraries private to their designers, so that the BPM content is searchable within their firm-specific naming conventions.

“UNIFI Connect is the missing link between building product manufacturers and AECs, ensuring that high quality BIM content is readily accessible and is safe to be utilized in models, ” says Mark Eslinger, CTO of UNIFI.  “This is a big step in advancing UNIFI’s solutions that bring the building industry together and further the advancement of BIM.”

Drawing on their experience creating content for both AECs and BPMs, UNIFI’s Content Creation team has populated UNIFI Connect with the highest quality and most in-demand manufacturer product categories, based on feedback from BIM specialists at leading AEC firms. As UNIFI continues to grow the selection of BPM content available through its new portal, manufacturers who are interested in making their products directly available to many of the world’s largest and most prominent AECs can contact UNIFI’s Content Creation experts about creating BIM content for their product lines or having their existing BIM content certified at info@unifilabs.com or call us at 702.527.6460.

About UNIFI

UNIFI is the essential cloud platform to create and manage Revit and digital building content. The UNIFI content creation team utilizes a unique blend of industry knowledge and proven expertise to create the highest quality BIM assets along with maximizing the investments in existing assets.  The UNIFI content management platform ensures data consistency and anywhere access to BIM content – across teams and global offices. Learn why leading architectural, engineering, construction and manufacturing organizations trust UNIFI as the complete solution for their building content management needs at www.unifilabs.com or contact us at 702.527.6460.

What Revit Wants

Three Keys to Successful BIM Content Management

I could write for hours about BIM content in both practical and specific terms, but in this post I want to share just three keys to good management of BIM content.

UNIFI Version 2.0.4 Release – It’s About Scalability

UNIFI Creates Residential Revit Library for Miele

UNIFI Acquires IGS BIM Solutions

UNIFI Acquires IGS BIM Solutions

Global Expansion of BIM Content Creation Capabilities, Depth & Expertise

Las Vegas, NV –  UNIFI Labs, Inc. (UNIFI), the global leader in cloud-based BIM content management and creation, announced the acquisition of IGS BIM Solutions (IGS), Australia’s pre-eminent BIM content creation provider for building product manufacturers (BPMs).  The combination of IGS and UNIFI will transform the entire building industry by providing superior BIM content application insights and development expertise to the BIM content utilized across the entire building lifecycle.

UNIFI and IGS share a mutual commitment to deliver superior BIM content via a deep understanding of BPMs product and value propositions, and integrate this into how architects, engineers and contractors utilize the content.  For nearly a decade, the IGS team has honed its BIM content creation expertise and developed an in-depth knowledge of how BIM content is used across the building lifecycle by providing content services to BPMs, as well as architects, engineers, contractors and asset managers.  UNIFI employs a similar approach to BIM creation, developing high quality content for leading BPMs across the globe. The combination of UNIFI’s and IGS’ skillset, passion and dedication to superior BIM solutions results in purpose-oriented BIM content that better caters to user needs, driving efficiency and enhanced collaboration across the entire building lifecycle.

“We take the time to learn about the BPMs products and consider which elements are important to communicate in a BIM workflow,” says Ben Fox, IGS Founder and Co-director.  “Then, we leverage our content creation capabilities and experience working with content users throughout the design, documentation and procurement phases to develop manufacturer-specific content that better aligns with user needs.”  The result? High quality BIM content that actually gets utilized by the manufacturers’ clients in a project environment, and adds considerable value to various stakeholders at several stages of the design and construction process.  The global coverage of the IGS and UNIFI teams will accelerate content development, while gathering and retaining knowledge necessary to meet the specific needs of BIM content users in various regions.

“IGS and UNIFI share the same commitment to our customers and the entire building industry – that superior BIM solutions enhance collaboration and streamline the building lifecycle,” says Dwayne Miller, UNIFI Co-founder. “Having recently collaborated with the IGS team to deliver a number of Revit content development projects, it’s clear to see why they have earned their global reputation as an industry leader in this field. It was a natural fit for our organizations to come together.”

About UNIFI:

UNIFI is the essential cloud platform to create and manage Revit and digital building content. The UNIFI content creation team utilizes a unique blend of industry knowledge and proven expertise to create the highest quality BIM assets.  The UNIFI content management platform ensures data consistency and anywhere access to BIM content –across teams and global offices. Learn why leading architectural, engineering, construction and manufacturing organizations trust UNIFI as the complete solution for their building content management needs at www.unifilabs.com or contact us at 702.527.6460.

What Revit Wants

Exclusive: Unifi Gives You Global Content Analytics, Centralized Management and Inter-Company Library Sharing in the Cloud with a Shiny New Web App

AEC Magazine

UNIFI for Revit