Steven Shell has been an architect for over 28 years. However, he spent many of those years hand-drawing all of his designs. Even after AutoCAD arrived in the early 1980s, Steven preferred paper to a computer screen.
Then, in 2003, he discovered Revit and it inspired him to change his ways. “It’s a funny thing… I didn’t realize that I was getting into the BIM industry. I discovered Revit prior to Autodesk’s ownership of the program, and I just thought that I was getting into a new and better way to do my job. It seemed like a really cool way to do my drawings, since I was still hand-drawing, and had never trained in AutoCAD.”
Soon after getting acquainted with the technology side of design, he realized how much potential impact it could have on the future of his business. Revit provided him the opportunity to turn drawing and drafting into modeling. He’s even surprised himself with the opportunities he’s created. “Who would have thought that this little 3D parametric software would end up being the cornerstone of a whole new revolution or movement, and become the game changer it has turned out to be?”
Now that he’s fully invested in the technological advancements in the BIM industry, Steven is looking forward to what’s happening on the cutting edge and what could happen in the future. In his mind, the coolest thing happening in the BIM world now is reality capture technology. “Using hand-held laser scanning and photo capturing will be the next HUGE piece of the BIM puzzle. I can’t wait to be able to document reality and be able to use that reality capture data in my model so that I will not have to rely on a tape measure.”
Technology advancements aren’t just changing the way architects and others do their individual jobs. New software also provides the ability to collaborate more smoothly along project lifecycles. Steven is personally looking forward to the day when he can produce his drawings to the point where they are Bid Documents showing design intent, and, from that point on, contractors and owners can use his model for their uses. The biggest opportunity is the minimization and eventual elimination of rework.
“I hate seeing the waste and inefficiency in how we do our jobs. One person does their drawings, and then the next person looks at them, bids them, and then recreates everything from scratch in order to produce their drawings for fabrication or erection,” he says. “There is just too much redundancy and needless repetition.”
In addition to his passion for teaching other Revit users, Steven’s experience as a user himself makes him a well-respected speaker and instructor in the BIM world. He’s earned the coveted Top Speaker Award at multiple BIM Workshops and other conferences in the past, and he’ll be back at the BIM Workshops this year to help users join him on the journey into the future of the BIM industry.
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