The 3 day event, under pinned by 5 x 12 hour training sessions, 5 x 2 hour workshops and 5 x 2 hour short course training sessions, saw presentations by the 5 student competition first level winners, the 3 client competition finalists, a keynote address by GRAPHISOFT CEO, Viktor Varkonyi, a case study of the King Shaka International Airport by Victor Utria, director at Osmond Lange Architects and Planners, a new features demonstration of ArchiCAD 18 by GRAPHISOFT SA and a series of localisation presentations by Kirstin Kusel and Shawn Hopkins, covering project specifications, SANS compliance design calculations and Swartland doors and windows in parametric objects form for ArchiCAD interactive design and specification, and of course there was a public vote and competition winners...WHAT A WEEK IT WAS!
Let's take a closer look at the training and workshops. The 5 x 12 hour training courses, which included testing and certification for successful candidates, included various levels of standard ArchiCAD training, as well as higher level training, such as BIM implementation. 58 Delegates participated in these hands-on certified training courses during the 3 days. Results and certification will take place during the next 7 days.
The 5 x 2 hour short course training sessions, which were not tested, and certified courses, were offered to the delegates to allow access to varied topics, in addition to the main 12 hour courses. The short courses included topics such as SANS based rational design and SANS based compliant design (an accredited CPD based software calculation, rational design course is being structured, expected by July 2014). With the new SANS regulations in place in SA, these particular short courses enjoyed popularity with the majority of delegates, serving to provide insight into these complex topics and the various built-in solutions that ArchiCAD provides to architects. It was possible for delegates to download the new Smart XA fenestration tool during the ArchiCAD Retreat 2014, for their immediate use (available to SADC ArchiCAD SSA clients at no additional cost).
The ArchiCAD 18 new features short course was also a very popular topic, following the rounds of applause that ArchiCAD 18 enjoyed during the new features demonstration on Wednesday afternoon. ArchiCAD 18 will be introduced regionally with a series of new features events, hosted by GRAPHISOFT SA channel partners in June and July 2014. Dates will be publicised on BIMcentral.
A series of workshops were conducted, covering topics such as "Localisation" and "Education". These workshops allowed delegates to both hear what was planned, but also what delegates considered important for future planning under these headings, in regards ArchiCAD in SADC. BIMcentral will be providing an online "wish list" function from 1 June 2014, to allow ArchiCAD SSA clients an ongoing forum to express their opinions and wishes on these and other topics.
The Education competition first level winners, who had already each won a 6 or 12 month internship with an ArchiCAD user company in their home cities, presented their projects to the ArchiCAD Retreat 2014 delegates, to stand a chance to win the R 25 000 grand prize for themselves and their educational institutions respectively. Here are their presentations:
After the presentations were replayed on Wednesday afternoon, a vote was taken and J Myburgh from TUT was awarded the grand prize...CONGRATULATIONS!
It was then time for the client competition finalists to present their "icons", which like the student competition, were replayed on Wednesday afternoon and put to a vote. Here are their presentations:
D Theron's entry was voted the winner...CONGRATULATIONS!
On Wednesday afternoon, approximately 200 ArchiCAD enthusiasts gathered on the lawn of Irene Country Lodge, with numerous Egyptian Geese and a pair of black swans as company, to enjoy an afternoon of all things ArchiCAD.
Guests were welcomed by André Strauss of GRAPHISOFT SA (waxing lyrical about the 20 years he has spent with ArchiCAD, out of the 30 years that ArchiCAD has spent with mankind… poor guy is getting old).
Viktor Varkonyi, CEO of GRAPHISOFT, delivered the keynote address. Discussing the history and roots of ArchiCAD, through to the technologies that make GRAPHISOFT a present day market leader and finishing with the plans that GRAPHISOFT have to ensure a strong future position in the BIM industry.
Victor Utria, director at Osmond Lange Architects and Planners then presented a case study on the King Shaka International Airport (Durban). A project completed entirely in BIM by Osmond Lange Architects and Planners using ArchiCAD.
It was then the turn of ArchiCAD 18. The presentation centred on the key features of the new release:
The Revision and Rendering segments were both very popular, receiving several long and loud bouts of applause. Keep an eye on BIMcentral for regional launch event details.
The final presentation sequence before the voting and prize giving, was the localisation segment. Kirstin Kusel from HOMEVISION, was first to present her Cloud Home concept. This South African based company offers a complete home design service, including plans, virtual design model, specification and cost estimation. The entire system is derived from an ArchiCAD model, supported by local supplier data.
Kirstin was followed by Shawn Hopkins of Large Architecture. Shawn, partnered by Alister Reid, established a SADC based GDL programming expertise, which led to the development of the first in a series of Smart Tools for SANS compliant design. Shawn and Alister followed this venture with the first SADC based manufacturer GDL object range for Swartland. Shawn presented both of these product ranges during the localisation segment.
GRAPHISOFT SA have been very encouraged by the numerous positive comments and feedback contribution received from delegates during and after the retreat. We would like to thank everyone for attending.
Here are some of the sights and "sounds" of the retreat, see you next year: