During the month of July some members of the Enzyme Apd team were invited to share their professional experience using BIM at an Architecture firm with the Architecture students of the HKU.
The Course was organized during a six day workshop with a series of theory – learning lessons complemented with practical exercises and graded assignments.
The different Software imparted were ARCHICAD, Revit and Digital Project. The students were meant to chose one of them in order to get slightly different approach to BIM and later share their experience in a common review.

Student’s presentations and works during Course development
The students needed to fulfil three Assignments and develop a final presentation to share with the whole group in order to prove their achievements of the course.
Main goals to learn during the course were:

  • BIM methodology and principles.
  • Understanding of the Software interface.
  • Basic Modeling tools.
  • Advanced geometry modeling.
  • Model Evaluation
  • Visualization and Representation – 3D views, Rendering.
  • Documentation methods – 2D Drawings.
  • Information and Data management – Project information, Scheduling.
  • Project Collaboration.
  • Exporting and Documentation Sharing.
  • Plug in and communication with other software.


Screen captures from Student’s Assignments (Fung Ping Hang, Chan Melissa and  Lau Yun Tzy Gigi, Zhang Jianhuan, Li Yan, Harjani Shivina Anil).
These goals were meant to be achieved progressively through the 3 Assignments. First assignment was Individual, second and third were developed by teams.
Assignment 1: Small Building Modeling.
Assignment 2: Digital Model of a Solar House.
Assignment 3: Solar House Design Package.
As you may imagine to get the full understanding of the BIM workflow is not enough to learn “commands” step by step, or achieve every single tasks above mentioned in separated exercises.. All goals were faced together in a progressive way. It doesn’t make sense to develop a 3D model in a BIM platform and then in a separate exercise extract a 2D section from it. You need to have in mind the Modeling and the Information in every step. It sounds complicated but with a small exercise the understanding can be global and complete.
At the beginning I thought that students would be quite familiar with BIM. After all they are the “digital generation” right?
Most of them just finished the internship period after the first 3 years of the Master Architectural degree. Some of them went through some BIM working experience during their internship. Most of them agreed that the way they experienced the use of BIM softwares in the offices they did their internship was not enough to give them a “full understanding” of the software or the Method.
Screen Caps and Pictures from the Course Development (Fung Ping Hang, Chan Melissa and  Lau Yun Tzy Gigi, Zhang Jianhuan, Li Yan, Harjani Shivina Anil).
Thanks to Professor Yan Gao (Professor of Architecture at HKU) who organized the summer course in first place the students get a good introduction brief about this new “Architectural Working Environment”. He did a quite deep presentation of three softwares with examples and case studies so the students get the main ideas.
After that and once they got in contact with each software and lessons begun, the whole picture started to be more clear. I felt personally very impressed while joining the first ARCHICAD exercises and lessons driven by my friend Peter Koncz (BIM Consultant and Sales Manager at GRAPHISOFT in Hong Kong). Some of the Students started to exclaim things like “We do not have to Draw in 2D any more?”, “If I move this in the floor plan it will update the 3D model and everything else? ”, “ah! This makes sense!!”..
Students were getting the whole thing after few hours during the first day of course. They were sharp and energetic about BIM.
Every software has of course its own way to achieve the main goals described at the beginning of the course. In the case of ARCHICAD group everything starts to evolve faster than I expected.
Me and Mr Koncz were in charge of the ARCHICAD group. I was supposed to focus on explaining the use of BIM from the active Architect perspective. I was hoping that the tips and experiences facing the daily problems of a professional architect were quite valuable for them.
In the following lines I will share my experience as part of the ARCHICAD group..
Mr Koncz working with the ARCHICAD group.
Peter Koncz has probably one of the deepest understanding and knowledge of ARCHICAD and BIM in South East Asia. The fact that he is Master Degree in Architecture as well is a an amazing combination for the purpose of the course. He was convinced that we needed to go a bit further regarding the goals of the course. Of course without overloading student’s minds..
He wanted them to make the final presentation and to submit the Assignments in BIMx format apart the standard BIM file and Pdf presentation. Learning the “Plug in and communication with other software” chapter for ARCHICAD users means to learn the powerful connexion with Rhinoceros and Grasshopper. Apart from that features such Teamwork Collaboration, Energy Analysis and some of the new features of ARCHICAD 20 for me sounded like a bit too much.. It was a complete success.
Students learning to use BIMx.
After two days exercise the students were able to create a package for their small exercise developing a 3D model, produce 3D views and Renderings, 2D Drawings such Floor Plans, Sections and Elevations; and Elements Schedules. All this only after the second day, using ARCHICAD for the first time. I won’t say how long it took me to get to that level when I started using ARCHICAD 9…
The third day we started to customize deeply the graphics of the 2D Drawings we generated, advanced modeling tools and also how to download a Dwg of a Curtain wall detail from a manufacturer’s catalog in internet and include it in a Curtain Wall tool so it represented the detailed geometry in the 2D Drawings and 3D.. Bravo!
Screen capture from one of the student’s file (Zhang Jianhuan).
During the next half of the course we were able to focus on features like Teamwork, AC-Rhino-Grasshopper connexion, AC20 new features and of course the useful Energy Analysis. With this powerful feature we produced few reports and modify the model and some parameters related to materials to see the differences on the Energy Report so they could understand in Real life how the performance of their own project could change and improve..
Results of the Energy Analysis Report from one of the student’s Assignment (Fung Ping Hang, Chan Melissa and  Lau Yun Tzy Gigi).
We worked in Teamwork making every student able to set up their own BIM server. Once divided in groups they worked together in the same file. I am glad to say they embraced very positively this capability of flexible and fluid way of collaborative work within the same file.
Then the moment to learn some of the ARCHICAD 20 features arrived (also for me in some of the cases I must admit). We started to create Customized rules and override attributes to generate diagrams such as Fire Time Rating elements in the model, showing color diagram depending of the fire rating level of each elements.
Fire Rating Diagram extracted from one of the Student’s Assignment (Fung Ping Hang, Chan Melissa and  Lau Yun Tzy Gigi) using Graphic Overrides of AC20.
And of course we developed some elements in our model using the Grasshopper connexion.. Is quite common that students are nowadays familiar with Rhinoceros and the Grasshopper plugin. It was a release for me because I must admit I am still quite new at algorithmic design…
Some examples of the AC-Rhino-Grasshopper Connexion produced with Students.
All these new features and plugins were implemented in simple doses in their own models to fulfil the Assignments. As an overall Training experience is something that I recommend to everyone when it comes to learn ARCHICAD, BIM in general or every tkind of software: go through all main features of the tool and apply it into a simple exercise. Doesn’t makes sense to start with a complex project which is challenging by itself or just become an expert of using 30% of the capability of a Tool that can allow you to do much more if you could have an overall comprehension of it.
During the weekend the students were working by their own and on Monday the time arrived to show what they achieved.
Everything was ready for the presentations to start. The idea was to show the last Assignment developed in groups of 2-3 people. All of them were supposed to show the report they exported in a big screen in front of the class.
The whole purpose of the course was first to develop a project using BIM. But the development of the project was a way to get through the understanding of the BIM methodology for developing projects and how this new workflow can benefit the Architect’s work and Projects itself.
All groups had done and incredible work. All projects were developed and the reports had a great package of documentation for the description of every project.
Students from Revit group had great package of documentation. All groups using this software had a presentation very alinged with each other, which means that they focused in developing a very clear set of goals to fulfill the Assignments. From the learning point of view I found it very complete and a very good approach. In this way all students are in the same track and they can see other group’s result, comparing different responses to similar challenges.. All of them presented impressive  set of Renderings, Site plans, 2D Drawings, Axonomtric views, Sun Studies..
Revit Group Presenting their work in front of the Class.
Digital Project was a good surprise for me since I have never use it before. Students work was showing very complex geometries developed in their model using the parametric Design capabilities. Maybe a more steep curve of learning from what I heard during their presentation, but very powerful results. Since this presentation I am really looking forward to develop a project in which I have the opportunity to collaborate with some Architects that use this tool. Another case study for Ifc exchange collaboration..? Let’s do it!
ARCHICAD little Lions did an impressive presentation using BIMx. With an I Pad connected to the main screen they flew through the model fascinating everyone in the room. All achievements of their Assignments specially those related with ARCHICAD features such as Energy Analysis, Graphic Overrides, Elements inside model generated by Grasshopper were received by everyone in the room by applauses and expressions of “Woooa”..
 ARCHICAD group presenting their work in BIMx.
I want to emphasize from a personal point of view that the whole experience of the six days course was very inspirational, positive and motivating.
All students went through an amazing learning and produce an impressive work. The most important for me is that they really understood how BIM can empower their work as Architects. That was the main purpose of the course. Rather than the tool you choose, to work in amore efficient and smart collaborative platform is the next challenge of the Architectural Projects development and the whole AEC industry.
If this group of young future Architects were able to achieve these Assignments in a period of six days, what would they be able to achieve if they were learning BIM in the daily basis as part of their M. Arch Masters?
Courtesy of students from the Course Development (Fung Ping Hang, Chan Melissa and  Lau Yun Tzy Gigi, Zhang Jianhuan, Li Yan and Harjani Shivina Anil).
I want to see more BIM courses, trainings and workshops in universities till we get to a point were young Architects generation use this methodology on a daily basis. Apart from government policies and regulations which we need to promote BIM in Hong Kong, the moment we would see this changes happening in universities that would mean that it is a reality and all projects that keep developing our cities and society will experience a new era of developing projects..

  • Professor Yan Gao (Professor at HKU and Organizer of Summer Course)
  • Peter Koncz
  • Raymond Lau
  • Edmond Poon
  • David Fung


  • Lo Hei Ting Haydn
  • Thilini Warnakulasuriya
  • Fung Ping Hang
  • Tan Shaoying
  • Young Hey Hilary
  • Chan Melissa Man-hay
  • Chan Wai Leong
  • Cheng Lingdi
  • Cheung Yiu Chung Oscar
  • Harjani Shivina Anil
  • Lau Yun Tzy Gigi
  • Lee Ka Man
  • Li Yan
  • Ng Ka Man
  • Tong Chun Kit
  • Tung Chiu On
  • Tse To Ming
  • Wang Yusi
  • Wong Ming Ho
  • Wong Yanessa
  • Zhang Jianhuan
  • Wu Bin
  • Zhao Dong Ming
  • Xu Hong Jie
  • Zhou Yun

Hope you had enjoyed this experience we shared about the first BIM Summer course at the HKU in Hong Kong.