BIM For Landscape At Autodesk University London 18-19 June

The Future of Making: AU London

AutoDesk University London 2019

 Couldn’t make it to BILT ANZ  Melbourne?  If you are keen to see Gensler’s lead Chartered Architect Kamran Mirza explore the possibilities of landscape architecture in Revit in an urban context with real-world workflows and models to the level of detail used at the 100% design development stage, you can – and this time in this hemisphere!

Read about BILT ANZ and BIM for Landscape here >>.

Autodesk University London June 2019

Gensler’s Mirza  will also be presenting his experiences with CS Artisan RV in an urban context at the forthcoming Autodesk University London event in June 2019.  The conference is an intensely diverse opportunity for those who design, create, and make the world around us.

There will be a presentation of proven workflows, again from Gensler, as they take a Landscape Architecture journey in Revit from modelling to collaboration to preparing design and construction documentation.

The Autodesk University London event takes place on Tuesday 18 June with the “Landscape Architecture Workflows for Collaboration and Documentation” presentation at 15:50.

Secure your place at the Autodesk University London Event this June >>

Deliver BIM in a Revit environment

BILT ANZ 2019 | Gensler talks CS Artisan RV and real-world workflows

Delivering BIM for landscape in Revit®

Proven collaborative workflows from one of the largest landscape architecture studios worldwide


Speaking at the forthcoming BILT ANZ conference in Melbourne, Australia which takes place between 23-25 May 2019, Gensler’s lead Chartered Architect Kamran Mirza will be exploring the possibilities of landscape architecture in Revit in an urban context with real-world workflows and models to the level of detail used at the 100% design development stage.

If you want to drill down into the very heart of BIM for Landscape and the power of CS Artisan RV, Chris Smeaton, Landscape & Urban Planning Manager from Atlas Industries will also be there on Stand 19  to answer any technical queries.

Deliver BIM in a Revit environment

Revit + CS ArtisanRV = BIM for Landscape

Presenting a summary of four year’s work, integrating and manipulating Revit with the latest tools available including CS ArtisanRV, the seminar will show real world examples, sample documentation and deliver a step-by-step insight into how Revit, CS ArtisanRV and BIM for landscape work in harmony.
BILT events take place worldwide, attended by Architects, Engineers, Digital Engineering Managers, CAD/BIM Managers, Construction Managers, Contractors, Builders, Facilities Management, Quantity Surveyors, Estimators, Subcontractors, Developers, Project Managers, Property Owners, Design Managers and Digital Modellers.

Data-rich landscape design AND 3D visualisation? Yes, it’s here

BIM for Landscape tools for Revit

Listening, learning and collaborating, we continue to add to the CS ArtisanRV armoury of BIM for Landscape tools for Revit®.  For us, it’s not just a data-rich BIM environment that our users need – it’s a convincing 3D visual representation they ask us for, too.  And you CAN have both – impressive, powerful visuals to add credibility and impact to help win business – with your design’s BIM data at its core.  Data that you can change, update, switch from Imperial to Metric and now choose how you display your designs, dynamically.

Bring BIM to you AND your clients

The CSD team have been delivering a raft of improved functionality, new tools, export options, levels of detail and information since the launch of CS ArtisanRV in 2015.

This season, our focus has been the VISUAL power of BIM – backed up with all that lovely data, of course.

  • Revit Planting Display Options: New plan, elevation and RPC integration for all plant types
  • Dynamic conversion to Revit components: Standard blocks that convert to Revit detail components
  • Select symbols and view options: You’re in control – choose your Level of Detail (LOD) using Revit’s Coarse, Medium or Fine display options or the new ArtisanRV Graphics Display tool to customise views on-the-fly.


Choose Metric OR Imperial:

CS Artisan and CS Artisan RV users can now switch  dynamically between Metric and Imperial measurement systems – an absolute requirement for organisations with a global reach.  Toggle your Palette Builder content to suit your design and market requirements – and the translation is instant – and mapped to NPS and USA ANSI equivalent values, dynamically.



Shade Analysis enhancements:

We’ve enhanced our Shade Analysis tool to provide a more robust picture of the impact of the sun on external spaces.  Working closely with a major multi-disciplinary architect’s practice in United Arab Emirates, the tools are currently being taken  through the rigours of landscape design on a “mini-city” model.


Using Shade Analysis: courtesy of Chris Smeaton, BIM Manager at InSite, part of KEO International Consultants.  Chris explains how to automate shade analysis in Revit to achieve BIM4Landscape deliverables.

The National Plant Specification NPS: The Next Generation:

Long have we heard that the digital NPS needs a complete overhaul.  So that’s what we’ve done.  Gone are incomplete, inaccurate and inconsistent sizes, forms and plant details.  Instead, the NEW NPS now allows data selection by plant class and sub-class, with improved structure and between plant class and its corresponding plant sizes.  Add in descriptive text at every step to ensure consistency and accuracy and rationalised sizes to avoid duplication and discrepancies and the NPS is cleaner, leaner and ready for BIM integration.


CAD vs BIM – The Single Source Of Truth

A common question we receive at CSD is “What is the difference between CS ArtisanRV for Revit and CS Artisan for AutoCAD?”. Our response speaks of the fundamental difference between a traditional CAD system and a fully informed BIM environment, with its focus on information.

The distinction between CS ArtisanRV (Revit) and CS Artisan (AutoCAD) is best illustrated by reference to the way planting is covered in each application.

Both CS ArtisanRV (Revit) and CS Artisan (AutoCAD) share the same Cloud based planting content (i.e. Palettes of individual plants &/or mixes). This (same) information, when downloaded into the two applications, is used to ‘dynamically create model content‘ (2D, 3D, section, schedules etc) in the Revit environment (ArtisanRV) and is ‘applied to CAD geometry’ as an additional layer of intelligence in the AutoCAD environment (Artisan). Herein lies the fundamental difference between a traditional CAD system and a fully informed BIM authoring system that is reliant on a robust centralised source of information.

By way of illustration, here is the result of a mix applied in Artisan (intelligent information overlaid onto ‘dumb’ CAD geometry)…

Here is the result of the same mix being applied in ArtisanRV (dynamically informing all views – 3D – section – plan – schedule)…

In a fully informed BIM environment, the ‘geometry’ is automatically created from the underlying information and can be displayed in either plan, elevation/section, 3D or schedule ‘view’. Modify content in any of these views and the same MODIFICATIONS ARE IMMEDIATELY VISIBLE IN ALL VIEWS.

In BIM, this concept is often referred to as the ‘single source of truth’ (SSOT)… “the practice of structuring information models and associated data such that every data element is stored exactly once” [D.Jellings, BIM+ (2017), Is a single source of truth a prerequisite for Level 3 BIM?].

Planting Visualisation in CS ArtisanRV

CS ArtisanRV in Autodesk LIVE

A common question we are often asked is: “Do the planting families in ArtisanRV offer a realistic representation of the species and can the tree and plant types be used for visualisation straight from Revit?”.

Our standard response is as below but this question is at the very nub of what BIM is all about. Clearly the focus is firmly on the underlying ‘information’, but it is sometimes difficult to decide on how far to push the ‘visuals’ within the modelling environment.

CSD has concentrated its efforts to date on ensuring that there is a robust system to place and size planting in its various guises accurately in BIM whilst recording all the essential, underlying specification and characteristic information. This ensures that planting is placed accurately on the topography (or floor, region) and is sized by defined specification dimensions. Plant material can then be grown via the Age utility which resizes individual plant species up to their ultimate height/spread based on the number of years to maturity. Here is a video showing the Age Planting in CS ArtisanRV –

The current graphical content is not intended to be photo-real but serves the intended purpose of illustrating an accurate general massing per species (type) and instance.

Our focus has been on production documentation such as plans, sections, elevations, which has been used actively in projects around the world, like the example from Arup below.

Investigation has started into VR products including Autodesk Live and a number of customers have suggested establishing closer links with the likes of e.g. Lumion or Enscape, that are clearly better suited to creating realistic experiences.

Inevitably though, the questions will continue: “just how far can we push our models visually in Revit?” and “just how realistic can we make them?”.

CSD Licensing System

Controlling your CSD licenses

CS Design software is controlled via a web licensing service and licences are activated on each computer and logged against an organisation’s account. Licences can be switched between machines by running the De-Activate utility.  This removes the local machine key and associated entry on our server and frees the licence back to your organisation’s account for re-authorisation.

Administrators are able to view active licences via the CSD Customer Login – My Account to help manage licence allocation.

1_licensing popup

CSD Buddy App

Licensing is handled via the CSDBuddy App that is also responsible for automating the process of delivering software enhancements and updates.

Right-mouse picking the CSD Buddy App from the Taskbar displays options to Check for Updates and Licence and Settings. Full and trial licensing for all CSD products is controlled from the same centralised Licence Request resource.


CSD Palette Builder

Software is installed on a local machine with some services (in addition to licensing) being provided via the Internet. This includes the CSD Palette Builder, which is accessed either via a browser through the Customer Login area or directly from the Palette Builder command within CS ArtisanRV. The Palette Builder provides a structured, searchable library that users access to create and manage selections (palettes); a Download Palettes utility creates a local copy of the file/s so that workflow can continue off-line within the Revit or AutoCAD environments. Users are able to display additional object information from the web repository that is not required locally to create model content (e.g. planting performance information, characteristics, photos) and this appears as a browser view.2_visualThe software can be installed on multiple machines but is authorised (Activated) on a machine-by-machine basis. Licences can be switched between machines by running the De-Activate utility that frees the licence back to the Organisation account. The De-Activate utility is available from the Licence and Settings area via the CSD Buddy App that resides in the Taskbar.


Sorting Planting Reports in CS Artisan

Reports are dynamic views of accurate information in a drawing or model. In CS Artisan, reports automatically reflect changes to Labels in the drawing.

We are often asked about how to sort, order or group planting records in schedules or reports. At the end of the day, it is all about the data and how you want to have it displayed. WHAT you want to include or exclude is determined by filtering; groups are assigned to separate reports into meaningful segments and records are sorted alphabetically or numerically by field.

Sorting a Report Alphabetically by Plant Name

Reports can be sorted by whichever field/s you require. The example below is grouped by Class (Bamboo, Herbaceous, Shrub, Tree) and then alphabetically by plant name.

The underlying Report Template for the above example is constructed as below…

The ‘Object Name’ (i.e. Plant Name) is selected as Order 1. Your example clearly is sorted by ‘Mix’ and then by ‘Class’ and then by ‘Quantity’ (Nr).

Displaying Mixes in Reports

If you include Mixes and Individual Plants in the same Report and arrange Grouping by Mix Name, all Individual Plants that are not included in a Mix will be displayed first in the Report as in the example below. All of the Mixes and their components are displayed under the Individual Plant listings and are sorted by Abbreviation in the example shown.

It may be preferable to have one report that includes Mixes and components (sorted by Mix and then alphabetically by Plant Name, if required) and then have a separate report that only includes Individual Plants (i.e. does NOT include plants in a mix.

Here is the Report Template to display only Mixes (i.e. those that include “Mix” in the ‘mix name’ field).

Here is the Report Template to display only Individual Plants (i.e. Plants that are NOT part of a “Mix”).

When the Report Template has been created to display the correct information, with records grouped and sorted as required, users can edit the Format to achieve the desired visual effect. Data is the key, but it still can look good!