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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    Can anyone recommend any software for making takeoff's easier and faster? Ideally free

    I need to do some in my new role and they currently do it by hand!

    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017
    I am genuinely interested what you mean by "takeoff"?
    Measuring materials required from drawings etc.
    • CommentAuthorRick_M
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017
    sketchup can add up areas and dimensions in drawings
    Can I use existing pdf or cad files in it though?
    • CommentAuthorJamster
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017
    A spreadsheet could be build to do the basics for you and speed things up a fair bit - could be added to as you went along but starting with the basic parameters around building dimensions and only entering those once in a front sheet would give you a fair amount of flexibility to add to it as you have time...?
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017
    I did come across those in my first search, I was looking more for practical and first hand recommendations that people may use on a day to day basis.

    I'm awaiting Autodesk trueview to be installed in the interim
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017
    As Jamster suggests, spreadsheets and suchlike can greatly streamline the 'by hand and sliderule(!)' - type process once you get it organised.

    Dedicated construction management programs can't do more than that i.e. can't help with automatic generation of quantites (linear, area, volume), unless tightly linked to CAD drawings. And even then ...

    Most 2D CAD can automatically calc the area of a polygon that you manually draw around something that's reliably shown on plan or elevation. But that will leave out more than it includes.

    The only way to get close to comprehensive reliable automatic quantification is from a 3D solid CAD model, which requires very much more to be drawn in fully considered detail, than a set of 2D drawings. True, 3D BIM makes that easier than it sounds, in many ways.

    One point of possible interest is that Acad super-clone BricsCAD is unique in that its BIM module works with standard dwg solids rather than specialised BIMsolids; all the BIM attributes are applied to those standard dwg solids. That could be v useful if you have industry-standard dwg drawings whether 2D or 3D (or other 2D whose geometry can be converted to dwg), which can feasibly be relatively easily uprated to a decent 3D model, rather than having to start from scratch in some other BIM program. Then in BricsBIM quantities can be automatically listed and inserted into a spreadsheet or other Construction management program.
    Posted By: Rick_Msketchup can add up areas and dimensions in drawings

    Posted By: VictorianecoCan I use existing pdf or cad files in it though?

    +1 for SketchUp.

    Despite modelling my house in Revit, I find I'm still double checking quants and small trickier junction areas in SketchUp because it's just more simple and I trust what I can 'see' and zoom into.

    You can import all sorts of CAD file formats in the Pro version - from memory you get a 30 day trial demo so maybe test the workflow first. There are a ton of free/cheap plugins out there that help to clean up messier CAD files too (closeopens and delete coplanar edges are fairly essential, plus anything by ThomThom - no relation) but always better to clean them up in CAD beforehand if you can. Layers and blocks/cells/families are usually preserved on import, so this can help with making new SketchUp components of repeating elements like window families for instance - you make one and all the other copies of it are automatically updated.

    I don't think PDF's can be imported natively, but you can use any screen capture software (including the snipping tool that comes with Windows) to turn what's on screen into a jpg and then import this instead. Resolution is the only issue so it depends on what accuracy you need. I think jpg import works on the freeware version too so if this is enough (sounds like it would be a big improvement on manual measurement), you could probably do everything in the free software without paying for the CAD aspect.
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