How to Go from BIM Manager to Autodesk Superhero in 3 Days


Fitness Center Expansion


Continues to Move Forward


Approves New Professional Development and Charter School Facility


One of 230 Shovel-Ready School Construction Projects funded by the State Allocation Board (SAB) in May 2013

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Supporting the Placer Community Foundation

This article was taken from the Placer Community Foundation (PCF) "Cause for Applause" Newsletter (Winter 2014)

Right: PCF's "Cause for Applause" Newsletter (Winter 2014) included photos of W+P's Jim Williams, his mother Ruth, his wife Diane, and other family members. Left: W+P's Dan Richards supporting PCF at a recent event, featured on the cover of the PCF Technical Assistance Program (TAP) Report.

Jim and Diane are proud Placer County residents who wanted to give something back to their place of home. Both sets of Jim's grandparents moved here to start a new life; his mother's side, the Ruhkalas, emigrated from Finland, and his father's side came west in a wagon train. Jim's grandfather, William S. Williams, was Loomis Postmaster in the 1930s and his wife, Mary, was on the Board of Trustees for Loomis School. Jim explained, "They found a community that welcomed them and helped them find their way."

Jim and Diane have had a similar experience living here, and they made the decision to open the Williams Family Fund in honor of James T. & Ruth Ruhkala Williams as a way to acknowledge their community while preserving their rich family legacy. At the Placer Community Foundation donor appreciation event in January, Jim shared, "Diane and I wanted to honor my parents, their families, and the heritage they gave us. This is a nurturing community where we built our home, raised our family, and started a business and we feel privileged to live here. This fund is in gratitude for the privilege of living in a place like this that offers so much to its residents."

Placer Community Foundation is grateful for the Williams' generous gift which will provide permanent resources to seize current, critical opportunities to make a difference. Sadly, Ruth passed away in early February and will be missed by many.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Autodesk Enlightenment : How to Go from BIM Manager to Autodesk Superhero in 3 Days

What happens in Vegas, stays in Las Vegas... But this time, I have to break that rule!

I made my annual pilgrimage to pay homage to the gods of BIM at Autodesk University 2013 (AU 2013) a couple of months ago. This 3-day annual software conference was held at the Venetian Hotel and Conference Center. Thousands of attendees from all over the world came to share professional experiences, learn from peers and other industries, and to see what Autodesk has in store for the future. Hundreds of classes and forums—ranging from Revit and CAD how-to’s for architects, to rapid prototyping techniques for industrial designers, to infrastructure and resource management for cities or municipalities. The diverse crowd included everyone from CAD drafters to Principals and CEO’s, representing all areas of design, entertainment and manufacturing.

The amazing things others accomplished with limited resources, or conversely, on an enormous scale, fascinated me. These innovations help improve quality of life, or bring communities closer together. These technologies save lives, or address our biggest challenges like climate change. Who wouldn’t get fired up? It triggers questions like, “How does this apply to my profession?” and, perhaps more poignantly...

“How can I make a difference like that, when I’m just a [insert title here]?"

In my case, that would be a BIM manager. But in these three short days, I received a massive dose of inspiration to think differently and find solutions… to not be just a BIM manager, but an Autodesk superhero, helping to make Williams + Paddon a better place, one workstation at a time!

I attended the “how-to” classes for Revit and CAD in past years, so this time I tried something different: a few classes directed at the entertainment industry. They did not disappoint! The CG industry has been managing vast amounts of content, complicated software workflows, and intense computing requirements for years; and some of their tools and insight definitely applies to our day-to-day project work, especially in the design and schematic phases.

One particularly cool application was an iPhone app created by Allegorithmic called “Bitmap 2 Material,” which allows you to take a picture of a material or pattern sample and turn it into a series of images you can use in your Revit, Sketchup and 3ds Max materials—a fantastic tool for reducing online material image searches. It allows you to effectively utilize a physical sample you have on hand or something you see around town. The image can be set to tile seamlessly, with special effects that might take hours to reproduce in Photoshop.

Typical buzz words were bandied about—“cloud”, “crowd”, “infinite computing”, “simulation”, “BIM to save the world”—but the truth behind those words became a little more real to me. The Autodesk-verse that is the Autodesk 360 cloud has been integrated into their AEC software products to provide a useful digital collaborative environment and cloud resource. Williams + Paddon currently uses these resources, but I will endeavor to implement more of the collaborative tools both in our office and out in the field, to improve the quality of our work and turnaround time.

Will my experiences at AU 2013 help cure a disease or reach past the limits of the human imagination? Who knows? But I do know it will make a difference to everyone I interact with. To see a co-worker smile when introduced to a new tool that shaves hours off an arduous task, or hear the “wow’s” after a presentation that far exceeded client expectations… that’s enough reward for me!

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Construction Starts On Kuni Chevrolet Cadillac

Construction on a new free standing Chevrolet and Cadillac dealership by Kuni Automotive Group has started.

The Fifty Three Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty (53,730) square foot facility will be located on the corner of Fulton Ave. and El Camino Ave. in Sacramento, California, which will be another giant step forward in the redevelopment of the Fulton Avenue redevelopment program. The new dealership will be comprised of a combined Chevrolet/Cadillac showroom of approximately 20,810 square feet, a three-lane drive-through service drop-off area of approximately 5,750 square feet, and an automated car wash, parts and service department area containing approximately 24,270 square feet. It will house Twenty Seven (27) service bays and two “express service” lanes with underground pits that will service up to four vehicles at one time. The dealership’s development of the approximately 5.04 acre site includes all new utility services, paved parking areas, automotive display areas, fully landscaped grounds, and both Brand and Historic Clock Tower signage.

The facility is being designed and developed by Michael Graves of Autotainment Ventures LLC, who retained Williams + Paddon as lead architect and project designers overseeing a consultant team of KPFF (structural engineers), LP Consulting  Engineers (mechanical, plumbing & electrical engineers), Warren Consulting Engineers (civil engineers), and Yamasaki Landscape Architecture. Wells Construction has been selected as the general contractor, and the project’s groundbreaking was on September 23, 2013.  The County of Sacramento has also been an integral part of development throughout the entire process, without whose assistance this project could not have happened.

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