AUTHOR

ABOUT me

(Some would say I can be direct, opinionated, strong-willed, relentlessly persistent and a perfectionist … but hopefully there are also a few who would say that I am caring, friendly and open to learning. (Those that know me well might even say I have a playful and funny side too! )

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Many people in the industry know me as Michelle Louw. I got married several years ago and my married name is now Michelle Van Kolck.

I am one of three Co-Authors and the Project Facilitator of ANZRS which has reached interest world-wide and it has expanded well beyond our initial intended scope of influence. (i.e. Australia and New Zealand). See ANZRS page for more info.

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Since 2010 I have been working with a global architectural firm, namely Woods Bagot to adopt a new Revit / BIM system that is being rolled our globally in imperial and metric versions. I oversee the overall company Global content creation/ template standards, content creation training material. It has been a useful experience in learning the change process involved in working with a global firm that has a very strong company culture and identity. Each region requires different standards and it certainly is far more complex and intricate when making global changes with so many different users to take into account. It is a pleasure working for Woods Bagot who continue to offer me personal and professional flexibility and respect which makes this role and their implementation journey an enjoyable process.

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Almost 8 years ago now I worked directly for Woolworths managing and designing their National Revit Systems, across 5 documentation offices and across 3 different departments. (Design, Store Layout and Signage) It was a fascinating time for me when I began to truly witness the potential and power behind coordinated business systems and witness BIM leverage that seems currently unmatched, based on my experience and knowledge. I wish more businesses were as skillful with mastering BIM and Revit in a way that enhances their business performance and efficiency beyond project design stage right into project building/ management staging.

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After leaving Woolworths to move to Brisbane, I worked for Mirvac Design in a national role but to be honest I struggled at this company for various reasons. Our methodologies and approaches were very different but I learnt a lot about what does and does not work during Revit/ BIM implementation. There were some key distinction in how they systemized their documentation in ADT that was very interesting to see. I walked away with invaluable insight on exactly how implementation and change management are intertwined and how to minimize the risks during the implementation process.

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This page would not be complete without me also mentioning that I worked for Wesley Benn for almost 5 years. With my original background and education in design I worked on projects documenting, designing and rendering as well whilst working for Benn Design, in Sydney. After a few years I began providing software training for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Revit Training and eventually offered implementation consulting to companies moving over to the Revit/BIM platform.

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These are a few other firms that I have worked with cover a multitude of experience or exposure to various aspects of my career profile. All adding a key component to my learning experience and journey.

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PUBLIC SPEAKING

I have been a regular speaker at the annual RTC, also known as the Revit Technology Conference, since 2008 but I deliberately took a break for a couple of years in order to get a fresh perspective on things. Most of my presentations have been about Revit content creation.

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“IF YOU DON’T LIKE MY PEACHES THEN DON’T SHAKE MY TREE” ~ UNKNOWN

I have been criticized in the past by some for not being succinct enough. Fortunately this is not a goal that I aim trying to achieve at the cost of clarity and thoughtful explanation so I’m not offended.

Whilst I appreciate that my methodologies and convictions won’t suit everyone I’m quite happy to simply work and share my knowledge and ideas with those people who do resonate with my beliefs and values.

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So, if my posts are too long for your liking or my grammar errors annoy you ~ then happy hunting elsewhere ;-) I have no doubt in my ability and commitment to add value to any project that I work on. This is a consistent trait in my work and my life and remains one of my key values and my primary focus.

Most importantly, enjoy life and find things to be grateful and humble for on a regular basis.  Keep on learning and growing….

Cheers, Michelle Van Kolck

17 thoughts on “AUTHOR

  1. There you go! There are a few of us around…. and in fact (just between you and me…and this blog) the best content creator I know (and no – it’s not myself ) is in fact a woman too ;-)

    • Hi Michelle,

      Interesting reading this blog and finding out about BIM in your neck of the woods. I am based in Hong Kong where we publish on everythign related to buildings as where I have found that there is a sudden demand for everythign BIM related here. Infact we have devoted hald a day of our building technology conference to it. SNIP>>. Claire, RFP Magazine

  2. Hi Michelle
    Nice blog, but unfortunately rendered unusable by those horrible Snapshot popups. Please disable them. PLEASE!!!
    Wordpress stupidly made using them the default, but has instructions for turning them off (in the dashboard section.)
    cheers
    Peter
    (Melbourne AU)

    • Hi Peter, I have updated my blog wordpress template and I have checked to make sure that Snapshots are still de-activated but I cannot find any option anywhere that allows me to control this setting. Can you please do me a favour and check my BIMBOOMBAM blog and please let me know if these Snap shot pop-ups are popping up with the new template design. Thanks Michelle

  3. Hi Peter
    I think I have successfully managed to achieve removing this annoying feature. Thanks for the feedback. Regards
    Michelle

  4. Well put Michelle! The future of BIM is an exciting frontier to be involved in, “BIM data that is easily accessible across several software platforms” now that’s intriguing, keep up the good work!
    -Jim H.

    • Thanks JIM. Yes I think that’s where the challenge is… moving beyond the specific software boundaries and focusing on streamlined and automated integration! Phew… Sounds easier than I think it will be.

  5. Hi Michelle!

    What a pleasure visiting your blog!

    To all those who visit this blog, you will come to know one of the smartest women in this field. I first met Michelle when I was hired at Woolworths in Sydney after moving in from New York. She personally trained me in Revit. I truly miss her a lot at Woolworths! Good luck Michelle and I am sure many people will benefit from your smartness and other talents.

    AK – RSM

    • Hi Ali
      Thank you for your generous compliments. I loved that job and you were a great student to teach. (Smart and funny!) I am sure the system I worked so hard to refine remains in good hands ;-) Those are good memories….
      With fondness
      Michelle

    • Hi Birgitte
      Thanks for the post on my blog. Your comment was lost in my email so I apologise for the late response. I don’t actually recall how I did this so many years ago. (This must sound silly- I know) Sorry for being vague and unhelpful but the truthful answer is I don’t know how to show this now since the same functionality is not automatic and from memory I did not do anything special. That being said it is possible using API. You can look at the Fmaily browser tool and see what Phil has done to make family catalog files easy to edit. Soryy I can’t be more helpful at this time.
      See if this product is helpful in any way….
      http://www.kiwicodes.com/products/14-family-browser.html

      Regards Michelle

  6. Hi, Michelle
    I am pretty new to BIM but I am feeling it’s pull! I am not a programmer, but did a little work in AutoLisp before I was attacked by dinosaurs.
    Can you explain what you mean by “content creation” as opposed to systems development, as you mention in your bio above?
    Thanks!
    Rob

    • Hi Rob. This is a great question. Content creation involves the building of families or objects that are placed in a project or that for part of the template or project system settings. System design is about building a specific strategy around how you intend to interact with the data and project information once the model is built. It also involves building company or project standards in terms of documentation output standards etc. If you don’t have an effective sytem strategy then all the content you create won’t work towards leading to a common goal. As for BIM. There is plenty speculation in the industry and most of it I think is absolutely flawed. One thing I will say is that putting all the information into a Revit model seems rediculous to me. There are many other far more effective ways to interact with data than clumping it all in one software specific model file. But unfortunately that seems to be were most of the industry focus is at the moment. And anyone who knows better is laughing quietly and keeping it to themselves because silence is leverage in this industry. So pay close attention to the software or BIM solutions that are on the fringes. The mainstream guys, even some of the ones speaking at conferences have not thought outside the square as yet. It’s not too late to surpass your peers if you have you can think beyond current industry ‘BIM gospel’. Most people are asking all the wrong questions… But I’m keeping my cards close to my chest on this one :-) Best of luck. M

  7. Hi Michelle,

    I am a starter of BIM content creation. i read your Advance revit family article (RTC 08).it is awesome and it really helping me to choose right path to create revit families. And i like to be more expert in this field, can you please suggest some better websites to learn those content creation.
    And thanks for the help. keep the good work

    • Thanks. Welcome to the world of content creation. Many of the fundamentals of the information in my RTC Handout and on this blog is still helpful but a more comprehensive Revit content creation summary can be found at http://www.anzrs.org
      I am one of the co-authors of that project and we certainly put a lot of effort into that document which covers multi-discipline factors to consider as well. These standards have been downloaded in 72 countries and the best practices can be applied to most regions across the world. Good luck.

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