“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” Giorgio Armani
This week Assemble is promoting the release of Visual Variance; an enhancement to the Assemble platform that will arm project teams with the tools to create and analyze comprehensive variance reports in real-time. With Visual Variance, project teams will be able to identify and mitigate potentially significant cost and schedule exposure early in the project. Without Assemble and Visual Variance this level of detailed analysis would take weeks to complete, and, more often than not, will not get done because of the time constraints inherent in the competitive environment of the construction industry.
We take great pride in delivering significant value to our customers in the form of technological innovation like Visual Variance; however, we are also focused on more subtle product details that will make Assemble even easier to use and enhance your user experience. We have outlined the details below and if you are an Assemble user, look for “TRY IT→” for a brief exercise to familiarize yourself with the new interface.
Ghost mode combined with filtered data sets or variance reporting (and a toggle icon to use anytime) provides immediate context to your data sets. Look for the ghost icon in the model viewer to display a ghosted image of your building with any view you have created.
Image 1a: A Door Category filter applied to a model without Ghost Mode.
Image 1b: With Ghost Mode turned on, the filtered data set is viewed in context.
TRY IT → Left-click on the Model Inventory view located on the left side navigation bar. Next, add a filter by clicking on the +Add a filter button. For (select), type in Category Name, for the (operator), choose is and for (any), choose Doors. Now, from the icons in the model viewer choose the ghost icon (4th from left). Notice that you can toggle ghost mode off and on, which will give you context for the rest of the model that has been filtered out.
Jump to Selection
To find your data faster, select an object in the model viewer and watch the grid jump to the object you have selected. No searching for the item in the grid! Visual validation of the objects and systems in the model and their associated quantities is now as easy as a click of a button.
Image 2: Jump to Selection in the grid.
Assemble is making it easier for you to engage with information in your models. Our Tooltips interface simplifies model validation, meaning you will spend less time interrogating models and more time taking action. In this release you will notice new and improved Tooltips in the model viewer and the grid view for quick access to your model information.
Image 3a: Tooltips for more information.
TRY IT → Move your cursor over an item in the model viewer. Pause for just a second over the item to see the tooltip pop up. If you are reviewing a variance in the model view, the tooltip will also report the variance that occurred for that item. See Section 3 for an example. Also, if you hover over a value in the grid view, the actual number will display in the tooltip, providing insight into how numbers are rounded in Assemble.
Image 3b: Scroll helper reveals grouping names for large data sets.
TRY IT → Left click and drag the scroll bar on the right side of the grid view. Notice as you scroll, the helper next to the scroll bar changes based on the category you are currently viewing, making it easier to navigate large datasets in the grid.
Keyboard Shortcuts help you change views and view settings quickly. See the screen shots below to see where to find these new enhancements. NOTE: If you used the Tab Key to toggle X-ray Mode in the past, you will need to use X on your keyboard with this release.
Image 4a: Expanded keyboard shortcuts to easily toggle model orientation.
Image 4b: Menu to keyboard shortcuts accessible with the “?” key.
TRY IT → Left click on the home icon drop-down arrow to see a list of viewer display options. Press 0,1,2,3 on your keyboard to quickly display different model orientations. Press the ? key (may require Shift+? on some keyboards) to access the Keyboard and Mouse Controls menu. Review any changes to your keyboard shortcuts.
Variance reporting is a key feature and competitive differentiator for Assemble users in managing model changes and facilitating an understanding of model scope and quantity changes instantly. With today’s release, Visual Variance will enhance this functionality with rapid graphical discovery of model changes. To further augment the Visual Variance experience, we have included Variance Filters to give the user more flexibility in the way they use model information for project analysis.
Image 5a: Summary of Variance categories reported.
Removed: Objects deleted from the new model but existing in the version previously published.
Type Changed Only: Objects where an object parameter changed but the associated quantities did not.
Quantity Changed Only: Objects where the quantity changed. If the area of a floor slab increased with no other changes, it would be a Quantity Changed Only object.
Type and Quantity Changed: If both the type and the quantity changes between model versions, it is categorized as a Type and Quantity Change. For example, if the type name of a floor slab changes and the area for the floor slab increases, the floor slab will be classified as a Type and Quantity Change.
NOTE: THE GROUPING OF YOUR DATA AND SETTING UNITS FOR YOUR COMPONENTS ARE A CRITICAL COMPONENT IN TRACKING VARIANCES. A best practice for managing change in Assemble is to structure your view Grouping (Category, Uniformat, Level, etc) and the source units by object type and save this View for your change management process. Feel free to contact us if you have questions regarding the setup of your Grouping and Units.
Image 5b: Visual Variance Reporting reveals changes that have occurred between 2 versions of a model in both the grid view and model view.
TRY IT → To run a variance report, two different versions of the same model must be published to the system. Open the most recent version of the model. Left click on the Compare to link (in the upper left corner of the grid view) to choose a model for comparison with the current model. Wait a second for the comparison to run to reveal model adds, deducts, type changes, quantity changes and objects unchanged. Review the legend in the left side navigation bar to understand the color coding for variance types. NOTE: NO OBJECT CHANGE WILL BE REPORTED IN MORE THAN ONE VARIANCE FILTER. Each object will be classified as: Added, Removed, Type Changes Only, Quantity Changes Only, Type and Quantity Changes or Unchanged.
Image 5c: Model view with only Added objects in display.
TRY IT → To filter the objects Added to the model between versions, left click on Removed, Type Changes Only, Quantity Changes Only, and Type and Quantity Changes on the left side legend. Then click Update directly below the legend. Notice only the green objects displayed. The tooltip will now also reflect the amount of variance based on the unit value of the object.
Image 5d: Model View with only Removed objects displayed.
TRY IT → To filter the objects Removed from the model between versions, select or de-select the variance filters so that Removed is the only colored filter. Then click Update directly below the legend. Notice only the red objects displayed. The tooltip will now also reflect the amount of variance based on the unit value of the object.
For more details on our latest release see our release notes.