tips+tricks

You Don't Even Know What a Write-Off Is!

You Don't Even Know What a Write-Off Is!

If you don’t know what a write-off is, you’re not alone! Find out what a write-off is, what expenses you can deduct from your taxes, and the best way to track your expenses.

How to Link Excel Spreadsheets into AutoCAD and Revit

How to Link Excel Spreadsheets into AutoCAD and Revit

One of the biggest issues I see in projects is duplicate information. This is something I always try to avoid whenever I can. This might mean duplicate information within a single Revit file across multiple sheets, or duplicate information between different programs. One of the best ways to avoid this issue is to link files into your projects rather than manually typing in the information into multiple places so any changes only have to be made once and will update across all of your files.

Free Time Tracking and Invoicing for Freelancers

Free Time Tracking and Invoicing for Freelancers

If you’re looking for a free customizable method for tracking your time and invoicing your clients then look no further! This is the system I created and used when I first began freelancing which was a huge step up from using my notebook. If you hate doing math, I’ll show you the formulas you need to make sure your hours and amounts due are calculated correctly. Best of all you can fully customize your invoices to get them to look however you envisioned!

Must Have Tools for Existing Conditions Surveys

Must Have Tools for Existing Conditions Surveys

You can do an existing conditions survey simply with a pen, paper, and measuring tape, but it would take hours longer and leave you with much less documentation than if you were to use these recommended tools.

5 Resources Every Architect and Architectural Designer Needs at their Desk

There's so much more to being a great designer than drawing pretty pictures and building models.

Pretty pictures have to be accompanied by well designed spaces that not only comply with the code but also remain functional. The way to become a great designer is to gain as much experience as you can and know the right material to use as a guide. Having the right resources at your disposal is such an important element in your success as a designer, along with working under a seasoned and skilled professional.

22 of My Favorite Revit Keyboard Shortcuts

Using shortcuts is critical to having a working quickly and efficiently in Revit. I’ll never forget watching my partner on a project using the ribbon to draw all of his elements on our model. Tasks that I could complete in seconds would take him minutes which is time that adds up quickly. I want you to make the most of your time so you can begin working faster and smarter in Revit, so here are 22 of my most used Revit keyboard shortcuts.

What Are My Custom Computer Specifications?

What Are My Custom Computer Specifications?

A few years ago I had a friend build a custom computer for me, built to suit my needs. I was so frustrated with the performance and lifespan of the prebuilt computers I’d had before of all prices, brands, mac, pc, you name it. The prebuilt computers just couldn’t perform the way I needed them to so I decided to go the route of custom built computers. Since announcing this transition to the interwebs, I’ve been asked so many times what specification I have for my computer, so here they are!

The Best Computer for Architecture

What is the best computer for architecture students? 

I have been getting A TON of questions about this! Typically, I advise people to review school requirements and do a little bit of research - I still stand by that philosophy for the most part. While I do think it's important to understand what your school requires you to have in terms of computer specifications, here I suggest a different path. Watch to find out!

 

Also see my computer specifications here to build your own!

 

How to Survive the All-Nighter

If you study architecture, all-nighters are basically inevitable. People define the all-nighter in different ways but essentially, you stay awake for an extended period of time without sleep so you can finish your work.

All-nighters usually happen more frequently in your earlier years of school because you haven't yet developed your routines and working habits. While I don't advise you to do all-nighters, I know that you will anyway, so here are my tips to help you do them more successfully!

 

How to Apply for Jobs and Internships in Architecture

For most people, the reason you study architecture is so you can earn your degree and pursue a career in the field. There is A TON of competition out there with school's architecture programs growing every year. Help yourself stand out from the crowd and get that job! 

There are 4 essential, physical things you will need to apply for jobs and internships in architecture.

1. Cover letter
2. Resume
3. Portfolio
4. Teaser portfolio (bonus)

Find out what they are and how to use them to your advantage!

 

Where to Buy Architecture Materials and Supplies

When I was starting out in architecture I was clueless about where to buy supplies for school. Furthermore, I like to shop around when I'm buying things so I can explore my options, comparing price and quality. Here I give you 6 suggestions for doing architecture on a budget!

 

6 Tips for Staying Focused in Studio

The architecture design studio is a magical place with tons of people and it holds with it an energy that's hard to explain. The studio is a great space to get inspiration; however, it can be a terrible place to actually get work done! There are so many noises and people around and just about every distraction you can imagine. That being said, there are actions you can take to get yourself in the "getting work done" mindset - here are 6 tips I use daily to get myself focused in studio!

 

1. Noise cancelling headphones
2. Organize your desk
3. Turn off phone wifi +/ data
4. Take a break
5. Stay hydrated + well-fed
6. Make prioritized to do list(s)


Sustainable Strategies - Louvers and Sun Shading Part 4

One of the most expensive building costs is the mechanical system used for heating and cooling the building. This applies to the cost of the system itself along with the cost of running and maintaining it. One way to lessen these costs is by using smart design and incorporating low tech louver systems to help regulate the amount of heat gain in the summer and take advantage of the sun in the winter. Here, in part 4 of the series you'll learn about different ways to achieve these results.

 

Sustainable Strategies - Louvers + Sun Shading Part 3

In Part 3 of the sustainable strategies - louvers and sun shading series, we talk about the 3 main types of louvers/sun shading devices. Here I also talk about many reasons why you would want to control the lighting in your building that you may not have considered. We look at existing examples of buildings that use these louver solutions to control the light in their buildings using low tech, well-thought-out design!

 

Sustainable Strategies - Louvers and Sun Shading Part 2

In this video we dig a little deeper into the sun diagram, identifying different effects that lighting can have on your building based on its orientation to the sun. Here we talk about the types of shading you should use based on the direction the sun is coming from.

 

Sustainable Strategies - Louvers + Sun Shading Part 1

Sun shading is a crucial aspect of architecture and design. This is the first video of a 4 part series teaching about the techniques for providing shading for your building!

As architects, we have a responsibility to design sustainable buildings. We need to design based on a building's location, orientation, climate, etc. Looking back to traditional, vernacular architecture, is one of the best ways to see low tech ways to accommodate for different conditions.

In this video we look at sun diagrams and talk about building orientation and sun direction. Watch to learn about shading your buildings!

 

25 Architects You Should Know and Why

If you're curious about what architects you should be looking to for inspiration, here are some classic examples of some of the most notable architects. There's a few people on this list you might not expect! Down below I have a list of the architects but make sure to watch to find out why I chose everyone on the list.