Data Day Speaker Spotlight: William Carney of BSA Lifestructures

William (Bill) Carney, BIM Director at BSA Lifestructures will be presenting at Data Day 2018 on August 8th in St. Louis. We reached out to Bill to get some insight on him and his presentation.


What is the title of your presentation?

Deconstructing Workflows for Room Data

Class Description

Managing room data on large projects can be a challenge. Selecting the appropriate software solution can be an equal challenge with the number of options.

This course should help. I’ll compare and contrast using Excel & Microsoft Word with Dynamo, MS Access with the Revit DB Link addon, dRofus, Clarity, and CTC Project Suite’s room data sheet tool for managing room data to provide attendees the needed information to decide which room data sheet workflows best fits their firm’s needs.

While this presentation focuses on the software for creating room data sheets, the topic is really about management of building data as a whole and how that information can be leveraged to help improve the design process. Data as a concept is growing in the AEC industry and many of us have only scratched the surface of what data can do to help the design and documentation process.

When selecting a method of managing information on your project, it’s important to consider many factors besides just cost.

  • Do you want to allow external consultants or end users have access to the information or even the ability to edit and add to the information?
  • Are you looking for a simple way to organize and present or edit your project data?
  • Do you need to manage information across multiple models? or just one?
  • Will the cost for investment be outweighed by the number of projects annually?

Many clients require room data sheets as a deliverable leaving them viewed as a document rather than a tool. If a data sheet is viewed as a form rather than a report, then the data sheet can be used as a powerful tool to help collect data for a project, improve the quality of documents, and speed up tasks. The larger or more complicated a project the more benefit that is seen from managing room data.

Attendees will walk away from this session knowing some software solutions for room data, the total cost for the solutions with cost being effort, price tag, and quality of information provided, and what some of these solutions can do for their design process

What is the one thing an attendee would learn/know after the session?

Room data sheets can be more than just a deliverable to an owner.

How did you get involved with Data and its implications for the AEC industry?

The short answer is I stumbled into it. The longer answer is that I had an interview with Brok Howard while he was at HOK (he’s now with dRofus). Brok had talked about how HOK was using dRofus at the time to track room finishes and equipment then push the contents to rooms using a macro. I didn’t get the job but the interview gave me a ton of ideas.

A while after that interview, while I was at Leidos, we had a project team that was using SpecSources to create FFE cut sheets for a project requirement. The team had issues with the server that SpecSources was installed on needing to be restarted almost daily. They got nervous about finishing the project and asked me if there was another way. I setup a Microsoft Access file to create formatted reports by working with the Revit database exported by the Revit DB Link addon.

This was my first time working directly with the Revit database outside of Revit and it really opened my eyes with what possibilities were sitting right behind our Revit model. I kept working with the Revit DB link to see how many ways I could edit data and push it back into Revit and eventually presented my findings as my first time speaking at a conference for the BIM Workshops. Almost daily my involvement with data grows.


Your synopsis indicates “The larger or more complicated a project the more benefit that is seen from managing room data”, do you find that setting up smaller projects to manage room data can also create efficiencies that can save time and money? 

If you have a small project and are using a room data sheets to collect your project information then push that information to Revit, you can save a little bit of time. For sake of an easy example, let’s say you saved two hours. That’s not much time on that project and probably not worth the effort to set everything up. But if your firm completes 20 small projects a year, you’ll save 40hrs a year.

Larger projects tend to have more time saved and the benefit is easy to see. Small projects add up incrementally through their repetition. The challenge is getting people to see how the small improvements add up.

When it comes to Room Data Sheets, what do you think they are most useful for?  Who benefits most from them?

Room data sheets are most useful when they’re used to graphically present EDITABLE room related information that can be synchronized with the project construction documents.

Room data sheets present room information in an easily digestible way. All the information about the room is on one sheet of paper often including a floor plan, elevations, and even an isometric. As a document, this is easy for a non-design professional to flip through and review. Room data sheets are also easy for a designer to reference while making sure to include everything specified for each room.

When the data is not editable or transferrable, the owner benefits the most because they received an easy to review document. When the information is editable and transferrable, the owner still gets the most benefit but in a different way. They benefit from better coordinated information from a design team that hopefully spent less time referencing a room data sheet document and more time designing or coordinating the design of their building.

Tell us something about why you are a data geek?

What lessons have you learned that would benefit others?

  1. The bigger the project the more easily you can see the immediate benefit of making a large change. That also means there are more people involved in making the decision meaning it’ll take longer to make a decision. Go into the meetings with a clear end goal that you can make decisions around and you’ll get to the finish line a lot quicker than you would without.
  2. Never get involved in a land war in Asia
  3. Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line.


Register for Data Day 2018 here.

Or add Data Day to your existing BILT registration (select Data Day in the agenda) here.

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