Scripting Processes For Automation + Efficiency

Research Highlights
November 14, 2017

For the second year, BBB sponsored a firm-wide research award competition designed to support innovative ideas that have the potential to positively disrupt BBB's practice—how we work and how we design. The research awards are sponsored by the firm's RED—Research Exchange Develop—initiative launched in 2015 and aimed at promoting research; encouraging a culture of open dialogue, creativity, and critical exchange; and fostering development and propagation of ideas and applications that align with BBB's practice and culture.

Six provocative proposals—ranging from conceptual ideas and social issues to material, fabrication, and technology—were submitted in 2017 by individuals and teams from both the New York and Washington DC offices. Two winning teams received stipends after being selected by a blind jury comprised of a cross section of BBB and Kyna Leski, author of The Storm of Creativity. Highlights of the research findings and working process of both teams are displayed in both BBB offices, and highlights are included in this Story and a related Story on Sidewalks.

Scripting Processes For Automation + Efficiency, by Cooper Schilder, creates dialogues among the different BBB studios to investigate how various design and planning software programs are used together. The project focuses on creating resilient scripts, protocol implementation, and geometry standards for automation and file integration.


Implementation of design decisions can be augmented by the generation of quick graphical representations of vast amounts of data. These representations can inform the design process as well as clients' understanding. This script allows variables to be changed and tables and graphs to be updated based on project elements and model geometry edited in real-time by multiple members of a team.

Room data is sent from the Revit model to Flux using a data key from the Flux plug-in.



Managing the changes throughout the lifetime of a project requires constant feedback between the design team and the project architect. Design changes that are tracked through markups done to PDFs and through Bluebeam Studio do not necessarily remain in place during new iterations and prints of the project. This script enables teams to add notes within Revit that can be tracked using a team Excel file, allowing continuous updates on the progress of design.

One user on the team can open Dynamo for Revit to pull these notes from the project by the view they are located on.



Transfer of design intelligence from model space to construction documents can be a time-consuming process when individual panels are desired. This script automates the process of transferring three-dimensional panelization data into flattened DWGs and links them into Revit, where they can be updated continuously during design changes.

Grasshopper can be used to control the output annotation of the final dimensions and scaling of the final flattened panels. The model is referenced in Grasshopper and the units are verified in order to ensure clean transmission of the data to Revit.



Various programs have advantages at different stages of a project, and files exported from one program to another may no longer be editable, potentially losing information during conversion. Many scripts were authored with the goal of creating stable systems for the transference of data. Efficacy of those scripts is affected by the amount of data being transferred, as well as by availability of processing power. Project teams will need to establish what data must remain 'live' between models—and the resolution of that data—before designing a script that will work efficiently.

In transferring data between models, it is useful to determine where the data for each component will originate. Here, level data is set using Excel and communicated through Flux to Rhino and Revit.