February 2011


In This Newsletter

Letter from the President

Just Released: AVAproject 2011

The AVAproject Fusion Combined Material List

New Catalog: Air Louvers

AVAproject Tip: The Frame Wizard

Creating a National BIM Standard

Catalog Updates

  • Baillargeon
  • Dor-O-Matic
  • effeff (CAD)
  • Falcon (CAD)
  • Hadrian (CAD)
  • Ives (USD & CAD)
  • K.N. Crowder (CAD)
  • Markar
  • Meek
  • Monarch
  • National Guard
  • Pemko
  • Schlage
  • Schlage E.S.
  • Von Duprin
  • Yale
  • Zero

Letter from the President

From the Desk of the President

To Our Friends and Valued Customers,

Welcome to the 6th edition of our AVAwire newsletter. We launched AVAwire in September as a means to enhance communication between our team, our valued clients and anyone interested in developments at AVAware. I was happily surprised and grateful for the warm response we’ve received to it thus far. I was concerned that people would be annoyed by yet another unsolicited piece of email finding its way into their inboxes. Instead, we’ve had numerous companies call with lists of employees that wish to be added to our distribution list and receive AVAwire directly. To all of them, my sincere thanks – we’ll do our best to keep it interesting.

I am also very pleased to report that we have posted our final “Release Candidate” for our 2011 AVAproject update. What began as a “minor” update has evolved into a massive release that rivals the size and complexity of our previously unparalleled 2010 offering. One of the “occupational hazards” that comes along with working with a team of brilliant and creative people is that we sometimes just don’t know when to stop developing. We have incorporated a truly impressive collection of new features into this release that directly respond to requests by a significant portion of our client base.

2011 will be a milestone year for AVAware in terms of software releases. In addition to our AVAproject enhancements, AVAproject Fusion has been released in beta and this spring will see the initial release of our new ERP bridge software that allows data from AVAproject (or any other compatible data source) to be moved directly into several accounting/ERP packages. This product will be a powerful tool for both our existing clients and any developers that want to move data from their applications into any of our many supported ERP platforms. Our 2011 AVAproject contains several features that support integration with these other product releases.

The other major point of significance of our two new products is that they are our first mainstream offerings intended for use both in and beyond the architectural openings industry. On a personal note, I couldn’t be more proud of our development team. AVAproject Fusion showcases some new software technologies that rival and even exceed anything I’ve seen in my 25 year career! Several of these powerful components will doubtlessly find their way into the AVAproject product in the near future.

I hope that once you’ve had an opportunity to work with our new products, that you’ll be as excited about them as I am. As always, I value your feedback and suggestions. It’s this incredible input that helps guide our team and allows us to continue to produce groundbreaking software.

All the best and continued success.

Paul S. Kirsch
President & CEO
AVAware Technologies

Just Released: AVAproject 2011

Though initially planned to be a "minor" update, AVAproject 2011 has expanded to become a tremendous software release. New capabilities have been introduced and enhancements have been made to many existing features of the application.

Coming into 2011, the AVAproject development team set out to publish a “minor” update to the AVAproject Suite. It was intended to provide support and connectivity to a number of new products that were also being released early 2011. It was never meant to be a major feature upgrade.


As the old line goes, “the best laid plans of mice and software developers often go awry”. We took a long look at our user wish list (always growing at the hands of our diligent support staff) and though we’d take this opportunity to make some users very happy.


Product Pricing and Discounts


Several new components have been added and improved surrounding the pricing of hardware items in projects. We’ve added a new “Standard Discounts”

The New Catalog Viewer interface displaying the "General" tab

entry screen that offers an ability to enter discount defaults based on any catalog/manufacturer combination.


This is coupled with a powerful “product re-pricing” engine. Upon loading a project, AVAproject immediately identifies which catalog revision was used to price each individual product. It also

being used. These and other such enhancements have been designed to improve the users’ ability to manage and process the financial component of the project.


Searching and Reporting Enhancements


AVAproject has always contained some of the most powerful tools

AVAproject Product Builder Search

New Product Builder Search Options

The AVAproject Hardware List, showing prices needing to be refreshed in Amber and the newer catalog release dates and revisions in Green

indicates which items may require their pricing updated due to newer catalog releases. Products can be optionally re-priced based on several criteria or selected manually.


Several new information columns have been added to the various hardware related tables.


These columns update themselves automatically and contain valuable information concerning the associated hardware items.


All these new data components export along with the rest of the project data for use with whatever back-end accounting system is

for project data manipulation and reporting the industry has ever seen. We’ve made them even better.


Several options have been added to the Hardware Schedule configuration dialog, enabling users to have even more control over the way hardware items are presented and submitted.


Rounding off this collection of improvements is an improvement to the Hardware Product Builder’s search interface. A small drop-down menu offers the ability to refine how products should be searched from the catalogs.

AVAproject Fusion Integration


In support of our release of AVAproject Fusion, AVAproject now includes several powerful integration features, including the ability to create a Fusion-compatible file directly from AVAproject. This completes the “circle of integration” between the two products. While AVAproject Fusion is capable of importing AVAproject files as desired, AVAproject now has the ability to “push” data into Fusion, essentially initiating the transfer from the other end.

Create Fusion File

The "Refresh Hardware Pricing" Dialog

Create Fusion File

The AVAproject "Create Fusion File" Menu Option


For more details on this incredible new version of AVAproject, please see the “Feature Overview” document on our website.

The AVAproject Fusion Combined Material List

AVAproject Fusion delivers a host of excting new capabilities and features for working with data. One of the fundamental concepts of Fusion - the "Fusing" of seperate pools of information - is illustrated by the Combined Material List

What is the Combined Material List?


Each AVAproject file contains extensive information related to a specific project. This information includes data contributed by users who have worked on the file, associated data extracted from AVAware Catalog files and additional calculated data that AVAproject constantly revises in the background.


The AVAproject Material List is a detailed compilation of the project information. It is composed using data from all areas of the project file, enumerating all doors, frames and hardware and includes precise product and pricing information.


AVAproject Fusion has the ability to import all of the information contained in one or multiple AVAproject files, creating a single source from which to analyze and report on the data.

The AVAproject Fusion Combined Material List is a single (or the aggregate of multiple) Material List(s). It also maintains linkage for each Material List item back to its original source information (Openings Schedule line, Hardware item, etc.). It's this linkage that spawns a new tier of reporting capabilities in AVAproject Fusion, since all project data can be incorporated into data analysis, mining efforts and reporting.


Working in the Combined Material List


At first glance, The Combined Material List may appear to be simply a large Material List, however Fusion automatically categorizes the data into useful groupings. Immediately after importing project data, Material List information is available at the click of a mouse!


The main navigation menu for

AVAproject Fusion is the Fusion Project Bar. The Project Bar is populated with a menu item for each of the product lines and manufacturers existing in the combined project data, respectively. Clicking these menu items will display a grid containing only the data associated with the item.

The AVAproject Fusion Project Bar

The AVAproject Fusion Project Bar


The AVAproject Fusion Combined Material List Grid with two "Group By" columns, Elevation and Opening List

The Group By Bar


Custom grouping and sub-grouping of data is available through a newly introduced user interface feature called the Group By bar. The Group By bar is an area at the top of the Combined Material List grid

(along with virtually all other grids in AVAproject Fusion) that empowers the user with the ability to instantly create detailed data visualizations.




The AVAproject Fusion Combined

Material List provides new and exciting ways of managing project data. Fusion is currently in the Beta stage of development. We are working around the clock to bring this highly anticipated and exciting new software to market. Stay tuned for more information including official release dates!

New Catalog: Air Louvers

Last year AVAware released the Hiawatha catalog for use with AVAproject. Activar, the parent company of Hiawatha, was so impressed with the response that they have asked us to add another of their catalogs, Air Louvers, to AVAproject as well.



Air Louvers has been a renowned manufacturer of louvers and vision lites for over 30 years. Air Louvers has been a division of Activar since 1991, alongside four other companies; J.L. Industries, Hiawatha, Thomas Enterprise and Samson Products.


Activar is a privately held corporation based out of Minnesota that focuses on acquiring and building successful small and middle market businesses, specializing in commercial construction products.




Air Louvers products are manufactured in Commerce, California, run out of the same facility as its sister company,

Samson Products. Products manufactured by Air Louvers at the Commerce facility include LEED accredited, hurricane rated, and bullet resistant vision lites and louvers. Products are built using the latest manufacturing technologies and techniques, and can be customized to a specific design or application if required.


The Air Louvers catalog will initially be implemented as a hardware catalog within AVAproject, with their products added just like any other hardware item. As a result of working with Air Louvers, we have learned more about their products and will be introducing more advanced support for third-party lites and louvers, which will provide more control and flexibility and an enhanced user interface.

Air Louvers Profile Vision Lite

Standard, Multi-purpose, Thru-bolted Square Profile Vision Lite for up to 1/4" thick Glazing



Air Louvers 800 Series Louver

800 Series Louver

AVAproject Tip: The Frame Wizard

In the early days of AVAproject, the software was sold separately from the AVAcad. As such, many AVAproject users (usually estimators or spec. writers) didn’t have a copy of or access to AVAcad. In order to allow them to estimate sidelite frames AVAproject, like today, shipped with a library of standard elevations and the Frame Wizard. In addition, many early users still had elevations in their libraries that were created with the older AVAcad /DF for DOS. Although those files could be imported into AVAproject, AVAcad’s new Windows-based counterpart does not support them – but the Frame Wizard does.

This powerful, yet often-ignored tool allows non-CAD users to import and quickly modify the dimensions of a standard frame elevation. Even though AVAcad is now bundled with every copy of AVAproject installed, the Frame Wizard still provides a simple alternative for quick, minor changes. Once an elevation has been imported into the Openings Schedule, simply click on the Frame Wizard icon ( Frame Wizard Icon ) (instead of AVAcad). Upon doing so, a screen similar to the following will be displayed. All dimensions are assigned a letter and listed to the right of the elevation. To change a dimension, simply change the number in the box next to the corresponding letter. The frame will be resized and redrawn immediately.


Frame Wizard Window

The Frame Wizard dialog, with a preview of the elevation on the left and variables assigned to each dimension on the right


Note: Dimensional values can be entered in any recognized format, imperial or metric, regardless of the current operating mode. (i.e. 36”, 3’, 914mm will all return the same result, displayed in the currently selected measurement system and format.)



Bonus Tip: Creating Elevation Libraries

Elevation libraries are an effective way to speed up the estimating process. A small collection of common frame shapes can easily be modified to form the overwhelming majority of all the frames an estimator will ever need. When an elevation is brought into AVAproject, all the parameters beyond its basic shape are dictated by the selection in the Openings Schedule. As such, a single elevation can be used in conjunction with an unlimited combination of manufacturers, profiles and materials.

Once you’ve created an elevation in AVAcad (stand-alone or within AVAproject) the “Save” ( Frame Wizard Icon ) button on the AVAcad editor screen allows the individual elevation to be based as a stand-alone AVAcad (.acd) file. This type of file can then be imported directly into the Elevation column of an AVAproject Openings Schedule.

The AVAcad "Save" button


Creating a National BIM Standard

We have covered BIM extensively in the November and December 2010 AVAwire newsletters, explaining both what it is and how it affects the architectural openings industry. Essentially, we see BIM as a promising format to look for in the future, but as of yet there appears to be little in the way of support for entering basic information including door materials or even elevations.

In 2009, a collaborative demonstration project was formed to show how effectively BIM can be used in green building projects, and displayed how BIM can provide almost real time results when experimenting with building design and materials using the BIM model. As the construction industry is leaning toward more environmentally conscious design and construction, having the ability to see the impact of every change in real time allows for "cleaner" buildings to be created.


BIM is being pushed as a solution not only to environmental design but to many problems with the construction and maintenance of buildings, and continues to gain

more support in the political and commercial construction fields. Seemingly more than a fad, as BIM is being adopted as a standard in important areas such as government and green building projects, it is important to explore how we as an industry can help improve BIM's limitations.


One area of BIM that manufacturers can become directly involved with is providing class specifications and three dimensional models for their products. These are important resources that can then be used in BIM software when architects are designing buildings, details that would then be accessed by distributors and estimators when creating schedules.

This is the primary goal of BIM - to put every piece of hardware in a single model, shared by architects, engineers, estimators and contractors, making for more efficient design, construction and maintenance of large projects. In order to achieve this, we not only need the ability to specify every detail of door hardware in a BIM model, but also someone to provide and input these details.


As BIM is only gaining popularity, we will continue to watch for developments that affect the Architectural Openings industry and our customers directly.

We welcome any questions, comments or suggestions about any topic mentioned in this edition of AVAwire. Please visit our website for more information, or contact us directly at (416) 239-9099.