Exercising the Right BIM Strategy for the Renovation

Exercising the Right BIM Strategy for the Renovation

BIM-for-renovation

With the help of BIM, collaborating designers and engineers can in short order make more informed and better coordinated decisions about to what extent a dysfunctional old building should be preserved, remedied or replaced.

Renovations are essentially the art of compromise. New space planning, lifestyles and work practices need to be fitted around existing load bearing structure and styles of a different era with elegance, efficiency and at minimal cost and inconvenience. In this article I will be discussing firstly the architectural issues of renovation and then how BIM facilitates the methods of documenting and dealing with these issues.

Reasons to Renovate

There are several reasons driving a decision to renovate old inadequate or dysfunctional buildings in preference to demolition and new construction. The following list gives the main reasons that come to mind but is by no means exhaustive:

  1. Preserving heritage buildings
  2. Modernising outdated buildings
  3. Upgrades to reduce energy costs
  4. Conserving resources through reuse
  5. Alterations with changed use
  6. Alterations with building extensions
  7. Alternative to new construction for lower building cost

While a renovation usually involves more than one of these motivations, it is important to understand which is the primary driver in order to adopt the right strategy for the renovation.

The preservation of historical or heritage buildings has become a strong priority around the world since the building booms of the 70’s and 80’s obliterated much of the old inner city building stock. This is frequently enforced through town planning conditions on redevelopment projects. It rarely leads to reduced building costs, and usually involves stringent conditions of approval, where very thorough and detailed documentation is required. These often include requirements to replicate the original building methods, fixings, and colour schemes in restoration work. Conversely new additions in many cases have to be distinctly differentiated to avoid confusion as to what is genuinely historic. New extensions also sometimes have to have reversible connections to the old, i.e. which do not mar the original building fabric if the new extension should eventually be removed. Figure 1 shows one such design solution. In this case the added awnings were not allowed to obstruct the view of the building above.

When an old building has no historical significance and no redeeming aesthetic qualities, but has a sound structure, a decision is sometimes made to renovate and modernise its appearance, usually in conjunction with changes to the internal functional planning. The assumption behind this decision is often that this is a cheaper alternative to new construction, but the need for continuous occupation could also be a major factor. Below Figures 1, 2 and 3 show various stages of one such house renovation.

bim-renovations

Our increasing awareness of sustainability issues has for many years now been driving a wave of building renovations with the aim of upgrading to reduce energy costs and eliminate adverse health issues. This often involves a strong focus on increased insulation, resolving damp-proofing issues, providing adequate ventilation, replacing and improving building service runs, and replacing components found to be toxic.

Sustainability through recycling is increasingly becoming a strong motivation for renovations in order to limit the dependence on new building materials. However, reuse of building materials, while lowering the cost to the environment, will almost always lead to higher labour costs and need to be carefully evaluated as to the net benefit before going down this path.

Challenges

The first and greatest challenge when undertaking a renovation is the unknown and hidden condition of the existing building. Over time all buildings deteriorate, and all old buildings can be expected to have deteriorating drainage, plumbing, and electrical service runs that need replacing. A cursory inspection would also easily reveal sagging or cracking structure, either due to inadequate bracing, or foundation movement. Such issues are fairly easy to predict and budget for in the renovation program.

However, a building that at first may appear sound will, once a renovation gets underway, almost inevitably reveal latent problems that are costly to rectify. Such hidden issues are often specific to particular climate zones and building vernaculars.

In Cold and Temperate Climate Zones some of the more common old building problems are:
Poor insulation, draughty windows and doors, incorrectly placed vapour barriers in walls and roofs causing ice build up in wall framing, inadequate ventilation or damp proofing giving rise to mould growth, spalling concrete beams and columns because of rusting reinforcement. Copied from Architectural Evangelist.

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Get out of the Silo: Enhance Collaboration and Leverage BIM

Get out of the Silo: Enhance Collaboration and Leverage BIM

What happens when you put five of the most active and in the know Revit users in the Seattle area together in one room? An engaging experience where leaders from multiple disciplines explore how each other’s Revit processes affects the other.

At the March SeaRUG (Seattle Revit User Group) meeting, a cross pollination of experts were brought together from architecture, structural, BIM coordination, construction and an owner, to discuss the use of Revit throughout all disciplines.

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Here are the various perspectives to keep in mind when using Revit on your next project:

ARCHITECT: How often is production staff removed from the actual discussion and vice versa? The project manager may not have his hands in the model or understand the tool to a point where his decisions are realistic.

CONTRACTOR: Consider level of design (LOD), at what point has the Architect provided adequate detail to establish relationships? When should the contractor or subcontractors take over and provide accurate up to date and product specific model information to finalize the built condition? Or should it be the contractor’s responsibility?

OWNER: Is the end user, or owner, utilizing Revit models? For the most part, the industry consensus is yes, but mostly for its quantitating abilities. The owner likely does not have the resources (or maybe it’s a small owner) to have a dedicated BIM technician.

SUBCONTRACTOR: Are we working efficiently with the tool? Is it saving us money? Are the models being faked, are they a true representation of the product?

BIM: How can BIM better utilized? Where does it fall short? How can we ensure expectations are followed through? It is directly copied from BRPH blog of Revit.

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BIM Information – How Sweet It Is

BIM Information – How Sweet It is

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For some, cake making can seem like a science experiment. Emulsify? Slake? Pour in a spring form pan? Huh?
If this is the case for you, then Building Information Modeling (BIM) might seem like science fiction. But BIM is not some futuristic technology. It is here, and in the hands of building owners, the “I” (information) in BIM is the icing on the cake.

BIM combines 5-D (cost) modeling, technology and software to not only design and construct buildings, but to operate those buildings years beyond the ribbon cutting. Long after the construction crews have gone, the model continues to provide extensive information to owners. In the past, this information was buried in numerous documents, virtually lost…like an old cheesecake recipe in a stack of stuff in the attic. Not anymore.

What BIM means to building owners is the opportunity to have a streamlined and consolidated repository of information accessible at the click of a mouse. Want to replace that light? Consult the model and you will get all the specs, plus warranty and replacement info. Need to make some upgrades? You will know exactly where to find the VAV box in the mechanical system. No need to look through multiple sets of documents. Chad Garcia is posted it in the stories.

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Computer Aided Design: A “Must Have” in Architectural Industry

Computer Aided Design: A “Must Have” in Architectural Industry

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Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer technology for the design of objects, be it real or virtual. It is used to design curves and figures in 2D and 3D spaces. Though widely used in automotive, ship building and aerospace industries, it is extensively used and popular in the field of architectural industry. Today architecture design industry can not go one step without it. Here lies the importance of computer aided design services. Due to its enormous economic advantage, CAD is being considered a driving force in the architecture industry. CAD computer aided design and CAD design and drafting services have possibilities and overcome major challenges in the field of architecture. With the help of CAD design and drafting services, the world has created designs of buildings as beautiful as Sydney’s Opera House and as spectacular as the Buraj Al Dubai in UAE.

Due to the enormity of architectural sector, many categories have sprung out off the main category of CAD services. They are used to help meet almost every aspect of designing, drafting or planning need in an efficient way. CAD design services, CAD drafting services and CAD conversion services cater to the needs of architect designers. Computer aided cad design services provides an opportunity to create multi layered easily editable CAD designs. These designs can be customized whenever there is a need. The major advantage of using CAD design services is the creation of multi layered editable structure which saves much more information on the file than can be saved on the paper format. Besides, paper drawings are bulky, difficult to manage, share and store.


Due to its enormous economic advantage, CAD is being considered a driving force in the architecture industry. PhoenixEOS’s CAD design and drafting service is updated with Building Information modeling tool (Revit) which unifies all the processes of construction and facility operations in a single software environment removing possibilities of design conflicts and ensuring a well-coordinated design model.

PhoenixEOS’s team has ample experience and expertise in handling CAD related projects regarding paper to CAD conversions, CAD drafting and rendering. We have considered many as our partners in the recent past and successfully have completed more than 500 architectural projects spread over residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and other industries. PhoenixEOS’s CAD design and drafting services is updated with Building Information modeling (BIM) tool (Revit software) which unifies all the processes of construction and facility operations in a single software environment. With the help of 3D, it can show the entire building life cycle including the processes of construction and facility operation much before it is executed. PhoenixEOS’s suite of BIM solutions greatly improves productivity and efficiency by streamlining the process of creation, storage and communication of design critical information by way of intelligent 3D models.

PhoenixEOS offers and outsources BIM construction documentations services for your architectural projects. It also assists you to identify design conflicts and ensure a fully coordinated project design model that can reduce change orders and help you save time and money. Our CAD shop drawings are created with the purpose of streamlining the production and review process. To test us on the above just scan and send us your architectural drawings, a sample of your standards and finished set of drawings and email them to us. You are assured of receiving a set of professionally drafted shop drawings. Reference Computer Aided Design: A “Must Have” in Architectural Industry from Bluent.

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Cape Dutch Architecture

Cape Dutch Architecture

“Cape Dutch architecture is a traditional Afrikaner architectural style found mostly in the Western Cape of South Africa. The style was prominent in the early days (17th century) of the Cape Colony, and the name derives from the fact that the initial settlers of the Cape were primarily Dutch. The style has roots in mediaeval Netherlands, Germany, France and Indonesia.

Houses in this style have a distinctive and recognisable design, with a prominent feature being the grand, ornately rounded gables, reminiscent of features in townhouses of Amsterdam built in the Dutch style. The houses are also usually H-shaped, with the front section of the house usually being flanked by two wings running perpendicular to it. Furthermore, walls are whitewashed, and the roofs are thatched.

Most Cape Dutch buildings in Cape Town have been lost to new developments – particularly to high-rises in the City Bowl during the 1960s. However, the Cape Dutch tradition can still be seen in many of the farmhouses of the Wine Route, and historical towns such as Stellenbosch, Swellendam, Tulbagh and Graaff-Reinet.

One characteristic feature of South African colonial architecture which has attracted the attention of many observers is the extensive use of gables. Earlier research has repeatedly sought to justify the term `Cape-Dutch’ solely by comparing the decorative form of these gables to those of Amsterdam. However, in the second half of the 18th century, the period in which, the entire development of the South African gable tradition occurs, gable architecture had gradually ceased to be built in Amsterdam. North of Amsterdam, along the river Zaan, however, gable design remained vigorous until the capture of the Cape. South African gables have many features in common with gables along the river Zaan, in spite of the different materials used.” Source Wikipedia

Note: All renderings have been done using Enscape

BIM design BIM design BIM design BIM design BIM design

 

Vernacular Architecture

Vernacular Architecture

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Vernacular architecture stems from the belief that architecture is a balanced combination of logical knowledge, divine inspiration and common sense. “Vernacular architecture is the architecture of the people, and by the people, but not for the people.”

“Vernacular architecture,” Paul Oliver defines in his book ‘Dwellings,’ “is the architecture of the people, and by the people, but not for the people.” Vernacular architecture, as the term, refers to the construction methodology that natives employ to build shelters using locally prevalent resources and conditions.

The building knowledge is developed by trial and error and handed down the generations through local traditions. Therefore, it has been contemptuously dismissed as being crude and coarse. But, a new school of architects have developed on it in the last few decades to come up with fascinating, and sometimes awe-evoking, alternate dwellings that are in harmony with the natural landscape and the human spirit.

Estimates suggest that at least 90 per cent of buildings are designed with no help of any professional architects and designers. Local designs evolve in compliance with the economic feasibility, topography and climate. Indigenous materials are employed to create distinctive residences that merge with the surrounding landscape. Even the interior spaces are decorated in a fashion that evokes Nature. With swelling populations, unstable ecology and economic worries hitting hard, numerous architects around the world are increasingly looking towards sustainable solutions. They attempt to blend modern architectural theories to vernacular building cultures and often come up with strikingly surprising innovations. The resultant is humane and ecologically sound buildings.

With growing interest in earth-friendly building construction techniques, architects are relearning various practical aspects of infusing modern technologies with bygone traditions and cultures. They are actively building upon the knowledge of our grandparents to build homes that would secure our children’s futures. The vernacular is the source of many interesting innovations in building. From mud huts to European styled colonial mansions, from bamboo sheds to massive high-rises, modern architects are constructing shelters, where indoor and outdoor living seamlessly combines to awaken the senses and bring the dwellers closer to their natural world.

Vernacular architecture widely varies from the spectacular Mayan Tikal and Machu Picchu temples to humble dwellings like the African tree-houses and the Native American log cabin. The igloos of the Inuit (Greenland), rondavels of South Africa, tin-and-thatch houses of Togo, yurts of Mongolia, and the Bedouin tents are other classic examples of vernacular dwellings. Interestingly, public utility buildings like granaries, fortifications and religious institutions are more frequent vernacular structures than residential homes.

Folk buildings are built according to the local demand-supply forces. If they are nomadic settlements, light-weight building materials like bamboo, palm fronds and leaves are used for easy relocation. More permanent dwellings would be made up of clay, thatch and cow dung, which are relatively sturdy and durable. Sometimes, climate could be the design factor. Houses in river basins, like the Amazon basin in South America or the rainforests in Africa, are built upon tree-tops or on raised platforms supported by bamboo beneath. In windy regions, the roofs are sloped in the ideal direction. Rainy areas have conical or sloping roofs while dry areas have perforations in their walls. Similarly, cold regions have less or no windows; while warm territories would have houses that are relatively open that facilitates ventilation. The ‘scoops’ atop houses in Pakistan’s Sind district are innovatively placed to channel wind from the roof into each building, thereby keeping summer temperatures to tolerable limits.

Vernacular architecture taps the design capacity of ordinary people to build buildings that are not only low-cost but also familiar to the native inhabitants. This is especially important in the Third World where people lack capital. Thus, their housing crisis could be resolved through their participation in the designing of their own community. Additionally, vernacular architecture proves immensely helpful at times of disaster. When the displaced people are given back homes akin to their vernacular traditions, they recover better from the traumatic experiences.

Numerous modern architects have intensively studied vernacular architecture and claim to have drawn a good deal of inspiration from it. They have found innovative ways of incorporating them into human dwellings that are “environmentally clean” and “spiritually healthy.” The New Gourna township near Luxor, designed by Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy in 1946, is the first recorded attempt are planning an entire town for the natives, in accordance with their local vernacular style. Today, there’s a renewed response to information and ecology. Architects are seeking new equations between buildings and the natural habitat.

Renowned architect, Eugene Tsui looks up to Nature as the basis of his designs. He has a compelling conviction that the strongest and most efficient structural forms known to mankind lie in Nature’s plan. He offers astonishingly original alternatives to the regular industrial (steel and concrete) construction that dominate today’s architectural landscape. He examines nature’s forms, structures and, materials in the scientific and architectural light, and presents an exciting glimpse of the world through his eyes. He brings alive the fascinating world of bird’s nests, termite towers, fish bubble homes, and snail shells which offer a hidden world of endless design possibilities and problem-solving ideas for our buildings. Tsui’s evolutionary architecture is vividly manifested in his architectural projects that may range from a residential remodel that features a dragonfly wings’ roof ventilation to a three-kilometer long city resembling a termite’s nest with crisscrossing steel cables that look like a spider web.

Vernacular architecture stems from the belief that architecture is a balanced combination of logical knowledge, divine inspiration and common sense. It should also be kept in mind that vernacular architecture can be overtly romanticized with a tendency to ignore the multiple inconveniences and discomforts. But, the challenge lies in finding befitting architectural solutions that advantageously blend empirical science with native traditions, in order to come up with an impeccable masterpiece. Modern architects have been successful, time and again, in building exquisite organic architectural designs that are inspired from the earthy vernacular traditions in architecture. Copied from architectural evangelist.

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3D Technology – the essential partner to dynamic, value-driven Construction

3D Technology – the essential partner to dynamic, value-driven Construction

World-leading, innovative technology is being used successfully to make the aerospace and other manufacturing industries more responsive to demand, dynamic in development and increasingly efficient in delivery. I would argue that the construction industry is crying out for this innovation to drive efficiency, generate sustainability, improve safety and reduce waste. The techniques of Building Information Modelling (BIM), being applied in some areas of the industry, take us part-way but the full value has yet to be realized.

The technology used by the aerospace industry embraces the full spectrum: from initial design, detailed 3D digital mock-ups, to testing and proving in the virtual digital world. The 3D model is reviewed, revised, redesigned and tested to destruction without injury or damage. The same platform of collaborative data then tracks materials requirements and the manufacturing process, following the aircraft from assembly to sale and delivery. It integrates data across the life cycle of the programme, to generate efficiency, reduce cost, cut waste, increase sustainability, improve safety and create value.

Like an aircraft, a building is a system –  superstructure, foundations, air conditioning, useable spaces, arteries providing power, water, waste processing – a system for people. The building becomes more than concrete, steel, glass, bricks and mortar – it becomes a space for living, working or leisure, an intelligent space connected to other intelligent spaces – an intelligent system – an intelligent community.  This building, this intelligent space, lends itself to digital design, 3D digital mock-up, review and revision in the virtual world and the ongoing provision of through-life management. It is a complex logistical system which is simplified, made efficient, given value and given life through data integration and collaboration.

Guggenheim-Museum
Guggenheim-Museum

The architect Frank Gehry gave life to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao by approaching Dassault Systèmes to use its leading-edge technology from the aircraft industry to imagine and create the impossibly fluid lines of his building. In the architect’s own words, this was transformational, and signalled a cultural change in modern architecture. The building was completed on-time and well within budget, achieving financial savings of 18% in the process. That act was to prove to be a game changer.

The imaginative use of this technology has the potential to make buildings not only iconic and sympathetic with their place in the landscape, but to be intelligent, energy-efficient and sustainable. The manipulation of data enables the integration of retained, legacy buildings, harmonized sensitively with the new development to create places which are special; balancing the old with the new, seamlessly merging the ideas of yesterday with those of tomorrow. This information provides the arteries which allow the dynamism of the construction provider to flow and the imagination of the client to be realized. It harnesses the desired outcomes of the client, the strength and capabilities of the construction industry, and the power of leading-edge technology, significantly improving the quality of sustainable construction and creating assets which are fit-for-purpose, environmentally sensitive and of lasting value.

Posted by John Stokoe Head of Strategic Development at Dassault Systèmes. For more information contact here.

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BIM Technologies

BIM Technologies

Over the past week we have been blown away by how fast our 16 year old work experience student Olawale Labulo who is from Peckham has picked up Revit and learnt about the fundamentals of BIM.

Having no experience whatsoever with Revit, and only using Sketchup for around 6 months, some of the work he produced is highly impressive. Not only getting to grips with modelling in Revit but also the understanding of some of the more advanced tools in Revit, for example modeling parametric array families has really impressed us all.

Below is a sample of some of the work he has been doing and a short snippet of his concluding statement. After giving him a simple house to model (which he completed in a couple of hours) he took matters into his own hands and started to design his own building (apparently inspired from the computer game Minecraft!).

BIM Technology BIM Technology

Here at BIM Technologies I learnt how to use Revit at the basic level; learning how to make families, stairs, floors, ceilings, roofs and rendering. I also learned what they did as a job; help fix problems in building designs that they found in big builds they have been assigned with.

This experience at BIM Technologies hasn’t motivated me to pursue a career in Architecture because before coming to work at BIM Technologies  I already knew what career I wanted to pursue; to become an Architect. However it did give me a further insight to what was to expect in the line of Architecture. So overall I have always been motivated to pursue a career in Architecture, but this experience has enhanced the motivation I have in becoming an Architect.

The things I find interesting about these professions is that they get to work on wonderful buildings in London and across the UK. The thought of knowing that u help in the construction of an iconic building or just a wonderful looking build brings great joy to me.

Ola is sure to be a future star of Architecture or any other career he decides to pursue. All of us here at BIM Technologies wish him the best of luck in whatever he decides to do, and hope he remembers us when he’s famous! Reference COYO – Work experience student at BIM.Technologies by Ben Malone.

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Down Save Revit Models

Down Save Revit Models

Paul Crickard hates that Revit will not allow him to open a 2011 model in 2010. When upgrading to 2011, his office decided to only move certain projects over and leave others. They took in to account the fact that we could not down save and once They were in 2011 they were stuck in 2011.

There is a workaround! If you really need to open a model from a later version of Revit you can — by using IFC.

WARNING: You will lose information. Your walls, windows, doors, and some other elements will be safe, but the model will not be 100% complete — depending on how detailed it is.

To see what will export, go to EXPORT>OPTIONS>IFC OPTIONS

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As you can see, Area Tags will not export by default. If you are familiar with the IFC tags you can export objects that are currently not exporting by specifying what tag should be used in the IFC.

BIM

Export your model to IFC. Voila! you now have a text file (.IFC) that should look as follows.

BIM

From an earlier version of Revit click R>OPEN>IFC and select the file. Now you have a 2011 model in 2010 or 2009. This is also a good way to get your file to many other programs.

DISCLAIMER: Paul Crickard does not recommend using this as a way to work on a daily basis. This tip is for those times when it is absolutely necessary to go between two different version of Revit. You should talk with all parties involved in a project and decide on a version before beginning your project.

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Revit 2016 Render Engine Comparison

Revit 2016 Render Engine Comparison

NVIDIA Mental Ray or Autodesk Raytracer? That is the question. I believe that both render engines have their advantages and disadvantages.
The first render engine comparison is of an exterior day render. The NVIDIA Mental Ray image is on the left, while the Autodesk Raytracer image is on the right. Even though these two renders were created using the same quality settings, sun settings etc., one can clearly see that the Autodesk Raytracer engine saturates colours far more than the NVIDIA Mental Ray engine.

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When comparing an internal night render, one can see that the NVIDIA Mental Ray engine is far more “realistic” than the Autodesk Raytracer engine. Pay attention to the floor lamp on the left. No electrical, nor photometric properties were changed between the two renders, yet something is “off” about the lamp lighting. (It might have been a mistake on my side)

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If you do not have access to a dedicated rendering/visualization program and you can only render from within Revit, if your renders do not look “perfect”, there is no need to start moaning about the “limitations” of the program. You have 5 main options to choose from:
1. Choose which render engine will give you the best result: NVIDIA Mental Ray, or Autodesk Raytracer.
2. If one of the above options do not give you the results you want, how about rendering through the Cloud?
3. If neither one of the above options work for you, start post processing the image inside of Revit. Change the Highlights, Saturation, Mid Tones, etc. to make your image as close to perfect as can be.
4. You always have the option to export your Revit model to an external software program, such as Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Showcase, Autodesk Navisworks, even Autodesk AutoCAD. From within these programs, you will be able to tweak your renders even further
5. Use post-processing software such as Adobe Photoshop.
Make due with what you have. Make what you have work for you.