There has been substantial media coverage of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in recent years, so Ellivo Architects have prepared this background briefing paper on the associated digital technologies, its implementation, and the strategies that keep our business at the forefront of the design industry.
Ellivo Architects have spent more than five years and many projects developing the ability to collaborate on design and development using BIM and its associated 3D technologies. We hire staff that are comfortable and familiar with digital technology (particularly Revit) and we are committed to a high level of internal training and development to stay at the top of technological advancements.
As architects, we have to effectively communicate the value of our designs to clients, councils and stakeholders at every stage of the design process. It is our job to collaborate with our industry partners to ensure that all our designs maximize a site’s potential.
Intelligent 3D technology forms an integral part of this process, however this process does not reach its full potential until all of a project’s Architecture, Engineering, Services, and Cost planning consultants are using the same technology. But it isn’t just the technology that is critical, it is the close working environment and team communication that makes a project successful, and particularly the attitude of the team members.
Naturally we prefer to work with like-minded consultants to help our clients prosper, so our office team has spent substantial time and effort building and refining processes to make collaboration easier and more effective than it would be if done on an adhoc basis.
BIM Model developed in 2007 Completed project in late 2009
One of the initial projects where we used BIM processes was in 2007 on ‘The Wharf’ development at Robina. For this project we engaged in one-way collaboration with the structural engineers, and experienced a very steep learning curve. Subsequent projects involved the refinement and improvement of our internal modeling techniques, and better protocols for consultant communication.
Current Snapshot in mid-2011.
Those familiar with digital modeling and the BIM process will be aware that maximum benefits are achieved when all team members share the same technology, however we are still finding that putting together a BIM ‘dream team’ for a project is more often the exception than the rule.
While we use Revit on all projects regardless of the size, a proportion of our current projects have limited opportunity for integrated collaboration due to the consultant team selection. Given that this is a fact of the current market, we have developed processes that are capable of delivering added value for stand-alone projects (without collaboration) as well as those that allow for full BIM processes.
The following is an overview of some of the technical and internal processes that have helped us to achieve more efficient, cost-effective designs, as well as enhance communication and collaboration with other consultants.
• Business -to-business meetings and presentations to determine the capacity, depth and readiness for BIM collaboration.
• Regular internal training and tutoring sessions to improve our team’s overall skill level.
• Selected attendance at industry forums, workshops, conferences and user groups to improve awareness of new trends.
• Compiling technical papers to assist the wider industry with technical advances as these are discovered.
• Informal ‘BIM drinks’ evenings on a regular basis with selected consultants to discuss the latest technology, modeling, and trends within Brisbane practices.
• Urban Form models that enable project feasibilities to be carried out at very early conceptual design stages.
• ‘As Constructed’ modeling to enhance collaboration with structural engineers
• Elementally structured and coded models (with QSID data) for improved cost planning analysis, compatible with CostX.
• Protocols and processes that allow for successful services integration within the one digital model.
• Accurate material properties for renderings and flythrough’s at an early conceptual stage
• Scheduling of ventilation and glazing requirements for faster energy efficiency calculations
• Scheduling of appliances, fixtures and fittings for accurate measures and quantity take-offs.
We would welcome any relevant comments and feedback from interested parties on their experience with implementing and collaborating with digital technologies. Comments can be sent to Michael Small @ email@example.com