BIG BIM, little BIM = Good Design

by Bill Foster on January 3, 2013

BIM (Building Information Modeling)

One of my Architecture professors once told me that the materials and methods you use to express your design will also affect the design itself.

For example, building a model out of clay pushes your design towards a more monolithic structure, while using paper tends to lean the building toward a thinner more surface based design.

Even more dramatic is the difference in design that results from not building a model at all. A purely 2D design vs. a 3D approach.   Keeping up with time sensitive, budget sensitive projects doesn’t often allow for physical models but using the Computer modeling tools we employ as part of our basic design and production philosophy at EV Studio gives our clients big and small the benefits of 3D Design.

So what are these benefits for the client?

  1. The most important is the ability to clearly see what your project will look like.
  2. The designer also sees deeper into the design, or “around the corner” as I like to say.  Look around you at buildings and if you look closely you can see where a 2D approach was used and the details just don’t quite go “around the corner”.
  3. Automation of repetitive tasks:  Elevations, Sections, plans and schedules that are linked allow us to explore and tweak the design without the dreaded ripple effect that forces us to work backward into the design and inevitably results in mistakes and lost time in the schedule.

Despite all these advantages many designers often make the mistake of thinking 3D Design or Building Information Modeling is just for big projects.   They see the 3D model as an extra service only warranted for large projects.  But we see that the benefits for a small addition in terms of design can be every bit as distinct and while there is a little extra time up front, the automation of tasks evens the equation by project end.

Add to those advantages the quick flexibility and intuitive touch of a hand sketch and the client really wins.

On one recent project I enjoyed moving back and forth between hand sketch and computer methods while solving design problems and communicating them with our clients. I  let the computer crunch the numbers to produce just the right perspective allowing me to spend my time on sketching out several options for the client to choose from.


Originally posted 2011-06-23 09:45:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


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