An Architect reading the heading might understand what it means and how it applies to Architect’s work. Most of the readers may not know about it or just heard the BIM acronym only somewhere in the media. In general it is still an unusual “word” or something part of the technical jargon. No need to ponder. The Practice of Mark Stoklosa Architect, embraced wholeheartedly this BIM Technology to be able to share with you the incredible benefits of using it.
For centuries Architects and Engineers designed buildings using pencil and paper or later pen and paper. With the advent of digital age and computerized tasks, in pretty much all aspect of human existence, from about mid eighties, most of the Architectural and Engineering firms joined the hi-tech train and embraced a new set of tools: Computer, Screen, Mouse and the Keyboard.
This new equipment replaced long trusted pencil or pen. The Architect with a computer was able to draw a line on a computer screen thanks to the CAD software. CAD means Computer Aided Design. The automated process improved productivity but lines representing buildings were still “dumb” meaning they were similar to those drawn by hand, only in a digital form. It still took considerable time and effort in error control and plan co-ordination. It also seemed like the Architectural world got split in two: Those who used CAD and those who remained in a “stone age” using pen and paper. While things settled down for CAD, a new Idea arrived: BIM-Building Information Model.
We at Mark Stoklosa Architect, Inc, have by-passed CAD phase of plan delivery and jumped in to the BIM realm with both feet. We became BIM experts as a benefit to plan production for our clients. We can say it was the best thing for us since the proverbial “sliced bread”. It is really an exciting time to practice and using the BIM.
So what does this BIM do? It facilitates to “build” a virtual building digitally inside the computer for viewing it, for preparation of design and Construction documentation, for rendering and for energy compliance, and so on. This Virtual Building is composed of defined parametric objects representing actual building objects we see around us in life. Some of these objects are walls, roofs, footings, windows, doors, furniture, appliances, columns, etc., etc. All these have materials, colors, thermal mass, sound parameters…etc.,
But this is not all. Because the building is “built virtually” it can be viewed in three dimensions as a perspective rendered artistically, or like a photo or hand sketch… it can be cut via live sections through the structure, it can have referenced live details. Anything that exists in the building can be scheduled and accounted for. The energy use can be assessed at the initial phases of the design so proper decisions can be made to minimize energetic losses. All building elements are “smart” and “know” their spot in space.
Anything that gets changed in one view is changed in all views automatically – can you imagine time savings, ease of co-ordination and accuracy? Tremendous.
In our practice at Mark Stoklosa Architect, Inc we have gone so far that we do not even use a sketch paper for initial plan concepts. We use our BIM software to work with us interactively to create massing and functional models, which allow for unlimited variations and approaches to the Project Programs. Eventually these schematics can be easily converted to virtual building components and continue to a completion of the project.
While designing virtually our trashcans do not fill up with “mountains” of sketch paper with discarded designs. That contributes to saving resources. Same principle as with our idea to utilize Rice Straw Bales and recycled Steel in Buildings.
The BIM has been part of Mark Stoklosa Architect, Inc practice for more than a decade and we still feel like kids in a candy store every time we design a new Project. This energy entices our clients as well. They enjoy reviewing their buildings in 3D, understanding details and massing on site that is also virtually modeled.
We have an extensive knowledge of several BIM packages (to be ready for co-operation with other entities that may utilize them) and use one expertly implemented as a main stay for our Clients’ Project delivery.
BIM is great and it rocks!