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TAP Update on BIM for Design: Latest Tools and Trends

The San Francisco Digital Design Breakfast Club is an informal group of local AEC professionals who meet once a month to discuss the use of digital technologies in design and construction, address philosophical questions posed by those technologies, and share stories about our experiences with them. Eleven members of the group compiled a report from the trenches, a mosaic of how-to’s and lessons learned on BIM and IPD. This was a rapid-fire presentation in the pecha-kucha format: each presenter has a little under seven minutes to speak for 20 seconds about each of 20 slides. View the session hand out.

Please note these video are available on the AIA National YouTube channel.

“What Am I Looking At?”: BIM to Engage Clients & Energize Staff
Will Henderson, Designer, BAR Architects

Video | PDF

The observations of an architectural intern in the trenches at a mid-sized firm undergoing the transition to B.I.M.  Both easy opportunities to take advantage of in the move to BIM (activating less-experienced staff and better communication with clients) and the difficult challenges to be mindful of (lack of standards, changing team members’ responsibilities, longing for the “old ways”, and different consultant capabilities) are discussed.  With these issues in mind, he also talks about in which directions he sees BIM going in the near term future.

BIM and Design Process Transition
Michael Woodcox, Senior Associate, BSA Architects

Video | PDF

Model based design and/or BIM has been around for a while, roughly 20 years. It is now taking center stage due to process change in the architectural profession and the building industry as a whole. The drive towards greater collaboration project participants and more predictability in our process for realizing built projects has been the focus. But as we move towards this more efficient and predictable future we hope that the influences of greater collaboration and technology do not shortchange the often unpredictable design process. This presentation attempts to broaden the BIM discussion to include observations on how the design process, particularly in the conceptualization phase, is influenced by these trends.

Evidence-Based Design with BIM: Optimizing Selection of the Structure
David Bleiman, S.E., Principal, Rutherford & Chekene

Video | PDF

Using BIM for early collaboration between architect and structural engineer offers the opportunity to study multiple options to optimize selection of structural systems.

BIM Object Management for Results
Richard L. Sarao, LEED AP, Project Coordinator, Anshen+Allen

Video | PDF

Good BIM models function as they do because they rely on the consistent use of intelligent objects. If we can gift objects with intelligence, then they can do some of our busy work.  Freeing us to design environments that are durable, useful, and beautiful….. firmitas, utilitas, venustas . For example, intelligent objects could highlight themselves when placed on the wrong layer.  They could look to external sources of information and self-configure based on what they see.  They could provide direct hyperlinks to relevant & current information about what they represent. They could even know what room they are in.  Architects that create and use intelligent objects will successfully respond to the BIM reality that says the Architect’s deliverable is becoming more and more malleable. Intelligent objects placed in a model will preserve and enhance the usefulness of data extracted from that model . Build your model as if a computer was going to read it…because they are.  Remember the saying “garbage-in garbage-out”?  Well with BIM, that’s truer than ever.

Practical BIM-to-CNC Workflow: Big Empowerment for the Small Firm
Jeffrey McGrew, Partner, Because We Can, LLC

Video | PDF

Once only in the realm of the 'starchitects' and academics, digital fabrication has become surprisingly affordable and accessible. Couple it to BIM tools, and you have one heck of a system in place for efficiently designing and building anything at the drop of a hat. For a small firm, this is a powerful combo that opens up all sorts of possibilities. But, just as the challenges of IPD make us change our traditional process, we've found that we've had to change our process to fully leverage this new way of working. Today I'll be presenting a five-step agile yet practical process we've worked out for using BIM and digital fabrication together on real-world projects. I'll also be talking about concepts and problems that arise, and new opportunities that one can take when working this way.

BIM Accelerates Design-Build Delivery: The French School Story
Karen Thomas, Project Manager, Hilliard Architects

Video | PDF

As Architects of Record for the design-build team, Hilliard Architects helped the client: Lycee Francais La Perouse (an independent French immersion K-12 school) transform an historic landmark building (44,000 sf, two-stories with basement and roof terrace, seismically unsafe concrete building) to a middle & high school for 250+ kids in under eight months...on a tight budget...with 120 children inside. As a small architectural firm we use Revit to accomplish the work of many. 2.5 people of our seven person staff were assigned to this project, beginning to end.

Putting the “I” in BIM
Catherine Chan, Vice President, HOK San Francisco

Video | PDF

This session looks at HOK's exploration into how to systematize the "Room Data Sheet" process.  It will include a wider look at how non-geometric data is gathered and managed, as well as ways of selecting and implementing new software.

  • Gathering architectural program data from clients
  • Managing non-geometric data in a BIM and related databases
  • Alternative software options
  • Validating the design against the original architectural program
  • Creating Room Data Sheets
  • Using database to improve efficiency
  • How data can evolve and provide value as it moves from design to production

BIM Collaboration: Impact on Design
David Mar, S.E., Principal,Tipping Mar + Associates

Video | PDF

Is BIM making us stupid? With integrated models, it is now easier to make fundamental changes very quickly.  The medium almost enables a less disciplined and less deliberative design process.

80% of a sub-consultant's work in traditional schematic design is wasted. Model based designs are helpful if consultants focus on resolving the architectural design.

Integrated design needs integrated behavior, not just a collection of specialists.

Why aren't Architects more concerned with system efficiency (such as with more rational structures) early in design? Value engineering (less for less), impacts architectural finishes and landscape much more than it does structure and mechanical systems.  Structure is almost always immune to VE changes.

Integrated Project Delivery: It’s Not Your Father’s Architectural Practice
Chris Naughton, AIA, Principal, SmithGroup

Video | PDF

There is a sea change afloat in the world of architecture and it’s called: Integrated Project Delivery. And, it represents a new alignment of participants and processes for design and construction. California Pacific Medical Center with Sutter Health is required to build a new replacement hospital in San Francisco and has requested that the Owner, Architect, Contractor and trade partners enter into a new Integrated form of agreement to share risks and rewards in building a one billion dollar state-of-the-art facility.

Real World IPD: Tales from the Digital Hood
Dave Ruthven, Designer, SmithGroup

Video | PDF

The Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) team working on the Cathedral Hill Hospital Project is pushing technological boundaries with the implementation of one of the largest, most sophisticated Building Information Models (BIM) currently underway in the United States.  The presentation content covers the current digital and physical configuration of the project team, as well as a series of lessons learned from extensive experience in the BIM environment (as seen through the eyes of a junior designer).

BIM Protocol for Dummies: How does Who Do What When?
Jim Bedrick, AIA, LEED AP, Vice President, Webcor Builders

Video | PDF

  • BIM Protocol for Dummies: How does Who do What When?
  • The need for multiple models
  • Model use cases – ideal
  • Model use cases – customized
  • Model Progression Spec – Level of Detail
  • Model Progression Spec – Model Component Author
  • Resources
  • IPD Guide
  • AIACC Site
  • AIA E202

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