The integrated architectural design firm, Azusa Sekkei has designed landmark public venues such as the Tokyo International Airport’s domestic line passenger terminal and Saitama Stadium. Having implemented BIM relatively early and using it to advance a reputation for excellence; the firm recently entered and won an open competition for a trial project “Shinjuku Labor Advisory Government facility design assignment” using ArchiCAD as the main software application.
According to the head of the design department at Azusa Sekkei, when BIM was first introduced to their staff, the term was not commonly used and 3D CAD was more prevalent. However, the implementation of BIM and its ability to meet high expectations captured the staff’s attention. As momentum grew and the firm prepared their working environment focusing on the personality and intent of the architects. They even gave their architects an opportunity to select which BIM application they would prefer. Soon it became clear that ArchiCAD provided a tool that works with architects want and what the design workflow demands.
Core member of the team, Mr. Ishino, describes his first experiences with it, “At first I was using different 3D CAD software for design,” he explained. “When it came time to render, I’d go to other 3D tools for that purpose, without being truly satisfied. After I first used ArchiCAD, I noticed the feeling of it was very close to what I was looking for. It just felt right.”
Other members of the team who adopted ArchiCAD saw it as a tool that would serve them well throughout their future careers. “Believe acquiring ArchiCAD skill will be important for architects in order to build their career in the future,” Mr. Hakata said. Another young architect, Mr. Ishii, was using another 3D CAD application on his first actual project. However, he recently tried ArchiCAD on another project proposal, and was very much surprised. “Even though it was my first time using ArchiCAD, it was so easy to use. The ease-of-use made an impression on me since I was struggling with another similar application from another developer. For instance, when you draw, if you wish to check forms or proportions of parts, you can instantly open the 3D model without interrupting the workflow,” said Mr. Ishii.
ArchiCAD offered training materials that Azusa Sekkei found helpful – most notably the training guide called ‘ArchiCAD Magic’. In the time since the firm started using full-fledged BIM, Azusa Sekkei has been increasingly applying BIM in planning, design and presentations. With ArchiCAD, it is possible to simulate a building regularly in order to check the “actual look” while working on the design. BIM improves each step of the design workflow, not to mention the seamless communication of coordinated design because of its 3D model base.
When the main objective for firm is to consistently design well, pass that design on to the general contractors; BIM is a crucial tool for that objective. “We can create the image quickly and accurately based on the clients’ requests. This way, we can get their approval quickly, and the fast response allows us to proceed without any doubts. Consequently, the quality of the final product improves,” said Mr. Doi.