The man behind Greenman Studios in Boone, North Carolina, Adrian Tait has been using ArchiCAD since 2005. The mountainous region of his state provides him a challenging climate in which to design residential homes. For this reason, Tait has been taking advantage of the energy analysis tools found in ArchiCAD.
“In the mountains, we get cold and snowy winters that, even though we are in a southern region of the United States, mimics that of the New England region. Energy efficient, small homes have been the focus of my business and are the typical project I design.”
As a sole proprietor, his choice of BIM software was of major importance. Tait made the decision to employ ArchiCAD for his business in spite of the fact he had been teaching Revit to students at ASU.
“When you make the decision to invest in a software, the level of research you do is amplified. So I did my due diligence and realized that ArchiCAD was more flexible and allowed me to do significantly more in the program than Revit. Simple cabinetry changes could not be specified in that program, but ArchiCAD let me populate material takeoffs or schedules and still have the project look like what the client wanted in the model.”
Now on ArchiCAD 17, Tait is making the most of the energy analysis, as well as the 3D model to help his clients understand the design choices being made while the home is being created in the virtual sense. Tait is also seeing the benefits of BIMx Docs, an app that works with ArchicAD 17 to combine the 3D model and 2D construction documents.
“I played around with the app, publishing the model I had built for a personal residence a few years ago. It was a complicated model, designed to LEED Platinum standards. Even then I could see this app as a game-changer.”
Tait says he found the publishing process to BIMx Docs very straightforward and is excited about using the real time updating feature to keep current with client adjustments to the project as the design takes shape – even loading the BIMx file to a website his client could view.
“The home was designed in ArchiCAD 14, but even so, I set up the export properties and it made perfect sense in the publisher set. Then I was able to publish it to the website so my clients could stay informed of the latest changes. I’m very excited to take my next project directly to the job site.”
Tait customarily printed PDFs, but is looking forward to eliminating that use of paper as well as the cost of printing those documents.
“Even small changes made in the ‘green’ direction are good. Why not use an iPad instead of spreadsheets? Let’s be receptive to the technology, since it is so common that something changes during the construction process. Whether it is something for which we can plan or not, from the builder’s standpoint, a BIMx Docs file will be the most streamlined and accurate way to monitor changes to the project.”
“The energy analysis tool in ArchiCAD lets me talk to my client about those early design decisions that impact the home’s efficiency. Legitimate design parameters can be input to the model and I can get real, useful information back. What’s most exciting about this next phase of my relationship with ArchiCAD is that I can program templates for proven green building features, get those point values and create projects that are green from the outset.”