J Wilson Fuqua & Associates Architects (WF), a Dallas, TX-based high end residential and remodeling architecture and interior design firm recently completed a home design project using the renovation tool found in ARCHICAD 17. Lead architect on the project, Fuqua says ARCHICAD simplified the process of documenting and showing both existing and new work. WF works on remodeling homes that are built circa 1960 to current day.
“The renovation tool in ARCHICAD is amazing. As you traditionally document a house, adding on elements or removing them, you’re left with all these little details. If you try to put them on different layers, you are not reflecting what is really happening. ARCHICAD becomes our coordination tool, keeping all the right information in all the right places. It helps us be the best architects we can be.”
As is their standard practice, the firm begins with taking a field measurement of the home, and adds in photography to obtain details for the 3D model. The initial phases of the project for the firm includes modeling the interiors to rough out the plans but progresses with increasing detail as the project moves forward.
“We model the interiors quite a bit, reason being that showing that information in the 3D model makes it clear to everyone concerned what parts were changing, what were new and what was set for demolition.”
Looking at Landscaping
The model can even assist the team in planning and allowing for landscaping additions or improvements. “Sketch renderings in ARCHICAD let us get a clear idea of the interior perspective. Modeling in 3D in ARCHICAD from the beginning helps us find out if the home has any code compliance issues – such as the building envelope. We can even create 3D views of the exterior, showing neighboring homes as simple block forms to show landscaping intent.”
WF takes full advantage of modeling in 3D from the beginning of the design process as well. “When clients visit our office, we project our 3D model on the wall and go over concepts and make changes in real-time with the client. This process proves extremely valuable in helping the client really understand the drawings. The model clarifies everything – from the way the model is massing and how it sits on the site, different proposed schemes, slope, etc…”
Taking it to the Site
WF makes the model accessible away from the office as well by employing BIMx and BIMx Pro on iPads with several new contractors. The team showed models to the contractors and were able to provide the 3D model to the homeowner and contractors remotely. Bringing the model on site has freed up the contractors from using paper construction drawings and helping them keep up with any last minute changes to the model as they are created.
ARCHICAD provides useful tools to the team via the BIM Server and Teamwork functionality as well. “We recently completed work on a 24K square foot house – getting the drawings done for that project in about four or five months, which is a quick turnaround, considering. There were four people in the office working on the same model at the same time. This feature offers a tremendous advantage when we have larger projects in house.”
Trusting the Design
ARCHICAD helps the architects at WF streamline their workflow, design efficiently and remove unnecessary steps in the process of creating a 3D model.
“ARCHICAD makes us better architects, because the fundamental task of an architect is to design something that is going to be 3 dimensional. With 2D, it’s almost as if you are being chased by a monster, wondering ‘Did I get the elevations to match’ ‘Do my building sections match my elevations?’ ARCHICAD eliminates living and working in fear of not having things coordinated, which is the biggest liability. ARCHICAD does the work for you, verifying that what you understood in your mind to be a feasible design will actually work in real life.”