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Pursuing Green Certification



ARCHICAD powers the design creativity found in the diverse portfolio of Chicago-based Pappageorge Haymes Partners (PH). In it you’ll see a collection of mixed use developments and residential properties, urban centered projects spanning single family homes to large scale city centers as well and even historic preservation and adaptive reuse projects.

Early on, PH adopted the concept of the holistic approach to architecture and naturally gravitated to tools that supported that point of view and gives the firm an edge on innovation.

For more than three decades we’ve used ARCHICAD as we build projects that enhance and fit the surrounding urban scale and context. We’ve come to rely on ARCHICAD as it fits our niche as if it were tailored to us.

Robert Harris, Associate at PH

About the Alta Roosevelt

Currently under construction, the Alta Roosevelt will be a 33-story apartment tower located in the Printer’s Row section of Chicago’s South Loop. The PH team used ARCHICAD to design and manage the project.

Architects at PH situated the tower’s residential units over two wings – leaving ample room for natural light to pour into the interior spaces. Concrete and glass give the exterior a sleek look while tree-lined circulation paths and a pocket park add to the building’s 4-story base where the lobby, parking garage and resort-style indoor and outdoor amenity spaces are located.

Pursuing Green Globes certification, PH included numerous sustainable features such as an expansive multi-story green roof, EV charging stations for electric vehicles, a building-wide recycling program, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, EnergyStar appliances, energy efficient LED fixtures, low VOC finishes and abundant landscaping throughout the site to reduce carbon footprint.

“This is an excellent example of a large scale project which we’ve done from beginning to end in ARCHICAD. We are extremely pleased with the way IFC performed, as well as what the Morph tool and Cinema 4D rendering engine did for us in terms of visualization. We did not have to outsource any rendering on this project whatsoever.”

Collaborating and Working with BIM

The PH team took advantage of having MEP and structural engineering consultants working on Alta in BIM and were thus able to apply the full strength of ARCHICAD via heavy reliance on IFC. Harris says this time around being able to coordinate with those consultants was a huge advantage. IFC served to exchange information between the many platforms being employed so that all tasks were carried out in the BIM environment.

“In the past, we’ve had to convert our BIM model to 2D DWG files for our consultants, which was time consuming and counterproductive. Furthermore, when consultants are only working in 2D, coordination and clash detection is extremely challenging, especially when compared to using an integrated 3D model. This time we were working full BIM to BIM – apples to apples. “

The ability to package and issue the entire building model as a single IFC file maintains the integrity of the information we’ve built into the model, providing the team with clearest and most comprehensive understanding of our design. Even though most consultants use unique and specialized software platforms, the communication never broke down thanks to the strength of ARCHICAD’s IFC integration.

Robert Harris, Associate

During coordination meetings, the ARCHICAD model integrated seamlessly with the structural and MEP models. Navisworks was used for clash detection this time around, however, the team is looking forward to utilizing the integrated clash detection found in ARCHICAD 21 on future projects. With clash detection tools now available directly within ArchiCAD, the coordination process can be streamlined even further, providing the team with critical information earlier in the design development process than ever before.

Improving the design with visualisations

The pattern of relying on the ARCHICAD BIM model continued as PH worked on design direction. CineRender delivers photorealistic renderings directly out of ARCHICAD eliminating any need for 3rd party software for design development and presentation.

“Alta was modeled in ARCHICAD in 3D from the very beginning. The new CineRender engine allowed us to transition away from third party modeling and rendering engines. Integrating the design and rendering tools into a single platform allowed us to continue the creative process further into the project development. We never lost our connection to the original schematic design model. Instead, we were able to continue building upon it, allowing us to transition into the design development and construction document phases without losing or recreating work. This resulted in not only a significant productivity boost, but also a more seamless design process.”

The powerful rendering engine in ARCHICAD allowed for in depth material studies that greatly assisted us in working with the owner and interior designer. In the end, we impressed our client, refined the design in ways that we weren’t able to before, and never had to do a minute of work that didn’t contribute to the end result.

Robert Harris, Associate

Producing renderings and design iterations directly within ARCHICAD eliminated the necessity of having to go back to an outdated third-party model and deal with multiple files that are no longer in synch. The commitment to ARCHICAD from the outset proved to be a pivotal one, especially later in the project, says Harris.

“We did more in this project in terms of rendering and presentations directly within ARCHICAD than we’d done in the past. We used renderings to evaluate different iterations for the lobby, the canopy, and lighting design. CineRender’s improved lighting effects also allowed us to study the exterior building illumination by rendering even the most challenging evening and dusk scenes extremely well.”

About MDT

Established in 1981, Pappageorge Haymes Partners (PH) have an extensive, award-winning body of work that includes nearly every product and building type including single-family homes, high-rises, expansive mixed-use developments, and far-sighted neighborhood plans.

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