ARCHICAD Powers Massive Renovation to Achieve Main Street Feel

The Elk Creek Revitalization Offices and Conferencing Center currently being designed by Maryland based ARCHICAD firm, Clark Design Group (CDG) demonstrates the power of ARCHICAD on multi-use buildings. The project – a massive renovation of an existing warehouse space – requires gutting everything inside the building. The design idea centers around creating a sort of “Main St.” feel, opening the end walls with storefront and curtain walls so that visitors can see from one end to the other.

The 50k square-ft collaborative office and conference center embraces one of the newest trends in office spaces – featuring a cafeteria, conference rooms with state of the art A/V and video conferencing technology capabilities. Two things have become very clear on this project, the team must work to take advantage of very little natural light in the interior spaces and must work quickly to meet an anticipated construction start date in September.

The natural light problem is being addressed by popping up a clerestory in the middle of the roof. A skilled ARCHICAD 20 team handles the deadline and fast-pace of this project.

Richard Rinehart, CDG Associate Principal notes that this undertaking highlights how well ARCHICAD outpaces other software and helps the firm collaborate with other platforms.

“The reality is we can do things in ARCHICAD that Revit can’t do,” explained Rinehart. “Yet there are other firms and project members that still use it or other software. The engineer is using Revit as well as the structural engineer. With weekly IFC file exchanges, sharing the models, we’ve had a lot of success using the model and it works out very nicely.”

CDG relies on TeamWork in ARCHICAD to manage work among the staff as well.

“We have a team of 4 or 5 people working on the project from different locations. Design development set is being finished up now. We’re on a very fast course to meet that deadline, and half of our drawings are done already because we worked out all the design ideas directly in the model. It was how we showed the design to the client, we walk through the model constantly – and always have ARCHICAD open.”

Not only is ARCHICAD powering through a demanding design and production schedule, CDG relies on it to create presentations complete with VR in TwinMotion. Once construction starts the team expects to be building until summer of 2018. By using the model so extensively, the construction team becomes part of the conversation about building early on.

“Already we’re making decisions that will make it quicker, easier and cheaper. We get very early cost projections and are nearly ready to deliver a 60% complete project estimate. Continual cost estimating and determining constructability help us prove ARCHICAD is king.”

With the level of detail that CDG can provide the contractor gets a chance to address it throughout the process. CDG notes this trend is increasing among their client base who are becoming more educated about the construction process. Rinehart attributes it to the use of BIM and how clean the review and approval process is with ARCHICAD.

“It makes perfect business sense to involve more members of the project team early on. Our client can get the project they want and ultimately pay less. In addition, the contractor has already virtually ‘been there’ and our client ends up having them as a partner with the owner and the architect, they feel like a partner.”

“The contractor can virtually walk through the ARCHICAD model and pinpoint opportunities to adjust the design in a way that we might not. Doing it any other way we might spend a month detailing and take 3 months to resolve any questions that come up. We know it is much faster to just talk about it at the time, saves months of time.”

The contractor on this project is using Navisworks – which coordinates well with ARCHICAD. Even if he requests additional details, the team can easily cut a section and create a detail level around a piece of a model.

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