ARCHICAD has been the software of choice at Isaman design, Inc. for the past 8 years, where a team of 6 tackle custom residential projects. Prior to the adoption of an all-ARCHICAD workflow, the Isaman design team would often work in SketchUp and then reproduce construction documents in Autodesk AutoCAD. The team found previous workflow inefficient and not cost-effective.
Most projects begin with a program document, bubble diagram, and line drawings in the early schematic phase. The team members use modeling in ARCHICAD to generate massing as they move through the schematic design process to develop a schematic floor plan.
ARCHICAD and a little work in photoshop helps the team create their first deliverable of the schematic phase. Leslie Pink, Project Operations Manager at Isaman design describes the process.
“The PDF published directly out of ARCHICAD gets a spatter filter from photoshop and a few plants and trees,” explained Pink. “After adding depth and shadows, we have a really nice view to share with our client – building on the great base started in ARCHICAD.”
As Pink worked on a custom home in Shell Beach, CA – ARCHICAD helped her build the entire submittal packages for the city fairly quickly, from planning package all the way through construction documents and permit.
“Having everything linked; like generating sections or elevations in ARCHICAD expedites the process. One change made in one location happens throughout the model. Elevations can be easily cleaned up and presented with annotations right on top.”
As the firm moves into the design development phase of a project, a full 3D virtual model get generated in ARCHICAD. Isaman design helps their clients explore the model in 3D via the award-winning presentation app, BIMx. The app facilitates design communication between the firm and contractors as well.
“The capability of ARCHICAD to do that type of visualization, allowing the client to really be able to see what the design looks like is pivotal for our firm. Our clients can see what their home will feel like and we can show them the impact of certain variations they may want. BIMx is one of our favorite tools to use and share with clients. They love it! Contractors appreciate the way it helps them understand detailing and massing – they’re getting a full picture the 2D drawings just cannot provide. We get compliments all the time from contractors about how easy our project packages are to read.”
On one particular project, a client was having trouble settling on a finish for their fireplace wall. Pink says she turned to ARCHICAD to help them make the final selection.
“ARCHICAD allowed me to create a custom material using only a jpeg, then apply it to the desired surface so that our client could see the finish options for the fireplace. It was a rough representation but it helped them really see it and make a choice. We used this same method to help them define their choice for the kitchen backsplash.”