In 2017 Mark Fairhurst Architects started the transition from the CAD based technology to the BIM methodology representing a completely new approach to building design and the creation of architecture documents. BIM (Building Information Modelling) is a design process based in the creation of a computer 3D model where all relevant information can be added, extracted or networked by the members of the design team, clients, manufacturers and authorities. This implementation has meant not just a change of software but a full revision of the company standards and workflow.
Image of the BIM model and the Revit interface.
In order to successfully achieve this, Mark Fairhurst Architects staff received training by Academy Class at their London office. This was crucial to understand the main changes affecting the design process and the organisation of the design team prior to the implementation of this methodology and its main software Autodesk Revit®. The continued learning process is supplemented by on-line tutorials hosted in Lynda.com that provide very useful videos and exercise files.
Approved planning scheme illustration.
We chose to move forward with a four storey infill extension for four new flats at 2 Albion Grove, Stoke Newington which had been recently granted planning consent and was moving to the Technical Design stage. We set aside time to create the project templates and symbols based on our office standards which once established could be reused on future projects. Once the parametric model was created it proved easy to make changes as the design developed making the process more efficient than traditional CAD drafting.
The parametric 3D model hosts all the design information needed to produce the project documents including drawings and schedules. The model also makes 3D visualisations of the up to date design much easier and facilitates the communication with the client, consultants and contractors.
Rear view of the BIM model.
For 2 Albion Grove we collaborated with the structural engineers, who were also using Revit for the design of the structural frame for the building. The quick integration of the architectural and structural models made very easy the exchange of information and the precise coordination between both offices.
View of the structural model created by the structural engineers.
Many manufacturers provide BIM models of their products included in the NBS National BIM Library (https://www.nationalbimlibrary.com) where objects can be linked to the NBS BIM specification software (NBS Create) for a full BIM experience. They can also be found at BIMObject.com which hosts objects for almost everything you might need for your project from many different manufacturers.
Front windows detail plan.
We have used Revit for the production of the entire Tender package, including the GA drawings, schedules, construction details and bathroom and kitchen layouts which has been an extremely useful and rewarding experience for Mark Fairhurst Architects. We have now continued using BIM for larger schemes at planning design stage and it is our aim to progressively increase the number of projects developed using this methodology within the practice.