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Be happily in control all the time with BIM.

Nothing is more satisfying than sharing. As Americans got together to share a Thanksgiving meal a few weeks ago, product manufacturers and AECO professionals gathered together in France to exchange ideas and break down all things BIM. Billed as the Thursday Prescription meeting, Téri Feugeas—a BIM consultant, architect and former university professor—led the discussion at the Tarkett showroom, while BIMobject and Polantis sponsored the event.   

Bringing deep experience and understanding to the discussion. 

Téri a DPLG architect (French-registered), first practiced her professional skills in Argentina. She taught architectural design at the university, and then launched an architectural firm with 2 other architects and 2 engineers. From there, Téri found herself in France around 1990. There she worked on designing jails and renovation projects. After achieving a wealth of experience, today Téri runs a consultancy and is providing BIM training for Autodesk.  

What does BIM mean for you? 

For Téri, BIM provides the ability to integrate all design and construction tools into a project, regardless of choice or method. BIM isn’t just a model or 3D file. She believes the real reason people work with BIM is for the complex data, which can be extracted and reworked throughout the project lifecycle. Even though BIM is associated with standards and protocols, the particular BIM method used will act as a guide for the architect. It’s their job to discover the tools that facilitate the path of creation. Here are a few examples of how various projects unfold through different design paths:

Working with a goal in mind—the football stadium.  

Let’s say you’re going to design a football stadium. Two important factors come into consideration. One, control the visibility of field. And two, create a logical structure for the unique roof of the complex. When it comes to the view, there are software packages available for visibility studies that provide valuable data before the final shape is even designed. See when creating a football stadium, geometry is the focus—it’s the field in relation to all other proportions. Each time there’s a constraint from the fixed design, the land will constitute the main object of study—that’s the purpose of this type of program. 

Here’s an example—the Arena project in Paris designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc and built by Vinci Construction. They worked in BIM with Revit and Digital Project software. On one hand, they treated the envelope (retractable roof) knowing that it must meet the constraints of coverage, security and performance (opening/closing). BIM enabled the optimization between the concrete, the steel structure and the shell of the facade. Initially, the number of parts planned for the hull was around 300 molds. Thanks to the optimization, that number has been reduced to 26. 

On the other hand, the second essential design aspect was worked: the visibility and morphology of the bleachers. This process ensures that whatever the angle, the view is optimized. Simulation software was used to constitute the shape.  

When a complete renovation is needed. 

élogie-siemp’s renovation of five structures in Paris.

When working on a renovation project, all the basic components that’ll be used for the project already exist. The starting point would be to collect a cloud of points from a 3D scan. Then it’s a matter of correcting and updating all the specifications and elements of the project to be in accordance with the latest standards. The new parametric families used cannot come from outside sources in a renovation project without knowing the long-term objectives. Like changing out the windows per se. 

The best possible start is to obtain a 3D scan of the building modeling. This enables you to analyze the pathologies and collect the parametric families. From there, you can extract the data, model existing or seek similar models. Everything relates back to what exists. 

Next, the design work consists of transforming the existing system—like windows. Work would be inside the parametric families, starting with the solutions that already exist. Floor coverings, ITE insulation, fire safety, etc. All studies in the digital mock-up must be integrated from the existing into the new transformation or renovation.  

Interior design do over. 

When it comes to interior design renovations, Téri has worked on multiple types of programs including apartments. She knows that the BIM method was created to make it easier for designers to design better. However when design analysis systems are imposed, it ultimately delays the project. But in the long-run BIM is tooled for efficiency, not effect.  

For BIM to be a support tool in an apartment renovation project, it must facilitate the work and have a respect for the overall harmony. This is especially true when working with platforms like BIMobject and Polantis. BIM provides access to the model and the rendering. It shows all the textures and materials. It’s the specific path for this type of program. 

The design path follows four simple steps:

  1. The project is based on an overall design approved by the client. There’s an aesthetic criteria of the entire build and a selection of BIM objects in harmony with the build. 
  2. Specific rendering tools like Vray and Enscape take an essential role in the development of the project. They create all the materials, textures and lighting in an environment. 
  3. To fully understand the complete project...perspectives, animation and overall models are realized. 
  4. Parametric families are then imported, created or adapted for the project in all areas of the renovation. 

What you need for housing, hotels and retirement homes. 

For multiple housing projects, an analysis of cells is the common factor when making prototypes. With BIM, cells are already manufactured in a specific grid. While working on a model, you’re able to update cells. 

When presented with an industrial hotel project, the starting point of the entity would be upstream studies of standard room models. Once these prototypes have been optimized, then it’s possible to organize the composition of the set. This same method can be applied to other initiatives such as housing or health care facilities. 

Preliminary project for a hotel B&B. Eric Bouchard, Architect. Architectural agency: Téri Feugeas Consulting Engineer. BIM project carried out in Revit 2017.

When it comes to prototypes. 

For prototypes, it’s the analysis of a precise specification, how the morphology will be adopted and how will the components be integrated into the entire build. These types of projects are made from parametric families, in situ components and the construction system—all of which will evolve over time with model updates.  

New York hotel built in Poland.

In the last example, Téri shared one project in which she did not participate in—the AC NoMad Hotel by Marriott. The building’s modular components will be manufactured, packaged and delivered from Poland. It’s set to become the world’s tallest modular hotel. When finished, the project will contain 168 guest rooms, terrace levels and multiple amenities with a total built area of 100,000 square feet. Here are some other details:

  • Budget of $70 for 9,300m² on 26 stories 
  • 168 guest rooms
  • The 26-story is set to dethrone the 19-story citizenM New York Bowery Hotel as the tallest modular hotel ever pieced together
  • Designed by Danny Forster & Architecture 
  • Developed by Robert Chun of Concord Hospitality 
  • 168 fully-equipped modules built by Skystone Group 
Une image contenant jouet, ordinateur

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Une image contenant bâtiment, extérieur, vert, assis

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In conclusion. 

As the discussion came to an end, Téri concluded that architectural design is a path that cannot be imposed from the outside. Every program, every project will naturally propose the priorities to be considered in the organization of space. The software tools to be adapted and used according to each step, the plans and documents that make up the digital model need to be adapted to what type of architecture is being produced. 

The BIM method must incorporate all these elements from the beginning to avoid entering into a mechanical process of creating walls, doors and windows—before understanding the overall system and where each element will be integrated. Management of the parametric families (creation, modification and adaptation) is essential to enable, if necessary, development of a new construction system. With BIM you can take control. It turns innovation into pure happiness. 


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