Area and Space Planning

BIM for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Curriculum


Defining and Displaying Areas and Area Plans

Why are areas useful in early conceptual design?

Areas enable designers to quickly subdivide and allocate space before the actual interior walls are placed.

Areas can be tagged with their square footage and tabulated in schedules to give designers immediate feedback about the space allocated in each area. They also offer great flexibility because the area boundaries can be defined arbitrarily and do not need to be defined by space bounding objects, such as walls.

For what purposes might clients or owners want an area schedule?

To most clients, allocation of building areas is critical to the planning process. Area plans can be used to quickly verify that the space allocated to each of the design program needs has been adequately provided. They can also used to summarize key information about a proposed design (for example, the amount of rentable square footage versus common area), which is needed to evaluate the financial feasibility of the project.

What is the essential difference between a gross building area plan and rentable area plan?

In gross building area plans, you have complete control over the placement of area boundaries. They can be placed at the interior surface, exterior surface, or middle of walls, as well as at any arbitrary location in an area plan view.

By contrast, in rentable area plans, the area boundaries are picking walls and allowing Revit to use the BOMA rules to determine the placement of the separation lines based on the uses of the adjacent spaces.

Defining and Displaying Rooms and Room Plans

How can the room type allocations be used to generate a preliminary cost estimate for the furnishings and interior finishes?

For each different room type we can define an estimated cost per square foot for furnishings and interior finishes. Then using the area of each room and the room type, you can use the room schedule to calculate the furnishing and finish costs and subtotal these for the project.

How might the occupancy field be used in preliminary design?

The occupancy field captures the planned number of occupants for each room. This can be used to tabulate the number of users that will be served by the spaces in the proposed design. It can also be used for system design, as well as circulation, egress, and safety planning.

How are the wall, floor, and ceiling finish fields that appear in the room schedule typically used?

The room finish fields enable designers to quickly specify the surface finishes for each room in the proposed design. The tabular format of the room schedule helps make it easy to spot mistakes or omissions and to summarize the total area required for each of the finish materials. Room finishes are often described through reference type codes (for example, Wall Finish A or Floor Type B) that can be easily defined or changed later in the design process.