What are the primary goals of creating a building model? Who are the key stakeholders?
- What do they need?
- What do they care about most?
The primary goals of creating a building model are 1) to convey information about how the building should be built, and 2) provide an aesthetic sense of what the building will look and feel like (without having to build it) in order to provide optionality and inform choices. The key stakeholders are the designers (architects and engineers), the owner (which may be the final user or may be an intermediary developer), and the builders (general contractor and subcontractor). The building or planning department of the relevant jurisdiction is also a key party that will go over building drawings to ensure the design meets code.
How much detail should you include in your building model? How do you decide?
- As you develop your initial design?
- As you continue to iterate and develop on your design?
- What are the key stages?
- And how much detail should you include at each stage?
L.O.D. (or Level Of Detail) should increase as the owner and designers get further along. In early stages, when broad choices are being made (e.g. the overall building shape and layout, number of rooms, etc.) L.O.D. can be very course (i.e. non-precise). The owner, for example, might want to be presented with (3) basic layout options to choose from before diving into more specific design choices. As design evolves from Conceptual Design towards eventual Construct Documentation (with the two intermediary phases of Preliminary Design and Design Development), L.O.D. will start to include things like exact dimensions for all elements, construction details for how elements are to be built, and specific choices for materials, hardware, structural elements, etc. The final model (and the associated packet of sheets) should have enough information for a contractor to construct the building with precision, clarity, and fidelity to the designers' intentions.
How much detail should you include about the composition (layers, materials, thicknesses) of your wall, floor, and roof assemblies at different stages of your design process?
- Conceptual design
- Preliminary design
- Design development
- Construction documentation
Many door and window manufacturers provide Revit families for doors and windows that you can specify for your building design.
- What is the advantage to manufacturers for providing these families? (it's not free to create and provide them...)
- What is the benefit to you as the designer of using these manufacturer-provided families? Is there an advantage to using them versus the families provided in the Revit library?
What are the advantages of getting the Revit component families (for furniture, equipment, and fittings) directly from the manufacturer versus from an online sharing website like RevitCity.com?
Using components created directly by manufactures minimizes the risk that certain details are incorrect. Exact dimensions, for example, are essential for doors and windows to function properly. It is also important for the stakeholders to have an accurate visual representation of what the product looks like (alone and in the context of the building) in order to make aesthetic choices for a cohesively designed space.