What are the primary goals of creating a building model? Who are the key stakeholders?
There are a lot of stakeholders, but I think that the most important ones are the clients and the construction team. The clients are going to want to be involved in the process, and make sure that they like the building that they are paying for. The other stakeholders are the architects. The goal is to see what they are creating in 3D because sometimes it's hard to visualize everything when switching back and forth between plans, sections, and elevations. Architects can also figure out if they made a mistake in their drawings, especially when the drawings are computer models from the drawings themselves. It would be helpful for the client to have a model so that they could see if they liked the spaces in the building, they could figure out where they wanted to put furniture, and so that they don't have to try to understand what the building is going to be like solely from the architectural drawings.
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
- I went to a talk with one of Kengo Kuma's architects, and his view is that a conceptual design should be simple yet expressive of the overarching concepts of the design. This could include the approximate footprint, style, approximation of measurements (i.e. 15-20 ft tall, 1000-1200 SF) possible building materials... I think that it's important to realize that it's the first step in the process and is almost certainly going to change throughout the process.
- Preliminary design
- In this stage, I think that it's important to have a more concrete idea of the details of the building, but again, it's important to realize that everything is still evolving.
- Design development
- Design development is the stage in which you start to figure out the details of all of the aspects of your design, and get them ready to be compiled into construction documents.
- Construction documentation
- This needs to be completely flushed out and accurate, with all measurements, materials, layers, plumbing, electrical wiring, engineering documents, etc. This is the document that will be used to build the building, so it needs to be as perfect and complete as possible.
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...)
- I think that the primary reason that they share Revit families is so that people are more likely to become customers if they can add those specific windows or doors to their designs. It allows the architect and the client to see exactly what they would be getting rather than just using placeholder items.
- 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?
- Models are meant to be as accurate as possible, and I think that designers would want to see the windows and doors that are going into their projects when they are built rather than just generic placeholders. I have not explored the Revit libraries at all really, but I would assume that there is much more variety in the world of manufactured windows than just in the Revit libraries.