Module 5 - Points to Ponder

Your Name
Alexander Li
Submitted For
Module 5 - Points to Ponder
Please share your comments on 2 of the following Points to Ponder questions. (Choose 2 of the questions below.)

What are the principal advantages of using a single building information model of the existing conditions as the foundation for modeling proposed additions or renovations?

The principal advantages come from the fact the model will still be coordinated because it will still be one model. If there are changes to the foundation or the original design, those changes will be seen through all design options, thus reducing the complexity of our workflow. In addition, having all the design options on one BIM allows us to see the history of the building in one document, rather than having to open several different documents at once. (From a more practical standpoint, having one building information model takes far less data on a computer than having several models. This becomes relevant as the building model becomes more complex.)

Although creating a separate model might feel more intuitive, it's the equivalent of printing dozens of hard copies of a manuscript, giving them to several editors, and expecting the revisions and additions to make sense with each other. This creates a lot of complexity for the author to sort through all the commentary, when having all edits synced up in the cloud might have reduced some of the more basic edits.

What sort of complexities are introduced when you construct a building complex in phases?

  • What happens at the interfaces between the buildings as the phases advance?
  • How can you plan and prepare for these complexities as your create your initial building model?

What are the principal advantages of using a single building information model of the existing conditions as the foundation for modeling several proposed design alternatives for a portion of the building?

  • Why not create a separate model for each of the design alternatives?

In your project, which features of the proposed design did you choose to model as design alternatives?

In the proposed design alternatives, I modeled a conference room differently and a maker space differently. I chose these two building features as I think the new building has a lot of space to play with programmatic uses. Thus, modifying two of the large programming uses allows me to see how else the building could be used.

For the first set of alternatives, it was because I added a lot of programming into the space, and it wasn't clear why a conference room would be necessary for this new addition. A conference room would be nice, yes, but students might actually want slightly more study spaces, and if a bit smaller, the conference room could replace one of the classrooms that I demolished for the new building.

For the second set of alternatives, it was because I thought the initial maker space was a little small. The benefit of the first alternative was that the space had enormous windows that would let a lot of light into the building, as well as show other students what people were making in the maker-lab (a sort of fishbowl I guess). But because this was quite a small space, the second alternative goes slightly more into the central atrium of the building, at the expense of the gallery space.

The largest challenges in modeling the design alternatives was figuring out how to actually enter in design alternatives (personally, the design alternatives made much, much less sense than the phasing of the building). It was also hard to figure out how to change the building sheets to reflect the changes of each of the alternatives.