Why is it important to accurately model the land features of your project site with a toposurface?
- What aspects of a building design are most affected by the terrain features?
It is important to accurately model the land features of a project site because that will directly impact the design of the site layout and of the building. Incorporating building modeling in a project enables a team to collaborate more effectively, and provide visuals of how a project will/can be implemented (in phases). When the land features of a project site are not modeled correctly, a number of issues may/will arise later on in the project, which can increase project expenses. The walls and floors are most affected by the terrain features because they form the boundary of the building and provide a stable surface for people to move around on, respectively. The material selection of walls and floor elevation determinations both depend on whether the building will sit below or above the ground.
When designing a project...
- Should the building adapt to the terrain?
- Or, should you adapt the terrain to the building?
I think the question of whether a building should or should not adapt to the terrain depends on the owner and the existing conditions of the site. Generally, I would prefer to make my decision based on the site conditions because that will determine the expenses associated with the preliminary stages of the project (i.e. whether there is a need for cut/fill and the corresponding quantities and cost). Recommendations for how to proceed would then be provided to the owner, who will make the final decision.
What considerations affect a project team's decision-making when deciding the floor-to-floor height to use in a multi-story building?
- From a real estate developer's perspective?
- From a designer's perspective?
- From an engineer's perspective?
- From a builder's perspective?
- From an owner's perspective?
What are the advantages of stacking the levels of a multi-story building vertically?
- Can you share an interesting example of a building that doesn’t vertically stack (where the floor plates change their shaped radically between the floor levels)?
- What were the advantages or reasons for non-vertical stacking?
Why do stairs follow specific proportions with a set relationship between the tread length and riser height?
- How can building modeling help prevent the mistakes that often occur when designing and installing stairs?
Stairs follow specific proportions for the tread length and the riser height to ensure that they are safe and comfortable to use. If they are not designed with these specific proportions, this will ultimately discourage people from using stairs. Building modeling can help prevent mistakes that often occur in the design and installation of stairs by enabling clear communication between the designers and contractors (in the form of the model and also in general), which will help to resolve any problems that may arise and ensure a more efficient design/construction process.