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 are to communicate the design of a building in a clear and realistic way, so that its design can be checked and it can be constructed. The key stakeholders are the clients, the architects, the engineers, and construction management teams. What stakeholders need are understandable representations of the building's properties (structure, design, measurement etc.) such that they are able to determine if it is constructible or viable or in line with the design intent, and actually reproduce it in the physical world. What stakeholders care most about can vary depending on the stage of the project, but at every stage, clarity is probably the most important factor to communicate what has been done, how much has been done, and how much work still needs to be done in the future.
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?
At the schematic design phase, massing and general forms are most important, with spatial designation and room functions also being good considerations. This would also include architectural massing and intent of the exterior. As the project moves into design development, the addition of furniture, key features like doors and windows etc should be considered. Further along in the DD phase, component breakdowns and details such as wall layers, floor layers, lighting, and full fixtures need to be considered. Once the project hits the construction or contract drawings phase, sufficient detail should be present to allow the building to be fully constructible according to design intent. At all stages dimensioning is incredibly important, as well as effective collaboration with all members of the AEC team.
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?
By creating and providing these families for cheap or free to designers, manufacturers implicitly encourage designers to purchase their actual products for the building, as they will be able to readily visualize and account for how those products will occupy space within the building.
The designers, in turn, will be able to realistically design their building for actual available components, instead of using abstract Revit elements that will then need to be "matched" to real-life products that may or may not actually be available in the market. Thus this will allow the designers to check for adherence to and feasibility of design intent much sooner in the project lifetime.