Module 5 - Design Project Brief: Time Travel and Parallel Universes


In this assignment you’ll design a new extension to an existing engineering building  -- exploring ways to model a building at different points in time and with different design features along the way.   You’ll create:

  • a proposed design for the extension to the engineering building using a recommended design program
  • views to visualize the building now and after your proposed design changes are constructed
  • views that highlight the new elements to be added as well as the existing elements to be demolished
  • design alternatives that allow you to choices to your client for some key design feature

The focus of this assignment is on exploring how a single building model can be used to develop and share your design ideas for several points in time as well as for alternate versions of what might be created.

The design program for this building includes a lot more space, so you’ll need to approach the task at a higher level.- proposing your ideas for the high level design concepts -- for example, how the spaces will be organized and connect to each other -- rather than getting into the finer details of each room.  You’d typically dive into that room-by-room furnishing and detailing during the next phase of the design process -- after the initial concept is signed off by your client.

Getting Started

Use this Revit project file as the starting point for your work:

The file contains a model of the existing engineering building that you will be adding to.  The project contains:

  • Floor plans of each of the floor levels and the roof
  • Elevations of all of the sides of the building
  • Some 3D views
  • Many schedules that quantify the features of the building – doors, windows, walls, floors, and roofs


Your client – Dancing Tree University – has asked you to propose a design for a new student center/commons extension to their engineering building to meet the changing needs of the students of their expanding programs.

Your new student center/commons extension will be an addition to an engineering building that was designed several years ago.  The university has realized that the original building did not provide adequate space for students to visit / work / meet / collaborate / socialize / make and spend their time outside of classes, so they’d like to add more space to accommodate these needs.

The university would also like the new extension to be a bit different and more daring than the somewhat classical design of the original building. They’d like a design that clearly reflects their forward-thinking vision and the cutting-edge work that their engineering students are doing.

Design Program

The existing building contains a mix of faculty and student offices, conference rooms, labs, and classrooms shared by several departments -- similar in many ways to our own Y2E2 building. Your task is to come up with a proposed design for the student center/commons extension that will be linked to the existing building to provide spaces to support new uses and more informal, collaborative, active applications.  Your new building can extend from the existing building in any direction you desire, but it should not be completely detached from the original.

The university also would like to see an innovative design that encourages more collaboration and sharing between the students who will call it home.

Your proposed design should include areas for:

  • Collaborative / open work spaces
  • Student small group meeting spaces
  • Maker spaces (production shop, laser cutters, 3D printers)
  • A café and dining/eating space (indoor/outdoor)
  • Socializing (chatting and meeting with friends, sharing coffee, watching a big screen TV, etc.)
  • A student gallery space (for rotating exhibits of student projects)

In addition to these programmed spaces, you’ll also need to provide space for basic utilities to support the building users, including:

  • Hallways and circulation spaces
  • Stairs (typically 2 or more for egress) and elevator
  • Public restrooms on each level
  • Central photocopying and printing rooms
  • Storerooms on each level

The total area included in your proposed design for all of the spaces should be no greater than 25,000 SF.

What’s Expected

  1. Create new views associated with the New Construction phase to place the elements in your design for the proposed building expansion.
    1. Duplicate each of the existing plan, elevation, and section views.
    2. Set the Phase property for each of these views to New Construction.
    3. Set the Phase Filter property for each of these views to Show Complete.
  2. Create the elements to illustrate your proposed design to meet the program needs outlined above.
    1. Create the new elements in your building model by placing them in these new views. The Phase Created property for new elements will be set to match the phase of the view.
    2. Your model should include:
  3. exterior walls and central/major interior walls (hallways, restrooms, etc.)
  4. exterior doors and windows
  5. floors and roofs
  6. stairs and railings
  7. furniture only in the main project areas -- you don’t need to furnish every room
  8. Remember these tips as you create the model of your design:
    1. Place new elements that are created in the New Construction phase as you would normally.
    2. Don’t delete any existing elements!  Demolish them in the New Construction phase if they will be removed in your new design.
    3. Don’t stretch any existing elements! Create a new element alongside an existing one to extend it.
  9. Create these model views to present and share your proposed design and place them on sheets in your project file:
    1. Annotated floor plans (with dimensions and door/window tags) for each level showing the proposed design (using the Show Previous + New phase filter; suggested scale ⅛” = 1’-0”).
    2. Demolition plans for each level highlighting the elements that will be removed (using the Show Previous + Demo phase filter; suggested scale ⅛” = 1’-0”).
    3. Elevation views showing the exterior facades of your proposed design (using the Show Previous + New phase filter; suggested scale ⅛” = 1’-0”).
    4. 3D views -- include several 3D views to help illustrate your proposed design. Please include some ground level camera views of your proposed design, as well as an interior camera view.
  10. Place these views on sheets using the titleblock included in the starting point file. Commercial and institutional buildings are typically plotted to larger sheets (for example, 30”x42” or 36”x42”). These sizes are a good fit for the views typical of larger scale buildings. Tip: Try to use the titleblock provided in the starting point file, and adjust the crop boundaries of your new views as needed to focus on your proposed design (rather than the existing building) — this will help you fit them within the titleblocks with adjusting the scale.
  11. Everyone likes to have choices, and your client is no different. You’ve been asked to provide two design options for two different aspects of your proposed design for the client to consider.
    1. Create a design option set for each pair of options that you will offer. Some examples to consider might be:
      1. an alternate arrangement of some interior walls
      2. an alternate furniture layout
      3. an alternate exterior or façade feature
    2. Create 3D camera views showing each of these design options, and place these views on your sheets side-by-side, so your client can easily compare the choices.

One Last Step — Adding Views to Your Publish Set

  • Be sure to add a 3D view that displays your proposed design in the New Construction phase using the Show Complete phase filter to your Publish Set. (You can review the demo video in Module 1.4.B.1 for a recap of the required steps.) You can also set the default 3D view (labeled “{3D} view” in the Project Browser) to the New Construction phase using the Show Complete phase filter to be sure that this is the first view seen when your model is viewed on ACC.

Sharing Your Project

Please follow the instructions in the Canvas assignment to upload your building model to your folder on Autodesk Construction Cloud (BIM 360) Documents and create a new post sharing your project on this linked Notion page.

✏️Module 5 - Design Project Submissions: Time Travel and Parallel Universes

Points to Ponder / Wrap-Up Questions

Please choose 2 of the following Points to Ponder questions and share your comments on this linked Notion page.

🤔Module 5 - Points to Ponder