Design Journal Entry - Module 12 Wrap Up - Elena Lambadjieva

Journal Entry For
Module 12 - Sharing Your Project


Replace this text with your reflections on your design journey through class from a higher level and share your insights about the entire experience. What were:

  • Key / Essential / Unique Design Features that you explored in your project.

For most parts, the design approach for the project is not unique, as it needs to follow:

  • strict manufacturing regulations related to position of functional spaces, corridors, washrooms and elevators, as well as sustanability of building and re-building parts of the construction
  • capex and opex efficient aesthetics that brings work environment friendliness and process efficiency because we are mindful that our customers pay the final bill: e.g different design types and materials for curtain wall façade, roof and basement
  • The unique thing was to get into the shoes of the engineering planners and the challenges they face when they need to design ideas and communicate visually and technically major and minor design drivers.
  • Your Big Successes
  • the spatial planning- I expected the planning to take 45min for a pretty standard building, but it took me 1 day (8 drafts) to fit nearly fitting the spaces so that they follow all regulatory and functional requirements. But I am happy with achieving the goal with 97% requirement accuracy.
  • understanding the key design options and optimisation drivers for each design type: site - ease of flatting landscape with negative vs positive structural approach; architectural - capex effect and efficiency of decorative elements on roof or facade vs investing in inside elements like atrium or galleries; systems - cover and uncovered piping and HVAC, ease of reaching of maintenance, ease of discovering leaks and damages, number of bypasses for systems risk minimisation and their location vis-a-vis regular operations, etc)
  • understanding the relative impact on thermal efficiency, capex and functions related to 1) building shape (curvy, wavy, asymetrical, with inner garden, - big capex and CO2 expense but little to negative effect depending on special form vs going straight and plane shaped, i.e. solar panels only on roof; forget about gaining major thermal heat from facade creativity), 2) building position (most crucial factor for gaining thermal heat compared to shape and material options) and 3) building materials (effect of thermo materials for facade vs thermo materials for inner walls, vs solid exta enhanced concrete on roof and floor as well as on walls closer to curtain wall )
  • understanding that it is commercially efficient for basic 3D design for site, exterior and interior architectural design as well basic 2D systems design to remain executed in-house, while detailed 2D and 3D planning should be outsourced to teams that specialize in this type of visualisations.
  • Your Big Challenges -- the biggest challenge was the time-consuming fiddling with Revit on systems level and not being able to quickly correct model without help for any technical bug that appears. The bugs were not easily resolved with online resources, which is very big disruption for the individual design process. I feel much more sensitized how much effort for a team a 2D design vis-à-vis 3D planning may take. I hope that 3D design tools get more mature and user friendly, and have more relevant BIM library elements available for use within the wider industry in the coming years.
  • Lessons Learned -- what sage words of advice would you share with other students who are embarking on a similar project.

Before starting with planning at all, decide what is the main value for 3D vs 2D model as well as in-house vs outsourced visualisations at each stage of the design process (BD, CD, DD)? For industrial and regulated design elements, create own BIM library for any system element if you decide to do in-house 3D Models. The most expensive capex drivers to correct as mistakes are positioning of buildings on site (regulatory, functionally and energy efficiency) as well as floor-to-roof connected systems (façade elements, HVACs, plumbing). Slices and dice the building in sections as much as possible (walls, HVACs, Plumbing) to allow for better systems and environment changes and control (energy, water, air, heat, regulatory monitoring etc) as well as more agility in adapting the building structurally (beams and grids). Stairs – learned about new methods to create stable metal core without addition beams but using steel stair support frames. Sustainability – Use recycled steel and cement materials for building core; section the building to be able to continue with future optimisations wherever feasible. Use recyclable modular approach, where one can assemble the building such that it can also be disassembled, while reusing most of the materials and structures. Space for industrial HVACs - size enough space on roof and basement for industrial HVAC elements. Every technical project manager for complex capex projects >5 Mio EUR (i.e. involving extensive systems and structural design) needs to familiarize themselves with the visual and analytical modalities that the planners use to communicate designs, and their potential limitations for the analysis. It is not enough to sign-off a basic 3D model while confirm the detailed 2D design.

Mental health – if this is one of the rookie first attempts, do a resilience mental training and agile expectations management before you start the journey 🙂

Video Presentation / Tour of Your Project Features

  • Link Video -

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