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 of creating a building model are to enable collaboration early on in a project, to encourage team members to work more efficiently, and to improve project performance. A building model allows for the development of a collaborative framework that can be used to record and update the building information through different phases of a project. The key stakeholders are owners and developers on a project because they are the primary decision makers. They need visuals of what the building/site will look like (e.g. elevation views and section views) and the layout of each floor (e.g. floor plan). They care the most about cost and incorporating what they envision in the building to be included in the model.
How much detail should you include in your building model? How do you decide?
- As you develop your initial design?
During the initial design stage, there is not a lot of detail that is included. The information that is provided is more conceptualized (high-leve, and captures more of a vision of what the client/stakeholder wants to include. This stage of the project will contain the least amount of detail.
- As you continue to iterate and develop on your design?
As you continue to iterate and develop the design, additional details will be included in the model as the demands and constraints change. This include the dimensions, specific building components that will be used (ideally from manufacturers, or from the Revit families), and more. There should be more detail included in the model as the design gets refined and finalized.
- What are the key stages?
The key stages are schematic design, design & development, construction documents, bidding, and construction administration.
- And how much detail should you include at each stage?
The level of detail that is to be included in the model depends on the stage of the project, and also by the demands of others working on the project (e.g. architect, client/stakeholder, etc). At the schematic design stage, the details of the model are more conceptualized and help to convey the overall vision of what the client desires. At the design & development stage, more details are included as the analysis of the project gets underway and the demands and constraints change/are finalized. With each milestone in the design process, additional details are included as the model gets updated. During the last three stages (construction documents, bidding, and construction administration), the level of detail may get refined somewhat; however, there is not a lot of impact to the overall design. The model serves as support during these stages unless there is a need to make a change as a result of a RFI or change order.
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...)
The advantages to manufacturers for providing these families are that they will be able to use these components as a marketing tactic for their company and this will also ensure that they have the supply (components) available for these projects. By allowing designers and contractors the usage of these building components in their, this effectively enables the manufacturers to bring in more work because this will allow for the designers and contractors to collaborate with the manufacturers while working on the model.
- 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?
As a designer, the benefit to using these manufacturer-provided families is that I know that there is an available supply of these building components on the market. This allows me (the designer) to specifically designate what door and/or window to use, which will also allow the contractor or myself to perform a cost-benefit analysis if required. Furthermore, this will help to reduce expenses in the project as a result of not spending additional time on finding manufacturers for the doors/windows if the component families in the Revit library were used.