Thursday, June 21, 2007

JELD-WEN "Stands Out"

I recieved an email today in response to a previous post on manufacturer content from JELD-WEN. The subject of this email was "Most extensive 3D window drawings available online for designers". This is definately true and is making JELD-WEN stand out in the window market for Architects who use Revit. They have set the bar high for other window manufactuers and you will know why when you look at this link.

You can configure any custom type of window and/or door from JELD-WEN. After configuing the unit you then get a link to download the unit you configured. The configuration options include: Size, finish, operation, and more. The doors come with the hinges and handles on the family. It is amazing to use and I commend JELD-WEN for creating an exceptional tool.

Area Plans

Area Plans can serve a great purpose to contractors who are bidding a project. It also helps to define the exact scope of work to be completed so that you have a more even comparison between bidders. We always include area plans and a schedule, as you can see below, on the cover of our pricing and construction drawings. There are a lot of variance on the cost of a project including addition vs. renovation and finished vs. unfinished spaces. A simple diagram helps the client, contractor, and subs to quickly see the scope of work and the intention of the project.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

How to Show Millwork?

What is the best way to show millwork on a construction set?

One of the tasks at Colin Smith Architecture that we have struggled with in Revit is how to create millwork legends. Our goal is to make each set of construction documents that we produce better than the one before it. Millwork is a place that we are trying to improve. Sometimes you want to show a section of millwork but have trouble navigating through all the elements in the floor plan to show a good view. Below is an image of an example that we have created that we are integrating into all new projects. We use this to create and show traditional paneling, benches (Mudroom), beadboard paneling, wall base, crown molding, chairrail, and window & door casings.
In this case, by creating an axon of the millwork (or Architectural Woodwork depending on your nomenclature) we can show how this wall paneling should be constructed including both inside and outside corners. We can also create detail sections both vertically and horizontally through the modeled wall. So that this does not schedule in your project or is an anoyance in your plans, we have created a "Administrative" phase that is after the "New Construction" or "Complete" Phase. We use the Administrative phase to create elements that we want shown on the construction set but that do not scheduled for the construction work. We then created wall sweeps and integrated details thin those sweeps to create the wall paneling and other millwork items. We downloaded the autocad profiles from a local company around us (Andersen & McQuaid) and convert the autocad linework into profiles that we can use as wall sweeps.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Got It!

The reason I started this blog was to descibe our experience of working with consultants who use Revit Structure and Revit MEP. While I have not been able to do that to date, all is about to change. Today we recieved a signed contract for converting a 37,000 GSF warehouse into retail space. While the owner already has a structural consultant on board who did not use Revit Structure on the project, we have a MEP consultant who is willing to use Revit MEP. This will be their second project that they have started in Revit MEP. My goal is to share as much as possible (the good and the bad) about the coordination, file transfers, and workflow.

This is a really exciting development in the way that we work within our office. Not only will things be more coordinated but it will be really interesting to see it all in 3D. Isn't it amazing it has taken this long to get to this point. You would think that since we design 3 dimensional structures that we would have moved away from 2D drawings a long time ago. I look forward to sharing and would like some feedback from anyone else who has tried this.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Too busy creating to Blog

I have been hard at work at Colin Smith Architecture, Inc. developing the way we use Revit and making our deliverables outstanding within the architecture community. Our first year of using the product revolved around learning the product and how to create a full set of construction documents without utilizing AutoCAD. After the first 3 projects (about 6 months in) we were able to stop using AutoCAD and get a decent set out of Revit. Now, as we approach our 3rd year of using the product, our focus has been on productivity and precision. Below are some images of current projects where we are now pushing the limits of custom families, sweeps, modifications, and repeating elements. As we continue to develop the construction documents from project to project, we see the improvements during the construction administration phase. Drawings are more coordinated, explain the project better to the client and contractors, and thus the end product of the construction is almost exactly as it was designed.

Architectural Home Addition to a 1900's Home
Front View in Lexington, MA
Architectural Home Addition to a 1900's Home
Rear View in Lexington, MA

Home Renovation & Horse Barn Design
Lincoln, MA

Kitchen Addition
Danvers, MA

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