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Friday, April 17, 2009

Revit Classroom Workflow - Step 3


Analyzation of your building could require many programs and will force the you, the designer, to think about many other issues and aspects of your project besides the actual design.  What I mean by this is that the normal student will pick a material or two and be told  steel and concrete will work and then move on.  Unless the structure is given and restricted then there are many options to go from but yet every design course I have been in a majority of the class has the same wall sections and structure.

The use of the programs I introduced combined with a well built and thought out Revit model will allow  you to explore many different options for materials and for structure.  You will also be able to analyze graphically the effects changing the structure and materials will have on the building, concept, and  environment.

Structural Analysis:

Revit Structure and Robot Structural Analysis are completely free to students.  Why would you not download it and give it a try?  With basic structural knowledge learned in an introductory structures class you will be able to explore and understand many different structural options for your building.  If the professor requires a certain type of structure these programs can still be used to analyze if the structure given will fail.  If you want to feed the "wow" factor, Robot can create some awesome images for your presentation.

The important thing to keep in mind when adding structure to your model is DO NOT OVER MODEL!  It is very easy to get carried away and before you know it you are creating a parametric bolt and nut assembly!  Exploring Robot Structural Analysis and getting familiar with the program will give you an idea as to HOW much needs to be modeled.  This is why I am introducing these programs to you.  Understanding how the programs analyze will save you lots of time and teach you how much you truly need to model.

How much structure that actually needs to be modeled is very project specific.  In Revit Architecture, the components under the "Structure" tab will most commonly be used.  In some cases studs and floor joists will be required.  For a architectural design student every stud and rim board will be overkill.  A simple preliminary analysis is all that is needed (in most cases the "Structures" tab will have you covered.  Ultimately, the importance of this step is how it will force your brain to think differently about you project.  You will think outside of the model and further the information that will be extracted from it.

Energy and Environmental Analysis:

To take full advantage of your Revit model there are lots of energy analysis programs out there. The three I introduces to you were:
Green Building Studio is the only one you cannot get for free as a student.  Although, you can get a sixty day free trial (enough time for the last month of the course to make studies).

Once again, the program used will effect the thought process of how you will create the Revit model.  I.E.S. is my personal favorite.  It has a plug-in directly inside of Revit and is very user friendly.  All of the programs have great features for a design studio.  For example, in all of the programs it is as simple as adding walls, windows, doors, and creating a room.  You know that Room command in Revit that creates an annoying blue box that you always end up clicking?  One of the functions of that blue box is to calculate volumes.  Now, with I.E.S. you can take that one Room and analyze the effects of many different window, walls, and HVAC options on your building (see tutorial on I.E.S. page.. email me if you want a tutorial with more clarification).  This process will induce thoughts new thoughts about your design and you can see its effects on the environment and how it will "live" before it is even built.

The process described may seem obvious and may seem like common sense to some.  If you keep all of the information I just talked about in mind while designing and creating your Revit Model your concept becomes more dynamic.  Your building will be more coherent to you and others while simultaneously an intelligent virtual model is being created.  A model that will simulate the "life" of your building and how it will "live" without even being built.  

Remember... BIM.. Building INFORMATION modeling.  Get information out of your model!!