June 02, 2015 │Jordan Coldiron
As the AEC industry continues to embrace new technologies, we recognize and appreciate the positive impact they have on our clients and our projects. Better technology means better planning and execution, which means less surprises and uncertainties throughout a construction project’s life.
We recently saw the benefits of using Building Information Modeling (BIM) software to create photo-realistic renderings during the early stages of a project’s design. Our role as Design-Builder for multiple renovation and addition projects at United Church Homes’ Parkvue Community allowed us to engage our on-staff BIM Technician, Kevin Gosche, to work directly with the client while designing their new bistro and café. The result was a design that reflected the client’s “wish list” to a tee – and when we compared the rendering to the finished project photo, we could see the accuracy and execution of details right before our eyes!
Our BIM Technician started the design process by working alongside the client to better understand their vision for the finished space. He asked questions to figure out what the space should ‘feel’ like, focusing more on the utilization of the space and less on colors and textures. “It’s more about creating a dynamic image that lets the client see how the space will be used.”
This process requires a lot of notes and a lot of note-checking. Our technician completed several test renderings to make sure all of the components fit together and worked for the space that was being created. “The higher level of detail that is used the better the rendering is received, so I try to get as much of that information out of the client as possible.”
Our in-house technicians use Revit software when creating BIM images. They favor Revit because of its high flexibility, allowing them to create multiple iterations of renderings in a short period of time. Modifications are easy to make, which is especially important as the renderings will continue to evolve to fully accomplish the client’s goal.
While we know that BIM is quickly becoming an industry standard, our reasons for adapting it internally have more to do with the value it offers to our clients. Clients want to know that we, as builders, have a comprehensive understanding of what the final product will be – and we want to provide them with that level of confidence and trust. We have seen the tangible results on the job site and heard from our clients the appreciation they have for getting exactly what they asked for in their project.
It’s not often that we get to feel like magicians in our industry; but there’s something special about seeing the look of delight on a client’s face when they can see a photorealistic image before construction has even started.
“I always enjoy seeing the client’s reaction to the rendered images. Allowing them to see a space before any construction begins is a powerful tool, especially for those who may not have the ability to visualize a space. Creating the ‘money’ shot that grabs their attention and gets them excited about a project is always worth the effort.”