A Video Game Even Adults Will Love

Even if you don’t consider yourself a high-tech person, you have likely played a video game or two in your lifetime. From Pacman to Mario’s World to one of my ultimate favorites, GoldenEye 007, video games are available in a variety of different types of platforms and interaction models. You may ask, what do video games have to do with architecture, or even architects and interior designers in general? There are some interesting correlations.

Thanks to advances in technology, we – and our clients – have the ability to walk around and through 3D models of our design before construction has even begun, much like being in a video game centered around a custom home! The technology that makes this possible is Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM is the holistic process of creating and managing information for a built asset. Based on an intelligent model and enabled by a cloud platform, BIM integrates structured, multi-disciplinary data to produce a digital representation of an asset across its lifecycle, from planning and design to construction and operations.

At Purple Cherry Architects, we use a BIM software program called Revit, which is possibly the most-utilized BIM software on the market. This software allows us to create 3D, parametric models, and share these models directly with our consulting engineers. Revit gives us the ability to cut a building in half, spin it around, peel down the roof and even see inside the home. The model is truly a “smart model”.

This means that as we draw a wall, it is packed with information such as the structure size and type and the finished materials. When doors and windows are “dropped in”, they can easily generate schedules that are directly coordinated with the model. As we continue to develop the model, it gives us the ability to cut sections, create enlarged plans, and develop reflective ceiling plans, all within the same file. This cuts repetitive work, reduces room for error, and eliminates exhaustive coordination efforts, making our work much more efficient.

Now for the fun part. A partner software program called Enscape allows us to walk around our 3D models, just like we’re playing GoldenEye 007. We can also send the model to our clients so they can explore it on their own time, at their own computer, at any time of day. Being able to visualize spaces, massing, and relationships in 3D is something that our clients find extraordinarily helpful. Additionally, the tool allows us to virtually put ourselves inside these spaces to make sure that the implementation of our design intent is exactly what we and our clients envisioned.

As much as Revit and Enscape helps our clients visualize their new home, it’s also a tremendous tool for contractors. When a builder can easily spin around and walk through the model, it reduces the need to ask questions that they can easily finds answers to themselves, which reduces billable time and results in cost savings for the client.

To explore this further, I encourage you to view the 3D model images and videos of our custom home designs on our On the Boards page. If you are considering designing a new home, or even renovating an existing home, the use of Revit and Enscape will help make the design process more visually clear, more efficient, and overall, more fun! Just like GoldenEye 007.

Written by Doug Kuchta, Associate
With an architect father and a childhood home often under construction, Doug has always been intrigued by the technical aspects of how structures are built. A graduate of Morgan State University School of Architecture, Doug’s experience includes both commercial and residential projects. Always ready to roll up his sleeves, Doug finds it gratifying to utilize architectural concepts that solve challenging design situations and result in something beautiful, balanced, and purposeful.

Architecture & Interiors