You most likely played a video game or two in your life. Anything from Pac-Man to Mario’s World or GoldenEye 007. Video games have all different types of platforms and interaction models. You may ask “what do video games have anything to do with architecture or even architects and interior designers in general?”
Technology has become so advanced in the world of architecture. Computer-Aided Design (CAD) was developed from a line-based simple software to a complete 3D interactive parametric modeling program, known as Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM is now turning our amazing homes and projects into a video game of their own!
If you didn’t know, here at Purple Cherry Architects, we use software called Revit. This software allows us to model a 3D parametric digital structure. We can directly collaborate and share our models with some of our consulting engineers like Linton Engineering or B&R Construction, who also use Revit. We can cut a building in half, spin it around, peel down the roof and even see inside the home. The model is a smart model. You may ask, “how a digital architecture model is smart?” As we draw a wall, it is packed with information from the structure size and type, the area, the finished materials, etc. 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 the ability to cut sections, do enlarged plans, or create reflected ceiling plans all within the same file thus eliminating repetitive work, reducing room for error and saving the client time and money!
Now what gets even better!?
We can “walk” through our realistic Revit models, like we are playing GoldenEye 007, with software called Enscape. We can also send the model of the home to our clients to experience it on their own time, at their own computer, any time of the day. This technology has become so advanced that it allows our clients to explore their home before the foundation is even dug. This has become a tool that allows the team at PCA to virtually put ourselves inside these spaces and make sure that our implementation of the design intent is what we envisioned and communicated. We can walk seamlessly through, in and around the spaces and make sure we don’t have, what we may say, a silly thing occurring that wasn’t intended. This allows us to explore the use and implementation of materials. Feel the furniture within the space. It allows our designers to ensure we have enough space for walking in and around the seating area which our interiors team loves. Typically, you wouldn’t expect to find the use of this type of software at high-end residential firms such as ours. It’s mostly used in the commercial design world. And while Enscape is not the only software like this, it gives us the ability to share the models with clients, consultants and contractors. As such, it has helped our clients learn and feel their new home. Also, we found that the ability for a general contractor to easily spin around the model and walk through a house has helped reduce the need to ask questions that they can easily answer themselves, and in the end, reduces billable time which is a savings to the client.
So if you are thinking of designing a new home, doing a renovation to an existing home or even a small commercial project, this software will open your eyes to the power it has to help you understand and feel confident in the design. Reach out to us at PCA, and we can show you the power of Revit and Enscape combined!
Written by Doug Kutcha, project manager at PCA