Wednesday, September 15, 2010

3d Plumbing Visualization

I found this extraordinary video at a great resource. The video is a visualization of an innovative hot water recirculating system by Viega. They term it an "Internal Recirculation System" and definitely encompasses sustainability from the waste, energy and cost savings viewpoint. Check out this great 3d vid and see what I mean. It just reminded me of how important the visualization aspect of BIM is for being able to really illustrate points like these. I know that the "I" for Information in BIM is definitely the most important, but you can never deny the power of a great presentation.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Miami Building takes Sustainability to New Heights

I Came across this story on and although it's not necessarily about BIM or Revit I bet they sure used some aspect of BIM in the designing of it :) It seems that BIM is has not quite taken off in Miami and very  few people are even aware of what it is. Either that or some are just keeping it as their secret weapon! Regardless kudos to Spinnaker for this wondrous achievement of a structure.

Office Tower Saves 2.5 Million Gallons Annually

The 1450 Brickell office tower in Miami, Fla., has implemented a wide range of energy-efficient features and technologies that help save over 14 percent more energy and over 40 percent in water use than standard buildings built to code.
These savings helped the 35-story office tower earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for core and shell category for new construction. Rob Hink, a LEED Accredited Professional and Principal of the Spinnaker Group, the office tower’s environmental consulting firm, said 1450 Brickell is the only newly constructed LEED Gold certified office tower in Downtown Miami.
Other key features of the 582,817-square-foot office tower include low-flow water fixtures that are projected to save more than 2.5 million gallons of water per year, preferred parking spaces allocated for low emission, fuel-efficient vehicles, and pedestrian and cyclist-friendly amenities including 44 bike racks and shower and changing facilities.
However, the highlight of the building is its glass curtain wall system, which played a central role in attaining LEED Gold status, while setting a new standard for commercial building strength, according to the Spinnaker Group. The curtain wall system is said to improve impact resistance, solar performance, energy efficiency, sound attenuation and UV blocking.
The glass fa├žade, fabricated entirely of large-missile impact glass, was tested to withstand wind loads over 300 mph, which makes 1450 Brickell one of the nation’s most wind-resistant office buildings, according to Spinnaker. The tower also has two generators, one for use in emergencies and another that can power tenants’ basic electrical needs during outages.
During construction, the project recycled about 78 percent of construction waste and purchased 40 percent of all materials from sources within 500 miles of the construction site.
Other office towers that have recently earned LEED certification include Larimer Office TowerWells Fargo’s Duke Energy CenterMetro Park Towers, and Bank of America Tower.

Link to article here

How might contractors benefit from Building Information Modeling?

Here is a great article recently posted on in the business section. The article goes on to briefly describe some of the key benefits immediately available to the contractor and owner before RFI's even arise.

Building Information Modeling, or BIM, has long been used by architects and engineers to design buildings virtually. The technology is now turning up in construction-site trailers, where general contractors have begun using it to make sure work schedules and material orders are accurate.
BIM is useful in coordinating a project and resolving design issues. For example, general contractors and subconsultants use BIM to see exactly how plumbing and mechanical systems are routed through a building that is under construction.
General contractors can put their construction schedules into the model to see a project's progress and make changes, if necessary. This functionality helps the general contractor phase a project by determining more accurately when to, for example, open a section of a remodeled building or close a corridor to allow work to proceed.
By having a virtual presentation of the project available on a laptop, the general contractor can share BIM information with the project's owner and make any necessary changes on the spot.
Revisions take place in the computer — not on the job site — and help eliminate costly downtime and material reorders in the field. General contractors are also able to retrieve BIM information quickly to resolve issues that arise with other contractors at the project site.
Rest of article here.