A small but dedicated group of BIM enthusiasts converged on Coronado island near San Diego to share ideas and learn about new techniques and features in the rapidly expanding field of Building Information Modeling or BIM. New products to enhance the “immersion experience” were on hand, as well as experts covering the full range and spectrum of the field.
Among the topics were advanced modeling techniques using the Morph and Shell tools. These tools enable the creation of complex geometries without the need for complicated scripting. It feels a bit more like sculpting in clay rather than coding in geometric language.
Energy analysis at the model level was another popular session. The power and convenience promised by this technology is awesome. The time consuming task of preparing energy conservation reports or ResCheck / ComCheck reports can now be performed more accurately and efficiently at a very early stage in the design. In fact the ease with which this analysis may be performed allows its use during the design stage, rather than at the much later and inflexible point at the end of the architectural process. By moving the energy conservation consideration up in the design process, it may be integrated into the design instead of compromising on a design that does not perform as expected.
Advanced rendering techniques help us all to better understand the aesthetics of a project in its environment and within the context of its surroundings. This has long been available to those who utilize three dimensional design within their process. However, to achieve the image quality expected by architects often takes many hours to create and properly light a scene. This is exponentially more demanding when that scene is animated and viewed from every possible angle. Technology is catching up and providing astounding levels of realism with dynamic, global lighting, realistic textures that enable the visualization to serve an even greater purpose in the design process.
During the two days of this event, we learned about innovative teamwork strategies, techniques to build powerful workflow templates, integration of social media, and gained a greater understanding of the importance, challenges, and risks of inter discipline sharing of model data. Perhaps the most enriching experience was meeting fellow producers, sharing stories and witnessing the innovative applications of this powerful technology.
I am looking forward to next year’s event with great anticipation.