Design in Real-time: Revit in Action

The ArtsQuest™ Center at SteelStacks™ is a four-story, contemporary performing arts center and cultural campus with three outdoor performance venues. In the above photo, finishing touches are being applied to the center, designed by Spillman Farmer Architects. Barry Isett & Associates (BIA) recognizes the growing need for 3D and BIM (Building Information Modeling) deliverables.  BIM is the virtual construction of a building or a digital building prototype — where every view, drawing sheet, and schedule is a direct representation of the same underlying database.  BIM can also be viewed as a virtual process that encompasses all aspects, disciplines, and systems of a building within a single, virtual model, allowing all design team members — owner, architects, contractors, engineers and consultants — to collaborate accurately and efficiently.  As the model is being created, team members are constantly refining and adjusting their portions according to owner preferences, systems compatibility, and design intent to ensure the model is as accurate as possible before the project ever physically breaks ground.

The Revit platform facilitates collaboration and coordination among a design team by providing unification of project data and tools.  Relevant information can be stored and accessed for analysis and decision-making while also allowing continual updating and refinement throughout the life cycle of the model.  Additionally, unified storage of information allows revisions to be made at a single location regardless of how many times the data is displayed or shared.  As the design team makes changes to the building structure, the technology within Revit automatically coordinates the changes across all other representations of the project.  As a result, the design model (physical and analytical representations), design options, and documentation stay coordinated, consistent, and complete.  When effectively used, BIM can increase the efficiency of the design and construction process and can accelerate the project schedule, which can result in cost savings for the owner.

Lafayette College’s Williams Arts Campus – Open-air plaza BIA’s structural engineers worked with Spillman Farmer Architects to transform a portion of property on North 3rd Street in Easton, PA, into an open-air arts plaza. The plaza's facade of brick and steel, mimics the Williams Visual Arts building's exterior design and unite the future arts campus. The BIM process benefits everyone involved — more accurate, better coordinated design data; earlier visualization and collaboration with different project disciplines; automatic propagation of changes at all levels; plus the ability to improve energy efficiency and sustainability. 

A REVIT IN ACTION: BIA’s Structural and MEP engineers collaborate with Spillman Farmer Architects on additions to McAdoo-Kelayres Elementary School, Hazleton Area School District, PARevit Structure, and its approach to structural modeling, is object-oriented rather than line-based as in traditional 2D drafting.  Instead of drawing a series of lines on a flat sheet to represent a column, you go to a virtual library, load a column element, and then place it in your virtual working space.  That column displays in every view. 

BIM also provides the opportunity for sharing of non-graphical data from the model.  This could include specific items such as air change rates, load summaries or other system analytical summaries.  When information is entered once into the model by a project team member, the engineering team can review and use the real-time data for analysis of each system.  For example, our mechanical engineers can review the building performance data inputted by the architect to analyze the building heating and cooling loads.  The engineer can review duct-sizing criteria, pressure drops in duct systems, or check for compliance with air change rates.

With multiple analysis applications often used in a single project, the creation of a master analytical model in Revit means that engineers do not need to re-model the same data in each individual application.  This not only streamlines the whole process, but helps reduce errors and ensure that the engineer is always working on the latest model.

With all the advantages that BIM offers to project stakeholders, BIA is proud to be able to offer BIM solutions to its clients.