How a landscape architecture company integrates 3D BIM workflows

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How a landscape architecture company integrates 3D BIM workflows

Courtesy of scape Landschaftsarchitekten

the scape Landschaftsarchitekten was founded in Düsseldorf, Germany in 2001 by Matthias Funk, Hiltrud M. Lintel and Rainer Sachse. The firm works mainly through a young and committed team in collaboration with urban planners, architects, ecologists and communication designers, mainly on the development of urban landscapes. Current projects range from master plans for entire city districts, to object plans for parks, pedestrian zones, squares and streets, to the detailed planning of their own street furniture systems. One of these projects involved The Viega Group, an internationally active family business in the field of mechanical engineering and plumbing for sanitary and heating systems. A new seminar center is currently under construction at their headquarters in Attendorn, and Vectorworks landmark was used to implement the landscape architecture through a BIM process.

The Viega Group uses BIM in all areas

The seminar center program will not only focus on the complex world of Viega systems, but will also be used to inform customers about the BIM process in the field of plumbing and HVAC technology. The planning process and operation of the seminar center has become an integral part of the customer training program. This demand on the building requires a multidisciplinary planning process in accordance with the BIM methodology through all service phases of the HOAI (Official Schedule of Fees for the Services of Architects and Engineers) for all stakeholders. In addition, the BIM model of the seminar center provides the IT basis for the subsequent management of the facilities.

Courtesy of scape Landschaftsarchitekten
Courtesy of scape Landschaftsarchitekten

Simplified collaboration with a streamlined workflow

To prepare for the full planning process, a complete BIM specification and a detailed BIM plan were developed. The initial specification defined BIM modeling using Big Closed BIM, where the same BIM software application would be used by all collaborators, which is not the most ideal working environment. However, early in the process, it became apparent that the civil engineering and landscape architecture teams could not work optimally with these specifications. The BIM modeling was therefore developed in a Big Open BIM environment using Vectorworks. This decision enabled a more collaborative, transparent and open workflow that allowed teams to participate in all stages of the BIM process, regardless of the software they preferred to use.

Courtesy of scape Landschaftsarchitekten
Courtesy of scape Landschaftsarchitekten

Once the modeling standards were accepted by all collaborators, they were then implemented in Vectorworks to ensure full integration of the BIM landscape model via IFC export into the BIM coordination model. The BIM coordination model and the central BIM database were then managed in the BIM collaboration software. The office scape Landschaftsarchitekten used DESITE MD, which works the same way as BIM collaboration programs such as Solibri, Navisworks and BIM 360. planning, etc. could be taken into account. This general workflow is the same or comparable to the rest of the project team.

Courtesy of scape Landschaftsarchitekten
Courtesy of scape Landschaftsarchitekten

Modeling terrain surfaces with the puppet

Through this process, scape Landschaftsarchitekten created their 3D BIM model in Vectorworks. For the landscape architecture, they used specific smart objects such as trees, benches and lights which were very easy to integrate into their model. In the exact modeling of terrain surfaces and path structures, scape pursued the goal of constructing exact surface inclinations with differentiated longitudinal and transverse gradients. They created their own surface and border objects using the leveling tool available in Vectorworks and the algorithmic modeling tool. puppet.

Courtesy of scape Landschaftsarchitekten
Courtesy of scape Landschaftsarchitekten

These objects, which can conform to changes in height or position of the design surface, enabled the modeling of a fully attributed 3D BIM terrain model of the outdoor facilities.

With these self-created objects, the 2D representation, in line with the wall and ceiling objects of the building, was missing. To solve this problem, scape Landschaftsarchitekten referenced the 3D landscape model in a 2D drawing of the site plan and adapted the surfaces to the 3D model.

The individual components have been structured on the basis of assembly codes according to the industry standard cost groups of DIN 276:2008. The model was then transferred to DESITE MD via the IFC file format. In DESITE MD, Python scripts were used to generate the building structure and a factory identification system from the assembly codes according to Viega factory standards. If the attribute values ​​were contained in the IFC import, they are transferred; any missing attributes can then be added in DESITE MD.

Plan status: transparent for all

The discipline-specific BIM models – structured and assigned in this way – were then combined by the BIM manager into a coordination model and checked for collisions and completeness using automated test routines. All BIM models in IFC format, as well as CPA format from DESITE MD, were available to all project members in a cloud-based BIM document management system. This allowed each team member to view the current planning status of all disciplines or, if necessary, reference the respective IFC model in their BIM program.

Courtesy of scape Landschaftsarchitekten
Courtesy of scape Landschaftsarchitekten

By participating in the Viega Seminar Center project, scape Landschaftsarchitekten has pioneered complex BIM processes for the landscape. The BIM coordination model is currently being prepared as a basis for the preparation of offers for interested general contractors. Until the opening of the new Viega seminar center, other BIM processes will be implemented and tested on real projects. This shows that an interdisciplinary BIM workflow can only be sensibly implemented as Big Open BIM.

Pioneer of BIM for landscape architecture

The level of detail of the BIM model is of particular importance because it has a considerable influence on the workability of the model in different BIM software. For the BIM methodology, it is not the photorealistic 3D model that is critical, but rather the data related to the geometry. It is therefore quite sufficient that the three-dimensional BIM objects correspond in size and position to the real component.

This level of detail corresponds to classic design planning according to HOAI. All other information needed for the subsequent construction process can also be attached to the BIM object as two-dimensional detail drawings in DESITE MD. The same applies to documents generated during the construction process as an acceptance protocol or archived as part of facility management in the form of a maintenance protocol. The BIM object thus becomes a container that structures and archives all the data over the entire life cycle of the real project.

Images reproduced with the kind permission of scape Landschaftsarchitekten.

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