A parametric design – do we need it?

What can we do to optimize the design process? Is it necessary? – those were the questions, that we raised during the Board meeting in MAS Design. The conclusion was not simple. First of all, we are a professional façade design company and not an architectural office. Why is it essential – mainly, it is the difference between scopes and level of detail. Façade design requires a much higher level of detailing but covers a smaller scope than the whole architectural design. In other words, our design budget is only a margin of the total architect’s budget: lower funding and a higher level of detail. We already knew it will not be one of those easy “go and do it” exercises. For many years working in the façade business, we became fluent in AutoCAD and recently Revit and Inventor. We are using AutoDesk software because the market generally accepts it, but all of the mentioned programs are not dedicated to the façade design and we need all three the conduct our work. We have Rhino and Grasshopper specialists in-house, but we do not use them for most common projects, because there is a lack of such engineers on the market. This is why we use commonly introduced software in the market. AutoCAD is for the basic detailing and preparation of the initial details for internal approval. Revit comes later when principle details are accepted. Inventor is the last, once the design is approved, the production packages may be produced within it. All three despite being “One Family” products, almost every family does not easily communicate with each other. The step we have made was to use software developers who specialize in our facade business as support to understand the capabilities of the communication between software and our daily work. The design process provided according to BIM standards and with a proper Level of Detailing was the key answer to our questions. 

A parametric design is a must-have!

The market demand is to do the parametric design – how we would not call it – BIM, 3D … it goes to the parametric design direction. If MAS is producing tons of 3D models for external and internal purposes and can generate the 3D architectural model out of a bunch of PDFs, so why we could not use it as a base for making our life easier. Revit allows feeding the model – the design – with the enormous amount of information which are usable during the whole BIM Dimensions from up to BIM 10D. Moreover, usage of the parameters can be helpful for offices like MAS, as we can set them in such a way that Revit works not only as a design tool but doing some part of the work for us. Using Revit models, together with Phyton and C-Sharp programming languages, we created tools that help not only to read and digest parameters from the model. They can reduce the amount of manual work while doing repeatable processes. We would be happy to confront our past achievements with a large architectural office that needs to carry out a complicated project. It would be a perfect idea to see the workflow optimization process.

By Master James

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