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Adding CAD and BIM Resources for Home Design in the US

The winds of change are impacting the United States home design industry, carrying with them the need for skilled Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Building Information Modelling (BIM) resources. Growing demand for houses means that skilled human resources are also in high demand for home design. The workforce is buzzing with a new population of digital proponents, full of enthusiasm and hope but lacking in the experience required to detail, arrange and coordinate vast architectural projects. Tighter deadlines may mean that more experienced hands have scarce time to mentor an apprentice. The resulting fresh trainees employed in the industry will inevitably display less speed and efficiency and increasing stress. An opportune solution comes in the form of BIM technology, especially Revit BIM, which supports the design process through its entire duration, and thus, helps deliver projects with enhanced quality and efficiency on schedule, and for firms working on largescale projects, smart solutions include BIM outsourcing and outsourced CAD services options.

BIM technology leads the process of intelligent home design. A virtual model created during design continues to integrate additions and modifications throughout the duration of a homebuilding design project. BIM enhances efficiency, speed, precision, collaboration, construction sequencing, procurement and cost reduction with its tools for communication, automation and information


sharing through cloud storage. Data created and gathered can improve processes, efficiency and constantly updated communication.

Originally, BIM systems were designed as a more efficient way to create 2D documents, which remain crucial to the industry. In the past, 2D drawings were simple, not always accurate, missing data and lacked coordination due to several changes both on and off site. Utilising BIM solutions leads to a single version displaying 2D sections, elevations and information which are coordinated and are reflective of the actual live design.

BIM’s role in the construction industry has upgraded the use of computer-aided design practices to produce digital drawings, designs and models. Many industry professionals still prefer creating conceptual designs on paper, but an increasing number of AEC (architectural, engineering and construction) firms have moved to utilising CAD for designs and drawings.

Computer-aided design drawings have been efficient and widely used in the construction industry, however in some cases, the output produced using CAD has not been sufficient. BIM became useful in tying up the loose ends that CAD sometimes missed. BIM technology enables all users to share data and thus improves coordination among the different stakeholders. This way, design-related issues are taken care of promptly and effectively.

A number of advantages can be enjoyed with BIM systems. With constant and regular advances in robotics, prefabrication, 3D printing and modular construction, a more adaptable design process is required. BIM technology integrates these additional features and further produces immersive visualisations and virtual reality views from the 3D model. This provides greater insight into the designs. By using computational design to extend BIM workflows, geometry is built, design options are considered, processes are automated and links can be created between multiple applications. Cloud-based collaboration tools enable greater efficiency with extended project teams.

In the home design construction industry, contractors are still heavily dependent on detailed drawings and residential CD sets. This means that the data required must be placed in relevant layers and thus avoid changes as much as possible. Accurate details must be created dimensionally. The relevance of structural construction drawings come into play at this stage. Structural drawings, portable structural drawings as well as homebuilding design drawings for construction require 2D drafting and detailing.

BIM facilitates project coordination, asset management and cost estimation. Construction projects require architectural, mechanical and structural shop drawings. Design engineers proficient in AutoCAD (architectural, structural), Revit MEP (MEP), Autodesk BDS (architectural, structural, MEP), Tekla (structural), STAADPro (structural), among other BIM technology software, can seamlessly provide these shop drawings. To make estimates of the home plan, 2D construction drawings from


3D models are useful. The use of 3D models in BIM help attain and assemble parts and create CAD drawings.

The main advantages that the use of BIM technology provides in home design are as follows: • • • •

Enhanced business outcomes through intelligent design Expanded service offers and capacity through collaboration and an increase in the quality and efficiency of services Increased technical expertise in virtual building modelling

An integrated workflow. All views show the changes made.

There are even more advantages. Rendering BIM resources are also useful in developing high-quality building design in the field of effective and precisely rendered images. Computer-generated renderings are the products of a process that creates photo-realistic models by using colors, textures and a range of virtual objects. This 3D model allows clients to view a planned building with a realistic feel. In the AEC industry, the BIM process is being increasingly used in 3D architectural rendering. For example, Revit, a widely used BIM software tool, features advanced and useful ways to improve quality and accuracy in rendering by adding color, texture, flooring, ceiling features, fixtures, furniture and more. The 3D visualization produced helps architects, designers, clients, contractors and others view a photo-realistic image. Generally, these images used to be flat or ones with basic shadows. With BIM technology and sophisticated software, lighting and materials can be approximated accurately enough to enhance presentations.

The different options in rendered images include: • • • • • • • • •

Still renderings 3D walk-through and fly-by animations Virtual tours Floor plans Photo-realistic 3D rendering Real-time 3D rendering Panoramic rendering Light and shadow (sciography) study rendering Renovation rendering (photomontage)

Both interior and exterior views can be rendered to further enhance the design process. For example, small landscaped portions can effectively break up paved areas and even transform functional areas, such as a car back-up space. By using plants and specialised paving material, these spaces can become desirable and functional front-door entries. Even auto-circulation spaces can be designed for multi-use, such as landscaping, gardening and recreation.

Detailed features can be displayed in interior design with software tools such as ARCHLine.XP, which is an architectural design software tool for BIM. This software allows collaboration with other


designers through IFC, DWG and RVT formats to remodel existing buildings. Interior design components include furniture design tools, curtains, lights, sockets and switches, cornices, skirting boards, tiles, wall pictures, etc. Offices, reception rooms, lofts, kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms, with furniture, appliances and finishes are represented with great detail. With open software tools such as these, photos can be inserted into the rendering and objects can be designed personally.

Lot-fit or Site Drawings Another area of expertise that BIM technology and CAD can significantly contribute to is creating ‘lot fit’ design drawings. In the US, where homes in neighborhoods are developed with most structures of a similar kind of size and style, the input of the information and process required to cater to these norms are streamlined with the use of BIM.

Generally, the most attractive neighborhoods have common elements in design that positively influence the visual and functional aspects of the area. Specific guidelines are followed in the development of the project and controlled by the zoning code regarding heights, bulks, setbacks, parking, landscaping, etc. Densities are allowed in multi-family zones based on lot size dimensions. Lot size determines scale and limits width of structures. Bay windows, entries and chimneys divide a home into sections, and distinct areas can contribute to the individuality of the home. Zoning codes decree setback area details. All of these features can be comprehensively planned, viewed and changed in 3D CAD/BIM platforms. Drawings developed with BIM clearly help design these aspects and show potential problems and solutions.

Currently, when many large developers employ in-house designers for home design, the team needs to specialise, collaborate and improve quality and efficiency of services. This involves understanding client needs for construction on a large scale, both commercial and operational. Local site conditions and regulations must be precisely integrated into design. Efficient output may require object libraries/families, room data sheets, planning modules and other details, including a thorough and in-depth knowledge of zoning codes.

With qualified talent in relatively short supply in the home design industry in the US and weighing the expenses involved in employing design professionals in the industry, a growing number of US firms look overseas to shore up their design capabilities. Experienced offshore teams, for example from India, not only offer a vast repository of technically qualified personnel, but many of them have 5-10 years’ experience in homebuilding design and drafting, are well versed on the Revit platform for BIM systems, have been recognized to be of good quality (in most cases, ISO 9001:2015 quality certified) and several are Autodesk-affiliated centers, with Autodesk Developer Network status. Outsourced CAD services and BIM outsourcing thus present cost-effective, technically efficient and reliable home design solutions for the US market.

Adding CAD and BIM Resources for Home Design in the US  

The winds of change are impacting the United States home design industry, carrying with them the need for skilled Computer-Aided Design (CAD...

Adding CAD and BIM Resources for Home Design in the US  

The winds of change are impacting the United States home design industry, carrying with them the need for skilled Computer-Aided Design (CAD...

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