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Retrospective BIM Modelling of Buildings

Even with the challenges that are there in regards to retrospective modelling I feel the difficulties encountered in the process of actually attempting it emphasise the clear need for more efficient processes of data storage and access to building information, and isn’t that what BIM is all about? Having the information there, when you need it? Yes in this example I’m modelling a pretty old building with very outdated standards of data handover in the sixties, but the lack of available data has similarities to non-BIM’d buildings of today.

Over the past few months I’ve been extremely busy on some very innovative and intriguing projects which have been taking up a considerable amount of time, hence the lack of articles! I’ve finally had a few minutes to put aside to dedicate some time back into the site.

Over the past few 6 months I’ve been heavily involved in a European funded project Resseepe, which is focusing on the retrofit of large institutional buildings such as Universities, hospitals and schools. The project aims to establish informed and innovative solutions to optimise how we manage and develop refurbishment strategies for buildings.  Focusing not only on the innovative technologies that can be used and combined in refurbishment projects, but also on the processes and decision making procedures preceding retrofits.

The Building in Question

The Building in Question

Part of this project has led me to retrospectively ‘BIM’ modelling a large university building, around 5000m/2. Now having quite a bit of previous modelling experience I believed this would be a reasonably straight forward task. How wrong was I! Now modelling any building often takes a bit of technique refinement to get the software to do what you want, I’m talking a ‘new’ way to model a bespoke roof design, or massing a particular shape or form in a way that you haven’t done before. This kind of skills refinement is pretty normal as you progress through any existing or new software. I’ve always found that regardless of level of skill at any software with the commercial ‘new edition every year’ platform there is always something every year to brush up on. This process has been as usual invigorating, to keep pushing personal understanding and skills.

Now as I say, this level of skills evolution is normal, the real learning curve or hurdle has been the lack of available information on existing post war building stock. This is an issue that many Estates and asset management teams have to try to endeavour to overcome, in that much of the information on buildings is old, outdated and/or buried. For the building in question that I’ve been modelling there has been a close relationship with in house estates to try and muster up what information we can to give the best available current state and picture of the building. The challenge here is that this still leaves a lot of assumptions and estimations. For instance in a building designed in 1961, no one at the time considered the 3D modelling requirement of some BIM user when compiling the plans. The plans of the day were constructed with one criteria in mind; enough information to raise the building from the ground, in time and for the right money. Building handover or management was at best an afterthought, if that. In modern years the information being handed over to FM teams is greatly improving with initiatives like softlandings in the UK. Although, we don’t have to go too many years back’ looking at buildings where handover of data was an afterthought and still is in parts.  I’m thinking the rushed collection of building management and health and safety binder’s minutes before the impending deadline.

An early stage render showing BIPV refit option

Another key issue when retrospectively modelling existing stock is the accuracy of the details. In this case you can’t rely on existing original or CAD plans to hold accurate data because over
the years buildings evolve and often the records don’t show this in every detail. It may even be the case that when a plan reaches site, the detail was just not viable and the process or reality of the build altered slightly, this is where the need for ‘as built’ records derives, again this is key to BIM and softlandings. To counteract this there needs to be a process of model validation. Now this may differ slightly from the new build validation in that were not directly validating immediately against rule sets, such as in Solibri etc. The key here is to validate the accuracy of plans, CAD or assumptions so that the model is as close to ‘as-built’ as possible. Now what were encroaching into here is a level of detail aspect, much the same as any BIM new build, in that it needs to be established as to how accurate or refined does the model need to be. This all depends on what information will be required down the line, i.e. will the model be solely used for energy simulation or is there a desire to use the model for quantities asset management which will require far greater component and parametric data to be added. As with new builds, you can only draw off quality information when quality information goes into the model. There is a point where decisions have to be made on the practicalities of entering the detail and specification of every light fitting if that information is never going to be required.

Even with the challenges that are there in regards to retrospective modelling I feel the difficulties encountered in the process of actually attempting it emphasis the clear need for more efficient processes of data storage and access to building information, and isn’t that what BIM is all about? Having the information there, when you need it? Yes in this example I’m modelling a pretty old building with very outdated standards of data handover in the sixties, but the lack of available data has similarities to non-BIM’d buildings of today. The benefits that a BIM model can bring to new builds are very similar to those that are on offer in retrofit or building management. The challenge is to bridge that gap in retrospect. In years to come I envisage a FM process where it’s a lot more common for reasonably sized existing stock to be retrospectively modelled as the alternatives of traditional data management are far to cumbersome. In the case where a building retrofit is to take place I would go as far to say it’s crucial.   

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Introduction to REVIT Part 4 – Documenting the Project

The next stage of the tutorials is the Introduction to REVIT Part 4. We will now go through the process of documenting the project ready for presentation. You will need to complete the part 1, 2, 3 and 4 tutorials to complete the project.

These sets of tutorials have been adapted by Matthew Kinross (Coventry University) from a tutorial “Getting Started with AutoDesk Revit Building” which was packaged with Revit2009. So big thanks to Matthew for doing the groundwork on the transcript of this tutorial as well as Paul Smith (Coventry university)  for the hard work on the accompanying videos.

 

colour house

 

The instructions below are set up as images. You can click on each page or image to enlarge to make them easier to read.

Click on the video below for video tutorial for pages 58-60

[jwplayer mediaid=”912″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_58

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_59

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_60

 

Click on the video below for video tutorial for page 61

[jwplayer mediaid=”913″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_61

 

Click on the video below for video tutorial for page 62

[jwplayer mediaid=”914″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_62

 

Thank you for taking part in this short series of tutorials. A big thanks to the original concept of this tutorial through Autodesk and also a big thanks to Matthew Kinross and Paul Smith for their work in developing the content for the tutorial.

The earlier tutorials can be found by clicking on the below links;

Introduction to REVIT Part 1– Creating the project, exterior walls, views, terrain and roof

Introduction to REVIT Part 2 – Creating the Interior of the REVIT House – Adding floors, internal walls, doors and windows and curtain walls

Introduction to REVIT Part 3 – Adding Stairs, Ramps, Railings and Tidying Up the Model 

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Introduction to REVIT Part 3 – Adding Stairs, Ramps, Railings and Tidying Up the Model

The next stage of the tutorials will be the Introduction to REVIT Part 3. We will now go through the process of adding stairs, ramps, railings and generally tidying up the model ready for the last part which will be presentation. You will need to complete the part 1, 2, 3 and 4 tutorials to complete the project.

These sets of tutorials have been adapted by Matthew Kinross (Coventry University) from a tutorial “Getting Started with AutoDesk Revit Building” which was packaged with Revit2009. So big thanks to Matthew for doing the groundwork on the transcript of this tutorial as well as Paul Smith (Coventry university)  for the hard work on the accompanying videos.

 

colour house

 

The instructions below are set up as images. You can click on each page or image to enlarge to make them easier to read.

Click on the video below for video tutorial for pages 37-40

[jwplayer mediaid=”895″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_37

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_38

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_39

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_40

 

Click on the video below for video tutorial for pages 41-45

[jwplayer mediaid=”896″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_41

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_42

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_43

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_44

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_45

 

Click on the video below for video tutorial for pages 46-48

[jwplayer mediaid=”908″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_46

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_47

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_48

Click on the video below for video tutorial for pages 49-50

[jwplayer mediaid=”909″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_49

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_50

 

Click on the video below for video tutorial for pages 51-53

[jwplayer mediaid=”910″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_51

Introduction to REVIT part 1_52

Introduction to REVIT part 1_53

Click on the video below for video tutorial for pages 54-57

[jwplayer mediaid=”911″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_54

Introduction to REVIT part 1_55

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_56

Introduction to REVIT part 1_57

 

Than you for taking part so far. The last tutorial in the series, Introduction to REVIT Part 4 can be found by clicking on this link;

 

 

 

 

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Introduction to REVIT Part 2 – Creating the Interior of the REVIT House – Adding floors, internal walls, doors and windows and curtain walls

For Introduction to REVIT Part 2; we will now go through the process of creating the Interior of the REVIT House  by adding floors, internal walls, doors and windows and curtain walls. You will need to complete the part 1, 2, 3 and 4 tutorials to complete the project.

Through this series of tutorials you will be able to create the building model shown below working from a blank template through to drawing sheets using the standard tools and components.

These sets of tutorials have been adapted by Matthew Kinross (Coventry University)  from a tutorial “Getting Started with AutoDesk Revit Building” which was packaged with Revit2009. So big thanks to Matthew for doing the groundwork on the transcript of this tutorial as well as Paul Smith (Coventry University)  for the hard work on the accompanying videos.

The instructions below are set up as images. You can click on each page or image to enlarge to make them easier to read.

Click on the video below for the video tutorial for pages  15-18

[jwplayer mediaid=”939″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_15

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_16

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_17

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_18

Click on the video below for video tutorial for pages 19-20

[jwplayer mediaid=”815″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_19

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_20

 

Click on the video below for video tutorial for pages 21-22

[jwplayer mediaid=”816″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_21Introduction to REVIT part 1_22

 

Click on the video below for the video tutorial for pages  23-24

[jwplayer mediaid=”817″]

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_23

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_24

 

Click on the video below for the video tutorial for pages  25-28

[jwplayer mediaid=”818″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_25

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_26

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_27

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_28

 

Click on the video below for the video tutorial for pages  29-30

[jwplayer mediaid=”819″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_29

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_30

 

Click on the video below for the video tutorial for pages  31-32

[jwplayer mediaid=”820″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_31

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_32

Click on the video below for the video tutorial for page  33 plus extra

[jwplayer mediaid=”821″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_33

Click on the video below for the video tutorial for pages  34-36

[jwplayer mediaid=”894″]

Introduction to REVIT part 1_34

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_35

 

 

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_36

 

Click on this link to take you to Introduction to REVIT Part 3

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Introduction to REVIT Part 1– Creating the project, exterior walls, views, terrain and roof

To start off were going to go through a few basic steps within REVIT to set up and create your first project. Then you will add the exterior walls, view, terrain and then finally the roof. After this tutorial the building will be only part finished. You will need to complete the part 1, 2, 3 and 4 tutorials to complete the project.

Through this series of tutorials you will be able to create the building model shown below working from a blank template through to drawing sheets using the standard tools and components.

These sets of tutorials have been adapted by Matthew Kinross (Coventry University) from a tutorial “Getting Started with AutoDesk Revit Building” which was packaged with Revit2009. So big thanks to Matthew for doing the groundwork on the transcript of this tutorial as well as Paul Smith (Coventry University)  for the hard work on the accompanying videos.

These tutorials use the basic tools that REVIT provides and it also illustrates some of the integrated documenting features of the software.  The text is updated but some of the illustrations are based on earlier versions of REVIT but wont effect the processes.

 

colour house

 

The instructions below are set up as images. You can click on each page or image to enlarge to make them easier to read. The videos are ordered in sequence with the image pages.

Click on the video below for the video tutorial for pages  1-3

[jwplayer mediaid=”938″]
Introduction to REVIT part 1_02

Introduction to REVIT part 1_03
Click on the video below for the video tutorial for pages  4-7

[jwplayer mediaid=”937″]


Introduction to REVIT part 1_04



Introduction to REVIT part 1_05

Introduction to REVIT part 1_06

Introduction to REVIT part 1_07

Click on the video below for the video tutorial for pages  8-10

[jwplayer mediaid=”936″]

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_08

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_09

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_10

Click on the video below for the video tutorial for pages  11-12

[jwplayer mediaid=”935″]

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_11

 

 

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_12

Click on the video below for the video tutorial for pages  13-15

[jwplayer mediaid=”940″]

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_13

 

 

 

Introduction to REVIT part 1_14

 

 

 

Introduction to REVIT oage 151_01

 

 

 Thank you for taking part in the tutorial so far Part 2 can be found by clicking this link

 

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