We are now very much into the thick of our course and the Learner's projects have now become more 'Multi-disciplinary' with structural models now designed and modeled within Autodesk Revit, and have been introduced and learning how to build quality content objects for their projects. We had The NBS, one of our course supporters and also sponsoring one of learners, joining us to explain their BIM Toolkit, and how they are supporting the construction industry in easing the specification process throughout the project process. It was fantastic to heave their team here, and we look forward to them attending our Graduate evening in a couple of weeks where they will look to employ one of our Learners following the course completion.
This week has been a challenging week for most, none of our Learners have structural backgrounds, so it fell to the Architectural based learners to bring their University project experiences to the table and advise their project teams through the week. Many of our teams have adopted a mixed steel and concrete system, with structural stair cores and bracing where needed. With our buildings excavating into the steep hill onto the site, we have large retaining walls at basement levels and lower levels, through to steel frame systems for the levels above. One team has based their architectural design on a modulated systems for their apartment buildings, resulting in a smaller number of concrete retaining walls in the lower levels, and then a Structurally Insulated Panel (SIP) panel system for the apartment buildings above. It became very apparent the designs that have more straight forward structural design solutions and were able to push through their design tasks this week with ease, but those that took more challenging architectural form in last weeks exercises, have found that they have many more 'ugly' details revealing themselves now they have their 'Structural Engineer' hats on, and realising that they have a lot to coordinate next week between the two discipline's designs. The SIP panel team, having spent a long and frustratingly painful time last week modulating their design last week, are reaping the benefits this week and are looking forward to their coming week. All in all, a really interesting week seeing the teams come to realise the importance of the roles the other disciples have in their projects, a MAJOR factor most university courses are not addressing and clearly becoming apart for these graduates, but all showed a great attitude to the work needed to be done, and a lot learnt for the teams on the other disciplines skills.
As well as our structural design exercises, our learners took to the important task of creating their own content and becoming familiar with the Revit content environment. Nearly all our students have had past experience 3D modelling in either Sketchup, or 3DS max, so creating acurate free form geometry was natural to them and they all easily picked up the Revit tools. What didn't come so naturally for some, was the parametric and rule based modelling that has become invaluable for our industry over the past few years. Parametric modelling is a different way to approach design, and not common across all building design teams and justifiably for some, but invaluable for object based modelling and a huge time saver for nearly all teams. Our learners were introduced to the use of Parametrically controlled geometry modelling, syntax rule based parameters and data driven inputs for their objects.