1 Bligh Street is anticipated to identify an Australian benchmark for its use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology. 1 Bligh Street located in Sydney represents a unique opportunity to extend the advantages of BIM. The project is entirely modelled and coordinated by Architectus using Revit.
Architectus have recently won the International Revit BIM Experience Award. The Revit BIM Experience Award celebrates building industry professionals and educators around the world who are helping to drive transformation of the building industry through building information modelling (BIM)
Rodd Perey of Architectus states that “1 Bligh Street has expanded our use of BIM and we’re using Revit Architecture as the basis for modelling and documenting the complex elliptical geometry of the building as well as analyzing the building’s sustainable design performance. We are sharing models with multi-disciplinary teams for structural analysis and MEP integration, and using the built-in coordination and interference checking tool to reduce errors.
1 Bligh Street rendering
Interview with Rodd Perey of Architectus:
1. Why is BIM valuable to architectural firms such as yours?
Without getting into the individual feature/benefits of BIM, I would say one of the most valuable aspects of BIM is the ability to use this approach to make good design decisions. For example, using Revit, I can come up with a preliminary schematic design in just a few days that still has all the performance metrics a client wants to know, metrics like efficiency of net rentable to gross floor areas or how many parking spaces are available.
Using traditional design tools, the depth of design information was limited and often we were forced to make decisions in a vacuum. But using BIM, we have hard data from the earliest phase of schematic design. This prevents us from going down the wrong path and ensures that the project is meeting the building program and the client’s expectations.
This decision-making capability manifests itself in countless ways throughout the project’s development: the ability to effortlessly create design visualizations, enabling all the stakeholders on the project to better envision an emerging design; the ability to analyze the building model and get feedback on its energy performance; the ability to examine construction sequencing to understand how construction will impact existing structures. The list is endless. BIM elevates the conversation to a whole new level. It’s not just a new design technology – it’s a new design culture.
2. How does the use of BIM help in sustainable building design?
The challenge of sustainable design is to prove to the client (and the local certification bodies such as the Green Building Council here in Australia who administers our Green Star rating system) that a building can achieve the performance objectives before it’s built. This means we must accurately predict the behavior of the building and its effect on the environment prior to construction. This type of rigorous analysis relies on the use of a digital simulation of a building. Unlike a traditional CAD model, building information modeling offers the level of detail necessary for such in-depth analyses and this detail is “built in” to the model during the normal course of building design. There’s no specialized, redundant modeling work that needs to be done. Therefore BIM is essential for cost-effective sustainable building design.
3. How has BIM helped you to achieve better results on recent building projects?
One of our earliest Revit-based projects was the new AU$30M, 150-guestroom Ibis Hotel in Wollongong, which we fully documented in Revit from beginning to end. This project proved to us the power of BIM for project documentation and communication, as well as its value for decision-making, because – although it was amongst our first Revit projects – we did not have a single ‘formal’ RFI related to the documentation on this project. Instead we would ‘drop a camera’ into the Revit model to view and discuss whatever project issue the client or the contractor had, and even though they had no knowledge of Revit or BIM (or even CAD necessarily) we could quickly come to a decision and move on.
The Ibis Hotel project was about two years ago, and since then we’ve continued to expand and build our BIM practice. For example, on the more recent AU$65 million addition to the existing Novotel Hotel located on Darling Harbor in Sydney, we’re using the phasing capability of Revit to minimize disruption to the existing hotel, which must remain open during the renovation. Because there is so much coordination involved with the existing structure – and to enable the hotel to function during the additional construction – the design team is using the building model and this phasing capability to sequence the new construction and to minimize the interference with existing systems and areas of the operating hotel (like exhaust risers or fire escape stairs) that can’t be disturbed.
A final project example – and one that illustrates our use of BIM for sustainable design practices – is the “Space at One Bligh”, which is intended to be Sydney’s exemplar green building for the next decade and will set a new standard for high-rise office buildings. On this AU$230 million project, we’ve expanded our use of BIM and we’re using Revit Architecture as the basis for modeling and documenting the complex elliptical geometry of the building as well as analyzing the building’s sustainable design performance. We’re sharing models with multi-disciplinary teams for structural analysis and MEP integration, and using the built-in coordination and interference checking tool to reduce errors.
4. How do you envision future uses of BIM?
At Architectus, we’re constantly exploring ways to increase the value of building information modelling for our clients, such as: delivering more sophisticated construction sequencing based on integration with project planning systems, or expanded services to provide an as-built building model for use in maintenance, facilities management, leasing, and tenancy fit-out.
From a broader perspective, I feel that BIM is driving real transformation in the building industry. A product like Revit is an excellent platform for collaboration across design teams and geographies, and I can envision more permanent and structured arrangements for collaboration and project delivery – especially for offshore projects in locations like India or China where political, economic or cultural uncertainties tend to drive up project risk. In fact, we already have clients coming to us for our BIM methodology because it produces such consistent, coordinated designs and documentation – and therefore lowers their risk. At Architectus we’re already engaged in that transformation, cultivating permanent relationships with engineering firms, with ESD consultants, and with builders who use the Revit platform.
Architectus received the Revit BIM Experience Award based on their successful use of the Revit platform for sustainable design, the use of a Revit BIM process for inter-discipline design collaboration and coordination; and for their advanced workflows for team coordination and the sharing of building information models.