BUILDING INFORMATION MODELING

FAMILY HOUSING AT EIELSON AFB, ALASKA

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ORB Architects' careful management of resources and steady workload has allowed us to continue strengthening our project portfolio. It has also given us the opportunity to implement Building Information Modeling (BIM) into our design process. Embracing this technology reflects our focus on establishing ORB as a leader among small architecture firms. In this continually changing economy, BIM provides our clients and consultants great value in our combined project efforts.

With BIM, we gain project efficiency through the maturity of the models. Drawings are extracted live from the models with data-rich content (e.g., materials, wall assemblies, door schedules). Designers are cognizant of the current state of the building design every time they are working within the model. Through the use of BIM, compiling a drawing set and analyzing and reporting information from the building become simple, quick keyboard commands. These time-saving tasks allow our team to focus on the building's design and coordination issues.

 
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Our commitment to incorporating BIM into all of our projects is three-fold. First, our design teams are trained to use Revit or Microstation XM, both BIM platforms, from project conception. Our BIM Lead's knowledge and experience with workflow are valuable in guiding our successful project execution.

The architectural design of Eielson AFB Housing Phase II project was created exclusively in Revit. The project involved demolition of existing units, design-build of 90 multi-family housing units and a mechanical building, and renovation of 99 multi-family housing units. Revit gave us the opportunity on this fast-paced project to more easily update drawing sets and quickly produce renderings throughout the project. It has also resulted in more collaboration and communication among the team.

 
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Second, we are pursuing projects with a commitment to BIM. We have made the investment as a firm to execute our BIM skills for projects like Eielson housing, and we are now eager to initiate more BIM coordination and reporting with consultants, clients, and contractors moving forward. We believe our use of BIM will enrich our working relationships with all of the players involved.

Finally, we are using BIM to further our firm's mission, which is to use design, management, and technology expertise on projects that are inspired by communities and directly benefit those communities.

The use of BIM gives our designers an integrated platform where discovery in design and responsiveness are crucial aspects of the process. It allows us to respond to our clients' needs with updated material renderings, model studies, and quick design updates. BIM also calculates reports for cost estimating and scheduling. As a whole, with the emergence of BIM and its practice gaining a foothold in our industry, we have chosen to be among the progressive firms leading the way with this new technology and the integrated project delivery approach that it makes possible. 

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