Urban Design Group Using Building Information Modeling Software and Advanced 3-D Renderings to Design their New Office Space

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UDG, an award-winning architectural firm, is using Revit to create virtual 3-D models of their new offices. The firm is relocating to Buckhead’s prestigious Prominence Building in April 2012.

Urban Design Group

Revit helped us visualize the complex geometries of the elements to ensure we created smooth transitions. It would have been far more challenging to address these issues in a traditional 2-D program.

Urban Design Group (UDG), an award-winning architectural firm, just released 3-D renderings of their new office space currently being built out in the Prominence Building, a 19-story, Class A office tower strategically located in Buckhead. Urban Design Group is serving as their own interior designer and AHA Engineers is providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection (MEPF) services. Both firms are using Revit 2011 by Autodesk to develop the designs, plans and 3-D models for the project. UDG will be moving in April 2012, and the firm’s new address will be 3475 Piedmont Road, Suite 1200, Atlanta, GA 30305.

UDG is an industry leader in using Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the design process as well as leveraging it as a powerful tool to enhance ongoing facility management. When it came time to design the firm’s new Atlanta studio, the design team was eager to use Revit’s advanced 3-D modeling capabilities to enhance their designs. By using the same version of the software, the design team could easily pass drawings back and forth and benefit from clash detection to see potential problems. With the 3-D models, the design team can visually confirm everything fits together as planned.

How UDG Used BIM to Enhance Interior Design:

UDG used Revit to create a virtual model of their space. Revit helped UDG better design the space, visualize how complex details flowed together and collaborate more effectively with their consultant.

As the Principal in Charge of Design, Ken Rhyne, appreciates having a tool that helps ensure design objectives are being met. “Our goals for the space are to create a sense of arrival, generate a feeling of movement and motion throughout the space and naturally draw visitors through the space,” said Rhyne, Principal with UDG. “We strategically placed design elements throughout the space to produce a sense of surprise. The 3-D modeling helped us make sure we placed the little surprises in the right places and treated the design correctly.”

The advanced 3-D modeling capabilities also allowed the design team to incorporate many creative elements in the ceiling. “We wanted a mix of open industrial-looking areas with exposed ducting and piping contrasted by finished soffits in unexpected shapes,” explained Rhyne. “Revit helped us visualize the complex geometries of the elements to ensure we created smooth transitions. It would have been far more challenging to address these issues in a traditional 2-D program, and Revit gave the design team the opportunity to ensure our concepts were hitting the mark.”

UDG and AHA used the clash detection feature to easily see problems between the ceiling elements and the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems. Revit helped illustrate how the design of different layers of ceilings and mechanical components and lighting elements flowed together.

An integral part of the new space is CAFÉ UDG, the firm’s version of a reinvented break room. CAFÉ UDG is located between the public area and the design studio to provide a central connection point and tie the spaces together. There are soffits between the large bar area in the café to help define the space. Revit allowed the team to visualize what a visitor would experience from different vantage points to help refine the design. With the 3-D images, the designers were able to fully visualize the shaping of soffits and make modifications to improve their impact.

“We also used a bird’s-eye view of looking down but at a slight angle to ensure the right blend of finishes,” explains Rhyne. “We selected a dramatic red accent finish to be applied in vertical spaces. With Revit, we were able to make sure we balanced the red against our other more neutral tones and had the accent colors interspersed correctly. ”

BIM Overview and Revit Advantages:

BIM is a helpful design tool for all sizes and types of projects, from an interior tenant build out in an existing building (such as UDG’s new offices) to construction of a multi-story tower or a large-scale mixed used development.

Revit is the industry leader in BIM software, and their advanced tools automatically convert building plans into integrated 3-D models. The software helps project teams communicate concepts visually, predict building performance, better manage costs and save time in the design process through enhanced collaboration. All model information is stored in a single coordinated database so any revisions are updated throughout the entire model. With Revit, “a change anywhere is a change everywhere.”

The fully integrated database also helps with clash detection and is used for construction planning and fabrication. Revit also helps with sustainable design analysis to help teams quickly compare the energy use and cost estimates of various design options. Revit can also quickly do solar studies to make spaces more efficient because this information is built into the system.

UDG’s Future Use of the Model:

The 3-D model is also being kept current during the construction administration (CA) phase to produce an accurate as-built model for future reference. UDG will also use the model on an ongoing basis to manage furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) including: 1) technology, such as: servers, switches, ports, workstations, printers, plotters, phones, conferencing equipment and peripherals; 2) furniture, such as: chairs, tables and shelves, and 3) the firm’s extensive art collection.

About Urban Design Group:

Urban Design Group offers architectural, interior design and urban master planning services to its worldwide clientele from studios in Atlanta, GA, and Dallas, TX. A market leader in the application and advancement of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, UDG's personnel work on a wide range of projects from hospitality, resort, gaming design and Native American design projects to corporate, university facilities and urban mixed-use developments.

In the firm's 37-year history, Urban Design Group has completed more than $6 Billion dollars in projects worldwide. The firm has received more than 80 design excellence awards and honors, 15 design competition awards and has been featured in hundreds of magazine articles, newspaper pieces and design resource books. For more information, please visit http://www.urbandesigngroup.com.

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Shannah Hayley
UDG
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