Product

Case Study: Early Strategic Insights Changed the Game for this Architect

September 16, 2021

What’s in this Blog?

  1. Project Challenge
  2. Design Process
  3. Results

Case Study: Early Strategic Insights Changed the Game for this Architect

Picture this. You found out that you have only last 2 to 3 days to participate in a super exciting design contest and to be eligible as well as to win, you need to submit concept design options complete with budget estimates! You understand that architectural design is a highly iterative process and planning in AutoCAD itself can take a couple of days. Also, presenting a rough concept sketch is not an option because you know it won’t make the cut in the world of 3D models. So, what do you do?

See how a senior freelance architect based out of India, Suhana Shah found a solution in a similar situation.

Project: 6-storey posh office building
Project location: Metro city in India
Project size: 86,000 sq. ft.
Concept submission timeline: 2 to 3 days

Project Challenge

The scope of the project was to design 86,000 sq. ft. of office space within the regulatory compliance (FAR). The project was to be designed as part of a design competition that the client had launched in order to get best design ideas for his project, where only the last 2 to 3 days were left. The terms of the competition demanded submissions, complete with key detailing and cost estimates. The architect and her team first considered using their usual design software but could not as it would have typically taken:

  • Plan creation in AutoCAD: 3 days
  • Modelling in SketchUp: 3 days
  • Area Calculations: 3 days
  • Bill of Quantity (BoQ): 2 weeks

Design Process

The architect and her team had heard great things about Snaptrude from their peers and they decided to give it a quick try. At the outset, the architect was able to work on the tool without any exhaustive training. It took just a bit of exploring to get started.

We break down their design approach and reflections on what was achieved.

1. Designing on an iPad

The design team quickly ideated a series of concept sketches. This would typically have been done on paper or on a non-AutoCAD compatible iPad app. Using Snaptrude on iPad, the design sketches could directly be translated into the Massing model, feeding directly into the next step of the design process. The architect tested 6 preliminary zoning and idea sketches to arrive at the design intent.

Snaptrude <b>BIM design software</b> on iPad
Testing architectural ideas on iPad on Snaptrude

2. Parametric Designing

The 3 options shortlisted after discussions were modelled in 3D on Snaptrude to test spatial organisation. With pre-defined architectural elements, the architect enjoyed fast accessibility and easier implementation of designs.

Parametric design on Snaptrude Building Information Modelling software
Multiple options and design forms were generated on Snaptrude BIM software

3. Sketch to 3D

After comparing the 3 options for FAR compliance, functional distribution and cost implications, the selected option was detailed with complex 3D elements. Like staircases spanning across multiple storeys, and a feature amphitheatre. Bridges and hanging meeting rooms were tested, designed and detailed, that too with all the BIM information. An accurate BIM model was generated from mass models with one click.

Snaptrude 3D modelling software for complex designs
Complex 3D elements designed on Snaptrude BIM software

4. BoQ and Scheduling - The game changer

What helped to match the architect’s vision with the client’s budget was automated generation of Bill of Quantities on Snaptrude. This allowed the team to project cost of construction and interiors during the first design meeting with the client (INR 526,000,000/INR 52 Cr). Once the design was finalised, the auto generated furniture schedule was also shared directly with vendors for finalising exact specifications, expediting the entire procurement and interior design workflow.

Snaptrude auto area calculation
For Design Option 1 – Automated area calculation on Snaptrude BIM tool

Snaptrude auto generation of Bill of Materials
For Design Option 1 – Auto generation of Bill of Quantities on Snaptrude

Snaptrude auto area calculation
For Design Option 2 – Automated area calculation on Snaptrude BIM tool

Snaptrude auto generation of Bill of Materials
For Design Option 2 – Auto generation of Bill of Quantities on Snaptrude

Snaptrude auto area calculation
For Design Option 3 – Automated area calculation on Snaptrude BIM tool

Snaptrude auto generation of Bill of Materials
For Design Option 3 – Auto generation of Bill of Quantities on Snaptrude

“We wanted to go with wood finishes for a more luxurious finish, and thanks to Snaptrude, we had an automated BoQ to get an instant cost estimate and convince the client that it will work.”

Suhana Shah
Senior Architect, India

5. Automation

Using auto layouts, the architect and her team were able to maximise the occupancy of the office floor plate. To be specific, 810 workstations, 20 conference rooms, 32 discussion pods and a 250 seater cafeteria were automatically laid out. Multiple auto generated layout options were evaluated and the best option was taken forward, as per the client’s requirements. This saved the architect multiple manual iterations and 4-5 days of time.

Snaptrude BIM design software automation
Automated design capabilities on Snaptrude BIM tool

6. Design Analysis

86,000 sq. ft. of office space was designed by the team to be within FAR (regulatory compliance). Via an iterative process, the architects were able to bring design options and solutions that satisfied the client.

Snaptrude BIM design software
86,000 sq. ft. of office space designed on Snaptrude design software

Results

Compared to traditional design tools, the architect found Snaptrude BIM software to have an enormous edge. Because, her team not only found a solution to the problem but got more than what they were looking for.

From the three options they suggested, the client went ahead with option one – Atrium.

Snaptrude design exploration
Comparing design options with auto calculations on Snaptrude BIM tool

The atrium design with skylight brought about a severe reduction in external glazing without compromising daylighting of the office floorplates. This amounted to a huge gain in terms of costing, allowing for the choice of a more luxurious wooden finish throughout the project.

To ensure complete daylighting with the skylight design, the office bays were made narrower by 4m. With Snaptrude’s automated layout tool, they were able to immediately assess if the narrower floorplate would accommodate the number of workstations and meeting spaces required by the client.

Office space design on Snaptrude BIM tool
Designing office workstations on Floor Level 1

Office space design on Snaptrude BIM tool
Designing office workstations on Floor Level 2

Overall, the automation tools that Snaptrude offers allowed for faster decision making, and a much more efficient design. The intuitive interface enabled quick and easy modelling of complex 3D elements.

DO YOU KNOW? It took just around 5 hours to design the 6-storey office building with complex 3D design elements, from sketch to detailed model.

Office building design on Snaptrude
6-storey office building model, designed on Snaptrude

Office building design on Snaptrude
Inside the office space, created on Snaptrude

This presentation-ready model designed in time, allowed the architect and her team to seal the deal. The automated BoQ generation gave the architect a game-changing insight early on in the project, which played a key role in winning the client’s confidence and the project.

A single tool helped the team create data-driven design with a higher level of complexity in an accurate manner. This also underlined the fact that the complicated design process of using multiple tools during conceptualisation can be done away with, if a single powerful tool can do the job (and do it fabulously).

Office building design on Snaptrude
6-storey corporate office designed on Snaptrude

“My sincere thanks to Snaptrude for building an amazing tool that helped our team win this project. As we move towards the future, the importance of advanced BIM tools that generate data-driven design plus save us time cannot be stressed enough. ”

Suhana Shah
Senior Architect, India


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