Why landscaping companies are dumping 2D CAD
Significant changes from 2D CAD in landscape architecture are due to external pressure, including the requirements of the UK’s BIM Level 2 framework for government-procured projects. Even if you are not obliged to BIM, there is a unique pressure to deliver BIM files when working with a consultant who has already matured your workflow with BIM.
Hanging on a 2D tool like AutoCAD for information modeling puts the landscaping company in a dilemma. And that’s a dilemma that more practitioners need to solve, especially to catch up with the BIM methodologies advocated by various other industries.
To properly incorporate 3D modeling into embedded data, 2D-focused companies need to use several separate software programs (Note: “programs” are plural!). It’s not uncommon for these companies to use three or four applications to put together a 3D concept, and paying for three or four programs isn’t perfect for your wallet. Not to mention labor costs, given the time spent working on multiple applications. This all seems painfully familiar.
Benefits of 3D and BIM with Ares Landscape Architects
The Ares Landscape Architect was in trouble under the BIM Level 2 obligations of the Nottingham City Hub Project. After years of AutoCAD-based workflows, the company needed a BIM-enabled application and embarked on Vectorworks Landmark for design and document consistency. This is a great attraction when getting started with BIM requirements.
Sam Bailey, senior landscape architect at Ares, said it’s important for the team to establish file transfer expectations as the project involves collaboration between architects using ArchiCAD and engineers using Revit. It states that there is. They depended on IFC.
“This only helps ensure that everyone is on the same page in the future and speeds up the adjustment process,” Bailey said.
The collaborative team has established these standards in the BIM execution plan. Ares modeled the site in 3D, using the architect’s architectural model as a context. The 3D model automatically generated a 2D plan, unlike the one used by Ares to create in AutoCAD. Bailey said he was working in 3D from the beginning of the project. He knew he would eventually need to provide a 3D model anyway.
The data-based design helped Ares throughout the model creation. “All the information is embedded in the object,” says Bailey. “If something changes, such as a plant species, you can easily replace it.”
For illustration: If Bailey proposes a hardscape where the material exceeds the budget, he can see that information in the hardscape’s linked worksheets. In that case, you need to change the material to something more cost effective. At that point, the Hardscape documentation will be automatically updated to reflect your changes. Eliminates a lot of guesswork from budgeting and further speeds change management. He only has to make changes in one place.
When ready to share the site model, Ares used Vectorworks’ built-in IFC specification to tag the geometry for export. The project architect then put together all the models in Solibri to check for collisions. The project’s information manager used Ares’s model to generate COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange) data, another requirement of the project.
Ultimately, Ares 3D models have become sources of a variety of outputs, including 2D planning, plant and material schedules, IFC specifications, cost estimates, lists, and more, without leaving Vectorworks’ design space.
Denial efficiency with dedicated tools
Ares was able to use Vectorworks Landmark to centralize the BIM process and eliminate the need for several software programs to complete the job. That’s the beauty of this project. It highlights the many forces behind the evolution of landscape architecture.
Of course, the need for 3D modeling, landscape-specific tools, and smart documents is due to the pressure of BIM, but the story goes beyond BIM. Using specially built design software to negotiate these forces, in a nutshell, makes a lot of sense.
See for yourself — Click here for a complete walkthrough of Ares’ Nottingham City Hub Project with commentary from Senior Landscape Architect Sam Bailey.