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authors Wheeler, B.J.Q
year 1986
title A Unified Model for Building
source Computer-Aided Architectural Design Futures [CAAD Futures Conference Proceedings / ISBN 0-408-05300-3] Delft (The Netherlands), 18-19 September 1985, pp. 200-231
summary It is commonly recognized that the time-honoured procedure for preparing an architectural design for building on site is inefficient. Each member of a team of consultant professionals makes an independently documented contribution. For a typical project involving an architect and structural, electrical, mechanical and public services engineers there will be at least five separate sets of general- arrangement drawings, each forming a model of the building, primarily illustrating one discipline but often having to include elements of others in order to make the drawing readable. For example, an air-conditioning duct-work layout is more easily understood when superimposed on the room layout it serves which the engineer is not responsible for but has to understand. Both during their parallel evolution and later, when changes have to be made during the detailed design and production drawing stages, it is difficult and time consuming to keep all versions coordinated. Complete coordination is rarely achieved in time, and conflicts between one discipline and another have to be rectified when encountered on site with resulting contractual implications. Add the interior designer, the landscape architect and other specialized consultants at one end of the list and contractors' shop drawings relating to the work of all the consultants at the other, and the number of different versions of the same thing grows, escalating the concomitant task of coordination. The potential for disputes over what is the current status of the design is enormous, first, amongst the consultants and second, between the consultants and the contractor. When amendments are made by one party, delay and confusion tend to follow during the period it takes the other parties to update their versions to include them. The idea of solving this problem by using a common computer-based model which all members of the project team can directly contribute to is surely a universally assumed goal amongst all those involved in computer-aided building production. The architect produces a root drawing or model, the 'Architect's base plan', to which the other consultants have read-only access and on top of which they can add their own write-protected files. Every time they access the model to write in the outcome of their work on the project they see the current version of the 'Architect's base plan' and can thus respond immediately to recent changes and avoid wasting time on redundant work. The architect meanwhile adds uniquely architectural material in his own overlaid files and maintains the root model as everybody's work requires. The traditional working pattern is maintained while all the participants have the ability to see their colleagues, work but only make changes to those parts for which they are responsible.
series CAAD Futures
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