New London Architecture

Using BIM to Create the Best Possible Design

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Retha Swanepoel

Regional Design Technology Manager

Gensler’s View on Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Gensler’s Regional Design Technology Manager Retha Swanepoel recently spoke at NLA’s ‘Technical Briefing: Building Information Modelling’ webinar to give the audience an Architect’s view on BIM. 
It was very insightful to listen to other speakers and their views on how we can make BIM accessible and more relevant to specific disciplines, and we were happy to learn that we all seem to be on the same page. Here, we distil our main points and some key information about Gensler’s process, the benefits it can bring, and the technology we have developed and use in each of our projects.
Using BIM to Create the Best Possible Design 
At Gensler, we appreciate the full lifecycle nature of BIM. BIM goes hand in hand with our vision to contribute to a healthier world and to create a more sustainable future. Working strategically and methodically throughout projects, whilst leveraging the benefits of the latest BIM technologies & processes, not only gives us an edge in delivering beautiful, highly coordinated designs, but also the opportunity to produce digital deliverables with boundless future potential for our clients.  
We are committed to BIM as a business process, integrating real-world data, standards, technologies, and workflows into our daily design practice.
Our Approach to BIM Integration

We base our approach to the BIM Integration process on our core values which are centred around:

-        Design Disciplines Integration – a holistic solution which integrates all disciplines throughout the life cycle of projects

-        Agile Delivery Optimization - iterative, incremental, and lean approaches to streamline and accelerate the delivery of projects

-        Quality – deliver to the highest standards

-        Semi-Automation – streamline redundant and wasteful tasks

-        Predictive Decision-Making – data-driven design and decision making
We tailor each project’s Digital Integration strategy to our clients’ priorities and the team’s supply-chain structure.
Benefits of BIM
We have a Standard BIM Offering in place to help drive BIM Delivery on all projects. Below are some of the main benefits of this standard strategic approach:

-        Early-stage planning and infrastructure strategies ensure that we are procedurally aligned with the workflows prescribed in the Industry Standards for the orderly and managed collation of coordinated design information throughout the life of projects.

-        It allows for consistent delivery, providing quality and value to our clients.

-        It affords agility for design decision-making, especially if we want to achieve carbon neutrality on projects.

-        Having a single source of truth means that all project stakeholders have instant access to up-to-date information that won’t be outdated or incorrect.

-        Continuous sharing of information cultivates a culture of collaboration and leads to fewer coordination errors. Finally, the transparency of the system protects all parties.
Visualisation of designs through BIM allows us to engage all stakeholders in a way that transforms everyone’s understanding of the end product. We can visualise graphical and non-graphical information, all connected to the BIM model. This sets the baseline for analysing and optimising energy efficiency, thereby enabling us to provide sustainable and long-term design solutions for our clients through early model analysis.
Gensler’s Data Driven Design 
We understand the power of Data Driven Design and how developing our own market-specific, data-driven design platforms, in addition to our purchased digital assets, is a critical element of our digital transformation capabilities. These in-house solutions are a series of sophisticated products that are a mixture of rule-based design tools, customized algorithmic logic, and bespoke automation processes:

·       gBlox™: a proprietary design application used for building architecture and urban scales, leveraging the power of Data, Geometry and simulation with the ability to use client financial data to enhance design decision making. Watch the gBlox show reel here.

·       gFloorz™: a proprietary interior design application using semi-automation logic and industry + Gensler data parameters by Gensler to inform interiors workplace decisions, and simulation through agile design optioneering. Watch the gFloorz show reel here.

·       gPlanet™: a comprehensive approach to resilience analysis consisting of industry-validated analysis engines, custom workflows, educational resources, and internally developed computational software to enable our designers to achieve design resilience across the globe.

·       gmp™: a platform-agnostic visualization and storytelling platform housing advanced real-world, physical-based materials, infinitely adjustable by computational algorithms. In addition, a library of multi-ethnic and gender 3D entourage supports our Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives.
Looking to the Future
The future of BIM is about changing our design approach to enable agility for design decision making. BIM is not an add-on but a key part of the process. We need to consider a sum of all the parts. With a holistic approach we are much better equipped to achieve zero carbon and to contribute to a healthier world that can create a more sustainable future. BIM is a project management process, integrating standards and workflows into our daily design and delivery process, and our aim should be to close the gap between design and operations to help the industry reach sustainability goals going forward.

Image: Gensler

Retha Swanepoel

Regional Design Technology Manager




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