The residential design process is typically managed by an architect. The architect needs ensure a number of aspects such as making sure of the safety and integrity of the house, its conformity to building codes from depth of the basement to stair tread height, and the appropriate functioning of its infrastructure from plumbing to electricity. The architect will also focus on interiors to offering colour and textures to the space to create a comfortable, safe and pleasant living environment. The architect will sometimes work directly with clients who buy a custom built house to develop a truly unique living environment, however in most cases the architect will be working within or for a homebuilder that is creating a space based on researched and known needs of the market in which the house will be built. The choice of design software used to create the design output plays a significant role in the overall design time, accuracy and of course output for builders to use. This is where ArchiCAD offers a solution as it is built for home design more so than many other software tools.
By using ArchiCAD, the designer can model and shape the home design more easily; creating a design that can be manipulated and changed quickly and without the need to start from scratch within one view to allow changes in other views. ArchiCAD allows users to combine creative freedom with renowned efficiency of its robust Building Information Modelling utility. ArchiCAD also allows users to create and manage overlapping options and variations while drawing or modelling the design during the various stages of the design process. Let’s look at some of the stages during the residential design process in more detail.
Concept Design Stage
It’s a basic 2d set with floor plans, elevations and 3d renderings. At this stage the goal is to represent the home style and intent to the team and provide the first review by all. At this stage, the contractor and sub-contractors get their first chance to put numbers to the project.
Design Approval Stage
This is the stage, where the design is developed and the client provides approval, feeling good about the direction of the house design. Here, the drawings get more developed so the owner, contractor and sub-contractors can confirm style, dimensions and details. This is the final approval before the detailed drawings are prepared.
This is the ‘build-to’ set of drawings. An entire 2d set with all the information for the contractor, engineer, owner and sub-contractors is created. At this stage, the architects also create all the 3D isometric and exploded drawings required for construction. It’s the ultimate set of drawings that will be used by the entire building and installation team. These drawings include floor framing, electrical and floor plans, as well as all the elevations and sectional views required to represent the details to everyone in the team.
Whilst all three stages refer to 2d drawings, it is how these are produced that is important. As ArchiCAD software is an all-round 2D/3D application that’s intended to offer a total project output, including modelling and rendering, it is an ideal tool to generate 2d drawings which are created from a working, clash tested and interference free 3d model. Any changes made to the model during design are updated in all views, such as 2d elevations and 2d plans as well as the 3D model. ArchiCAD is extremely effective for all stages of residential design as it stores all the information for the house in a central database, changes made in one view are updated in all others, which include floor plans, section/elevations, ArchiCAD’s 3D modelling structure also provides additional benefits such as the creation of bills of material information, something that would not be possible with a 2d drawing approach. Overall, the benefits of ArchiCAD for residential drafting and modelling really do make a difference to the homebuilding design process and is one of the many reasons why it has developed into a leading tool, particularly in areas such as Australia and New Zealand where it is the design tool of choice for homebuilders and home designers.