image by grimshaw architects
image by grimshaw architects

Training Center | Grimshaw Architects | Qatar Civil Aviation Authority | 2014

This projects scope was to design new building for the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority that would house a Meteorology Center and Training Facilities. Also, as part of the project was a smaller building designed to house the Visitor’s Center. My role on the project was to provide BIM Support for both structures. However, given strict time constraint I have taken on multiple responsibilities that varied from roof surface rationalization to documentation of various parts of the building. I have created computational processes and workflows for quick knowledge transfer between Rhino and Revit that would allow for efficient documentation of complex geometries. I have also created diagrams that explained creation process of various elements as well as schedules to aid in proper installation of those elements in the field. Scope of my work was mostly limited to roofs, eaves and soffits since they were posing the greatest geometrical challenges.

Chairman’s Soffit documentation:

Chairman’s Soffit, as we have called the crescent shaped part of the building, posed a unique challenge due to its complex geometry and various unique conditions. Part of my role on the project was to create diagrams that would allow manufacturer’s to recreate the exact same geometry. Initial model was created in Rhino, yet parts of it were transferred to Revit using Grasshopper and Dynamo. Revit was chosen for its ability to create schedules from Shared Parameters. As part of this task I have created two new Components for Dynamo called Arc Radius and Arc Length that were utilizing Revit API to write radius and length properties of an arc to shared parameter. Also, Dynamo was used to extract arc’s XYZ coordinates from adaptive point families and write those to parameters that could be scheduled. Various Grasshopper scripts were utilized to create and manage placement points for soffit panels.

Petal Roof and Eve documentation:

Similarly to Chairman’s Soffits, the Petal Roof geometry and especially the Eave Panels presented a challenging task to document. In order to manage the vast amount of information we have decided to create an information database in Grasshopper, yet use Revit’s ability to schedule and document the eave panels. A wireframe model was maintained in Rhino while Grasshopper scripts and plugins like Hummingbird and Chameleon were used to transfer information between the software. Ultimately all eave panels were re-created in Revit with all its parameters driven by data coming from Rhino model via Grasshopper. Also, roof set out geometry and diagrams were created in a similar fashion.

Computational BIM Workflows:

For this particular project most of the computational work that I did was centered around geometry documentation and involved mostly Grasshopper and plug-ins like Hummingbird, Chameleon or Lyrebird. However, later in the CD process a an issue was spotted that allowed me to deploy a nifty Dynamo workflow. The problem was multiple instances of casework families placed in the model in the exact same location – duplicates. They were throwing off schedules and total counts for one of our costing estimators. In order to solve that I created a quick Dynamo definition that later evolved into something else due to some questions from readers: delete duplicate families

All visualizations are courtesy of Grimshaw Architects VU Team. All Diagrams are courtesy of Konrad K Sobon and Hector Romero.

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