Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Flinders Street Station Design Competition

After a long hiatus of not much blogging, finally something to write about.

The last 6months have been spent working towards one of the biggest design competitions I have ever taken part in. With work ramping up over the last few months, the 6 shortlisted designs were released publicly on Tuesday this week.

I had the pleasure of working with "Eduardo Velasquez + Manuel Pineda + Santiago Medina" a trio of lead architects from Columbia and supported by Melbourne Univeristy, along with further support from 6degrees architecture & Thomson Adsett.

Eduardo Velasquez developed the original design as part of his thesis, which was the surprise shortlist when it was selected as part of the 6 final teams. Over 100 official entries were received.

Overall view of the design

Viewed as the outsiders initially, with some local and global big names in the other 5 teams.

My involvement covered all engineering aspects, providing input into Rail, Structure, Site Services and more. With Rail and Structure being the key components.

A key requirement of the final deliverable was the design must be fully produced as a 3D model exportable to a predetermined format which could be bought into a greater Melbourne Spatial model for visulisation.

I was delighted when we had decided on utilising Revit for modelling of the design.

Overall Plan of the Design
The "Glass Box" atrium

View looking back from the north of the site

View from Queensbridge

Site Access Diagram

The design focused around the creation of a new public space, titled "A Courtyard Within a Station"

Upgrade of the station is also a key component of the design, with the new Western Concourse, the redevelopment of the existing concourse, which is bought together with a new Atrium, titled the "Glass Atrium Box"

The Atrium, being a transparent feature still allows sight to the heritage building behind, But incorporates a key new Retail and Hospitality space to the design.

St Kilda road is integrated into the Eastern Concourse as a continuous part of Federation sq. This is one of the more contentious design features, which 50% of the other teams have included. The brief stated this could be done, but the design should work without it. Melbourne City Council has already stated this as a long term vision, which as you can see from the images above would really activate the area.

Walking through from Federation Sq, visitors can either pass straight through to the redeveloped concourse, or walk up into the landscaped zone passing through to the Sandridge Rail Bridge or Queensbridge.

Part of the Structural Model
Landscaping integrated to the Deck

Axometric View of the Atrium

Axometric View of the Deck
The Western Zone of the site incorporates a modest Commercial aspect totally 4 storeys of mixed used area incorparating office space as well as a zone for a high end hotel, sitting above 3 storeys of public spaced earmarked for an interactive science museum.

Scope for height here is very limited due to the proximity to the Yarra River with city regulations requiring no shadows to be cast over the Yarra River itself.

The Commerical building above was challenging in that it has very limited support locations through to the rail zone below, along with being partially above the existing Vaults.

The building is proposed to follow the 4 discrete support locations where structural cores continue down the existing track level.

Western Commercial Building
Presentation to the Jury has already taken place, with their decision final but pending the Public voting process which is now open for voting until Tuesday the 5th of August.

So get voting!

The Jury winner along with the Public choice will be revealed on the 8th of August.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Australian & New Zealand Revit Standards Released

After a mammoth effort beginning way back at the 2009 Revit Technology Conference in Melbourne 2 years ago, an official document of standards and guidelines for Revit Content has been released to the public

For full details jump onto the website, where you can also download the document by submitting your details,  which will then be kept for future updates of the document to be sent out

This document release is the first stage of the process of creating a usable & transparent ANZ standard for content creation

The document contains a few key sections, which at this stage focus mainly on content creation

  • An overview of content requirements outlining the use of content
  • Content compliance (minimum requirements to meet ANZRS standards
  • Advanced Features and Best Practices (additional optional requirements)
  • Recommended shared parameters (including downloadable files)
 It will certainly be interesting to see how the industry reacts to this document, particularly with the growing movement towards collaboration projects with multiple consultants/parties

The next stage is more input from the industry to really refine the guidelines through project use in the industry, so get onto the website and get hold of the document

Monday, May 30, 2011

RTC 2011 Wrapup

A huge few days up at the Gold Coast for the 2011 RTC conference is over

Each year this event seems to get bigger and better, with a reported 450 delegates attending the conference, which is 50% up on last years conference. A huge increase in numbers

The days blurred into nights, with classes throughout the day, and functions into the night. Being at the Gold Coast I had ideas of afternoons in the sun but in reality I actually never left the conference venue while the sun was still up.

Luckily the Jupiters complex had everything we needed;

View from my hotel room

The conference itself went smoothly from start to finish, with RTC putting on a well organised event once again

This year the trend seemed to be "Coordination" & "Communication" with a number of the talks resulting in these themes. The bottom line seemed to be that Consultants, Contractors & Clients need to do more of both to take Revit & BIM to the next level over the next twelve months

I presented just one class this year, which happened to be first day this year, which was a relief following last years two sessions including a class in the final session on the final day. The class was well attended, with close to a full room. Unfortunately I started off with a few technical hitches with the display monitor dieing leaving me to present directly from the projector screen, Certainly not ideal!

Once again the RTC has proven to be a must attend event, I look forward to seeing the results and feedback of the RTC North America event in less than 4 weeks time and whether RTC can stamp its dominance on AU's doorstep!

Now to get some sleep!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Quick update

Time is flying past again, Revit Technology Conference - Gold Coast fast approaching in a few short weeks, only one talk for myself this year with an in-depth look at the settings and options of Structural Families. My content is mostly complete, with just some new 2012 features to add into the class. Really looking forward to a number of longer LAB sessions this year, which should really add some value to the event

With the new job in the past 2 months an entry for the competition was looking tough, but just last week a very interesting bid submission has come up which in a few short days has produced some exciting stuff which hopefully I may be able to present, depending on approval from the other parties involved

Which brings me to this cool video by Zach over at Buildz, if you are not checking out Zach's blog then you better add it to your list

The video is a great overview of what is possible when working with conceptual design and prototyping straight to a 3D printer

Seriously cool stuff!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Navisworks 2012

There doesn't seem to be as much information out there on the new features of Navisworks 2012, Revit is on every blog but Navisworks doesn't seem to have much of the spotlight.  Autodesk has currently been running their ADSKAEC event which is otherwise known as Media Day/s where they give more in depth information on all their upcoming products, and a few interesting Navisworks features caught my attention

I have been using Navisworks quite a bit lately, and something that has really annoyed me is the clumsiness of setting up timeliner animations. Particularly for preliminary presentations, setting and altering the dates can be time consuming. But all along there is a Gaant chart sitting there on one of the panels which is read only and cant be edited...

Inage from Autodesk (Gaant chart on the right)
Well 2012 will now let us interactively alter the timeline through the Gaant chart, this should really make editing timeline animations a lot more interactive. Cant wait to test out how this functions.

The other item that sparked my interest was the introduction of Navisworks being compatible with multi-sheet DWFx files. Currently you need to switch back to Design Review if you want to review a multi sheet set of documents, well now everything can be done straight in Navisworks. I am yet to test the functionality, but it looks like Navisworks will have the full review capabilities to markup drawings as well, which should be great to keep all in piece of software

There are quite a few other new features as well, check out more info here

Friday, April 1, 2011

Structural Trusses with the Revit Truss Tool - Simple Truss

So the Revit Truss tool universally gets a pretty bad wrap, I would agree that it isn't living up to its expectation. But like a lot of tools in Revit if you are not using it you are missing out. But for some reason people are happy to miss out..

I have spent a lot of hours with the truss family, and here are some of the things I have learnt

Firstly make sure you understand what you want, and how you want to flex it
  • What is the geometry of this truss
  • Will the truss be a one off
  • If not, will it need to flex and adjust geometry as multiple instances
  • How do you want the truss to display in the project, are you going to detail the truss to a high level with 3D isometrics at connections etc.
The answer to these initial questions will generally send me down 3 paths
  1. A simple non-parametric truss which is prebuilt to approximate dimensions in the truss family
  2. A parametric truss family with in-built parameters and arrays
  3. A framing family which acts like a truss, but is actually a parametric beam/frame
 Path 1 - Non-Parametric Truss

This is the easiest option, and will be suitable for most trusses that dont require the ability to flex and update number of verticals

Truss Example
 So lets consider an example, in the situation above, we could use a parametric family, but if we dont need to flex the bays, there is no point wrestling with formulas and arrays

The first thing to remember with trusses in Revit, is we don't need to build the angle into the truss, Revit already allows us to sketch the angle in the project, and even lets us attach the top chord to the roof plane

I have made a quick video of the steps required to model a truss like this

Finished truss

But the key points for this are
  • No need to constrain the truss linework in the family, the lines will follow the built in reference planes and each other
  • Set the truss length and truss height to approximately the dimensions you require in the project, there is no point building this thing to 20m long if your project actually needs a truss 4m long and 0.6m high
  • Use equalized dimensions to your advantage, you could also easily add an additional reference plane at a third point for example to create an additional setout point with equalised bays in between
  • Once you load the family into the project, make sure you add member types in the type properties first before placing the truss. Revit does funny things if you try and change it afterwards
  • Think about the best way to place this truss in the project, in the example of created a reference plane to setout the bottom chord, and then attached the top chord to the roof. You can also attach trusses to floors, you cannnot attach them to ref. planes, but you can sketch the top chord by editing the profile as well

Well that is a simple non-parametric truss family, next post I will go through a simple parametric truss family

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Revit 2012 - Construction Modelling & Assembelies

Just a link to some more details on the new Construction Modelling & Assembely features for the upcoming 2012 release. The video has been produced by Autodesk and shows the new features in action

These features will be available for Architecture & Structure

I believe these features will be huge for structural users, and I really look forward to using assemblies on projects. I think being able to more easily schedule and mark groups of components will really benefit documentation workflows