GRAPHISOFT’s EcoDesigner Star

Courtesy of

GRAPHISOFT has developed another tool for your BIM toolbox. This tool – the EcoDesigner Star – creates a streamlined energy analysis workflow. Essentially – architects can use their BIM as a Building Energy Model (BEM).

What does this mean for designers and energy consultants? Implementing BIM in your everyday design practice already requires less timeto complete and deliver an architectural project. Now, with EcoDesigner Star coordination and collaboration are further enhanced as those processes are shortened and more productive. Additionally, EcoDesigner Star offers standard-compliant energy analyses on the BEM and produces a detailed building performance report, all within the familiar ArchiCAD design environment. EcoDesigner supports authoring tools in ArchiCAD by fully inegrating energy evaluation and reporting, according to international energy standards into the BIM.

Expansion of Communication with Graphisoft BIMx

Courtesy of Graphisoft

So what exactly is BIMx and how can it be used? Graphisoft BIMx is an interactive 3D presentation tool that allows all the stakeholders in a project to have access to the building model, without requiring any specialized skills. BIMx is a game changer that allows for innovation with the types of models created and the presentation/utility of these models.

Unlock the Power of Collaboration with Open BIM

YouTube Preview Image

GRAPHISOFT® recently announced it has joined forces with buildingSMART® International, Tekla® and several leading vendors to launch a global program in order to promote Open BIM collaboration workflows throughout the AEC industry.

From their release: Open BIM is a universal approach to the collaborative design, realization and operation of buildings based on open standards and workflows. Open BIM is an initiative of buildingSMART and several leading software vendors using the open buildingSMART Data Model.

More info after the break.

ArchiCAD BIM Provides Competitive Edge for Conceptual Design

Sahana Tower -

Phoenix-based Orcutt|Winslow (O|W) has been hired to design a verdant, green residential tower that will soar into the sky above Mumbai, . The project, currently in a conceptual phase, addresses ’s burgeoning housing demand by creating an alternative to Mumbai’s densely-packed extensive horizontal communities, which have erased the once-lush tropical landscape. Embracing a trend toward vertical development, the design provides opportunities to re- introduce nature at the ground plane and improve the quality of life for Mumbai residents. Offering breathtaking views of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link to one side, as well as panoramic views of the city, Sahana Pride at Sion encompasses a challenging and compact footprint. O|W focused the building design on allowing residents to reconnect with nature, despite being located in the center of a bustling city such as Mumbai. Rising from a strong base, surrounded with vegetation, the proposed building expands to provide a wide range of activity spaces.

Australia’s 1st completed Building Information Modelling (BIM) High Rise wins more awards

Courtesy of Investa / Photographer: Gerrit Fokkema

Coca-Cola Place (previously known as ARK) has won the Property Council’s NSW Development of the year. This award is the equivalent of the “Oscars” for the property industry in and is yet another for this 21-level iconic building north of Sydney, New South Wales in .

The Property Council’s Innovation and Excellence Awards is the pre-eminent property industry program in Australia. The annual awards celebrate the achievements of the sector’s finest professionals and companies.

Integrated into North Sydney’s heritage precinct, the form of Coca-Cola Place breaks boundaries, challenges traditions and sets new design benchmarks. It was conceived as a set of layered elements which responds to the grain of the Heritage Street, natural environment, public domain, and city skyline. Completed in 2010, it was conceived, designed, documented and built using Building Information Modelling ().

More about it after the break.

UK’s Moonstone Project Achieves Zero Carbon Rating with ArchiCAD

Moonstone Project, designed using ArchiCAD

The award-winning Moonstone Project, designed using GRAPHISOFT’s ArchiCAD , is one of the UK’s best performing houses, exceeding the UK’s Code 6 Sustainable Homes Guide; the house also exceeds the German ‘Passivhaus’ top standard for energy efficiency by over 65%.

Developer John Croft had a dream to build his own home in the idyllic setting of the Cotswolds. It took a few years, a lot of patience, research, and work to make this home the best it could be. At 16,000 square feet (1,500 square meters), with a third of its structure underground, Moonstone meets a zero carbon footprint – an incredible accomplishment considering the house is 21 times larger than the average UK home. The house literally needs no energy as it was designed to meet, or exceed, the very highest environmental standards, while providing a beautiful and practical family home.

More after the break.

DA|AD: Not Your Father’s Architecture Firm

Courtesy of &

The Lighthouse Christian School (LCS) was a beacon of goodwill even after a deluge washed away its pre-school in May 2010. Although few had lost more than the school community, LCS leaders hung a banner amid the ruins that read, “Southeast Nashville Recovery. How can we help?”

“At their time of greatest need, the LCS community was helping other flood victims rebuild their homes, so it was an easy decision, an honor actually, for us to give them a hand,” says architect John Abernathy, founding partner at DA|AD of Nashville. Abernathy and his firm were recruited to design and oversee the pre-school building’s resurrection, featured on the popular US TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Using BIM to design a ‘Net Zero’ home

Courtesy of John Zona III

In nature, nothing is perfectly square, and organisms orient themselves by the sun. Both truths explain the fresh design of the “net zero” Zona home.

The Jacksonville, Florida, residence, designed using ArchiCAD software from , the personal home of by architect John Zona III and his wife. It features a main residence and guest cottage/studio, both with American football-shaped footprints to minimize the considerable cooling demands of homes in Southern climes.

‘Prefab-ulous’ Classrooms Ease Disruption of School Renovation


As if learning in the classroom weren’t challenging enough, school renovations can disrupt teachers who are trying to teach and kids who are trying to learn. Too often during a renovation project, students are displaced into shaky mobile-home-style classrooms and/or packed into gyms and music rooms.

© Kris Celtnieks

Recent Oregon graduate Kris Celtnieks has an answer for these problems. His full-size pre-fabricated temporary school building would be a middle ground between stable, permanent space and the shanty feel of mobile classrooms. His buildings would be quickly assembled on vacant spaces near schools under renovation, providing learning-friendly space with good acoustics, pleasant lighting, and a solid framework. They could be quickly configured to the site and sized for enrollment. When renovations are complete, they could be disassembled and infinitely reused. As conceived, they feature a fabric roof, adjustable microclimate, and a self-contained waste-processing system.

AD Interviews: Bradley Khouri / b9 Architects

Urban Canyon, © William Wright Photography

Sustainability has become one of the main issues when designing for any architecture practice around the world, and not only thinking in technological aspects but also in the quality of the community environment. Awarded with the Young Architect Award by Seattle, b9 Architects creates innovative, sustainable, modern architectural solutions utilizing open, connective spaces and maximizing access to natural light. Working through a comprehensive design process, they translate initial concepts into form through text, drawing and modeling, utilizing rhythm and pattern in order to create moments of contrast and difference. Through thoughtful site planning, energy considerations, daylighting and material choices, are committed to working towards achieving carbon neutrality in our built environment.

With this introduction, we would like to present an interview we made to Bradley Khouri, AIA, the Principal and founder of b9 Architects inc. Their work focuses on creating positive change in the urban environment through innovative place-specific modern architecture. Supporting sustainable, transit oriented, walkable communities, b9’s completed works include urban single- and multi-family housing projects, live-work dwellings and commercial interiors.

When Europe met Asia…with delicious results

© 2005 digital scan by Leonore Hietkamp

Some of Shanghai’s most revered architecture was designed by a Hungarian, László Hudec (1893-1958), whose works are on display at Shanghai’s Museum of Contemporary Art as 3D virtual reality building explorations.

These tours are part of the museum’s tribute to Hungary (through Sept. 5), which highlights that country’s contributions to film, music and design. Museum patrons virtually “fly through” every nook, cranny, form, plane, space and detail of three architectural treasures that exemplify Hudec’s Art Deco and Modernist style:

YouTube Preview Image

Park Hotel: At 22 stories, this was the tallest building in the Far East for decades and Shanghai’s tallest building through the 1980s. Hudec was inspired by New York’s and Chicago’s skyscrapers, which he experienced firsthand in 1927. Completed in 1934, the Park Hotel is a masterpiece of modernism and Art Deco and a symbol of Shanghai’s rapid development in the 1930’s. Virtual visitors marvel at the hotel’s elegant Art Deco lobby.

YouTube Preview Image

Moore Memorial Church: Re-built by Hudec in 1931, the church was originally built in 1887 to serve the Methodist community. Gothic vaulted ceilings, stone ribbing, and stained glass windows exemplify the neo-Gothic style. The bell tower on the southwest corner, at 42.1 meters, was the highest tower in Shanghai at the time. This is one of several sacred buildings that Hudec designed in Shanghai on a pro bono basis.

YouTube Preview Image

D.V. Woo House: Completed in July 1938, this was one of the most spacious and luxurious homes in the Far East at the time. Known as the “green house” after the hue of the glazed tiles that covered its surface, this residence integrates modern architecture with Art Deco. The home was famous for its staggering array of rooms, including a banquet hall, ballroom, billiard room, bar, chess room, greenhouse, and sunroom. It was also the first home in Shanghai with an elevator and air conditioning. The Italian marble staircase, copper handrail and copper radiators were all novelties at the time.

Hudec was trained in Budapest as a classical architect. A visit to the in 1927 shifted Hudec’s vision from an eclectic, neo-Classical style first to Art Deco and then to Modernism. Hudec’s transition to Art Deco helped his buildings capture the excitement, promise and glamor of Shanghai’s golden age of prosperity. Hudec was one of the most interesting and culturally astute architects of the early 20th century, bridging the gap between European architecture and Chinese culture. His commercial, residential and religious buildings are especially noteworthy given that many are still in use today in their original function.

Disclosure: is one of our partners, sponsor of our section.

AD Interviews: Aaron Jobson / Quattrocchi Kwok Architects

Credit: Technical Imagery Studio

Designing Educational districts is certainly a challenging topic for every architecture firm. In line with this topic, we would like to introduce you a California based firm who is committed to helping California school districts harness the power of the sun to generate renewable energy.

Founded in 1986, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects provides thoughtful collaborative design services to the clients they serve. They offer responsive design work that supports those who use the facilities they create through client centered design, human scale, innovation, sustainable practices and the willingness to stretch our imaginations to suit the needs of their clients. QKA’s diverse portfolio reflects our commitment to design that responds to use, climate and the community.

With a staff of 47, has provided design services for over $850 million of public and private projects. This experience includes master planning, new construction, renovations and historical restoration. While their experience is varied, each project shares a common goal: The facility must meet the needs and wishes of all the users.

Be a great Architect by sharing the design load

Architecture has always treasured the ideal of the lone creative genius but the reality we all work with today is that architecture is all about the team. Even Wright collaborated with the construction team and Gaudi based much of what he did on information learned from the trades.

Architecture, as always, involves a slew of stakeholders – not only the designers but also owners, operators, builders, colleagues, and partners working on various jobs like structural, HVAC, MEP or sustainability consulting.

Teamwork is the way of the world, so why should our profession be any different? And hey, whatever you think of Twitter and Facebook, this is the era of social communication. Why shouldn’t we get in on the action?

Even while collaborating, we can be architectural icons. We can still maintain our creative integrity. We might even do better work, make more money, and have more time for ourselves.

If you do want to collaborate effectively, start with a Building Information Modeling () tool. This gives you not only the basic geometry, but packs spatial relationships, lighting, geography, quantities and properties of building components into the 3D model. The richer the foundation, the more powerful the collaboration.