UNDERSTANDING THE ARCHITECTURAL SOLUTIONS
Today is the time of modern age where we all set our priorities which are complemented by our ambition to fulfil the same. Such demands have become strong by many people who work towards achieving their goal and one of the main aims that most of the people have is having one own’s home.
Having a home is a big necessity as well as a luxury in today’s time. It falls in the category of what Indians rightly call it “ roti, kapda aur makaan”. But what is the kind of house does one look for. Well, it all depends on the individual, his needs and his budget. All the three work in sync to determine the final yield of a housing project. While it is certainly not as easy as black and white but it is also not a grey area on its own. If there is one factor that will play a constant role in all kinds of works, projects and in the client’s need and deal is the time factor. Time is ought to be given to realize the potential of one space to turn into an envisioned reality.
Acad is an architectural firm that has entered into the construction and architecture industry as a start-up led by a young entrepreneur, Aayush Chaudhary. He has led the company with a lot of patience and determination right from the inception to its current progress. While it is not easy to step into a building sector at a young age soon after completing one’s professional degree in architecture and construction, he has thrown a light on the solution of how building solutions can be worked out for every kind of house.
He has built the company of Acad into an architectural firm that specialises into construction activities and construction management. Aayush has gained the technical knowledge and the skilled expertise to study and provide the solution for a building structure when it comes to designing and making the structure in its construction phase. With prominent experience gained over a period of time, he now undertakes the role of the entrepreneur who is interested more in medium-size and individual projects.
By medium size projects, it means that there are still many building projects that are done less than bigger scale but above the lower scale projects whereas by individual projects, it means when a person takes the responsibility to undertake the renovation of his or her house or any other structure. There could be a lot of gaps in the working system in the medium projects for which he wishes to extend his technical expertise of Architectural Design, Building Information Modelling, Project Management and Earned Value Management.
In the following paragraphs, we will be discussing the different architectural solutions to an individual, a company, an organisation or an institution which can use the services provided by ACad.
ACad will always be there to assist when it comes to designing all kinds of spaces. Generally, people are hesitant to approach the architectural firms when the space is small but the need to transform the space into an exemplary one. ACad follows the philosophy of ‘form, follow, function’ by which they design catering to their client’s need and demand without any compromise. Even at the smallest level, they are ever ready to deal with every aspect of complexity of designing, construction and architecture. ACad Studio provides a complete range of architectural services from inception to completion or a partial service which could be anything, from providing an initial design to a complete set of construction plans. Acad Studio accommodates every demand that is made by the client and works for the same in a meticulous manner.
Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Building Information Modelling (BIM) as a process which involves a process of “generating, storing, managing, exchanging, and sharing building information in a reusable and interoperable manner” by using software that aids in building’s design, construction, and maintenance. According to Aayush, “BIM is not a technology, it is an environment. BIM is an environment where collaborators or different teams use a single software system to create, review, share and maintain the entire project. BIM allows better collaboration and communication between the clients and all the teams involved in the project.” BIM is a digital version of the blueprints that are designed by the architects for their projects. It is a skilful work that is performed by the various professionals formulating the whole structure or area along with the dimensions that are designed very precisely. It is basically pre-planning to enable the architects, professionals and the client to understand how the structure will look like in its final stage where every detail about the building is shared. The client is also at an advantage to share his or her opinion on the same singular software from where all the other professionals would be updated about the changes demanded by a client.
Proper pre-planning can lead to a successful project with risks being foreseen and mitigated.
ACad Studio also offers BIM services to make the construction process more efficient and structured with its well-planned module, schedule and implementation. It leads the project with the idea of ‘Create, Review, Share and Maintain’ where both the professionals including architects and the client can keep a tab on the status of the construction of a building in each stage of the project.
BIM solves 80% of the problems in the construction industry because it helps in pre-planning the entire structure and saves cost by 30% when it comes to using construction materials as from BIM, it can be gauged that how much resources are needed. comprises of a collaborative work amongst all the professionals involved but not necessarily on the same single platform. Information regarding designs are shared through a common file format. This allows everyone to keep a check on how the designing is progressing.
ACad Studio works with ISO BIM Standards (19650 – 1&2) for standardized results. They are experts in BIM Level 2 which incorporates ‘Full Collaboration’ comprising a collaborative work amongst all the professionals involved as well as with the client. Information regarding designs are shared through a common file format. This allows everyone to keep a check on how the designing is progressing and how the structure is turning out to be from its preview on the BIM software.
Completing the construction work is most of the times a challenge in India’s scenario where the construction process goes beyond the date and the construction cost often goes beyond the budget wherein the end the client loses patience and at times confidence too in the construction process.
ACad Studio ensures the Project Management in the above respect where the timeline and schedule in assured by maintaining the project budget and noting the progress of the project in every stage.
ACad Studio ensures the project control of the work at every stage of the building process by tracking the performance against the approved and agreed plans by compiling the data of every stage, analysing the whole construction process and constructively influencing the time and cost outcomes of the project through the effective communication of information.
It tracks the progress of the project by the following parameters:
- Schedule Management
- Cost Management and Estimating
- Earned Value Management
- Change and Baseline Management
- Risk Management
- Performance Management
- Contract Administration
- Governance and Assurance
With the wide range of parameters that are stated above, it acts as the guideline for Acad Studio to ensure the completion of the project in a proper timeline schedule.
Earned Value Management (EVM)
EVM is the extension of the previous module of Project Management where it basically involves a fully integrated cost and schedule control system for the evaluation of the whole progress and the current status of the work. If there is any lapse on the schedule or exceeding budget expenses then EVM helps in measuring the same. With the work breakdown structure, ACad Studio helps in analyzing the variation in the project along with corrective actions that are to be taken in order to maintain the status quo of the project and to save the cost.
There are benefits that are gained from adopting the EVM approach such as :
- Verifiable Status Report
- Trend Analysis
- Decision Accountability
- Current Status
- Clear Objectives
- Alternate Approaches
- Visibility in Results
Now presenting the process by which we work through our design phase. This is one of the most important stages because it is this stage that requires a lot of maneuvering of demands of the client and the skills of the architect together. There is a lot of thought process that is put behind every design and a way is always worked out to implement the same.
There are multiple stages through which the designing process goes through before the final outcome which will be discussed below in order to understand the detailed introspection that is required at every stage of designing:
The Discussion Phase
This is the first phase that comes up between the architect’s team and the client. It is like a formal conversation grabbing the insights on what each side has to say. On one hand, the client states his or her requirement of the project, the location where a structure would be made and lastly a broad idea of what the client desires to do with the design of the building or structure or space. A lot of discussion does go in the viability of such projects and its future prospects when the work will be done.
The Conceptual Stage – Creation
After finalising to go ahead with the project and some rudimentary thoughts on the kind of designs preferred by the client, a very basic idea of design is formed which more or less serves as the foundation which can be improvised later as needed. This basic concept of design is also simultaneously shared to the client by ACad Studio as well.
The Conceptual Stage – Discussion
At this stage, we start working on the design templates that we show it to our client. We provide some choices of design which are distinct in nature, yet we are cautious that we do not end up over showing too many designs. The client should not feel perplexed by seeing numerous designs. The main objective of a client is to show a design template that satisfies his or her need and compels them to adopt that kind of design. Due to this, certain design templates would always be much better as the final design.
Forming the Concept
This is the phase where the actual detailing starts with the design. It becomes more intricate as detailing is undertaken to the core of the planning. The studio prepares a 3D model of a building that encompasses all the preliminary building elements which throw a light on the vision of the building that will be structured, hence making the idea of the building formation comprehensive to the client as well.
The 3D model aids in shaping up the building structure with detailed layouts which gives away the space aspect as well when it comes to constructing the building. Space is a crucial aspect of designing and hence the former facilitates the process of the latter. In this phase, maximum stakeholders are brought together so that each of them can give their own input to the making of the building in every professional sphere along with the client who is engaged at this same singular software. This stage involves multidimensional work from all professions to make the building process smoother and a well-planned one.
Formulating the Elevation of the Building
In this phase, the elevation of the building is discussed and designed according to the needs of the client. There are endless options for the element of elevation for the building and the client is taken through those options to choose the facade for each horizontal side of the building. ACad Studio works with different kinds of architecture ensuring that the interiors and exteriors of the building complement each other. The idea of ‘form follows function’ is followed at this step where materiality and style play an equally significant role in designing the building. The elevation design is also made part of the 3D model after reviewing the viability of the elevation element.
Detailed Architectural 3D Model
Finally at this step, though not the end of the design process, a detailed architecture 3D model is formulated and all the necessary layouts, elevations and sections are incorporated in the 3D model for better precision and details to work upon when it comes to implementation phase.
Formulating Detailed Structural 3D Model
At this step, there is a strong collaboration between the architect and the structural engineers who work in sync when it comes to rendering structural 3D model where elements such as column beams, foundation, framing details are created with a lot of planning and accuracy. The objective of the detailed structural 3D model is to ensure that the design is not hundred by the structural faults of the building.
Creation of Detailed MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) 3D Model.
This phase involves creating, incorporating, testing and working out the most crucial facilities of a building that makes the building function being true to its capability . The facilities involve that of the mechanical model, electrical model and plumbing model. They are important as they form the basis and the major facilities with which the building would serve its purpose by binding all these models together. A very detailed modelling of each pipe, wire, switch etc is done so that all the risks involved on site are mitigated beforehand and no unnecessary problem arises later.
In this process, each model is interdependent which is thoroughly checked and ensured that no model is hindering the other. Various permutations and combinations are made of these three models as if any of them does not work right, it will be problematic for the building to function. While searching for the best solution of the three models, efforts are also made to make it cost-efficient while installing these services.
Co-linking MEP 3D Models
After framing the MEP 3D models, it is then analysed at the ground level of the viability of the arrangements of the MEP model. There should be no clash of one model with the other. However, clash detection reports are prepared to find if there are any clashes in the models, which have to be solved at this step, for example, a MEP pipe intersecting with an architectural element, then this issue has to be resolved at the earliest.
Such reports are lengthy, but it is better to solve the clash problems of building beforehand than to face it after finishing the work. Every problem now is eliminated step by step on-site so that no further problem arises that leads to an increase in time and construction, for example, if the problem of intersection of pipes is not solved then leakage or seepage can occur later in the building.
Creation of Final Rendered Model
This is the final stage of designing where all the models are again cross-checked after the revisions made in the design system of MEP and again co-linking with other models such as elevations, plans, sections to have a holistic understanding of the project both by the client and the contractor. Designs are now rendered in both 2D and 3D formats to understand the building from all angles and to ensure that all elements are placed rightly without any clash with any architectural element.
Hence, these are the stages that ACad Studio undertakes while working on the design plan and process in every detail to deliver the best by working their way out efficiently and in a dedicated and determined manner.
After this prolonged period of designing, the implementation stage now comes with the phase of construction. Though design plans are processed in a comprehensive manner with all the minute details, but the main test is when the resources are used to replicate the 3D architectural designs that also with an adequate amount of sources without any wastage as such.
There are certain processes involved in the construction phase as well that needs to be checked and analysed from time to time such as :
Work Breakdown Structure ( WBS )
In simple words, WBS means that every task within the construction activity is sub-divided with a certain number of people in a group who are supposed to work on the completion of the task. These tasks are in the end then inspected and scrutinized for the work they have done. The division of tasks makes it easier for the head of the construction site to keep a record of the status of the project.
Time Duration of WBS
When the tasks are divided on-site, the time is also allotted alongside with a certain deadline as to when the task will be started and when the task will be completed. Certain tasks are critical in nature because ideally they should not be delayed and with this, buffer time has to be kept in order to keep some room for additional time delay in future.
Estimating the Cost Accurately
The cost for both resources and manpower is calculated and marked against the tasks which are based on the predefined design models of the building structures so as to keep an account of the financial expenditure in the project.
Creation of Critical Path Network
After the creation of a Gantt chart containing time and cost factor of WBS, a CPN (Critical Path Network) is created to analyse the most critical tasks of the project. Ideally, there should be no delay of these tasks because then it leads to overrun cost or increase in time duration. This also helps in calculation of buffer time, that is, we see where we can speed up to cover up for the time loss. This technique helps the Studio deliver the projects on time with more precision and reporting.
Reviewing the WBS
This is the ultimate stage of the project where all the tasks are completed and in the end, all the processes are reviewed critically so as to know the current status of the building. If there is any deflection then the delay can be calculated in terms of number of days and cost overrun, however, we ensure that no problems come after the completion of construction work and hence all the issues with the building are tackled in the design process in itself. If there is still any delay, analytical reports are prepared to comprehend the additional cost incurred and the amount of time delay that has taken place in the project.
From the above approaches that are adopted by Acad Studio, it is quite clear that they value professional accountability and efficiency which they implement in medium and individual projects. The visible advantage of implementing these modules is that proper planning along with update technology in the work process can also be implemented in medium and individual scale projects as well without any compromise in quality and hence delivering the best that they deserve irrespective of the level and budget of the project.