Revit BIM Experience Award - Sponsored Content

August 11, 2010

Autodesk Revit BIM Experience Award
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Interview with:
Rem Wilson and Eliot Jordan

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Experience Award
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Revit BIM Experience Award Winner

Profile: Founded in 1971, Glumac provides mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) consulting engineering services for its clients in the commercial, healthcare, institutional, and advanced technology market sectors. With over 220 employees in 8 offices along the western coast of the United States, the company also provides sustainable design, information technology, and commissioning services - expertise areas that are key to enhancing its core engineering capabilities.

Glumac creates innovative sustainable designs that preserve architectural integrity while ensuring occupants always feel comfortable, contractors can build more efficiently and owners can realize lower first capital and operating costs. A selection of the firm’s projects include: Pasadena City Hall in Pasadena, California, LEED certification pending (for a historic landmark renovation); and Providence Newberg Medical Center in Newberg, Oregon, the first LEED Gold Certified Hospital in the United States.

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Rem Wilson, Associate Principal and Eliot Jordan, Sustainable Design Engineer - Glumac.

The Revit BIM Experience Award celebrates building industry professionals and educators around the world who are helping to drive transformation of the building industry through building information modeling.

Revit BIM Experience AwardWinner

Interview with Rem Wilson, Associate Principal and Eliot Jordan, Sustainable Design Engineer

1. What differentiates Glumac in the marketplace?
We take sustainability very seriously and have the green design expertise to make sure all of our projects benefit from that expertise. We currently employ 51 LEED-accredited professionals and all of our principals and associate principals are LEED-accredited as well. So every project we undertake is staffed with sustainable design experts.

Our commitment to sustainability goes beyond just the projects we design. Green considerations permeate our company. In 2006, Glumac made a commitment to become a carbon neutral company and we have implemented many carbon-reduction, energy-saving features in our offices. For example, we rely on EnergyStar labeled equipment; we purchase renewable Green power; we use occupancy sensors throughout our facilities; we use hybrid automobiles for our company vehicles; and we subsidize public transportation for our employees. In addition, because carbon emissions are nearly unavoidable, we have invested in the planting of trees that will (overtime, through carbon sequestering) offset our production of carbon.

2. Why is building information modeling (BIM) valuable to MEP engineers?
Glumac understands that to remain on the cutting edge of the A/E/C industry, we must provide our clients with the most integrated designs possible. We feel that BIM is a very effective tool that offers integration of multiple systems and enables the comprehensive design of increasingly complicated projects. In a BIM solution like Revit MEP, all of the MEP-specific design features needed to design a project from start to finish are built right into the software. BIM permits our engineers to better understand the systems they are designing and the relationship of those systems to other building disciplines.

3. How can project teams benefit from working within an integrated building information model?
By coordinating our MEP design with the architectural and structural building information models, we can identify issues early in the design phase that under normal circumstances might not be caught until construction. For example, we can determine if our duct runs fit in the air passage ways set aside by the architect, or if the space of the electrical rooms are sufficient for the equipment that our systems will need.

We recently partnered with Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects and structural engineer KPFF on our first major Revit project. The 12th and Washington building in downtown Portland was coordinated with the architectural and structural modeling through the design development phase to create a 3D model of the entire project. The project is a 22-story mixed-use building with a 2-story tall retail space at the street level, 4 stories of office space that feature passive chilled beams and an under-floor air distribution system, and 17 stories of residential apartments. There will also be 6 stories of underground parking that require an extensive exhaust and supply air system. The overall project is planned to achieve LEED Gold certification and LEED Commercial Interiors (CI) Platinum for the four-story office space.

BIM was especially useful on a complex project such as this. For example, integrating under-floor air distribution in a building design like this affects the entire building; the floor-to-floor height, the structural design, the electrical distribution - everything. It’s a complete building approach that needs to be treated holistically, and an integrated building information model is a perfect fit for that design scenario.

4. Why did Glumac decide to move to Revit MEP?
Several years ago we began investigating 3D modeling solutions for MEP engineering. We looked at many, many software packages - and kept an eye on where the market was going as well. In 2006, we conducted formal research on the best software available and through discussions with clients, software providers and our colleagues, we determined that Revit MEP was the best available design program on the market. In addition, Revit seems to be the product of choice for most of the architects with whom we partner, and since we work so closely with their models it makes sense for us to use a common BIM platform for design coordination.

5. How do you envision BIM expanding your firm’s sustainable design capabilities?
The combination of the Revit building information modeling platform and IES provides us a great design tool. Linking the IES modules - programs for daylighting, computational fluid dynamics, thermal analysis, and the like - with the Revit building information model offers us an integrated tool that our design team can plug data into for more informed decision making - and a better performing design. For example, if the architect changes the skin glazing or the orientation or the insulation values - those changes are automatically reflected in the IES analyses, adjusting the data output that we use for our design.

We’re dedicated to taking a leadership role in the use of BIM for sustainable design. For instance, we sponsor in-house forums to enable a collaborative exploration of BIM. We invite our clients, our staff, and Revit users from other firms - architectural and structural, even competitive engineering firms - to share their input and experiences. Together we can formulate more effective methods for integrating design and engineering, a critical component for sustainable design practices and improved building performance.

Glumac received the Revit BIM Experience Award for
using Revit MEP for successful collaboration and coordination with multiple disciplines and for its dedication to applying BIM to sustainable building engineering strategies. Glumac recently acquired the services of PPI Group to provided future training for the eight offices in Revit MEP and IES analysis software.

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