Category Archives: Design Tools

Design Tools: A Moving Target

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As a design consultant, Counsilman-Hunsaker is faced with various new design tools across multiple platforms and by different design professionals. For instance, Counsilman-Hunsaker uses AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, 3ds Max Design and other modeling/design software all on a regular basis.  Additionally, all of these programs have several different versions. To ensure we remain at the forefront of our industry, Counsilman-Hunsaker upgrades these programs with every release and ensures that our equipment is maintained and powerful enough to handle increasing technologies.  With this comes not only a financial commitment but an investment in learning as well.

Traditionally, Counsilman-Hunsaker has treated AutoCAD as the go-to software. However, industry trends have us embracing Revit as well. As was the case with a lot of other firms, the addition of this design tool brought challenges.  Starting over from scratch to create new libraries, maintaining multiple versions and releases, and redesigning in-house workflows were difficult to work through. And unlike AutoCAD, which allows files to be saved across software versions, Revit requires the entire design and production team (architect, MEP, civil, structural, etc.) to use the same software release. As a consultant, this means maintaining at least three years’ worth of releases. Additionally, prior to the 2013 release, architectural and MEP components were segregated into two separate Revit platforms.  As pool designers, we often found ourselves crossing into multiple disciplines. Fortunately, the suites now offer an all-in-one platform that offers much more ease for multiple disciplines.

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There is no doubt that Revit has tremendous value for the design community. For instance, let’s say you are working on an elevated pool with occupied spaces above and below the pool shell. The invested Revit time spent during design makes sense.  But that isn’t always the case. There may be pool design cases where Revit does not make sense to utilize. So Counsilman-Hunsaker’s question is: what value do you see in utilizing Revit/BIM for pool design in both indoor and outdoor conditions?  Is it worth the added cost to use Revit for pool designs (outdoor especially), when the benefits may be limited? What do you use as your primary design tool? Let us know your thoughts in the poll down below!

 

 

 

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