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How design software improves collaboration

On Bond Bryan and SimpsonHaugh's Manchester College project different teams of building professionals using a range of BIM products were able to co-ordinate with the architects' preferred Archicad model

In association with
The Jewel Box theatre and one of the staircases in the atrium of The Manchester College.
The Jewel Box theatre and one of the staircases in the atrium of The Manchester College. Credit: Bond Bryan

Architects Bond Bryan and SimpsonHaugh have delivered a state-of-the-art city centre campus for The Manchester College. Awarded BREEAM Excellent certification, the campus has a distinctive and inspiring learning environment.

Inspired by classical courtyard buildings, the college's bespoke timber-clad atrium creates a fresh and welcoming central hub, punctuated by the Jewel Box theatre and restaurant area at its centre.

A two-tiered terrace is linked by an inhabited staircase that incorporates seating, with an overhead arrangement of north-facing skylights, maximising internal daylight while also avoiding overheating.

The external facade takes inspiration from Manchester’s industrial heritage, with a nod towards the patterns and textures of textile weaving reflected in the brickwork. A pattern of windows and masonry alternate on each level, enhancing the weave appearance.

Full height vertical windows offer maximum daylight penetration while extensive glazed curtain walling at the lower floors provides a ‘shopfront’ for the college, offering views into the building and animating the streetscape.

Using software for collaboration

The collaborative nature of the project meant that the design and construction teams worked in their preferred software with everything coordinated via IFC, with the designs brought together from a combination of Archicad, Revit, Vectorworks, Navisworks and 2D files, co-ordinated using Solibri.

Bond Bryan works in Archicad and was responsible for the internal massing of the college. 'When we started working together, some of the other consultants using different software were unsure of whether they would be able to co-ordinate with an Archicad model,' says Brad Stenson, chartered architectural technologist at the practice. 'But it didn’t hold us back at all – everything went very smoothly.

'Before joining Bond Bryan, I had more than four years’ experience of working with Revit, but I prefer working with Archicad now.'

  • Digital collaboration was key to the success of the Manchester campus.
    Digital collaboration was key to the success of the Manchester campus. Credit: Bond Bryan
  • The restaurant and bar at the college.
    The restaurant and bar at the college. Credit: Bond Bryan
  • On the external facade the patterns and textures of textile weaving are reflected in the brickwork.
    On the external facade the patterns and textures of textile weaving are reflected in the brickwork. Credit: Bond Bryan
  • VR helped everyone on the project to visualise the scale of the building.
    VR helped everyone on the project to visualise the scale of the building. Credit: Bond Bryan
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'For The Manchester College, we exported the design using Graphisoft’s BIMx and used a VR headset to virtually stand in the main atrium space,' says Stenson. 'VR helped everyone to visualise the scale of the building and understand how it would look.'

The first phase of the campus was constructed with a steel frame. Bond Bryan liaised with the manufacturer and structural engineer and sent files to the fabricator using IFC.

'We also shared information via mark-ups and comments on drawings on areas such as the stairs so they could easily see the top of the steel heights.'

Bond Bryan worked on the construction site one day a week throughout the build. This enabled them to oversee the work and respond to any queries from the contractors straight away.

Once the building was completed, Bond Bryan handed over design information in the form of DWGs, IFCs and the BIMx model, all extracted directly from the Archicad model.

Graphisoft Archicad: truly collaborative construction

Hungarian software developer Graphisoft empowers building professionals with advanced technology and accompanying know-how to help them create great architecture.

Archicad is its professional BIM solution. It helps creators develop and compare design alternatives, automate documentation, work in teams and deliver professional presentations using the latest visualisation techniques.

For more information and technical support, visit graphisoft.com

Contact:
01895 527590
sales@graphisoft.co.uk


 

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