As we support several clients, with different backgrounds, we try to share our experience with others, as we believe in sharing the knowledge.

We keep updating this section with new interesting stories ! from users perspective or cases we faced during implementation or services. We will try to keep it short, simple and always interesting ! 

If you have a case study that you want to share with us, feel free to drop us a line. 

Syrian refugees find temporary shelter in earth-bag houses

 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched a test project for temporary shelters made from bags filled with earth in Syria. The architect, Anas Aljbain, is using ARCHICAD to develop the designs. 

ARCHICAD Model Helped the designer communicating at early design stages.

ARCHICAD Model Helped the designer communicating at early design stages.

Constructed using bags filled with earth, this type of transitional shelter gives the beneficiaries involved an opportunity to work
and earn an income -- which could also stimulate the start of small business opportunities. Earth-bag house construction is an efficient way to solve the need for basic homes that can be built within a short period of time. Furthermore, the earth-bag house construction system does not require a deep knowledge of construction and can be built by the people who will live in them. Earth is the most fundamental element of earth-bag construction, with many types of earth available around the world. Simple and easy tests can be done manually to decide the methodology of construction using the earth-bag system. An optimal, packed earth to soil ratio is approximately 30% clay to 70% sand. 

Shelter Designed in ARCHICAD

Shelter Designed in ARCHICAD

Design concept

Opened-to-Patio-blocks design takes environmental and social norms into consideration. The patio spaces in the heart of each block provide safe-to-play areas for children and a good ventilation and cooling system, along with the green areas.

The WASH blocks are separate but with kitchenettes inside the

houses. Each family will have one space that includes a toilet and bathroom. This design will reduce the significant cost of WASH infrastructure, making maintenance easier and insuring proper hygiene for users.

Cost

He estimated the cost per square meter is 12,500 SYP (US$41). By attaching the houses side-by-side, each house (51 squaremeters/549 square feet including walls) will cost approximately US$1,850. The total cost per block is approximately US$ 13,000. The wash unit will cost an additional US$3,000. 

 

“Providing cheap architecture for poor people has always been my dream,”
— Anas Aljbain, architect

Challenges

One of the major challenges was a general acceptance of the concept, especially given that there exists a developed, traditional construction method; it was difficult for others to imagine the possible quality of the end product. ARCHICAD offered visual feedback from the early stages to show the possible aesthetic result of using such a basic method of construction.

In addition, significant effort was needed to manage the team, based on the fact that they are, for the most part, unskilled people; it was very effective to use methods like 3D documentation to explain the desired details and results rather than using traditional documentation that might be difficult to read by unskilled workers. 

About UNHCR Syria

The 2015 Syrian shelter response proposes life-saving and sustaining emergency response, as well as resilient approaches and stakeholder capacity-enhancement components. As of July 2015, one of the activity lines that is to be adopted in the near future is: Provision of transitional housing. Anas Aljbain, architect: Anas joined UNHCR in June 2013 as a shelter associate, working on different aspects of shelter activities/strategies in the L3 operation in Syria. “Providing cheap architecture for poor people has always been my dream,” says Anas. Aljbain@unhcr.org

About GRAPHISOFT®

GRAPHISOFT ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ARCHICAD®, the industry first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud®, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner® STAR, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007. Please visit www.archicad.com to see the most important milestones in ARCHICAD’s 30-year history.

About BIMES

Our little story started in 2006 When BIMES was formed focusing on BIM technology, after recognising the benefits of BIM, and the gap in the market, Today we operate through three principle offices in Dubai, Cairo and Alexandria, with a core team of fifty qualified Engineers, Modelers and Project Managers located in the region.

The unique DNA of an architectural practice is determined, among other things, by the size of the office, whether its focus is local or international and whether its main activity is renovation, master planning or new buildings. Significant differences also arise from the architect’s approach, be this conceptual, practical or attention to detail.

A residential building project at the DONG site in Copenhagen - image © BIG

A residential building project at the DONG site in Copenhagen - image © BIG

BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group – is a large, international, conceptual architectural firm based in Copenhagen and New York. In recent years, BIG has garnered global recognition for several architectural accomplishments, including the award-winning “8 House” in Copenhagen; the Danish Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo; and the “West 57” tower project near the Hudson River in Manhattan, which combines Danish qualities with American grandeur. It is not surprising that Bjarke Ingels and BIG enjoy star status in architectural circles.

“Concept and documentation are two different worlds today. Our goal is to make ARCHICAD a tool for gathering these different tasks into one, cohesive workflow,”
— Jakob Andreassen, BIM Manager at BIG

Jakob Andreassen, BIM Manager of BIG shares how they are working with GRAPHISOFT to develop a plug-in for Rhino and ARCHICAD so that they can link geometries and data from both software into each other. This will allow them to leverage the best that each software has to offer throughout the design process.

Together with the rest of the construction industry, BIG has in recent years made a change from traditional 2D and 3D tools to modern BIM software. The office is strongly reliant on freedom to design without restrictions and on their ability to produce new proposals and visualizations on-the-spot. For this reason, Rhino 3D, with the Grass- hopper add-on to allow parametric programming, is an indispensable part of the office’s workflow. Many of the most creative and conceptual architectural offices in Denmark have also chosen these tools.

An early concept model of a residential building project at the DONG site in Copenhagen - image © BIG

An early concept model of a residential building project at the DONG site in Copenhagen - image © BIG

ARCHICAD over Revit

Jakob Andreassen is the BIM Manager at BIG and is responsible for creating a bridge between the concept development and documentation phases; documentation is increasingly in focus. “Concept and documentation are two different worlds today. Our goal is to make ARCHICAD a tool for gathering these different tasks into one, cohesive workflow,” explains Jakob Andreassen.

For various reasons, the implementation of BIM has not been entirely stress-free at BIG. The architects feel the chosen BIM software, Revit, is too restrictive and incompatible with sketching. They also found it difficult to establish and foster a good workflow between Rhino and Revit.

In order to put the obvious advantages of BIM to the best possible use, BIG has decided to replace Revit with ARCHICAD for the Copenhagen office’s new projects. ARCHICAD is the more flexible BIM tool. Developed by architects for architects, it focuses on graphic presentation and offers a built-in library of general building components. As a result, it is considerably faster for BIG to use ARCHICAD as a documentation tool.

At the same time, there has been a change in the way BIG sees BIM tools. Jakob Andreassen no longer thinks that one can count on a single tool to be the best method for coping with all the various parts of a good architectural workflow: “Four years ago, we thought that everyone should use a single BIM application. Now, we are convinced that deploying several specialized tools, each aimed at a sub-task, is the best way of going about things.” ARCHICAD was created for architects, but can be linked to other programs that are used by engineers to develop models.

We spoke with Jakob Andreassen, BIM Manager at BIG in Copenhagen, at our last Key Client Conference. He shared the firm's experiences when moving to a BIM platform about a year ago and why they decided to use ArchiCAD as a result.


ARCHICAD implementation

To ensure that an investment in BIM does not lead to boxes of software sitting on shelves and employees attending courses they won’t be able to apply in practice, BIG has joined forces with BIM Equity to create a strategy for implementing BIM in the form a series of specific, ‘dedicated’ pilot projects. What this means is that BIM Equity trains the documentation team for each project just before starting the documentation phase. In the first months, the office borrows the software licenses free of charge, while BIM Equity provides ample staff support. After the pilot period is done, the office can decide to invest in licenses. This way, BIG can feel confident that they are not choosing the wrong software or too many licences -- and be sure that BIM adds value and improved work processes from day one.

A residential building project at the DONG site in Copenhagen - image © BIG

A residential building project at the DONG site in Copenhagen - image © BIG

The first pilot project

BIG has designed four Revit projects in Denmark, and is now working on four projects using ARCHICAD. The first pilot project with ARCHICAD is a residential building project at the DONG site in Copenhagen, an unusual task on many levels. It sets out to promote a strong design concept in the shape of residential boxes stacked one on top of another -- clearly, an unconventional approach. There are five stories incorporating prefabricated wooden elements. Apartments will have large glass partitions and one or more balconies each -- another highly individual architectural design on the part of BIG.

The combination of wooden elements and split stories for each residential box means that it is hard to discern all the junctions in the building and its fundamental construction is less evident. From the beginning, there is a requirement for close cooperation between architects and engineers, as is the case in MOE, a Danish engineering company. The necessary collaboration between the consultants, coupled with the complexity of construction, makes BIM the perfect tool for programming this specific type of construction. However, it is BIG’s long term goal to migrate all their planning and documentation to BIM in ARCHICAD.

Jakob Andreassen is already finding that architects take much more easily to ARCHICAD than Revit, and this makes working with BIM easier. BIG sees BIM software as a promising means of collating all project information and making it easier to concentrate on the architecture in future BIG projects.

BIG

www.big.dk
BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group – is a large, international, conceptual architectural firm based in Copenhagen and New York. In recent years, BIG has garnered global recognition for several architectural accomplishments, including the award-winning “8 House” in Copenhagen; the Danish Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo; and the “West 57” tower project near the Hudson River in Manhattan, which combines Danish qualities with American grandeur. It is not surprising that Bjarke Ingels and BIG enjoy star status in architectural circles.

 

BIM Equity

www.bimequity.com
BIM Equity is a company dedicated to making BIM a robust option for the Danish construction industry. The members are BIM enthusiasts with a background in the architectural and construction industries. BIM Equity enables Danish consultants, contractors, and builders to consider BIM as a working method that strengthens their skills, efficiency, and businesses. The firm has the necessary experience and tools to inspire, advise, implement, and deliver technology and services for all phases of construction projects.

 

About GRAPHISOFT

GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ARCHICAD®, the industry first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud®, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment;EcoDesigner™, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution; and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT is part of the Nemetschek Group.

 

Mleiha Archaeological Centre Case Study

A case study about using ARCHICAD in the award winning project, Mleiha Archaeological Centre by Dabbagh Architects.  

 
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Project Details 

Location Mleiha, Sharjah, UAE                                                                    Size 2,000 sqm

Client Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority)                Software  ARCHICAD 17 & 19

Type  Cultural Centre                                                                                Project Year Concept 2013 / Project Completion Jan 2016

Website  www.dabbagharchitects.com                                                      Email info@dabbagharchitects.com

Architecture should be something that makes a difference and makes a positive impact on the people – the satisfaction of the end user is what makes the project complete
— Sumaya Dabbagh, Director at Dabbagh Architects

Dabbagh Architects

At Dabbagh our mission statement is: To create Feel Good, Contemporary Architecture that has a positive
impact on the world. 

Our Purpose

We believe that architecture is a form of poetic expression that allows for a memorable experience
Architecture is expressed in three layers:
In the solid, through forms and materials. in the void, through space and light; and in a more intangible sense, through the experience. At Dabbagh Architects, we believe that just like the invisible breath gives life to the body, this intangible layer, the experience, gives life to architecture.

Our Vision

To make our clients’ visions a reality.
To create timeless architecture that is culturally relevant and environmentally sensitive.
To foster lasting relationships with our clients and stakeholders through partnerships and collaboration.

Our Firm

Dabbagh Architects is a privately held architectural design firm, recognized regionally for its contemporary design and quality-driven service.
Established in 2008, Dabbagh has more than 20 years of UAE experience. It was listed in the Middle East Architects’ Top 40 Power List for 2015 and 2016. 

 

Overview

The Umm an-Nar Tomb  was constructed around 2300 BCE and is considered to be the most impressive grave building among the many funeral sites in Mleiha. Offering a wealth of information about the people who lived there at the time, remains suggest a link between Mesopotamia and the rest of the Gulf.

 

As the old surrounding park had become dated and largely unnoticed by travellers, the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority sought to inject new life into various archaeological sites in the emirate and in early 2013 commissioned Dabbagh Architects to design a new Visitors Centre and update the surrounding landscape of the park.

Umm an-Nar Tomb

Umm an-Nar Tomb

Design Intent

Our intent was to keep the Tomb as the main attraction for the visitor and allow the experience of the visit to unfold.

The building and its form invite three key experiences: the gentle descent to the Tomb, the promenade to the roof and thirdly, the Exhibition itself telling the story of the Tomb as well as the history of the region 

The rich sandstone walls appear as if partly buried in the sand. They frame the experience and flow of the visitor through the site, allowing them to either approach the Tomb directly or promenade up to a viewing platform on the roof for a view over the Tomb and the surrounding Fossil Rock mountains.

The walls guide visitors to the main entrance   

The walls guide visitors to the main entrance   

Once inside the visitor is welcomed by a lobby with a small courtyard around an indigenous Ghaf tree, providing a soft filtered light in contrast to the bright desert sunlight. The Ghaf tree sits in its original location, and was protected throughout the construction stage. Not dissimilar to the way the Tomb was protected, creating juxtaposition between man and nature, past and present.

It is envisaged that, the galleries and the immediacy of the actual Tomb, will create a dialogue between the past and present. This is essentially the difference between a museum and a visitor centre.

 

The walls continue to guide the visitor into the exhibition space and then once the visit is completed, out through a small shop and a café . This final stop is the culmination of the visit, allowing visitors to relax and enjoy a spectacular view of the Fossil Rock Mountains

 

Not only do the sandstone walls frame the experience, they also frame the main attraction, the bronze age Tomb of Um Al Nar. This together with the arena, create a theatrical back drop to the ancient Tomb

The expression of the materiality of the building is simple yet powerful. The sandstone blending with the desert landscape avoids unnecessary visual and sensorial distractions of the main focus of the visitor. The copper material chosen for the roof is revealed to the visitor at the end of the visit at the Café. In contrast to the gentle flow of stone, the copper roof dramatically cascades down in jagged forms mirroring the sharp edges of a desert rose. The copper material itself echoes the memory of the ancient site of copper workshops that once existed in this area.

The landscaping design is simple and sparse. A few small sand dunes are sculpted reflecting the patterns created by wind in the surrounding sands. Palms and Ghaf trees are scattered around the building and tomb in an effort to bring back the desert to the site and recreate the local environmental conditions and setting that existed at the time of the tomb

Overcoming technical challenges using ARCHICAD

The building form consists of curved walls, a sloping roof as well as irregular angular forms.

Two main challenges that were faced during development of the design are:

  • Café Roof: We had proposed a complex shape and had to translate the design from a sketch to a detailed drawing that could be used for construction.

    For the Café structure, schematics were made in 2D first but a 3D was required for design. A physical model was made to show intent and from there we experimented with various tools to achieve it in 3D on the computer. At first it was a simple mass but during the Design Development stage we needed to create a more detailed drawing.

    To achieve this we used the Morph Tool to create an accurate 3D model that could be included in Elevations and Sections and could be updated when adjusted. 

  • Ramp: The building itself was irregular, but creating the long ramp that would form the ‘tail’ of the Centre was a challenge as it had to be comprehensible for the Contractor.The Ramp was achieved using Solid Element Operations and the Morph Tool to achieve the curved “flights”. The ramp rises at a comfortable gradient and multiple landings were placed at intervals to accommodate wheelchair users in their ascent. Again for the Detailed design stage it needed to change from a solid mass to a slab to show service rooms below in section.

About GRAPHISOFT®

GRAPHISOFT ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ARCHICAD®, the industry first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud®, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner® STAR, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007. Please visit www.archicad.com to see the most important milestones in ARCHICAD’s 30-year history.

About BIMES

www.bimes.com

Our little story started in 2006 When BIMES was formed focusing on BIM technology, after recognising the benefits of BIM, and the gap in the market, Today we operate through three principle offices in Dubai, Cairo and Alexandria, with a core team of fifty qualified Engineers, Modelers and Project Managers located in the region.