The Use of BIM for Healthcare projects at RLF

Celebrating 75 years of excellence, RLF is an award-winning architecture, engineering and interior design firm based in Winter Park, Florida, USA, specializing in healthcare projects for the private and public sectors. RLF embraced BIM technology in 2006 and began an ambitious plan of implementation and training firm wide.

Today, RLF has fully embraced the integration of BIM into our design process; firm wide, across each discipline and for every project. RLF projects vary in size from 5,000 to 1.2 million square feet and are developed in 3D from inception and conceptual design to construction documents and beyond, creating a data streamline that has re-use value by all design disciplines involved throughout the projects’ life-cycle. In the early stages of design the project concept is visualized in Revit using program data to produce space planning and design geometry. The process of medical planning is sped up by using the program for design provided by our clients in database format. Key elements of the program such as room name, number, department and area required are incorporated into the model without the need for manual input. By inputting this data and giving it intelligence and relationship information, BIM models help generate and validate design without lost time reproducing information as it is passed from one design discipline to the next. Mass models and departmental colored schemes are created allowing designers and planners to communicate design intent with ease and effectiveness.

Through design development, concept models are further developed to include multiple disciplines and are linked together to form a parametric relationships for viewing and coordinating the design as a whole. Engineers use data in the models to calculate lighting requirements and feed their analysis tools. Even out-of-office consultants can work with continuously updated models by using automated transfers across the internet. In developing models, RLF understands that each element and every area requires accountability. This enables the design team, throughout all levels to better demonstrate the design and the design intent proposed for a space or element. For example, the model can depict the distance between the hand-wash sink and the patient bed in a proposed patient room; this is a very effective tool for user meetings. Interior designers model finishes and signage which can be leveraged for rendering and presentation purposes. One of the great advantages of BIM is that models are the source of both construction documents and visual imagery. If one changes, the other does so automatically. In selected projects we also develop the site and civil work in Revit for internal coordination of functions, building access, parking and presentation purposes.

Contract documents further evolve through the use of BIM. Beyond generating the traditional two-dimensional documents, models consist of connections between detailed elements and specification information. The virtual model serves as a host for construction documents, allowing instant validation of design and coordination with detailed elements. Throughout all phases of design, the project team generates conflict models in Autodesk Navisworks to analyze potential conflicts that may occur during construction. This not only allows for virtual problem solving, but also provides the capability of navigating the building in real time and creating walkthroughs and flyovers with ease to communicate design intent. RLF’s BIM implementation journey, although difficult at times because of the significant impact it has on all aspects of the building design, has been successful and is a tremendous source of pride for our firm. The process is ever evolving as we are continuously looking at emerging BIM technologies that will allow us to improve our processes and our methods of project delivery.

Picture: VA Orlando – Aerial view Revit render
Caption: The 1.2 million sq. ft.. VA Medical Center in Orlando, FL was completely modeled using the Revit platform. The project received an Honorable Mention in the 2010 AIA Technology and Practice (TAP) BIM Awards for “Creating Stellar Architecture Using BIM”. RLF, an internationally recognized architecture, engineering and interior design firm located in Winter Park, FL, USA, was recently named 2010 Florida Firm of the Year Award by the American Institute of Architects. Photo courtesy of RLF Inc.

More information >> Damian Serrano, Assoc. AIA – dgs@rlfae.com

Email: info@acadsistemas.com.ar
Web: www.acadsistemas.com.ar

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