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Library of Birmingham Case Study Presentation

The Library of Birmingham was a £188.8m project to build an iconic new Central Library of Birmingham. In 2010, Daden developed an immersive model - working from architects plans - for use by Library staff to plan the use of the new building and to engage with the community. Daden delivered the immersive build in Dec 2010 and then opened to the public to explore in April 2011, 2 years before the real build was complete.

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Library of Birmingham Case Study Presentation

  1. 1. Library of Birmingham Case Study © 2013 www
  2. 2. Background  The Library of Birmingham was a £189m project to build an iconic new Central Library for Birmingham  In 2010 Daden developed an immersive model – working from architects plans - for use by Library staff to plan the use of the new building and to engage with the community. Daden delivered the immersive build (developed in Second Life) in Dec 2010 Architect's original image 2D plans in the 3D world 3D immersive model
  3. 3. Three Phase Approach  Phase 1: Virtual construction of the “steel and concrete” of the new Library  Phase 2: Finishes, fixtures and fittings, including flooring and lighting  Phase 3: Creation of the consultation tools and systems Phase 1: Virtual Concrete Phase 2: Texturing Phase 3: Systems We took a 3 phase approach to the build:
  4. 4. Orientation Space The orientation space provided the same function as a site Marketing Office. It helped to put the build in context, provided links to information about the physical build, and also showed users how to choose an avatar and how to use the consultation tools. There was even a virtual receptionist!
  5. 5. Consultation Tools To help users interact with the model, and to give Library staff information on the user experience we provided a range of consultation tools including:  voting & survey podiums,  layout selection choices,  a virtual tour guide,  a “flying book” tour,  information icons,  virtual smiley “post-it” notes The virtual post-its could be used to make comments, and then voted on by other visitors. All data was logged on the web and available to the project team.
  6. 6. The Virtual Warehouse Key to the project was giving the Library staff the ability to make changes to fixtures, fittings and equipment which were within their control. We created a virtual warehouse full of example fittings and furniture that the team could place in the build to try out ideas and to keep it up to date with design decisions. We even trained a couple of the team in how to make their own objects.
  7. 7. Public Access As well as being used by the Team in the office and on road-shows the virtual Library was also available to the public. The virtual Library was built in Second Life as at the time (2009) this provided the best and most flexible public platform. If we were doing the project again we would use a newer platform which could make the build accessible directly from the web browser, and even on a computer tablet, and make it far easier to use.
  8. 8. Public Consultation The virtual Library made big impact at the road-shows done by the team to educate citizens on the new Library. “The opportunity to reach more people, more quickly and in a more meaningful way was extremely important to the planning for the new Library. “ - Tom Epps, Development Project Manager, Birmingham Library Service “I ran a session at Yardley Library and the effect was astonishing. I got one of the kids out of the audience to drive himself around the Virtual Library while his Mom and Dad were watching on the big screen and they were absolutely staggered. There were 40-50 people at a time in those sessions, and to try and have the same impact other than through a 3D model, it would be really, really difficult. This had much more impact than the public doing it themselves.” - John Marsh, Project Manager, Service Birmingham
  9. 9. Planning and Design But the bread-and-butter use of the model was in trying out design ideas and using it to inform design and use choices throughout the Library “The virtual model showed us areas where we needed to review our existing plans, and was a huge help in planning the layout of the facilities that were installed” - Tom Epps, Development Project Manager, Birmingham Library Service “ There is a fairly unique screen arrangement to the left of the lifts, where we decided to use two double portrait orientation screens to display the information. Which is weird, but we tried it out in the virtual library first and put an image on there and thought “blimey that’s good!” And it is such an unusual shape, we probably wouldn’t have had the nerve to position the screens that way if we had not been able to test out first in the virtual build.” - John Marsh, Project Manager, Service Birmingham
  10. 10. Sub-Contractors One things that surprised the team was that sub-contractors started using the public model to better understand the build and to inform their bids – even though they were used to reading 2D plans. Once contracts were in place the model could then be used to support virtual meetings and to agree the exact placement of fixtures and fittings. “Due to the unique nature of the building, practical and serviceable physical locations for the Wireless Access Points were a challenge and important to get correct. This challenge was greatly assisted using the virtual Library. Having calculated the locations required to provide the WiFi coverage they need, the virtual build helped us verify the practicalities of establishing these positions.” - Phil Hewson, Senior Wireless Consultant, Lan2Lan. “Having recently visited the physical Library to carry out some post installation RF tests, I felt I was more than familiar with the building having spent so many hours in its virtual twin during the design stage. The likeness and detail felt almost surreal.” - Phil Hewson
  11. 11. Other Advantages Other advantages identified by the team included:  The flows of people through the building, including walkways, viewing spots and potential pinch-points, could be more easily identified just by watching how they themselves and other visitors to the virtual build behaved.  The voice and text communications facilities within the environment allowed virtual meetings to be held in the relevant area of the virtual library to examine any points of discussion or concern. This saved on travel and meeting set-up time, and minimised the risk of misunderstanding from people looking at 2D plans or even sharing 3D CAD models.  The layout and internal geography of the building was much more easily appreciated from the subjective viewpoint of being an avatar in the 3D virtual model, compared to plans or drawings or even a CAD style 3D model. Each user had free movement around the space, and the space could be explored as a group of individuals – giving it far more of the feel of exploring a real building than of looking at a CAD model.
  12. 12. Access and Launch  In Jan 2011 construction work started on the physical build  For 2 1/2 years the Librarians “lived” in the virtual build, working with contractors, suppliers and the community. Taught by Daden they were able to make changes to the model to try ideas and to embed their decisions  In April 2013 the librarians got their first look inside the physical build – the sense of deja-vu was incredible  In September 2013 the physical library opened, to great acclaim to the public and the world at large  The following slides show some comparison shots between the virtual model and the final build. Whilst there are some changes in finish and detail the broad experience is exactly the same – and even some movable bookcases are in the exact same positions in both versions!
  13. 13. Virtual and Real
  14. 14. Virtual and Real
  15. 15. Virtual and Real
  16. 16. Virtual and Real
  17. 17. Virtual and Real
  18. 18. Virtual and Real
  19. 19. Virtual and Real
  20. 20. Virtual and Real
  21. 21. Virtual and Real
  22. 22. Virtual and Real
  23. 23. Virtual and Real  Library staff reported a “sense of being a little kid in a toy shop” as they explored the physical build and saw not only how well it matched the model, but also how their design ideas and decisions had been implemented in the physical build. The model had been a “godsend” to the team in helping them plan the Library.  But there was one problem.... “The trick that was missed was that we only built the public part of the building. If we knew then what we know now, we could have put all the back office in, so now staff wouldn’t be wandering around looking for their desk or even how to get out of the building - so they could understand where all their own facilities were as well as the public ones!.” - John Marsh, Project Manager, Service Birmingham.
  24. 24. And in summary.... “This has proved a powerful tool for the project team and staff as we develop the new library, enabling us to get a really good feel for how the spaces in the new building will work that would not otherwise be possible.” - Brian Gambles, Library Director, Library of Birmingham “As a new building training tool, that has be a big tick for me and absolutely tremendous.” - John Marsh, Project Manager, Service Birmingham.
  25. 25. Buildingscapes Developed from our experience of working on the virtual Library and other projects, Daden's Buildingscapes can provide you, your staff and your stakeholders with an immersive, interactive 3D model of a new or retrofit build, enabling all the social and user-experience issues of a project to be planned and managed in this powerful new way. Key features include: For more information, please contact us.  Import of architect and CAD 3D models  Web, download or tablet PC/iPad deployment  Multi-user environment  Place/build/change functionality for specific groups and features  Consultation tools with web integration  Selected BIM data integration
  26. 26. Web: Email: YouTube: Twitter: @dadenlimited