Tim Blatner, AIA BIMStorm Activities


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Architect Tim Blatner played a central role in the BIMStorm BIG BIM Bang by using real data from a California Community College athletic facility project for CostaMesa College. This short piece describes some of his work.

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Tim Blatner, AIA BIMStorm Activities

  1. 1. BIMStorm BIG BIM Bang - One Perspective: Many Software Programs Blatner Architectural Services delves deep into web-based BIM and GIS capabilitiesDecember 19, 2011 - Oak Park, IllinoisStarting with real program data for a MiraCosta College athletic training facility, Blatner ArchitecturalServices designed four schemes for a 58,000 square foot building in the BIMStorm® BIG BIM Bang. ABIMStorm® is a web-based workshop intended to teach professionals about the ability of BuildingInformation Models and Geographic Information Systems to dramatically increase building industryproductivity with open source softwareTimothy Blatner, AIA, founder of Blatner Architectural Services, Oak Park, Illinois, says, “Datagenerated in California, modeled into preliminary designs in the Midwest, sent through BIM webservers and commented on by the College’s consultant back in California and then processed andanalyzed further in Canada and various East coast locations, was developed in a collaborative andholistic manner to create presentations ofmeaningful information in a way that allowsstakeholders to make their critical decisions.”This is Blatners fourth BIMStorm® and he feelsit has been highly beneficial to have real ownerswith real projects be involved on such an activelevel. “BIMStorm® LAX was a greatdemonstration of the shear amount of work thatcan be done with web-based BIM in one day.BIMStorm® San Diego allowed us to redesignthe urban plan of the east side of downtown SanDiego in the course of a weekend. BIMStorm®Haiti evolved into a research project, gatheringand web-sharing post-disaster maps, news,shelter options, and technical resources,” saysBlatner. Massing model of one scheme on Google Earth (above)FUSION Data Starting Point Marked up print out of one scheme (below)Blatner noted that he started his latest BIMStorm process by obtainingprogram data from Onuma System that originated from the Foundation forCalifornia Community Colleges unified database named FUSION. Hedesigned simple massing models based on this data and “landed” them inGoogle Earth. His decision on site placement took into account campusGIS data on existing utilities that became available as information layers inthe ONUMA System during the exercise.
  2. 2. Blatner’s initial electronic plans were printed, marked up, scanned and returned to him to show whatchanges the school’s master planner, HMC Architects, recommended. With this feedback from thoseinvolved with the real project, he made adjustments and designed additional schemes. Then hisbuilding information models were ready to be shared in public web-based folders, from which theywere taken by others and entered into multiple different interactive software programs for furthermodeling and analysis. Revit, Ecotech, Vico, Vasari and the GTX Sync from Gehry Technologies wereamong the programs that Blatners schemes were run through.“Meaningful and comparative wind analysis, solar analysis, site planning, constructability assessment,lighting studies, cost estimating, envelope analysis and other professional services were generated in ashort time from a very limited, but meaningful set of information,” Blatner says.“Assembling massing models alone is notimpressive. But when you can createmultiple viable iterations faster with realdata behind them, you can analyze themand make critical directional decisionsearlier in the design process. Thesedecisions are made sooner, and based onmore meaningful and comparativeinformation that affect short-term costs andduration of construction, but also long-term operational issues such as energyconsumption and expenditures. There isgreater value to what is possible today,”Blatner says. “You are able to add morevalue with fewer people in a shorteramount of time with this collaborative andholistic approach.” GTX Synch was used to show a simple renderingBlatner spent about 70 hours of his own time from the observation of the third BIMStorm® BIG BIMBang webinar on November 22, 2011, including participation in the fourth webinar on November 28,until he finished interacting with other professionals consultants regarding his schemes. More than fiveother firms, including Gehry Technologies, Balfour Beatty Construction, Vico Software, Lam Partners,PV Energy Solutions and Halsall Associates, provided services during the highly focused periodbetween November 29 and December 8.The designs and analysis results from this brief exercise were featured in a presentation at theBIMStorm® booth at the ecobuild® america 2011/ National BIM Conference® in Washington D.C. onDecember 8. A final presentation of results from this collaborative design, construction managementand facilities analysis effort are being scheduled for the early weeks of February 2012.Find more information at www.BIMStorm.com/WASEnd