The design and presentation of retail space is an important element of the retail experience and therefore a fundamental representation of the retailer’s brand. The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in retail projects has helped designers to improve the accuracy of design data produced during the planning and pre-construction stages. By using Autodesk’s Revit Architecture platform, retailers and retail designers are able to create BIM retail design in a collaborative environment, however the benefits are broader than collaboration alone and include:
Database Design For Controlled Changes: A retail design in Revit can be easily modified throughout the pre-construction and design stages of the project. Revit allows users to make changes to one area, such as a plan or a section, and that change will then update all other areas of the Revit model such as a schedule or an elevation due to the database structure of Revit. This makes others involved in the project aware of the changes, eliminating the wastage of time.
Creation Of Intelligent Models: Revit is a more intelligent tool compared to traditional drawings and design software. The use of parametric 3D models instead of poly-lines helps to obtain accurate data from the project which can then be used for procurement purposes. The models themselves are built as ‘families’ allowing pre-built variations to be used in 3D models. The data within the 3D models can include sizing data, manufacturing data, servicing schedules, installer data, view of the retail project right from its beginning to the post-construction phases and so much more.
Material Take Off: One of the more salient features of Revit is that if set up properly, it calculates the required materials and component parts, based on the design, into schedules. This helps to avoid manual checking and therefore can prevent human errors. As a result, procurement managers have access to more accurate data to allow more accurate budgeting.
Rendered Views: Whilst it is not a standalone rendering tool, Revit does have excellent rendering tools and capabilities that will allow designers to use Revit views directly from the model as opposed to a separate rendered solution using a specialist package such as 3DS Max. Furthermore, the renders can become part of the drawing set so that users can see 3D views with accurate finishes as well as the standard 2D elevations and 2D floor plans that Revit can produce.
4D Models & Time Lines: In modern construction, it is absolutely essential for effective coordination between the personnel involved in a retail project during construction. Creation of Revit BIM models during retail design helps project managers to track project progress through integration with time-liner tools for all stages of the construction phase.
The many advantages of Revit Architecture and BIM generally mean that leading retailers around the world are increasingly adopting Revit Architecture for retail BIM modelling. As mentioned, it has helped them to manage the design process more effectively, create clash free drawings that are based on clash free models, extract accurate procurement data and use 3D views in their design data. Collectively this helps retailers to reduce costs and create more certainty in terms of timescales and live dates for store openings. With BIM becoming a mainstream development in construction generally, retailers have rightly started to adopt it and benefit from the advantages of a BIM solution.