Scottish firm’s DfMA-level CLT Revit models benefit greatly from unique BIM software
AGACAD’s Wood Framing CLT solution for Revit® has enabled Carbon Dynamic to reduce costs, improve quality and increase innovation in the design, offsite production and assembly of engineered timber structures.
Carbon Dynamic, a subsidiary of Pat Munro (Alness) Ltd, is a contractor in the Highlands of Scotland with 170 employees, 75 years of history, and deep commitment to social responsibility. The multi-disciplinary firm is known and respected for its civil engineering work, residential and commercial property development, and modular offsite manufacturing.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) framing is part of Carbon Dynamic’s focus on sustainable construction, especially in bespoke design and offsite manufacture of timber and hybrid structures. Examples are its popular off-grid cabins and pods (like this CLT modular house perched up in the Scottish Highlands) and a spa facility now in the works.
The company uses BIM, in a Revit® environment, as well as Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) – away of optimizing building-element design for faster, lower-cost quality prefabrication and assembly. But they lacked good software for doing all of that efficiently with CLT.
“We did not have a tool that could tackle CLT head on – the DfMA process was clunky, and we were also spending a lot of time preparing models and drawings manually for every project,” says Thomas Woolley, an Architectural Technician at Carbon Dynamic.
“Our requirement was software that was efficient in producing DfMA-level models, that could take our architectural models into the DfMA process without having to export from Revit to IFC to then be loaded into another package. Plus it should help with fabrication drawings and scheduling, ideally all in a user-friendly and cost-effective system,” he says.
A search of the market led Carbon Dynamic’s team to AGACAD’s Wood Framing CLT solution. They were quickly convinced that it was exactly what they needed.
Wood Framing CLT is a Revit add-on that lets users instantly create CLT wall panels, floor panels and roof slabs of any shape or complexity. The software generates views with automatic dimensions for panels or segments as well as accurate bills of materials and shop drawings. Details like connectors, cuts and supports can be inserted based on rules. Updates for changes are in real time.
“The biggest selling point was the automation in modelling. I was amazed to see how a highly detailed and accurate multi-storey could be put together through a well thought out parametric process. In addition, being able to use drawings as templates to set out other drawings is phenomenal and saves a substantial amount of time,” Mr Woolley recalls.
The new software proved its value at Carbon Dynamic immediately in terms of saving time and enhancing quality, according to the company’s representative.
“After setting up our own custom parameters, I noticed how quickly we were able to model timber and sheathing elements. We no longer had to manually split the CLT panels, which was fantastic,” he says, adding: “Not only can we now produce extremely accurate detailed BIM models and drawings, we can also export exact sheathing and fixing schedules, which improves other departments’ efficiency too. Included tools like Sort Mark, for easily renumbering elements, really help with general organisation. The software has absolutely put us ahead of the game.”
Over time, AGACAD’s tools and expert support enabled the Scottish contractor to refine many aspects of its workflow, making processes more efficient than they had ever been, and also to push innovation.
“We recently released a range of standard units that push the capabilities of volumetric offsite construction. We’re able to take eight individual volumetric pods and assemble them into varying configurations. AGACAD has been a great help making this achievable,” Mr Woolley notes.
He said the company continues discovering more ways to get value from the software. AGACAD’s “great initial training, expansive and well-illustrated online resources, and general ongoing support” are a key reason for that.
Prepared by Bryan Bradley of Textus Aptus.
This client relationship exemplifies the AGACAD ideal of “Building BIM Together!” After 29 years creating AEC technologies, AGACAD today is the developer of the world’s widest range of true BIM (Building Information Modeling/Management) software for Revit® professionals, with 13,000+ users in 130 countries. Its three areas of focus are BIM Content Management & Classification, BIM for Prefabricated Construction, and Digital Asset Inventories & BIM for Facility Management.
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