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Why Are Landscape Architecture Firms Getting Rid of 2D CAD?


Technological advancements and competitive pressures have contributed to the noticeable shift away from 2D CAD in landscape architecture. The most notable is the United Kingdom’s requirement for a BIM level 2 framework on all government-funded projects. When working with consultants who have matured their workflows with BIM, even if there is no BIM mandate, there is some inherent pressure to deliver BIM files.

Landscape architecture firms are in a pickle if they cling to 2D tools like AutoCAD for information modeling.

2D-focused companies must use separate software programs to properly incorporate 3D modeling with embedded data. It’s not uncommon for these companies to put together a concept using three or four different applications, which inevitably leads to multiple payments that add up over time. That’s not even taking into account the cost of staffing when you consider how much time is spent working on multiple applications.

BIM and Landscape architecture

Landscape architecture is a broad field that encompasses not only the architectural but also the scientific, artistic, and environmental aspects of creating, constructing, and studying various environments. Furthermore, landscape architecture is not solely about aesthetics; improving QoL (Quality of Life) and providing comfort are also among a landscape architect’s objectives.

Many landscape architects are put off by the term BIM (Building Information Modeling) because it includes the word “building.” However, BIM is merely the next step in the AEC industry’s technological evolution. It’s a shift from creating printed landscape drawings to creating and coordinating data within a digital landscape model. In some ways, the transition to BIM is more difficult than the transition to CAD because it necessitates a significant change in the processes in place since hand drafting.

There is an in-between phase of more basic 3D modeling, where you can find computer programs like SketchUp, Rhino, and 3DS Max, somewhere along with the progression from CAD to BIM. These programs allow you to create digital 3D models, but these models contain almost no information and are thus limited in their application. These models are great for visualizing designs, but they don’t allow for quantity or material scheduling. Furthermore, these programs do not allow for the creation of construction documents from the model, nor do they allow for model coordination.

The information (or data) within the model is the critical difference between basic 3D modeling and BIM. The concept is that each object in the model has data that is relevant to it. A tree in a BIM landscape, for example, would have all of the parameters needed to install it, including its scientific name, root size, condition, and install height. It might also include design details like mature height, spread, water and sun requirements, and bloom time.

In the field of landscape architecture, the use of BIM allows architects to create detailed digital models of the landscape in question, complete with coordinated data. This combination is transforming BIM landscape architecture as a whole, providing aesthetically pleasing structures while reducing the number of reworks, saving both money and time.

Revit Modeling Services is a popular example of software that can be used to meet the needs of a landscape architect. It can do terrain analysis, cost calculations, shading analysis (from a sun simulation), and other things. Rhino, AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, Vectorworks Landmark, SketchUp, and other BIM landscape architecture software include but are not limited to, Rhino, AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, Vectorworks Landmark, SketchUp, and others.

As a result, the advantages of the BIM process can be boiled down to a single concept: it is more efficient and saves money. Because money is such a powerful motivator, it’s no surprise that architects, contractors, and even clients are all moving to adopt, if not require, BIM on their projects.

BIM Benefits for Landscape Architecture

Landscape architects can choose from a number of different software vendors to find the one that best fits the scope, size, and details of their current project. Now we’ll go over some of the most significant benefits that can be realized by incorporating BIM into landscape architecture as a whole:

  • Enhanced Collaboration – BIM as a whole allows for better collaboration between departments, allowing landscape architects to collaborate with civil engineers, architects, designers, and others. This allows for a transparent workflow, with each participant being able to contribute without affecting the other participants.

Simultaneously, 3D models can be easily exported as accurate 2D drawings for onsite workers, ensuring that the project’s final design is implemented exactly as intended using BIM landscape architecture.

  • Revit’s Parametric Capabilities – Revit families are graphical representations of specific elements with a common set of parameters that can be placed in a 3D model. Landscape architects can create their models from scratch or use existing Revit families from Revit libraries.

Overall, Revit families can significantly reduce the number of reworks and enforce some uniformity, significantly shortening the project’s completion time. Additionally, if models and families were created for a specific project and saved in a library beforehand, they could be reused in future projects.

  • 3D Renderings for Visualization – 3D rendering, which includes landscape renders, is extremely important from an aesthetic standpoint. Rendering aids in determining whether the project will work in the current environment. It’s also possible to enhance the realism of the renders by adding lighting sources, colors, and other details – and to use 3D models for marketing, financial approvals, and a variety of other purposes, including BIM landscape architecture.
  • Adaptable and Sustainable – The use of landscape architecture rendering techniques to remove toxins from the environment is a long-term and cost-effective solution. Green plants in and around your home help to keep carbon dioxide levels in check. Plants also absorb toxins, which helps to keep your home healthy. Many landscape architects use phytoremediation methods to remove toxins from the soil and groundwater and revitalize them.
  • Time & Cost Benefits – Landscape architectural renderings assist the client in visualizing the entire design and allow him to make any design adjustments early on in the process so that no changes are required once construction begins. Landscape architects can also spot early design defects and fix them when the project is still in the planning stages. This saves businesses money on expensive repairs once construction starts, as well as a lot of time on rework.
  • Competitive Edge – It’s usually more effective and profitable to present your ideas with as few images as possible. Photo-realistic landscape architecture renderings are the simplest way to share ideas, and they almost always result in a positive outcome or direct feedback and input from your target audience. Client approval for 3D renders is more likely than ever before. Branding and marketing plans will be more reliable with 3D architecture visualization, and faster approvals and accurate bids will keep you one step ahead of the competition.
  • Boost Productivity – The on-site landscaping process is accelerated with landscape rendering techniques and the need for rework or design improvements are minimized when the bulk of the changes are completed at the conceptual stage. Potential design defects may be validated and corrected before implementation.

Quantity scheduling, material takeoffs, model coordination, and the documentation process are all made easier with this information in the model. As a designer, you can use the model’s information to help you make important design decisions, such as how to best capture and store rainwater. The BIM process allows for more accurate cost estimates and scheduling once the project enters bidding and construction, as well as fewer design errors and changes on-site, and a more coordinated construction and delivery process.

What are your options as a landscape architect if you want to switch from CAD to BIM? Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a magic bullet or a perfect program, and the answer will differ depending on the project and team. This wide range of responses is due to a number of factors: First and foremost, landscape architecture is a broad field with projects ranging in size, scope, and detail. Furthermore, when compared to architecture or even civil engineering, landscape architecture is a relatively small discipline. As a result, there are far fewer programs that are tailored to our specific requirements.

This shift to BIM can be unsettling for landscape architects. It is quickly becoming the industry standard, and all public sector projects in the UK are now required to use BIM. While the transition from CAD to BIM is relatively simple for architects and building engineers, there is a software gap once you get out into the landscape.

The significance & Scope of BIM in the 21st century is a hot topic nowadays. Implementing BIM in Landscape architecture is a technology that is designed to make the job even easier. It accomplishes the same task as you would otherwise, so it saves both your and your client’s time. It makes the workplace more efficient and helps you to complete tasks faster.

BIM technology would go on to become a critical part of the industry. Time would push you to use this incredible technique in just a few years. So, the question lies in, To BIM or Not to BIM.

How Indovance can help you gain expertise in your business?

Indovance is a multidisciplinary firm and caters to CAD drafting and modeling and BIM services since 2003. We majorly work in Mechanical, Architecture, Civil, Graphics, and Pre-media domains and can put all your worries at bay. With a team of experts, we can help you and your team in performing better and faster than your competition. You can outsource your CAD Design and Modeling and BIM services, and we assure to you of guaranteed quality results with the quickest TAT possible.

You can email us at [email protected] and can log in to our website www.indovance.com to know more about our services and our work portfolio.

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