BIM for Parametric Stadia Design: Do Designers Really Need Visual Programming?

Lea, Gavin, Ganah, Abdulkadir orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9911-8505, Goulding, Jack Steven and Ainsworth, Neil (2016) BIM for Parametric Stadia Design: Do Designers Really Need Visual Programming? In: CIB World Building Congress 2016: Intelligent built environment for life, 30th May - 3rd June 2016, Tempere, Finland.

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This research seeks to address complex issues related to stadia design, with a particular focus on
parametric terrace modelling. Using advanced Building Information Modelling (BIM) processes
and techniques, a dynamic 3D model is developed which automates c-value and capacity
calculations, improving efficiency and quality within design firms. The scope of this research has
been confined to the activity area, terrace, seating, barriers and gangways. These design areas,
particularly terraces’, provide constant headaches for designers due to strict regulations.
Simplifying this process enables designers to spend more time designing and less time modelling
based on meticulous calculations. All aspects of this research have been developed directly within
native BIM software to determine if designers really need visual programming to facilitate
parametric stadia design. A mixed method approach has been adopted, using quantitative analysis
for capturing design formulas and associated parameters, and qualitative discussion addressing
problematic and successful aspects of parametric design. It soon became apparent that one
parametric family would not be capable of providing designers with the flexibility to meet the
significant number of variables associated with stadia design. As such, several families were
created using different templates and tools, then federated using a four level nesting methodology.
Other findings highlighted that shared parameters are essential to automate data flow to
schedules, whilst the incorporation of 3D seats within the terrace family dramatically slows
design iterations. That being said, a 20,000 capacity stadium with seats was created in under an
hour using the parametric stadia models developed during this research. Conclusions drawn from
this research show that complex parametric stadia design can be achieved without the need for
third party visual programming software. The process is by no means straightforward and an in
depth knowledge of parameters and formulas is paramount for its success.

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