A Long-Time Vectorworks Designer’s Switch to BIM for Interiors 10th March 2023 | IN DESIGN TECHNOLOGY | BY SBID

There’s a certain wisdom in trust — whether it be trusting a friend, trusting the weatherperson’s report, or in the case of Geneviève Raynauld of Nine Design, trusting the full capabilities of Vectorworks Architect.

Raynauld and her Montreal-based design firm have long used Vectorworks for their commercial and residential interior design projects. In fact, Raynauld has used Vectorworks since it was MiniCAD in the ‘90s.

Raynauld has decided that she and her firm will begin to adopt Vectorworks Architect’s BIM capabilities, a decision that’s offered the firm the ability to make more informed design decisions as well as engage in data-driven collaboration processes with consultants.

design technology, A Long-Time Vectorworks Designer’s Switch to BIM for Interiors

Implementing 3D and Information Modeling for Impressive Results

The decision to take a more wholistic approach to her firm’s design workflow was a result of Raynauld attending Vectorworks’ 2018 Design Summit, claiming that she realized she was only using about ten percent of the software. “I got frustrated not being able to use every aspect of Vectorworks.”

Now, Raynauld and her team are pushing the software where she wants it to go, creating 3D files with greater levels of detail, data, and documentation.

“Everything is so much easier in 3D,” said Raynauld, citing a desire to render beautifully and better sell projects to clients. “Not everybody has the capacity to bring a 3D model into their mind.”

Raynauld described the enhanced visuals of her new 3D models with colorful words like “warmth” and “candy.” No longer does she have to simply hope clients feel attached to a cold 2D floorplan.

These little bits of “candy” are added to viewports that are used to present all the visual and informational details that compose a design. Renderings, images, samples, tables, worksheets, and other forms of information can be added to these viewports — creating a fully-fleshed out version of Raynauld’s design intent.

“Key plans” also exist in Raynauld’s viewports, indicating which floor of a building the viewer is currently seeing. This is just another example of how you can add detailed, graphical information to your documents, and, as the designer points out, this kind of inclusion wouldn’t be possible without a 3D BIM model.

design technology, A Long-Time Vectorworks Designer’s Switch to BIM for Interiors

Collaborating with Architects, Engineers, and More using Vectorworks

With their larger projects especially, Raynauld and her staff must collaborate with architects, engineers, and other consultants to deliver a coordinated interior solution.

And Raynauld is in good hands — Vectorworks Architect has a wide range of import options that includes DWG files.

Raynauld and her team reference DWG files into Vectorworks, using the reference as a background that informs their work. Once they complete the first design iteration, the team exports the file to DWG for use by consultants. The exported DWG file contains valuable project information and coordination markers.

The next step, she indicated, was maximizing the use of consultant files. “I wanted to get more from the models that [the collaborators] were sending me,” she said.

“I’m motivated by my work,” said Raynauld. “So, I’m motivated to advance and improve my BIM capacity. It has a direct impact on our rendering skills and everything that brings the ‘wow’ effect to the interior design.”

Nine Design’s DDO Project

Nine Design’s most recent project is the eight-story, 120-unit DDO multiplex design in West Island, Montreal.

The design throughout the building is characterized by a neutral color palette and natural materials. Such a design choice was the result of the “social temperature” and her own personal headspace during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Raynauld. “It’s a contrast with all the controversy in society. It’s really to bring clarity and light when everything feels so confusing and shady.”

To take the socially conscious nature of the project one step further, Raynauld and Nine Design worked with an eco-friendly, carbon-neutral line of carpet. And, because they’re now using a BIM workflow, details like color and materials have associated data within Nine Design’s models.

With DDO, Vectorworks has helped Nine Design create beautiful presentations with efficient execution, as well as continue their mission: “we create designs that stand out for their harmony between audacity and elegance that will stand the test of time.”

Continually Learning How to Design with Data

Raynauld knows that there’s still room for her firm to grow in their implementation of BIM processes, saying that she’d love to use more IFC models to collaborate with other professionals and consultants. “Sometimes an engineer might change the thickness of a slab, for example,” said Raynauld. “That’s where I’d love to be able to work with BIM and an IFC model. I would be able to make sure all my other measurements and details are still good!”

“I’m really passionate about Vectorworks,” said Raynauld. And it shows; Nine Design are designing, documenting, and collaborating better than ever before.

About Vectorworks

Exceptional design demands exceptional tools – a platform built to deliver absolute creative expression and maximum efficiency. Vectorworks believe your design software should offer the freedom to follow your imagination wherever it may lead you, to seamlessly share your vision at any phase, and to easily interpret the information needed to make the smartest decisions every time.

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