We asked our three featured architectural firms to walk us through some of their recent designs for home-improvement projects to illustrate how BIM software helped their clients develop a plan they could better understand and be satisfied with for years to come.
1. Whole-House Remodel that Opens the Floor Plan
Curt Cline of Modern House Architects has been using a European BIM software program for 14 years. It has been handy in his new construction and remodeling work, which includes several Eichlers.
For a recent project, a redesigned 1963-era Quincy Jones Eichler in Sunnyvale, BIM software helped his clients visualize the indoor-outdoor connection and an even more open floor plan than the original design.
Due to some poorly executed retrofits in the 1970s and a cracked concrete slab, this atrium model Eichler had to be reconstructed from the ground up.
"We did a structural analysis that would allow us to do what Joe Eichler would have done—if the technology and budget were there originally," Cline says. "We took out the sheer wall, handled the earthquake resistance through steel-reinforced posts, opened up the back to the outside with even more glass, and created a gallery in the courtyard."
The software helped showcase how the back of the house would open to the kidney-shaped pool, and how the three original small bedrooms could be converted into a master bedroom and a guest room.
"The 3-D design is closer to reality," Cline says. "If people can see what they are getting, they are more likely to be satisfied with the result."