“We can’t do this” or ideal CAD for an architect through the eyes of a designer


Along with the well-known holivars, there is a battle, poorly promoted on the Internet, under the code name “Architects against Designers”. The essence of it in general terms is that bad (I emphasize bad) architects see facade design as their most important occupation, not particularly bothering with the constructive possibility of realizing the results of their fantasy flight, matching their ideas with the requirements of regulatory documents for building plans, fire safety and other boring and uninteresting things . Very bad architects, having heard from the implementers of their ideas, that is, from the designers, for example, about the impossibility of blocking a twelve-meter span with a plate 100 mm thick, throw a white scarf on their shoulders, adjust the beret and look languidly into the distance to give a maxim like “I’m a creator, and you wouldservice staff, and this is your job. ”

Of course, having shown one extreme of the situation, it would be dishonest not to point out one more thing - to bad (I emphasize - bad) designers are too lazy (and scary) to calculate and construct something other than a rectangular plan and section of a one-story garage with no windows, so everything goes beyond the designated framework is subjected to authoritative discussion within the commune, ridicule, severe rejection and arrogant "Draw here, and we sit" addressed to architects.

Good architects and good designers tend to find a common language.

Button for an architect

The most popular CAD for architects in Russia is ArchiCAD from Graphisoft (I have no statistics, based on personal experience). For this reason, I accepted it as a kind of collective image of architectural CAD in general, and I will try to describe with her example what changes in it would smooth out the sharp corners of the conflict described above.

To begin with, a significant part of architectural miscalculations is caused, after all, not by the revolt of the inner rebellious genius, but by elementary forgetfulness and ignorance of the norms. There may be several points of view. I adhere to the least radical position - of all norms, especially considering their constant variability, ornate formulations and the incredible hard work of the organizations that compose these norms, it is impossible to know (especially remember). In the end, many engineers involved in the calculation of building structures have no idea about equivalent sections, deformation modules, etc., and, nevertheless, give adequate solutions by pressing a button using calculation systems. There are no such concessions for architects.

Where to run?

Contrary to popular belief, the most difficult and important task of an architect is not to achieve a spectacular appearance of his brainchild, but to develop adequate layouts on the basis of which a project should be developed (in practice it often goes the opposite - the layouts are pushed into previously developed facades). Unless, of course, we are talking about designing a real civil construction object, and not about working for an architectural competition. In the Arcade, there are no tools to facilitate the planning of the building. Moreover, in the project developed in this system, it is impossible to find even mention of the functional purpose of the building, except in the name itself, although this parameter should go through all the work of the architect with a red thread. I would suggest doing it like this:

- The architect pressed Ctrl-N. Immediately after this, he indicates the functional purpose of the building (office, shopping center, housing, etc.).

- Further, the architect indicates some
of the parameters that limit and direct his work. This can be - the maximum / minimum / required design area of ​​the building, construction volume, construction area, area of ​​the
site allocated for construction; the area of ​​the site allocated for improvement, the degree of fire resistance of the building, etc.

- Based on these data, inside the CAD, in accordance with the applicable standards (regularly updated, of course), the key planning parameters should be calculated - the number of evacuation exits from the floor, the number of people in the room (employees in offices / visitors in shops / residents in apartments), dimensions of fire compartments, etc.

- Along with the abstract tools “Door” and “Ladder”, the tool “Evacuation exit” should be present. The door of the door is different, and emergency restrictions impose strict restrictions on the evacuation exits (width, quantity, degree of fire resistance of the filling, the slope of the flights of stairs and much more). These very evacuation exits, which do not meet the standards from the initial stages of project development, very often lead to significant revisions and changes at its final stages.

- At the end of the facility planning, an audit should be carried out within the program. Indicating weaknesses. This is a completely uncomplicated and easily implemented algorithm, it is personally surprising to me why no one has done so far.

Creator and money

It is completely incomprehensible why in CAD, the developers of which point to the principle of “virtual building” as the main one in the work of their program, the automatic calculation of the technical and economic indicators of the facility has not yet been implemented. These are elementary, but very laborious with manual calculation calculations, and at the same time - one of the main goals of outline design. As practice shows (and common sense suggests), customers are primarily interested in the floor area of ​​the future building (the number of housing meters sold, the number of retail space leased), its construction volume (which is the main parameter in calculating the construction cost), as well as the ratio of these indicators , and very slightly - appearance. Evil and greedy people, deprived of a sense of beauty, yes.

A little engineer

CAD, in which the user can set the transparency, reflectivity and brightness of glare for the structural material, but cannot - the specific gravity and thermal conductivity, does not have the right to be considered an architectural package. By design, a good design package - certainly, but not architectural. Resistance to heat transfer of building envelopes is also the architect’s job. At least at the initial level. If everyone understood this, there would be no situations like the processing of the preliminary design and the foundation project (as well as their reconciliation with all-all) due to the fact that at the initial stage the walls of the office building were made of 380 mm thick silicate brick.
In order to assess the conformity of structures to the requirements of thermal engineering standards, it is not at all necessary to break down the building into finite elements, transfer its structure to external heat engineering packages (and the architect will not do this). There is also an editor for multilayer structures. What prevented the addition of the column “Heat transfer coefficient”? And a simple, simple calculation here. Unclear.

Well, the same can be said about the specific gravity. The approximate beam height can also be estimated in real time based on the payload, overlap weight and span. The architect creates, sees that he has a beam one and a half meters high and thinks. And do not swear with the designer after the approval of the project. Very good and right.


All of the above is pretty messy and most of all resembles a fiery speech about 3D-action. Nevertheless, I seem to have expressed what I wanted to say. CAD developers for architects do a great job and produce an excellent product, but, it seems to me, they misconceive the terms of reference of their target audience. At least, their representation is at variance with mine. I will not take the liberty of considering my own as the only right one.

* - the picture at the beginning of the note is the visualization of the project of the student campus of the participant of the architectural contest “Image of Russia 2012” Alina Minka.

Also popular now: