Quinton Cooper, Associate | BIM and Digital Engineering Manager
From 2D building drawings and renderings involving multiple manual reviews of the blueprint to advanced 3D building information modeling (BIM) workflows, the building design process has been continually evolving. Further, with the added advantage of VR, both clients and project stakeholders can now virtually walk through a building and take a deeper look at the design intent and details even before it is built. That being said, clients have a diverse range of wants and needs when it comes to BIM and Digital Engineering. Different stakeholders require different outcomes from the same model. Many modeling techniques employed in this pursuit could be at odds with one another, and understanding the different end uses and how they may complement one another, and also what to do when they don’t can be the difference between success and failure as a BIM consultant. Enter Cottee Parker Architects.
Cottee Parker Architects, an advocate of the OpenBIM approach, combines intellect and creativity to deliver unique design solutions for the built environment. As a minimum level of service, the company adopts an open and collaborative approach to BIM with key deliverables derived from the model and provided in open source formats during all project phases. Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) are platform-neutral formats for file transfer across all platforms, and Cottee Parker Architects complies with this standard method of transfer for any model-based deliverable. As the model data is not tied to any specific proprietary system, the asset owner has the flexibility to work with any consultant or software package throughout the project life cycle.
Cottee Parker Architects also promotes the concept of Inheritance in BIM—most data deliverables on BIM projects can be inherited from design decisions already required for other outputs. The company employs systems that allow the design teams to focus on decision-making processes relative to the communication of design intent while the BIM and Digital Engineering teams structure and curate the data in such a way that multiple data sets can be derived from a single decision made at the start of the supply chain.
Further, Cottee Parker Architects applies LEAN construction principles to its BIM and Digital Engineering delivery. “We believe in the concept that nothing is so good that it cannot be improved and look to continually evaluate and assess our methods and workflows to avoid downtime and energy wastage,” says Quinton Cooper, Associate and BIM and Digital Engineering Manager at Cottee Parker Architects. This perspective enables the company to tailor designs that perfectly align with culture, environment, and user preference. The company offers an array of services, from Design, Documentation, and presentation/visualization, to model checking. Further, model checking includes clash detection and data validation, issue tracking and delivery of geometry and data fit for costing, construction sequencing, model-based analysis, and facilities management.
In certain instances, the Cottee Parker Architects team collaborates seamlessly with other service providers for more diverse outcomes. The company’s OpenBIM approach to model and data delivery facilitates this collaboration. “We ask ourselves two questions during the development of any system: ‘Can we take advantage of something that we already have to do?’ and ‘How will our system respond to change?’ Much of our work revolves around agile response to change and our systems need to reflect this,” remarks Cooper.
Immaculately adhering to all the Levels of Development (LOD) as specified by clients and ISO 19650 standards, the company takes an outcome-focused approach to review what each client plans to do with the model and develop an execution plan and information delivery matrix that focuses on the required data and classifications for facilitating desired outcomes. BIM delivery can be broken down into two broad categories: geometry and information. The key piece of Cottee Parker Architects’ service is to ensure accurate geometry, appropriate classifications, and the right information delivery from the model to help clients achieve desired outcomes.
Cottee Parker Architects has developed BIM Execution Plans and served as BIM Manager on a number of high profile and complex projects. However, the Queen’s Wharf Integrated Resort Development in Brisbane is perhaps the most challenging project the company has participated in. Cottee Parker Architects is the Lead Designer and Architectural BIM Coordinator, working closely with the BIM Management team for the contractor (Multiplex) and the client (Destination Brisbane Consortium) to ensure compliance with the overall Project BIM Execution Plan, maintained by DBM Vircon. The model produced by Cottee Parker Architects forms part of a multi-disciplinary federated model that will serve as a digital asset used by the client to assist in managing the physical asset after construction. Approximately 20 software packages are currently being utilized on Queen’s Wharf in an open BIM environment. Queen’s Wharf has provided Cottee Parker Architects with the opportunity to develop systems with a focus on open BIM formats, which allows for flexibility to move quickly with new developments in technology without being locked into any proprietary system.
Cottee Parker Architects is presently focused on pre-emptive model checking while developing new technology and solutions daily to meet the needs of very complex projects. This forms the basis for the company’s Digital Engineering workflow, which effectively prevents the clash or error from occurring on-site as it can be resolved in the virtual space first. Cottee Parker Architects will continue to develop new systems that prevent issues during the authoring process, effectively taking the concept to the next level.