Augmenting Landscape Architects’ Design Workflows with Information Modeling

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This presentation will demonstrate how building information modeling (BIM) tools can be adapted to the practice of landscape architecture, resulting in what is known as site information modeling. Using case studies of built projects as examples, the presenter will show how these tools are employed for site planning and detailed project development, empowering comprehensive, innovative, and intelligent workflows that help landscape professionals make appropriate decisions early in the design process, throughout design development, and into credit documentation.

Improved landscape performance is made possible by designing with smart object tools, whether it be for meeting jurisdictional design codes or sustainability and energy efficiency site design guideline objectives. By using such tools to augment existing workflows rather than changing processes, site designers can more efficiently confirm that their designs meets these guidelines, or make the necessary changes until it does, during project development. Case study projects included in this presentation successfully gained jurisdictional approval, as well as LEED Sustainable Sites (SS) and Water Efficiency (WE) credits based on the project meeting and exceeding the expectations in the published guidelines.
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Technology / CADD / GIS
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
1. Understand the benefits of augmenting existing design workflows with a combination of standard information modeling tools available in design technology, drawing file organization best practices, and parametric, smart objects to model site data and store information beyond the visual representation of the project.

2. Recognize how to apply database, reporting, and spreadsheet functions in worksheets to derive site data from the geometry and smart objects in a design file, simplifying calculation tasks and producing more accurate construction documents used for project bidding.

3. See how using a plant database to store plant data can aid in preparing worksheets to calculate landscape water use reduction from a calculated baseline to meet water efficiency project goals or earn green building credits.

4. Become aware of how firms use worksheet calculations to test the effects of design decisions in real time and verify compliance with green codes, zoning/landscape ordinances, and LEED/SITES credits.
Stephen Schrader, PLA, ASLA, CLARB
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Course Codes
Vectorworks, Inc.

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