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BIM and ArchiCAD Combine a Passion for Science in an Inspiring High School Design

Posted by Kimberly Mickelson on July 08, 2010
Design / No Comments
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Briana Coonan from Orcutt | Winslow passed along some recent news about the Phoenix Union Bioscience High School to share with you. Thanks Briana!

 Unroll building plans onto a conference table, and suddenly you can have five or six different conversations under way — and as many misunderstandings. That’s why a Phoenix architecture firm opted for open collaboration around 3D digital ArchiCAD software models, projected on screen, throughout the design and construction of a revolutionary new high school.

“The development of Phoenix Union Bioscience High School was as much an experience in sociology as architecture,” said Orcutt Winslow architect Russ Sanders, AIA. “Bringing the building information model (BIM) from the back office to the conference table helped educators, school administrators, architects, engineers, building supervisors, contractors and others get on the same page and stay there. The result is happy clients and a wonderful school where, by every measure, students are excelling.”

The three-story, $11.4 million Phoenix Union Bioscience High School is a 400-student math-and-science-focused institution located in the state’s most ethnically diverse district. Using GRAPHISOFT‘s ArchiCAD building information modeling (BIM) software, Orcutt Winslow created a design that complements the student’s love of science with a facility to channel that passion in a no-less-rigorous academic setting.

The entire building is optimized for learning. Classrooms are designed to expand and shrink to facilitate team teaching. Building systems are exposed and used to highlight practical examples of good science, and there is a roomy town hall area to encourage community and openness. A central, monolithic staircase evokes the school’s high standards. Walls open to an outside courtyard and amphitheater, echoing the absence of limits on academic curiosity.

The building also reflects its location at the intersection of the city’s biotech and art districts. The east and west facades are dotted with architectural fossils — hollowed-out negative spaces depicting trilobites, birds and fish in the order they evolved. The firm designed the shapes in ArchiCAD, routed them in hard foam, sunk them into wet concrete, then carefully drilled them out of the building’s walls.

ArchiCAD helped the firm and the school district save money, evaluate myriad options and streamline regulatory approvals. For example, when the city required the high school to provide 40 additional parking places late in the design process, Orcutt Winslow quickly modified the BIM model. The firm displayed two options — underground and surface parking, each of which triggered automatic design changes throughout the rest of the structure. ArchiCAD helped stakeholders evaluate the options and compare the cost impact, leading to a choice of at-grade parking. ArchiCAD also helped the firm show a city preservation panel how the design would spare, and even spotlight, a 100-year-old schoolhouse at the center of the property.

In the design review and regulatory meetings, the firm supplemented projected models with high-resolution animations produced in Cinema 4D software. The open collaboration generated enough enthusiasm to prompt city leaders to accelerate project funding, minimizing the impact of noisy construction activity on learning. Orcutt Winslow also used ArchiCAD 3D models to coordinate decisions and activities among the school district, its representatives, its contractors and subcontractors, helping achieve ultra efficient integrated project delivery.

“Communicating in the visual language of 3D and ArchiCAD helps to clarify so many otherwise nebulous points of information,” said Sanders. “You can see the design, comprehend it and discuss it much more easily than with the traditional practice of sketching a note on trace paper. This collaboration made for an extremely positive project from start to finish. BIM essentially has given us a new model for transforming how architects, clients and other stakeholders interact and execute their vision. Everybody felt, and still feels, like they own this.”

About GRAPHISOFT:

GRAPHISOFT is the pioneer and leader in developing Virtual Building™ solutions. For 25 years, GRAPHISOFT has been empowering the broadest community of architects to deliver model based projects that are better designed, more predictable to construct and less expensive to operate. Further media requests for information can be made to Akos Pfemeter at: press@graphisoft.com. You can also get news updates by following us on http://twitter.com/ArchiCAD

GRAPHISOFT and ArchiCAD are registered trademarks of GRAPHISOFT. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

SOURCE GRAPHISOFT

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Orcutt | Winslow Project Wins Best Medical Office Development of the Year

Posted by Kimberly Mickelson on March 31, 2010
Awards, Design / No Comments

The 101 Medical Office Center in Phoenix landed a prestigious award at last week’s Best of NAIOP Arizona Awards. The center was named the Best Medical Office Development of the Year, a product of collaboration between developer and contractor McShane Companies and architecture firm Orcutt | Winslow. A panel of judges “honors the medical office development which leads its peers in economic success in the market, design quality, and innovative solution to development challenges.”

The 101 Medical Office Center is comprised of two four-story, 80,000 SF medical office buildings totaling 160,000 SF, situated on 10.74 acres in the area’s premier medical park adjacent to the Banner Estrella Medical Center, another award-winning Orcutt | Winslow project.

 NAIOP is the leading organization for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial and mixed-use real estate. McShane Companies provides design/build, construction management, and general construction services throughout the US. Orcutt | Winslow, AIA Western Mountain Region’s 2005/2006 Architectural Firm of the Year, is a multi-disciplinary design firm that offers specialty services including architectural design and interior architecture. Established in 1971, the firm specializes in education, healthcare, and senior living projects in Arizona, California, and throughout the US. Contact: Kristine Mower, Orcutt | Winslow, mower.k@owp.com or 602.257.1764.

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West Sedona Elementary School Wins ‘Keep Sedona Beautiful’ Award

Posted by Kimberly Mickelson on March 16, 2010
Awards, Design / 1 Comment

Just a few weeks ago, West Sedona Elementary School won the annual Keep Sedona Beautiful Award for new or redesigned buildings.  The award is granted based on a building’s harmony with the natural environment, beyond municipal or county regulations.  West Sedona Elementary School is a K-8 school catering to 550 students.  The District is working with Phoenix architecture firm Orcutt | Winslow on redevelopment of the 200-acre campus, focusing on unifying the campus style buildings with a distinctive identity.  Similar to the magic of the red rocks, which transform you emotionally and spiritually, the school design is inviting, inspiring and educationally stimulating.  The new building replacement includes a multi-purpose/administration building of approximately 11,700sf, K-2nd grade classroom building of approximately 15,180sf and 3rd – 5th grade classroom building of approximately 23,200sf.  

Keep Sedona Beautiful is an organization working to preserve the wonder of the Sedona area’s scenic natural beauty now and in the future.  Orcutt | Winslow, AIA Western Mountain Region’s 2005/2006 Architectural Firm of the Year, is a multi-disciplinary design firm that offers specialty services including architectural design and interior architecture.  Established in 1971, the firm specializes in education, healthcare, and senior living projects in Arizona, California, and throughout the US.

Media Contact: Kristine Mower, Orcutt | Winslow, mower.k@owp.com or 602.257.1764.

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