Real-Time Renders Used for Speed and Quality in Modular Housing Project
BIMCAP is an international BIM outsourcing company that offers a complete suite of BIM services, including BIM modeling, virtual reality, Scan2BIM, and 4D construction simulation. With offices in Hong Kong, Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Spain, and the Philippines, they have an international presence and experience.
For the past few years, they have been using Enscape to help them visualize all aspects of design. Here, we learn more about the techniques used for a recent construction project in Belgium, Europe, including the use of real-time visualization.
Assembling houses in just 48 hours
Using a DfMA technique (Design for Manufacture and Assembly), this modular construction uses a very high degree of prefabrication, with up to 90% of the project manufactured in a factory-controlled environment. Once the panels are prefabricated and shipped to site, a house can be assembled within 48 hours. The technique is used as a design approach focusing on reducing the time of manufacture, increasing assembly efficiency, and optimizing cost and value engineering.
For this project, BIMCAP were hired as BIM architects to bring the entire construction process into a BIM workflow. They were tasked with coordinating the entire project lifecycle to ensure that the houses are manufactured with a very strict tolerance of 2mm and assembled in very sequenced delivery times.
This project required quick decision making from concept to handover and use. To help automate this process, BIM models were created in Revit and visualized with Enscape’s real-time visualization tool
Kevin Cheng, Design Director, BIMCAP
During the conceptual design phase, real-time rendering was used to generate pictures that fully resemble photos as if taken in the real world. This helped to facilitate early decision making, as renders were quick to create, enabling all parties to see and understand the initial design ideas. “Record speed of render exports and quality is the major reason of using Enscape in this project” explained Kevin.
After using Revit to model different panel options, BIMCAP visualized these with the help of Enscape. At this point, BIMCAP conducted a comparative analysis to find the best possible option to be used in the design.
Going beyond rendering with Enscape
In addition to real-time rendering, another Enscape feature used for the modular housing project was Collaborative Annotation. This allows issues to be recorded with visual context within Enscape, helping teams to easily track and resolve problems that are identified. For BIMCAP, this helped them to identify visual clashes which were reported to the client via a bcfzip. Communication and coordination on major issues and conflicts were thereby enhanced and resolved in real time.
A further requirement of this project was to replicate the actual site. BIMCAP did this by converting images of the existing site into a skybox, and then using the images as a background in Enscape for accuracy and realism. This enabled BIMCAP to facilitate uninterrupted site logistics and temporary traffic arrangements which were essential to coordinate the delivery and installation of the housing units.
Lastly, Enscape’s BIM information feature was also beneficial to BIMCAP: “Elements were identified easily with the help of the BIM feature within Enscape, without having to go back and forth between Revit and Enscape to find the property of the element.” explained Kevin.
Real-time renders and their crucial role in design
Streamlining design and fabrication to assemble houses in only 48 hours sounds quite the challenge. But with the help of real-time rendering, visualization, and the built-in collaboration features that Enscape offers, BIMCAP were able to evaluate various design options, better collaborate with the client and other stakeholders, and quickly reach decision points to ensure project success.
Thanks to the BIMCAP team for sharing their Enscape experience and this great project with us.