2010 AIA Convention - BIM for Building Skins

BIM for Building Skins: The Future of Facade Design, Engineering, Fabrication, and Construction
Joseph Burns, FAIA, LEED AP, SE, Thornton Tomasetti
Mark E. Dannettel, AIA, LEED AP, ASCE, Thornton Tomasetti

In this presentation the stress was that interoperability between software was the key to their success. Turns out MS Excel was the center for the BIM exchange (see page 6 of PDF). The case study was on the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago. The key to making the design work was to rationalize the surfaces. The goal was to turn a 3D problem into a 2D problem. The presentation outlined the various methods for making the 3D to 2D translation (see page 10 of PDF).
One problem was that glass is not cut. To make it into shapes, it is scored and then broken. So when dealing with odd glass shapes, the manufacturer had to oversize the panels to be able to break them into the correct shapes. There was quite a bit of waste. (The presented slide show had some graphics in it that are unfortunately not in the handout)
Another problem was in getting the exact dimension tolerances. With irregular shapes of glass, the design tolerances were far more stringent than the construction tolerances. Tolerances had to be achieved with edge grinding. It was however, that edge grinding tolerance is equal to one half of the pane’s thickness. This may not always be close enough.
Link to PDF Handout

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