THINKING|DRAWING

Adventures in the World of SIM

Over the past two to three years, ALA has slowly, but meticulously delved into the world of BIM, and more accurately, SIM technology. 

Working on highly complex and constrained sites with rigorous parameters set forth by local reviewing agencies and jurisdictions, we have developed workflows and techniques for modeling, analyzing, and communicating existing and proposed site conditions. |

In particular, working in Colorado often times entails working on steep sites with lots of existing vegetation and natural opportunities and constraints. From expansive clay soils, to challenging drainage, and often scrupulous reviewing agencies and committees, it has become necessary for us to not only provide good design for our clients, but also quantify the value added and evidence for good design solutions. 

Lastly, we often work with consultants such as architects and civil engineers. We have found that the best methods for collaboration should include 3D integration of modeled sites and design elements that can easily be transformed to line drawing format for documentation.

Last fall we began a site plan for a private residence in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The existing site sloped steeply an evenly from south to north with broad views of Elk Range to the north and west and ski access from the west and south. 

Following client approval, ALA generated final models for collaboration and sharing between consultants. Grading plans and models were shared with both the architect and civil engineer to ensure accuracy and code compliance.

Final plans were documentated in 2D and 3D for building permit and design review committee approval.



ALA analyzed existing and proposed slopes, generating slope maps to help identify ideal locations and alignments of the building, driveway, and terrace areas. 

To make matters more challenging, there was an existing ditch running through the center of the building envelope. ALA carefully modeled the ditch and proposed re-grading and revetement so that the building could 'bridge' the new stream course, which would be naturalized and deepened to create a gorge effect.

Using the modeled topography and site, incorporating the architectural model, ALA developed illustrative views communicating design intent to the client and consultant team.

slope analysis.JPG