BIM in Landscape Architecture

How Can Designers Use BIM in Landscape Architecture?

🔶What is BIM in Landscape Design?

Today, building information modeling is used to streamline architectural project administration and design. However, it hasn’t yet been widely applied in the field of landscape design. Yet, a fresh trend has started. BIM has started to take off, as landscape professionals recognize its value as a tool for their industry. 

🔸Can the Designers Use BIM in Landscape Architecture?

Yes. Even though BIM has traditionally been used in the design and construction of buildings, more and more landscape architects are beginning to use it to produce functional designs, packed with important data. Even though they don’t create structures, Revit landscape architecture creates developmental landscapes. This work necessitates complete clarity regarding how a landscape will appear once it is completed, how it will affect the nearby buildings, and even how it will change over time. Landscape architects are achieving project objectives more effectively and making it simpler to link their work with the rest of the project infrastructure by utilizing the detailed data made available by BIM. Designing a landscape with BIM support also makes it simpler to collaborate inside a single model. 

🔸Comparison between BIM Landscape Architecture and Standard 3D Models

One of the first queries that arise is what distinguishes BIM models from the conventional 3D models that landscape designers are accustomed to use BIM in landscape architecture. The ability of each model type to hold data is what sets them apart. Your model can be filled with data about every element of the design and the materials used for the landscape model – thanks to BIM. 

A single tree, for instance, may contain all the data required for planting, anticipating its development and bloom cycles, and planning its requirements in a BIM model (water usage, etc.). Additionally, the amount of shade it would produce might be predicted, which could have an effect on energy efficiency estimates in any architectural component of the development. Other pertinent information can be set including root size, species name, and the average cost per unit. 

🔶Benefits of Adopting BIM Workflow in Landscape Architecture:

Benefits of BIM in Landscape Architecture

The flexibility to select from a variety of software providers enables landscape architects to select the one that best fits the scale, size, details, and other requirements of the present project. Let’s now go over some of the main benefits that might be attained by integrating BIM across the board for landscape architecture: 

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🔸Collaboration: Landscape architects

Can collaborate with civil engineers, architects, designers, and other professionals. Thanks to the benefit of increased departmental communication provided by BIM as a whole. The opportunity for each person to participate without constraining the other participants enables an open workflow. Using BIM landscape architecture, it is also possible to simply convert 3D models into precise 2D drawings for the site’s staff, ensuring that the project’s final design is executed exactly as intended. 

🔸Information Rich BIM models

BIM models are jam-packed with data on many object attributes required for future simulation success. A BIM model of a tree would include the scientific name, root sizes, environmental factors, and other information. Additionally, details about how the object should be handled in real life could be added, such as the need for water and sunlight, spread, mature height, and more (assuming we’re still using our prior example of a tree). Revit for landscape architects can make judgments more easily when they have access to a wealth of information, and information-rich models make it simpler to complete cost and material estimations. 

🔸Revit family

Well, Revit families are particular elements that can be included in a 3D BIM model and have a graphical representation thanks to a shared set of properties. Using the characteristics required for the project, landscape architects can either build their models from start or use the pre-existing Revit families from the Revit libraries. Overall, Revit families may drastically cut the number of reworks and enforce some uniformity, which drastically shortens the project’s completion time. Additionally, if models and families were generated for one project and saved in a library, they might be used later in other projects. 

🔸3D Rendering

Starting from an aesthetic standpoint, 3D rendering is very significant, and this also applies to landscape renders. It is simpler to determine through rendering whether the project would work effectively in the current setting. By including lighting sources, colors, and other elements, it’s also possible to make the renders themselves appear more realistic. 3D models can be used for marketing, getting funding, and a variety of other things, including BIM landscape architecture. 

🔶How do landscape Architects Benefit from a BIM workflow?

Landscape designers no longer have to limit themselves to create only visual models for their contributions to developments; they can now provide even more precise and usable data-filled models that can be readily turned into construction papers. When the designer populates BIM models with the necessary data, they can give a breakdown of the different elevations of the landscape as well as information on the kinds, prices, and amounts of materials needed. 

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This makes it possible for landscape designers to collaborate with other project participants more effectively. Project managers can easily have a clear and accessible overview of everything relevant to the landscaping phase, and architects can readily reference landscape data and analyze how it fits in with their work. Additionally, they can merge their own BIM models with the landscape BIM model, taking advantage of the interoperability to produce a master BIM model for the whole project. 

The entire team can make sensible design revisions and identify optimization opportunities thanks to such integration and clarity. It is possible to keep projects on schedule more closely and prevent costly errors or rework. 

🔸Challenges of BIM Implementation from CAD for Landscape Design:

Finding the appropriate software and instructing your team in BIM fundamentals are necessary for implementing BIM in your design process. But if you’re used to dealing with CAD applications that lack BIM-type capability without installing plug-ins, this could be a headache. 

The fact that some BIM modeling software is more suited for landscape architecture than others complicates the transfer even more. There are several tools available in some of the most well-liked BIM packages on the market for general design and construction, but there are no apps specifically for landscape architecture. As a result, designers frequently need to retrofit and alter existing BIM functionalities to suit their unique requirements. 

You must thoroughly evaluate the available software solutions to choose which one best suits your workflow and has the finest BIM experience. 

🔸Phases of Landscape Architect’s Workflow in BIM Process:

Phase 1: Pre-design
Phase 2: Schematic Design
  • Forming a Concept Design – LOD 100 to 400 
  • Using Tools to Master 
  • Hardscape Objects 
  • The Landscape Area Tool 
  • The Plant Tool 
  • Visualize  Ideas through Presentation 
  • Materials, Quantities, Measurements & More 

📍 Read More:- Level Of Detail & Development (LOD) in BIM Modeling Explained  📖

Phase 3: Design Development 
  • Maturing Project & Refining Early Design Decisions 
  • Coordinating BIM Model with Consultants 
  • Additional Resources for Design Development 
Phase 4: Construction Documents
  • Construction Document Creation in Vector works Landmark 
  • Considerations for BIM Documents 

🔸How can Designers Use Best BIM Software for Landscape Architecture?

Landscape designers are mainly interested in three BIM software companies and one design tool. All are frequently employed in the AEC industry and each has a unique set of advantages for landscape applications. 

  • Can Revit be used for landscape architecture?

 Revit is currently the most widely used BIM program among landscape architects. It is simple to manage the geometric look of objects in Revit’s multiple views because Revit enables landscape professionals to group elements by shared parameters. The Dynamo extension, which provides geometry placement, Excel data extraction, task automation, and calculation processing, can significantly enhance Revit’s capabilities for landscape design. 

  • Do Vector works speed up model creation?

 The Landmark program from Vector works is available; it was created primarily for workflows in landscape and site design. To speed up model production, it comes with a built-in database of plants, terrain models, and other landscape components. Some of the landscape-specific capabilities of Landmark include slope analysis, sun/shade analysis, irrigation, storm water drainage, arborist survey imports, and site Photogrammetry. IFC, RVT, and other format exchanges are supported by the application, which makes collaboration easier. 

  • Is ArchiCAD best for team collaboration?

 Another extensively used program is ArchiCAD, which is well-liked for both its functionality and its ability to work with other BIM programmers. Through its Teamwork system and several supported file types, it promotes simple collaboration. Large undertakings are especially well-suited to being made more manageable by the program. The most recent version of ArchiCAD has a parametric design tool that makes it simple to create custom objects and fill the library with one-of-a-kind landscape components. There are also specialized ArchiCAD add-ons available. For instance, Land4 enhances the capabilities of terrain modeling with dynamic spot levels, fall lines, and other features. 

  • Does Rhino helpful for organic landscape?

 Rhino is a 3D BIM modeling program that makes it simple to create free-form sculptures, making it especially helpful for creating organic landscapes and all of their parts. Numerous additional landscaping tools for Vectorworks landscape sculpting, parametric design and both natural and man-made components are introduced with the Lands Design plug-in. It contains a vast library of only vegetation, and its speedy generation of 2D technical drawings facilitates quick documentation. 

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🤔Final Thought: To adopt or not to use BIM?

BIM is now essential for land development design on large and complex projects.  It’s the norm for large buildings and other structures, despite not being fully optimized for landscape architects. It may appear that the challenges of using tools developed for the AEC industry would enhance costs instead of adding value to design-build work. However, BIM eventually saves money since it is more effective. It should come as no surprise that architects, contractors, clients, and now landscape architects are all moving toward adopting BIM on their projects. Now, it is time for landscape architects to plant the BIM tree. If you don’t use BIM in your construction work process, your competitors would use it, and you will be out of the game. To implement BIM in landscape architectural design or Revit for landscape architecture. To implement BIM in landscape architectural design or Revit for landscape architecture, contact Tejjy Inc. BIM consultants at 202-465-4830 or info@tejjy.com.