Tag: site planning (5)

Drones in Architecture

ELK RIVER WATER TOWER Problem: How do you field measure a water tower in the middle of a Minnesota winter? A.     Risk your life to climb an icy freezing slippery ladder and use a tape measure and laser pointer to get an approximation of size. B.    Fly a drone and take pictures and use these images to create a point cloud and Revit family with exact dimensions. Answer:   B: Fly a drone.   Working with the City of Elk River and CAD Technology Center (CTC), an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV aka Drone) was flown the morning of February 8, 2018.  The drone set-up and flight only took a few hours and the flight created a photo scan of the water tower by taking hundreds of digital photos.  CTC processes the data and created a point cloud file in Revit.  From this file, a Revit family component was created that is a full sized three-dimensional digital representation of the water tower After Kodet received the Revit model, some detail had to be added to the model, but the basic dimensions, size, shape, and heights were a part of the model created from the photo scan. Kodet used this model to create drawings for contractors to estimate renovation costs to repaint the historical water tower. Countless hours were saved in field time and modeling time. In the end, a much more accurate set of drawings were created because of the use of the drone. The documentation process to get contractors to be able to bid the project became very simple and cost effective. The client was also pleased with the results and accuracy of the drawings that were created by the UAV Scan. Our office looks forward to using this highly advanced technology, which is constantly changing on future projects. Flying […]

Tips to Studying for the ARE’s

  The road to becoming a licensed architect is no easy feat. Juggling your job, studying, and life in general can be a challenge; however, preparation and planning can help the process. The intense 7-headed monster known as the Architectural Registration Exam (ARE) can be a lengthy battle, which currently requires the test taker to demonstrate competency in 7 specific realms. The ARE examination is comprised of the following areas: Construction Documents & Services, Programming, Planning, & Practice, Site Planning & Design, Building Design & Construction Systems, Structural Systems, Building Systems, and Schematic Design. Yikes..I know, right?! But don’t worry, there is light at the beautifully designed architectural tunnel, and hopefully these tips for approaching the exams will benefit you! Set a date I realize it’s not an easy thing to do but I believe in you, you can do it! Plan ahead and look hard at your schedule to make sure it works for you but be sure to allow yourself at least 4 weeks to study for the test. Once you have successfully scheduled your test with a local registered testing site then you’re ready to put your plan into action. Don’t put it off; stick to the study plan you’ve created as this will help in avoiding a last minute cram session. Quick Tip: Schedule your test in the morning so you can get up and get after it, this will avoid any overthinking and added anxiety to build up the day of the test. Make a plan It seems like a lot…and well honestly it is, but you need to “plan your work and work your plan”, “just do the proverbial ‘it’”, “be all that one can be”, or whatever motivational mantra you deem appropriate for your newfound testing endeavor, but the fact of the matter is […]

District Facilities Planning Process

Is your district considering embarking on a District-Wide Facilities Comprehensive Planning process? Or, is your district experiencing facility accommodation, capacity, efficiency, and/or space utilization challenges? If so, this is a very exciting time for your district! But it may also be a bit daunting if you’re unsure of where to start. Through our experience working with schools, districts, and other educational facility master planners, we have developed a brief overview of the first steps in our District-Wide Facility Comprehensive Planning process for your reference (shown below). We hope this overview helps to clarify what the beginning of this process would look like once the design team has been hired by the district. All design teams and districts are different, so keep in mind that all steps are flexible to adjust to the unique characteristics, needs, and preferences of the team, district, and community. 1) Educational Visioning Event A one-day event that invites the community to envision the future of education in their community. This event kicks off the comprehensive planning process as a community-wide endeavor. Potential discussion topics include:   2) Steering Committee Formation Establishing a Steering Committee, or a Task Force, helps to guide the comprehensive planning process. The committee’s responsibilities include: Represent the district and community in the planning process Review and discuss Educational Visioning Event findings Formulate questions for Community Dialogue meetings Provide feedback to design team throughout process Develop a recommendation to the Superintendent 3) Community Dialogue #1 The first Community Dialogue focuses on creating an educational framework for the district. The educational framework developed will guide the planning process by attempting to define: Grade configuration Class size Number of facilities Criteria for determining facility lifespan Strategies for building and site disposition 4) Community Dialogue #1 Findings The design team will assess and present the Community Dialogue #1 findings to the Steering […]