This project was an older retail store that was built in the 1950’s, and had been modified a number of times. We had to analyze the floor system to determine if it was capable of handling the increased loads from the floor displays, which meant we had to do extensive measuring in order to model the building (no drawings were available). We also did design work on the fascia of the building, some of the modifications over the years were rather ill advised.
Here’s a project I’m working on right now, a hotel in Florida. It’s a 4 story hotel, and we are building the upper stories out of modules made from Cold Formed Steel. I drew the structural concept in Softplan and showed it to the client today through GoToMeeting. This can save a lot of trouble when doing a design, because I am able to make sure I am on the right trace with what I am trying to accomplish, and instead of handing the client 2d drawings to decipher, we were able to look at this 3d model and rotate it as needed to see how I plan on doing the structure. It worked very well. Additionally, this kind of modeling helps us avoid errors and figure how we’ll run wiring, piping, and HVAC:
Multi Story Rendering of Hotel
This concept was approved by my client, and the next step is to put these together in the hotel. Right now this is looking absurdly simple, since “all” I have to do is design the walls and framing on the first floor and the stair wells. Softplan automates a lot of the drafting I have to do, such as the foundations, walls, and so on. I’m hoping this will speed up the process, I’ll update this post as the design continues. I have only recently started designing in 3d with Softplan, and I’ve seen my drafting time drop to less than half the time I spent before.
One of the issues as a business owner, or any kind of manager is how you delegate the work. If you try to do everything yourself, you limit the amount of work that can be done. Also, there are people that can work for you that can do the jobs better than you can. The flip side of this is if you hire the wrong person that person can do tremendous damage. You may spend more time trying to supervise people than you would if you just did the work yourself. For a business (government agency for that matter) employees cost money, and can drag funds away from other areas where they are needed.
My personal theory is that technology can be used as somewhat of a replacement for delegating to a person. Coming out of several years of recession and the collapse of my former primary market (housing), cash is not available for hiring someone. However, for me to spend hours on AutoCAD drawing is not productive either – I have to use a much lower billing rater, and it takes me away from doing more productive things. The compromise is technology, in this case I am automating by using Softplan to do the heavy lifting for me. It’s not the perfect solution, but it is a good solution and a way to move forward.
This project involved replacing a poorly constructed residential retaining wall. The failed wall was 24 feet high, and was constructed in 4 foot increments of treated yellow pine timbers to get around permitting requirements (generally walls under 4 feet high don’t have to be permitted in most jurisdictions).
This project was to design the support of a facade to be placed over an old warehouse in Cartersville, GA with a mural showing scenes of Historic Cartervsville, GA. This project involved the structural design of the aluminum structure behind the facade that mounts it on an old brick textile mill warehouse. We designed it using aluminum tubes mounted to the building and had to come up with a system of securely bolting it to the existing building and designing a parapet to take the top portion of the facade. The facade had to be designed to resist wind loads that would try to pull it loose from the building, and keep the parapet it formed at the top from deflecting.
Facade Showing Mural of Historic Cartersville, GA on Aluminum Panels Mounted on an Old Warehouse.