Tag Archives: BIM for landscape

BIM is for life, not just the build phase

BIM for the long haul: Think maintenance and growth

BIM in operation
Parametric Planting: Aged and Grown in CS ArtisanRV

We know that operating at BIM in operation at Level 2 has proven efficiencies during design and construction.

In the UK, BIM has played a significant part in delivering recorded savings of 20% in the capital costs of construction.   But what happens beyond the build? The emphasis is shifting firmly to the operational phase and the finished landscape’s maintenance.  This is, after all,  where the majority of expenditure will occur over the landscape’s lifetime.

From BIM to AIM

In “BIMese”, this takes us from the Building Information Model (BIM) often depicted via the Bew Richards ‘wedge’ – the triangular bit of the dialogue below taken from PAS 1192-3 (www.bsigroup.com) – to the Asset Information Model (AIM) – the trapezoid shape to the right of the triangle below.


In essence, this transition is about taking the information rich model created during the design and build phases into a resource for managing the asset while in use – this is probably more easily depicted by this guy with a hedge trimmer!


The landscape passage of time

For landscape, this transition is of fundamental importance and indeed should speak directly to the very DNA of landscape professionals where design intent wholly relies on the passage of time and adhering to the correct operations and maintenance procedures to be succeed.


Much is written about the multitude of possible BIM dimensions but can any of the other design professions truly say they always consider the dimension of time as much as those engaged with landscape? Creating sophisticated modelling tools that enable landscape professionals to collaborate with BIM processes is an obvious prerequisite but so too is the need for softworks model elements to change over time.

Some of the first projects I was involved with included shelterbelt, screening and woodland planting that have only achieved their original design intent 20+ years after initial planting…

The BIM Handover

Historically the transition from design intent to reality on the ground has been via an O&M manual and associated plans. More often than this information is created largely from scratch at handover and very infrequently without the collaboration of those responsible for maintaining the asset.

So how do we achieve the transition from a building information model (BIM) to an asset information model (AIM)? This subject is covered primarily by PAS 1192-3:2014 but the relationship between the capital and operational phase needs to involve all members of the supply chain and is informed by Government Soft Landings (GSL).

GSL is about establishing an information focus to help to achieve the following:

  • Targets: Running cost, capital cost, environment and functionality
  • Comparison: Predicted performance against targets
  • Simplicity: Operating instructions
  • Early warnings: Problems
  • Metered: Data on the performance
  • Access:  To all digital data about our asset
  • Transfer: Sharing data from construction to operation, cost-effectively
  • Sharing: Service provider having all required operational data
  • Measures: Actual measured performance of our asset
  • Fine tuning:  The actual performance
  • Recording: The actual performance
  • Feedback: To the design and construction team.

Sharing Data: COBie

It is essential that the information repository (BIM) that has grown thoughout the capital phase finds its way into the system adopted by facilities managers (FMs) for that particular project.   As yet, there is no standard asset maintenance system in operation, which is where COBie comes in…

COBie provides a non-proprietary data format for structured BIM info that can be read by a variety of maintenance systems.

BIM uses advanced computer systems to build 3D models of infrastructure.  It embodies large amounts of information about its design, operation and current condition.  This stored information is needed in the operational phase, too.   At the planning stage it enables designers, owners and users to work together to produce the best possible designs.  They can test them and modify them on screen before they are built.  This way, they iron out design flaws, reducing errors and cutting down snagging in the construction phase.   The engineers, contractors and suppliers can integrate these now finely-tuned elements into their operational plans.  Real-time information about available services, life expectancy and maintenance with accurate assessments of the condition of assets.

Beyond the build

So, it’s more than BIM.  It’s BIM to AIM to a fully collaborative Level 3 information exchange throughout the entire lifespan of a landscape.  Level 3 is picking up the successes where BIM Level 2 left off.

Over to you, BIM3.

BIM Level3

Read more:  Smart Landscape: BIM and Big Data

If you read one BIM book, make it BIM for Landscape

“An essential companion to the landscape professional at any stage of their BIM journey.”

bim for landscape book june 2016If you are involved in the built environment sector, either as a client, a contractor, manufacturer or supplier, you’ll have heard about BIM (Building Information Modelling) by now.

BIM is transforming the way we work, the way we design and the way we collaborate.  BIM has special implications for the world of landscape and that’s why we particularly herald the publication of a new book this Spring 2016: BIM for Landscape.

To celebrate the launch of BIM for Landscape, the Landscape Institute is hosting a seminar examining the content of the book and exploring the consequences for the landscape profession.  Speakers include expert representatives from the LI’s BIM Group, incuding Henry Fenby-Taylor, who authored the book and Alastair McCapra, Head of Public Relations at the LI, who established BIM as a significant area of work at the Institute.

Register for your free entry to the BIM for Landscape Launch Seminar on 30 June 2016

Henry Fenby-Taylor, researched and compiled the book on behalf of and with extensive involvement from the Landscape Institute.   The book, available from Amazon
for less than £40, looks in depth at the digital tools used in BIM projects, emphasising the information in Building Information Modelling, and the possibilities that data-rich models offer in landscape design, maintenance and management.

Billed on Amazon as “an essential companion to the landscape professional at any stage of their BIM journey”, the book will help landscape professionals understand what BIM could mean for them.  It will show BIM’s potential impact on collaboration, streamlining of information processes and the improved efficiency of delivering well-designed landscape projects right-first-time, on schedule and to budget.

Buy your copy from Amazon now


Harness the power of Revit for hardworks

BIM for landscape:  Revit for Hardworks in CS ArtisanRV


Thought we were just about plants? Think again

Imagine fencing, paving and other building materials, automated in your landscape designs.  Backed up with a manufacturer’s product library of exact specifications to build your schedules and collaborate with your contractors, architects and stakeholders.

Revit for hardworks: Youtube

Now harness the power of Revit for hardworks

CS ArtisanRV is the first web integrated landscape solution for Revit. You’ve seen our initial developments, focused on linear and area planting, with the added benefits of growth and an immense library of plants and characteristics within the National Plant Specification.

revit for hardworks: create and visualiseCreate & visualise

Create a fence run dynamically that follows the topography
Show me>>

revit for hardworks: size and defineSize & Define

Control size and definition of all components (post, rails, pales, gravel board etc) including post centres and depth of posts.
Show me>>

revit for hardworks: reverse and refineReverse & Refine

Amend and manoeuvre fence panels to suit – and record, report and schedule changes automatically.
Show me>>

Coming Soon

And there’s more to come for hardworks in CS ArtisanRV.  Stay on board and be the first to find out how you can begin to harness Revit as a platform for all your landscape plans, designs and schedules.

Find out more now and sign up for your free trial today

Engage and Embrace BIM for Landscape

BIM for Landscape Masterclass, Glasgow, October 2015 

BIM for Landscape Masterclass GlasgowIn the last of a series of BIM for Landsape masterclass events promoted by the Landscape Institute, Tim Calnan of CS Design Software engaged once again with the landscape profession seeking a
greater depth of knowledge in Building Information Modelling.

Providing an overview and the historical context of BIM, the course, which took place at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on October 26, 2015, took delegates through a step-by-step approach to BIM from a landscape perspective.  The delegates, landscape professionals from across the industry, gained knowledge on the underlying processes, protocols and standards that provide a constant backbone to BIM  – the so-called Pillars of BIM.  The ensuing Q&A sessions enabled a lively debate between delegates and the BIM BIM LI masterclassMasterclass leaders.

BIM for Landscape Masterclass GlasgowAn interactive session after lunch to ascertain where each delegate was in their BIM journey – Level 0, 1, 2, 3 or beyond – gave a great opportunity to share experiences and thrash out the nitty-gritty of BIM for landscape.

The final session, led by Tim Calnan of CS Design Software, focused on the project information model at handover and in use as an Asset Information Model.  Tim took the group’s focus to the future  and Level 3  – a Digital Built Britain http://digital-built-britain.com/.  This naturally led to the “How” of BIM and the software tools currently available and in development to assist in delivering BIM for landscape.   He also challenged the ongoing dependence on 2D CAD and spreadsheets with the advent of sophisticated web-integrated technologies such as CS ArtisanRV, landscape add-in for Revit©.

The overriding emphasis of the event was to maintain one main BIM focus – collaboration – not just with each link in the supply chain, but with software companies developing the most relevant solutions to achieve the ultimate BIM for landscape solutions.



In the press: BIM for landscape & CS ArtisanRV

BIM for Landscape CS ArtisanRV:  Landscape & Urban Design – October 2015 edition

CS ArtisanRV Landscape and Urban Design October 2015
Click image to view – page 29

LANDUDOct2015coverLook out for our latest news in the October 2015 edition
of Landscape and Urban Design magazine.  Flick to page 28 to learn more about the launch of the first web-integrated landscape solution for Revit, CS ArtisanRV, the National Plant Specification and the comprehensive suite of landscape design software solutions from CS Design Software.

I see BIM everywhere!

BIM  everywhere:  The Shower Room 

OK so I can’t switch off from BIM: I eat it, breathe it, sleep it, talk about it and can’t help from seeing the application of BIM everywhere… even a recent trip to a bathroom showroom…

The Project

bim everywhere shower 1I found myself in a rather smart bathroom showroom yesterday with my long-suffering wife discussing designs for our shower room. Apparently my DIY job of 15 years ago has served its purpose (and in our corporate colours, too!).

The Client

bim everywhere tim and ruthSo, the collaboration began. The client (=my wife and I) and the contractor (=shower room designer) met following the site visit (to measure up). Three elements were addressed:

  • Confirmation of the project brief
  • Proposals to meet the client requirements
  • Budget

The Technology

bim everywhere shower 2A virtual 3D model of the proposed design allowed us to check against the brief. We could pinpoint and discuss tricky elements at this early stage.  The process was so much slicker and quicker with this intelligent, object-rich, 3D model.


bim everywhere shower 1The Data-Rich Model

We discussed options. We looked at alternative products. We considered ‘what if’ scenarios created as a natural part of this exercise. Because the inserted ‘products’ were intelligent, data-rich objects from the manufacturer, new schedules were easy to generate at any stage for evaluation and re-evaluation against the budget (which was, as always, being stretched!)

Errrr… what’s this got to do with BIM?

Everything.  Here’s why:

  • There is an existing asset which forms the basis of the BIM: measurements, accesses, windows/openings, existing service locations/runs (hot/cold water, drainage, wiring and fittings, extractor ducting etc).
  • There is a brief to deliver a new project including specific requirements that need to be met and a budget to work to.
  • There is a lead designer with responsibility to deliver proposals that meet and can be tested against the project requirements and to be able to communicate this efficiently to an appropriate level of detail at defined stages with the client in an agreed and accessible format.*
  • The Supply chain is fully engaged in the process as product manufacturers have made available intelligent, measurable objects that can easily be incorporated and interrogated in the virtual model.
  • Accurate information can be extracted from the model at any stage for budgetary purposes or to provide take-offs, worksheets for associated trades.
  • Everything is controlled via a single, data-rich, virtual model of the asset.

[* I’ll be honest: I did not define any particular ‘information requirements’ that may have dictated how the model was created, managed, maintained or delivered but most clients do not necessarily define this and often it is up to the design team to agree and adhere to the information requirements for a particular project.]

Information and Collaboration

bim everywhere shower 4Clearly, the above is a rather simplistic project as the ‘design team’ is hardly complicated. A more traditional and complex design team will require a significantly more sophisticated methodology for collaboration. Remember that the need for collaboration throughout the design, construction and build phases (BIM) will probably be very different to those required for the client to manage the ‘asset’ going forward.

BIM, BIM Everywhere

If I decide to open my chic, new wet-room as a business to the public, I will want tools and the technology to help me manage the Asset Information Model (AIM) in use. And a whole new set of tools to help me save my marriage!

THE landscape design software solution for Revit©: CS ArtisanRV

The first web-integrated landscape software for Revit© is here: CS ArtisanRV


Plugging the gap in the landscape BIM market, UK landscape software company CS Design are preparing to launch the first BIM-ready, cloud-based landscape solution for landscape professionals using Revit©CS ArtisanRV.

With an integrated plants database, host of the UK’s National Plant Specification and data, images and specs of over 9,500 plants, CS ArtisanRV will hit the ground running this Summer 2015.  For landscape professionals using Autodesk products, CS ArtisanRV dovetails with Revit© seamlessly, offering a solution which the industry has been searching for since it embraced the need to collaborate and work with Building Information Modelling (BIM) across the landscape supply chain.  It incorporates hard landscape elements for the complete streetscape, too.

Add in a sharp interface and a plethora of landscape tools to accommodate planting centres, mixes and percentages, and the launch of CS ArtisanRV will be greatly heralded by the landscape design fraternity, both in the UK and further afield.

Using CS ArtisanRV will enable a collaborative management of workflow in Revit©, allowing the import of data from Excel and eliminating costly and time-consuming re-entering and manipulation of data received from suppliers, contractors and architects.  And all in the Cloud, too!

CS ArtisanRV subscribers can produce schedules in various formats, allowing continued collaboration with partners and enabling projects to run smoothly and swiftly, saving energy, resources and manpower.  Revit© need no longer be an obstacle to BIM for landscape – it becomes a vessel with CS ArtisanRV‘s new functionality.

To enjoy the earliest benefits of the new software, CSD are offering a 25% discount for new subscribers.  To start embracing BIM for landscape with CS ArtisanRV and to follow the launch, landscape professionals can sign up now.