Dynamo Powers Software Scripting\

The £26m Cardiff Innovation Centre features the world’s first social science research park, combining departments currently spread across a large campus, plus an innovation centre for university startup companies.

On this BIM Level 2-aspiring project all design consultants are working in Revit, under a site-wide BIM Execution Plan. The project is currently at RIBA stage 3 with initial construction tenders planned for the end of August.

Although BIM Level 2 is not a mandated in Wales, and the project is the client’s first project in BIM, there was still a push by Hawkins\Brown to achieve it, explains Ben Robinson, architectural assistant at the practice: “We really pushed to get it as close to Level 2 as feasible, given that the university is not up to speed with the whole process.”

The studio currently has more than 35 ongoing Revit-based projects, of varying size and complexity. A key aim is to maximise design output and streamline repetitive tasks to free up architects to focus on design.

Revit was used to develop the conceptual design, taking advantage of its ability to incorporate and produce a large amount of metadata, which proved helpful when creating early area schedules, among other things.

But the powerful software was found to have certain limitations, which prompted the use of Dynamo, a visual programming extension for Revit with a useful scripting interface.

“There is so much power within Revit Families to change almost any parameter, but if you want a parameter to be affected by anything else, such as its distance from an object, that capability is not built in. Dynamo enables more control over Revit, whilst still incorporating the power of Revit Families.”

Ben Robinson, Architectural Assistant

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