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New 3-D Modeling Technology Helps Create Landmark Centier Bank Building

Post Time:Oct 07,2008Classify:Glass QuotationView:500

MISHAWAKA, Ind., September 2008-With five stories of circular design encased in glass, the new Centier Centre in Merrillville, Ind., presented its share of architectural challenges. Through the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, The Troyer Group (

"Being able to design with the third dimension in front of you gives the architects and the owner a truer picture throughout the development of the project," said Sam Jones, AIA, Troyer's project manager for the Centier Bank headquarters. With traditional design, architects "have a building model designed in their mind, know how it will look and feel, and then start sketching it to flat views," said Myron Bollman, PE, vice president of information technology for The Troyer Group.

"BIM is similar to the normal way of designing a building, but is design on steroids," he added. Architects design in 3-D, then the software automatically extracts drawings like floor plans and elevations from the model.

Traditionally, "You lock in the design around midway on the project and spend the remaining time producing construction drawings and refining the design," Bollman said. Because BIM automatically generates those drawings, "The primary focus is pulled away from the drafting side. The architect has more time to concentrate on design alternatives and improvements, since the drawings are not as static."

As a result, architects using BIM can deliver an enhanced design process with greater coordination between disciplines, Bollman said. The software also flags hard-to-detect issues during the design phase, reducing the cost and inconvenience of change orders during construction. Early collaboration among key participants has the potential to produce projects at a lower cost with fewer disputes and a higher rate of on-time completion than traditional delivery models.

The Troyer Group first used the software on the $23 million, 72,000- square-foot Centier Centre, which opened in August. The building serves as the corporate headquarters for Centier Bank (

Bank President Mike Schrage wanted to create a distinct landmark structure with maximum visibility. The building's circular exterior is completely covered in reflective blue- and silver-colored glass. On top of the building, a 27-foot tall, 42-foot wide, 54,000-pound gold and silver crown structure reflects Centier's logo and draws attention from the nearby highway.

For now, only a small percentage of architectural firms use BIM to design their projects. The statistics resemble the transition that occurred with Computer-Aided Design (CAD) in the early 1980s, before it became the acceptable drafting standard, Bollman said. "Now BIM will quickly become the standard building design software used throughout the industry," he predicted.

Established in 1971 in Mishawaka, Ind., The Troyer Group (

Source: www.usgnn.comAuthor: shangyi

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