Robins & Morton Construction: 3D in Revit Is Not Enough. You Still Need to Experience the Space.
I’m Don Bokmiller, senior VDC and BIM coordinator for Robins & Morton Construction. I’m located in the Charlotte, North Carolina and primarily work on projects around the southeast. However, Robins & Morton is a national firm and we have projects all over the US.
My background is actually in electrical engineering. I’ve been using Revit since 2005. I’m also the author of “Mastering Autodesk Revit MEP”, which is Autodesk’s official courseware for Revit MEP. I’m also an active speaker and have spoken at Autodesk University and RTC North America.
One of the great things about living in the southeast is that I can enjoy great riding weather practically year round. So if you can’t find me at work I’m probably out riding my 2012 Harley-Davidson. And you can find me on Twitter over here.
I use Enscape for three reasons: ease of use, speed, and savings. While Robins & Morton does a wide variety of project types, I am severely focused on medical work. For medical projects to be successful it’s essential that everyone on the project team have a very clear understanding of how everything has to work together and function. Not only the core building systems, but also the fixed immovable equipment needs to be properly located. 3-D is great, but we need to really experience how the space will be used.
Enscape gives us the ability to quickly discover and eliminate unforeseen coordination issues. For example, sometimes Revit users inadvertently mirror rooms or equipment in the process of quickly laying out the building. This makes perfect sense in a 2-D CAD world but not in Revit. Mirroring medical spaces can create nasty problems when a piece of equipment is mirrored and but the configuration doesn’t actually exist in the real world. By allowing us to faithfully and realistically explore the building, Enscape helps us discover these kinds of problems that could easily cost us a lot of time and money and set the project back.
At the end of the day, words and drawings aren’t complete as physical mockups. Physical mockups cost a lot of time money. Just imagine the cost of flying a project team to a single location to review one physical mockup! Enscape allows us to do this digitally as well as save us the expense and time of travel by doing the project review online.
Mockups also give us an idea of how systems will fit together. But we need to save the time and expense of building physical mockups because physical mockups can’t be easily be changed. For medical projects to be successful, I need everyone to be clear and agree on where things are going to go and remove any confusion about what’s being proposed. I need to be able to show projects at the highest level of detail with any material or finish option as necessary. Enscape allows us to do this quickly and easily.
The beauty of Enscape is that you don’t have to really prepare the Revit model in any way – you simply start Enscape. Enscape is the WYSIWYG of real time. If I need to make a change in the middle of a meeting, it updates instantly in Enscape. This helps everyone visualize the finished condition, explore alternate layouts of equipment or MEP systems and then quickly move onto the next issue.
When the customer wants to be more immersed, Oculus headsets work great. The standalone Enscape *.exe file is really awesome when the customer wants to be able to review something at their own pace.
Enscape works great running side-by-side with Revit. The moment anyone tells me I should export something to the “cloud” to see my project in real-time you’ve lost my attention. Nobody has time to export their Revit project to the cloud and wait for it to process and hope to get something back when the customer is sitting there and waiting.
Glad we were able to discuss how Enscape is helping us collaborate better and faster with our design and construction partners. Don’t hesitate to call if you have any other questions!