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Autodesks Architecture Solutions Simplify Sustainable Design For China Project

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by Staff Writers
Chicago IL (SPX) Nov 11, 2007
At thGreenbuild Conference and Exposition,Autodesk has announced that its architecture and design visualization solutions have recently facilitated the design of several green projects around the world, including the Wuhan Blue Sky Prototype for China. Autodesk software allows designers to better understand and leverage how a building's design can reduce the amount of resources it will consume.

"Technology plays an important role in creating sustainable buildings, and Autodesk is committed to making green building design easier and more accessible for our customers," said Marc Petit, senior vice president, Autodesk Media and Entertainment.

"Our solutions help architects and designers plan and visualize buildings that provide increased energy efficiency, use less fresh water and improve air quality. Our solutions also allow for reductions in material waste, efficient specification management and more accurate evaluation of project lifecycles."

Anderson Anderson Architecture

San Francisco- and Seattle-based architecture firm Anderson Anderson Architecture used Autodesk solutions to design and visualize its Wuhan Blue Sky Prototype project for a 12-story housing and mixed-use development in China.

To design the project, the firm relied on AutoCAD software, Revit Architecture and Revit MEP software for building information modeling (BIM), as well as Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya modeling, animation and rendering software.

The Wuhan Blue Sky Prototype, which was shortlisted in Living Steel's second International Competition for Sustainable Housing, was designed to minimize land use, optimize energy efficiency and natural ventilation, and decrease the use of fresh water.

Anderson Anderson is currently using Autodesk solutions on a new design for off-grid housing in rural China, which grew out of the original Wuhan Blue Sky Prototype.

"Interoperability throughout our Autodesk pipeline keeps the design process fluid, from early concept creation to the visualization of our final design," said Peter Anderson, principal of the firm he co-founded with his brother, Mark Anderson.

"Through key features and interoperability with third-party solutions for sustainable design initiatives, Autodesk is making it easy for us to take environmental issues into account -- starting with the earliest strategies of site selection and conceptual design, right through to the final stages of materials specifications and design detailing.

The shape of the Wuhan Blue Sky Prototype building was significantly influenced by sun, shadow and wind direction analysis conducted through Revit, in conjunction with IES software for building performance assessment.

The building was designed to provide shade and capture wind in the summer, and to attract the sun and provide shelter from the wind in winter.

Revit was also used to quantify and optimize the structure's ability to capture rain water.

This water would be filtered and used as non-potable household water, as well as for irrigation of the building's extensive plantings, which are important to its shading strategies.

The parametric features in Revit allowed the architects and designers to balance their desires for all of these elements in real time as they experimented with different configurations of the building's form.

During the design phase, Autodesk Maya was also used to model the structure's more fluid and sculptural forms, such as the vertical circulation of the stairs.

The sections modeled in Maya were then completely merged into the Revit model, so that they could be included in parametric modeling. Once the design was finalized, the Revit model was brought into 3ds Max to create various high-quality renderings and animations, which helped communicate the building's design intent and highlighted key green elements of the design.

For example, the software was used to create realistic renderings of the building's interior to demonstrate the benefits of the structure's experimental use of air flow and interior spaces.

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