15, Oct 2023
The Revolutionary Impact of Building Information Modeling and Sustainable Design
The Humphrey Building at Queen’s University
h building is a low-rise Brutalist office building in Washington, D.C. It was dedicated in 1977 and served as the headquarters of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) until 1979. It now serves as the headquarters of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
It is worth mentioning that virtual models of historic buildings could help in the production of technical documentation that would serve to interpret their main constructive characteristics.
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
BIM is one of the most promising recent developments in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. It involves the use of technology to digitally construct an accurate virtual model of a building. This model allows architects, engineers, and contractors to plan and visualize the structure before it is constructed. It also helps identify potential design or construction problems.
For example, it can prevent clashes between the structural frame and other elements such as pipes or ducts. This helps avoid unnecessary costs and delays.
BIM also allows team members to communicate with each other in a 3D environment, which can improve collaboration and communication between teams. It can also help reduce the amount of time spent on coordination and eliminate errors that can result in cost overruns or scheduling delays.
However, a number of management issues inhibit the implementation of BIM. These include lack of training, poor communication and cooperation between teams, and a general resistance to change.
The Humphrey Building
The Humphrey Building is located on the west bank of campus, bordered by 19th Avenue South and Washington Avenue. It houses the main portion of Queen’s Department of Psychology, with the rest being housed in the Craine Building.
The building is low-rise and Brutalist in design, with concrete panels fitted into a poured concrete frame. Double and single window panes alternate to produce a modern, box-like structure.
It was designed by Marcel Breuer and intended as the permanent headquarters for the former Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Its location at the foot of Capitol Hill pays homage to Senator Humphrey’s long association with the Capitol and social legislation. It also serves as a symbolic reminder of his support for Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society domestic programs. Its Brutalist exterior is striking and makes it an architectural icon of the city. The building has also been featured in several episodes of Gossip Girl. In one episode, Dan moves Georgina Sparks and her baby into the apartment, but without telling Rufus or Lily.
The stark concrete structures of Brutalism may look ugly at first glance, but they’re actually quite stunning. A play on the French phrase beton brut (“raw concrete”), the movement emphasized the raw materiality of the buildings’ massive blocks of concrete, and rejected the use of ornamentation and flourishes common to traditional architecture.
Brutalism gained popularity during the 1950s as governments and universities sought to modernize their buildings, and poured-in-place concrete was inexpensive and quick to build. Some of the most famous Brutalist buildings are now being torn down or leveled, but others still stand proudly on college campuses across the country.
One of the most famous examples is Le Corbusier’s Cite Radieuse apartment complex in Marseille, which features modular apartments stacked on top of giant concrete pylons. It’s considered the first Brutalist building, and it demonstrates the movement’s belief that design should follow function. The pylons’ rough textures and traces of the molds add to the structure’s aesthetic.
Sustainable design is an important concept that aims to minimize negative impacts on the environment and improve the built environment. It incorporates several key principles, including energy efficiency, water conservation, sustainable materials, biodiversity, and indoor environmental quality.
Using recycled products and green building techniques can help reduce a building’s impact on the environment. For example, designing interiors with reclaimed wood helps reduce the need to cut down more trees.
Another aspect of sustainability is the use of renewable energies. By using solar panels or wind turbines, buildings can reduce their reliance on non-renewable resources and minimize carbon emissions.
Incorporating sustainable design into new construction and major renovations can also reduce operating costs and environmental impacts. However, many cities, states, and countries have outdated regulations that hinder the development of sustainable structures. Moreover, the costs associated with implementing green features can make it difficult to build these structures. For this reason, it is crucial to create innovative solutions and promote awareness of these initiatives.