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New Auditorium of Alvar Aalto's Helsinki University of Technology Designed with ARCHICAD

IFC Pilot Project Demonstrates Benefits of Graphisoft's Virtual Building Model; Final Certification of IFC 2x translator for ARCHICAD® by IAI

Budapest/Munich - July 3, 2003 - Graphisoft®, developer of the Virtual Building™ concept, today announced that the new auditorium of the Helsinki University of Technology (HUT-600) designed with ARCHICAD® by A-konsultit architects, Helsinki, has recently been occupied. After six month testing of the IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) pilot project by both researchers and end-users, the IFC 2x translator for ARCHICAD achieved final certification by the IAI (International Alliance for Interoperability) at the Certification Workshop held in Munich.

Located just outside Helsinki, in the city of Otaniemi, the main buildings of the campus of the Helsinki University of Technology (HUT) were designed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto (1898-1976), one of the most prominent architects of the twentieth century. Dominated by the striking form of the two main auditoriums, the main building was completed in 1964. Meeting the increased demand for lecture and conference spaces the new multipurpose auditorium is an extension to the northern end of the existing Aalto main building. The new auditorium, also called 'HUT-600' because of its 600 seats, is the largest on the campus, and its overall design had to be approved by the Alvar Aalto Foundation.

To optimize design, construction and future operation of HUT-600, the IFC pilot project of 17-months, used an array of design, simulation and analysis tools and was based on the Product Model and Fourth Dimension (PM4D) approach. Through 4D modeling the product model was linked with the construction schedule to cross check design models with construction activities. The PM4D approach resulted in higher accuracy and improved efficiency in facility design and construction, while also focusing on life-cycle factors. An international research partnership extensively applied this approach and successfully tested the IFC interoperability standards.

Utilizing the Virtual Building concept of ARCHICAD®, the project's core architectural design tool, allowed HUT-600 architects to concentrate on design and get documentation as a by-product. Stanford University's Center of Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) published a Final Report on this large-scale IFC pilot project. Comparing the benefits of the PM4D approach to traditional design methods the Final Report concludes (chapter 5, page 21),

"The architects, mechanical consultants, and the construction manager of the HUT-600 project utilized object-oriented product models to gain higher efficiency and better quality for design. According to the project participants, design documentation represents 60-70% of total design effort in conventional practice. The HUT-600 project architects reported about 50% timesavings in the design documentation phase as a result of object-oriented libraries and catalogues, parametric properties, knowledge reuse, and various automation tools. Consequently, the project team was able to quickly perform all the routine jobs (e.g., drafting) and spent more time in planning for constructability, coming up with project alternatives, and conducting life-cycle analyses. The shift from performing routine to higher value-added work reduced project risks such as cost overrun or post-occupancy dissatisfaction."