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An Award-Winning Retirement Clubhouse for Active Baby Boomers Designed with ARCHICAD

Boston, June 2, 2008 - A retiree clubhouse under construction in San Antonio is a good example of how architects must re-think the design of retirement communities for the aging-but-active baby boom generation.

The Clubhouse at the Dominion, designed by Irwin Pancake Architects of Costa Mesa, CA, recently won The 2007 Best of 50+ Housing Gold Award from the National Association of Home Builders. The 45,000 square foot facility is designed as a multipurpose indoor/outdoor destination for retirees who wish to engage in a variety of active lifestyle pursuits.

It includes a horticultural greenhouse, a wood shop, wine tasting room with individual wine lockers, a fruit orchard, pottery wheel, indoor-outdoor pool, exercise room, coffee bar and guest casitas, to name of few of the amenities designed for the 55 and older upscale retiree. The Clubhouse architecture encourages residents to move from one activity to another around a courtyard through a series of open hallways and corridors, promoting a village environment. As one judge commented, "The Clubhouse does a good job of pulling the inside out."

Designing the Clubhouse in ARCHICAD enabled Irwin Pancake to leverage all the productivity, collaboration and cost-cutting advantages of Building Information Modeling (BIM). The firm was able to share 3D visualizations and fly-through renderings of the model with the owners and consultants remotely through the web to get immediate responses and make changes to the design. They could also do energy calculations and analysis, building lifecycle costing and conflict analysis to reduce costs and avoid construction errors.

"Working with an ARCHICAD BIM model made the process much faster," said Chuck Good-Man, AIA. "We could collaborate with owners online, get immediate feedback, and make adjustments to the design in real time. This dramatically accelerated design delivery eliminated design conflicts and reduced consulting costs."

Irwin Pancake made the switch to BIM a year and a half ago, with the help of Graphisoft reseller, Digital Vision. To help ease and accelerate the process, Digital Vision provided an "embedded BIM expert" who worked directly with project teams at the firm's office as they transitioned from 2D to 3D. What's more remarkable is that the firm totally transitioned to BIM during a period of rapid expansion as it tripled in size from 15 to 45 employees.