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Using Revit to Deliver Large Residential Projects: Circus West at Battersea Power Station Case Study

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    This presentation will look in detail at how a complex large-scale residential building can be delivered using Revit, with an understanding of overall modelling strategy, data management, and drawing output workflow. The Circus West project represents that first phase of the Battersea Power Station masterplan, and comprises of 752 apartments over 17 storeys, above a mixed-use podium. The building has a 350-metre-long footprint which wraps around the Power Station building, and is articulated as 2 stacked tapering glazed ribbons. In response to the original client brief, the building has a large number of residential typologies, with a mix of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments, townhouses, and penthouses. The project was transitioned into Revit in 2013, with the intention to build a model for the output of GA plan scale construction drawings, scheduling and coordination with the structures and M&E consultant team. The project was not only the largest residential scheme that the practice had delivered to date, but also the first to be produced using Revit, and as a result, initial strategies had to be quickly developed and implemented in order to construct the model. The design work was split between the practiceÍs 2 offices, with the interior fit out of the residential element development by the Manchester office team, and Shell, Core and Podium developed by the London office team. The development of the interior fit out packages for the residential element proved to be the most challenging area of the project to set up in Revit, due to the large quantity of apartment types (over 200 unique layouts). In order to minimise file sizes, and repetition of modelling, a systems of nested Revit models and arrangement files had to be set up to enable drawing sheet output. The level of detail in the apartment models required careful consideration to strike a balance between information required for outputs and minimal file sizes. As part of this, a strategy for the use of families for complex interior fit out elements the within apartment models was developed. Following the BPS project, there are many lessons learnt that can be applied to future large residential Revit projects. This includes developing a strategy for how a project with numerous apartment types can be broken down into manageable elements, with an allowance for flexibility in the set up as the project progresses.

    Key Learnings

    • Importance of establishing modelling strategy at an early stage.
    • Understand how a large model could be broken down into discreet collections of design features
    • Understand how the use of linked models, nesting and arrangement files can be used
    • Understand a strategy for the use of families for complex interior fit out elements within apartment model