Two products that address the inclusion of manufactured products into architectural design, demonstrate the direction not only of sustainable design requirements but also of the need for product information inside building information models and to be able to extract that information for the marketing purposes of building product manufacturers.
1) ecoScorecard – “Anecdotal research shows that designers spend hundreds if not thousands of unbillable hours on some projects researching and calculating the contributions specific products will make toward achieving LEED points.
What if you could do it on the fly? Take a chair, put a fabric on it, calculate the final assembled product. Done! Change the fabric, recalculate. Done!
ecoScorecard can do that. A web-based tool accessed through a participating manufacturer’s website, ecoScorecard automates the process for searching, evaluating and documenting any available product catalog against every rating system in North America and Canada – in 30 seconds or less.
….ecoScorecard just introduced its new plug-in that works with Google SketchUp and provides a link between popular BIM (Building Information Modeling) tools and environmental rating systems such as LEED, GGHC Labs 21, CHPS, the NAHB Green Home Building Guidelines and other third-party product certifications.”
2) Autodesk Seek
Autodesk Seek incorporates information from Autodesk’s Project Showroom and Project Dragonfly. Autodesk reports that US $5-$10 billion a year is spent on marketing by building product manufacturers.
According to Scott Hale, vice president, Consulting Services for Avatech Solutions, in one year the market for linking architects with building product manufacturers has “exploded.” The advent of Seek is right on target with the need to bring product information into the Revit model and to be able to share it out with other decision makers.
Autodesk Seek embodies photographs and visualization to help building product manufacturers get products to their market. Seek is a pipeline to get data made into 3D models to a wide audience accessible right on the desktop. Manufacturers can make the information available on their websites.
Both Project Dragonfly and Project Showroom are set up so homeowners can select tools that they’d like to have in their homes through Seek. Over 1,000 manufacturers are in Seek at this time, and the same downloadable files are available in one manufacturers’ site currently, that of the kitchen appliance vendor, Dacor. Customers can drag and drop such items as ovens into their Revit project using Seek. Project Showroom has allowed Dacor to enhance their experience with digital models. All data comes from Seek and is modeled in 3ds Max, and is comprised of many cached images.