Customer

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Value One

Integrating custom building units in Hektar for high-res volume studies

Featuring

Michael Kerschbaumer & Alexande Gras

Value One

Property Developer

Type of company

Completed

State of Collaboration

April 2022

Start of Collaboration

About the company
Links

Going beyond BIM in early-stage design and development

The term “building system” may be typically associated with a catalogue of BIM-models, having a set of properties containing metadata used to create schedules and lists. This is, of course, vastly useful in most complex projects, but when Value One Development approached us, they had something different and far more exciting in mind.

The concept: An intelligent building system understanding its own rules

Parametric partnered up with Value One Development in August of 2022, them together with a team of architects having developed a concept for a building system that had us enticed. Although the system itself was based on a fixed grid and a pre-defined set of modules consisting of residential apartments, hotels, retirement housing and student living. How the modules are combined is, nevertheless, complex in nature and may lead to multiple different constellations of the same building.

Our role in the partnership was encoding and developing the ruleset for how these building-blocks could be combined. Additionally, this was implemented as custom models in Hektar (link to Hektar) for their acquisition team to evaluate the how well their modular system would suit a number of sample sites. An additional customization was made to Hektar - implementing local building regulations into the geometry pipeline.

From building units to code

As previously stated, when Parametric got involved Value One already had a concept for the combination of building modules, the ruleset if you will. However, as is common when starting to parametrize the system new opportunities as well as unforeseen challenges soon arose. In this manner, the partnership quickly turned into a fruitful dialogue.

The first step was deciphering the building system - understanding what parameters to include for user to be able to have adequate control over the study, based on Value One’s initial concept and by studying the existing building stock. In this process, the necessity of combining different types of functions and unit sizes within the framework of the system grid became immediately apparent.

In response to this, a custom input parameter to Hektar was introduced, specifying a target percentage for each of the four functions, as well as the desired area distribution within each category. For example: We want 20% of all modules to be student accommodation, and for the student accommodation we want 70% to be studios and the remaining 30% to be one bedroom. All in all, this approach greatly improved control and overall resolution of the outcome.

We at Parametric sometimes like to think of Hektar as a cassette player where a cassette would be an extension of the design logic. Value One now has exclusive access to one such cassette, tailored to their specific use-case.

An example of a Rubix apartment block generated with Hektar

Tweaking the numbers to gain insights

Another leg of the collaboration was aggregating data to make for more well-informed project management from a monetary point of view. Already having implemented the modular building logic in Hektar, certain sites would lead to constellations of varying complexity – hence affecting the degree of standardization and cost. This data was combined with the price of land for each site as well as the expected retail price.

Having partnered up with Alexander and Michael from Value One, a custom modal was introduced to complement the typical Hektar interface, showcasing the resulting data. This meant that instant feedback was provided by combining tree sources of data:

  1. The area & ratio statistics from the generated proposals
  2. The cost data for the modules and structural frames
  3. The estimates yield / selling price of the projects and any associated costs.

A key advancement in providing sharp business intelligence throughout the early design stages, this augmented design workflow provides answers to scenarios such as:

“If the price of construction timber decreases by 10% in a year, would it then be more viable to reduce the height of the building by one floor, allowing for a wooden construction frame, despite entailing a lower net floor area?”
“How much additional area would be required to account for an 8% increase in price of construction timber over the next 12 months and what would that look like?”

Future plans

To celebrate a successful collaboration, a launch event was held at Value One’s headquarter in Vienna where Parametric attended and presented the tool. A set of scenarios were showcased, created for a test site in Vienna that had been extensively used as a benchmark during the development phase, eventually producing really good results. We at Parametric were delighted at the massive interest and excitement to implement the tool on a broader basis in their daily workflows. We maintain a close relationship with everyone at Value One, hoping to undertake further future endeavours together!

Parametric visiting Value One's office in 2022.

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