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Bluesky 3D Building Models Strengthen BIM Workflows for Buttress Architects




Design studio Buttress is using 3D building models from Bluesky to create interactive walkthroughs and Virtual Reality (VR) presentations as part of its Building Information Modelling (BIM) workflow. Created from the most up-to-date and accurate aerial photography, the models are used to provide context, giving stakeholders the opportunity to explore a design in its real-world location using QR codes or VR headsets. Buttress has used the Bluesky models on numerous projects including a pioneering redesign of the Kings Gate at Caernarfon Castle and master planning for the Ancoats area of Manchester.


“We use Bluesky models to accurately assess the impact our proposals have on key views,” commented Paul Thornborough, BIM Manager at Buttress. “This may be the effect a proposal has on the view of an historic building from across a valley or how a project relates to its immediate neighbours. The idea of using geographically accurate data is that anyone viewing our projects can immediately realise the true scale of the proposal and appreciate it within its real-world context.”


Created from the latest aerial photography Bluesky models provide a geographically accurate and up-to-date 3D representation of both the underlying terrain and existing properties and infrastructure. Buttress imports the data into its Revit BIM software where it sits alongside architectural drawings or design strategies. Following a degree of post processing, to create realistic and relatable representations, the data is then exported to Buttress’s visualisation software to further enhance this realism. The resulting presentations are then shared and accessed by any interested party via mobile devices, using scannable QR codes, or immersible VR experiences.


Photogrammetrically derived from stereoscopic aerial photography, the models are fully rendered and are provided as either wireframe or block models in a format suitable for use in both CAD and GIS software. The Bluesky data is supplied complete with a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) and can be created to different levels of detail (LOD). Additional features, such as transport infrastructure or environmental features can also be added.


“I have always been impressed with the professionalism we receive from Bluesky; from the initial quote all the way through to receiving data as ordered,” concluded Thornborough. “All special requests are accommodated, especially where additional detail is required within the context model.”


Buttress is leading design studio based in Manchester. Providing architecture, urban design, interiors and conservation design services Buttress believes that architecture is as much about people and buildings, and that buildings should be shaped by their surroundings, their role and the people that will use them.




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