BIM What is it and Why Your Architect Should Use It

What is BIM?

BIM stands for Building Information Modeling. This refers to a way of creating drawings that accurately document a design that is light years ahead of the old 2 dimensional drawing production style.

While there are a few types of BIM software we use Autodesk Revit and have been for ten years now and we’ve used it to design 15,000 s.f. office interiors and master bedroom additions so we’ve gotten pretty good at it. We are one of the few Architecture offices in Santa Barbara that use it and it works really well for the design oriented projects we focus on, here’s why:

It creates 3d views that anyone can look at and immediately understand

Very early in the design of a project we are able to create an accurate 3d model of the design and add nearly any element we wish from doors and windows to lighting, floors and furnishings. We can then place cameras in the model to see what what the design looks like. We go back and forth from view to view refining the design until it is ready for the client to see. Not everyone is able to understand floor plans or sections so when the client can see a 3d image they can understand it right away! Take a look at our Modern Beach Shack to see how we go from the raw image below to an image we can share with the client.

BIM Santa Barbara architect

View From Street

It Saves Time

The model we create is parametric, meaning all the elements are integrated, connected and smart. The walls know that they are built out of 2×4’s and covered with gypsum board or plaster or tile. In some Architect’s offices rows of draftsmen carefully draw each elevation, section and detail in 2 dimensions. This method requires a ton of time because of the tremendous amount of coordination required between drawings. For example if you draw a window in the floor plan you then need to go to the elevation sheet and draw the window as it appears on the wall, then you need to add this window to the window schedule. BIM software takes care of these tedious tasks for you. When you add a window into a wall you tell it what size it is, what it is made out of etc. then that window will appear in all other views like elevations, sections and in the window schedule. It’s amazing really, I don’t know how we got anything done before we made the transition to BIM.

Santa Barbara architect and interior design

Interior View

How It Benefits The Client and the Project

We’ve discussed how BIM can help the design and drafting but how does it benefit you, the client? In Santa Barbara, creating good Architecture can be difficult. There are many hoops to jump thru in the City Santa Barbara or County process just to get the ok to build your project. Planning department reviews, design board reviews, this process takes time which takes time away from the design process. When the Architect should be considering the best way to orient your new bedroom he or she is instead spending time filling out applications and preparing a design board review. With BIM we can take the time we’ve saved on all that tedious work we described earlier and put it back into creating good design. Take a look at our Sierra Madre and Rinconada projects to see how we put that time back into the design.

Multi family

Conceptual design options for a multi-family project

 

Our model that we build in the computer includes everything. Beams, posts, ductwork, anything that has the potential to cause a problem during construction goes into the model. We strive to create drawings that allow the contractor to work quickly and accurately. For us Revit is a tool and with any tool it is only as effective as it’s user so we constantly look for new and better ways to use the tools power. Recent new uses have included solar and shading studies to show a client that the setting sun would not be right in their eyes at dinner time.

Imagine what we could do for your project!

Carpinteria Restaurant Remodel Approved!

EXISTING TONY'S RESTAURANT

EXISTING TONY’S RESTAURANT

Our design for the former Tony’s Restaurant in Carpinteria was well received by the Carpinteria Architectural Review Board!

If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook you may have seen some images of this project earlier in the design process. Now that the project has had a warm reception we wanted to share the some of the ideas, challenges and opportunities with the project.

This iconic building in the center of the seaside town of Carpinteria is due for a major facelift. The interior is dark, dated and the exterior is not inviting. We were asked to help the new owner breath new life into this ideal site for a restaurant on this intersection. The challenges are many; the building is constructed of concrete block and heavy timber roof framing, the restrooms do not conform to current code, a portion of the restaurant dining area is raised not allowing disabled access and the back patio is surrounded by a tall fence making for a claustrophobic dining experience. Really it’s a case study of how not to design a restaurant.

Our approach was to strategically open up the exterior to provide light and a visual connection for those passing by the restaurant, drawing them in with the new interior layout. The new openings create opportunities for customers to see and be seen, drawing more people in off the street. A new larger patio at the rear provides additional opportunities for outdoor dining. We have also added a bar that also opens up onto the rear patio making for yet another reason for people to visit and stay.

Carpinteria Architect

Carpinteria Restaurant Sketches

We are currently working with the City to resolve all the issues that come along with old restaurants, like calculating historical parking use versus current use and setback issues. Not so exciting I realize but a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make all the pieces of the project fall into place.

Check back in soon for more on this challenging project!

Funk Zone Restaurant Approved!

funk zone wine tasting

Our Funk Zone Restaurant building permit was issued!

A new restaurant is underway in the Funk Zone neighborhood of Santa Barbara. While we can’t share the name yet we are very excited to see this project moving ahead. The demolition is underway and the space will be prepared for the brand new bar, seating and kitchen. The exterior changes include a new patio for dining with an outside bar to take advantage of the incredible weather. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner and promises to be a great addition to the growing food culture of Santa Barbara. The bar area will not only serve beer and wine but will also offer bottled beer for sale. Customers will be able to select from the handpicked brews on display or in the walk-in cooler. Many thanks to our project team Ashley & Vance Engineering and Kamran and Company for working hard to get this project thru the demanding City of Santa Barbara planning and permitting process.

warehouse restaurant remodel

Raw warehouse space, a great canvas

The new restaurant and bar is very exciting but that’s not all that is happening here. This permit also includes work elsewhere in the 8,000 s.f. building to prepare three other spaces for future tenants. The overall concept for the building is to have additional restaurant use mixed with other creative tenants producing interesting artwork and other handmade products. Glass walls and openings will allow for visitors to see and wander thru these spaces creating a layered experience that will continue to evolve over time. The building will be getting a new name and branding, the interior design will be cohesive throughout the warehouse like space. New exterior seating and dining areas will be constructed along with a new entry.

IMG_4402

Temporary shoring and wall demo for the new windows and bar

The project is in the very capable hands of South West Construction who has completed restaurant build outs throughout Santa Barbara including Farmer Boy. Check back for more updates!

We love designing restaurants!

Give us a call and let us show you what we can do for you!

805.455.0574 

 

Santa Barbara Addition and Remodel Construction Progress!

The Vaquero Residence is coming together very nicely, this project is located in the foothills of Santa Barbara. We stopped by for a visit and the walls are framed and sheathed with plywood and the roof is also framed and waiting for waterproofing. It’s starting to look more and more like the rendering we did for the project which will provide new bedrooms, a full bathroom all connected by a open room the kids can call their own. We imagine this room will transform over time, starting as a play room then becoming the kids own living room. This room will have a sliding glass door leading out to a private patio, designed based on our outdoor living principles. The client is very excited to see the progress of their addition and remodel, their three little girls have already picked out their new bedrooms and are ready to move in. We are excited to see the transformation and especially excited to see the client’s reaction. The next steps will be wrapping the exterior with water proofing then installing the windows and sliding glass doors. Before long the addition will be “dried in” as they say in the construction world which means that even if it does rain all the wood and other elements will be protected.  See our tips for making the most out of your addition and remodel here. Take a look thru the photos below and check in for future updates!

Street View

Street View

The rendering we did for the project, quite a transformation for this house

A portion of the addition

A portion of the addition

Here you can see the form really taking shape and the structure still clearly defined. Those openings just below the roof will become high windows called clerestory windows which will let in beautiful light but will be shaded by the eaves.

Future bedroom

Future bedroom

A shot of the post and framing around the future clerestory windows with a great view of the sky and palm tree in the front yard. To the right you can see a bit of the future casement window, the beams will be exposed and stained to emphasize the materiality of the structure.

Santa Barbara Remodel Exterior WindowsA shot of the exterior detail where the clerestory meets the sliding glass door below. This beam will also be exposed and stained, the contractor did a good job of attaching the beam to a knife plate which hides the steel connection inside the beam. A big thanks to Ashley & Vance Engineering for working with us to bring the structure to life like we imagined it. The combination of dozens of seemingly unimportant details like these is what will set this project apart from the typical house in the area. It doesn’t take much more money or time to build like this, it just takes some desire and passion to create the design and of course great clients who want to live in a house that is considered and unique.

The exposed corner post and clerestory windows for great light

The exposed corner post and clerestory windows for great light

 

 

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Lucky Llama Coffee House Design

We were doing a site visit for a upcoming restaurant design project in Carpinteria which is just south of Santa Barbara and it was lunch time. It was a pretty hot day so we headed over to another project of ours that was completed a few years ago, Lucky Llama Coffee for an acai bowl and an iced coffee. We sat on the deck under the worlds largest Torrey Pine Tree and talked about Carpinteria, it’s opportunities and challenges as the city grows. How can a city maintain it’s charm and authenticity in the face of the tourist onslaught and drive to be bigger and better? We decided that locally owned and operated businesses like this one will help to maintain the character that brings people to Carpinteria, so please support your local shops and stores!

lucky llama concept

lucky llama concept

luck llama exterior

How it turned out

lucky llama before

lucky llama before

Like what we do?

Give us a call and let us show you what we can do for you!

805.455.0574 

Vaquero Santa Barbara Addition and Remodel Underway!

Our Vaquero Residence is underway! The building permit was issued, the builder was selected and work has begun. This project is located in Santa Barbara and is a modest addition and remodel to a single story home. We are excited to see the transformation take place and the client of course can’t wait to have it completed. We will be checking in regularly to help bring this project to a successful completion.

Before

Before

The before shot

 

Street View

Street View

Completed addition and remodel

 

Imagine what we could do for you

Give us a call and let us show you!

805.455.0574 

LA Times explores the Funk Zone

AVA Winery

AVA Winery

The Funk Zone getting some love in the Los Angeles Times. This happens to be the location of our Funk Zone Lofts, our Beer and Wine Tasting Room and a few other projects early in the design process.

“Let’s be honest. Do you want to spend a weekend in a place called the Funk Zone? The first time I heard the name, I wrinkled my nose. It sounds like something from the ’80s that smells — or looks — distasteful. When I found out it’s a tourist zone in the otherwise perfectly lovely town of Santa Barbara, I thought it needed a name change, at best. Most non-Santa Barbara residents I mentioned it to agreed. “Why did they name it that?” people wondered. 

So I asked a dozen Santa Barbara residents who live or work in the zone and got a dozen different answers. But all said they thought the name fits. And certainly the Funk Zone’s success story seems to indicate that people who visit it don’t mind the name. In just a handful of years, the area has become the hottest neighborhood in town, the place celebs go to dine and where everyone else goes to hang out. Its wine-tasting rooms, art galleries, restaurants and shops overflow on weekends and holidays. In fact, the area has become so hip, said a city official, that “businesses outside the zone pretend to be inside it. Or call themselves Funk Zone-adjacent.”

That’s an amazing compliment for a place that most people admit isn’t very pretty. Sandwiched between the beach and Highway 101, the Funk Zone is full of warehouses, manufacturing plants and industrial operations. Streets dead end, railroad tracks crisscross the area, paint is peeling from buildings that look abandoned. Some of these onetime businesses may account for the area’s odd name. When I asked locals the origin, one replied, “There’s mostly industrial stuff there that’s pretty funky”; an artist told me it was named for “the fish processing places that make it smell.”

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Funk Zone Lofts Santa Barbara modern contemporary architecture

Funk Zone Lofts Exterior

funk zone wine tasting

Interior View of Tasting Room

 

 

Sierra Madre Design Review a Success! – Santa Barbara Architects

We presented our Sierra Madre project to the Santa Barbara County Board of Architectural Review last week for the first time and they were very pleased with the project!

View from back yard

View from back yard

The Santa Barbara County Board of Architectural Review is tasked with ensuring the design of homes in the County area meet the criteria of good design and that the proposed design is appropriate for the neighborhood and site. They have a difficult job and must balance the desires of the property owner with what is best for the site and what is allowable by the zoning ordinance. Often they are forced to turn away projects that are too big or too tall for the neighborhood and instruct the property owner to find an alternate approach. Typically in Santa Barbara the design review process is a 3 step process; conceptual then preliminary and final review. A project may sail thru these steps if the design is of high quality and the drawings have the information and detail required. We also use colored perspective images like the one above and models to present our ideas. Not only are these useful for the design process and for client communication but the design board really appreciates the extra effort. They can look at these and immediately understand what we are trying to do.

The design board members liked the sensitive approach of placing the addition on the back of the house and using the existing topography to integrate the lower story into the site. They appreciated the low impact on the neighborhood especially that the design does not effect anyones views or privacy. They liked the glass wall opening up to the view and how we are providing shade for the glass without interrupting the view. They asked us to return for preliminary review where we will be able to present more developed drawings, details and material choices. We will be working with our structural engineer to dial in the sizes and location of structural elements. We will also lean heavily on door and window experts to find the best layout for the glass wall, multi-sliders, folding or some combination? Working closely with talented people helps us achieve the best project possible.

Model and rendering

Model and rendering

 

Do you like what we do?

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805.455.0574 

New Project in the Santa Barbara Funk Zone

We have a new project underway in Santa Barbara’s evolving Funk Zone! If you are not familiar with this area it has a mixture of uses and architectural styles and has become a destination in itself for wine tasting, high quality restaurants and shops. For Santa Barbara Architects the Funk Zone is a special place, it allows for experimentation and creativity in a city known for a particular style. It is also home to our live work / mixed use  Funk Zone Lofts project on the corner of Yanonali and Gray.  This new project will add to this mix as a new beer and wine bar with a full kitchen coming in the future. This project will add to our growing list of restaurant design projects which are fun to be involved in. With this design we are looking to take advantage of the character of the existing structure and are trying to add layers of texture and color while opening up the walls to allow light in. We are also opening up the wall to allow for indoor and outdoor service a the bar for the small outdoor seating area. Take a look and let us know what you think!

Funk Zone Beer and Wine Bar

Interior rendering and inspiration photos

 

Santa Barbara Kitchen Remodel

We have a kitchen remodel getting close to wrapping up here in Santa Barbara. The dated kitchen and appliances were due for a update and we were asked to create an economic re-design of this large kitchen with a beautiful view out over the pool area towards the ocean. We responded by suggesting that the footprint of the kitchen remain the same and the locations of the plumbing fixtures and major appliances remain to avoid costly changes to the plumbing and electrical system. Secondly we recommended not changing the granite countertop which are nice dark shade but swapped out the cabinet fronts and side panels to upgrade the appearance. We added new cabinet doors with glass to further open up and “lighten” the feel of the kitchen while allowing for display of platters/bowls etc. All the cabinet doors and drawers received new soft close hinges and rails which adds to the level of quality expected in a project like this. We replaced the old under cabinet lighting with new efficient LED linear fixtures that are placed to not have hot and cold spots in the light pattern. We then removed the old gas cooktop and cut the counter top and removed the lower cabinet to allow a new 36″ dual fuel Wolf Range to slide in. We then removed the old cabinet mounted noisy exhaust fan and upper cabinet to expose the wall to emphasize the height of the ceilings. This gave us the opportunity to create a boldly tiled backsplash that would play off the clean lines of the appliances and the more traditional cabinets. We looked at many tile samples that ranged from ceramic tiles to cement tiles from Granada Tile but went with a handmade tile with a lithograph print produced by Cle Tile that took the design to another level. Take a look at the progress photos and let us know what you think!

santa barbara kitchen remodel

progress photo