Increasing Accessibility to Biophilic and Healthy Materials with BIM

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an innovative tool that streamlines the process of enhancing our built environment. BIM improves productivity, limits the need for redesign through integrated models among parties, improves coordination, provides necessary documents and material information, and allows for visualization to ensure client satisfaction.

Product manufacturers are responsible for providing the early-entry tools needed for the construction industry to adopt this updated method of designing and building structures. This is increasingly important, especially for organic and biophilic shapes such as trees. As the industry hires employees versed in BIM, we need to aid their skill sets with BIM objects that ease their design challenges. WholeTrees is working hard to make biophilic and healthy materials accessible to building professionals through 3D modeling and BIM developments.

BIM’s innovative capabilities for product growth include:

With BIM, it is easy to generate quantity take-offs and anticipate the construction materials needed, making the process of specifying, ordering, and construction more streamlined.

-Virtual product interaction
-Visual design comparison
-Realistic renderings
-Integrated material information and characteristics
-Simplified specification

In addition to the benefits to helping clients visualize a project, a BIM architectural model can be repurposed by different building industry professionals to suit their individual needs without compromising the original design. This creates a single-file concept and allows editing of all drawings in terms that each party understands. Documentation becomes quicker and the work between the architect, engineer, client, contractors, and facility managers can always be updated in real time. With this unified communication, the quality, feasibility, and timeliness of large-scale commercial projects can be improved.

WholeTrees received a USFS Wood Innovations Grant to improve our digital tools for building professionals. WholeTrees currently works with an internal inventory software that follows our trees from the forest to the factory and eases design, engineering and operations processes. The USFS Grant will be used to turn our internal inventory platform into a customer-facing interface that diverts waste trees from sustainably managed forests directly to your construction projects.

The first step in this project work is a robust catalog of 3D objects for building professionals to download and insert into their models. Organic shapes can seem daunting in computer aided design, but with downloadable objects any designer can experiment with biophilic and sustainable design. The newly launched 3D object library provides architects with models of various WholeTrees components including, beams, columns, trusses, assemblies, and decorative trees. Your team can now insert natural elements into your structure.

As we continue over the next year with our research and development this tool will progress to BIM objects that provide material information required by specifiers and engineers and will also accurately represent actual trees with the use of LiDAR scans. Our “facebook of trees” will facilitate direct utilization of cull trees removed to enhance forest health and will ease the process of adding the awe and delight of our woodlands to commercial structures.

Explore the possibilities and start seeing trees with our 3D model catalog available here.