Ahead of the Academies show on 22 November at the NEC, Alan McBeth, Principal Architect discusses how the use of innovative 3D technology can now be integrated into every stage of the school design process to share the vision, fire the imagination and help the client to think beyond the box…..

With ever increasing demands for projects to be delivered with imagination quickly and to tight budgets – thinking outside the BOX with the latest technology becomes very important.

Life is played out in 3D so why do we not communicate in 3D?

This is not necessarily a new thing but what is new is integrating the 3D methodology into the design process from end to end to benefit not just users but also building contractors and facilities managers.

Some teachers only know what they want when they actually see it – cue the 3D design approach.  This  can be applied on just about everything from designing a kitchen to full blown major school building projects with production details all done in 3D as you develop the design.

It is a key methodology when it comes to developing the brief which is the most important thing to have on any school building project- both technically and with vision.

In my experience, the better the brief, the better the project and a 3 dimensional approach enables informed decisions that the project team all understand from a very early stage.

Once you get a handle on this we can use the models to develop our designs and produce amazing visualisations very quickly and at every stage. Not only that, we can also use them to engineer and develop cost plans using the information we have put into the model.

I for one, wish I had the technology we have available now when I was a student as it enables so many doors to be opened and designs can be appraised extremely quickly.

In the future it is highly likely that architects will not be submitting drawings but submitting full virtual reality models for planning permissions. Schools could even have their own model that both children and staff can use to plan timetables , navigate  and to advertise and explain their school both to parents, future pupils and staff by just uploading onto their websites – all done in virtual reality.

What a wonderful time ahead there is with 3D schools .

Alan McBeth will be at the Acivico stand B52 at the Academies show on 22nd November at the NEC to advise how his team can help you think beyond the box and visualise your Academy extension or redevelopment in 3D.