BIM in the landscape: From co-operation to collaboration

JUUL | FROST Architects are among the Danish BIM pioneers, and use digitization to optimize their workflows to benefit of owners, developers and users, so that they can focus on designing creative and value-creating architecture. Landscape architecture has for long been an integral part of the office’s projects - which in these years is only further manifested by the use of BIM throughout all phases in CITY + SPACE + LANDSCAPE.

JUUL | FROST Architects are organized in three development departments, CITY + SPACE + LANDSCAPE, BUILDING + BUILT STRUCTURE and RESEARCH + DEVELOPMENT, that work closely together. This results in robust and flexible projects that meet changing needs over time. The close cooperation between the three departments means that all projects are part of a larger, strategic context, where buildings, landscapes and urban spaces are designed in interaction with each other.

BIM is a tool for creating better projects

During the last decade has been a natural part of the workflow in BUILDING + BUILT STRUCTURE BIM, and has, among other things, resulted in the award-winning NOVA project at the Business School in Örebro. Over the past two years, ARCHICAD has also become an integral part of the landscape architects' workflow - especially thanks to the new LAND4 plugin, which has been developed in order to accommodate work processes of landscape architects.

The Film Houses at Værløse

“For us it's all about creating unique projects and here ARHCICAD is a valuable tool. It is easier and more fun to communicate projects internally and to our partners and clients. This means that everyone at an early stage achieves ownership of the project and pursues the same success criterias,”Line Stybe Vestergaard, associate partner and landscape architect MAA begins.

Filmhusene are characterized by close contact to the nature and focus on relationships and communities.

The first stage of ‘Filmhusene’ (eng. ‘The Film Houses’) at the former Air Force Station in Værløse, which is a combined residential and landscape project, is currently under construction: The first houses are already finished and people are starting to move in. The Structure of ‘Filmhusene’ is based on the existing landscape as a value-creating starting point for a contemporary housing project with close contact to the nature and special focus on relationships and close communities. The design of the three residential clusters is based on a camouflage pattern, which is a reference to the military past of area.

The landscape is drawn into the neighborhood, and the neighborhood is connected to the surrounding landscape.

The pattern gives an unpredictability in the plan, which creates soft transitions between individual vegetation and conveys the transition between the road and the dwellings. Different spaces arise in the organic forms — Spaces for living, recreation and play, rainwater basins, and privacy. Trenches and hollows handle rainwater in the individual courtyards and become parts of the nature experience. The landscape is drawn all the way to the houses, so people live in close contact with the nature, while they experience a sense a homeliness in the clusters. The large landscape around the Film Houses as well as a two-part landscape in the southern part of the Air Force Station, developed for other developers, are also under construction.

Programmable excavator and water basin as BIM object

Line Stybe Vestergaard explains how BIM has made it easier to make volume withdrawals, which means that the developers and contractors have a very precise basis for creating and reviewing tenders. She is clearly fascinated by the many possibilities the BIM models create. With reference to the programmable excavator, which among other things digs the large watercourse, Line Stybe Vestergaard tells how the finished result is more accurate than ever. “We have delivered digital files with spatial points (xyz files) to secure that the watercourse gets the right slope. The points are transferred to a computer-operated excavator and if the project needs to be adjusted by a few centimeters, it is just a matter of loading the new file into the computer. Similarly, the large water basins and the hills are delivered as BIM objects for more accurate soil calculation. "

Closer and more intuitive collaboration

Implementation of a full BIM-based workflow in CITY + SPACE + LANDSCAPE is also crucial for the development of all the projects at the studio. "When the landscape department also works in ARCHICAD, the landscape becomes an even more important and crucial part of the project and sets the conditions for how the buildings end up looking and how they naturally relate to their surroundings." Line Stybe Vestergaard continues.

The landscape is a crucial part of Filmhusene.

As The film houses shows the interaction between building and landscape is and has always been an integral part of JUUL FROST Architects' DNA. But nevertheless, the difference between 2D and 3D design tools in the two departments resulted in a natural limitation on how intuitive the collaboration was. When everyone works in a common BIM model this disappears. “When we all work in the same model, we can constantly see how our solutions and changes affect the final result, which means that our landscape and building architects work closer together than ever before. This is reflected in even better coordinated projects. The LAND4 plugin for ARCHICAD, developed by LAND Software has made this much easier.”

From "co-operation to collaboration"

As BIM Manager, Morten Bilde, associate partner and M.Sc.Eng., is responsible for implementing ARCHICAD at JUUL | FOST Architects. He talks enthusiastically about the importance of the landscape department now are 100% BIM-users. "When all our departments work in the same model, it automatically releases resources, as many of the more standard, but nevertheless important, tasks are automated. This means that we can focus on creativity and creating the best solutions that benefit all parties involved.”

Morten Bilde enthusiastically emphasizes - and with a strategically insight worthy of JUUL FROST Architects - the closer collaboration between the two departments: “Since our landscape department has started to use BIM, our internal work processes have gone from co-operation to collaboration. This means that not only we are working on parts of the same project, but in reality, we develop the project together digitally from start to finish.” Morten Bilde also notes optimized external work processes when the projects are developed in collaboration with partners, builders and future users."BIM creates a basis for iterative processes, where we can cooperate at an early stage - and with LAND4 and ARCHICAD the design process also becomes part of BIM," he says.

JUUL FROST Architects is one of the first Danish practices to embrace BIM as a natural part of their development strategy. Since BIM is now also really implemented in CITY + SPACE + LANDSCAPE, the circle is complete, and one can say for good that the studio has gone 100% BIM.

JUUL | FROST Architects has been engaged in four projects at the former Air Force Station Værløse:

Landscape – Park and recreational areas
Project: Landscape
Client: Freja Ejendomme
Area: 19.550 sqm
Period: 2019-

Project: Housing and landscape
Client: Bonava
Area: 100 dwellings, 12,680 sqm
Area landscape: 27,920 sqm / ca 3 ha
Period: 2016 -

Project: Housing and landscape
Client: Bonava
Area: 30 dwellings, 3905 sqm
Area landscape: 10,850 sqm / approx 1.1 ha
Period: 2016 -

Landscape - Stage 1 South Camp
Projects: common areas, pools and hills
Client: Freja Ejendomme
Area: 42,769 sqm / approx. 5 ha
Period: 2017 -

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About Pawel Antoni Lange

Pawel Antoni Lange has worked with communication within the AEC industry for more than a decade. Pawel has a MA in Modern Culture and Dissemination of Culture from The University of Copenhagen as well as a B.Sc. from Copenhagen Business School.
  • Denmark