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Gov. Bldg. Site Model – Calvert Co., MD – Colimore Architects

While many architectural offices produce exquisite models of their proposed buildings, they often depict them sitting on flat, monochromatic rectangles which distract from the structure itself and often distort the experience of the architecture in the real world.  ÆGS provides support for clients by producing quick, accurate, and easy-to-use existing site models into which the proposed buildings can be placed.  In this project, the first of a series for the client, an area of downtown Prince Fredrick, Maryland was needed as a site for a proposed government building being developed.  As a first step, the topographic information was imported into the model from the civil drawings.

These contours were then moved to the appropriate elevations and a 3D mesh applied over the elevated contours.  The flat image of the CAD drawing is projected onto the model, showing original line work.  This image file can then be edited as a flat graphic and will continuously update in the 3D model as well.

With the image projected over the model, it can now be edited independently as a flat graphic file.  First the GIS information, downloaded from the county website is overlaid with the CAD lines.  This allows any missing information, such as property boundaries in this case, to be added onto the file.  Once the GIS information is updated in the flat image, it is updated to the 3D model.

In order to provide the anticipated appearance of the final site for the proposed work, the GIS information is then overlaid with a simple site plan rendering which can now be based on information from the original CAD drawings, the county GIS data, and aerial imagery of the site.  Where needed, labels for things like streets are also added.

Finally, simple models are built matching the basic geometry of the key buildings.  Building heights, roof geometries, and identifying features are derived from site photos and modeled in a way to provide a sense of place while remaining simple enough to not distract from the architects’ proposed buildings, to be added later.

The end result is a simple yet effective, and more importantly, accurate model of the proposed site for the new buildings.  The method used is efficient enough that a site like this one can be crafted in just a couple of days and within the budget of most projects.