DCI Relies on Visicon for a Signature Project in Los Angeles
DCI Engineers rely on Visicon to quickly access, navigate and understand their 3D models for design and coordination on a signature project in Los Angeles, California.
Images courtesy of DCI Engineers
The Grand is a significant new undertaking in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Located immediately across from another Frank Gehry designed project – The Walt Disney Concert Hall – this mixed-use development occupies an entire city block that will provide a combination of hospitality, residential and commercial space. Currently in construction, and expected to be completed by early 2022, The Grand LA comprises over 1,700,000 square feet of space – consisting of a 29-story hotel tower, a 46-story residential tower, and a multi-story podium supporting multiple pools, restaurants, and retail shops, a large ballroom, and underground parking - all with various adjoining decks and walkways.
“This presented several unique situations that required a bunch of detailed attention and modeling.”
As the project structural engineer, DCI Engineers designed a gravity system of primarily reinforced concrete frames with select steel framing and a lateral system of concrete shear walls combined with steel buckling-restrained braces. Exemplary of the scale, the project’s deep mat foundation included the 2nd largest continuous concrete pour in the history of City of Los Angeles.
Along with the sheer size of the project, its complex change in layout from floor to floor is noteworthy. “Each tier of the building has a different floor layout that complicated the gravity system for us to properly locate columns and transfer beams,” explains Patrick Lindblom, DCI’s project manager on The Grand LA. “This presented several unique situations that required a bunch of detailed attention and modeling. The central area also has a number of differently shaped slab edges that created many unusual configurations.”
DCI selected Visicon as their solution to better understand and coordinate their project building information models (BIM) because of its highly compressed file format that can be opened within seconds, and the speed at which project members can access and query their models. Visicon’s unique algorithms convert models into files that are less than 1/10 the size, and also gives customers reliable access to project information unconstrained by internet performance. Before Visicon, DCI’s engineers were spending more of their valuable time than necessary accessing and then referencing project information.
“[Visicon] gives us a much better understanding of both the architectural and structural models and how they compare...”
Patrick Lindblom, Associate at DCI
On The Grand LA, DCI took three separate structural Revit® models - created and maintained by their BIM Manager – along with three corresponding architectural Revit® models from Gehry Partners and combined them all into Visicon. “It gives us a much better understanding of both the architectural and structural models and how they compare given the complexity of this project,” says Lindblom. “By overlaying the models and creating various views, we really get to see how the system works – it’s a great way to figure out the geometry to aid our collaborative design process.”
“It’s really quick for me to access my models and readily get the information I need – I pretty much have it open all day, every day.”
“And by significantly reducing the size of my files,” continues Lindblom, “it’s really quick for me to access my models and readily get the information I need - I pretty much have it open all day, every day.” He adds, “I wish we would have had Visicon around when we began this project 6 years ago.”
“It’s fast, easy to use, and lets us provide higher quality services to our clients.”
Adoption of Visicon is rapidly growing across DCI due in part to the success achieved on The Grand LA project. “It is extremely helpful in understanding and resolving geometry clashes between architectural, structural, and analysis models,” according to Scott Erickson, a principal based in Seattle. “It’s fast, easy to use, and lets us provide higher quality services to our clients.”
About DCI Engineers
DCI Engineers provides structural and civil engineering services on new and remodel commercial, residential, medical, educational, governmental, and industrial projects. With over 30 years of experience and more than 350 employees, they are committed to providing responsible and innovative client focused services and economic designs – without compromising quality. DCI is headquartered Seattle, with offices in Washington, Oregon, California, Texas, Alaska, Colorado, and Montana. They are licensed in all 50 states and most Canadian provinces.
Visicon is a 3D model review solution used by AEC firms worldwide as a fast and powerful way to view, query and compare their project models. Beyond providing a robust suite of model viewing and comparison functionalities, Visicon is also used by customers to automate their model checking and management tasks, saving them time and increasing project quality.