The Best Thermal Baths on The Costa Brava

The Costa Brava which means ”Wild Coast” or “Rough Coast” is a coastal region of Catalonia in north-eastern Spain. Costa Brava stretches from the town of Blanes (which is 60 km northeast of Barcelona) to the French border. There are three counties in Costa Brava- Alt Empordà, Baix Empordà and Selva. All of them are a part of the province of Girona.To reach Costa Brava, you need to take a flight to the Girona airport. Alternatively you may reach the Barcelona airport in Spain which is 92 KMs away from Costa Brava, and then travel by road. Pinar Del Mar, Planamar, Park Hotel San Jorge & Spa, Hostal Alba and many other comfortable hotels are available on this land to pamper you. After checking in to your designated hotel, you may think about taking a thermal bath to relax your tired muscles.Before choosing the best thermal bath center for you, let’s have a look at the available options:-


From the times when the Roman Empire ruled this region, the people of the Costa Brava have been exploring the region’s many medicinal mineral waters and hot baths. It is believed that this water possess relaxing and healing qualities. In the modern times, these thermal baths of the area offer the visitors some of the best facilities. The therapeutic effects of taking a bath in these thermal baths are manifold.1) Balneari Termes Orion- Hotel Balneari Termes Orion offers maximum relaxation through the thermal bath in their facility. They have recently refurbished their luxurious spa to ensure that their clients receive the maximum benefits of these treatments.At 45 degrees Celsius, the water which emerges from the spring is ideal for treatments of aches and pains. There are several kinds if treatments offered in this luxurious natural spring. This bath is surrounded by natural mountains, woodlands and meadows to ensure that the patient receives the maximum benefit from the treatment.2) Balneari Vichy Catalan- This spa contains the purest Vichy Catalan water. The trained masseurs and therapists here provide the customers with a lot of services like chiromassage, inhalations, massage shower, foot-reflexology, paraffin baths, parafango, steam bath and sauna bath. There is a swimming pool which contains the same medicinal water which can be used by the customers for their treatments.Balneari Vichy Catalan Spa will allow you to completely unwind and become ache and pain-free before you leave the place.3) Peralada Spa- This place uses a unique methodology of treatment. They use the wine extracts to help improve their customer’s health and wellbeing. The free radicals present in the wine extracts help in the production of collagen fibres and elastin and it in turn helps in the formation of red blood cells in the blood. The blood circulation is improved, and the body’s immunity increases manifolds.


This luxury spa is located on the bank of a lake in Peralada, Girona. The crystal clear water of the lake is natural and possesses therapeutic properties. There is a steam room to relax your tired muscles and a Jacuzzi to bring you back to life. There are other treatments like heated marble treatment and a barrel shower. A sauna bath will help you to remove the toxins from your body and a thermal circuit around its swimming pools can be used for different kinds of treatments. There is an exclusive “Gran Claustro” meant for the most prestigious clients of the spa.Apart from Costa Brava, the nearby town of La Garriga also has many natural springs and spas for therapeutic purposes. So go ahead and explore. You will definitely have a very relaxing vacation.

What Is Graphic Design: History And Origins

Graphic design is a profession whose business is the act of designing, programming, and create visual communications, generally produced by industrial means and intended to convey specific messages to specific social groups, with a clear purpose. This is the activity that enables graphically communicate ideas, facts and values processed and synthesized in terms of form and communication, social, cultural, economic, aesthetic and technological. Also known as visual communication design, because some associate the word figure only to the printing industry, and understand that visual messages are channeled through many media, not just print.

Given the massive and rapid growth in the exchange of information, the demand for graphic designers is greater than ever, particularly because of the development of new technologies and the need to pay attention to the human factors that are beyond the competence of engineers who develop them.

Some classifications are widely used graphic design: advertising design, editorial design, corporate identity design, web design, packaging design, typographic design, signage design, multimedia design, among others.

Graphic Design History

The definition of the graphic design profession is rather recent, in what concerns their preparation, their activities and goals. Although there is no consensus on the exact date of the birth of graphic design, some dating during the interwar period. Others understand that begins to identify as such to the late nineteenth century.

Arguably specific graphic communications purposes have their origin in Paleolithic cave paintings and the birth of written language in the third millennium BC. C. But the differences in working methods and training required auxiliary sciences are such that it is not possible to clearly identify the current graphic designer with prehistoric man, with xylograph fifteenth century or the lithographer 1890.

The diversity of opinion reflects the fact that some see as a product of graphic design and all other graphical demonstration only those that arise as a result of the application of a model of industrial production, those visual manifestations that have been “projected” contemplating needs of different types: productive symbolic ergonomic contextual etc.

Background

A page from the Book of Kells: Folio 114, with decorated text contains the Tunc dicit illis. An example of art and page layout of the Middle Ages.

The Book of Kells – A Bible handwritten richly illustrated by Irish monks in the ninth century CE-is for some a very beautiful and early example of graphic design concept. It is a graphic demonstration of great artistic value, high quality, and that even a model for learning to design-for even surpasses in quality to many of the current-editorial productions, and also from a functional point of view contemporary This graphic piece responds to all needs presented the team of people who made it, however others believe that it would be graphic design product, because they understand that their design is not adjusted to the idea of current graphic design project.

The history of typography-and by transitive, also the history of the book-is closely linked to graphic design, this may be because there are virtually no graphics designs that do not include such items graphics. Hence, when talking about the history of graphic design, typography also cited the Trajan column, medieval miniatures, Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press, the evolution of the book industry, the posters Parisian Arts Movement and Crafts (Arts and Crafts), William Morris, Bauhaus, etc.. “

The introduction of movable type by Johannes Gutenberg made books cheaper to produce, and facilitate their dissemination. The first printed books (incunabula) scored the role model to the twentieth century. Graphic design of this era has become known as Old Style (especially the typefaces which these early typographers used), or Humanist, due to the predominant philosophical school of the time.

After Gutenberg, no significant changes were seen until the late nineteenth century, particularly in Britain, there was an effort to create a clear division between the fine and applied arts.

In the 19th Century

First page of the book “The Nature of Gothic” by John Ruskin, published by the Kelmscott Press. The Arts and Crafts intended to revive the medieval art, inspiration in nature and manual labor.

During the nineteenth century visual message design was entrusted alternately two professionals: the artist or the publisher. The first was formed as an artist and the second as a craftsman, often both in the same schools of arts and crafts. For the printer as art was the use of ornaments and selecting fonts printed in his compositions. The artist saw typography as a child and paying more attention to ornamental and illustrative elements.

Between 1891 and 1896, the William Morris Kelmscott Press published some of the most significant graphic products Arts and Crafts Movement (Arts and Crafts), and established a lucrative business based on the design of books of great stylistic refinement and selling them to the upper classes as luxury items. Morris proved that a market existed for works of graphic design, establishing the separation of design from production and the fine arts. The work of the Kelmscott Press is characterized by its recreation of historic styles, especially medieval.

First Vanguards

Poster for the Moulin Rouge in Paris. Made by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec with color lithography in 1891. Thanks to Art Nouveau, graphic design and visual clarity gained by the composition.

Isotype of the Bauhaus. Founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, is considered the birthplace of the graphic design profession.

Given Poster for Matinée. Made by Theo van Doesburg in January 1923. The free font organization, expresses the spirit of the Dada movement, irrationality, for freedom and oppose the status quo and visual expressions of the time.

Corporate identity design for Lufthansa, by the Development Group 5 of the HFG Ulm. Ulm School was an inflection point in the history of design, since there is outlined the design profession through scientific methodology.

Current pictograms design for the National Park Service of the United States. The idea to simplify the symbols forms developed during the 1950s.

The design of the early twentieth century, as well as the fine arts of the same period, was a reaction against the decadence of typography and design of the late nineteenth century.

The interest in ornamentation and the proliferation of measurement changes and typographical style one piece design, synonymous with good design, it was an idea that was maintained until the late nineteenth century. The Art Nouveau, with its clear desire stylistic was a movement that contributed to higher order visual composition. While maintaining a high level of formal complexity, did so within a strong visual consistency, discarding the variation of typographic styles in one graphic piece.

Art movements of the second decade of the twentieth century and the political turmoil that accompanied them, generated dramatic changes in graphic design. The Dada, De Stijl, Suprematism, Cubism, Constructivism, Futurism, the Bauhaus and created a new vision that influenced all branches of the visual arts and design. All these movements opposed to the decorative arts and popular, as well as the Art Nouveau, which under the influence of the new interest in geometry evolved into the Art Deco. All these movements were a revisionist and transgressive spirit in all arts of the time. This period also publications and manifestos proliferated through which artists and educators expressed their opinions.

During the 1930s developed for the composition interesting aspects of graphic design. The graphic style change was significant because it shows a reaction against eclecticism ornamentalist organicism and the time and proposes a more stripped and geometric. This style, connected with Constructivism, Suprematism, Neoplasticism, De Stijl and Bauhaus exerted a lasting influence and inescapable in the development of twentieth century graphic design. Another important element in relation to professional practice, was the increasing use of visual form as communication element. This item appeared mostly in the designs produced by the Dada and De Stijl.

The symbol of modern typography is the sans serif font or serif, inspired by industrial types of the late nineteenth century. Highlights include Edward Johnston, author of the font for the London Underground, and Eric Gill.

Design Schools

Jan Tschichold embodied the principles of modern typography in his 1928 book, New Typography. He later repudiated the philosophy presented in this book, calling it fascist, but remained very influential. Herbert Bayer, who dirigó from 1925-1928 the typography and advertising workshop at the Bauhaus, created the conditions for a new profession: the graphic designer. He put the subject “Advertising” in the education program including, among other things, the analysis of advertising media and the psychology of advertising. Notably, the first to define the term Graphic Design was the designer and typographer William Addison Dwiggins in 1922.

Thus Tschichold, Herbert Bayer, László Moholy-Nagy, and El Lissitzky became parents of graphic design as we know it today. They pioneered production techniques and styles that have been using later. Today, computers have dramatically altered production systems, but the approach that contributed to experimental design is more relevant than ever dynamism, experimentation and even very specific things like choosing fonts (Helvetica is a revival, originally a Typography design based on the nineteenth-century industrial) and orthogonal compositions.

In the years following the modern style gained acceptance, while stagnated. Notable names in modern design midcentury are Adrian Frutiger, designer of the typefaces Univers and Frutiger, and Josef Müller-Brockmann, large poster of the fifties and sixties.

The Hochschule für Gestaltung (HFG) in Ulm was another key institution in the development of the graphic design profession. Since its founding, the HFG distanced himself from a possible affiliation with advertising. At the beginning, the department concerned was called Visual Design, but it quickly became clear that his current goal was to solve design problems in the area of mass communication in the academic year 1956-1957 the name was changed to Department of Visual Communication, modeled Visual Communication Department at the New Bauhaus in Chicago.2 3 In the HFG Ulm, decided to work primarily in the area of persuasive communication in the fields such as traffic sign systems, plans for technical equipment, or visual translation of scientific content. Until that time were not systematically taught these areas in any other European school. In the early ’70s, members of the Bund Deutscher Grafik-Designer (Association of German graphic designers), unveiled several features of their professional identity, as in the case of Anton Stankowski among others. While in 1962 the official definition of the profession was directed almost exclusively to the advertising, now extended to include areas located under the rubric of communication visual.4 corporate images produced by the Development Group 5 of the HFG Ulm such as those created for the firm Braun or airline Lufthansa were also critical to this new professional identity.

Gui Bonsiepe and Tomas Maldonado were two of the first people who tried to apply the design ideas from semantics. In a seminar held at the HFG Ulm in 1956, Maldonado proposed modernizing rhetoric, classical art of persuasion. Maldonado Bonsiepe and then wrote several articles on semiotics and rhetoric for Uppercase English publication and Ulm magazine that would be an important resource for designers to that area. Bonsiepe suggested that it was necessary to have a modern system of rhetoric, semiotics updated as a tool to describe and analyze the phenomena of advertising. Using this terminology, could expose the “ubiquitous structure” of a message publicitario.5

The idea of simplicity and good design feature continued this for many years, not only in the design of alphabets but also in other areas. The tendency to simplify influenced all means at the forefront of design in the 1950s. At that time, developed a consensus that simple, not only was the equivalent of good, but was also more readable equivalent. One of the hardest hit areas was the design of symbols. The designers raised the question of how they could be simplified without destroying its informative function. However, recent investigations have shown that the shape simplification only one symbol does not necessarily increase readability.

Second Vanguards

Reaction to the sobriety growing graphic design was slow but inexorable. The origins of postmodern fonts back to the humanist movement of the fifties. In this group highlights Hermann Zapf, who designed two typefaces today ubiquitous Palatino (1948) and Best (1952). Blurring the line between serif fonts and sans serif and reintroducing organic lines in the lyrics, these designs served more to ratify the modern movement to rebel against him.

An important milestone was the publication of the Manifesto, first things first (1964), which was a call for a more radical form of graphic design, criticizing the idea of design in series worthless. He had a massive influence on a new generation of graphic designers, contributing to the emergence of publications such as Emigre magazine.

Another notable designer of the late twentieth century is Milton Glaser, who designed the unmistakable I Love NY campaign (1973), and a famous Bob Dylan poster (1968). Glaser took elements of the popular culture of the sixties and seventies.

The advances of the early twentieth century were strongly inspired by technological advances in photography and printing. In the last decade of the century, technology played a similar role, but this time it was computers. At first it was a step back. Zuzana Licko began using computers to compositions soon, when computer memory was measured in kilobytes and typefaces were created by dots. She and her husband, Rudy VanderLans, founded the pioneering Emigre magazine and type foundry of the same name. They played with the extraordinary limitations of computers, releasing a great creative power. Emigre magazine became the bible of digital design.

David Carson is the culmination of the movement against contrition sobriety and modern design. Some of his designs for Raygun magazine are intentionally illegible, designed to be more visual than literary experiences.

Present Times

Today, much of the work of graphic designers is assisted by digital tools. The graphic design has changed enormously because of computers. From 1984, with the appearance of the first desktop publishing systems, personal computers gradually replaced all analog in nature technical procedures for digital systems. Thus computers have become indispensable tools and, with the advent of hypertext and the web, its functions have been extended as a means of communication. In addition, the technology also has been noted with the rise of telecommuting and special crowd sourcing has begun to intervene in work arrangements. This change has increased the need to reflect on time, motion and interactivity. Even so, the professional practice of design has not been essential changes. While the forms of production have changed and communication channels have been extended, the fundamental concepts that allow us to understand human communication remain the same.

Job performance and skills

The ability to design is not innate, but acquired through practice and reflection. Still, it remains an option, one thing potentially. To exploit this power is necessary continuing education and practice, as it is very difficult to acquire by intuition. Creativity, innovation and lateral thinking are key skills for graphic designer job performance. Creativity in design exists within established frames of reference, but more than anything, is a cultivated skill to find unexpected solutions to seemingly intractable problems. This translates into design work of the highest level and quality. The creative act is the core of the design process manager but creativity itself is not an act of design. However, creativity is not exclusive graphics performance and no profession, although it is absolutely necessary for the proper performance of the design work.

The role that the graphic designer in the process of communication is the encoder or interpreter works in the interpretation, organization and presentation of visual messages. His sensitivity to the form must be parallel to its sensitivity to the content. This work deals with the planning and structuring of communications, with its production and evaluation. The design work is always based on customer demand, demand which eventually established linguistically, either orally or in writing. This means that the graphic design transforms a linguistic message in a visual demonstration.

The professional graphic design rarely works with nonverbal messages. At times the word appears briefly, and in other texts appears as complex. The editor is in many cases an essential member of the communications team.

The design activity often requires the participation of a team of professionals, such as photographers, illustrators, technical illustrators, including professionals with less related to visual message. The designer is often a coordinator of various disciplines that contribute to the production of the visual message. Thus, coordinates its research, design and production, making use of information or specialists in accordance with the requirements of different projects.

Graphic design is interdisciplinary and therefore the designer needs to have knowledge of other activities such as photography, freehand drawing, technical drawing, descriptive geometry, psychology of perception, Gestalt psychology, semiology, typography, technology and communication.

The professional graphic design is a visual communications specialist and his work is related to all steps of the communication process, in which context, the action of creating a visual object is only one aspect of that process. This process includes the following:

Defining the problem.

Targeting.

Conception of communication strategy.

Display.

Schedule Production.

Monitoring Production.

Evaluation.

This process requires the designer to possess an intimate knowledge of the areas of:

Visual communication.

Communication.

Visual Perception.

Management of financial and human resources.

Technology.

Media.

Assessment techniques.

The four guiding principles of graphic design are variables that graphic design professional should consider when facing a project, these are:

  • The Individual: conceived as ethical and aesthetic unit that integrates society which is part and to whom the visual space is uniform, continuous and connected.
  • The advantage: because it responds to a need for information and this is communication.
  • The atmosphere: because it requires knowledge of physical reality to contribute to the harmony of the habitat, and the reality of other contexts for understanding the structure and meaning of the human environment.
  • The economy: it encompasses all aspects related to the study of the cost and streamlining of processes and materials for the implementation of the elements.

Trends That Set You Apart: SEO Techniques That Every Web Designer Should Know

If it was a decade back, then the term ‘SEO’ and web designing wouldn’t have gone parallel. But today the thing is something different. The web-smart world wants more from us and being exclusive is the first requirement of the customers. Webbing the business in a smart way along with decorating and designing the website for a fresh promotion is the new in nowadays.

Web designing incorporates a lot of strategical tasks and implementing them one by one enhances the front-end beauty of the website. It combines a lot of work with the frameworks, the programming languages, CMS or Content Management System, pre-decorated templates, web designing tools and hosting platform. On the other hand, it takes a lot of planning, sketch, graphical designing and strategy building for designing websites. A web design company deploys professional and experienced web designers who will perform all these tasks single-handedly.

The major job of a web designer is to produce the perfect UI & UX designs that will allure the viewers with its unique design. But, today, most of the web designers need to know about a little bit of SEO that will help them to understand its significance in terms of generating traffic to the website and allows them to comprehend its importance in the designing field.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization involves the process of optimizing the website by analyzing the site itself. This is connected to the designing and coding of the website for which the designers should be in the practice of these methods. So, that is why the designers should keep in mind certain things before designing the website.

Mobile Responsive Design
The demand for the mobile first designs has taken the interest of the consumers due to the major shift of searching methods from desktop to mobile. As the huge number of customers is using the smartphones nowadays and search almost everything from their smartphones instead of switching on their desktops and PCs, designing responsive websites has become a necessity for the entrepreneurs for increasing the visibility of their websites. The emergence of Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm has also facilitated the mobile responsive search results, pushing backward the nonresponsive websites in terms of amenity.

This has invoked the designers to use the mobile responsive templates and tools. The designers should use coding & programming that is utterly suited for mobile. The contents should be fit in the screen resolution of the mobile and the layout should be mobile first for the smooth access from the smartphones or cross platform devices.

URL Orientation
Search engines can’t find ambiguous and vague URL identity. The clear format of the URL makes your website SEO-friendly. With a perfect URL, the chances of getting the visibility to the viewers are more. Moreover, incorporating keyword phrases with the URL allows your users to identify and find the URLs easily and quickly. A designer should know about this so that they can easily collaborate with the SEO team of their respected companies.

Enhancement of the Website Speed
Improving the site speed is the major part of the SEO. Google’s algorithm supports the websites that have a good loading speed and disapproves the sites whose loading speed are worst! This is because the users don’t like websites with low loading speed and chances of the increase in the bouncing rate also raises up. Thus, improving the speed of your site is a much-needed thing, which can’t be optimized without the help of the designers. The speed augmentation process lies within the back-end service provided by the designers which include optimizing the database, minimizing HTTP requests, compressing images, reducing server requests, minifying resources, enabling the browser caches and accessing a CDN or Content Delivery Network.

Without the perfect knowledge of SEO and without the comprehension of the importance of site loading speed on SEO, the designers won’t understand its significance. So, for a perfect collaboration, the knowledge of site loading speed is required for the designers.

Pertinent Title Tags
Exclusive & relevant title tags are important for phrasing up an online document and those title tags are only used in the rich snippets aftermath. These title tags are displayed in the SERPs, on the browser, and on the external websites and should be smaller in size so that Google can easily catch them up.

Validated HTML5 And CSS3 Usage
HTML5 & CSS3 enables your website to fit in any resolution. HTML5 is advanced with much more features than the HTML and CSS3 enhance the downloading speed of the page. Authenticated HTML5 & CSS3 helps in implementing good coding that will optimize on-page SEO easily.

In most of the web design companies, the perfect collaboration of SEO and web designing teams is the major requirement because their harmony optimizes the entire website which results in bringing clarity on the front-end website with an aim of increasing more traffic and enhancement of conversion rate.

 

Has BIM Changed MEP Design Workflow?

The MEP design and installation workflow involves a number of stakeholders and parties that are collectively responsible for overseeing a series of stages that will result in the building engineering (or building services) to be planned, designed, spatially coordinated, fabricated, installed, commissioned and maintained. Typically, the building services design stage follows the initial architectural design, from which point it can usually be designed in parallel with further architectural as well as structural design changes.

The engineering teams that typically design building services solutions are usually in one of two groups. The first group is typically the building designer, also known as the consultant engineer or the design engineer. It is the role of the design engineer to work closely with the architect to develop the overall building engineering elements including lighting, cooling, heating, drainage, waste, fire prevention and protection services. Traditionally, the design engineer will not be involved in the detailed spatial design of these services. Instead the detailed spatial design and installation would normally be handled by the second party, known as the MEP contractor (M&E contractor) or trade contractor. The MEP or trade contractor is responsible for evolving the initial consultant design into a workable and installation-ready building services solution.

In some instances, there is also a third party involved – the fabricator, who will be responsible for creating MEP components such as ductwork or pipework elements or in some cases pre-fabricated solutions that consist of pipework, electrical ladder, plumbing, ductwork and sprinkler within a frame (module) that is delivered to site for installation in risers, plant rooms and corridors.

This article is concerned with the role of the MEP designer and MEP contractor, specifically, the focus for this article is to discuss how BIM (Building Information Modelling) has influenced the MEP design workflow between the designer and the contractor.

Current MEP BIM Workflow Options

Essentially there are five different MEP design workflow scenarios that currently exist and these will be discussed in the article. They are as follows

  1. Traditional 2D design and 3D BIM coordination
  2. 3D MEP design and 3D BIM coordination
  3. Designers 3D BIM design and coordination
  4. Contractor 3D BIM design and coordination
  5. General contractor 3D model coordination

Traditional 2D Design and 3D BIM Coordination

Considering the traditional MEP approach first, this is where a consultant will create 2D design outputs, which include 2D plan layouts, 2D sections and MEP (M&E) schematics. This will indicate the design intent for the building based on the use specified by the architect. Once the consultant has completed this design information he will pass on the information to an MEP contractor who will be responsible for creating the MEP coordinated solution. This article assumes that the contractor will create a spatially coordinated 3D BIM model using BIM tools such as Revit MEP and Navisworks. The contractor will use the design information and create an installation-ready solution which takes into account installation, efficiency of pipe runs or duct bends, space for lagging and hanging the services, access for post install maintenance and so on. This traditional MEP approach, from a 2D design to a 3D model has existed for the past couple of decades and allows the contractor to add additional information into the model that can be used by him and by facilities management companies after the installation. The use of the 3D tool such as Revit is of course useful as it is an intelligent model, with parametric components and therefore, as well as allowing the contractor to identify and resolve clashes before any time is spent on site, it has other uses and applications where model ‘information’ is used and relied upon.

3D MEP Design and 3D BIM Coordination

The second workflow method is more directly influenced by BIM. As the MEP designer, one will use BIM tools to create a 3D model and associated drawings during his initial design phase (rather than a 2D design) before this information is handed across to an MEP trade contractor. The MEP design engineer will typically create a 3D model due to customer specifications and requirements for a BIM model, as in many cases a federated model (which combines the other disciplines in a single model) is needed by the client for a weekly review and hence the MEP consultant cannot simply provide a set of 2D drawings. In this workflow, the BIM model is effectively a 3D representation of what would otherwise be a 2D deliverable. It will therefore consist of areas where further changes are still needed by a trade contractor. Such examples include the use of library items rather than specific MEP trade contractor procured elements that may be used in the model. The creation of a 3D BIM model at this stage by the consultant is also subject to multiple architectural and structural model changes. These have a knock-on effect on the MEP solution as it is effectively a work-in-progress model for MEP with constant architectural and structural changes and therefore will never have the same level of efficiency, in terms of layout of services, compared to an MEP model where the architectural and structural models are frozen. The downside of this workflow method is of course the extra time taken to create a BIM model by the consultant team. Added to this issue is the fact that 3D modelling expertise and skills within a consulting engineering team can sometimes be limited. Once the consultant completes his model and passes it to the MEP contractor, the decision as to whether the contractor should adapt the model or start the modelling process from the start is really based on the quality of the model to start with. In reality both scenarios will exist, in some cases the MEP trade contractor is better off starting the BIM model again using only the 2D design drawings that are created by the consultant from his BIM model, while in some rare cases the trade contractor will use the consultants MEP BIM model and adapt and modify it with his changes, to make the model ready for installation. In both scenarios, the MEP contractor will always look to make value engineering additions and changes to the model as well as procurement led model changes.

Designers 3D BIM MEP Design and Coordination

The third MEP design workflow method is a more pure and direct consequence of BIM and it actually also starts to promote the benefit of BIM more significantly as it gets closer to ‘virtual design and construction’ aims of the industry. In this workflow the approach of design engineer is to create a BIM model that is spatially coordinated and that is using the actual specified components for the project. Typically, the consultant during this phase will have a longer period of time to create the model, allowing him to absorb the changes from structural and architectural disciplines as they progress through the detailing stages. The fact that the model is then coordinated with the structure and architecture as well as other MEP services allows the consultant to create a model that is being created according to an installation standard that is now more usable by an installer or fabricator. When the model in this workflow method is passed on to a contractor, the contractor may still wish to make final changes and adjustments in a round of value engineering. Typically, the contractor will use the same model in this workflow and make changes to the model provided by the MEP design consultant. Additionally, it is probable that the consultant engineer will not have provided invert (height) levels or dimensions from gridlines and walls for the MEP services on his drawings. In such cases the contractor will therefore have to create more detail in the drawings, but again contractor could use the consultant’s drawings and progress them in more detail for his/her use.

Contractor 3D Design and Coordination

The fourth workflow method involves MEP contractors (or trade contractors) taking on the design responsibility as well as the coordination responsibility. Whilst the coordination responsibility is an established skillset with experience of developing detailed and comprehensive vertical and horizontal strategies for coordination being part of the contractor’s core skills, the design responsibility is a new element for the contractor. This was traditionally known as a design and build approach; however, it is now becoming increasingly common especially in cases where companies are seeking to have rapid design and detailed coordination completed. Typically, the components to be used will be specified by the end client, allowing the contractor to design and model before creating his detailed coordinated drawings from the model, to allow installation and fabrication if needed. The reason that this particular workflow method is not the most popular at present is simply due to the volume of work in the market and also the design responsibility that also has to be assumed as in most cases, contractors may not wish to accept this risk or indeed they may not have the resources to complete the design work. For this workflow method to exist at all means that the contractor has to employ design staff directly and provide design liability insurance to allow him to design the MEP solution as well as install it. The benefit of this workflow option is obviously the time efficiency that is realized and therefore the cost benefit, as the cost of utilising contractor resource will usually be lower compared to expensive design engineering firms. However, it does come with some risk as the design expertise that design engineers possess cannot be easily replicated by contractors, even if they do employ in-house teams.

General Contractor 3D Model Coordination

The fifth variant of MEP design workflow is based on creating coordinated MEP models similar to the traditional 2D to 3D approach but for a different customer group. In this workflow method a 2D architectural, structural and MEP design that is to be used by a main contractor (or general contractor) is then progressed into a 3D BIM model by the contractor to assess the validity and completeness of the model. In some cases, some of the design elements from the different disciplines may be presented in 3D while others may be in 2D. It is also possible that different disciplines may provide models in different software that may or may not present software interoperability challenges. In such instances, a team will typically be employed to use the design data from architectural, structural and MEP designers to then create a 3D BIM model based on actual data. The aim is to identify any inconsistencies in the design data by identifying any clashes in the model, allowing the contractor in such a workflow method to effectively mitigate his/her potential risk. Any problems found within the model are usually passed back to the designers to make amendments to their 2D design for subsequent changes to the 3D BIM model which is ultimately owned by the main contractor. This BIM workflow solution is becoming less common now because MEP contractors and designers are creating BIM models themselves.

In summary, BIM has introduced a number of new workflow variants to the MEP design services sector. The previously tried and trusted method of a 2D design, from a designer, that was developed into a 3D coordinated MEP model by contractor is no longer the workflow solution used as firms now have many other variants and alternatives available. Along with BIM Modeling, other developments in the construction sector, including collaborative online working and work sharing have also contributed to the uptake levels for BIM and impacted the changes to workflow.

In terms of the MEP design workflow options, the most popular of these as we move forward will be the third option, which is the consultant creating a BIM model that is spatially coordinated, or the fourth option which is the contractor taking on the design responsibility as well as creating the coordinated BIM model. Both options are effectively a change to the traditional approach for MEP design and both point to a single source for the model and drawings as opposed to the historical two-tier design approach. All options discussed will require competent BIM coordination and MEP modelling teams and resources. XS CAD, with its large MEP coordination team and MEP engineering design team, which consists of mechanical and electrical engineering professionals, is well placed to deal with such projects for companies based in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. As all are regions where BIM is now the preferred solution, XS CAD, with more than 16 years’ experience and a presence in each market is an ideal option for such companies.