Hey, what is up, nation? In this session we are you answering a question from Mike Robinson, who asks “What is your general
workflow? Predetermined door window sizes? Model home then figure out what fits?”. And we are jumping into that after the intro. Alright, so the first thing I want to say
is that this this question is probably more loaded than you might think. Because
it sort of depends on the ultimate end goal of whatever you’re doing. So
SketchUp workflow for architectural visualization, if you’re
just doing a rendering, it’s gonna be very different than essentially making a
finished product. Or making construction drawings. So that the product, or the
project can be built. So you just want to say that I’m gonna sort of try to take a
little bit of a middle road for that, but there’s gonna be variations between
whatever your your end result is gonna be. The first thing that I want to say is
that if you have a client, and you’re doing architecture for a client, the
first thing that you want to do is make sure that you get a program from them.
It’s basically from them, from a typical point of architecture. You want to get
from your client all the rooms that they want, the size of the rooms, the function
of the rooms. And look how many square feet they want. The whole house to be, if
they want a basement. And typically, that’s just given to the architect, or
the designer. You can work through that with them, but it’s typically an
additional fee for that. Because it’s not typically an architect’s job to come up
with that. You can obviously help them through that process. Once you have it,
and refine it. But it gives the architect parameters to then work around. So, that
being said. I think there’s sort of a few different phases you can go with in
Sketchup. I think they’re sort of like the preliminary design phase. And then
there’s like the construction document phase. So the first thing I would do, is
get the program, like I said. The second thing would be then to start coming up
with different ideas. Maybe you would come into Sketchup and you might do like
different massing. So if there’s square footage for each of those rooms, you may
make each room. Make it a group. Maybe color coded, or something like that. And
you start to stack the rooms in relationship to each other. Just sort of
get an idea for, you know. Maybe there’s a hallway between these two. Or something.
Maybe this wants to be longer, and you start to do some general massing. For
what the building can look like. And it’s just basically, just like blocks. So you
just move things around, try different things out. Maybe you have 10-15 layouts.
Or just trying different…different options. And then from there, you might
start to think about what the architecture starts to become. So,
from there, maybe, you know. Maybe this is set back. And I don’t have any
program for this. But maybe, you know. Maybe have these like flying out things
with a hallway down the middle. And maybe this is his glass. So I start to think about
architecture in that respect. But, I would keep the massing, and then this sort of
refined version. When I start to come in and add windows and things like that. So if I want to just like offset this and move
it back a couple inches. Or maybe even more. Maybe something like that. I would
keep this, this type of model separate from my massing. So I’d saved my massing
studies as a certain file, and then when I start to really dive into different
architecture. I would certainly save a different file.
Just so you have those massing studies if you ever want to go back to him. Now,
one thing that I think is really important to be aware of, is that…I don’t
know how to say this in a nice way. And I feel like I’ve been sort of tiptoeing
around this for a while. I don’t think Sketchup is a good program
for doing 2D construction drawings. There are lots of other programs that are way
better than Sketchup at this. And I’ve given Sketchup a chance, I’ve tried to
make my own construction drawings with Sketchup. And it’s painful. I don’t know
how to say it any any better way. It’s it’s extremely painful when you are used
to using another software that is designed specifically for that purpose.
I think layout is a nice tool for presentation. But I would never ever ever
make a full set of drawings with Sketchup. I don’t trust it. And so, I would
recommend that if you’re going to invest in that too…
it’s okay to do visualization in Sketchup. It’s okay to do massing concept
ideas with Sketchup. But I would say if you can avoid it, don’t. Don’t do any…any
sort of 2D drawings in Sketchup. And if… if you have like a great workflow for
architecture, that can get amazing drawings out of Sketchup, without having
to basically redraw everything. I’d love to hear about it. So yeah. Feel free to
let me know in the comments below. But! Sorry, I just said it off. Just get that
off my chest, cuz I’ve been thinking about that for a while now. So
thanks for listening to me. But basically…so I would just do sort of
like this massing study. And then come through, and maybe make sure that
some things are sizes, that makes sense. So seven and 3/16, probably not the best
thing. So I might come back and refine this a little bit. So maybe that’s eight
inches. Or maybe I just leave it at seven. And try to make just things nicer. And
you may have already started that process when you started modeling
the room sizes. And that would be my workflow. I might take something like
this, and print it out. And do you like some sketching over it? To sort of like
work through ideas a little bit quicker. You know, maybe this has a railing, maybe
it’s glass maybe it’s wrought iron. I don’t know, but sketching with some
trace paper would make this doing something like this, really quick. Or you
could just throw it in Photoshop and do some sketching. If you just want to do it
digitally. And work through ideas really quickly. I think that’s the important
thing about architecture, is just working through ideas quickly, especially in the
design phase. Is just get it out. And there’s always the risk of getting
designer block. But I think as long as you’re putting pen to paper, and you’re
working through stuff, I used ideas start to come. So just…just put in the work. So
there’s that and then the final part would be really the refinement. You know,
making sure that things are measured right. And…and for me, that would be the
point at which I start thinking about door and window sizes. But I think the
more experience you get, the more you start to think about that kind of stuff
earlier on. So you may not have to do as much the more experience you get. And
there’s a lot of things that go into that specific idea about different sizes.
Now when I was at my last employer, I developed a bunch of different
standards, based on how my employer like to do things. And I kept
this in an Evernote. Little notepad, so I could reference. So, these are different
door sizes. We always like to do eight-foot doors. For what we are doing,
we’re doing high-end residential work. But a standard door is six foot eight. So
front entry, we would always have a little bit larger. It’s grander. So, and it
needs to be wide. Also, that’s where like all your stuff is coming in and out. So
you need to be careful of that garage, oh, sorry. Laundry is always important to
have a wide enough door, so you can get the equipment in and out. Because it’s
just gonna happen that way. Closets can be smaller, and bathrooms can
can be smaller. 2-6 is really tight, so if you can avoid it, avoid it. Yes, and
then exterior doors you want to be able to get stuff in and out. But it doesn’t
have to be as grand as the front entry. The front entry should be the main focus
of the architecture. So it being bigger is important. Your sill height, which is
the bottom of your window. We always have it two foot six, that’s for code. And
then the head of all the windows, we always kept it the same too. So you want
to keep that, that line. That they’re gonna frame. Now we always kept that the
same. And I guess this is a two foot six above finished floor. Is like a standard.
So, the head was always sort of more important. You don’t want to go below
this number. Unless you’re doing like a full height window. You know, obviously, we
used to work with standard exterior and interior wall widths, so we would model
that kind of stuff. In Sketchup I really wouldn’t try to deal with that, like I
said. When I was trying to do this kind of stuff, that I would do in other
programs, in Sketchup it was just a extreme pain. And when I would cut a
section, things work. And it’s about a balance of trying
to like…if I model, everything is one thing. The Sketchup would probably be
fine. But, I like the ability to be able to have, like this as a room, right? And so
I can take it off somewhere else, and work on it. But Sketchup…it becomes like
really…when you start connecting. Like if this is a room, cool. But then if you put
in another room here, and these walls continue where does one start and
when does the one stop. And when you start cutting sections and plans. If this isn’t
closed off, and just the right way, it doesn’t make a section cut. The…the fill
won’t fill it. So it just became really annoying for me to try to work with
Sketchup for that detailed stuff. So, has a really quick recap. What I would say, is
do massing first. For your Sketchup, your architecture files. Will get your program
elements to relate to each other. And do a bunch of different iterations of that,
to see sort of like what’s going on. And if you can try not to think about
architecture through that process, think about like “What does the flow want to be
through the house”, does the kitchen want to flow into the living room, does the
kitchen want to flow into…I don’t know… the dining room. Just think about that…
that sort of relationship. And then go back, after you’ve done a bunch of
different iterations of that. And look at what’s the most interesting
form, what’s the most practical. And then start to think about like “How that
informs the architecture”, “How the rooms are laid out”. And then when you get to
something like this, you can start to really think about the architecture.
Let’s start to sculpt those forms that you created into a design. And then, when
you have the basic. Like a massing, with like push ins and push outs, and the
basic form of the architecture. What you can do is you start to refine things.
So maybe then start to put in Windows, or maybe add some really basic materials.
And then, when you feel even more comfortable with that, then you start to
get your details in. So maybe, you know, you have glass here. and then you start
to put in the emollients. Or the months for divisions in the windows. maybe you
start to put in a really basic handrail, to sort of get what that feels like.
Maybe, it’s just like a solid black. And you want to sort of like, as you go, add
more detail into your model. Just to get, to make sure that what you’re doing
feels right. Because what you don’t want to do, is like focus…and like, let’s say,
this is our entry. And I don’t know what the rest of the building is, but I’m
gonna do a door, right. I’m gonna put a door here. And I want it to be an arch
door. And so I have this, like crazy art store, and I love it. And I spent, you know,
hours modeling this. And it looks really cool. And…and I love it. And then
you’re building the house around this one piece that has like, you know. The
doorbell. And the doorknob. And you don’t want to get bogged down on the details.
And this is like with any art thing. Well, anything aren’t related is that you want
to understand the big picture, before you start to really focus on the small
details. So yeah. Hopefully this helps, if you like this video, please don’t forget
to smash that like button, subscribe and share this video with your friends! And
as always, happy hacking! All right, designers! Just because this
episode of designer hacks is over, doesn’t mean we’re leaving you out in
the cold! Tony’s got tons of great content available at designerhacks.com, so join design nation right now and we’ll see you on the next episode of
designer hacks!

Architecture Workflow For Sketchup
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4 thoughts on “Architecture Workflow For Sketchup

  • October 16, 2018 at 6:20 pm


  • October 17, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    As Donald linked to, there are 2 well established approaches to CD's with SketchUp + LayOut. Sonder's approach in particular is facilitated by a number of templates setup in SU+LO, and as part of his DD phase, he creates a model to a high level of detail, then plugs that model into the templates and most of the docs are populated. It's a specific method that has to be set up right, but seems very effective after that. Would be curious if you looked at those and found them to be lacking for you.

    Irregardless, still enjoying these videos, and would otherwise agree that SU is not built for CD's, just happens some innovative folks out there found interesting ways to do so. Keep em coming!

  • October 18, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    I used AutoCAD for a number of years. Autodesk has a variety of amazing products. But, to my knowledge, with the exception of their Clean Tech program (discount program, not software program), the licensing costs of their products are prohibitive for small businesses, startups, entrepreneurs, and sole proprietors.
    I tried using FreeCAD, but there is a major lack of good tutorial videos with English audio I can understand.
    SketchUp Pro + LayOut has proven itself to be an effective design/drafting software for the investment.

  • October 29, 2018 at 6:56 am

    I disagree with your comments on SU for construction documents. Although I'm not an architect, I use SU & LO extensively and I have produced full set drawings without any undue stress or heartache. The trick is to leverage groups, layers and scenes in SU so that when they are imported into LO the work is almost done. This is fully explained in The SketchUp Workflow For Architecture by Michael Brightman. It is an incredibly simple concept.


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