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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Case Study: Dynamo for Space Planning

From the Dynamo website:

Use Case 1: Dynamo for Space Planning

Dynamo helps architects at Shepley Bulfinch plan buildings and iterate through designs by automating the flow of data.

Programming, or space planning, is an essential part of the early design process in architecture. The size, shape, purpose, and adjacency between each space play a crucial role in determining the overall form and function of a building. Traditionally, the process to organize the data and geometric consequences of building program requirements involves the time-intensive task of translating information from multiple digital formats into a Revit model. Shepley Bulfinch uses Dynamo to automate the data handling part of the process.


Beginning with a simple Excel spreadsheet, Dynamo is used to create space planning objects in Revit that are embedded with the required information. A custom Dynamo definition reads information about room names, departments, quantities, and dimensions, then creates corresponding massing elements and sets their parameter values.

Editable Dynamo graph to translate Excel spreadsheet data to space planning objects in Revit

The Dynamo definition organizes the massing blocks and color-codes them for visual clarity according to their department. Once the objects are created, the designer is free to arrange, stack, and re-position the blocks to evaluate the consequences to the building’s form and to analyze room adjacencies. Favorable program layouts can be documented in plan, elevation, or perspective for presentations.


Room sizes and configurations are often updated during the design process, so to keep records accurate, a Dynamo definition is used to write these changes back to the Excel spreadsheet, completing a full design cycle.

At any point, the space massing objects created using Dynamo can be exported from Revit to AutoCAD for laser cutting or 3D-printed to support hands-on interaction between designers and clients.

Clients and designers collaboratively engage in the planning process.

When it is time to further develop a conceptual building model, the space massing objects can be used directly in Revit to define walls, floors, doors, and other building elements. As a model emerges from the conceptual model, the architect can be confident, using Dynamo as a calculator, that the spatial requirements are met.




There's more information available on the Dynamo website.

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