Singapore International
BIM Competition

General Square
--- sq. m.
2015 (Competition)
Project Architect
Burak İlhan
Green Building Expert
Mirbek Bekboliev
Civil Engineer
Hazal Güldür
International Merit Prize

Singapore's climate is characterised by two monsoon seasons separated by inter-monsoonal periods. The Northeast Monsoon occurs from December to early March, and the Southwest Monsoon from June to September. The major weather systems affecting Singapore that can lead to heavy rainfall. Based on the that analyses, the team was able to determine a site arrangement and building layout that took advantage of passive cooling and protect courtyard from harsh summer solar radiation

Combining the data from rainfall charts with current potable water deficiency, the design team has decided for rainwater collection to be used as greywater.

Singapore is the major hub and there is a second biggest seaport in Southeast Asia. Its abundance of shipping containers gave a main reason to utilize those containers in the building stock and select them as the main design object.

City problems that may shape the DfMA strategies:

-Industrial pollution;

Proposed Solution: Used shipping container reuse in building sector in order to reduce building material productions.

-Limited natural fresh water resources;

Proposed Solution: rainwater harvesting into the greywater use

-Limited land availability presents waste disposal problems;

Proposed Solution: Waste reduction schemes to be promoted among population. Recycling programs and facilities to be established!

-Seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia;

Proposed Solution: HVAC filters to meet MERV 12 Standard. More vegetation to be planted on surrounding territories: Trees, bushes etc.

Modular Unit Design

Overall dimensions for units given below:

All units within the standard container height of 2.591m.

  • -Type 1: 2.438x2.438m (utilities/facilities, stair and elevator units)
  • -Type 2: 6.058mx2.438m (single room)
  • -Type 3: 12.192x2.438m (double room)

DFMA Research Summary

Literature review and examples has been surveyed on DfMA. The spatial geometrical and data-rich environment of BIM supports greater mass customization of solutions to common construction needs allowing for greater use of manufactured solutions and the ability to improve delivery processes. These techniques have the potential to reduce embedded carbon in construction, reduce site waste, allow a safer more controlled environment, and enable more precise use of materials delivering improved quality outputs.

The heart of any design for manufacturing system is a group of design principles or guidelines that are structured to help the designer reduce the cost and difficulty of manufacturing an item. The following is a listing of these rules.

Closed loop system was preferred for manufacture, which maintains the economic and consumer benefit of industry, while minimizing the requirement for virgin material and the disposal of waste (Plant, Alexander). As it was mentioned before, waste disposal is current issue for the city, thus waste reduction is the main goal. As a 1st step reuse of shipping containers.

DFMA Strategies

Strategies set by team during the brainstorming:

  • - Integrate wide overhangs!
  • - Minimize west facade glazing or integrate vertical louvers!
  • - Triple Glazing with Insulated Frames!
  • - Thermal Insulation with vapor and diffusion free barrier membranes
  • - Ivy-covered walls on west and south facades!
  • - Most of the glazing on the north!
  • - Heat island effect to be avoided with light shiny material and green roof on top
  • - Mosquito Nets are the vital thing at the Patios, Doors and Windows!
  • - Raise the building due to the flood and storms as well as for passive cooling!
  • - Prefab MEP units and parts.
  • - Modular Plant and Mechanical Rooms (Generators, Central Cooling etc)

Green Roof Unit has been proposed to

  • - Heat Island Effect reduction
  • - Storm-water management
  • - Rainwater filtration
  • - Free fall grey-water use

Tank should be thick and painted into light color so that water will not get warm.

Team Roles and Responsibilities

The team has shared major task among its members. (A-Arhitect, G-Green Building Expert, C-Civil Engineer)

  • -DFMA strategies will be set. (Derived from 10 principles) (Team)
  • -Parametric design inputs and script will be programmed (Dynamo is the preference) (A)
  • -Strcutural system details will be surveyed (C)
  • -Passivhaus case studies (thermal bridges and airtightness etc) (G)
  • -Empty conceptual design of units 8', 20', 40'. (A)
  • -ISO 9001 criteria to be implemented within the project (G)
  • -Prefabricated MEP solutions (ducts, cable trays, HVAC) () (A & G)
  • -Prefabricated module connection details to be designed and revised according to DfMA (Team)
  • -Singapore vernacular architecture review (C)
  • -Modules will be placed on site via Dynamo script (A)
  • -Thermal and sound insulation details (G)
  • -Green roof details to be reviewed and designed according to our needs (A & G).
  • -Structural detailing for container assembly (C)

Collaboration Strategy

In order to reduce carbon footprint all meetings will be online on Skype and file sharing programs like Realtimeboard. Real-time board allows all team members to contribute throughout the project. The Revit has a collaboration cloud as well, which can be used by design members.

BIM for DFMA learnings

Critical to our innovative Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) approach, BIM is helping to drive a step-change in the increased productivity of the construction process, tangible quality improvements in the end product and the associated reduction in true costs. It promotes greater collaboration and more informed decision-making within unified delivery teams, while allowing the supply chain to see beyond their own activities to a more holistic view of the client's objectives. Equally important, BIM also acts as a valuable communication tool by bringing the project to life in a virtual world for clients and the workforce.

Using a dynamo script

As a preparation for the actual competition, an original dynamo script was created to allow all the inputs that will be given during competition process. The script will be used to generate the conceptual mass model that also includes main design parameters like MEP lines, structural plans, common spaces, circulation routes, etc. This way, the design process will be conducted completely parametric. The parameters of the model are defined according to workflow chart that was created by the team.

The script uses estimated site borders which will be replaced with the actual site data afterwards. It uses quantitative data like setback distances, total circulation and living areas, open area percentages, floor area ratios, module dimensions as well as geometric data like cores, circulation paths, main open areas, crane locations, etc. The model is going to be recreated according to climatic data during the competition process.

Working on Revit 2015 BIM Model

After the conceptual mass model is defined in dynamo, generic walls, floors and roofs will be used in Revit 2015. Masses coming together in different variations will be saved with generic ID numbers to decide number of types that are going to be created in factory. Assembly of these modules will be simulated in Revit to see if any clashes occur.

Since the design process has to be fast and precise, Autodesk 360 Glue will be used to work on the project model simultaneously.

Simulating the Construction on Navisworks 2015

In case a simulation of the construction will be required, a sample model is created to run a simultaion on Navisworks. By doing so, Team BIMETU had the opportunity to decide on new strategies about DFMA like creating one way connection details, creating a construction flowchart and creating structural elements that are suitable to the installation of MEP lines on them. If it will be possible, a simple flowchart that includes not the exact construction duration but the sequence of the works will be created.

Overall Competition Learnings

Design for Manufacturing (DFM) and design for assembly (DFA) are the integration of product design and process planning into one common activity. The goal is to design a product that is easily and economically manufactured. The importance of designing for manufacturing is underlined by the fact that about 70% of manufacturing costs of a product (cost of materials, processing, and assembly) are determined by design decisions, with production decisions responsible for only 20%.