Paul Spaltman ventured into his own architecture firm in 2015 and hasn’t complained for a second. With Architectenbureau Spaltman, he has built up a beautiful and diverse list of accomplishments, ranging from private and commercial assignments to large residential projects. Spaltman got his hands on Archicad when he was still working at a large Dutch architectural firm, and was immediately convinced of the added value of the BIM software for his own small office. “The Archicad license has to be the first thing I bought for my sole proprietorship,” he says. For Spaltman, Archicad is therefore the solution to increase his productivity, to design projects in a short time frame and to support them visually, which in turn is invaluable to the customer.
“Every architectural firm stands or falls with the right design software. I myself have developed an ecosystem of software with Archicad as the central hub to which all sorts of other useful tools are attached, all with the intention of increasing my output. The possibilities with Archicad are really huge, and the software helps me make the right design choices,” says Spaltman.
For Spaltman, Archicad is a playground where he can optimize his designs until both himself and the customer are completely satisfied. “During design, I invariably work with two screens, where I always have an overview of real-time visualizations of the plans I’m working on. In this way, I can immediately see how my adjustments will translate into concrete results. As a sole proprietor, I have no colleagues to test my ideas against. Archicad is like my sparring partner. In this way, the program gives me a lot of joy in designing. It is very nice to see a design come to life in the visualizations.” Spaltman also often uses virtual reality with Enscape. “Both for myself and for the client, it is of great added value to be able to experience the spaciousness of a project in this way,” he says.
Inexhaustible source of information
Spaltman uses Archicad for all projects in its very diverse portfolio, from interior projects and private homes to large residential projects. “A big advantage is that you can really store all information about your project in your BIM model, both the classic plans and floor plans as well as lighting calculations, installations, solar studies, facade finishes and so on. This information is crucial to the success of a project in the field. For example, for a private house that I recently designed, the detailing was very important to achieve the sleek look. Using detail markers in Archicad, I was able to map out all the details in such a way that the contractor knew exactly what to do, resulting in a beautiful result,” says Spaltman.
The client and contractor also need this information when you, as an architect, cannot follow a project closely. Spaltman also designs buildings in Suriname, such as a holiday home in the middle of an eco-resort in full development. “This cottage on the water is being built with materials harvested from the nearby forest,” he says. “In Archicad, I can precisely show all the necessary materials and dimensions, so that they can assemble the materials on site. The visualizations also provide great added value in such projects. These really give the project a boost in the field.”
Research and experiments
Archicad also offers Spaltman nothing but benefits for large projects. He gives the example of a housing project in Almere, which consists of several city palaces. “The question was to strive for a harmonious facade, but at the same time to give each city palace its own identity,” explains Spaltman. “I first integrated the prerequisites – which were very clearly defined in this project – into Archicad, then I started playing with cutouts and cantilevers in the buildings, until in a few weeks I achieved exactly the dynamics I was looking for. “
For Spaltman, color and material research also starts at Archicad. In this connection, he regularly uses the suppliers’ BIM libraries. “For the project in Almere, we experimented with bonding, colors and textures to find the right brick,” he says.
Spaltman is a convinced user of the renovation tool in Archicad for renovation projects. “For the conversion of an office building into a residential complex in Apeldoorn, I started from a 3D scan of the existing situation. Using the renovation tool in Archicad, I was able to visualize all existing and new elements, which is very valuable for an analysis of what should be preserved and what not.” The landscape design was also integrated in Archicad for this project, including the different plant species, so that the neighborhood was also convinced of the added value of the project.
Tailored for the architect
“The time savings that I can achieve by working with Archicad are particularly decisive. Customers are always surprised by how quickly I can adjust my plans and drawings. Compared to other software, Archicad is also very intuitive, and has been developed to suit the architect. This is how I enjoy designing every day,” concludes Paul Spaltman.
Are you curious about the main reasons why architects choose Archicad? Then watch the webinar ‘9 reasons to choose Archicad’, offered by KUBUS, via this link.