Posted on 18/08/11
I still remember the first time I used Sketch-Up. I was doing my
post-GCSE work experience at Broadway Malyan Architects in
Manchester and I was amazed at the images they were able to create
that were almost photorealistic whilst I struggled to draw
something that passed as a building.
When colleagues at Breathing Buildings asked me "How many
architects actually use Sketch-Up?", I had to reply that I was
pretty sure that there wasn't an architect who hadn't used it at
some point. In my experience as an architecture student, being
taught to draw a 2-point perspective was an arduous task, quickly
replaced with quickly 'Sketching-Up' your view, then importing it
straight into Photoshop to make it look good! And it wasn't half
bad for drawing plans, sections and elevations either…
As a Consulting Engineer with Breathing Buildings I visit a lot
of architect's offices and take a look at the images on display,
and it's normally apparent that some Sketch-Up has gone into those
presentation boards somewhere along the line.
As a student I never got competent enough as a Sketch-Up user to
do the photorealistic stuff that I could use straight into a
presentation, so to me Sketch-Up will always be the easiest wayto
visualise your ideas in 3-Dimensions, giving me a way to see how
things really fit together which I found easy to forget about when
just drawing in plans and sections.
At Breathing Buildings I started to use Sketch-Up to draw up my
ideas for proposals, as I find it far easier to draw what I mean
than write it in words. Which is easier to understand?
In order to make the F-series system work, we recommend that an
supplementary opening is provided at high level, as well as the
opening which is required above the F-series unit. This opening
will be used as extra opening in the summertime to prevent
overheating and will be the wintertime outflow, whilst the F-series
will be the wintertime inflow when external temperature is less
As I did more and more of these images, I started to want a bank
of units which I could import every time I was drawing a general
arrangement drawing for a project. And so I started to build up
some models for the Google 3D
Mechanical design might not be what Sketch-Up is best at, but
using our CAD Library I began to build all of Breathing Buildings'
units in Sketch-Up to the required degree of accuracy where I could
just drop them into my room, fit some grilles, draw a curb, import
the roof terminal and then be able to export internal and external
views which are hopefully useful to our clients.
For a free tool, I can't believe how useful Google Sketch-Up has
been to me so far in my career and I know there's still more to
learn, like the Bubble tool (how many hours of Rhino could you have