Virtual reality as a tool for design and client engagement.Continue
Virtual Reality is the latest technological advancement taking the architectural profession by a storm. This technology came to the profession in the late 1980’s and has evolved exponentially in the last 30 years to become the most impactful influence on architectural design since the introduction of BIM modeling.
Here at BRS we have begun to implement some basic virtual reality components into our design process. We created 360° panoramic views for the Woodland Park Aquatic Center that you can experience through a mobile phone, tablet or a virtual reality HMD (head mounted display). After this seamless addition to our workflow, anyone can delve into the immersive virtual world and analyze every aspect of a project.
This experience can give the designer a closer representation of how the finished space will feel and perform, giving them a clearer understanding of what they are creating so that they can convey the idea clearly to the client. From proportions to color representations, virtual reality helps bridge the gap of education and clear up miscommunication between architects, clients, and consultants that we are all so familiar with. 2D drawings can be difficult to interpret when trying to visualize the finished product.
Using virtual reality, we can greatly mitigate those big surprises that cause hesitation and design change during the construction phase and often have costly results. We have also found it to be particularly helpful when evaluating the safety of our recreational facilities and aquatic centers. It gives the designer the ability to check whether blind spots exist in the pool area or child watch zones. This creates safer spaces for children to have fun, with less risk of accidental injuries occurring in an unsupervised area.
We have only dipped our toes into this new virtual experience with these 360° panoramic views but will continue to explore and research how we can better implement this new and exciting technology into our professional practice.
Here are three 360° panoramic views of the Woodland Park Aquatic Center that is under construction and scheduled for completion this fall.
Posted on April 20, 2017 at 11:43am
Topping out the Woodland Aquatic Center and using our virtual model to show community members the full picture.Continue
Last month, we gathered with the Woodland Aquatic Center project team and community members to celebrate the topping out of the new center for the City Above the Clouds. Representatives from the City along with project team members from Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture and Adolfson & Peterson Construction got together to sign the last structural beam before it was put in place and were joined by a few elementary classes who walked over from the school to take part in the celebration. Mayor Nick Levy made a short speech, and from the excitement of the crowd, it was evident that the Woodland Park community cannot wait for their new aquatic center!
The new facility will be an important addition to the community, and BRS has been using new imaging technologies to showcase the design and construction of the project, and help the City with fundraising efforts for the addition of a water slide.
Our designers brought along our newest intern, Tanner Lopez, to showcase our virtual reality model of the project. Community members got to walk around the project being built while seeing what the finished building and views would look like on screen. These models will be used to excite and inform potential donors with a more experiential way of understanding the opportunity for the future center.
Slated for completion later this summer, the project will open its doors to an excited community ready to experience the pools in real life!
A packed parking lot full of excited community members.
VIP's get their chance to sign off on the project.
And explore the building in virtual reality.
In addition to regular photos taken during Construction Administration to document the process and help work through any issues that come up, BRS Associate Carrie Heimmer has been taking 360 degree photos of the project (along with its amazing views). Check out the full 360 view of the exterior here.
And click here to read more about how BRS is using digital imaging technologies to bring our clients' visions to life!
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Posted on March 14, 2017 at 10:47am
Our team gets a preview of the views from the nearly completed urban rec center on Colfax.Continue
Last week a group of BRSer’s visited a job site that is very close to home. The Carla Madison Recreation Center is the first urban public rec center in the State of Colorado and it is less than four miles from our office. Having recently “topped out”, we climbed to the highest level and saw what will become the event space with amazing views to downtown Denver and the mountains beyond.
As we made our way down the stairs, we stopped at the gym and fitness areas on the second floor. When the building is complete, this floor will have a window that looks out onto the East High School clock tower.
On the first floor, we saw the rebar that will form the lap pool and leisure pool. These two pools will be a great asset for both families and athletes in the community.
Lastly, we walked around the site. We were excited to see the piers being installed for the exterior rock climbing wall on the east side of the building, and the beginnings of a three-tier rain garden on the west side that will treat rainwater before it is returned to the city stormwater system. Lastly, a staff favorite in the office, we got eyes on the location of a new dog park on the north side of the building.
After the tour, many BRSer’s headed to RiNo to explore a first Friday tour in our office neighborhood. It is wonderful to be working in a part of Denver that always has so much going on!
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Posted on February 10, 2017 at 04:12pm
When the world has an Olympics, BRS has one too.Continue
Every 2 years, BRS staff challenge each other and their own limits in our own Office Olympics.
Because our employees have come from all around the nation, teams were organized to let everyone celebrate and represent their home region.
Teams created their own unique name, team uniform and a ‘regional refreshment’ to share with all participants.
After getting limber, the competition raged throughout the afternoon with six events designed as the ultimate test of teamwork.
Track & Field
Always a classic, the combined three-legged race / sack potato race / wrap your partner in toilet paper relay was a fierce competition.
Or something like volleyball. There was a net and a ball and teams of four, but we threw in a no-hands rule and a bunch of pool noodles. A lot more fun.
Will never be the same.
We love all animals at BRS, so to avoid any harm (and the mess), contestants had to build their own horse to ride in this obstacle challenge.
Teams of two competed in miniature pool synchronized swimming competition. Routines were judged on overall performance (Wow), costume and music (Flare) and the completion of required moves (Skill).
Teams built their own rowboats for the race down the length of the TAXI Community pool. All team members crossed safely. We cannot say the same for the boats.
The competition was fierce, with drama and emotion to rival any Olympic stage.
Following the awards ceremony, spirits were raised at a pool party to honor the spirit of the games.
Some of us even swam.
With only two short years until the BRS Winter Games of 2018, it’s time for us to start building our luge!Hide Full Post
Posted by Neil Arends on August 19, 2016 at 08:24am
Today we broke ground on an expansion and renovation to one of the largest Kroc Centers in the nation.Continue
Today was an important day for the current and future members of The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Omaha.Kroc Center Senior Officer Major Todd Thielke was beaming when he said, “Today we are here to celebrate another life changing possibility in the form of an 18,000 square foot addition. The new addition will house our new walking track, new fitness deck, and it will allow other existing areas of the center to be revitalized and repurposed as fun areas for kids to play, and areas for families to be together and socialize.”
The expansion and renovation has been designed to enhance the current programming and enable Kroc Center staff to greater serve the Omaha community.
City of Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert exclaimed, “I’ve seen the construction plans, the changes that the center will undergo are nothing short of amazing. And even the construction process itself will benefit the community through new jobs and economic development. That’s why the Kroc Center is so important, it helps to foster great minds, provides opportunities, and expands horizons.”
There are 4 pillars that hold up truly remarkable and successful community recreation centers, and the expanded Kroc Center has all four. They are:
- Fitness: The expansion will more than double the size of the cardio vascular, circuit resistance, weight training and group exercise areas.
- Wellness: Areas which give members opportunities like nutrition classes to thrive in not only getting well, but also staying well.
- Aquatics: The new 2 ½ story tall slide will create the WOW factor on the Northwest corner of the Center as the riders will start the wet and wild journey indie the building, exit the building in the slide flume, wind their way down and around curves, then re-enter the natatorium into a deceleration flume.
- Multi-Generational: I cannot think of another project in the state of Nebraska which will offer as many social, recreational, fitness, performing arts, visual arts and spiritual programs for people ages 9 months to 90 years old than Kroc Omaha.
In addition to Major Thielke, Mayor Stothert and myself, approximately 75 people joined in the celebration to witness the dirt being turned by Nebraska Senator Heath Mello, Omaha Councilman Gary Gernandt, former Omaha Mayor Haul Daub, Salvation Army Divisional Commanders Major Greg Thompson and Major Lee Ann Thompson, Kroc Center Officer Major Cathy Thielke, HGM Associates Architecture Department Manager Dean Fajen, and President of MCL Construction Bob Carlisle.
In conclusion, I want to personally thank the BRS team: Design Principal Ken Berendt, Principal Keith Hayes, Interior Design Principal Marcia Hocevar, Project Manager and Associate Andy Stein, Designer Kristin Sealey and Interior Designer Ellie Lokken for their steadfast work, great design, project management and production skills on this important work. Thanks also to our great support team at BRS: Senior Associate and Accountant Carol Snydal, Accounting & Project Administrator Christen Snydal, Associate, Office & Benefits Administrator Debra Ellis, Director of Marketing Rebecca Lavezzary, and Marketing Coordinator Sue Maguire. You all are pros and I am proud to work with all of you!
I want to acknowledge and thank our consultant team of Dean Fajen, Todd Maiellaro and Bill Glismann of HGM Associates Inc., Pierre Metellus and Van Le of 3PM Design, Tim Harris, John Blair and Bert Baiotto at The Ballard Group, Mark Layfield and Kristin Dietrich of Reese Engineering, Sue Reilly and Josh Hathaway of Group 14 Engineering, Lisa Gallun, Christine Nicolyasen and Ashley Gavaldon of Gallun Snow Associates, Doug Whiteaker and Bill Bornick of Water Technology, Inc., Jonathan Reid and Linda Peters of KL&A Structural Engineers, Greg Markling at Ibim Solutions and Ken Greenberg of Commercial Fitness Solutions.
I thank the Owner team mentioned above plus Territorial Commissioner Carol Seiler, Territorial Assistant Property Secretary Scott Thomas, Majors Curtiss and Sandy Hartley, Major Randy Heljstrom, Divisional Property Manager Greg Kadrlik, Jonathan Kuebler, Carl Larson, Madelaine Moyer. And thanks to the City of Omaha team of Mayor Jean Stothert, Councilman Gary Gernandt, Greg Hauptman, Tom Phipps, Steven Thornburg and Michael Carter. You all have been instrumental in our 4-year labor of love to expand the Omaha Kroc Center and I commend you. Great job team!
Last, and certainly not least, I thank MCL Construction and their sub-contractors. To MCL President Bob Carlisle and MCL staff Paul Beller, Chris Leapley, Dennis Parr, Mike Procopio, and Tim Ratliff, I say, let’s build this thing!
Posted on July 7, 2016 at 12:00pm
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- Andy Stein, LEED AP
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- Zach Bisek, AIA, LEED AP
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