Archive for October, 2013



Who benefits from building information modelling?

Edmonds BIM

CEI Architecture uses building information modelling processes and software to design most of our new projects. This post is part of a series by Scott Chatterton, CEI’s in-house BIM guru, on the benefits and opportunities of BIM for us and our clients.

As an architectural firm we prefer to use BIM software—such as Revit—and we really see the benefits, especially when all consultants are on board. It allows us to collaborate on the building model and iron out clashes between the structural, mechanical, electrical and architectural models.

But it’s the owner and developer of the building project that really benefits. If a project enjoys full collaboration, including participation by the contractor, the owner and developer can see real, measurable savings in the time and cost of construction.

Every building is a prototype; we do not build the same design or “re-use” a set of drawings over and over again. If we can design it digitally using building information modelling, we will solve many of the problems and issues that normally come up during construction. It’s far easier to make those changes and corrections in a digital model rather than in the field during construction. It’s much cheaper too!

As architects we gain the benefit of fully understanding our digital model, which enables better expression of the “design intent.” We can (and do) create a great service and product using traditional, non-BIM methods—remember the drafting board?—but BIM allows us to do our jobs better. We can now analyze the design and its implications to a greater extent because we have a digital, 3D version of the building prototype that we can interact with from every possible direction.

Using BIM allows us to provide a better service, but the true benefit of the building information model comes into play after the design is done. Being able to confidently pre-fabricate duct systems, estimate quantities and volumes of materials, and even be able to prefabricate a bathroom and plug it in to the building. All this can be done with BIM. Time and money can be saved just by the ability of a contractor to create a construction sequence, check access for cranes and trucks, or access the staging area on site.

All of this and more can be done using building information modelling. In other words, we all benefit.


In my next article I’ll go beyond 3D to address the power of 4D BIM. Stay tuned.

Got a BIM question? Email Scott Chatterton at



Recreation and community centre design article by CEI architect Mark Hentze

The Recreation Facilities Association of British Columbia published an article written by CEI Architecture’s Mark Hentze in their fall issue of Facility to Facility magazine. Mark wrote about distinguishing between the design of various types of public recreation facilities, from recreation centres, wellness centres, to community centres, and how to meet the needs of various user groups.

This article comes on the heels of the opening of the Edmonds Community Centre and Fred Randall Pool in Burnaby. The building offers something for all age groups and users, with two full-size gymnasiums, a natatorium, fitness centre, active studio, six multipurpose rooms, a seniors lounge, youth lounge, and preschool/playcare centre with an indoor playground.

Read the full article starting on page 16 of Facility to Facility magazine.



Mark Hentze joins Athletic Business Magazine’s Architectural Showcase judging panel

In August, Mark Hentze was invited by Athletic Business Magazine to sit on the jury for the Athletic Business Architectural Showcase competition. Held at the Athletic Business office in beautiful downtown Madison, Wisconsin, Mark joined a distinguished panel of architect judges that included Burke Cartwright of EDA, David Bock of Populous, David Dymecki of Perkins & Will, Greg Garlock of DLR Group, Lindsey Peckinpaugh of Sink Combs Detlefs, and Steve Durham of Kirksey Architecture.

Over a two day period this group assessed more than 60 submissions of recently completed sport and recreation projects from across the US and Canada. Projects ranged from professional and collegiate spectator facilities to collegiate and public recreation projects and demonstrated a wide diversity of architectural styles and programmatic responses.

The winning projects all demonstrated care and attention to sport specific performance and design criteria, and several made very bold architectural statements. Awards will be handed out at the AB Conference in San Diego at the end of November.



CEI Architecture consolidating project delivery in Vancouver studio

CEI Architecture was established in 1996 with a vision to provide exceptional project delivery to clients in the public and private sectors. We’re proud of the work we’ve done in communities throughout B.C. and parts of Canada over the last 17 years, and we recognize that to continue to give clients the outstanding project delivery we’re known for, we have to evolve.

Today we’re announcing a shift in our operations: As of January 1, 2014 we are consolidating our project production delivery into our Vancouver studio. We will maintain a core group of key senior personnel in Victoria and Kelowna, and we will continue to do great work with our clients on Vancouver Island and in the Interior of B.C. well into the future.

Through this consolidation, we are positioning ourselves for strategic growth in Western Canada and throughout the Pacific Northwest. It will enable CEI to provide clients with the design and planning talent needed to deliver significant projects efficiently and effectively, and our production capacity will not change.

We’re excited about the future, and look forward to all the opportunities this evolution will bring. Hope to work with you again soon.

CEI Architecture


For Inquiries: Bill Locking, 604-687-1898