Cannon Design is a leading international design firm with a staff of 850 serving clients across North America, as well as Europe, the Middle East, Asia and India. The firm operates under a unique practice methodology, fully integrating the activities of its architects, engineers, planners, interior designers and construction services across its 17 offices in the U.S., Canada, China, and India, into a single unified firm without walls.
To provide added value for its clients, Cannon Design has made a commitment to produce every project using building information modeling (BIM). Since adopting BIM with the help of Autodesk® Revit®-based software in 2007, the firm has used BIM on more than 150 projects. To fully utilize the potential of BIM, Cannon Design uses Autodesk® Revit® Architecture software, Autodesk® Revit® Structure software and Autodesk® Revit® MEP software as well as Revit-based design information to integrate architectural; structural; mechanical, electrical and plumbing; interiors; sustainable design; specifications; cost estimating; and construction services.
Integrated BIM processes and information enables the firm’s architecture and engineering disciplines to inform the design process rather than simply respond to it, and helps Cannon Design provide quality designs, mitigate construction conflicts, and meet its client’s budget limitations. In addition to the Revit-based products, the firm also uses complementary BIM software including AutoCAD® software, Autodesk® EcotectTM Analysis software, Autodesk® Navisworks® software, Autodesk® 3ds Max® Design software, and Autodesk® Showcase® software.
Autodesk Consulting /Reseller: Cannon Design, augmenting their traditional support of their longtime reseller Microdesk, engaged Autodesk Consulting services for the move to full BIM adoption. Through the innovative Autodesk Production Assurance program, the Autodesk Consulting team provided a range of services to Cannon Design, including implementation planning, project setup, training, and over-the-shoulder mentoring.
Ordos Music Hall
Located in Kaokaoshina, an emerging arts and cultural district in Inner Mongolia, the Ordos Music Hall has been designed to attract the finest theater and opera companies, musicians, and orchestras from within China and abroad. With a team led by Cannon Design’s Yazdani Studio working across the firm’s offices in North America and China and combining the diverse talents of architects, designers, 3D artists, engineers, and technical specialists, this world-class performance center will serve as an iconic gateway to the city.
The design’s undulating curves mimic the footwork pattern of the traditional Chinese Long Sleeve dance and the looping movement of the “long sleeves” is reflected in circular drums that house the 1,200-seat main concert hall, 400-seat performance-theater, and 100-seat theater for traditional Mongolian music performances.
The use of the entire portfolio of Revit-based products enabled the integrated project team to study various aspects of the design based on a virtual 3D model. The Revit model was used to test the environmental effects on the emerging theater design—balancing the need to protect the building from Inner Mongolia’s weather extremes with the desire to use natural daylight. The result is a unique panel design of patterned and perforated exterior tiles that form a resilient outer skin. Behind the perforated outer skin is either a cast-in-place concrete wall or a simple glass curtain wall that allows natural light into interior spaces.
Using the Autodesk® Revit® Architecture model in combination with an algorithmic formula based on the building’s geographic location and orientation to the sun, Cannon Design performed reflected light studies to help evaluate design alternatives and determine the optimal size and orientation of the individual panels. In addition, the Revit design model was used as the basis for design visualizations as well as 3D printed models—making it easier for everyone to understand and appreciate the building’s unique design concept.
State University Construction Fund of New York
Originally constructed in 1964, the existing Science Building at Buffalo State College was in need of major upgrades to its systems. In addition to renovating the two existing structures that together form the current Science Building, the project includes the construction of a new addition that will house classrooms and research laboratories. The addition consists of two three-story lab blocks and a three-story- atrium that establishes the main public space of the building and unifies the addition with the existing structures.
The design of the new facility takes its inspiration from science—incorporating visual references to the scientific inquiry it will house, such as the order and proportion of a panel system in the atrium based on mathematical principles such as the Fibonacci series and the Golden Ratio. Designed to meet LEED certification at the Gold level, this project contains a host of sustainable design strategies ranging from skylights and clerestory fenestration to increase natural daylighting to the use of a high-efficiency chiller plant controller system to optimize overall plant efficiency.
The use of the entire portfolio of Revit-based products on this project enabled the integration of building design, construction, and management processes by allowing the architects, engineers, and contractors to more precisely and accurately represent all of a project’s elements, properties, and behaviors. Cannon Design’s integrated project team used a combined Revit model (Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and Revit MEP) to coordinate not only the physical aspects of the building design, but also the quantity takeoffs and cost estimates, the specifications, the project schedule, the construction drawings, and so on—to help ensure more accurate alignment of scope and budget, and minimize costly, time-consuming redesign. This combined Revit model was used for a variety of subsequent processes including structural analysis, integrated cost estimating and specifications, and construction simulations. In addition, the Revit model was used extensively to analyze building performance and energy usage—helping the design team to realize its sustainable design strategies.