Not so long ago I finished working on a university group project, where we had to design a passive house. As I had some experience in 3D modelling with AutoCAD, I decided to create an accurate 3D model of our design.
The goal of our group design project was to design a passive house for a family of five and a dog. Not going into much detail, our main goals were:
- provide a family home for two adults, three children and a dog,
- low impact building, sitting comfortably in the landscape,
- low (better – zero) carbon building, utilizing passive and renewable energy technologies,
- provide a healthy and stimulating environment,
- minimize energy use,
- minimize running costs,
- locally sourced building materials,
- existing community networks to be retained and improved,
- storage for 1 car and 1 van (VW transporter , long wheel-base).
Our team’s architect Kuba prepared sketches of the house. We were really happy with them and decided to go with design 3, because it had this inclined wall, which everyone really liked.
As I was the only electrical engineer in the group I was responsible for lighting, security, power consumption, power generation and automation areas of the project. According to the Household Electricity Survey (Intertek, 2012), lighting is one of the most energy consuming areas in a household, therefore I decided to create a detailed design for it. As I’ve never done anything like that before, I had to read a bit about lighting design. I think that it turned out pretty well, considering that it was my first shot at it.
Anyway, one evening when I was preparing a floor plan for the project, I decided that I should try and remember my AutoCAD 3D modelling skills (I hadn’t done that for couple of years). So I had a go at it and few hours later I had this:
Shared this photo on Facebook with my group mates. They were really happy, and wanted me to carry on with it to prepare a good looking model for the presentation. And that’s what I did. I spent the whole weekend and a couple of sleepless nights watching various 3D modelling tricks and constructing my model.
This project was a great opportunity for me to learn so many new things with AutoCAD. Therefore I want to share all that I’ve learnt with others.
Also I’d like to take an opportunity to say a big thanks again, to Andre, Kuba, Peter, Tobias and Ruaridh. It was a pleasure working with you guys. I couldn’t have had a better team to work with. You did a great job!
Speaking about my write-ups, I will be writing a series of step by step posts about modelling this house to share my knowledge with others (mainly because I promised to show how I did it :)).
I gave it some thought and decided to write 11 posts to start with:
- Floor plan to 3D walls,
- Putting doors and windows in,
- Modelling stairs,
- Upper floor railings,
- Putting texture & materials on surfaces,
- Creating viewports,
- Flying around, walking around the model,
- Adding lighting,
- Preparing to render,
- Creating a fly through.
If you have any particular topics that you think I should cover let me know in the comments.
To follow my tutorials, you should have some 2D modeling skills and know your way around AutoCAD, because I won’t be covering these. I’ll be diving straight into the interesting stuff. But if you need to improve your to 2D skills or learn the basics, CADtutor.com and YouTube have some great learning material.
In my next post I will be showing how to create walls, window holes and door holes from a floor plan.
Thanks for reading, see you soon.