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29 May 2020
Shalini John

Why Offshore Resources Are Ideal for High-rise Architectural & Interior Design

Towers have fascinated man since buildings were first created. They symbolised status, wealth and power. Today’s high-rise structures are more functional. Sometimes combining residential, hospitality and commercial needs as mixed-use buildings, modern high-rises serve complex purposes and therefore need comprehensive planning that is best supported by computer-aided design (CAD) services. The technical nature of architectural CAD services makes it imperative to find well qualified resources. Increasingly popular, outsourced CAD services handled by technically qualified offshore CAD teams offer several benefits.

Here’s why . . .

High-rise buildings have a variety of design requirements in terms of floor layouts, door and window placements, electrical wiring and plumbing, but some of the more vital requirements are related to emergencies and safety. Key design requirements for high-rise buildings include emergency systems, egress points and structural integrity. These may differ for different countries or even different regions.

Typically, the following guidelines are followed in most cases:
  • Stairways located remotely– Ideally, two exit stairways are required, and they must be more than 30 feet apart or at a minimum of 25% of the maximum overall dimension of the concerned area.
  • Egress path markings to be luminous– Glowing markings are required in the exit areas of all steps, railings, landings, perimeter demarcation lines and exit doors.
  • Elevator lobby for emergence fire service access– A minimum of two fire-service access elevators, a minimum 150 sqft elevator lobby and a direct connection to a stairway with a standpipe are some of the basic requirements.
  • Removing smoke– A system must be installed to expel smoke after a fire, either manually operated windows or panels or mechanical air equipment. Specialised consultants are needed for Fire Life Safety (FLS) services to create design direction on the egress and emergency systems.
  • Controlling smoke– Exit stairs must be smokeproof enclosures, typically with a pressurised stair shaft.
  • Fire Command Center (FCC)– The FCC must be of at least 200 sqft area, with a minimum of 10 feet in any direction, and its location must have the approval of the local fire officials.
  • Alarms– Four emergency communication systems are mandatory in all high-rise buildings:
  • Voice Alarm Communication
  • Smoke Detection Systems
  • Fire Department Communication System
  • Emergency Radio Coverage
  • Water pumps for fire– Fire pumps must be designed and located in spaces that are separated by 2-hour firewalls and horizontal assemblies. Water mains on different streets must supply water to the pumps with different piping.
  • Power on standby and for emergencies– FCC lighting, elevators, ventilation and fire detection equipment all need standby power. Emergency power systems must have independent distribution systems and are needed for exit signs, egress illumination, elevator car lighting, voice/alarm communication systems, automatic fire detection systems, fire alarm systems and electric fire pumps.
  • Structural Integrity– Interior stairways and elevators at high-risk locations must always stay intact.

Also, design requirements can focus on prefabrication, so that architectural, engineering elements and structural systems are designed and made in a factory for on-site installations using flanges and high-strength bolts to join construction elements. Integrated, installable floor slabs, light wallboard and other prefabricated materials are also used in this increasingly popular process. In China, a 30-storey hotel building was constructed in 15 days using pre-assembled components. Prefabricated design drawings and models are additional services that can be outsourced.

Interior Design for High-rises

High-rise hotels and commercial buildings may have repetitive interior design details and elements. However, they still need to be detailed individually. This detailing may include the layout of rooms and may need to factor in lighting and temperature. Interior designers work closely with architects for safety issues, so that the finished interiors are both safe and aesthetically pleasing.

A niche segment, many companies hire a team of designers, using a variety of software, including AutoCAD and ArchiCAD, to work on their interior designing needs, such as:

  • Master planning for interiors
  • Interior site planning and design
  • Interior site analysis and evaluation
  • Project management
  • Cost estimation
  • Drafting and detailing of interiors
  • 3D rendering
  • 3D modelling of building interiors

Outsourcing these services, both for architectural design and interior design, result in a slew of benefits.

Benefits of Outsourcing Architectural & Interior Design Resources

For architectural design firms with a large number of ongoing or future projects and limited technically qualified human resources, outsourcing provides an ideal solution. Some of the benefits of outsourcing architectural design drafting and 3D modeling services are:

  • Quality Output– Experts create high-quality architectural CAD services, including drafting, modelling and rendered images.
  • Cost Reductions– Significant reduction in the cost of preparing the drawings, models, drafts and presentations.
  • Increased Profits– Large in-house teams can be costly. Outsourcing can help save money spent on high salaries for repetitive tasks, which can be used for other business interests.
  • Move Faster– Firms handling large volumes of projects, which involve complex design requirements, such as in mixed-use high-rises, might see a drop in productivity due to excess time spent in creating 3D renders and 3D models. Outsourcing these tasks can result in the faster creation of error-free renders and models.
  • Maintaining Area Standards– All documents and plans are prepared in conformity with the local standards of different countries.
  • Identifying Errors– It becomes easy to identify errors with detailed, precise and modifiable drawings.
  • High-quality Visualisation– Using 3D animation, architectural and interior visualisation can be created to be attractive at presentations.
  • Technical Expertise– Certified and well-qualified technical resources with considerable expertise and experience can work on the high-rise project.

With the arrival of Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology to support architectural design drafting, many Western firms have found that architectural CAD outsourcing services fit into their work schedules with ease. The only challenge is to find architectural CAD services and BIM outsourcing partners that are reliable, experienced and knowledgeable.

XS CAD has valuable experience providing BIM outsourcing services and architectural design drafting services for general contractors and design consultants. Our range of services for building design firms across the world include architectural CAD outsourcing services and we offer retained offshore CAD teams when required. We create these models, drawings and renderings by using Revit, AutoCAD, Illustrator and BIM 360 Design for cloud collaboration.