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Suggested Citation:"INTRODUCTORY REMARKS." National Research Council. 1994. The Use of Computers in Facilities/Installations Planning: Summary of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9139.
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INTRODUCTORY REMARKS*

Juanita Mildenberg

National Institutes of Health

Traditional Design Practices

The tools of traditional designers, draftsmen and cartographers include drafting tables, T-squares, slide rules, templates, compasses, electric erasers, ink, pens and scribing gravers. Such tools, while relatively inexpensive, are inefficient except in the hands of experienced practitioners. The drawings produced using these tools are often very difficult for the uninitiated to interpret an understand. Consequently, owners of buildings designed through the traditional process often have a poor sense of the size, proportion and texture of their facility until the elements take shape during construction. As a result, owners are frequently unhappy with what they see being built at the construction site, and initiate change orders to get what they originally wanted. The costs to fine-tune the relationship between form and function in the middle of construction are not only extremely expensive, but also time consuming and frustrating for everyone involved.

Modern Design Practices

Today, architects, engineers, and planners have a variety of new and powerful tools to help them work more efficiently and to provide their clients with far clearer graphical representations of the facilities to be built than was possible in the past. Among the new tools that are revolutionizing design are computers, software, plotters, film processors, and scanners. With these new tools has come new terminology: Raster and vector drawings, layering, file management, global

*

Juanita Mildenberg, who was scheduled to moderate the morning session, was unable to attend due to medical reasons; however, she submitted this outline of the talk she planned to make, which was presented in modified form by her substitute, Donald Pledger.

Suggested Citation:"INTRODUCTORY REMARKS." National Research Council. 1994. The Use of Computers in Facilities/Installations Planning: Summary of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9139.
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coordinates systems, fonts, pixels, operating systems, digitizing tablets, and mouses.

Examples of uses of this modern technology include complex modeling of geographic data; automated cartography; automated design of piping, HVAC, and electrical systems; three dimensional images; and animation software to create realistic detailed renderings of the design.

In the modern-day design process, when designers create a drawing they also make an entry into a file management system, which other members of the design team can share and use to coordinate their work. Upon completion, drawings are ready for issue. Original documents are dynamic and can be updated to reflect altered conditions. As-built drawings are saved for future use and reference.

Owners are aware of what their facilities will be after constructed, and change-orders should be kept to a minimum.

Advantages of Automation

With modern computer design systems, problems can be identified and changes made before money is spent on construction. This is a boon to both designers and customers. Intelligent and well designed facilities accommodate multiple users and address very complex environmental concerns. In addition, once proven, designs and design details can be used repeatedly and refined for future related projects.

Modern computer systems permit data to be shared in different formats and, through various networking schemes, among computer systems from different vendors. They also make it easy to keep track of hundreds of design drawings--a daunting but necessary task for today’s designers.

Modern computer systems also allow a group of designers to share access to a common drawing database and provide a common control mechanism for managing the data required for a total document management solution.

Modern CADD systems not only provide an electronic canvas for the sophisticated designers, but also manage all design and associated files, including raster and vector files or a combination of the two.

The next paper provides more information on what’s available today, how it is being used and where we should be heading in this dynamic and ever-changing technology with innovations becoming fast-paced, it is imortant that we all learn from each other to avoid known costly errors. Hopefully, this session will provide us with new insights into the world of computerized planning.

Suggested Citation:"INTRODUCTORY REMARKS." National Research Council. 1994. The Use of Computers in Facilities/Installations Planning: Summary of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9139.
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Suggested Citation:"INTRODUCTORY REMARKS." National Research Council. 1994. The Use of Computers in Facilities/Installations Planning: Summary of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9139.
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