Making Veterinary Design User Friendly

WYSIWYG. We’ve all seen the acronym – “What You See Is What You Get”

When building my first website I came across this term. After doing a Google search to discover its meaning, I thought, “Well, that’s software I can use!”

Today WYSIWYG can be applied to architectural design software, but not in the same regard as website development. More accurately, we now have the tools to provide you, our veterinary clients, a peek inside and outside the veterinary facilities we’re developing before they are built. True, the talented veterinary architect and staff could previously render their veterinary design concepts meticulously by hand, but this could be both laborious and time-consuming. These renditions were typically from a particular vantage point and were limiting. When the client asked, “but what does it look like from here?” We would often wave our hands and futilely attempt a word picture. Building Information Modeling or BIM has changed that.

As veterinary design professionals, we are always looking for software to make our job simpler and more productive. We are endlessly seeking the graphic holy grail to effectively communicate how our design concepts are resolving our veterinary client’s needs and desires. In all areas of our lives we’ve seen how digital technology can be transformative. We’ve watched software applications evolve from the floppy disc to instantly deliverable applications on our ‘smart’ devices. No other technological advance has changed and is in the process of changing the architecture profession more than BIM. It is transforming the way we deliver our services. In short, when used to its potential, our veterinary clients experience WYSIWYG in a profound and often beneficial way:

  • More complete and accurate project visualization.
  • A means of delivering multiple solutions quickly and effectively.
  • Parametric documentation that reduces errors and ultimately costs.
  • Assists in identifying possible conflicts that may arise during building construction.
  • Construction sequencing analysis and potentially shortened project schedules.
  • Assists owners in making informed decisions about the proposed project earlier in the design process.

One of the maxims in the construction world is that a project owner may ask for cheaper, faster and better, but will only be able to get two of the three. The evidence from projects constructed utilizing a BIM methodology indicates that it is possible to deliver completed projects that are completed faster, are less expensive, and of higher quality.

BIM does not design veterinary clinics, that will likely always have a human component, but it does help to enhance the collaborative relationship between veterinary architect and veterinary client by providing a means to effectively communicate design solutions through a 3-dimensional data-rich model. Though BIM is helping to close the communication gap, inspiration will always be required to envision solutions to our client’s challenges. The table napkin will remain one of our most cherished tools.