Audio Visual Concept Designing in 3D – University of Canterbury

By using the freely available 3D modelling software, staff at the University of Canterbury has been able to easily create in precise detail different varieties of audio visual concept designs. These range from large lecture theatre spaces incorporating large scale audio visual equipment requiring sightline calculations, or right down to detailed cabling paths within a lectern.

The Challenge

In 2011, the University of Canterbury was severely affected by the major 6.3 Christchurch earthquake. As a result of the damage, the University was faced with an enormous task of remediating and repairing almost all of its buildings on campus. This brought a huge challenge to Audio Visual Services with UC as every single building that was to be repaired would have new internal architectural layout designs, new structured cabling solutions, and new furniture designs. Although this was a great opportunity to upgrade audio visual equipment and rooms through this process, it soon became apparent that working with so many different external architects, electrical engineers, project managers, sub project managers, contruction supervisors, structural engineers (etc. etc. etc.) quickly became harder and harder for us to all be on the same page when it came to AV design and integration into the many spaces within each building. For key staff and decision makers within the University, looking at floor plans and CAD drawings based on 2D renders were simply not sufficient enough for them to visualise the end result.

It quickly became apparent with the workload ahead that the Audio Visual Services group needed to accurately display a variety of audio visual concepts that would easily portrait the new rooms with integrated audio visual equipment.

The Solution

By using SketchUp 3D modelling software, staff within Audio Visual Services at UC could within a millimetre accurately design a variety of audio visual concept designs. Once designs were created within SketchUp, they could be rendered using 3rd party plugins to produce photo realistic pictures giving it added realism.

The Benefits

The key benefits Audio Visual Services at UC have seen from implementing 3D concept designs into their project workflow is

  • We could achieve greater ‘buy in’ from end users at UC by easily showing them what the room would closely look like once it is completed.
  • We could easily create a variety of different audio visual fit-out options for end users to choose from.
  • As feedback came back from each draft, we could easily update the designs, or more easily show to the end users the 3D file in real-time why a particular AV solution would or wouldn’t work.
  • We have been able to save an enormous amount of time in design work