Monday, February 14, 2011

Acoustic Dimensions - AIM Workbench

While attending the BIMForum Winter 2011 sessions last week I heard two people speak regarding acoustics, Craig Janssen and Andrew Mitchell. During dinner a month ago a HVAC engineer expressed frustration that Revit didn't already provide a way to calculate "noise" or acoustical rating for a space based on the HVAC equipment that relates to it. As it turns out Craig and Andrew's work with Acoustic Dimensions and Revit MEP prompted the same feeling from them. However Andrew decided to create an application to help resolve that using Revit's API. The result is AIM Workbench.

From their Overview page:

The AIM Workbench, short for Acoustic Information Model, is designed to fully integrate acoustical calculations and design information into the BIM environment. Like any other piece of information stored within a building information model, acoustic information can be exchanged and used freely, providing valuable information across all disciplines of the design team.

They said that we usually need three levels of tools:
  • Macro Decision Making Tools
  • Stand Alone Design Tools
  • BIM Reporting Tools
They started out with a tool that worked inside Revit but soon discovered that the models they received often were "broken" from their standpoint. This means that the acoustical information either didn't exist or that systems were not well connected. Since they used the API to trace connected networks to see how they might impact spaces it is important to build the systems well. Adding the information to the parts wasn't really the hard part. They also realized that it is often necessary to allow for analysis apart from the model either for the early decisions (Macro Decisions) or to establish design criteria/mockups or the lack of a 3D model at all perhaps.

Back to the software... I didn't see it run, just screen shots but conceptually it looks promising. You can download a demo version and the site says to contact them about pricing. What I was told directly is that it is a Beta right now so the commercial aspect of AIM Workbench is still in flux.

Give it a "listen"?


Nassim Jamali said...


Any news about the AIM Workbench?
Any add-in to Revit released yet?
I'm interested by testing that


Steve said...

I quick visit to the site shows that it has split into three firms and I don't see anything obvious about it there. I guess it's lost priority over time.

Nassim Jamali said...

Ok thanks!
Too bad, Revit needs some acoustic analysis tools