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What are the Applications and Advantages of BIM in Landscape Design? (2024)

Pragya Sharma

10 min read

May 27, 2024


Table of Contents

Landscape design is a bridge between the built and unbuilt spaces. It deals with the design of semi-open areas within a building such as courtyards, terraces, and atriums along with outdoor areas such as parks, gardens, promenades, squares, arenas, and waterfront developments. Landscaping helps create greener environments, re-establishing the bond between people and places. This job is done by a landscape designer, a professional who has expertise in spatial design and horticulture.

What Does a Landscape Designer Do?

Landscape architecture project

Landscape design is a niche field within the wider architecture field. It involves creating outdoor environments that blend with the natural surroundings. A landscape designer knows the topography, climate, soil conditions, existing vegetation, and socio-cultural context of the place to create relevant landscaping solutions.

The job also involves plant selection and planning and designing hardscape features, water features, and lighting. The landscape designer works in close association with city governing authorities, architects, urban designers, and urban planners to curate unique micro-environments.

Why are Landscape Designers Shifting to BIM?

Landscape architecture design

Traditionally, landscape designers worked with hand-drafted drawings to realise their vision on-site. The introduction of AutoCAD in the late 90s helped them design efficiently by leveraging digitalisation. However, the true game changer was cutting-edge tools, software, and processes like Building Information Modelling (BIM).

BIM is a process that involves creating a data-rich multi-dimensional model on a shared platform between all project stakeholders. This model possesses complete information about the physical, material, and structural attributes of a built space, making it a comprehensive collaboration tool. Given such a seamless approach to work, modern landscape designers are rapidly embracing BIM in their professional league.

Which Landscape Design Software is Compatible With BIM?

Application of landscape design software

Landscape designers can use numerous BIM software. Take a look at some of the most promising BIM-compatible landscape design software for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) professionals.

1. Vectorworks Landmark

Known for its robust tools tailored for landscape design, Vectorworks Landmark offers unique BIM capabilities. Designers can software to create detailed 3D models, incorporating vegetation, terrain, and hardscape elements. It aids an easy information flow and accurate data exchange within the BIM ecosystem.

Also Check out: What are ‘Groundscrapers’

2. VizTerra

VizTerra is a landscape design software that effortlessly integrates with BIM workflows. With a focus on visualisation and presentation, it empowers landscape designers to create immersive, realistic renderings of outdoor spaces.

3. Realtime Landscaping

Realtime Landscaping is another notable software, offering BIM compatibility for landscape design projects. With an emphasis on real-time visualisation, it enables designers to instantly see the impact of their decisions on the design, fostering efficient decision-making within the BIM framework.

Application of BIM software in landscape architecture

4. ArchiCAD

ArchiCAD is a widely used BIM software that can be extended for landscape design with specific add-ons. These extensions offer specialised tools for terrain modelling, plant selection, and irrigation planning, allowing landscape designers to collaborate with architects using the same BIM platform.

5. Revit with Dynamo

Autodesk Revit is a powerful BIM tool used by architects worldwide. Dynamo for Revit a visual programming extension, becomes a versatile platform for landscape designers. Dynamo enables the creation of custom scripts, enhancing the flexibility and adaptability of the software for landscape-specific requirements.

6. PlantFactory

PlantFactory seamlessly integrates with BIM processes and helps create highly realistic 3D plants. Landscape designers can use this software to generate lifelike representations of plants, ensuring accurate visualisation and their placement within broader BIM models.

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