Building in Sketchup

My recent project to build a single storey house extension has pushed me to try something new. I am virtually building the house, with insulation, studs and all using a popular 3D modelling program called Sketchup, by Google.  I use it in conjunction with an application called LayOut, which helps you lay out the Sketchup views on a 2D print format.

Sketchup drawings for extension

Modelling takes longer than drawing sections and elevations for sure, but there are distinct advantages:

  1. You are forced to work out every detail, every junction so when it comes to building on site, there will be few surprises, and hopefully nothing that you have not considered before.
  2. You only need the model and LayOut to make your section drawings, construction plans etc.  Simply create a view in Sketchup and import it into LayOut.
  3. When making amendments to the model, changes are automatically updated in the drawings in LayOut.  No need to painstakingly go through each elevation and section drawing to amend them.

Attached is the Sketchup model that I have so far.  If you are someone who is thinking about creating drawings from your Sketchup model, take a look at how I have done it.  You have to be disciplined about using layers and grouping objects / making components if you are to save yourself from unnecessary confusion further down the line.

Think about creating a modelling standard for yourself, in a similar way in which you might have naming standards for layers and objects in CAD drawings.  In fact, if anyone knows of any industry standards for modelling buildings, I would love to know!

If you want an introduction to BIM conventions (this is pretty much what we are doing with Sketchup in this instance), take a look at the following document by AEC:

Construction Model by Tom Kaneko - Single Storey Extension2.1 MB

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