Earlier this month, my Vector-workout Subscription covered quick conceptual design. I felt that this is a very powerful area, and I wrote a lot about the session on this blog, so please visit that page for a long description about this.
I have expanded on these notes and combined them with my earlier manual on Residential Conceptual Design, to create a new Vector-workout Guide to Quick Conceptual Design.
This manual covers all the steps from editing your workspace to make Vectorworks quicker to creating a solar animation movie of the project.
Briefly, Vectorworks is very powerful in the early stages of a project. We can use Vectorworks to check our building areas to make sure that the project of this size and bulk, can be placed on the site. This is very effective for small complex sites, and for larger commercial projects where land coverage is important.
Once you have the building area, it is a simple task to add the cost of the building. This can be completed in a short time, so you can see if the project is acceptable. This is like a short feasibility report, where you can tell the client the rough (very rough) order of costs for a building of this area and level of quality.
Using massing models, you can check the sun and shadows on the project, to see if you will have the spaces you think you want.
You can import or create a 3D site model and use this to create 3D planes that show you the restrictions on your site. This is a quick visual way to see how close to the boundary you can build and what height is allowed in the project location.
You can use space objects, or 3D modeling to create a 3D concept model. 3D modeling is now very quick and powerful if you use the Push/Pull tool and working planes. So, I have added these techniques to the manual.
As you model, you can check the model against the site restrictions, and create solar studies for different times of the day, and days of the year.
The Vector-workout Guide to Quick Conceptual Design covers all this, and it covers it with a movie-based format. This format makes it easy to get the information quickly, without a lot of reading.