• Dewberry

    United States Courthouse

    Rockford, Illinois, United States

Project Summary

Dewberry, in association with Koetter/Kim & Associates Inc., needed to design a new federal courthouse in Rockford, Illinois. The design needed to comply with the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Design Excellence Criteria and the GSA/ISC Design Criteria for Courthouses and Federal Facilities and accommodate the 10-year space requirements of the District Court and court-related agencies. The city saw this as a community-enhancing project that would help drive development of a new urban district within the city.

Dewberry used the full line of Bentley building products to create a proof-of-concept 3D model for the new courthouse design. All main building components were modeled by each discipline, which facilitated proper validation of all systems and components and allowed all project participants to learn about the structure as a whole, as well as the interactions of all disciplines involved in making this a complete building.

Because the same basic tools from Bentley were used across all disciplines – and everyone worked from one unified file format and model – Dewberry greatly reduced the time staff spent setting up and managing the project. In addition, because everyone could see how real objects interacted in the 3D model, they found and fixed hidden design conflicts that had passed 2D coordination, resulting in an improved final design and avoidance of costly corrections during the build.

Dewberry utilized a full range of Bentley products, from MicroStation to the newest releases of Bentley Electrical (now part of AECOsim Builder Designer). Since all disciplines were engaged during the BIM modeling process, 3D elements were placed using Bentley Architectural, Bentley Structural, Bentley Mechanical, Bentley Electrical and GEOPAK. The 3D design enabled disciplines to optimize the design – for example, by exploring alternate routing and different duct forms, as well as identifying the best options before construction began.
  • The cost of the time spent creating the 3D model was recouped 2 to 3 times over given the benefits of being able to view the assembled building in 3D and head off costly problems.
  • The 3D design views enabled PSA-Dewberry to reduce change orders by 2-3%, resulting in a 15-20% overall cost savings – in this case, over seven figures.