Jul 1, 2022

3D Modeling in Construction Communication

In the Construction Communication and Architectural Graphics course, students begin by deconstructing a model of an apartment.

A professor teaches a class

Adam Wheelock, who works as an architect at CMBA Architects and as an adjunct instructor at Dordt, designed the apartment model in Revit, the industry standard 3D modeling software for construction projects, and uses this model to acquaint his students with Revit before letting them use the software to design their own dream projects.

“The objective of the class is to gain a working knowledge of the Revit software and to be able to use it to communicate their designs to others,” explains Wheelock. “Any students that go on to work in the construction industry will surely encounter Revit. Many of the students that take the class have been asked to have Revit experience for their internships.” At the end of the semester, students present drawings of their designs to the class.

For his design project, civil engineering student Parker Hamann chose to model a house inspired by a floor plan that he liked. “I made some changes to the plan to add a second story as well as a few other things that I would want my dream home to have,” says Hamann. “I wouldn’t build this home in real life because it did not turn out exactly as I wanted, but I would build something similar–I plan to design my own home one day.”

Next summer Ethan Miersma, a business major, hopes to build the project he designed. “It’s an addition my mom would like to build onto our home. My mom mentioned the idea of an addition, and I decided to help her design some ideas in Revit.”

Wheelock’s professional experience as an architect and expertise with Revit helped the students to gain a better understanding of the industry as well as how best to use Revit, says Miersma.

“He knew so many tips and tricks to the software, and he could bring up examples of work experiences with Revit,” says Miersma.

“Professor Wheelock showed us many of his projects from work, which was helpful to demonstrate how applicable Revit is in the industry,” adds Hamann.

Wheelock, who has taught this lab since 2019, says his favorite part of teaching the course is seeing students grow in their abilities.

“It is very rewarding to see how much and how fast they learn. The final projects are always fun to see. It is amazing what students come up with when they have the freedom to figure it out for themselves,” he says.

Lydia Marcus ('17)

A picture of campus behind yellow prairie flowers