CAD/BIM Tips & Tricks
Brilliant BIM Series
State-of-the-Art BIM Design and the Glass of Red
25 April 2023
In the early pre-dawn hours of Thursday, 2 February 2006, some ashes (presumed to be cold) that had been disposed of in a dumpster, smoldered their way into a roaring blaze that caused millions of dollars in damages to the Silver Oak winery in Oakville in the famed Napa Valley, California. Devastated by the destruction, the owners nonetheless seized the opportunity to design and build a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility in which BIM played a significant role.
In 1972, friends Ray Duncan and Justin Meyer, shook hands to seal the deal as they embarked upon a venture with a bold vision: to cultivate and press only one variety of grape, the Cabernet Sauvignon, before cellaring it in American oak. The Silver Oak Winery was born in a humble Oakville dairy barn in Napa Valley. A mere 1,000 cases of their inaugural vintage were offered, but sometimes great things — such as the mighty oak — come from small beginnings.
Thirty years later, Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon is a much sought-after high-end wine on restaurant menus nationwide. By the early 2000s, Justin had retired and sold his share of Silver Oak to Ray’s family. Ray’s sons, David and Tim, own and operate the winery to this day.
From the Ashes
When a 2006 fire destroyed the historic dairy barn where Ray and Justin had shaken hands three decades earlier, causing between $2 million and $3 million in damages, brothers David and Tim decided to rebuild, although it was a difficult and emotional project. Their primary focus was on sustainability. The rebuild ultimately resulted in better wine and helped to minimize the winery’s eco-footprint. It also earned the winery LEED Platinum certification — the first production winery in the world to earn that status.
When the time came to reimagine Silver Oak’s other winery in Alexander Valley in Sonoma Country, they applied the lessons learned from Oakville and set the bar even higher. The new facility was built to meet the most exacting performance standards, including LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certifications. By using BIM, they were able to coordinate innovative solutions for managing water systems, energy, and lighting, setting a new standard of sustainability for the wine-making industry.
With a goal of net-zero water and energy as their guiding principle, Silver Oak in Alexander Valley did indeed earn LEED platinum certification, making it the second winery in the world to earn that status — after Silver Oak, Oakville!
“Being stewards of the land, taking care of our vineyards, and trying to do all we can to protect what is our only home is something that is sort of in my heart,” says CEO, David Duncan. “Water conservation and the lack of pesticide usage, all those things that go into what the general public thinks about sustainability, fit right in with what we do.”
The rebuild resulted in better wine and also earned the winery LEED Platinum certification.
Turning Water into Wine
Since it can take over a dozen gallons of water to produce a single gallon of wine, being water-wise was key. The design team worked with an engineering company to design a central hot-water system that uses solar thermal energy and CO2 heat pumps to provide heat for the domestic-, production- and recycled-water systems, in addition to the system that helps control wine temperature.
“This is the first project to my knowledge that uses recycled hot water, which is ideal for winery-production facilities because it typically requires around 6–14 gallons of potable water to produce one gallon of wine,” says Andy Souza, a plumbing engineer who worked on the Silver Oaks project. (In 2017, Andy was named one of AutoCAD’s “35 Under 35 Young Designers.”)
“Silver Oak is attempting to reduce this winery’s production-water use by using recycled water for initial barrel and tank washing and floor cleaning, to get the production potable water requirements down to two to three gallons to produce one gallon of wine,” Andy continued.
“Money is a resource,” says David Duncan. “Green at any cost doesn’t prove anything.” Among other decisions, computer modeling in Revit helped the bottom line, allowing the team to identify and address problems onscreen rather than during construction. “We fixed many, many problems on the computer that normally you would fix in the field,” he adds. “We think it saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Modeling in Revit helped the bottom line and potentially saved hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Saving Time for the Bottom Line
While BIM software — such as Revit® — has built a reputation for helping to reduce a project’s bottom line, purpose-built Revit tools can enable huge time savings on a project which naturally contributes to profitability.
If you’re a Revit user, you can save yourseƒlf hours using tools such as Office Importer™ which enables easy imports of PDFs, Excel® spreadsheets and Word® documents that are editable and searchable, all with perfect formatting every time. Maybe searching through Revit families chews up more time than it should, in which case Family Studio™ should be your go-to for saving a ton of time when searching or editing Revit families.
For more information, visit AxiomInt.com or call 727-442-7774 to discuss your specific situation with a knowledgeable Service Consultant.
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