The plan cabinet is an integral part of architects’ offices. This also applies in times when digitization is taking ever larger steps. The architect’s cabinet is much more than just a piece of furniture. Thanks to its versatility and design, it is a practical helper and an eye-catcher in every office.
Plan cabinets: Architects 2021 will occupy Ikea and digitization (Photo: Shutterstock-Rido)
Digitization in the field of architecture
Plan cabinets or architect cabinets are pieces of furniture that should not be missing in any architectural office. Here the poster, construction drawing and print are kept safe, protected from dirt and light and are always within reach.
As part of the construction planning grasp architects often in the closet and also representative is its effect should not be underestimated. However, the meaning of the classic piece of furniture seems to be moving more and more into the background. This is related to digitization.
Digitization is primarily intended to make it easier for architects to be able to carry out their work. The digital infrastructure offers very different advantages, such as the construction drawings, which can be carried out using CAD software. The impact of the digital cadastre should also not be underestimated.
The imagination for clients of an architectural firm can be addressed quite differently through digitization. While in the past it was mainly the construction drawings and replica models that were necessary to clarify individual aspects, today there are digital photo montages. The screen shows what a project will look like. Adjustments can be made easily, calculations can be carried out within a short time.
But people’s imaginations are actually stimulated even when they have something to touch. The construction drawings have therefore not yet completely disappeared. They are kept in the plan cabinet in A0 or in other sizes and are brought out when it comes to meetings. Therefore, the plan cupboards are not missing in any office today and often even get an important place.
The plan cupboard or architect’s cupboard is one of the pieces of furniture that must not be missing in any architectural office (Photo: Shutterstock- Gorodenkoff)
What is BIM?
Digitalization therefore plays an important role for architects today. A synonym is often used. This is called BIM. It is the abbreviation for Building Information Modeling. The interplay of digital process optimization as well as the architectural basics and traditional work should not be underestimated. BIM is supposed to be the solution at this point.
A building is made up of several cycles. It is often assumed that the BIM method brings fundamental changes in terms of the performance and professional profile of an architect. However, it is not so. Nevertheless, it has a high influence that cannot be denied.
The digital organization between specialist planners and architects, craftsmen and builders is a challenge. The common standards form the basis for the successful implementation of a project. As a result, there are European and international or national guidelines or standards that are used as a basis.
BIM works with these guidelines and uses the familiar processes from project management to be successful here. The focus should be on digital networking of the people involved in a building.
Therefore, a so-called building model is used at BIM. This contains the digital information that is necessary for implementation. These include aspects from the area of environment and health, fire protection and costs as well as the life span of the materials.
This is what the BIM process looks like
In digitization in this area, the BIM process is a particularly important basis that is used.
It consists of the following aspects:
- Start of the project phase
- Client information request, competence inquiry and award planning as aspects of preparation during planning
- The basic phases, preliminary design and draft are work phases 1 to 3
- Work and detailed planning and preparation of the award are the service phases 5 to 6 after approval
- Client information request, competence inquiry, construction contract and BIM execution plan are important for the preparation of the construction process
- Construction, commissioning as well as operation and maintenance are the conclusion of the project
This list already shows the advantages of digitization in this area. If the parties involved have extensive digital access to the necessary documents, the time and effort for a project can be significantly reduced.
Important: Even if digitization plays an important role in networking and optimizing working hours, it should be noted that each participant in a project has his or her own way of working.
An architectural office is about a creative phase in which the ideas for the construction project are presented and checked for implementation. For this, it is important not only to be able to work digitally, but also to have the option of receiving a visualization via construction drawings, plans and graphics.
Why the plan cabinet should not be missing
The eye plans with: Architects prefer to use representative plan cupboards that keep the documents absolutely dust-free. There are many reasons for that. So the storage cabinet has a really long tradition. It has been used in offices for decades and makes it possible to store designs properly. Planning is always a piece of creativity. It’s about being inspired. This has become a challenge in the context of digitization.
Many architects lack the opportunity to stand together around a table and draw up a plan. This is an important part of the construction planning.
Therefore, the plan cabinet is indispensable. There are very different variants here. This is not a real storage cabinet, but it is an inexpensive way to get started. Many students from the fields of graphics and construction technology appreciate plan cabinets.
Architects who are already trained usually see it differently. To properly accommodate a large poster, it is less suitable. Unfortunately, plan cabinets are usually of a fixed size and the number of drawers is also not variable. Unfortunately, this eliminates the flexibility.
It looks different with representative plan cabinets, which are manufactured according to the individual ideas of the architects. The ideas diverge from architect to architect. Should the plan cabinet be able to hold A0? Or is DIN A1 rather the size that is needed. Smaller drawer elements can also be inserted.
An individual configuration also has the advantage that a selection can be made in the following areas:
- Material: The plan cabinets are made of different materials. Depending on the desired design, the variants are available in wood or metal.
- Format: Should the plan cabinet A0 or other sizes? The size of the print and construction drawing is always individual. It is very good if the drawers can be adjusted in size using additional compartment dividers.
- Roles: There is the possibility to have a shelf with casters made. Roles are indispensable when he is constantly being moved around in the office and also serves as the basis for presentations.
- Number of drawers: how big should the cabinet be? The amount of drawers can be selected for an individual production.
Ikea’s pieces of furniture are now cult, but are they also suitable for replacing high-quality plan cabinets for architects’ offices? (Photo: Shutterstock-Monkey Business Images)
What does a good architect’s cabinet have?
There are pieces of furniture that have become iconic, but are they also suitable for replacing high-quality plan cabinets for architectural offices? If you are a little bit concerned with the topic, you will quickly find that there are companies that are not yet ready to provide office furniture that meets high standards. The models that are offered as plan cabinets contain drawer elements. However, these are not flexible.
Good plan cabinets also meet the highest needs. One of these needs is space. Storage space is required if several projects are managed simultaneously. The construction drawings should be kept as safe and clean as possible. Cabinets with multiple compartments are therefore often used. Flexibility is also a very important issue.
Subject divisions must not go under. It is of course practical if the largest prints and representations find a place in the plan cupboards. At the same time, smaller versions are difficult to store in the large boxes. The divisions offer more flexibility. In this way, architects benefit from being able to really use the cabinet for every project.
Quality is also important. The materials used should be of the highest quality and have a long service life. The plan cabinets are often used in the office for decades and used every day. It is important here that the rails are robust and can withstand the drawer being opened and closed several times a day.
The storage space on top of the cabinet is often used to show the drawings. It should be easy to clean and able to handle it when a compass is used.
Basically, the following aspects are part of a good cabinet:
- Stability in the construction and the drawer elements
- Highest possible flexibility in the form of different combination options
- Ergonomic handles for easy use
- Lock with lock possible to secure documents
- Pull-out locks facilitate the use of the drawers in their size are often unwieldy
- Divisible drawer bottoms ensure the elements that allow easier use
- special sizes or sizes should belong to the offer of a good manufacturer
Important: The securing of the construction plans should not be underestimated. There is a lot of competition, especially in the field of architecture. The protection of your own ideas is paramount and should be taken into account. The safe storage of documents is an important factor. The cabinets therefore often have a central lock that can be opened.
Digitization in the area of construction planning is on the rise. All signs point to making work easier and various programs are available for this. However, today an architect does not have to do without his plan cabinets. (Photo: Shutterstock- oradige59)
Conclusion: Plan cabinets do not have to give way to digitization
Digitization in the area of construction planning is on the rise. All signs point to making work easier and various programs are available for this. However, today an architect does not have to do without his plan cabinets. They are an important part of office equipment, both from a practical and a representative point of view.
For providers in the field of construction planning, it is therefore important to combine the advantages of classic solutions and digitization with one another and in this way to achieve the best possible results.