Design Charrette to Create Concepts for Rebuilding Massachusetts Town Struck by Tornadoes

Today, Nov. 15, 2012, GRAPHISOFT is working with the Community Design Resource Center of Boston (CRDC) and the Western Massachusetts Chapter of the American Institute of Architects to host a design charrette at the ArchitectureBoston Expo. More than 200 architects and design professionals will team up with town leaders and residents to collaboratively brainstorm concepts for vital areas of Monson, Mass., a community of 8,560 located 23 miles east of Springfield. Monson is emerging from last spring’s tornadoes that damaged or destroyed some 1,400 homes and 78 businesses. Damage to insured property surpassed $200 million.

Using ArchiCAD building information modeling (BIM) software, the participants will focus on producing creative, “out of the box” visions, as well as tangible solutions, to restore the heart of Monson’s community, including the town hall and other public structures and parks.

A charrette is a collaborative session where a group of designers brainstorm ideas to address design challenges. During the four-hour charrette, participants will share their suggestions and designs with Monson community members, who will have access via an Internet connection to view the models in real-time through ArchiCAD’s BIM Server.

Models created during the charrette will articulate a number of different rebuilding scenarios for five downtown sites. These scenarios will help Monson leaders and residents define their goals for actual buildings and parks and look holistically toward the future. Monson is already in the process of interviewing architects to carry out the town hall project and has some grant monies to use towards public spaces, too.

“We’re pleased and honored to contribute to Monson’s recovery,” says Steve Benford, GRAPHISOFT North America, managing director. “A charrette is a terrific format for stimulating creativity, and ArchiCAD and our BIM Server are great tools to channel the creative energy of the designers with the practical realities of the town leadership.”

“The CDRC is thrilled to have the support of GRAPHISOFT for this charrette,” said Gretchen Schneider, executive director, CDRC of Boston. “Since the software and technology to use it is being donated, we consider it a huge financial head start on what can be a costly project. The boost will allow the town of Monson to seize this opportunity to recover, re-sync and look ahead to what a 21st century New England town can be.”

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