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New Holbrook School

The New Holbrook School - planned and realized with OPEN BIM.

New Holbrook School


Boston, MA, USA

Nemetschek Group Brands



200,000 square feet for more than 1,000 students


Flansburgh Architects, Boston

Technology used

Vectorworks Architect, Solibri Office, Bluebeam Revu

Nemetschek Group OPEN BIM solutions enable a LEED Gold certified school building

Flansburgh Architects, a Boston-based architect firm, involved three Nemetschek Group brands for the planning process of a new school in Holbrook, Massachusetts. Leveraging software solutions from Vectorworks, Bluebeam and Solibri the Architects achieved the Leadership in Energy and Environment (LEED) Gold certification on the school building project. A key enabler for this achievement was the OPEN Building Information Modeling (BIM), better known as OPEN BIM.

The new school merges Holbrook’s three existing schools into one building, which will now serve more than 1,000 students from pre-kindergarten through to Grade 12. The building measures more than 200,000 square feet (18,580 square meters) spread across two floors. It is organized by an internal circulation spine bent around the campus green that connects the lower elementary school entrance on one end of the curve to the upper middle-high school entrance on the other end curve. The shared common spaces (such as the gymnasium, art rooms, cafeteria, media center, and auditorium) and academic neighborhoods are accessed directly off this main path of circulation. The defining element of the building’s exterior envelope involved the use of a distinctive pre-patinated copper panel system along the entire front curve of the building. This specific building material was selected for its timeless quality and serves as a natural backdrop for the new campus green.

Kent Kovacs, Vice President und Principal in Charge at Flansburgh Architects

“The Holbrook project has been certified LEED Gold. It boasts 35 percent water savings and 34 percent energy savings over the typical baseline.”

Before the Holbrook project, Flansburgh had already used BIM among the internal design team for architectural documentation and coordination. “Implementing BIM for the coordination was a fairly intuitive process for us. We have been utilizing BIM for years, as it gives us one collaborative model with multiple kinds of data attached to it. The challenge came in expanding our collaboration to work with the consulting engineers and handing off the models to the construction team for this specific project,” explains Brian Hores, BIM manager at Flansburgh Architects. “This is when we decided to transition to OPEN BIM. It allowed the multi-disciplinary design team to use their preferred system.”

For the New Holbrook School, Flansburgh Architects used their preferred software in the BIM process, which included the Nemetschek brands Vectorworks, Solibri, and Bluebeam. Flansburgh did their architectural design in Vectorworks, then used an OPEN BIM process to import, export, and reference les from all the consultants and subcontractors. The engineers developed structural and MEP models in other software tools in a smooth workflow due to Vectorworks’ ability to handle IFC files for an OPEN BIM exchange. Solibri Office served as the quality control tool checking the model to detect collisions and prevent errors. During the construction process, Bluebeam was deployed for document reviews and commenting, as well as the overall coordination and to issue of sketches to project stakeholders.

Viktor Várkonyi, Chief Division Officer of the Planning & Design Division and member of the Executive Board of the Nemetschek Group

Flansburgh’s Holbrook School project shows the advantages of OPEN BIM in a vendor-neutral environment. It ensures efficient collaboration, whilst allowing architects, engineers, and construction professionals to work in the software they prefer."

About Flansburgh Architects

Flansburgh is a Boston-based architectural firm, internationally recognized as a leader in the planning and design of schools. Our wide-ranging portfolio also includes arts and cultural centers, civic projects, private residences, and theaters. Our designs reflect the culture and environment of the communities they are built for and provide sustainable, long-term value. Our work is guided by our client’s vision, needs, and goals, and we are committed to providing exceptional, personal service from the design phase through construction.


Image courtesy of: Flansburgh Architects, Boston