The Seismic School App was developed by Bryden Wood as part of an Innovate UK funded project to accelerate the concept design process for Primary Schools.

The app – which is open source and free to use - allows users to configure spatially compliant school building blocks (known as ‘clusters’) within a 3D site context anywhere in the UK, to rapidly design a school in minutes.

The clusters were developed in collaboration with the Department for Education (DfE), to meet the requirements of their Schedule of Accommodation spreadsheet (which defines room area and room adjacencies), meaning that designers do not have to re-interpret design guidance every time.

Embedding best practice seeks to avoid unnecessary re-work later on (often the case in the current design process) to result in a spatially compliant school design from the outset.

The app draws on open data sets such as historical flood risk regions and live traffic information to supplement the 3D map context and inform initial decision making in relation to the site.

We wanted another goal of the app to be increased engagement in the design process, by making the app easy for non-designers to use. The interface is colourful and fun (you can even place a dinosaur in your school!) and we successfully trialled the app on a group of eager primary school children. 

Accompanying the app is an automated BIM workflow and component library which allows users to regenerate their design in BIM software to continue the design process.