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scale models

Scale Models:

I'm reading about the use of scale models in Berlin, Germany for planning purposes. When projects are proposed, the applicant is required to provide a scale model made from either plaster or gypsum in great detail, in order to help staff better evaluate the impact of a proposed use on an area.

Is anyone familiar with this type of requirement in Germany?
Does anyone work at a location where this is a requirement? If so, how helpful is something like this? How expensive is something like this to put together?

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
New York maybe?

I thought New York City did something like that also. Some kind of wind tunnel test for new skyscrapers. I thought they started that after the World Trade Center was constructed and the wind patterns in Manhattan shifted so much that buildings began to lean and sway that weren't built to handle that stress.
You might check there for a domestic example.


We have never required a scale mode, but did come close once. Within this city, I would see the purpose of a model as offering a comparison of scale, for example; allowing the Plan Board and residents to contrast the scale of a new large commercial building to existing surrounding structures. We have required site plans showing nearby buildings, as well as scale renderings showing the neighboring structures.

In terms of cost, a model may be less expensive, or substantially more expensive than renderings, depending on the quality desired. It could be done as inexpensively as making a box of foam board and gluing the facade renderings onto it. Of course, this would be easier for a Wal-box vs. an elaborate building.


Cyburbian Emeritus
We have required virtual modeling but not physical modeling. Several local consulting firms offer it - basically they take digital topos and grading plans, and digital architerctural files and render them in a 3-D setting, add colors, and program in the "travel path" and viewing angles. It cost about $3,000 for one of our petitioners, but in an $8,000,000 project that's pennies!