A BIM tool that every designer benefits from
Tony Fitzpatrick, Architect and Head of BIM Development, shares his BIM journey from “redlined drawings” and lengthy meetings to smooth workflows and effective collaboration. “I realised that there had to be a better, more cost-effective way of managing the design process”. Tony Fitzpatrick, Architect and Head of BIM Development at AW2 Architects, shares his BIM journey from “redlined drawings” and lengthy meetings to smooth workflows and effective collaboration.
”Due to the size of our projects, many of the redlined drawings were so big that actually working from them was extremely difficult.”
A look inside the tool-shed
Tony Fitzpatrick breaks down his workflow formula: “We’re using ARCHICAD and BIMcollab as our primary ‘design system’, supported by Solibri for model checking and clash detection.” Depending on the need, collaboration with other companies is executed via an IFC import into either ARCHICAD or a federated Solibri model.Previously, issue management has been handled by sharing BCF and PDF files along with redlined drawings. Many of which were sent out but never received back, so knowing what had or had not been addressed was a laborious manual process of rechecking the Solibri model. “Due to the size of our projects, many of the redlined drawings were so big that actually working from them was extremely difficult. Due to the mark-ups that involved multiple staff members, many slipped through the cracks and were not being addressed”.
Ratamo Centre, Finland
A moment of realisation
While attending long winded and time-consuming design & collaboration meetings, Tony realised there had to be a better, more cost-effective way of managing the design process: “It seemed like very little was resolved in relation to the time spent and the number of consultants present at the meetings”. This had to change.
BIMcollab was presented at NordicBIMearlier in the year, so Tony decided to give it a go: “I set up a free account and started sending issues to our consultants on the project I was managing. Soon I was being requested to add users, so they could pass the issues to the correct people within their companies”. He realised that they were going to quickly outgrow the capacity of a free account, so the decision was made to sign up for a full account.
“ …This ensured me that important issues were not slipping through the cracks like before.”
Issues can be easily and directly tracked from both ARCHICAD and Solibri. “This meant that I was able to create a history of all issues and how they had been addressed throughout the project. This ensured me that important issues were not slipping through the cracks like before. Issues were also assigned with a level of accountability, meaning that answers were provided more quickly as well”.
Embraced by the project team
Tony was surprised by the level of support he achieved with a number of his consultants. They were keen on using BIMcollab as well: “We noticed that once we started using it as a collaboration and issue management tool, the project started to flow a lot smoother and meetings were fewer and shorter. We were getting more answers via BIMcollab and didn’t have to wait for a meeting to discuss issues”. Tony adds: “Our management is also enthusiastic about the results we achieved since we started using it”.
BCF managers are installed to go with all ARCHICAD and Solibri licenses
Across all projects
AW2 has decided to introduce BIMcollab as the primary issue management and collaboration tool across all their projects and will extend its use to external consultants as well. “We are installing BCF managers to go with all ARCHICAD and Solibri licenses, to make adoption easy and painless for all staff members. We will also be working closely with all project managers to ensure that they know how to utilise BIMcollab for all project related issues, instead of returning to the traditional red pen”.
Tony discovered that BIMcollab comes with powerful reporting possibilities as well: “With its simple Power BI interface we have also been able to export all of our BIMcollab data to Power BI and set up reporting dashboards. This allows us to monitor our performance as a company,and on a project level, in relation to issue management. Something of which we previously had no idea!”
It’s a clear verdict: “I have operated my own business for 20 years previous to this position and seen many design related software being presented as the greatest thing to happen to the AEC industry since the advent of CAD. It is very rare to find a system that actually has a solid business case to support it, rather than just being something “cool” that allows you to do something that adds little value to what we do. In my opinion BIMcollab is a real BIM toolthat every designer would benefit from, from a project management perspective and for an improved bottom line.”
About AW2 Architects
Specialised in designing healthcare facilities, AW2 Architects employs approximately 70 people in 2 offices (Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia) and is part of Integrated Healthcare Design Ltd, a larger consortium which incorporates a number of architectural offices in Finland, France and the Netherlands. Besides Healthcare design, they also undertake a wide range of other types of projects, including residential apartments, public buildings and more.
|HQ||Helsinki and Tallinn|
|Software||BIMcollab, BCF Managers|
|Challenge||Managing the design process was time-consuming and cost-ineffective.|
|Solution||Using BIMcollab as a collaboration -and issue management tool for the entire team and project consultants.|
|Results||Fewer and shorter meetings|
|Issues are no longer overlooked|
|Insight in company -and project performance|
|Better results leading to enthusiastic management|