Architecture Firm Doubles Productivity With BIM Services From ARC Document Solutions
PHILADELPHIA, PA Architects are hired for their expertise and experience, but it's their vision of a project that typically drives their success. That's why renowned Hawaiian design firm Benjamin Woo Architects (BWA) was so careful about choosing their partner for building information modeling (BIM) services on their part of a $1 billion Park Lane Ala Moana design project - they needed someone who could not only help articulate their vision but also expand their horizons.
Park Lane Ala Moana is a large luxury residential/resort development next to Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii. Two years ago, BWA was engaged to design a group of residential buildings within the development, which was being constructed next to a commercial area.
"We got the project going, but our team for the Park Lane project was five people, and we needed 10 people on it," said Brandon Fujimura, Environmental Planner/Designer/BIM & IT Manager for BWA. "It was a great help that ARC and its BIM staff knew the language of architecture."
Because the project was complex and designed in three dimensions using Autodesk's Revit software, it required a specific set of skills and resources that could scale with the project needs. BWA leaders were cautious about who they might hire for any outsourced work, but ARC Document Solutions ("ARC") offered proven BIM experience with Revit and a deep understanding of the design requirements and workflow and provided a team of experienced professionals. "ARC demonstrated its ability to deliver quality BIM work," explained Benjamin Woo, principal at Benjamin Woo Architects.
The Results: Saving Time, Reducing Headaches
With a solid partnership with ARC, BWA was not only able to meet Park Lane project deadlines, but the firm was also able to deliver the project under budget. By supplementing its own capabilities with ARC's BIM services, the firm reduced staff and production time on the job by more than 50 percent.
"ARC doubled our project manpower and did more than half the work," said Fujimura. And that opened up other opportunities for the firm.
BWA, like architectural firms everywhere, operates in a world where artistic vision and technical expertise are constantly being buffeted by technological advancements. Simply keeping up with change has become a core component of running a successful design firm.
"The world of drafting and architecture is changing quickly, with new software solutions and tools offering many benefits. But there just isn't enough time to stay current and also do the work. ARC's BIM services team enables us to go full speed ahead while staffers are learning about new technologies," said BWA's Fujimura.
Woo said, "We feel like ARC was part of the Park Lane design team. Their participation also gave the developer a sense that our team was capable of doing the project. Frankly, I don't think we would have been able to do this project without their help."
And Park Lane was just the beginning for BWA and the team at ARC. Woo thinks ARC's BIM services will enable his firm to land more complex projects in the future.
BIM and Industry Tech Trends
Building Information Modeling, or "BIM" as it's more commonly known, is the development and use of a computer software model to simulate the construction and operation of a facility. Tools designed to generate such models allow the user to view and analyze a structure from any angle and visualize operations, and provide the ability to virtually "fly" through a building. Its advantages include:
Faster and more effective design and engineering processes - information is more easily shared and reused.
Better design - building proposals can be rigorously analyzed, simulations can be performed quickly, and performance can be benchmarked, enabling improved and innovative solutions.
Controlled whole-life costs and environmental data - environmental performance is more predictable; lifecycle costs are better understood.
Better production quality - documentation output is flexible and exploits automation.
Automated assembly - digital product data can be leveraged in downstream processes and used for manufacturing/assembling of structures prior to delivery on a job site.
Better customer service - proposals are better understood through accurate visualization.
Lifecycle data - requirements, design, construction and operational information can be used in facilities management.
ARC Document Solutions recently conducted an Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry (AEC) survey to identify participants' views about industry technology trends and to evaluate the role BIM will play in the future of global construction.
Most respondents predicted that design and development will become paperless in the next two to five years. Asked to identify the main reason behind the elimination of paper in the AEC industry, 36.7 percent of the participating architects said that clash detection in BIM helps design and construction teams resolve issues without having to print numerous drawings.
Another survey question explored the distribution of documents in PDF format and use of BIM solutions. While the majority (73.5 percent) of the architects in the study said that PDF and BIM files will continue to co-exist, 20 percent of the participating architects said that BIM files will take over and become the solution of choice on which to base pricing and construction planning.