Working on larger building project teams will always be a challenge and it is the hidden strength or weakness of any Design firm that takes on the responsibility of managing the project.
At EVstudio, we have the advantage that we have our disciplines under one roof and thus we have all worked together on many previous projects and can build on successful collaboration strategies with each project.
Collaboration at its core is about keeping everyone on the same page and in this article I wanted to discuss some of our methods for doing this on one of our current projects: Warriors in Transition, Soldier Family Assistance Center and Company Headquarters.
For this project we have a project specific FTP site which facilitates regular uploads of all of our BIM models (Bentley for this project) as well as 2D Backgrounds and other raw project information. Whenever an incremental improvement is made to one of the disciplines work, all of our designers have instant access to it and can always be confident they are working with the latest information when making their own design decisions. A similar digital master model method was used in the design of the Boeing 777 which was designed and built without traditional prototyping, a first in the aviation manufacturing world for such a large project. This example is important for the construction industry, because the building industry produces mostly unique structures and only rarely is their an opportunity to prototype our design work.
In addition to the FTP site, we also have a more public website hosted by Basecamp where announcements, schedules and submittals are published for use by our Design Build partners. Having this 2 part collaboration system allows us to keep the most up to date information that is vital to our designers but only partially finished separate from the information that is finalized and ready for pricing and client review.
In terms of the nuts and bolts of collaboration we use Bentley Projectwise Navigator to do our Clash Resolution. Using Clash Resolution software allows us to leverage the work each discipline has put into modeling their design. For example, we can do rapid comparisons of Structural to Mechanical to see if there are places where changes need to be made to give everyone room. On this project we have the advantage that everyone is using Bentley software, but Projectwise Navigator can also be used to coordinate work with Revit and other Autodesk products which we also use on other projects.
At the end of the day all of the tools we use are only as good as the people using them and we are fortunate at EV Studio to have many technically and professionally talented designers who continue to embrace the latest technology in the pursuit of a better product for our clients.
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