One of the essential things to consider when buying new software is how it will integrate with your existing systems and processes.
Your tools should never work in isolation. Management data, for instance, is almost useless if hidden away from the people who need it most. And, when the data is shared, you need to ensure that there is no corruption or information loss between the various systems you have in place.
It is a challenge that construction has long faced. The industry’s workforce is spread across multiple locations, different disciplines use different tools and many companies have their own workflows and tools. Add in the issue that processes are split between paper-based and digital solutions and it is easy to see where problems can occur. In an industry with low margins, problems usually mean costs, whether increasing the time it takes to do something or making a mistake that results in rework further down the line.
Then there is the collaboration issue. Construction relies on many different people coming together to make projects happen. This cannot work effectively if there are barriers between teams.
A robust online project collaboration platform offers an effective way of linking project teams together, whether connecting site-based workers with offices or bringing multiple people together in a shared space. This improves the visibility of work in progress, keeps information flowing and removes those barriers.
Consider architects. Most of their design work takes place in software, from the initial concept architectural model through to the detailed building information model (BIM). Teams of people work together during the process, and design reviews are used to test and analyse the concepts developed. Ideally, you want to bring the best people in your practice together, even if they work in a different studio (or from home). Collaborative software can help – and it is even more effective if it links with your architectural design software.
How collaboration tools help architects
When lockdown was introduced at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Márkus Engineering was managing a major renovation project in the heart of Budapest – the Radisson Collection Hotel in St Stephen’s Square.
With project delivery under threat, the team looked for a solution that would help them stay on time and on budget. A user of Archicad, Graphisoft’s BIM software, they wanted something that would easily integrate with it, keeping things as straightforward as possible for the project’s designers. That’s where Bluebeam Revu came in.
Archicad’s Bluebeam connection links Graphisoft’s BIM authoring tool with the design review workflows in Revu. The process is as simple as saving the Archicad views or layouts as PDFs and then sending for markup in Revu. Markups made in Revu are then imported back into Archicad automatically as native elements, removing a manual process.
This can be done as a live process too by using Studio in Revu, which allows team members to collaborate on documents in real time.
Running the project via this integration saved significant time and cost on the project, with design reviews, cost estimation and project management all taking place faster. The latter included improved document management, an effective audit process and increased visibility of data via digital dashboards.
Functions such as the overlay tool, which make it much easier to see changes in drawings, and a document comparison tool, also improved the delivery of the project (you can find out more about the project here).
Introducing collaborative tools
The advantage of Bluebeam Revu is that it works with PDF – a format everyone is familiar with. It is a great place to start if you want to add additional tools to your software stack, especially if you already design in Archicad.
Collaboration is the foundation for great design, and every practice can benefit from using software that easily integrates with existing workflows and speeds up the process for everyone involved.
To find out more about how Revu can bring project teams together, click here.