CPD Breakfast at the Blue Fin: Top five takeaways for designers

Applecore Designs ‘Working Smarter’ CPD breakfast briefing, focused on how studios can collaborate and benefit from: better efficiency, better information, better decision making and better client interaction.

More than sixty architects from across London convened at the Southbank Blue Fin Venue on 21 June. After polishing off bacon sandwiches and croissants on the Blue Fin’s 10th floor terrace, everyone gathered in the auditorium.

The event kicked off with a brief introduction and welcome, followed by a  presentation from Applecore Designs on model based workflow’s and Virtual Reality, a powerful way for communicating design intent.

We wanted to demonstrate how straightforward it is for teams to design, collaborate and communicate utilising ARCHICAD’s virtual building concept said Scott Berry, Managing Director

Next, Chris Bryant RIBA, Director of London based Alma-nac and Chair of the RIBA Small Practice Group took to the stage. Chris talked about the growth of his practice since it was established in 2009, and how its software requirements have changed over time.

Alma-nac implemented ARCHICAD in 2014 to offer clients greater collaboration, more iterative design and the many benefits of BIM, illustrating their experiences with case study projects.

Read on to discover the top five takeaways for designers from Chris’s presentation.

Collaboration is key

During early projects the team at Alma-nac quickly realised the importance of working together and the value of collaboration. In fact, the ability to collaborate better between multiple project stakeholders was a critical factor in Alma-nac’s decision to choose ARCHICAD.

Iterative processes deliver better designs

An iterative design process delivers a better final outcome. The ability to easily revisit previous versions of a building design, while making multiple changes and tweaks without adding additional cost and time is very valuable.

If it’s easier to step back, then it’s easier to design better buildings, Chris enthused during his presentation.

When Alma-nac purely used CAD software, a minor change can involve editing 40 different drawings. But with ARCHICAD, only one edit is needed and everything is updated accordingly. Alma-nac can now make multiple changes during the project, which ultimately helps clients feel more comfortable with the final design.

It’s easy for a small studio to implement ARCHICAD and offer BIM

With a small team, it’s both quick and easy to implement new software tools. ARCHICAD has enabled the team to be more efficient while also encouraging and supporting collaboration and iterative design. For a practice with growth ambitions, it’s important to embrace BIM on all projects, not just on larger or public projects. In fact, ARCHICAD and BIM translate very well to deliver successful smaller projects, too.

The value of high quality, accurate imagerycollaboration illustration

Alma-nac was initially concerned about the quality of images produced in ARCHICAD.

However, the team has been very impressed with the images produced and the image accuracy the practice can now achieve with ARCHICAD models due to the integrated Cinema 4D rendering engine.

Clients love virtual reality

Virtual reality helps clients envisage your designs. It allows clients to look everywhere and walk around the building you’ve designed. What’s more, by operating BIMx – GRAPHISOFT’s virtual reality tool – like a video game, the client has full control over where they go and what they view.

To close off the mornings event, a VR viewer was provided to all those  who attended, downloading sample files onto a smartphone with gyroscope to fully participate. An online multiple choice test also formed part of the assessment process leading to the award of a ‘VR for Architecture’ digital badge.