Outsourcing Architectural Design Development

How common is outsourcing design development in architecture practices? We think it happens all the time, for big brand-names and small studios alike. It may not always be formal outsourcing, but it carries the same core principles. One way of basic outsourcing is using interns and graduates that work in temporary roles but handling much of the design development work and less of the more demanding creative and conceptual design work. One more sophisticated and organized form of outsourcing is hiring an outside firm, either local or international. Such a firm effectively becomes a design partner, seamlessly integrating in the company’s architectural design team.

A company abroad, for instance, would handle all the drawing/modeling tasks but is not usually in direct contact with the client, nor is it present in meetings and basically works hard to deliver on the lead architect’s requirements. That’s why using “outsourcing” as a term to describe working with interns and graduates is warranted, but as we’ll see, it may often not be the best approach.

Almost all companies fit in one of the two categories above as a natural market adaptation to reduce costs with tasks that, by their nature, are fairly easy to delegate. This is a common practice nowadays and it is a perfectly fine approach, especially when there are proper communication channels in place between the low level and high level staff. Managing an office and/or a suite of projects is a task in and of itself, leaving little room for the drafting or modeling work.

So the question now becomes which one of these work forms is the most optimal? The short answer would be that each company has specific needs and a specific culture, but if we look closely we can easily determine a general trend. Whilst the use of interns and graduates may solve a problem in the short term, the need to constantly re-hire and retain them can be a major distraction. Instead, using outsourcing firms for the architectural design development phase means that you are partnering up with highly skilled professionals, with zero overhead costs. Such firms are often specialized in specific domains where they’ve honed in-house systems that allow them to work extremely fast, relying heavily on advanced BIM solutions. Outsourcing firms can also guarantee on schedule delivery since they typically have buffer resources and larger numbers of employees.

When looking at outsourcing firms, there is little to no distinction between the interaction workflow you will have with local versus international companies. The problem can arise when you limit yourself to a small market, the local one, and you end up constantly swapping providers of outsourcing services and thus rely on new firms to pick up where the previous ones left. The solution is to tap into the international market and chose a quality, reliable partner for long term collaboration. Looking broader as opposed to narrower has the added advantage that you will likely find providers with lower production/management costs that will translate in a much better pricing and therefore a more competitive offering.

In today’s hyper-connected global economy, communication is a non-issue and offshore collaborations become opportunities instead of challenges, allowing design leads to focus on the core aspects of their businesses.

10 Reasons to Use Revit Architecture for Homebuilding Design

We know that BIM is becoming mandatory for large scale projects, but it’s easily arguable that Revit is also a great choice for homebuilding design and here are 10 reasons why:

1. Iteration

This is perhaps the most important reason you should opt for Revit as opposed to 2D alternatives such as AutoCAD. Design without iteration is engineering. If you’re building your home you’ll want to design it and personalise it by choosing the right lighting and colours to match your lifestyle. These are however complex matters to assemble into one architectural project. You can of course iterate with a pen and pencil, but with Revit you can iterate y faster and smarter. Changes propagate from model plans to facades to sections to the final output drawings. This way you can share and review the entire project once you have made a change. Slowly but surely you can evaluate options and make the best design choices with a permanent holistic view of the project.

2. Components

Revit has a vast array of manufacturers freely publishing their products as family components to be used in your project. This includes furniture, lighting, glazing, partitions and just about any equipment imaginable. This way it’s very easy to assemble your house using real products and avoid using generically sized drawings that might not fit your space. Manufacturers also embed significant metadata to their Revit components, from sizing and finishes available to product codes to assist in purchasing or requiring an offer.

3. Scheduling

Homebuilding architecture may be about small scale projects but it’s also about tight budgets. With Revit you can set up scheduling early in the design phase and make sure you don’t go over budget on any area. See how this complements the iterative nature of Revit as schedules update automatically, so you can compare how much surface area, wall covering, windows etc. you have in one version and in the other. This allows you to make relevant, measurable and ultimately, realistic e evaluations of different design options.

4. Standards

Revit is the industry standard across nations when it comes to BIM. This makes contracting a Homebuilder Drafting Service veryeasy. In this case popular is good as you can sample a wider market of service providers and find the professionals with the relevant experience you’re interested in.

5. Cross

Discipline Integration Revit handles not only the architectural design phase but also structural and MEP. This means you can outsource CAD services that you can’t handle in house and not worry about the various disciplines not connecting together. With Revit you have all the design and engineering elements in one master Revit file. Of course with outsourcing it’s best if you go for a Residential Drafting Service provider that can handle the entire workflow to reduce any friction. Revit is great at producing output drawings fast and of maximum clarity. You model once and cut sections as many times as you want, so you make sure that there are no plumbing intersections and you can understand how it all fits together.

6. 3D Output

Revit works at its core directly in 3D, so you don’t have to spend money on producing renders of your house. As you iterate you don’t need high end renders and here Revit shines with a plethora of visualization options. You can cut a 3D model with a section box and peer inside that bedroom while you see how it relates to the staircase, or cut through that second floor and reveal the ground plan in 3D. When it comes to finishes and final details Revit can produce high end renders but it also plays extremely well with industry leader arch viz software from Autodesk suite, such as 3dsMax. Getting a Revit model in Max is straightforward and enables photorealistic renders from any angle. Most importantly, unlike using AutoCAD, or other drafting packages, you are sure that the 3D model the visualization artist is using is the correct model and not a close approximation of 2D plans and elevations.

7. Phasing

Construction and phasing are also often a very useful feature to have with homebuilding. With Revit, you can control phasing projects where you restore an older house, add an extension or anothersegment to it. This is crucial in making sure the existing building and the final building match up properly. It can also help youphase the actual construction development. By keeping the entire project together, old and new in the stages they’ll be built, youcan ensure a smooth construction execution. This way you can commission a survey from a local contractor and have any Revit specialist, even from abroad be in full understanding of the project and work as if present on site.

8. Flexible Modeling Options

Not all houses have to be typical designs, with straight lines and generic features. You may want to push the limits a bit, make a statement, or maybe you just want to make sure you get an optimal use of space. Revit, with its massing tools allows for organic modeling with almost no constraints. Of course you’ll need to find a Residential Revit BIM Modelling specialist, but any shape is possible with Revit, and you’ll also be able to document it andproduce construction ready drawings for that shape. Moreover, Revit works well with other software such as Grasshopper for Rhino and with its own new Dynamo functionality so getting that parametric paneling on the main facade is no longer an issue.

9. Parametric Approach

Parametric doesn’t necessarily mean fancy, or cutting edge contemporary architecture.Sometimes parametric architecture is all about finding the right parameters to optimize for maximum solar gain and other environmental factors, such as accounting for wind distribution and thermal load. Revit is no stranger to such analysis if it’s important for you that your future home is sustainable. With easy integration with tools such as Vasari, a spinoff from the main Revit software and with Dynamo again, a professional Revit modeler can help you make the statement you’re after when it comes to caring about the planet.

10. Quality

Quality is of course in the detail. Revit can scale down to 1:5 drawings and even 1:1 if needed. At the end of the day you’ll needto make sure important details that cover wall-ground, wall-roof and other junctions are treated to great attention. Also it’s very likely that you’ll need some custom furniture to be detailed for manufacturing and assembly. Handling these final touches in Revit or leaving them to a contractor’s opinion can make the difference between a properly insulated house and one that’s chilly and noisy at places and times. With Revit you can use all the BIM information and push it further with 2D details by relying on suppliers information who often supply them. A specialized Residential Drafting provider will most likely already have all the typical details at hand and easily adapt them to the needed configuration.

These are many reasons as to why you should choose Revit for homebuilding design. Sure, you might argue that licensing and expertise comes at a steep price. In most cases you may find it difficult to find a reliable service provider that uses Revit however, it’s made a lot easier when you widen your reach across international borders and it is very easy to outsource such tasks to offices with years of experience in using Revit, usually with Autodesk certification and broad portfolios. Also by expanding your search the odds are that you’ll find the quality you’re looking for at a very affordable price.

Important Tips to Create a Successful and Functional Office Design!

Interior design is one of the most important yet underestimated factors responsible for creating a happier, healthier and productive workplace. A good office interior design enhances the aesthetics of the space, strengthens your corporate identity, conveys your brand images, boosts the morale and productivity of the employees and leaves a lasting impression on clients and visitors. As more and more companies realise the role of interior design in organizational success, they are hiring professional interior design companies to design an aesthetic and functional office space. Some key design tips that result in successful office design are as follows:

1) Avoid Clutter: A cluttered environment creates a cluttered mind and turns your creative haven into a disorganized, messy office space. It makes employees feel overwhelmed and frustrated causing a decline in productivity. An office starts looking cluttered when you start putting a lot of stuff in a small space. To avoid this, ensure that you have minimal furniture and accessories. Choose multi-purpose, foldable furniture that helps you streamline your storage requirements. Create a pin-board where you can pin all important notes and avoid unnecessary clutter of paper-work on the desks. Pin-boards are the latest trends and they enhance the aesthetic appeal of the space.

2) Focus on Employees Comfort: An uncomfortable work environment takes a toll on the employee’s productivity as well as on their health. As a result, an office should be designed considering several factors including ergonomics, lighting, thermal comfort and air quality. The temperature of the room should not be too hot or too cold. You should periodically clean and manage the HVAC system to ensure a proper humidity level and a good quality of air. When selecting chairs, always choose ergonomic chairs that provide good back and spinal support. Always have a balance of natural lighting and artificial lighting sources. Having adequate windows in a room would ensure supply of natural light and fresh air. Also, arrangements should be made to control glares, excessive sunlight and shadows.

3) Access to Nature: Many studies suggest that offices with elements that expose employees to nature show a higher level of well-being and productivity. It also helps in reducing stress-levels as it gives employees a feel of being connected to the outside world. There are various ways in which this can happen. Some of them include creating a small indoor courtyard, having paintings with images of nature, colouring the office walls with colour, textures and patterns resembling elements of nature and using glass walls that give employees a glimpse of the outside world.

A successful workplace interior design is the one that understands the goal of the given space, makes the space aesthetically appealing as well as functional and prioritizes employee’s comfort.