COLLABORATION FOR REVIT (C4R)

May 26th, 2017 Posted by BIM, cloud, collaboration, Revit, Tools 0 comments on “COLLABORATION FOR REVIT (C4R)”

I recently presented at the Autodesk Design and Collaboration Event, which was held at Cundall’s office here in London. There were many different talks over the course of the evening exploring the end-to-end design workflow, and how you can use the latest technology and approaches to optimise project delivery. The evening featured insights from across the Design process, with contributions from Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Cundall, Grimshaw Architects, Purcell, RPS Group, SLR Consulting, and more.

 

My talk was part of the Collaboration section and I was asked to talk in particular about my experience with C4R (Collaboration for Revit).

Looking at collaboration initially, you could argue that any form of design that leads to a physical artifact must be collaborative. Typically, in our industry this means a turn based approach, particularly within design models. A change is made, this is passed over to others for review, the change is approved/denied, another change happens, this is passed back and so the cycle goes on. We have always collaborated in this manner but this is in no means an efficient way of working. Technology is now allowing a different method of collaboration away from the static approach we have all become so used to.

Take everyday life, with the smart phones and the internet we all have access to endless amounts of data at anytime and anywhere. If all this information is decentralised then why can’t the people accessing it be too? The problem in our industry is there is an underlying issue to look after one’s self interests rather than taking a more holistic view of how collaboration can benefit a team and our industry. Instead of embracing new ways of working, many companies are reluctant to truly collaborate due fear of ownership and security.

“A lot of the siloed nature of the industry goes with the fear of losing one’s territory and not accepting the benefits of this type of collaboration, particularly when it comes to saving time and money.”

Heather Gadonniex

Head of Building and Construction

PE International

Over the past year at designtech we are beginning to see a number of our clients change their methods of working to enable a more collaborative approach. This stems across all aspects of their company, from design data and communication to work tracking. This is driven by three key trends within our industry.

Era of Connection – Within BIM, historically the focus has been on the M, but there is now a rapid shift of focus to the I. Technology is enabling teams to be more connected and have access to a wealth of information anywhere. Project collaboration can now happen in real-time allowing international teams to work constantly through multiple time zones.

 

Integrated Project Delivery – Joint design ventures are becoming more commonplace within our industry and the need to co-locate, share server requirements and have centralised systems is sometimes required. We are now often seeing two competing architects join up to design a building together and for this to work architects and engineers need to be able to communicate and share data easily to support efficient decision-making.

 

Cloud-Based Technology – Many of the tools designtech use are cloud based, which enables us to be completely flexible in the way we work and support our clients. These cloud-based tools can help to minimise downtime and rework. We are in the thick of these solutions coming to the forefront of our industry and embracing these new methods of collaboration is key. The way we live our lives in constant communication and constant access to information wherever you are is second nature and this is filtering down into the methods in which we work.

Projects are at the heart of collaboration and with the drive towards BIM, the AEC industry now has the focus needed to move our current processes to new cloud based collaborative workflows. Clients are demanding that we not only collaborate more effectively within internal companies, but with other consultants and disciplines.

As a way of collaborating in design models at designtech we are using C4R (Collaboration for Revit). Concisely, C4R is like Revit server but in the cloud. Underpinned by BIM360 team C4R helps project teams from multiple disciplines, locations, or firms to collaborate in the cloud with centralised access to Revit models. Using the cloud, we are now able to work exactly as we are used to but from any location. Anyone free in any location can jump in and push the project forward when needed allowing us to be completely flexible on how we resource our projects. There is no need for the turn-based approach to collaboration, we can now give immediate access to design changes and review live.

The main features of C4R are it allows:

  • Cloud worksharing – Project team members from multiple sites can co-author models
  • Management – Manage models and users by setting permissions and restrictions in a BIM 360 Team project from within Revit
  • BIM 360 integration – The entire project team, even non-Revit users, can view, comment, and mark up models.
  • Communicator tool – With Revit cloud solutions, you can connect team members with direct, real-time chat within BIM project models.

The main features of C4R are it allows:

  • Cloud worksharing – Project team members from multiple sites can co-author models
  • Management – Manage models and users by setting permissions and restrictions in a BIM 360 Team project from within Revit
  • BIM 360 integration – The entire project team, even non-Revit users, can view, comment, and mark up models.
  • Communicator tool – With Revit cloud solutions, you can connect team members with direct, real-time chat within BIM project models.

Using C4R on live projects gives us the ability deliver projects outside of our normal geographical constraints and allows consistent working and support from offices in different locations through all hours of the day. We can pull staff members into the project when and if needed allowing a greater level of flexibility. In terms of the financials and the ROI on using C4R on projects we can make a cautious assumption that by utilising this method of design model collaborating we are saving on average of 30 minutes per team member each week. When calculated over an entire project team over the course of a year C4R actually pays for itself aside from providing other less tangible benefits.

The overall benefits of using C4R can be grouped into three types.

Time:

  • Finish Projects Faster and Resource Better
  • Less Time Coordinating
  • More Time Designing

Risk Mitigation:

  • Reduce Errors
  • Spend Less on IT Infrastructure
  • Project Transparency

Talent:

  • Work From Anywhere
  • Co-Locate Virtually
  • Attract From Everywhere

I would encourage everyone in our industry to look a how they are currently collaborating and assess whether they can utilise the cloud to begin implementing better methods into practice. C4R is just one of the successful ways we are using the cloud to improve our design efficiencies, and aligning our workflows with our other internal and external cloud processes.

 

…to the Cloud and Beyond!

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