Variations and conveying designs account for a large part of architecture workload.
Following Covid-19 restrictions, the loss of clear communication has had a significant impact on project efficiency. The collaboration between clients, consultants and contractors is burdened with increasing misunderstandings and variation requests.
With labour accounting for almost 40% of architecture expenditure, profit share has dropped over 10% since the start of the pandemic, according to Ibisworld’s Architectural Services in Australia report.
Digital Tours, a web-based BIM platform that emerged following Covid-19, has attracted interest from multiple sectors by consolidating various design aspects into a digital twin model with a centralised communication system.
The platform, created by proptech company ConceptV, combines information and schematics from multiple stakeholders and hands control back to architects.
In contrast to traditional BIM, ConceptV’s Digital Tours are the first effective vertically integrated BIM solution that facilitates both 2D and 3D in a single platform, allowing the digital model to evolve alongside the project.
Authorised users are then able to see plans in 3D context and use their ‘Markup Tool’ to easily annotate any issues or queries within the platform. These annotations can be viewed and commented by other stakeholders, streamlining the more detailed elements of the design.
“When coordinating with an engineer, it’s often hard to get details across by annotating a 2D plan” Steven Bishop, director at SJ Bishop Architects, said.
“We spend a fair amount of time trying to communicate exactly what we want but their plans come out slightly different at the margins. You try your best but it never quite gets through. Having this kind of system really helps in those situations.”
An integral component to Digital Tour effectiveness is the versatility of user permissions. By co-ordinating users or user domains, the administrating body controls what information, features and areas each stakeholder has access to.
Large-scale projects aren’t the only sector shifting to Digital Tours. Residential architects, luxury residential architects and volume home builders have incorporated Digital Tours to streamline their design process and ease the strain of client variations.
Matt Dagg, design specialist from GJ Gardner commented: “Providing my clients with a virtual walkthrough in the early stages of the design process helps them make more informed decisions. Giving them access to explore every angle in their own time is bringing variations into one or two rounds, rather than 10 or more.”
With the sudden need for accessible platforms like Digital Tours, tech companies like ConceptV have rapidly pivoted to meet the demand.
“We originally built our platform to convey complicated information quickly and easily, aiming to improve sales and marketing performance for new projects” said ConceptV’s chief executive Tim Geldard.
“When Covid-19 pushed for remote services, we decided to adapt our technology for the architecture industry. We want to give architects an efficient BIM system so they can cut out the tedious tasks and spend their time doing what they love - design buildings”.
Founded in 2018, ConceptV are the pioneers of this new technology, being the first to actively work with architects and development companies to simplify their workload without disrupting their current practices.
“We’re still accepting a few partner companies, so if people are interested, tell them to give me a call” - said Geldard.
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