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HASSELL Scores Big with BIM Content Management

HASSELL is a leading international design practice with studios in Australia, China, South East Asia and the United Kingdom.  Architects and design professionals are brought together in virtual teams to assemble the best group for a project, regardless of physical location.  Many projects involve collaboration with other firms and consultants, adding an additional layer of coordination and complexity.  All of these factors add up to HASSELL employing a culture built on collaboration, creativity, and innovation in design thinking and delivery.  This multi-pronged culture drove HASSELL to deploy UNIFI as its single source of BIM content management for its design professionals and beyond.

The Perth Stadium – Multiple Firms, A Single Source of Collaboration

HASSELL has an impressive and exhaustive list of projects where they have put the UNIFI solution to good use – including projects involving only HASSELL employees as well as joint efforts with outside firms.  The Perth Stadium is a collaboration among HASSELL, Cox and HKS to design a 60,000 seat multi-purpose sports facility in Australia.  The stadium’s revolutionary design requires state of the art technology to ensure a free-flow of ideas and collaboration across the project team, managed by Perth Stadium builder, Multiplex, while also maintaining strict controls over the access and use of the BIM content.

A big question with any joint undertaking of this magnitude is how will all the libraries be shared?  The answer – UNIFI library sharing.  UNIFI’s library sharing feature enables project specific content to be securely shared with the globally distributed, multi-firm project team.  A Perth library held only relevant project content and was shared across the project teams at HASSELL, Cox and HKS, making it simple for the team to have a single source of approved building blocks for the Perth Stadium.

Security was another key concern with so many people involved in the project in distributed locations and firms, but HASSELL and its design partners could rest assured with UNIFI.  “The cloud is more secure than file-based solutions,” says Michael Ruehr, Revit Application Specialist for HASSELL. “We have total visibility on downloads and usage.  We were in the dark before UNIFI.”  No more Dropbox, no more email – UNIFI made it simple to share a single source of content that was approved and vetted by the design teams.  “UNIFI avoided a logistical nightmare,” says Michael.  Additionally, when people roll on (or off) the project, access is easily and securely managed through UNIFI’s administrative console.

“UNIFI allows us to work smarter,” says Julia Allen, BIM Manager in the HASSELL Melbourne studio.  Prior to UNIFI, Julia and the other BIM Managers were constantly being asked for content – whether it be a door, window or light fixture.  Julia estimates that 9 out of 10 people now easily find what they need by searching on UNIFI.  There’s an added benefit to these successful searches – less duplication of effort rebuilding content that’s already available.  “We don’t have people screaming for content because it is already in being shared across the company using UNIFI,” says Julia.  “It allows us to have a more efficient and refined library, since we aren’t letting any rogue content in.”

A Winning Formula

HASSELL’s website says, “We judge the success of the buildings and places we design by the way people use and enjoy them.”  At UNIFI, we measure success by how our customers use our solution to meet their goals.  In the case of HASSELL – they’ve pulled off a hat trick using UNIFI — enhancing project collaboration, improving workplace efficiency and deploying a single source of BIM content – which secures them an honorary position on a premier cricket team in the Perth Stadium.

View the pdf of the HASSELL Success Story and read how other UNIFI customers are achieving success in our Success Stories area.

Library Sharing: A new way to think about your content workflows with design partners!

Recently, we announced a brand new way to think about how you collaborate with outside design partners on content – Library Sharing.  Library Sharing is now officially supported for all UNIFI customers!  It’s been thrilling to see how UNIFI continues to add value to bridge information gaps and foster collaboration across the building lifecycle – first through improving how content is consumed, and now offering new ways that it can be distributed.  

Here are a few ways UNIFI’s Library Sharing is already being utilized:

Joint Venture Workflows – UNIFI has two customers engaged in a multi-billion dollar joint venture that requires a significant amount of collaboration including the sharing of BIM Execution Documents, standards and templates. Sharing content is a natural evolution in that process and UNIFI’s Library Sharing enables this to seamlessly occur.  Staff from both companies particularly enjoy being able to request content for libraries, regardless of who owns the library.

Owner ↔ Consultant – One of UNIFI’s customers is a real estate management firm that literally builds cities.  UNIFI is effectively allowing this firm to create content once, store it in the cloud and provide a single source of objects to any of their preferred design consultants.  This single source of information provides essential consistency to their entire building ecosystem, which is particularly helpful as the firm is constantly rotating through different consultants.  UNIFI is also a win for each consultant because it removes the burden of creating content.

AEC Firm ↔ UNIFI Create Services – Many design firms are increasingly turning to UNIFI to create their BIM content.  This allows firms to specialize in their core competencies – designing buildings – while efficiently meeting the cyclical demand of content creation.  A firm shares its libraries with the UNIFI Create Team, a group of seasoned experts in content creation.  Requests from the firm are easily sent through the Content Request form, providing a complete spec of the content and the content is then completed by the UNIFI team within a day or two and returned to the firm’s libraries.

“UNIFI is the bridge, allowing all of our staff, offices, consultants and clients access to critical content.”   Guy Messick – Interior Architects

These are just a few stories of how customers are currently using Library Sharing.  How will you use Library Sharing?  We’d love to hear your story!

Here’s how it works:

A company administrator can initiate sharing of a library by navigating to app.discoverunifi.com and logging in with their UNIFI credentials.   The user then should navigate to ‘Libraries’.

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(Note, other areas of the portal are still in beta and may not be entirely functional.)

Then click on the link of the library to open up its page:

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The library can then be shared by clicking on the ‘Share’ link:

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The pop up dialog will step you through the process. You will be prompted to select the permissions level (currently, only collaborative is available), designate a recipient email address, enter a custom message and agree to the term of service.

Following this, the recipient will receive an invitation email.  If the recipient is a company admin of another company, they will be able to follow the included link, sign into the portal and accept the invitation. Note, once an invitation has been sent, any company administrator for that company may log in to the portal and accept the invitation, regardless if the invitation was sent to them.  If an invitation is sent to a non UNIFI customer, they will be given the option to try UNIFI.

Once an invitation is accepted, administrators for the company that initiated the sharing will see the shared relationship under ‘Shared History’ and any pending invitations that have been sent will appear under ‘Pending Outgoing Invites’.  Pending invitations and current sharing relationships can be canceled and revoked here on the ‘Sharing’ tab.

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And that is it!  Libraries that are shared with you in UNIFI will appear like this:

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Libraries that are shared with another company appear normal.

Here are some considerations:

  • Library Sharing is part of the core product, there is no additional cost to use it.
  • Only company administrators may set up a shared library with another company.
  • Libraries can be shared with entire companies, not single individuals.  However, that company may choose to allow access with only select individuals.
  • When shared with another company, that company must also be a UNIFI customer to access the library.
  • When that company receives and accepts the sharing invite, the library is available to them in the same way that their own libraries are. Users and groups can be granted access to the shared library and saved searches can be created that reference that library.  In short, the consumption of content in a shared library works identically to ‘owned’ libraries.
  • Content in a shared library (whether you belong to the company that owns the library or subscribing company) can be tagged, rated and favorited like any other content.
  • The owner of a library may share it with an unlimited number of other companies.
  • If another company has shared a library with your company, you are not able to share the library with others.
  • If another company has shared a library with your company, content within that library cannot be added across to your own libraries… but only to other libraries that the same company may have already shared with your company and that you have administrator access to.

If you have any questions about Library Sharing, please contact us.  And, stay tuned for more exciting features from UNIFI.