Making data relevant – Join UNIFI Labs at BILT Europe next week!

Making data relevant – Join UNIFI Labs at BILT Europe next week!

We’re looking forward to spending time with European Digital Design Leaders at BCS Europe and BILT Europe in Aarhus, Denmark next week. Ahead of her workshop at BCS, our Design Technologist Megan Green has provided a preview of what she’ll be covering…

 

For years, digital design leaders in the building industry have been searching for solutions to a common problem: how do we bring manufacturer content into projects and have it seamlessly work with our company standards? Currently, each manufacturer provides their own set of content with their own unique parameters. When a designer downloads that content and tries to place it in their project, the product data is contained within the family… but will not appear in critical places like schedules and tags since the parameters don’t match that company’s standards.

 

This challenge has caused many companies to ban their design teams from using manufacturer content. Although some companies will take the time to insert their own parameters into the manufacturer content, that process is both time consuming and tedious and can lead to backlogs of manufacturer content waiting to be approved for use. While there are add-ins available that can assist, using them to update manufacturer content still results in additional steps that must be taken each time the product specification changes and for each new project started, especially if the project requires unique standards.

 

Many designers wonder why manufacturers don’t provide content that just automatically works in any environment. Well, to do that successfully, they would need to know every design firm’s standards. Additionally, these standards are constantly evolving and frequently change, as do the manufacturer’s products themselves. Keeping up with this manually would be a costly nightmare, if not outright impossible. But what if this process was automated?

 

At UNIFI Labs, we believe content should automatically work the instant it’s placed into a project and we’ve been working closely with Grundfos to make the seemingly impossible a reality. We’re able to add and remove parameters in a batch process and making it easy to swap one set of parameters for another, even shared parameters. Our platform can take an entire product line of families and instantly transform each of those families to be compliant with any regional or company standards.

 

What does this mean for the future of global data? Manufacturers will be able to maintain one set of content that is kept up to date in real time and usable by anyone. AEC firms will be able to specify their unique standards in one place and have all manufacturer content they’re interested in using automatically transformed as it’s inserted into the project. Not only that, but the manufacturer content will be automatically revisioned every time an update is made to the product, so you can easily see which version of that product is placed in the model and if a newer version is available.

 

If you’re excited about this new paradigm and would like to discuss it further, please join me for the round table session at BCS Europe in a just a couple weeks. I look forward to seeing you there!

 

-Megan

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
RECENT POSTS

“UNIFI is 63% Faster & Saves Each Designer 2.3 Hours a Week

“UNIFI is 63% Faster & Saves Each Designer 2.3 Hours a Week

Grimshaw is a global architecture firm with offices around the world, employing over 500 people. The practice covers architecture, planning and industrial design across all major sectors. Grimshaw was a pioneer in high-tech architecture, but had come to rely on low-tech solutions for content management, which created issues with consistency and the capture of content.

Holger de Groot, Office BIM Manager for Grimshaw’s Sydney studio, had seen the problem before when he was a Regional BIM Director at another firm. He saw firsthand how an outdated content management solution could slow down designers, create content inconsistencies and make it extremely difficult to conduct simple searches. When he joined Grimshaw, he found a different approach to content management, but with similar outcomes. Grimshaw mirrored its content libraries by replicating the server for its four main offices – Sydney, Melbourne, London and New York. This led to “content being stored in multiple locations without controls so that different sub-structures were created,” says de Groot.

Grimshaw’s content management strategy needed to change. A clear choice emerged, “UNIFI was the one true source of content that could be accessed from anywhere around the world with the most advanced features including its search functionality,” says Holger. In December 2016, Grimshaw started a UNIFI pilot in its Sydney and Melbourne offices for a single project in each office. All content on the server was uploaded into UNIFI, so that Grimshaw could easily change names, create tags and clean up its content. During this exercise, several instances of duplicate content were found using different container files.

The pilot was so successful in Sydney that Grimshaw decided to move “full steam ahead” with UNIFI for all the projects in the office. Along with enjoying cloud based access to a single source of content and no longer having to manually update libraries, Grimshaw could easily access manufacturing content via UNIFI Connect. “It’s a real plus to have access to content that gets directly integrated into our libraries,” says Holger of UNIFI Connect.

Some of the most interesting aspects of the Grimshaw’s content transformation were documented in a “before and after” survey circulated to the Sydney office in August 2016 (prior to UNIFI’s implementation), and in May 2017, (after UNIFI had been in use for three plus months).

  • Content Quality Perception: Prior to the UNIFI pilot, content was ranked as average or “low quality” by 65% of respondents. Yet, when the same designers were asked about the quality of content in May 2017, it was “highly rated” by over 60% of the respondents, with some calling it “advanced”. The content was the same! What changed was the “quality perception” due to its presentation and content, its ease of access, including search and previews.
  • Search Time Savings: The survey also highlighted significant time savings by using UNIFI. Once UNIFI was deployed, designers took half the time to find more content – translating into 3 hours “saved” each week, 120 hours annually, per designer! BIM Admins saved a lot of time as well, since they didn’t have to focus on updating content.

UNIFI offers several other benefits. In the past, content requests would have to be emailed along with CAD attachments or paper printouts, then they would be shared with various project teams for reviews and approvals, an unnecessarily labor-intensive process. Now, all content requests are reviewed, tracked, tagged and managed through UNIFI, which limits the inclusion of rogue content and streamlines the content creation & approval process.

With UNIFI’s recent release of multi-format support, any file format can be stored and searched on UNIFI. In addition to a large Revit practice, Grimshaw has many designers who use Rhino and now they can store, access, and insert the information they need from UNIFI into their models.

UNIFI has been receiving rave reviews within Grimshaw’s Sydney office which is now 100% on UNIFI. Office BIM Managers in the Practice’s other offices are now working on a global UNIFI rollout to achieve similar results. We’ll end this case study by using the words of one survey respondent, which was echoed by many: “I like that we got one true source now, allowing me to find the content I need quickly and easy.”

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
RECENT POSTS