SMMA – A Single-Source Focus on BIM Content

“We now have a central, sterile
source of information, with
no leakage of content.”


– Thomas Merchel,
Design Technologist

OVERVIEW

SMMA has focused on advancing novel BIM-utilization methods
since adopting the technology in 2004. Over time, the firm
developed customized solutions to consolidate its BIM content
library, but many applications did not possess
the crucial features required by its Design
Technology Group. “Content was hidden in
folders, and we lacked standards across the
library,” says Thomas Merchel, SMMA Design
Technologist. Out of necessity, the firm created
a detailed content-container system, which
limited future growth and made onboarding
new team members very difficult. Thomas
knew another solution was necessary for the
improvement and standardization of content.
That’s when SMMA discovered UNIFI.

CHALLENGE

Stantec’s former content management vendor actually recommended that they take a look at UNIFI. David Spehar, Principal in Stantec’s Buildings Digital Practice, was tasked with the investigation. David is a registered architect who was an early adopter of Revit, so he possessed a hands on understanding of how digital building content was used and the challenges around maintaining consistent, standard content – especially for an organization on the scale of Stantec. David was looking for a solution that offered a centralized library of BIM content that everyone could easily access while enforcing a baseline of standardization and ensuring the highest level of security.

SOLUTION

SMMA became a UNIFI customer early on, and quickly
incorporated the platform into its BIM workflow. UNIFI
afforded the firm the ability to centralize and display
content via a clean, user-friendly experience. With the
use of UNIFI, SMMA was able to launch its reference
detail library on the cloud, allowing for single-source,
firm-wide access to valuable and complex details, and
significantly reducing the construction-documentation
process. “We now have a central, sterile source
of information, with no leakage of content,” says
Thomas. “Updates are pushed out on the fly, in real
time, ensuring that our teams have confidence in
accessing and utilizing the most current content.”
The efficiencies that SMMA has gained by using UNIFI
have allowed it to be more responsive and nimble as
a design firm. “The capability to utilize the cloud to
efficiently load content directly into our documentation
software is emblematic of the culture of innovation that
SMMA has built,” says Thomas Merchel. UNIFI’s robust
management console, which includes permissions and
approvals, further streamlines access to content and
ensures end-user confidence in its quality. SMMA’s
two-pronged commitment to design excellence and
social responsibility is now complemented by a singular
focus on superior content management with UNIFI.