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Collaboration Technology Can Build a New Kind of AEC Industry

Allan Partridge is a Principal at Next Architecture Inc. in Edmonton, Canada. He has been practicing architecture for over 30 years and is currently the president  of the Canada BIM Council (CanBIM) . 

Allan is committed to being at the forefront of combining technology and design in an integrated practice and delivery (IP+D) setting, and continues to explore methods by which emergent technologies can be used to overhaul and refabricate how Architecture is practiced, as well how Architects increase their involvement in the construction process.

Working for several months now with both A360 Team and Collaboration for Revit (C4R), it is clear to me that the future of the traditional office/studio is eroding at a steady rate for several reasons.  These two collaboration tools help drive efficiency and streamline how teams can be managed, making work between remote teams, clients, architects in the office, and construction workers on the ground much easier.  In this way, the set-up, format, and workflows that the industry uses are changing.  Here’s why I think A360 Team and C4R will be the catalyst for a more efficient, new kind of AEC:

  • Working Differently: These days, people want to have the flexibility to work from home, on a sabbatical and not necessarily in a “9 – 5″ setting. In addition, many are choosing to be self-employed and basically work as hired guns. A360 + C4R can facilitate this new kind of work style as they allow people to work and access project data at any time, from any place.
  • Measuring Time: Many in the industry are paid on an hourly basis, but billing in this model would be a huge challenge not because of any distrust, but because time is one of the only metrics that is a constant –an hour is an hour.  It measures productivity, latency and capacity in the business world.
  • Measuring Cost: Currently in C4R, there is a ‘save to central’ file log that shows when a file is saved, however, it does not really measure when someone is in the file and working on it.  If there could be a way to generate a log that shows all the time a team spent on the project in an individual (log-in name) basis, this tool could effectively help employers measure and pay contract time.
  • Increasing Productivity: Enough has already been written about our lack of productivity in the AEC industry. If we could make use of time-measuring tools within our design products, teams could reap huge benefits by being able to see exactly where efficiencies could be gained.

All in all, I believe a tool like this could bring both A360 Team and C4R  closer in line with new, emergent ways that businesses can and could be run. This industry is ever-changing and needs solid cloud products like these to drive efficiency and innovation.

Alison Geering-Kline

Alison Geering-Kline is a Marketing Manager for A360. Outside the office, Alison loves traveling, working on design projects, and seeing live music.

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