So Graphisoft ARCHICAD 19 has finally been announced!! It feels like we have been waiting longer this year for its release than previous years. That’s partly because this year The David Hockney Building for Bradford College project which we designed has been selected as the signature building for ARCHICAD 19! This really is very cool!!
Image: Graphisoft ArchiCAD 19 Box (image courtesy of GRAPHISOFT)
The buildings chosen for previous versions always stick in the memory of every user and I think if you showed most of the covers without the version numbers most long standing users would be able to tell you which version was which. So whilst we have been selected this year for this prestigious honour the image will live in the memory for many years to come.
Of course this is great for the practice as it means we have our building on every ARCHICAD box cover and CD (you can of course download ARCHICAD in this digital age but I think we might want a few boxes this year!), all training material, marketing material and most importantly the launch image every time a user opens the software for at least the next 12 months. Basically all ARCHICAD 19 users won’t be able to escape our building popping up every time they use ARCHICAD. The exposure for the practice is huge as ARCHICAD being an international product will mean our work is seen globally!
So why were we selected? Here are 5 of the main reasons why I think Bond Bryan Architect’s Bradford College project was chosen :
1. Bond Bryan Architects and Graphisoft
Bond Bryan have used ARCHICAD since 1994 so our relationship with Graphisoft is a long standing one. Over the past couple of years we have been involved in Graphisoft’s development programme and BETA testing programme. In the UK we have also supported a number of Graphisoft events including openBIM 3D and their popular BIM in Practice events. We also spoke at BIM Show Live 2015 on their behalf on the Tech Stage.
Further afield we did a joint presentation with Graphisoft at RTC Europe in 2014 and later in May 2015 we will be presenting on Graphisoft’s behalf at RTC Australasia. In 2012 we were also invited to present at Graphisoft’s Key Client Conference (KCC).
Bond Bryan Architects are also one of the pioneers using Graphisoft BIMcloud both in the UK and internationally. We have worked with Graphisoft to develop this solution as well as ARCHICAD and we also use their BIMx and BIMx Docs solutions to help communicate our ideas to the project stakeholders.
We have always enjoyed working with Graphisoft both in the UK and back at HQ in Hungary. Choosing a software tool is often more than the technology and is just as much about the people who develop, sell and support it. Graphisoft have always been an enjoyable company to work with (and i’m genuinely saying that, not because someone is pay us).
Using cutting edge technology is never a smooth process but it is how companies react to it that is the most important aspect. Graphisoft have always been extremely responsive to issues and very up front with their roadmap to users. This allows us to feel part of the development and 19 is no different.
I’d like to think we also help Graphisoft. Sometimes we challenge hard but I also think we are fair and try to prioritise our needs with a recognition that software solutions take time to develop. Graphisoft’s solutions and our relationship have served us well over the past 21 years and I hope there will be many more years of working together to create tools built for architects changing needs.
2. 2016: The year of UK BIM Level 2
The next 12 months in the UK sees the mad scramble by many to get ready for the introduction of BIM Level 2 in the UK. Officially this comes into practice on April 1st 2016 so for many ARCHICAD 19 will be the authoring tool that takes them to the deadline and their projects will be commenced using 19 (even if they subsequently upgrade to later versions). For us we have already embedded much of the BIM Level 2 requirements, and are already implementing this on live projects but 19 will help us finesse our approach.
For Graphisoft to select a UK project shows how important the UK market is in the global approach to BIM. The UK has grand aspirations to lead the field. I’m not getting into the debate about who does or doesn’t lead, but the fact this is talked about shows the industry is moving forward if countries are in a race to be the best.
2016 of course isn’t the conclusion of BIM development in UK, in many ways its just the start. Digital Built Britain Level 3 BIM will take us to 2025 so the UK has a clear path and this is certainly admired by plenty of other international observers. Being selected for the ARCHICAD Signature Building will also help focus more attention on the UK.
To get one of our projects selected for the signature building means the architecture needs to be of an extremely high standard. You only have to look at previously selected projects. My role is of course about developing and integrating BIM and other related digital solutions into the business. The key to this integration is about letting architect’s do what they do best: design.
The Bradford College project is testament in my opinion to a project that pushed the boundaries (at the time) with regard to BIM but at the same time allowed the project and construction teams to perform their jobs. Its fantastic design and equally fantastic delivery. The final result is a truly stunning piece of architecture, particularly given the budgetary constraints.
4. openBIM workflows
The project is a real example of using open file formats to deliver others needs. Whilst ARCHICAD was used as the architectural modelling tool other participants selected their chosen solutions for their business needs. We have always believed everyone should be able to use their preferred tools and this project is a genuine example of that. We also used Autodesk 3DS Max for visualisation (we use a variety of solutions including Lumion, Cinema 4D and of course ARCHICAD). The structural engineer used Autodesk Revit and the contractor used a variety of solutions including Autodesk Navisworks, Autodesk 360 Field and Exactal CostX. We also used tools such as Tekla BIMsight, DDS-CAD Viewer and Solibri Model Checker/Viewer to review our IFC model exchange.
Using a variety of tools presented interesting challenges. As architects though we are used to developing solutions to problems. This approach is the same for BIM and we worked with the main contractor, BAM Construct UK to identify issues, create temporary solutions and finally permanent solutions. This approach ensured the project team would not be held up by issues and more permanent solutions were implemented when ready.
Our research and development on this project has allowed us to understand better how both our software works and other solutions. This research and implementation on live projects continues to this day and we have shared much of this information at various presentations, including at Autodesk University 2013, and on our BIM Blog.
The Bradford College models were used by BAM for a number of uses including lean construction methodologies, cost analysis, sequencing, field BIM and bar coding of equipment for the college.
I believe our commitment not just to the idea of using open solutions but actually demonstrating these is another key reason why Graphisoft selected us for the honour of the signature building.
5. Award winner
Bond Bryan Architect’s with this project were recognised in the buildingSMART International ‘Heroes of Interoperability’ Awards 2014 for our research and development with open standards. We were subsequently shortlisted for the Construction News Awards 2015 in the ‘BIM Initiative of the Year’ category. The award for this will be chosen in June 2015.
We have also submitted the project for Graphisoft UK’s ArchiCAD Awards 2015 and the RICS BIM4SME Awards. We also hope to submit the project for the Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber Awards 2015 (awards to take place in July 2015).
I’m sure there were many other equally deserving projects across the globe that would have been a superb ARCHICAD 19 signature building. I hope as the chosen signature building, Bond Bryan Architects represent the community well for the next 12 months (and beyond of course!). We have always tried to share our knowledge at events and through this blog as we believe as a collective community we can deliver better buildings and better outcomes for our clients. Our journey to 2016 has been made even more exciting with this award. Thank you Graphisoft.
Rob Jackson, Associate Director, Bond Bryan Architects