Changes have a pattern that regularly disrupts the day to day activities of any organization; and for an architectural firm, wherein there are multiple teams of architects working on a single project, even less number of changes look like so many. Such design changes affect the quality of the work delivered and result in excessively elongated project working hours.
An architect can’t claim it to be a productive day while sitting at the design board and estimating the time it requires delivering designs as required by all stakeholders. And as it is said, quality is the utmost important factor for architects or architectural consultants to stick to estimates and deadlines.
Let’s take a look at some of the most salient management challenges that architects face with today’s building construction industry setup:
Account for credibility
Accounting for, and managing the resources of an architectural firm are amongst the biggest challenges. Owing to the creative nature of the job, time spent on a particular task is quite tough to understand. Additionally, the planned and actual schedules aren’t always fine-tuned due to lack of adequate CAD design tools and design expertise when it comes to 2D drafting, interior designs, structural design and drafting analysis, MEP design and drafting and many more alike.
Aforementioned factors cumulatively affect businesses and decide whether the construction project will be profitable or will account for any budget overruns.
The process of creating successful architectural designs depend on how well-coordinated the designs are, when viewed by all involved in the building construction trade. But most of the times even chief architects cannot manage independent design schedules for grandiose projects like museums and airport waiting lounges. It happens owing to the lack of overall visibility– as in how much time will it take to complete the entire design? Will the designs get approved? How well are the first architectural drafts made?
Owing to such challenges architectural firms resort to architectural CAD services, BIM ready designs and 3D visualization, and 3D rendering for establishing clarity amongst all disciplines, and enhancing the design communication. The aim of working with such digital rendering tools is the fact that no project stays isolated from the organization and multiple teams can work on the same project at the same time.
In spite of architectural or structural designing being perceived to be simpler as compared to other simultaneously ongoing interdisciplinary activities on the site, designing can be a real complication when there are delays in meeting schedules – schedules of preparing first drafts, schedules of sharing the design with the client, preparing final renderings and so and so forth.
Owing to all such challenges project schedules are delayed, construction permits and approvals are pushed back which all points to increased overhead costs. To avoid such havocs, coordination meets are held regularly to streamline the process of assignments & re-assignments. A project schedule, as flexible as possible, is designed to accommodate last minute changes.
Managing construction documentation process
For any architectural designing project, usually, there are teams working from remote geography and are spread at multiple locations. Having access to latest technical and construction documentation all the time is crucial for these teams. The latest change made, the last RFI generated and the final approvals should be available all the time, to all the engineers, architects and drafters involved.
Standardized deliverables with BIM and rendering tools have the attribute of delivering well documented 3D as-built designs to ensure that the entire team can access latest versions of all relevant technical documentation. In fact, the scope of such documents lasts long after the designs have matured and the physical construction is in operation for a significant time.
Maintaining the quality standards
Architectural firms with commitment towards quality, pays in long run with fantastic returns in terms of costs, goodwill and brand name. With dedication to quality, not only the designs live longer in trend, but also enhance their market value amongst the competing design firms.
BIM – Building Information modeling secures the quality concerns for architectural firms, by adhering to the standards of NBS or AIA for design evolution.
All in all, architectural firms see numerous changes all the way from inception of designs until the finalization stage; but the right approach towards management with correct BIM solutions partner challenges can be overcome – easily.