Hitting the Ground Running with ARCHICAD
By the time Matt Goff and Zoran Pevec graduated college, they had already completed their first joint project, a single-family home remodel/addition in Venice Beach, CA. The two wasted no time in establishing their firm, Archive Design Group (ADG) in Los Angeles and since then have been focusing on designing high-end single family homes, landscapes and interiors with a focus on project specific contexts and user experience.
ADG knew early on that they would assert a company philosophy that embraced casual and comfortable, yet substantial and unique designs. To achieve that goal and be profitable, the software solution choice they made would have to support an awareness of the relationship between maintaining an efficient workflow, while being able to exercise an open-minded design process, and taking great care to refine final product.
“We considered several other BIM solutions in our search,” explained Goff. “What sealed the deal for us choosing ARCHICAD was the inherent flexibility, while being able to efficiently move projects forward. The BIM workflow and ability to produce high quality presentation drawings, all in one Mac-based program, made it the obvious choice for us.”
Choosing ARCHICAD has allowed ADG to embrace a more streamlined workflow than what could be achieved using a collection of various software. The program has helped them maintain day-to-day efficiency and focus more energy on design. Goff estimates this cuts a sizeable, 15% off the work day from construction documentation prep, while making profitable business moves forward.
“ARCHICAD frees us from menial necessities and improves coordination, giving us freedom to step back and focus more on all aspects of our business. We can worry less about fine tuning settings, formatting and cross referencing. Because there are many moving parts in evolving a project, we rely on TeamWork functionality of the program and the use of BIM Server to comfortably collaborate and deliver on deadline in a detail-oriented manner. We know what to expect from our workflow so we can confidently take on new projects. Having ARCHICAD has really addressed a lot of the variables involved in delivering high quality work, on schedule.”
Goff cites multiple challenges for which he’s come to rely on ARCHICAD to help him and his team overcome in the 2 ½ years they’ve used the software. First on his list, one that any architect can relate to, dealing with project changes and conflict resolution.
“Processing changes throughout the life of a project can really drag down a project timeline. ARCHICAD helps us evolve projects from concept design all the way to permitting; providing up-to-date drawing coordination and drawing sheets which helps keep momentum.” In utilizing composite materials and complex profiles, Goff finds that ARCHICAD indeed offers a highly detail oriented set of tools to promote project refinement and resolve RFI’s or changes quickly. “The detail base drawings are integrated throughout the model. We often take a snapshot (place a detail viewport), assign it a place on a page and maybe do some touching up and labeling. This allows us to produce and modify details with ease.”
Another aspect of ARCHICAD that Goff finds attractive, from a client service standpoint, is its visualization power. “Our clients and consultants respond well to ARCHICAD’s visualization tools, often better than they do with 2D or construction document drawings. We produce ‘conversation drawings’ to aid our everyday back and forths with whomever. Rendered perspectives, plan and section cuts are easy to produce and are convincing tools to get our points across.”
A project on the boards at ADG, the Blue Jay Way Residence, a single-family home located in the bird streets of Hollywood Hills, has demonstrated how ARCHICAD allows the firm to be flexible in navigating design direction. Project specific challenges such as the site’s steep hill grade, difficult site access, and pressing code overlays forced the team to adapt to some complex parameters, while meeting intended project objectives.
“We had to finesse a certain amount of program to make it work on the site while adhering to our design intents. Through many studies and iterations, we were able to arrange the puzzle pieces into their places.”
Blue Jay is currently under construction with a targeted completion date of Fall 2018.