Bott Pantone Architects (BPA) occupies what Tony Pantone, principal architect refers to as a relatively small office in Northern Utah. The team at BPA made the switch to ARCHICAD about five years ago – transitioning from Autodesk Revit and Autocad.
Why did they switch? Pantone says a few reasons fueled the move.
“We weren’t thrilled with our current solution, it was inefficient. Our workflow involved SketchUp for conceptual design after some freehand sketching and then recreating the Sketchup model in Revit. It just was not efficient or intuitive. There has been no looking back since we adopted ARCHICAD.”
Pantone adds that support from authorized ARCHICAD reseller BIM6X proved immensely helpful and provided a stark contrast to the tech support he’d experienced previously through their Autodesk reseller. BPA enjoys several other advantages since switching to ARCHICAD as well.
“I love having the ability to utilize a single software platform (ARCHICAD) as a design and documentation tool. Our workflow is much more efficient and optimized using ARCHICAD than it was before. Tools from CADIMAGE have been extremely useful as well, including their stair, windows and doors and keynote tools. We are excited to test and begin using the ARCHICAD 21 stair tool soon.”
“We use BIMx with every single project. It is an incredible tool that amazes our clients and I believe we’re only at the beginning of seeing what it can do. It is extremely effective during the conceptual design phase.”
BIMx travels with BPA to every design meeting as they work on a modern industrial office building for a local university and its power is evident, says Pantone.
“There hasn’t been one instance where our client is not blown away. They can experience the spaces in the building instead of just viewing 2D floor plans. Then when we need to review the documents, they’re all right there.”
The two-story 5,300 square-ft. project is situated on a very challenging site in a development called “The Junction” in downtown Ogden. The city demolished the old Ogden mall some fifteen years ago, and is looking to replace it with a more open, outdoor retail space with a movie theater, recreation center and mixed-use residential.
The main obstacle is the narrow, constrained site and parking structure located to the east of the “Big Sky Conference Office Building” as the project is called, that is a mere 8 inches away. Enter ARCHICAD and the power of BIM.
“The parcel we’re working with is the last undeveloped one in the Junction and it has space constraints in every direction. We modeled the parking structure and the hotel to the south using Artlantis for renderings to show our client. There’s added beauty in that all the hours I’ve spent modeling add information to the model that goes toward speeding the process of design development, presentation and construction documents.”
BPA worked in ARCHICAD after migrating their office away from Revit to develop templates with built-in tools and workflows that help move things along as well. Templates assist BPA by tapping into just how information-rich an ARCHICAD model can be, using them to produce cost estimates, occupancy and area volume calculations automatically.
“Our template has quickly become robust. We’ve been using the software a relatively short time, just scratching the surface but there’s so much potential. Our template has interactive schedules that populate code and analysis for MEP, occupancy calculations automatically populate and are built in to the schedule on our code sheet. When it comes to material takeoffs, we find we’re able to involve contractors earlier in the project – getting conceptual cost estimates and being able to address budget constraints with very little effort on our end.”
BPA created a dozen different types of 3D documents in their template for phasing, fire ratings, renovation zones, structural models and pre-configured views. BIMx has become a staple for client presentations, meetings and even construction administration. Pantone says clients enjoy the clarity of understanding BIMx brings to the table.
“All of our projects are on my iPad or iPhone via BIMx. From the first client meeting all the way through construction documentation, sharing with our construction team and even for the city permit process – BIMx is our go-to.”