After attending a two-day workshop with GRAPHISOFT BIM consultant, Veleda Miller, the team at North Carolina based, Don Duffy Architecture transitioned away from AutoCAD and adopted ARCHICAD as their software. Duffy reviewed a few BIM options such as Home Architect and Revit, but believed that ARCHICAD would meet the firm’s needs the best.
“We knew we needed to upgrade our software and being a PC-based office, thought staying with AutoCAD would be an obvious choice. ARCHICAD works well in our PC environment and we liked the idea of being able to own a version of the software for as long as we wanted to run it.”
Once the choice was made, they dove fully into the program in January of 2015 and have since completed the drawing package for a few projects now currently in construction.
The team had worked in 2D AutoCAD and SketchUp prior to adopting ARCHICAD. There was no question they’d have a learning curve as they moved forward with the transition. To best minimize difficulties, the architects had to commit to using the software and develop a new approach to projects. After about a four week period – confidence in using the software was at a very good level – and the efficiencies became evident early on.
Kraig Magas explains, “Before switching to ARCHICAD, in the schematic design phase, we’d create hand sketches. Then, once all parties are on board with the concept – we would move over to AutoCAD. Now, we start working in ARCHICAD much earlier – arriving at a consensus on intent and scope fairly quickly.”
Getting to that point happens more quickly because of the 3D modeling capabilities in ARCHICAD. Don Duffy Architects take full advantage of their 3D model during in-office presentations. Helping their clients visualize and better understand how the design works has made a huge difference.
“Meetings take on a whole new perspective when you can pull up the live model; since our transition to ARCHICAD, we have yet to perform a 2D presentation and instead present the 3D model. Granted, we have had clients that are comfortable reading floor plans and 2D elevations, but many have difficulty with them. They can’t actually ‘see’ things like contours and massing. Until ARCHICAD no other tool we’ve used has bridged the gap so well.”
In less than a year of working with ARCHICAD, Don Duffy Architecture staff members already experienced several benefits firsthand – and realize they have so much more to learn that would make their day to day more efficient. For example, capitalizing on the TeamWork advantages in ARCHICAD or sharing the model with a client via BIMx not to mention the integration of architectural components across all aspects of the drawing platform has greatly increased the firm’s efficiency.
“The ability to dissect and overlap plans and elements, toggling quickly between plan, section and elevation to study and see if the roofs are intersecting the way we anticipated provides a huge benefit to us – essentially ensuring that everything is coordinated accurately. Our old 2D ways were profitable and served us well but ARCHICAD shows that old dogs can learn new tricks.”