Schumetta McLendon, owner and founder of Malibu, CA-based design and permit expediting firm Schumetta Inc. relies on ARCHICAD to support her efforts when bidding on, winning and working on projects.
“From what I’ve seen with other methods, the project execution process falls apart when the architect is working in one system and none of the team members can talk to each other. Contractors often make revisions in the field and it is vital to have a way to bring their information back into the overall design for the entire project team to use.”
With every project model, she sets up a BIMx file which proves extremely helpful when working with government agencies and talking to project consultants in the field even streamlining the permitting process.
“Permitting can be quite stringent and require multiple changes, so it’s important to have a system that is able to incorporate the changes into every aspect of the project with precision and efficiency.”
Using ARCHICAD to visualize design ideas more effectively helps her clients better understand concepts.
“We bring BIMx to our job sites on iPads. Using the app helps the project team to quickly see the same thing and move toward the same goal. ARCHICAD lets me present multiple ideas in a cost-effective way. Design should be collaborative and allow my clients to suggest input without worrying about expensive change orders.”
ARCHICAD helps McLendon navigate around the various obstacles that come up with any project. In one instance, a client struggled with understanding why a certain design element he wanted wouldn’t work in the overall design. McLendon turned to her model to make it more clear for him.
“By presenting the client with numerous CineRender sketches in the ARCHICAD model, he could see the problem for himself and we reworked the design until he was satisfied. In turn, his suggestions gave me a ‘feel’ for what he was going for and we incorporated his ideas into other parts of the final design.”
This moment stands out as a win-win in gaining client trust and building and efficient communication. ARCHICAD has facilitated other instances of presenting an element of design to the client that originated from site constraints. Using ARCHICAD helped all stakeholders see where modifications could work around those constraints.
“Building codes and limited buildable area on a particular property presented some considerable challenges. Using BIMx, we showed the governing agency officials the ideas we had and made the changes they needed. Our approval went through more smoothly and even resulted in useful input from one of the officials. His suggestion satisfied the Building Code and was also a great design idea which the client loved.”
Getting a client to fall in love with an idea or approach to a project certainly falls into the category of making an architect’s job easier. McLendon finds that ARCHICAD allows for everything to be coordinated and centralized.
“I don’t have to use multiple software systems that don’t talk to each other, which wastes time and money. I love that ARCHICAD simultaneously builds my floor plans, elevations and 3D model and I can create great renderings in CineRender so quickly. I also collaborated with Renderpeople in Germany to convert their 3D people model library into ARCHICAD-compatible objects. Their models are diverse in age and ethnicity, which is important when creating images that reflect who my clients are. It helps bring an extra touch of realism into CineRender.”
McLendon continues to rely on ARCHICAD for its many benefits of productivity improvements, time savings, cost savings and improved process/communications.
“In a nutshell, ARCHICAD helps my firm run with the same quality and efficiency as a larger firm. It sounds cliché, but it’s true.”