Kuegler Associates provides services to diverse clientele and industries, and we must maintain operations to support those customers throughout the economy shutdown.
We’ve adopted a fully remote working environment by setting up video conferencing on a weekly schedule, as well as remote collaboration on design files with tools like Revit®. We connect on Monday mornings with a follow up later in the week for less than an hour with most employees, but our entire company is still working as efficiently as ever. Microsoft made that simple. We moved our project list and schedule to Teams, so we can share and communicate in real-time.
Most employees have been on the call, we typically have 20 open projects in the office at various stages, some small from a few hours to major ongoing projects. Each team member can jump in and state what they need from other employees or customers to meet the schedule. This has improved Project coordination, such as who needs to be involved, and what needs to be done. This is due entirely to the new remote softwares we’ve adopted, like Revit®.
Working Remotely in the Cloud
Revit® from Autodesk® is a 3D BIM Modeling Software that’s used extensively throughout the construction industry to create and design drawings, and it has become a cornerstone application for every modern construction and design firm. Features like real-time coordination between design professionals, structural engineers and the ability to produce accurate construction documentation have made Revit® a crucial part of any design process. Since the files need to be stored centrally, they need to be accessible by all parties, at any time, from anywhere.
The recent shift towards remote work made collaborating on these files a challenge. However, Autodesk® has introduced a new solution for remote work: BIM 360®. With BIM 360® the models are stored centrally in the cloud, which allows our users to access the files from remote locations. This has been a game changer since we started working remotely. This eliminates file version challenges, so when we teamed up with one of our contractor partners, our employees were able to work side-by-side remotely with Revit®. They could coordinate the installation of plumbing and ductwork systems for a large residential facility without latency or access challenges.
With BIM 360® we can share Revit® files with team members remotely, and they can access any documents and models for use or sharing with clients. This allowed us to share construction documentation in addition to the storage we get with Office 365. The use of BIM 360® allowed us to transition easily from working as a group in one office to working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We know and feel that this Covid-19 shut down is mentally draining, and we are working at 50% of our normal efficiency due to issues outside our control, but we have become more efficient at the same time due to new remote software solutions. We can support our customers and allow our employees the freedom to support their families by taking time off without impacting our project schedule.
With the new remote communication and file-sharing solutions we’ve been using, we’ve found that our office can continue to operate without greatly impacting our ability to support our clients. We’ve had great success with these softwares, both during and before this new global situation, and they’ve changed how we do business. If you’re looking for a way to make your life easier during this stressful time, try adopting remote work solutions like us.
COORDINATION OF MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL, AND PLUMBING SYSTEMS IN 3D
One issue during the design and construction phase of a project is how does one coordinate the installation of various building systems designed and modeled by various computer building modeling software. One industry standard product to perform this work is Navisworks® from Autodesk®. Navisworks® allows one to assembly multiple computer file types into one single model. The software allows one to view and clash detect building elements to eliminate construction conflicts. There are several versions of the software. There is a free version, Navisworks® Freedom, which allows one to view 3D Navisworks® files but does not allow one to perform clash detections.