Construction software that understands what is important to architects
As creative minds and connoisseurs of building styles, architects play an important role in the construction process. With the increasing complexity of building projects and changing building requirements, architects face a wide range of challenges. For example, matching building materials to design, designing buildings to meet increasingly stringent sustainability requirements, and incorporating all of the client’s wishes into the building plan.
The demands that modern building projects place on architects and architectural firms require the use of a good, digital and user-friendly system for managing and archiving documentation. This will increase efficiency, reduce the risk of errors and streamline communication and collaboration between all parties involved in a construction project.
Good construction software meets the practical and operational needs of architects. But what exactly is construction software? What are its benefits? And why is it ideal for architects? Read on for the answers.
IFC and Revit files. You want to be able to convert them into 3D to then view, edit and check them in a BIM-viewer.
Share (large) files
Files, that’s what projects are all about. With the right software, you can share them easily, even with external project members.
All modifications and changes to those files are (automatically) captured in that system.
The information must be secure – by assigning rights at different levels, everyone only sees the documents they are allowed to see.
Some of the architects using our construction software
The challenges faced by architects
Architects and architectural firms play an important, creative role in the construction and renovation of buildings. They sketch out what a building should look like and thus have a major influence on the final result. Especially in the 21st century, this task is fraught with challenges at the intersection of functionality, sustainability and aesthetics. It is time to take a closer look at the key challenges facing the modern architect.
Sustainability is an issue that pervades all areas of society these days. The building industry is no exception. Architects are therefore faced with the challenge of building more sustainably. This means that their designs must take into account a low carbon footprint, good ventilation, sound insulation and the use of sustainable, ideally biodegradable and long-lasting building materials.
New perspective on spatial development
We are seeing a new way of looking at the spatial planning of towns and villages. Modern citizens are increasingly reluctant to work all day in concrete office blocks, only to spend an hour in traffic jams on the way home. This is why the concept of the ’15-minute city’ is gaining ground in spatial planning. The core idea? All major amenities and things that residents need are within 15 minutes’ walking or cycling distance.
Meeting this need is a big challenge, especially in densely populated Western Europe, where space is at a premium. One promising solution that is gaining popularity in many places is to adapt spaces that are losing their basic functionality. Old factory buildings and shopping centres are good examples of buildings that are being used in many cities for residential, hospitality or (health)care purposes.
The right match between building materials and design
An architect must also find the best match between design and building materials. What do I need to realise my architectural vision? What materials are needed to create sustainable buildings without forgetting the aesthetic aspect (the eye wants something too)? And what about material availability? On the one hand, architects today have more materials to choose from than ever before to realise their vision. On the other hand, they currently have to deal with the scarcity of certain raw materials and long delivery times for certain materials.
Construction software for architects
Construction software helps architects and architectural firms successfully tackle the challenges discussed above. After all, quite a few documents pass by during a project. Think of CAD drawings, floor plans, Word and PDF files, blueprints, audio and video recordings, 3D models, bills of materials and quotations. Thanks to construction software, you have one central, well-organised software package in which you not only manage your document management, but also easily share and modify designs, monitor project progress and improve communication and cooperation with chain partners (architects, construction companies, suppliers, plasterers, installers) within a construction project.
Construction software guarantees a versatile collaboration platform that is attentive to the specific needs of the parties involved in a construction project. It often listens to the names document management system (DMS) or common data environment (CDE). Whatever name you give the system, construction software is completely set up to share the right documents. Because information is always and everywhere present for all authorised parties within the construction project, you effortlessly translate your architectural vision into a comprehensible design. This way, contractors and executive construction personnel have a concrete blueprint they can work with.
What should you consider when choosing construction software?
Today’s construction software landscape is much more diverse than it was a few years ago. This creates additional freedom of choice, but can also lead to a loss of overview as an architect or architectural practice. For example, there are ‘point solutions’, software that mainly supports very specific processes within the construction industry. You can also opt for more broadly applicable construction software that supports a wide range of construction processes, but still provides tailor-made solutions.
Whatever you choose, make sure that the construction software you choose meets the following requirements:
Agility and flexibility
As an architect, you have to deal with constantly changing regulations, and sometimes with clients who want to make interim changes to the design and construction plan. Construction software should enable you to respond appropriately and in a timely manner, so that you can quickly adapt designs to new realities.
Proactive risk management
All data within a project should be related and linkable. This prevents data from ending up in separate silos. It allows you to proactively manage any risks.
Supports the entire supply chain
The construction software must support the entire supply chain, from the creation and review of the architect’s building plan to the final delivery and financial accountability of the project. An interim change in the design must be quickly communicated to the other partners in the chain.
Cooperation with supply chain partners
As an architect, you have to deal with several partners who need to work with your work. It is essential that this collaboration runs smoothly. Construction software should make this collaboration easier.
The benefits of construction software for architects
Architectural construction software enables architectural firms to turn their vision into concrete building plans. You can easily share DWG files and use the power of the BIM viewer to translate designs into actual building objects. As well as the geometry of walls, windows or ceilings, with the right construction software you can share information about things like building materials (brickwork or reinforced concrete for walls, aluminium or timber for window frames), the dimensions of windows or the routing of pipework.
Construction software also makes it easier to comply with regulations and legislation. As an architect or architectural firm, you can check your designs against legally required quality standards. Thanks to features such as automatic version management, sending large (graphic) files, previewing files, tasks and workflows and making documents easier to find (with labels and metadata), you can share this information faster, more efficiently, more smoothly and without errors. This benefits contractors, subcontractors, project managers, suppliers, plasterers, bricklayers and carpenters.
Intelligent version management also ensures that everyone is working with the correct version of a document. As soon as there is a new version or revision, you can upload it ‘over’ the old one. The old documents are retained, but in principle you no longer see them. You do see that the version number continues to run, so you know that you are looking at the latest version of a file. This prevents someone in the construction phase from accidentally seeing an outdated or incorrect design.
Users: rights and roles
In Prostream, you can assign user rights and roles to each user.
Send large files
Send big files or large quantities of files to colleagues or external parties. Secured with password so only the right person can access them.
Security of data
Software that carefully handles your project and business (sensitive) information. That will prevent problems. A safe working environment is essential. On the construction site, but also in the cloud. Unfortunately, you hear them all too often these days: terms like ‘data leak’ and ‘holding data hostage’. But also the more regular failure of computers and […]
With annotations you are able to easily adjust documents in Prostream. You are able to add notes and comments as well as attachments, stamps and images.