Growing Your Home Design Team While Minimising Risks

Growing your home design team while minimising risks

Increasing Your Home Design Team with Minimal Risk

Growing new home markets in Western cities present a need for an increase in large residential design and drafting teams with the required experience and expertise. Effort, planning and vision can increase the size of the team and profits earned, while minimizing the risk factor for these large-scale residential projects. In the current global milieu, larger, efficient, cohesive home design teams can exist between multiple locations. Ideally, part of these teams can be based at an offshore location to produce the same results.

Some of the vital tasks a home design team performs are the creation of 2D drawings, 3D modeling, 3D rendering, building information modelling, construction documentation, CAD drawings, using Autodesk (AutoCAD, 3D Studio Max or Revit) or Graphisoft ArchiCAD. The end product involves a comprehensive set of residential design drawings in Revit or ArchiCAD, which are essential commodities for the completion of efficient residential design.

An ideal home design team must utilise updated design/drafting tools. Advantages of a larger offshore team include the following:

Productivity increases – As tools such as Revit facilitate the production of numerous integrated drawings within a small window of time, clients can direct their focus to other business activities.

3D modelling means fewer mistakes – The detail available in 3D modelling makes for a more accurate process and thus reduces errors.

More collaborative process – As design concepts, drawings and models are digitally stored in locations which enable common access, members of the design process enjoy collaborative input from start to finish.

Time saved – 3D modelling allows an in-depth view, so that revisions and changes can be carried out quickly and accurately.

An experienced outsourced design team provides all of this, and as an added perk, it becomes unnecessary to invest in expensive CAD software, expensive infrastructure or expensive skilled personnel. It really can be a holistic remedy.

Are there risks in outsourcing this part of the residential construction drawing process?
In the past, there were times when some of the concerns listed below would have raised eyebrows. That is no longer the case. Here’s why:

Loss of control over the process
The ability to retain control during outsourcing can sometimes be a concern. Limitations in communication and delays in response may affect the product. Improved communication with the outsourcing team and ensuring the in-house team understands what outsourcing entails takes care of ‘control issues’.

Collaborative working
Due to the existence of tools such as Collaboration For Revit (C4R) and BIM360, the production of an offshore team can be viewed and commented upon in real time if needed. At worst, the central design team can view the work completed by the offshore partner, and at best, they can directly work on the same files that the offshore partner is working with. This advantage requires a user that is experienced in the use of collaborative working, of course, and therefore selection of a vendor with the requisite collaboration experience is necessary.

Hidden costs
Even though the process has been outsourced, some costs remain, such as the costs in the transition process. Knowing the potential hidden costs of a new venture will help paint a clear picture as to exact cost reductions.

Inconvenient work hours
As close interaction and collaboration between the in-house team and the outsourced design team is required, the time difference may present problems. Outsourced teams can accommodate different working hours or shift them to guarantee an overlap.

Communication hurdles
Many CIOs, or chief information officers, think their communication will be affected by the design team’s English-speaking ability. To avoid that, project leaders can carefully select the country and their outsourced partner. A country that has a proven track record of teaching English practically guarantees that language no longer becomes an impediment.

Will the customer be put off by outsourcing?
Outsourcing has been tossed around in a not-so-complimentary manner, probably due to bad experiences which have been the result of misplaced or incomplete due diligence processes for partner selection in the first place. The resultant bad experience may have had a knock-on effect elsewhere, in other Western countries. When a supplier is selected and managed properly in real terms, outsourcing presents companies the opportunity to be more competitive in international markets. Customers value that.

Quality control
Sometimes, a working product develops issues after it is delivered, and if the quality produced from outsourcing is poor, the company’s reputation could be in tatters. For instance, if the ventilation system design harbors any error, human health is put at risk. Or there could be examples of noncompliance with company standards. A design team that follows the latest quality standards, as well as the presence of a certified quality assurance specialist ensures industry-standard quality.

Data security can be an issue, especially if dealing with highly sensitive information. The confidentiality of commercial secrets could be leaked. Selecting a reliable, certified team is important. Ensure that the team has worked with sensitive information before, with established security methods.

Reliable Partners
If the project becomes complicated, a reliable partner is a boon. Often, CIOs spend considerably on a transition process and introduce a new team to the project, just to discover that the technology specialist has been reassigned. Understand the design team’s outsourcing model and team structure. They should be flexible and act as a strong business partner.

When a partner, such as a dedicated offshore CAD resource team in India, for example, confidently fulfils all architectural design processes, concerns and requirements, how does the company benefit? Some of the advantages of bigger numbers involved in the entire design process are as follows:

Large, Experienced Production Department
For large projects, the required resources can be availed to fast-track work, with the additional perk of a large dedicated team. By outsourcing work, more people can work on one task with the result of faster production. Plus, the outsourced team will be technically sound in terms of using CAD or BIM software.

Dedicated Project Managers and Teams
An assigned project manager will oversee the outsourced production. The manager sends regular updates by email and phones whenever clarifications are needed or requests occur.

Saving Cost of Training
In many Western nations, there is a high demand for technical experts. However due to economic prosperity, demographic ageing and lesser students opting for technical education, a lack of technical human resource is expected in the coming years. CAD and BIM software ensures top quality, but it is complex. Frequent training of employees is necessary. This cost is borne by the outsourcing company, and there is a wealth of trained personnel at its disposal.

Accurate Work
The work generated is guaranteed to be accurate and of top quality, as more people are working on it and processes are in place for quality control.

Valuable Experience
A company with several years of experience in varied disciplines ensures the delivery of a better product.

Secure Data
Advanced data protection systems and processes ensure that confidential information is always safe and secure.

Extra Time for High-level Design and Engineering
When CAD design services are outsourced, associates will have more time to handle more challenging design and engineering tasks. They can focus on their main strengths and be involved in core functions.

Easier to Honor Tight Work Schedules
Skilled and experienced CAD professionals are available whenever needed – at a much lower cost, so there is a faster turn-around time. Whether there is a requirement to quickly ramp up CAD production for a specific project or there is a need to regularly handle workload overflows, outsourcing CAD design services is ideal to deliver quality work during tight deadlines.

Ultimately, employing an experienced vendor with a proven track record and by signing confidentiality agreements, outsourcing architectural design services presents a logical solution to alleviate workload and enjoy the benefits of a larger team. Added advantages are financial savings, faster production and reduction of labour. It is generally accepted that construction is becoming less of a local industry and that architectural outsourcing will become a common reality in the near future. The march of progress in the home design arena is going global, and a larger, multi-talented home design team is vital to success.


Why The Time-tested Practice of Architectural Drafting is Used in Architectural Design?

Why the time-tested practice of Architectural Drafting is used in Construction and Architectural DesignArchitectural drafting, a time-tested practice of drafting 2D architectural construction drawings has evolved from manual 2D drawing to using computer-aided design and drafting (CAD) software programs. 2D drawing sets have been used and will continue to be used by engineers, designers and architects as standard deliverables to contractors on construction sites.Architectural drafting, a time-tested practice of drafting 2D architectural construction drawings has evolved from manual 2D drawing to using computer-aided design and drafting (CAD) software programs. 2D drawing sets have been used and will continue to be used by engineers, designers and architects as standard deliverables to contractors on construction sites.

In most building projects today you may have noticed an increase in the use of architectural BIM modeling and 3D models. Architectural 3D modelling is useful because 3D architectural construction drawings and models allow for design changes in real-time, easier management and exchange of project data and it provides a 3D view of the conceptual plan. However, architectural drafting is preferred by several construction companies because it includes technical details of structural, architectural and electrical components required for installation and during construction of a building. A construction drawing set (CD set) of architectural CAD drawings typically includes sections, elevations, floor plans, detailed drawings for installation of MEP components and other documents required for construction.

Architectural CAD drawings help in construction and architectural design by specifically communicating the design intent and by providing high-performance detailing of construction elements. To understand why the time-tested practice of architectural drafting is commonly used in architectural design and construction projects, here are some of the reasons:

• While architectural design companies have technical resources and drafting teams qualified to deliver 2D technical drawings using basic software programs such as AutoCAD, not all companies have the availability of technical resources qualified to deliver 3D models using software programs such as Revit. Moreover, most of the resources employed in construction teams are qualified to interpret 2D architectural construction drawings required for construction while not all resources working in various disciplines are experienced to use 3D models.

• In the construction industry, the adoption of new practices and the latest software is a slow and gradual process. The software programs used in architectural design and building projects varies from country to country, with some using AutoCAD and ArchiCAD instead of Revit, invariably resulting in the incompatibility of project data. 2D architectural CAD drawings are widely adopted across the industry and are preferred over Revit 3D models for construction.

• While 3D models provide additional information, not all building projects require this data to complete construction. 2D architectural CAD drawings in a construction drawing set include symbols, technical codes, quantities, the type of material and other additional information included in the elevations, sections, floor plans and detailed drawings that are required for successfully completing a construction project.

• One of the underlying reasons why architectural drafting solutions are commonly used is the fact that 2D technical drawings are economically viable and provide sufficient project data to complete construction. Moreover, added to the cost of architectural 3D modelling solutions, there is an additional investment in technical resources qualifies to interpret architectural 3D models for construction on-site.

The practice of using 2D architectural construction drawings on-site will continue to be a preferred option because construction companies and teams need more than a 3D perspective of the conceptual plan, they need precise details and accurate drawings for construction and detailed technical drawings more than an aesthetical perspective. Moreover, in the construction industry, most of the resources can interpret 2D drawings clearly and not all manpower of various disciplines in a construction team have the capability to comprehend 3D models. Added to that, 2D drawings are compatible because basic software programs such as AutoCAD and ArchiCAD is required unlike when using 3D models where there are certain cases of software incompatibility. While architectural design and construction companies gradually adopt architectural 3D modelling and BIM modelling solutions, architectural drafting and drawing solutions will continue to be a commonly used practice because it meets the requirement of efficient and effective construction on time and within budget.

Advantages of CAD Drafting over Manual Drafting

Computer Aided Design (CAD) has been a real breakthrough in the AEC industry by becoming the primary source of communicating design intent. Before the advent of CAD, the only source for draftsmen was pencil and paper for drawing sketches. The traditional method of manual drafting is iterative and time consuming. However, now there has been a paradigm shift from traditional manual drafting to cad design and drafting.

Some of the benefits of CAD Drafting are as follows-

Architectural Drafting Services
Architectural Drafting Services

Data storing and Accessibility – One of the advantages of CAD drafting is that the drawings need not be filed and stored in folder unlike in manual drafting. CAD drafting can be easily saved on the computer server and can be accessed from anywhere with internet connection. The chance of losing the documents is higher in manual drafting. As CAD drawings can be saved electronically without the use of paper, it is also an environment friendly method.

3D views – 3D drawings are the best way to virtually represent a structure. Though one can manually create a 3d model, it wouldn’t look as realistic as the 3D model generated by AutoCAD. AutoCAD breathes life in the 3D model and aid the visualization process. While creating 3D view manually is a challenging, time-consuming and tire-some job,   it becomes much easier with software like AutoCAD.

Revisions – While you create any drawing on paper or software, there is bound to be some amount of revisions or modifications. In manual drafting, you need to erase and redraw to make any modification to your drawing. CAD simplifies the revision process to a large extent with its various editing tools. With few clicks of mouse, you can undo, redo or delete your actions. You need not re-draw an object anytime later as you can modify the existing object by mirroring, stretching, rotating, scaling etc.

Speed and Time – Technologies are invented to make our work easier, save our time and to complete the work faster. AutoCAD is significantly faster than the traditional method of manual drafting. It speeds up the task of preparing bill of materials, reports, scaling etc. The tedious task of drawing each line on paper can be done in few mouse clicks. As CAD software eliminates repetitive iterations, a substantial amount of time is saved. In AutoCAD, data describing a component or its family is associative in nature and hence revisions are automatically made to all places the data is used.

Accuracy – In manual drafting, all the objects drawn must be of correct size and alignment. Each object need to be manually verified and dimensioned as the slightest error can be catastrophic to the entire project. With CAD, there are numerous techniques available to obtain exact dimensions thus leading to improved accuracy in the project.

Owing to the numerous benefits in terms of speed, accuracy, data storage, revision CAD offers over manual drafting, it has become a standard for the AEC industries.