International design firm RKD uses Autodesk software Revit and BIM 360 processes to drive innovation, harness collaboration and adapt agile workflows for a diverse range of clients.
From the outset, RKD, an international firm, being collective focus and strategic thinking enables them to design and realize architecture that works. They have a rich legacy dating back to their formation in 1913 and since then, they have established themselves as one of the most diverse and effective architecture firms in Europe. The main challenge that RKD faced through this process was around ensuring that its teams remained agile while adopting both the technology itself and the correct building information modelling (BIM) procedures. In the past, many staff, especially those from the management tier, would have spent less time using the technology hands-on, and more on continued use of traditional workflows such as the manual mark up of drawings.
The following priority project goals were identified such as to support international business growth and build confidence meeting the needs of multinational clients. Next, as part of its digital transformation roadmap, RKD wanted to improve its model review process by enhancing ‘digital buy in’ across all resource levels and to achieve BS EN ISO 19650-2:2018 Certification. Besides that, to facilitate efficient resourcing of projects without geographical restriction. Lastly, to improve design collaboration and support sustainability objectives by providing an effective digital alternative to printing and paper-based review.
RKD began using Autodesk BIM 360 in 2018 to enhance workflows across its international office network. It has managed to bring Non-Revit users into a model environment, by publishing views and sheets up to document management straight from models. Team leaders can now view models and drawings in real time after each one is published. They can create mark-ups and highlight issues, which are then sent back to the production team to be addressed. This has streamlined a workflow, which used to involve a lot of printing. Diatec has worked with RKD for around 20 years now and supports RKD with the ongoing implementation of its digital transformation roadmap, incorporating multiple different areas of ICT and networking. As part of this broad role, Diatec was instrumental in implementing Autodesk design and collaboration software for them, supporting it and providing training, workshop courses and consultancy.
The primary outcome of the company’s focus on collaborative design software has been enhanced flexibility. Deborah Moynihan, Associate/BIM Manager at RKD Architects, said: “Autodesk BIM 360 has empowered our design teams during a time of unprecedented challenges in our industry, resulting in work productivity that was not affected by IT downtime and/or VPN connectivity issues. Even prior to the pandemic, this software changed the way we worked, as we could collaborate with people located at multiple different locations and add different staff as and when we needed to for each project. That in turn is enabling us to expand our operations more seamlessly across EMEA and latterly the LATAM countries of Central and South America. Already our international business accounts for 26% of our total turnover by infrastructure. Collaboration with RKD’s project partners and consultants has also improved, with models shared through design collaboration and consumed as packages, a significant time saving over the older traditional method."
RKD has come a long way in project design terms over the past few years from a time when its project portfolio was predominantly CAD-based to one where it is approximately 90% BIM first. Both Autodesk software and the help and support of Diatec have been key to this successful digital transformation. Throughout this whole process, RKD’s relationship with Diatec has remained strong. As Moynihan states, “Diatec are always very responsive to our needs. Whenever we need them to be able to act quickly to resolve a query or provide additional software and/or licences, Diatec always delivers to help RKD continue meeting the needs of our clients.”