Architecture is a practice that is always innovating and often draws on the inspiration of older designs to create something entirely new. Just as technology has transformed multiple industries over the past two decades, the same is true for IT in architectural practices.
Those firms that don’t embrace the advances that technology can bring to their work, may end up falling behind their competitors who better are able to integrate what tech has to offer into the way they plan, design, present, and implement architectural designs.
From the ability to work from anywhere to capabilities for analyzing data like never before, IT gives architects a new range of tools to draw upon to deliver projects faster and more efficiently.
Here are a few of the top IT strategies that architectural firms can employ to embrace the new digital age while also giving them more creative outlets than ever.
How Architects Can Use Technology to their Advantage
Integrating technology into your architectural practice doesn’t have to be a burden. When technology integration is done right, it can boost your capabilities and help your business explore new opportunities.
Following are some of the ways that architects in Australia and around the world are doing this.
Data Analytics for Better Planning
With the advent of “big data”, there is more information to draw upon for building design and planning than ever before. Architects can analyze traffic patterns at various times per day to determine the best placement for hallways and doors, can integrate extensive energy data into the design of sustainable buildings, and use data analytics for multiple other areas of their planning and design.
Applications in the form of business information dashboards can help firms gather and analyse data from multiple sources and provide a visual representation for better understanding and insights.
Mobility & Remote Working
Mobile devices get more powerful every year. It’s now possible to use smart phones and tablets for doing work that used to be relegated to desktops. Cloud computing puts your work “in the cloud” instead of on a single device, so you can login to your workspace from anywhere.
This gives today’s architectural firms the ability to work wherever they like and hire talent from around the world. Some workforce statistics that make the case for integrating remote workers are:
- 70% of people globally work remotely at least once a week
- Two-thirds of employers say remote workers have higher productivity than in-office workers
- Remote workers can save employers up to $11,000 a year in office space overhead costs
Augmented reality (AR), the overlay of virtual representations over a physical space, has come a long way in just the last few years. While games like Pokemon Go, may seem worlds away from what an architect does, it’s actually not that far.
Image being able to show a client a representation of your architectural design overlaid over the existing real-world space. AR makes it possible to provide a more accurate representation of what a finished design will look like even before the first brick or beam is laid making it extremely useful in the concept design stage. AR can not only impress clients it can also help you make changes to design elements much faster.
Integrated Workflows & Collaboration
Team collaboration is a huge technology trend that’s developed into a business norm for many organizations. With improved collaboration and integrated workflows, you get less mistakes and misunderstandings and more fluid teamwork on a project.
Collaboration and messaging apps, like Microsoft Teams, make it easy to bring all project members together into a single virtual workspace where they can share files, co-author documents, and even video conference at the click of a button.
Building Codes Management Software
Meeting building code is perhaps the most important part if any design. Keeping up with local and regional building codes can be cumbersome and made much easier by the use of technology.
Architects can now use special software to have an entire building code library at their fingertips and can apply relevant building codes to a project to see what adjustments may be needed to satisfy code. This type of software can reduce potential costly mistakes and save time searching through multiple regulations.
Project Management Applications
Managing an architecture project and the multiple vendors involved can be a challenge and can make or break a project, depending upon how well it’s done. Today’s project management applications are designed to facilitate and automate the process.
With visual boards that allow you to move a piece of a project through stages and automated deadline notifications, project management apps help foster smoother workflows and ensure everyone is on the same page and accountable for their part.
Transform Your Workflows with the Right Technology
With so many different technologies out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. NetCare can help you choose the IT that makes the most sense for your firm and put together a fluid integration with your current and new systems.
Contact us today to discuss your IT strategy at (02) 9114 9920 or through our contact form.