Founded in 1989, Cottee Parker Architects is a national practice with studios operating in Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane with an emerging presence in Sydney. They have extensive experience in delivering unique and considered design solutions for the built environment. As a long standing, well-established practice, they have garnered strong relationships with local planning authorities and are well recognized for exceptional urban design outcomes. This has allowed them to achieve design solutions for their clients well beyond the usual planning constraints.
As a prelude to his presence on the main stage of the BIM World MUNICH, Naveen Dath kindly accepted to answer a few questions for us.
- BIM World: In which way did BIM revolutionize the conception and realization of construction projects at Cottee Parker Architects?
Naveen Dath: Cottee Parker Architects have been delivering some of the largest projects in Australia using ArchiCAD. Be it simple 3D modelling or a fully integrated solution, we have found that BIM has revolutionalised collaboration within the project design teams. As Architects, we are now able to communicate our design intent a lot better within a 3D environment. The entire design team of architects, engineers and consultants are now able to gain a clearer understanding of the design and how various components fit together. We are now able to collectively identify potential problems and issues and solve them in a collaborative manner well before actual construction, reducing the overall project risks to everyone involved. We have found that builders and contractors love to work with us, as they are now able to visualise the project better, and plan ahead for the work involved in a more efficient manner. BIM offers us extensive opportunity for design testing and optioneering in a complete 3D environment at every step of the design process, helping us provide more innovative design solutions that respond better to clients needs and the built environment.
I suppose, one of the biggest benefits of BIM to us as architects is that it provides us the means for clear, reliable and efficient documentation. With the project delivery side of things effectively taken care of, we are now able to focus on what we do best – to create, to design and to be expressive.
- BIM World: What do you think is the key factor to the successful integration of BIM in architecture offices (independent of their size)? Can you provide us with some tips?
Naveen Dath: Up until 2008, we used a variety of drafting softwares across our offices, including AutoCAD, ArchiCAD and Revit. However, in 2008, we realised that if we wanted to grow the practice and the scale of our projects, we had to migrate to a single 3D BIM platform, and for us this was ArchiCAD. We’ve never looked back since.
Understanding ‘why’ leads us more easily to the ‘how’. There are many different potential outcomes that can be achieved through the adoption of BIM, and understanding our requirements for each project helps us remain focused on the specific areas of BIM that that are most relevant. It takes time, patience and effort to develop robust systems and processes including templates, library parts and standards, to derive maximum efficiency from your BIM platform. The move from 2D based documentation to full BIM integration is not an overnight exercise, particularly for a large practice. Setting priorities and developing your own BIM roadmap is a great place to start. Firms can start simply by using BIM to achieve more automation and accuracy from an internal documentation point of view, and then evolve the process further by applying the same principles to coordination with engineers and consultants.
In my opinion, commitment across the entire office and from all stakeholders within the practice is absolutely essential for successful BIM integration. Investment in constant training and upgrading is critical as well. Viewing BIM integration as an ever-evolving journey helps us to set realistic goals, and gaining acceptance and commitment from all stakeholders in the practice ensures that the journey remains on track.
- BIM World: Boundaries of BIM are being pushed forward every day. With the emergence of various related technologies (IoT, Blockchains, Smart Cities, VR/AR, etc.), it seems like BIM requirements are continuously evolving before we can actually reach them. How can we stay ahead of the crowd without getting lost in the game?
Naveen Dath: At Cottee Parker, we view the advancement of technology very seriously. It is an integral part of the way we deliver our projects. Understanding clearly what our deliverables are is crucial to staying current. Our focus is never specifically about staying ahead of the crowd, but rather our capacity to deliver on any current and future BIM requirements our clients and the industry in general may have. The size and scale of many of our projects naturally forces us to exist at the cutting edge of new technology; however, we avoid simply jumping into new software or technology blindly, as proven quality control is and will always be a priority for us. Awareness and education are key factors in remaining relevant and we invest in continual research, training and development across all areas of the practice.
- BIM World: You will be on the main stage of the BIM World Munich on November 28th, 2017. Can you give us a glimpse of the topics covered in your presentation?
Naveen Dath: We are delighted at the opportunity to showcase Queens Wharf Brisbane at BIM World Munich. Queens Wharf is a truly transformational project for the city of Brisbane, and one that endeavours to envision the heart of a New World City. It is perhaps one of the largest projects in Australia currently, that aims to propel Brisbane on to the world stage as a gobally significant destination. It is transformational for us at Cottee Parker as well, and is changing the way we use BIM and our 3D modelling expertise. Queens Wharf is also one of the largest projects that is being delivered in a fully integrated, collaborative and federated BIM environment. This is certainly evloving us as a practice and the way we deliver projects. We are looking forward to sharing some of the challenges, strategies and successes in the process of delivering this truly aspirational and iconic project.
Naveen Dath will be holding a Keynote on the main stage of the BIM World Munich on November 28th, 2017 at 13:30 (right after the lunch break). Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the BIM Experience and integration of BIM in all projects driven by Cottee Parker Architects, book your ticket to the main conference now.