4 Reasons Why Architects and Designers Need KitConnect
For the past few weeks, I’ve been sharing insights about our Project Frog solutions via my “Monday’s Coffee with KitConnect” video series. If you haven’t seen them yet it's okay, you can just read on for some insights on the challenges faced by design teams.
When we began creating KitConnect, we integrated ideas and feedback from our own team of in-house architects and designers, as well as from the clients we’ve worked with over the past 14 years. Along the way, we found there are four main challenges most architects and design teams face. We believe our KitConnect solution addresses them all.
What is the KitConnect Content Library?
First, let me explain what a Kit-of-Parts is and how it fits into the KitConnect content library.
Most architects and designers deal with some repetitive content, like volumetric modular pods, a typical floor plan for an apartment, wall panels and facade elements, or even rebar cages that could be standardized to be easily used in similar projects. Instead of designing and redesigning those components over and over, KitConnect allows you to publish all your content to the cloud, making it reusable. By offering pre-created content, teams are more efficient, reducing costs and eliminating chances of errors while reusing those models.
By publishing your parts, you have essentially created your very own Kit-of-Parts - a rules-based system of reusable components that can be mixed and matched to create an almost endless array of building types and design options.
This Kit-of-Parts is not constrained to modular or volumetric pods and can be used by anyone, even if they are not taking a prefab or Industrialized Construction (IC) production approach. Implementing a Kit-of-Parts approach gives you repeatable design elements that include design guidelines or constraints you want your company to adhere to. As you begin to move toward manufacturing, it’s easy to progress to using additional features, such as Bill of Materials or prefabrication/IC-focused workflows, which continue to automate the process .
So now, think of KitConnect as your Kit-of-Parts manager. This integrated Revit to Web solution, built on Autodesk’s Forge platform, creates and manages your configurable, modular Kit-of-Parts content.
You might ask why our KitConnect content library is different from other libraries out there. It’s because we use factory floor knowledge, and the way these elements are assembled on-site, to enrich the parts in our library, known in the industry as Design for Manufacturing and Assembly, or DfMA. By connecting your KitConnect content library, which acts as a single source of truth for all your existing and new projects, you have countless opportunities to transform your projects into configurators, and ensure your design teams have the most up to date Kit-of-Parts content.
Challenge 1: Design Intent
It happens all the time. Parts of a design are accidentally removed or an outdated version of a part or module is used instead of the most current one. So how do we make sure design intent is retained, considering the lack of control in design authoring tools?
It’s pretty easy actually, when you use the KitConnect content library. Because all your parts and rules are consolidated there, it’s easy to connect it to multiple projects, and, at any given point, you can run an Audit to ensure all your projects, and the content within those projects, are adhering to your content library rules.
By using this feature you will see both a reduction in design driven loop-backs from the factory floor and project delays due to incorrect parts or designs.
Challenge 2: Content Management
The second big challenge encountered by architects and design teams is content management. It’s difficult to manage a large number of files when there is a disconnect between product design knowledge and rules management, and content is siloed or distributed, making it impossible to scale.
To solve this, KitConnect offers a version-aware content library, available for both the enterprise and individual projects, which behaves as the single source of truth for all parts and rules. This content library is accessible to all stakeholders with permission, while version control manages all changes and updates. This ensures content is both scalable and accessible throughout the pipeline, without manual updating of files and individuals. Using our KitConnect content library reduces repetitive modelling and detailing content already approved for fabrication during past projects, and allows it to be shared and used across multiple projects. The payback? Eliminating errors that inevitably occur when recreating content, and preventing out-of-date designs from being used in projects by using the versioning feature.
Challenge 3: On-boarding Teams
One of the biggest challenges around on-boarding new team members and consultants is the learning curve. It’s hard to ramp new team members up fast enough so they are providing value sooner.
KitConnect simplifies the on-boarding process because your KitConnect content library offers all your parts, with rules attached. This means new members are confident they are using the most current and accurate content available and they are able to add their own knowledge to ensure a continuous improvement of the Kit-of-Parts itself. An added bonus of using KitConnect? A simplified transition from a traditional construction approach to a modular one.
Challenge 4: Increasing Efficiency
Every individual and team wants to increase their efficiency and using KitConnect and the KitConnect content library for your projects does just that. There are four ways your efficiency is directly impacted – First, less, or even no, time is spent on modeling, which means your design turnaround increases. Secondly, our content library gives you the ability to evaluate more design options to find the best fit for each project. Then, because stakeholders have access to the single source of truth, as well as the latest updates and changes, loop-backs are reduced. And finally, the amount of time spent on-boarding new members is reduced, resulting in faster contributions to designs and decision making processes.
Shirin Arnold, VP, Software Sales
Shirin has a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from Stanford University and over 15 years of experience and deep understanding in technology as a solution in construction. Through her first job at Webcor Builders, Shirin’s passion for technology as a solution to help promote efficiency within the industry began to grow. Since then Shirin has gained extensive experience in the tech space as both a Product Manager as well as several leadership roles including; founding her own software company that produced digital 3D BIM models, serving as a Vice President of Credit Suisse where she led the Global CFO IT and CRO IT OnePPM implementation, and most recently as the Senior Product Line Manager for BIM 360 Field Management at Autodesk. She continues to be a thought leader, industry expert, and driver of change. Shirin is excited and optimistic about what the future holds for the AEC market as we enter the next phase in technology. Follow Shirin on LinkedIn & Twitter.