Top 3 Issues Facing Architecture

27Jul17

by Akio. Guest post by A. Zahner Company (Originally published on the Zahner blog)

1. Collaborative processes leave much to be desired.

IMAGE © A. ZAHNER COMPANY.

We saw a number of responses describing how the collaborative systems in place are not yet fully there — and that they need to be.

Here at Zahner, our engineers are constantly investigating the latest tools. We’ve also discovered that there are some big missing pieces to achieving streamlined collaboration. From our survey, you feel the same way.

94% of responders were not completely satisfied with the tools available. Several participants expressed the need to include owners, contractors, and key fabricators at the beginning of project, calling for “Bold leadership to combine multiple disciplines.”

“Design-assist is needed almost more now than at any time in history, given the complexity and disparate groups that it takes to get a building constructed.”

2. Tools for BIM creation and sharing need improvement.

ZAHNER ENGINEER DYLAN BARR WORKS IN A DASSAULT SYSTÈMES ENVIRONMENT ON THE BROAD ART MUSEUM. IMAGE © A. ZAHNER COMPANY.

“We need better real-time coordination across platforms.”


“Need to harness design for fabrication…straight out of the model.”


Respondents expressed significant frustration with current BIM practices. One participant was awake at 2:05 am due to downstream workflow issues!

Among solutions offered were several apps, BIM, and CAD software you currently use. Others recognized and knew about Zahner’s use of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform. A number of designers mentioned other well-established tools of the trade.

Each discipline should determine what works best, of course, but the key seems to be choosing, and sticking to, a workflow.


“We need better ‘translation’ of meaningful data from the designer directly into fabrication.”


3. Trust is imperative.

ZAHNER CUSTOM-FABRICATED SCULPTURES ARE LIFTED INTO PLACE AT BARTLE HALL. IMAGE © A. ZAHNER COMPANY.

“There is no greater joy for me than to have an owner that trusts me and believes in me.”

Much like the process of designing and constructing a building, establishing and maintaining trust takes time and energy. Putting forth efforts to do this, however, pays off. As schedules and budgets are pressed further, knowing all parties will follow through on obligations is enormously important.

Creating a relationship of mutual respect will ensure a much smoother design and building process and more projects awarded down the road. To help navigate these relational nuances, we came across The architect, the client, and effective communication in architectural design practice an abstract from the Global Conference on Business & Social Science.

“It doesn’t matter what project type — the major issue is always money and how it is spent, and it’s all about trust. It seems to me that there’s more trust between the developer/contractors and owner, while architects struggle to gain the trust of the owner… How do we get this relationship back and earn owner’s trust?”

The challenges our industry faces effects each of us in different ways. At Zahner, we strive to provide open communication and education, regardless of client status. Through continuing to engage you, our clients and partners, we hope to improve upon the issues that frustrate you.

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