“Using Archicad quickly became profitable”

“The architect Élan was founded in 2018 and is therefore a relatively young agency,” Bessemans begins. “Today there are three of us, but according to the Building Act, a fourth force is joining. With our office, we primarily design private homes, but also large private projects and in recent years also more and more utility buildings. We provide full support for this: from preliminary design to delivery. ”

“When we started up four years ago, we were looking at different design software packages. An ex-student who now worked at KUBUS also invited us to a breakfast session where Archicad was introduced. My colleagues Jeroen and Evelien as well as myself were immediately excited. As long as we did not have the big budget at the time, Archicad still represented a serious investment, especially since we already had the necessary licenses for other design software that we had been working on as students. Therefore, we decided to continue with the reliable software. “

An election that Bessemans and his colleagues regretted relatively quickly. “In 2019, we switched to the 3D version of the software we were using. We ran into a lot of limitations in that program at the time. It was slow, prone to crashes, adjustments did not go smoothly because certain connections were suddenly away, and especially renovation projects proved to be difficult to realize cost-effectively. After all, the renovation tool was particularly complex to use. The advantages of designing in 3D did not actually outweigh the disadvantages. “

That frustration eventually leads to the modeling software from KUBUS. Bessemans: “In 2021, we switched to Archicad to be able to work more efficiently in 3D. From now on, we would use Archicad for all new projects and finish the current projects in our old 3D software. “

Significant time savings

“We were intensively guided in this transition by KUBUS, which Archicad distributes in Flanders. The three of us first followed the four-day basic course. It explains very clearly how the program works and where everything can be found. After following the basic course, all three of us were already able to model a complete project and put it on paper. Then we regularly called the KUBUS Archicad helpdesk. We could reach them at any time of the day via chat or phone. It proved necessary in certain specific cases. Finally, we have also made use of the customization that KUBUS offers around Archicad; one day someone from KUBUS came by to create our specific template. In hindsight, maybe we should have used that service more often, so we were completely ‘Archicad-proof’ faster. “

“Using Archicad quickly started to pay off. After 24 hours of training per. person and a total of about two days of implementation, we already noticed a significant time saving compared to designing in our old software. To give two examples: where in our old software we took an average of 20 to 25 hours for the measurement phase, with Achicad it is only 15 to 20 hours. We were then able to reduce the time required for the design adjustments in the environmental approval phase by about half, from 30 to 35 hours to 15 to 20 hours, respectively. A comparison between Archicad and the old software for the initial design phase is a bit more complex, but Archicad undoubtedly also saves time in that phase. ”

Link to Twinmotion and BIMx

When asked about other benefits of Archicad, Bessemans lists a few things. “Archicad’s renovation tool is more interesting and user-friendly than we were used to. You can use it very simply and clearly to make it clear to the contractor what needs to be torn down, which then turns red. In addition, you can also very easily conjure up the design after demolition. ”

“We also often use the link with Twinmotion to generate animated renderings to be displayed to customers. It requires very little effort to export the BIM model to Twinmotion. Then you can set up some effects and materials in minutes. The result is certainly not comparable with the photorealistic simulations used in project development to sell projects, but the visualizations are more than solid and therefore very useful to give the customer a concrete idea of ​​the design and its atmosphere. “

“You can also make 3D visualizations with BIMx, but we have only recently started using it. It is very convenient that you always have all 3D models and plans at hand on the construction site via the app on your tablet. Customizations that you make on your computer to one of the 3D models or plans can be very easily downloaded via BIMx, so you always have the latest version of the 3D models or plans at hand. I personally find BIMx very useful for showing certain connections to a contractor, for example. “

“What I also really like about Archicad is that you can quickly generate the necessary lists, including calculations that you need to submit the statistical form together with the building application. Calculating the volume of a home can also be done almost automatically, and Measurestate Manager is a handy tool in conjunction with a tender file. In a few minutes you can create an overview of all materials and their quantities in the project, such as bricks or cavity insulation. ”

Bessemans also states that his agency will buy VR glasses in the near future in order to show the 3D visualizations of the Archicad models even better to customers. With real VR glasses, it is possible with Twinmotion, with cardboard VR glasses and a smartphone via BIMx.

“Worth the investment”

“In summary,” Bessemans concludes, “we think the biggest added value of Archicad is the fact that we can really get everything out of the 3D model generated with it. And what I have not mentioned yet is that all plans are A simple example of the latter: If you move a window, all related plans, such as the facade plan, are automatically adjusted. In our old software, you had to adjust everything separately. And that is sometimes forgotten. Archicad was worth the investment “Working on it quickly became profitable. Mainly because of the fast learning curve, but also because of all the benefits I just mentioned. We now even regret that we did not choose Archicad when we founded Élan architects.”

Want to hear the whole story of Élan Architects in KUBUS ‘webinar series’ Architects in Crtl’? You can do this via this link. After filling out the form, you will receive a link to the recording in your email. For more information on using Archicad in your organization, you can request a personalized online demo via this link.

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