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Thread: Worksharing Between Offices

  1. #1
    All AUGI, all the time
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    Syracuse, NY

    Default Worksharing Between Offices

    I would like some thoughts from the community on this issue. I am familiar with worksets and have used them within the office. Now we have encountered a unique situation that I could use some input on.

    Scenario: A project (800,000 sf @ $230 million) was started by a design firm and taken to DD phase in Revit.. The project will soon be handed off to 4 firms to complete the CD phase. Each firm has varying experience in Revit, ours being the most. It is my understanding that each firm will work on a specific portion of the project - some is new construction and some is renovation work.

    What is the best approach to this?

    Some considerations so far:
    1. Hosting the model on our server and having the other 3 firms access the model from their respective offices. The issues here are that we are allowing other local firms access to our server and I can see that file saving may become an issue because we all have different internet speeds.
    2. A remote office space could be established where 3-4 individuals from each firm go each day and work on the project. This would require 12-16 new workstations, a new server, IT support...... There is a definite cost involved with this scenario (who pays), but from a communication standpoint, it might be the cleanest. On the down side, you lose 3-4 members of your office for 8mo. to a year.
    3. A combination of the two. One person from each office relocates to the remote office to coordinate the efforts of managing files, creating worksets, etc.....The balance of the team members would access the central file - which would reside at the remote office location - from their respective offices. Saving to the central could be troublesome due to the varying internet speeds again. Each office would have to purchase a Riverbed or something of that nature to augment their connection for saving data - $$$$$.
    4. The other issue is standards. How do you determine which office standards to use? Our office is further along than the others from a Revit standpoint, but I do not want to force our standards on others.
    If anyone has experience with a similar scenario, or if you have an idea I have not considered, I would appreciate any comments you might have.

    Last edited by jcoe; 2007-01-31 at 01:45 PM.

  2. #2
    All AUGI, all the time Justin Marchiel's Avatar
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    Penticton, B.C., Canada

    Default Re: Worksharing Between Offices

    I can't really comment on 1-3, but for 4, who is the Architects of Record? Who are you invoicing to. Use that firms standards. If you are all working with a straight contract with the owner, well you are in some funny territory with work division/overlapping unworking other firms. In this case with such a large job, the cadd managers should get toghther and create a hybrid standard and take the best from each firm.

    As our firm evolves, and get better and better with revit, our standards change to try to maximize revit.


  3. #3
    Early Adopter sbrown's Avatar
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    Coast to Coast

    Default Re: Worksharing Between Offices

    I would try as hard as I could to make each office responsible for their own delieverables and not even try to connect the 4. Figure out how to split up the work to accomplish this. Its hard enough to work with worksets in one office, hard yet to work with links in one office. I can't imagine what you would be getting into. Unless you can put together some very well thought out standards and procedures for family creation, view naming, STC timing, etc. it will be very tough to work with 4 offices all used to diff. ways of working.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.
    Scott D. Brown, AIA
    Senior Project Manager | Associate


  4. #4
    The Silent Type JamesVan's Avatar
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    New York, NY

    Default Re: Worksharing Between Offices

    Yes, this is a difficult situation if a joint collaborative isn't established. It is critical to define clear lines between what each firm will work on. Ambiguity is the arch enemy of multi-office Revit collaboration. I've managed my share of these types of projects in Autocad and it was a nightmare. We're doing a large project now that is being worked on in our London, New York and Chicago offices and we've split the model (and the task work) up 'cleanly' enough to allow separate models for each office. The models are then synchronized between each office using Distributed File System (DFS) on Windows Server. I wouldn't even attempt to do workset sharing outside of the office domain.
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  5. #5
    Count (Formula) dbaldacchino's Avatar
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    Missouri City, Texas (Houston area)

    Default Re: Worksharing Between Offices

    What do you mean when you say that each firm will work on a specific part of the project? If it were that specific, couldn't you basically split the job up in 4 models and hand them over to their respective "documenters"? To make sure everyone knows what is going on with the other 3 parts that they're not seeing, you might upload the models to an ftp site or something like Buzzsaw at regular intervals and everyone would link each other's work inside their own model.

    It doesn't seem much fun to figure out all the kinks that can/will arise. I only had one experience with working with another architectural firm one the same project we were doing (they were doing interiors under our direction while we did the rest of the building) and the management side wasn't a happy story (all in Acad/Adt). Are the documents supposed to be issued as 4 separate sets or are they all to be merged into one? If the latter is the case, then you HAVE to somehow coordinate your efforts, which means that you probably ought to have a discussion about sharing expenses in a fair way and work as a team, rather than 4 separate firms.

  6. #6
    Revit Mararishi aaronrumple's Avatar
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    St. Louis, MO

    Default Re: Worksharing Between Offices

    I'd agree with David. The simplest solution would be if you could split the work up such that each group can work on their own package of deliverables. This eliminates the need to share standards and should reduce coordination required.

    However, if you do all have to work on the same model, I think the hotel solution would in the end be the cheapest. Even paying for the hardware would be cheaper than the lost man hours of trying to save to central over the Internet and all the trouble that will cause. The hardware could be lased and everyone could bring their own copy of Revit to the party.
    Don't drink the Kool-Aid...
    Aaron Rumple, AIA

  7. #7
    All AUGI, all the time
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    Syracuse, NY

    Default Re: Worksharing Between Offices

    Thank you all for the responses. I am not all that familiar with the total scope and the roles and responsibilities of each office but I do know that we are one of two architectural firms, there is a M/E/P firm and a structural firm. My involvement in the project will most likely be limited to coordinating Revit related activities on our end.

    From the looks of the preliminary drawings, I think the model could be broken cleanly into pieces for each office to work on. I do like David's suggestion and using Buzzsaw was something that I had not considered.

    Thanks again. I'll try to keep updating the post as events unfold.
    Jason Coe, Architect & Cadd/BIM Lead
    Beardsley architects + engineers
    Auburn, New York
    "Nothing happens by chance and coincidence is when God wishes to remain anonymous"

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