Low Hammond Rowe is an architecture firm from Victoria, Canada who are discovering that switching to a new design software can provide them with amazing results. You’ll read about how the firm continues business operation during the switch as well as how they’re aware of undeniable efficiencies that save them time and money.
It’s a common question among architects: what are the best ways to make good on your investment into a design software?
CAD, BIM, and modeling programs can deliver unmatched efficiency to an architectural design process. But how can you be sure your investment was worth it?
The partners at Low Hammond Rowe are confident with their decision to incorporate Vectorworks Architect into their traditionally AutoCAD-based office. As of September 2022, approximately 50% of the designers at Low Hammond Rowe are using Vectorworks. They’ve completed several high-profile projects from start to finish using the program.
Here’s what main Christopher Rowe says about the choice to switch:
“We don’t have a corporate structure demanding from above that we use one software or another. It’s not a religion — it’s whatever tool gets the job done the most efficiently and effectively.”
Again, “efficiency” — it’s become quite the buzzword for designers and clients alike. So let’s explore exactly what “efficiency” means for Low Hammond Rowe.
Redefining Efficient Workflows
Gregory Eeman is an architect with Low Hammond Rowe who experiences the efficiency buzzword firsthand. He often functions as a BIM manager on a project-to-project basis. His technical ability earned him this role — coming from Revit, he had a solid BIM background before upgrading to Vectorworks.
“I just love the flexibility of Vectorworks,” he said. “I can set it up how I want it to work for me and that’s huge. I can import a PDF or a JPEG and have a good-looking drawing out to the client in just a couple hours. It’s very fluid. With Vectorworks, design kind of just comes out of my hands without too much thinking.”
Eeman is a fan of having a hybrid 2D/3D design environment. He commented on how helpful it is to automatically generate 2D drawings from a 3D model, and the simplicity of how 3D objects have immediate 2D representations that you can view side by side.
“One of the very strong tools in Vectorworks are your viewports,” he said. “You can quickly change their look and how they’re going to work. So basically you can copy/paste them and change any of the information they contain. You can have a ceiling plan; you can have demolition plans. You can just do whatever you want from this small viewport that you copied and pasted.”
Completing Projects Amidst a Software Switch
Many worry about switching to a new software. The assumption is that business must stop to dedicate time to learning the new program. The story of Low Hammond Rowe disproves this.
Rowe is more than comfortable with a phased approach to switching. He said that he thinks AutoCAD and SketchUp will always play a part in their workflows because of how experienced firm members are with those tools. As mentioned earlier, approximately 50% of the office is using Vectorworks; the remainder still use other programs.
It’s the smart way to do it. Again, it’s not a religion. It’s about delivering the best projects you can as quickly as you can. And if that means relying on other programs while the team gets onboarded to Vectorworks, then there’s nothing wrong with that. In this way the firm was able to continue delivering projects during the process of evolving their workflows.
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This article was originally written by Alex Altieri, Content Marketing Writer at Vectorworks.