Company Spotlight does exactly what it says on the proverbial tin. Learn all about the history, BIM journey and latest Building Information Modelling developments of some of the industry’s most-recognised names. Today’s instalment will enable you to learn the past, present and future happenings of IGS BIM Solutions, a Building Information Modelling content creation business based in Melbourne, Australia.
“I’d like to think we’re ‘not like the others’ in comparing IGS to other companies that create BIM content here in Australia. Although we do create BIM content for manufacturers, I think our methods, business philosophies and motivation for doing what we do is vastly different.” – Luke Johnston, IGS Co-Owner
BIM is done a little differently ‘Down Under’ and IGS BIM Solutions are the prime example of that. The company was started in 2009 by the aforementioned Johnston’s business partner Ben Fox, with Luke joining in 2014. The pair have built up a fantastic reputation for building high-quality BIM components for the Australian market, specialising in objects for Autodesk Revit, though they also provide BIM objects for manufacturers in GRAPHISOFT ARCHICAD and Trimble SketchUp formats.
As Australia’s Government have not yet mandated the utilisation of BIM like the UK, many AEC companies across the country either are unaware of BIM’s benefits, or have had BIM content manufactured, yet it does not meet industry requirements.
“Most of the manufacturers we are working with at present have in fact created BIM content before, prior to working with IGS,” Johnston told BIMcrunch. “Sadly, and I say this sincerely, they have invested money in BIM content they have then taken to industry, only to be told that what they have paid for doesn’t meet the needs of users for one reason or another.
“Having worked in manufacturing myself for many years, I know most of these companies don’t have huge sums of money to spend on BIM content, so to know they have effectively wasted it, is heart-breaking. I’m pleased to say that no client we have worked with to date has gone elsewhere once they have engaged us as their content creator and BIM strategy advisor.”
One service that sets IGS apart from potential competitors in their field is their relationships with various architecture practices, contractors and engineering firms across the #BIMANZ region. Whilst it is great that IGS can develop object families of an elite standard, manufacturers will obviously want their products then used in projects to ensure a return on their investment. Elaborating about their ‘Industry Pipeline’. Luke told us:
“Our content creation process is actually quite different to most content creation companies. For every project we do we consult our Advisory Panel. Our Advisory Panel is made up of BIM practitioners who are currently working in some of Australia’s largest Architecture, Engineering and Construction firms. When we engage manufacturers we discuss with them who their decision-makers are, relative to their type of product and which specific firms they would like specifying their products.”
He continued: “Our engagement with industry is a key to our success. By having constant dialogue with industry leaders, specifically BIM documentation specialists, we are able to gain an intimate understanding of their current requirements and preferences when it comes to developing content that best meets their needs. In turn, we provide maximum value to our manufacturer clients as this provides the greatest likelihood that their content will be used in a project environment to document and specify their products.”
IGS are constantly developing their Advisory Panel as Ben and Luke attend more industry events and improve their relationships with respected professionals across the ‘Great Southern Land’. Luke is a Co-Founder of MelBIM, a series of conferences hailing from Melbourne. The company is also involved with industry bodies such as buildingSMART Australia, Collaborate ANZ and Australia & New Zealand Revit Standards (ANZRS).
“Over the past 12 months we have also really increased the amount of work we do directly for Architecture firms, predominantly in developing in-house BIM content libraries and content for specific projects,” explained Luke. “Doing this work is a great way for us to keep abreast of how BIM content is being used at different stages of projects by various users and how the data incorporated into the content is being utilised.
“It’s perhaps an obvious thing to say, but creating good BIM content is quite often much less about being technically brilliant at modelling geometry as it is about understanding how the data is being used and therefore, how to build it into the content you’re creating”.
In addition to creating BIM content, IGS – or Innovative Growth Solutions – have also developed majorly popular software plug-ins for major names such as Dulux. Their Dulux Colour Atlas for Revit allows users of the add-on to choose from over 4,600 colour options, without the need to leave the software. Colour is automatically generated within a 3D model meaning there is no time wasted entering Revit material data manually, a shortcut that also means inputting errors are avoided. Efficiency is increased as the paint product has already been selected, meaning those building the project save time by already knowing the pre-selected colour.
Dulux Colour Atlas is currently only available in Australia for Revit users yet a solution for ARCHICAD users is in development and will be launched very soon. If other branches of Dulux want to release the plug-in within their country, IGS are happy to talk!
So what does the future hold for IGS?
“In coming months we are looking forward to making quite a few announcements about some internationally renowned, market-leading product manufacturers we are working with and helping them get their new BIM content out into the broader design industry. At the moment IGS is creating Revit content for manufacturers of kitchen appliances, medical equipment, office furniture, bathroom sanitary-ware, commercial tapware, whitegoods, wall panelling, commercial washroom accessories and drainage products.”
The rest of 2015 looks incredibly busy for the business! If you need help with BIM in Australia, then you now know who to call.
“Without doubt the most rewarding and enjoyable part of creating BIM content is having our manufacturer clients tell us about the positive impact it is having on their business. To be fair, most manufacturers start investing in BIM content with some degree of apprehension, which is entirely understandable. But once they start seeing first-hand the way BIM content is improving things like website traffic, their ability to get appointments, specification frequency and even sales staff morale, this is really pleasing for us.” – Luke Johnston, IGS Co-Owner