Breaking with Convention

The traditional construction design process worked through the communication medium of drawings.


With numerous stakeholders working on different elements, workshops brought teams together, where individuals poured over drawings all day long, spilling coffee, making mark-ups with big red lines on drawings which eventually became a contractual document. A very laborious and time-consuming process – more often than not, it proved difficult to get key people around the table at the right time.


At Ibsecad, we chose to break with convention and bring about change to transform how we manage projects. We noticed that technology could provide a solution, allowing a greater degree of interaction and a faster, more accurate means of capturing the review process. Modifying our internal systems and implementing new technology has helped us to win more projects, the most notable one being a US$700m University Medical Centre project in New Orleans. 


We are at the forefront of BIM and collaborative working environments. As we look to continually find new ways of improving design and construction efficiencies, we are looking to push BIM and the technology further. Working with main contractors and sub-contractors, our mission is to bring design and construction expertise together, delivering projects faster and more efficiently – resulting in reduced costs.


Like many companies in the construction industry, we used Autodesk Navisworks to annotate designs by hand and then scan the hard copies. Whilst Autodesk Navisworks is a big step forward from a traditional paper drawing making it easier for clients to visualise their projects, the challenge lies in how to work with those models, to then record the collaborative process and capture the changes we want to make to plans. Users are limited to using screen grabs of images and marking them up by hand through Photoshop packages or using the commentary tool on Autodesk Navisworks.


We needed an alternative solution, allowing a greater degree of interaction to provide a faster and more accurate means of capturing the review process. We turned to interactive technology to solve the problem, investing in a SMART Board® interactive whiteboard and Meeting Pro™ software. In doing so we became one of the first companies in our sector to use SMART in our daily operations.


As a BIM provider to the construction industry, we are heavily involved in the many stages of the build process. Utilising traditional methods of working, we had to think very carefully about any annotations made because they were always on paper. With a SMART Board installed, our clients and team can make comments to pictures and images as required; manipulating the display with touch gestures on the board, write in digital ink on the display and save or print and distribute the outputs at any time. It is quick and easy to alter a design without ruining the plan.


This technology has provided a level of interaction that we haven’t seen before. Clients have a greater understanding and can realise a project before it is built, directly resulting in greater collaboration on our projects, making it easier for us to capture discussions and action agreed decisions. 


The technology also plays a key role in ensuring that projects stay on schedule. This is very important in the construction industry, where any delay can prove costly. It also helps to ensure that any disputes over the decisions taken are kept to a minimum, thanks to its ability to accurately document the design process.


Our use of SMART technology is helping everyone at Ibsecad provide a winning BIM service. In breaking with convention we are able to work collaboratively with colleagues; proving that with these tools, the company can bid for, win, de-risk and deliver contracts anywhere in the world.


By Richard Baglow, Regional Director at Ibsecad.


For more information please visit or contact Richard directly on +44 (0)207 6181150, via twitter @RichBaglowuk. Linkedin: