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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A #BIM success story in the smallest of places. Wade Squiers BIM champion of Main Street USA

I got a random phone call today from a man named Wade.  He's working on a project and was so frustrated after spending 8 hours trying to build a tension rod Revit family.  I didn't ask him what the search term was he used, but he found me on Google and called me to see if we could help.

During the conversation, when he told me what town he lived in, I asked him how the heck he was using Revit when I can't even get firms in a major city like Miami to use it.  He said quite simply that he had been used AutoCAD LT and found that he needed full blown AutoCAD.  When he was looking to purchase it, he found Revit and said that as long as he was spending the money, Revit looked like it would solve a lot of problems and it looked like Revit was where the technology was headed and he may as well make the investment now.

He taught himself Revit and I asked him how much time it saves him.  He said Revit saves him at least 20% of the time it used to take him to do work in CAD.  I was so happy to hear that.

I almost hate to say this, but Wade lives in the middle of nowhere.  He has no support system, no reseller close by and no other architects near him to offer peer support.  I told him we had a Revit family building class that he could take live over the web.  I also told him that any problems he runs in to, we can provide him support for $125/hour.  He was thrilled to hear that and have someone to provide him solutions to all of his problems.

It's these little stories that make it all worthwhile for me.  I don't do what I do to just be able to say I sold so many seats of Revit.  People like Wade have no one to turn to.  It's the little guys that can't afford all of the technology, training and in house support of the big firms.  He said that he ended up spending $8000 to buy Revit and a new computer.  With his increase in productivity, it was well worth it for him.

I was trying to search for him online this afternoon and came across the article below.  I highlighted below my favorite part of the article.  He got free press for specifically mentioning Revit and BIM.  Awesome job Wade and I hope someone reads this and gives you a new project.

To put things in perspective, look at these Google Map screenshots I took.  Wade lives in a tiny town.  It's in the panhandle of Florida.  If you've ever driven from New Orleans to Miami, you cross the state line into Florida and woo hoo, only 14 more hours to drive to Miami. 

If Wade Squiers can find Revit on his own and be successful with it, then there's hope for the rest of you 2D year olds out there.  Of course, Wade doesn't want any other architects in his area using Revit so he can get all of the business.  I don't know if that's possible since he has one of his main website links promoting Revit.  http://ss-designgroup.com/BIM_TECHNOLOGY.html.  I do so love firms like this.  They can make a decision quickly and be successful because of it.  Wade Squiers, you're my BIM success story of the day. 

Link: http://www.southwaltonscene.com/blog/2009/07/south-walton-santa-rosa-beach-32459-the-squiers-studio-wade-aia-architectural-firm.html

July 01, 2009

South Walton Business Spotlight: The Squiers Studio in Santa Rosa Beach

The Business
The Squiers Studio
Owner: Wade R. Squiers, AIA
5365 East Cnty. Hwy 30A, Suite 107
Santa Rosa Beach, Fl. 32459
p.850.502.4727 | c. 850.420.2095 |
f. 813.464.2329 | TheSquiersStudio.com
BEIRUT BUILDING IMAGE LARGEGive us your elevator pitch - tell us all about your biz.
"I run a small, nimble, Architectural office which focuses on great design, superior customer service and state of the art technology."
Tell us a little about yourself.
"I grew up in a small town in Eastern Iowa and attended Iowa State University, graduating in 1988. After working for a couple of years I moved South to get my Masters at Clemson in South Lakeside Lot 1 Rendering - Rendering - Front Perspective Carolina; it was a long way from home, was inexpensive and had a great football team at the time, which was important coming from the football desert of Iowa State. From there I moved to Atlanta and eventually landed here 5 years ago. I live with my wife, Krista, and 7 year old daughter, Isabella, in Blue Mountain Beach.

I enjoy spending time with my family and driving around in my 1991 red Alfa Romeo convertible. One of my life passions is Italy. While attending Clemson I spent a semester studying Architecture at the Charles E. Daniel Center for Urban Studies in Genoa. Like most who visit there I fell in love with the country, its people and its food. Luckily I’ve managed to make it back 6 or 7 times and hope to some day retire in a small village along the Amalfi Coast." (CONTINUED BELOW >>)

Barnes ResidenceWhat was your inspiration to start your biz in South Walton?

"When I came to the area from Atlanta in 2004, I started working for Dungan Nequette Architects in Rosemary Beach. About 9 months after moving here I was offered a job as Project Manager overseeing Redfish Village during the design and construction phases for the developer. It was a great learning experience to be involved with projects from the owner/developer side as opposed to the designer’s side, but I really started to miss being an architect. It’s what I wanted to be from the time I was a small child, not to mention the years of education and training that were involved. Doing something else made me aware of how much I loved Architecture, so when Redfish Village was getting closer to completion I started to think about what I wanted to do next. I realized that rather than work for someone else, I wanted to be in charge of my work and the kinds of designs I put out there. While performing some moonlighting work during the previous year I was fortunate enough to have built a pretty solid client base, so it was a natural progression that lead to the formation of The Squiers Studio."
What is your best selling item/service?
"I pride myself on a couple of things which really go hand–in-hand: excellent customer service and state-of-the-art technology. My old firm in Atlanta really emphasized that ours is a service industry, not solely a design industry. What I mean by this is that you don’t necessarily force a particular design onto your client because you love it; if you remember to listen to your clients, are easy to work with and provide them with what they want; the result is a good experience that will 01 bring clients back to you. This doesn’t mean you don’t help support and guide your clients; you have an obligation to do that, but often times Architects see themselves as artists first to the detriment of the clients’ needs or wishes.

The second aspect I mentioned was technology, which we are very excited about. The advent of CAD (computer aided design) started to be incorporated into Architectural firms shortly after I received my Bachelors degree in the early 80’s, and didn’t really start to take off until the early 90’s. That was a big leap over hand drawings, but in reality it wasn’t that different. Rather than using a pen to draw lines which represented a building, you used a mouse to draw the lines. Granted you could copy and erase things at a much greater rate with the computer, but it didn’t do much more than that. A new kind of software has recently been introduced which is light years ahead of traditional CAD; BIM technology, which stands for Building Information Modeling.

I decided to incorporate the BIM software, Revit Architecture, about 18 months ago and its implications on both design and customer service are huge. In a nutshell, CAD is a 2D based drawing system and if you change something in the design after you’ve started, you’re forced to chase that change through all of the separate drawings. Because the drawings are not tied to each other in any concrete way, there is a good chance that something will be missed, which can lead to additional costs to the client or at the very least, make your firm look bad.

Revit (BIM) is a 3 dimensional based system in which I essentially create a single 3D model of the house or building and this model is full of information. All of the drawings are made from this one model. This means that not only can the client get a realistic picture of what the building will look like before it’s finished, but because there is just a single 3D model, any changes that are made in the design are automatically updated throughout the project.

For example, if the client wants a door removed, I simply delete it from the plan model and that door is then removed from all the other drawings automatically. We can even place a rendering of the house on a photograph of the lot/site to give the client a feel for how the design will really look when finished. Most importantly, it helps us to create a better coordinated set of drawings with fewer inconsistencies and allows us to communicate the design to the client in a more effective manner. I am excited about the power of this program; it’s a very effective tool which can help separate The Squiers Studio from other firms."

18What else do we need to know about your business?
"Besides designing residential projects in the area, I have a large commercial background as well. While in Atlanta I worked for Smallwood Reynolds Stewart Stewart & Associates who is ranked among the biggest firms in the country. While there I had the opportunity to design large hotel resort projects all over the world. This experience gave me some very important lessons in understanding complex building types and working with large teams of consultants and employees. It was a wonderful training ground.

I really enjoy the balance of designing both residential homes as well as larger commercial projects. I’ve also started to spend some time on entries for international competitions. I recently submitted a design proposal for the National House of Arts & Culture in Beirut, Lebanon. It not only allowed me to expand my design sensibilities with a large project, but it afforded me the opportunity to compete for a project we would not otherwise have seen."

Article source:
South Walton Business Spotlight: The Squiers Studio in Santa Rosa Beach - South Walton county, Florida & Scenic Hwy 30A - SouthWaltonScene.com™

Other articles that he got to mention Revit in:


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