Nathan Moore is the Director of Design at CME Corporation, overseeing the company’s architecture design. The company specializes in commercial design-build and general contracting in a number of industries including manufacturing, commercial, and retail.
As a small company, CME relies on efficient technology to leverage & increase their output. Hear what Nathan Moore has to say about the tools he finds most useful, how he collaborates, and how his team runs on BIM 360 Team (formerly A360 Team).
What brought you to BIM 360 Team?
I initially got an invite from Autodesk to try out the Tech Preview. I had previously done some beta testing (as a user) for Autodesk on other products, since it helps us get a pulse on the direction of Autodesk products and where they are going.
When we tried out the Tech Preview for A360, we tried on-boarding a large scale project to the platform. Though it wasn’t perfect then, I really liked how it centralized everything, and have used it for many other projects since then.
What’s your favorite feature?
The most powerful feature is that when you post your data, it’s instantaneously accessible for everyone involved in the project. The ability to instantly share large files and large data sets with multiple people on the project is so useful.
For example, in our current project, we have 56 people on the design side, and 30 people on client side. On BIM 360 Team, you can share your files with all or any of them to collaborate in the project. I also like the calendar feature, which we’re just starting to use.
Where do you find your inspiration?
For design projects, we have an organic process. We’re really client-focused, and we really try to understand what they want, their aesthetics, etc.
We provide a visual image catalogue with different views, and ask them to comment on what they do and don’t like. We also go through a programming process to figure out what their needs are. Then we formulate an idea of what they like and what their needs are, and I do a hand-drawing of the concept, show it, and iterate from there based on their feedback.
We use BIM 360 Team directly with the client to drive design, and use it with consultants to share construction drawings, and process iterations.
What helps you “get in the zone”?
Lots of coffee, and I like to listen to industrial techno.
How important is collaboration to the creativity of your projects?
It’s extremely important. It’s a holistic process, because you’re taking input for the visual process, plus relying on input from consultants for the construction/technical side of it.
Because of the way BIM 360 Team works, we record our meeting notes in Excel, and then post the notes into BIM 360 Team immediately after. It really accelerates the process and speed of coordinating with all these diverse entities involved in the project.
What challenges did you and your team face that brought you to BIM 360 Team?
Sharing very large files has always been a challenge, especially with multiple parties, trying to keep 60 or 80 individuals on the same page and making sure everyone is up-to-date on the current information. In general, this is the biggest challenge in the building industry.
I’m trying to convince the field to move away from printed drawings and into using tablets and digital tools. It’s a challenge because the old ways are embedded in people in this industry—it’s what they’re used to.
Does the convenience of a web-based product help you when working outside the office?
Absolutely, being able to access the data from anywhere is a great benefit. Not just for the consultants, but for the owners too.
Do you use the file viewer in BIM 360 Team ?
Yes, it has its limitations, but it’s also really good for our clients who don’t have the software to view it. They can use the viewer to view the files and get the basic visuals to see how the work is progressing.
When you send files to consultants/clients, has there been any reaction from them?
Yes, overall the reaction is very positive. Clients and consultants really like being able to go into it and see everything from the project, and they appreciate that they can access all the data anytime.