Beyer Blinder Belle Customizes Ideate Software Solutions to Meet Their Specific Needs

Founded more than 50 years ago with a focus on residential construction, today Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners (BBB) is a multifaceted, award-winning firm with offices in New York City, Washington DC, and Boston. Best recognized for their architectural work on historic buildings, BBB’s other specialty areas include civic, commercial, cultural, education, government, hospitality, interiors, planning, urban design, and multi-family residential.

Ten years ago, BBB adopted Revit as a BIM authoring platform. Around the same time, BBB also established a Design and Construction Technology (DCT) group to support digital practice, increase efficiency, and provide in-house software training. “We equip our architects and designers with resources that empower them, so they can focus their creative skills on creating contemporary designs that reflect appropriate historic, cultural, and civic context,” said Nicholas Wright, Director of DCT at BBB.

BBB and Ideate Software

Courtesy Witkoff, Apollo Global Mgmt, Rendering by NQS Creative

Ideate was initially introduced to DCT by a staff member who spoke highly of Ideate Software products. On their recommendation, BBB reached out to learn more. “To get to know the software, we started with Ideate Sticky,” said Matthew Breau, Design Technology Specialist at BBB. “We were impressed that it did just what it was supposed to do, and it was easy to learn and use. We added another Ideate Software product, then another. We now subscribe to the entire Ideate suite and encourage all designers at BBB to leverage those offerings in their day-to-day work.”

Since the release of Ideate Automation 2.0 in the summer of 2022, BBB has been leveraging it to centralize weekly tasks that were previously performed by individual teams. Using Ideate Automation, DCT runs these tasks overnight, which allows teams to reclaim valuable time during business hours. “We started looking into the available features in Ideate Automation and how we could get the software to run automatically and export data to a format that would be really useful to the team. For BBB, that initially included weekly DWG exports for coordination issuances to consultants and weekly PDF sets run as check sets or to accompany drawings to consultants,” said Matthew.

Customizing Ideate Software Tools to Address Unique Needs

Courtesy Witkoff, Apollo Global Mgmt, Rendering by NQS Creative

At the beginning of 2023, BBB decided to explore additional use cases for Ideate Automation and to customize several of the scripts that ship with Ideate Automation. “These customizations have helped us double down on our commitment to building our designers’ knowledge of best practices, supporting firmwide BIM standards, and proactive monitoring of model health,” said Nicholas.

Here are three ways BBB has customized Ideate Software tools to meet their needs:

Support that Goes Above and Beyond

When Beyer Blinder Belle has questions about an existing workflow or needs to build a new one, Matthew reaches out to the Ideate Software support and/or development team. “I can’t say enough about how helpful the Ideate Software team has been to us. Everyone I have spoken to has been willing to dig into understanding my questions and responding insightfully. They don’t just come back with ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers,” said Matthew.

“For tasks not currently possible in their solutions, they have a real curiosity about what we're trying to do and why, and they help us customize scripts to meet our needs. Often, we see that our questions and suggestions are addressed in future releases, which demonstrates Ideate Software’s desire to create solutions to real-world challenges,” Nicholas continued.

“We are so appreciative of how much time and attention they spend on making sure the tools, whether out-of-the-box or with customizations, do what we need.”