Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA) is a privately held Wisconsin architectural design firm best known for their design philosophy that involves listening to their clients to ensure the environments they design elevate people’s potential. Founded in 1907, the award-winning architecture firm offers a complete range of services throughout the Unites States. The firm specializes in markets that include Workplace, Education, Healthcare, Living Environments, and Science and Technology. EUA expertise is drawn from the development of thousands of BIM models. To create and manage these models EUA designers rely on Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, and Ideate Software’s newest offering, Ideate Sticky.
“We’ve been using Autodesk Revit for more than ten years,” says Phyllis Robbins, EUA’s Design Application Manager. “Personally, I see Ideate Software as the premier developer for add-in solutions. Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, and now Ideate Sticky add outstanding value to our Revit models, whether we are creating unique models or reviving legacy projects. Ideate Software products are consistent, reliable, elegant and clean.”
Perhaps the greatest challenge to EUA or any designer is managing updates and changes in a timely manner. With Ideate BIMLink, EUA can pull information from a Revit file into Microsoft Excel and push volumes of precise, consequential BIM data from Excel into Revit with speed, ease, and accuracy.
“When we pull projects from our archives,” says Robbins, “we’ll often find a variety of materials and finishes we no longer use as a company standard. Without Ideate BIMLink, updating the materials for things like hollow metal door frames meant changing each family type one by one. Using the Type option in BIMLink, I can change the materials for all doors in fifteen minutes instead of hours or even days.”
EUA is sometimes challenged to use out-of-the- box Revit parameters for customized systems.
“With Ideate BIMLink, we were able to export a customer’s schedule, then copy and paste to flip the values. We cannot drive the out-of-the-box parameters with a formula. Ideate BIMLink saved days of tedious, repetitive, manual renumbering with considerable possibility for error.”
Ideate BIMLink also enables the team to do fieldwork and note compliance issues in Excel or accept external vendor information in Excel, and then easily import the data into Revit.
Ideate Explorer for Revit helps EUA designers globally query and manage Revit models, including finding tricky orphan keynotes and CAD imports. “Finding the import so we can remove and link the file is often a challenge,” says Robbins. “Ideate Explorer makes that task easy to execute.”
Making global changes to different families is faster, as is swapping content. Even drawing legends can be changed with ease.
According to Robbins, “The native Revit Select All Instances ignores content in legends and precludes making a change. Selecting all instances with Ideate Explorer finds content, dimensions, annotation, and text in a legend so we can ensure consistency.”
Ideate Sticky combines the ease and flexibility of Excel spreadsheet editing with the convenience of a sticky note and can connect non-BIM data from an Excel file into a Revit project.
“We see Ideate Sticky as a team productivity solution,” says Robbins. “We are currently contracted for a large project with multiple buildings that use the same basic construction systems. We created sheet notes in Excel and are using one Excel file to drive the Revit sheet notes in all of the buildings. We can guarantee consistency and cut the time required to create the notes individually in each project by at least 75%.”
EUA uses Ideate Sticky to easily manage short-form specifications that certain customers expect. It allows the designers to add information such as equipment planning that may not normally fall within EUA’s scope of work.
“Equipment planners will develop a list by room that owners want on the architectural drawings. To recreate this schedule in Revit would mean modeling the equipment and creating an element schedule. Ideate Sticky allows us to use the consultant list with minimal editing and a few minutes of effort.”
EUA has been recognized for their outstanding BIM work and received honorable mention at the AIA BIM Tap awards in 2014 for their work on Northwestern Mutual’s Van Buren office building. “A significant part of our success in our markets comes from our ability to navigate massive and complex BIM files to deliver excellent work within an aggressive timeframe,” concludes Robbins.
“The Ideate Software tools help us to deliver on our promise. . . .The company is responsive to our suggestions and honest about limitations. It does not get any better than that."
Ideate Software allows Revit users to have unprecedented control over their data and solve persistent problems in Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Owner (AECO) workflows. Ideate Software solutions enable Revit users to save time, increase accuracy, improve project deliverables, and elevate design.