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An architect, ARCHICAD and her iPhone

BIM goes mobile

Boston,  August 13, 2007 – Patti the Architect, a small, all-woman architectural firm based in Florida, is pioneering the use of Apple’s latest technological wonder to make building information modeling (BIM) documents into a productivity-boosting mobile resource for construction-site communications.  

With Apple iPhone in tow, architect Patricia “Patti” Stough and her staff can now easily access their full library of design and construction documents and 3D virtual building models wherever they roam. The firm designs all its projects in ARCHICAD on high-performance Mac hardware, making the files effortlessly portable and displayable on iPhone’s high-res widescreen display.

This mobility enables the firm to more easily communicate design intentions to customers on the site, as well as consult and collaborate more effectively with builders, sub-contractors and regulatory inspectors. And even if they had forgotten to sync a necessary document to their iPhone, they can easily retrieve it wirelessly via iPhone’s Wi-Fi connection or, lacking that, through the AT&T EDGE data network.

With a slight tap or pinch of their fingers, users can easily zoom in and out of drawings and 3D high-resolution photos on iPhone, drilling down to the finest of details or panning out for a big picture view via iPhone’s revolutionary touchscreen interface. In the future, Stough intends to utilize ARCHICAD and iPhone to bring cinematic fly-throughs of ARCHICAD BIM models on site, as well as to directly access drawings on her website via Apple’s Safari web browser.

“The days of hauling scrolls of paper drawings to job sites only to discover I forgot a critical document are over,” said Stough. “I can now carry the even the largest, most complex and detailed ARCHICAD models in the palm of my hand. The ability to bring 3D digital drawings on site is a huge advantage, enabling me to better communicate and coordinate with everyone involved in the project.”

Patti the Architect is an award-winning architectural firm headquartered in Dunedin, FL, that specializes in beachfront townhomes, hotels, churches, schools, offices, retail additions and commercial interior renovations. The three-woman team uses ARCHICAD for all projects, from the largest waterfront condominiums to the smallest interior design projects. Stough said huge productivity gains of designing in and working with 3D virtual building models are further enhanced through the mobility of iPhone. Her firm’s practice focuses on design solutions that are sensitive to the environment and regulatory agency requirements, particularly federal and local floodplain regulations. “The ability to utilize BIM models to communicate the aesthetics, geometry and underlying data of how the building is built and performs sets me far apart from my competitors. Being able to make that capability mobile with iPhone positions me as a leading edge practitioner.”