CannonDesign’s Brian Skripac, LEED AP, co-wrote a case study for Autodesk on the software company’s Enterprise website. In the article, Skripac details the cost-saving opportunity of leveraging Autodesk’s Navisworks software early in the design process, creating a proactive “clash prevention” approach, helping to identify and resolve coordination issues between building systems and assemblies (known as clashes) early when they can provide the most value for the project.

Skripac walks readers through CannonDesign’s previous challenges with clash detection and explains how Autodesk Navisworks helped to implement a more efficient, cost-saving workflow. This shift feeds the mission of the firm’s Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) initiative, which aims to enhance the certainty of project outcomes, improve coordination, adhere to project budgets and scope, and reduce total operation costs.

The full article can be read online. Below are key talking points and quotes from Skripac:

On Past Inefficiencies
Previous clash-detection workflows required the design team to have to go back and make costly, time-consuming changes to design and construction documents. In addition to causing delays and increasing costs, these forced changes could also compromise the original design intent. On this familiar challenge, Skripac says:

I think it’s a traditional architectural process hurdle—we say we don’t have time to worry about coordination during the design process, but we always seem to have time to fix it when it’s a problem in the field.

On Choosing Navisworks
By utilizing Navisworks earlier in the process, CannonDesign can better anticipate and reduce potential clashes before construction, saving more time and money in the long run. On making the decision to work proactively instead of reactively, and changing this workflow, Skripac says:

Let’s deal with [these issues] now while we have the chance to make adjustments. When the design is still flexible, at this earlier stage, let’s use this as an opportunity to continue to validate what we’re doing.’ That’s been an important part of how we collaborate and communicate, as well.

On Cost Savings
In one profiled project, CannonDesign was able to avoid more than 1,300 hours in potential work during the design and pre-construction phases on this one project. As a result, the team avoided potential requests for information (RFI) that could result from 164 clashes—for a total savings of at least $177,000. Based on the positive results and savings, CannonDesign recognizes the value of clash prevention and continues to implement these processes as an important part of its workflow. On this added value, Skripac says:

[We want to] continue to position ourselves for growth by making that model more reliable and trustworthy and predictable—rather than just saying, ‘Hey, it looks good on paper.’