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All human beings have a deep-seated desire for certainty and control. When we’re achieving professionally and delivering great outcomes, our sense of competence rises and our feelings of fear lessen. It’s primitive, innate and it’s biochemical.
The problem is, often our professional lives are fraught with things that feel out of our control: challenging projects; supply problems and delays; indecisive clients; unforeseen circumstances – not to mention a global pandemic!
For housing professionals, maintaining control over every aspect of your projects is paramount – after all, the end game is a home or renovation completed on time and budget. A well-managed build will always deliver an optimised result, with less incidence of error; higher quality construction, detailing and finish; happy clients, and minimal stress (for you and the client).
Builders are increasingly turning to software to gain more effective and cohesive oversight and control of their projects and associated documentation. Over the past couple of decades, it has become apparent that software offers the industry key insights into the physical and functional characteristics of a build. There are systems to help with design, others with project management and some can help you organise your contractors and trades.
However, when different business functions are managed across several software platforms, a lack of integration can create silos of information and outputs, with the potential for issues to fall through the cracks.
Software provider Vertex Systems does things a little differently; they have created a suite of systems focused on providing complete solutions that span every stage of the construction process, from detailing to manufacturing – to put you in total control over every project.
The core element of Vertex’s differentiation is BIM technology (Building Information Modelling). Unlike its predecessor, CAD (Computer Aided Design), BIM is not limited to simple geometry; much like CAD it enables 2D and 3D design, while also capturing information about planning, materials and components at every stage of a project’s life cycle.
The BIM capabilities in Vertex BD enable a design to be created and built conceptually in a virtual space using objects with exact measurements and faculties. ‘When you draw a wall in Vertex BD, the software contains information about what it should look like in 2D and 3D. It also has data about the materials used, the framing and what connections that wall has to other walls, floors, roofs and so forth. It is really comprehensive,’ explains Vertex Australia Area Manager, Brett McDonaugh.
The system uses real building elements to model house designs in every detail exactly as they will be built, and delivers unprecedented cohesion: if a single element in your framing plan is changed, for example the width of a wall, BIM automatically applies all the subsequent changes required across the model.
Once the design is built in the software, Vertex BD can generate an enormous amount of material – from architectural layouts, elevation, structural design, drawings for production and even material reports, and rendered images, all from one source. ‘This eliminates the task of double-handling your design and creating all of those drawings and reports separately,’ Brett says. ‘It also ensures all your documents are consistent with each other, thus minimising the risk of mistakes.’
Vertex BD can be customised to a range of framing and detailing options, offering material libraries, framing details, and rules for cold-formed steel, hot-rolled steel, timber and CLT. The software can utilise any manufacturers’ products; and custom and proprietary material shapes can be added to the system.
‘With a lot of builders now looking for solutions outside of traditional timber frames, it’s been a bonus to have software specifically designed around other options, such as steel, pre-fabrication pods and modular construction,’ Brett says. ‘A lot of our customers have really felt supported by the choices available to work with.’
When it comes to the nuts and bolts of building a home, you have it covered. However, running a building business often involves countless admin tasks that are necessary, but not necessarily much fun. One of the advantages of Vertex BD’s BIM functionality is that it automates many of these administrative and presales processes, freeing up your time to engage with customers, get out on site, or simply concentrate on working ‘on’ the business – not ‘in’ it.
‘We are passionate about creating tools that automate repetitive tasks and make information sharing easy,’ Brett says. ‘The framing generator saves an enormous amount of time by automatically generating production drawings complete with dimensions, piece labels, cut lists, and more; material estimates; and framing details.’
Real-time collaboration afforded by the software helps eliminate delays that can arise due to slow communication (or miscommunication!). Completed designs can be exported to Vertex Showroom for viewing on any device, anytime, anywhere, so your clients can see accurate, up-to-date 3D images of their project. This also enables fast and seamless collaboration with your construction teams and trades, where changes can be communicated and managed in real time – all the way through the build.
Vertex BD is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, but due to its extraordinary breadth of capability, training is offered to ensure you and your business can get the most out of it. ‘We offer private online training sessions, which are conducted by one of our expert software support engineers,’ Brett says.
Once your BIM systems are up and running, ongoing technical support is available from Vertex’s construction experts based here in Australia. ‘Our industry experienced team of engineers, designers, detailers from the timber, steel industries of manufacturing, modular building and prefabrication are here to help you with your software questions, all whilst understanding how the construction of the structure is actually meant to work – which is comforting to know for sure!’
Ultimately, the Vertex BD not only puts you in the driver’s seat, it gives you and your colleagues total visibility over every aspect of your building projects for consistently reliable results and faster turn-around times. As a builder, you’re facing new challenges on site and off every day, but Vertex BD allows you to take control of your projects and your business.
Improve business processes, minimise errors on site, and maintain control of budgets and timelines. Vertex BD keeps things simple by handling every part of your project, including presales, architectural design, framing, production, delivery, sales and marketing. By working with one easy-to-use platform, everything is streamlined for both the design and construction team and the client.
Are you curious to see how it could work for your business? Vertex is currently offering a free 30-day trial of the VERTEX BD software, so you can test it capabilities without the commitment.
To find out more, go to vertexaustralia.com
Brand promotion: This article was compiled with contributions from Vertex