Duggan Morris Architects | Nittygritty
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Duggan Morris Architects

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Duggan Morris Architects

“An exchange between the disciplines of architecture, art, design and urbanism” has informed DMA’s approach to urban building projects in London since 2004.  

As a technology partner, Nittygritty has managed DMA’s transitions from a practice of 3 in 2004 to over 50 today.   Over time we have collaborated with DMA to shape IT infrastructure. We have also facilitated successful CAD and BIM strategies at each stage of growth. We make sure DMA’s systems are fit for purpose as projects became larger and more staff hired.

And as technologies have changed NGneers®  migrated the office to Office 365, virtualised servers, remote and mobile working. Nittygritty BIMgineers®, working in tandem with the in-house BIM manager have also trained teams on CAD, Revit and Navisworks Manage. We also consult on BIM strategy covering set-up/protocols, training, project support, skills assessment and model audits.

(see below for details on services provided).      

About Duggan Morris Architects

The Brick Award (for the Loom)  is the latest of many awards achieved by Duggan Morris. This, along with 8 RIBA awards.

DMA is currently working with client Pegasus Life, to create a re-imagined retirement community for seniors over 60 in Hampstead, London.  Pegasus Life are retirement home specialists that create holistic lifestyles by building in community facilities, restaurants, spa/therapy and other amenities such as spaces for arts and hobbies. See more at www.hampsteadgreenplace.co.uk

About Our Work at Duggan Morris Architects

When we began work at DMA, the practice was operating out of a single room, 3rd floor office on Old Street. Though steady and careful growth and a couple of office moves they now have around 50 staff working on a diverse range of projects.

Nittygritty have worked closely with Directors Joe and Mary from the very beginning. This close relationship is borne out of their willingness to invest in appropriate systems at the right time. Their forward-thinking approach has meant that inadequate or failing IT systems have not been an impediment to business development.

IT, Design Applications and Team Workflows

Creating an environment where DMA has the right tools and knowledge to execute major projects ensures their clients needs are also met.

Practice ethos revolves heavily around physical 3D modelling at all stages. This is supported by highly graphic, hatched, shaded and dense drawn output. One of the major challenges BIMgineers® have faced is replicating the quality achieved using CAD applications like Bentley PowerDraft in Applications like Revit.

2D CAD vs 3D Modelling vs BIM

Complementing their 3D physical models, DMA have always explored form virtually with tools like Sketchup and Microstation. One of the drawbacks of this approach is the disconnect between design option models, presentations, production drawings and physical models. One of the key benefits of migrating to Revit as the preferred digital design tool is having a single data source to refer to for much of this information.

Results and Outcomes - IT Perspective

Bigger projects mean bigger teams. Working with Revit means less but larger files. The nature of Revit files being databases of geometry and metadata concentrated in a single .RVT file means that desktop, server and network hardware need to evolve to maintain productivity. Cloud services and remote working require better Internet connectivity. More staff means downtime cost more per minute. Bigger projects demand better backup. The practice has invested in all aspects of the above to ensure continued progress and development.


Results and Outcomes - CAD, Revit and BIM

Duggan Morris seized the opportunity to work with a larger group of clients through early engagement with BIM methodologies and design tools.

Enlightened clients increasingly require Facilities Management deliverables via COBie to support operations, management and maintenance of buildings once built. In addition BIM methodologies can provide other benefits to different members of the design and construction team:

  • 4D construction scheduling information and just-in-time delivery of materials to the construction site.   This in turn reduces storage  requirements of materials, installation and implementation, site staff scheduling efficiency, etc.
  • 5D for estimating and costing of buildings.   Cost analysis of each element within the building and staying in budget through increased accuracy predictions.
  • 6D information availability of energy use predictions, materials sustainability and management and Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREAAM) performance.
  • 7D “as-built” AIM models  handover to the building owner.  The final model provides owners with accurate Facilities Management (FM) and Asset Management (AM)  and enables replacing of parts or equipment,  quickly identifying the parts and their locations, consolidation of vendors and purchasing/maintenance of components such over time. This generally increases the efficiency of operations throughout the building lifecycle.   Any building adjustments, retrofits or expansions become immeasurably easier to put into effect.

Creating and implementing a combined IT and BIM strategy over time has enabled DMA to take on more exciting and larger projects. This, in turn, enhances knowledge as the team adopts new methodologies and process’ to stay at the forefront of architectural design.

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