It’s not meant to be hard.
Disclaimer: No Grandmothers were harmed in the making of this article (as we did not make them try to use any of the mainstream BIM software systems).
The word ‘simple’ is often interpreted as meaning something that lacks power or sophistication. In fact, many professionals often equate simplicity with being amateurish. But in the words of Steve Jobs ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’.
The ‘Grandmother principle’ does not actually mean that something should be so simple to use that even your Grandmother could use it. The Grandmother principle outlines that if something is overly complex, then it will inevitably cost you and your business as much as it will ever give you.
The truth is that current BIM software have innumerable complexities and constraints – especially for Residential design and construction. They are incredibly difficult to learn, cost you a vast sum of money to purchase and upskill staff (which is why the vast majority of practices do not even provide sufficient training), as well as prolonged periods of unproductiveness. Complexity also breeds specialization. Software specialization is bad news for Architects, Builders and Estimators. Why? Architects need to focus on design. Builders need to focus on construction. And Estimators/Quantity Surveyors need to focus on estimating. Software is merely a tool – an evolution of the pencil and paper, which should simply allow you to work faster and smarter.
You need a software solution that is simple to teach and quick to master. You should not have to structure your recruitment process around software specialization, or fear losing staff simply due to their ability to use a program.
To quote John Maeda in The Laws of Simplicity, ‘Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.’
For those of you who have never used SketchUp, it is the most popular free-form 3D modeling software in the world. As the name suggests, SketchUp was born out of the desire to design in 3D in a manner that is reminiscent of sketching. As the team at SketchUp put it, ‘SketchUp Pro is like a pencil with superpowers.’ And they are not wrong. SketchUp has been created so that you can design in 3D with freedom. It allows you to concentrate on designing, not modeling. In the words of the SketchUp team ‘When the medium is simple enough, the barriers to creativity disappear.’
The problem with SketchUp is that even though it is used by the vast majority of design professionals, it is often derided for being too simple (and lacking those much needed BIM features). It is more often than not deemed to be a great concept design and visualization tool, which is put into a similar category as Photoshop: nice to have, but not essential.
And even though a large portion of Professionals have been vehement in their belief that SketchUp could not compete with other full implementation BIM software, the simple truth is that millions of Professionals around the world love using it, and have been waiting for SketchUp to become smarter, more powerful, and parametric – so that it could truly compete with the likes of Revit and ArchiCAD.
PlusSpec for SketchUp is an amazing new design and estimating 3D CAD software, that combines the power of BIM (Building Information Modelling), VDC (Virtual Design and Construction), 3D Modelling, 2D Planning/documentation, and Estimation. PlusSpec uses real manufacturers products from the free RubySketch online library, and generates automatic specifications and product schedules. Material take-offs and estimates are formulated as you design. PlusSpec incorporates parametric modelling within the native SketchUp platform, so that any design option can be explored quickly and easily in either BIM or free-form 3D.
Although PlusSpec for SketchUp can be used for any type or size of construction, PlusSpec has been specifically designed for Residential design and construction, and it is the first CAD software that benefits both Design Professionals and Builders/Contractors/Estimators equally.
Material take-offs and estimates (Builders & Estimators) and feasibility studies (Architects) will never be the same again.
PlusSpec has grown SketchUp into a full implementation (from concept to construction) BIM solution that will finally provide Architects and designers with the tool that they have been waiting for. It has been created so that you can design, document and prepare feasibility studies or estimates faster and smarter. You have the best of BIM technology and parametric modeling (PlusSpec), as well as free-form modeling (SketchUp), which provides you with total design freedom. You are not limited by components/families, or our wall types. In fact, your imagination, is your only boundary!
PlusSpec for SketchUp is the perfect balance between design and construction and epitomizes and enhances the SketchUp mantra: ‘Great tools are ones you look forward to using…They let you do what you want without having to figure out how. They help with the hard or boring tasks so that you can focus on being creative, or productive, or both.’
PlusSpec for SketchUp is Revolutionizing Residential BIM:
Perform complex tasks, simply. Enrich your workflow. Easy to learn and upskill. Increase your efficiency. Maximize your profits!
Take a look for yourself: www.plusspec.com