Becoming industry leaders
PBWC Architects employ 16 staff at their studio in St Ives.
The practice specialises in Building Information Modelling (BIM) technologies,
a new software based approach which the UK Government is encouraging the
construction industry to adopt, as it creates significant efficiencies. This
entails all elements of a project being developed in 3D and is dependent on
sophisticated cloud computing to implement.
The practices superfast broadband connection has allowed them to become leaders in the use of BIM, offer training online, access new markets and create new jobs.
Rachael Gaunt, Director, says: “Thanks to superfast broadband, we can work in this way now, fast forwarding by six years, compared to most architects elsewhere in the UK.”
“We have four fibre enabled lines serving our new studio, allowing us to operate VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony and unlimited data up and down in tandem. We now have brilliant speeds without the cost of a leased line.
“Our investment in superfast technology has propelled us to being a national leader and innovator within a 12 month period. The use of the BIM model, is attractive to clients and contractors. It not only secures our current market position but also creates new market opportunities where we can sell BIM drafting services to others in our supply chain and also sell BIM training to our wider network. This would not be possible without a superfast broadband connection.
“Large scale contractors are talking PBWC Architects about our expertise to provide specialist BIM support on new projects. Our initial meetings have demonstrated that they are impressed by our capacity and skills.
Our ability to send and receive huge files very fast has improved our productivity and reduced clashes in the design development process.”
Rachael adds: “We can host virtual meetings with our fibre connections. Sketch to scan and other visual tools make virtual design team meetings possible.”
PBWC Architects have also identified the opportunity to become a training hub for the new technology.
Rachael says: “We are currently in the process of developing a helpdesk facility to allow us to provide remote support and advice to others adopting BIM. This will operate via video support and remote desktop control, which is only possible due to our superfast fibre connection.
“The nearest BIM Training Centre is in Bristol and the lion’s share of training options are in London. By developing a BIM hub in Cornwall, we will help stimulate demand here and move the supply chain along faster. We plan to create an additional two members of staff this year as a direct result of fibre and new technology.”
Rachael concludes: “Superfast fibre broadband has been fantastic for our business. It has allowed us to become industry leaders and develop new markets, leading to increased profitability and new jobs.”