Stephenson Engineering Ltd: Virtual Mock-Ups and Rapid Design Iteration

 In Case Studies

“Enscape breaks the shackles of 2D rendering & animation.”

Kathy Kajaks | Associate, BIM-CAD Manager | Stephenson Engineering Ltd



Who’s Alex?

I’m a VDC engineer for McCarthy Building Companies, a national general contractor. My career started in architecture and engineering, but I moved to the “C” part of the AEC industry at the beginning of 2015. McCarthy has nearly 2000 employees and is dedicated to providing an Exceptional Client Experience.




This mindset provides a lot of freedom when finding solutions that have to satisfy multiple problems. It gives me the freedom to combine the right software with the right hardware and the right team. This is an incredibly important point – the right solution is not about technology: it’s about the team and the added value in terms of experience and expectations.

McCarthy performs a lot of work, and we need to be able to show highly technical conditions before they’re built as realistically as possible. With the pace of change on our projects, we don’t have time to create renderings.




The other challenge is a resistance by the design team to create detailed visualizations early to avoid showing something that is not feasible to achieve in scope or budget. To overcome this challenge, we simply set expectations and explain that things aren’t always going to be resolved every step of the way.




In other words, we don’t always need to have the entire building designed to understand how to solve a problem. Sometimes we just need virtual mockups and rapid design iterations. Enscape is fantastic at helping explain the pieces and parts that ultimately make up the whole.



Why Enscape?

The experience inside of Enscape ( is incredibly polished. And if you consider the price point it doesn’t make sense not to use it. At the speed things move we don’t often have time to train people to use complex tools just before a major deadline. Enscape requires practically no training. If you can figure out how to use Revit then using Enscape is a no-brainer.




Using Enscape is not about real-time. In fact, I think that the term “real-time” is overused. We don’t have time to use real-time. But we have time to use Enscape. The fact that Enscape works side-by-side with Revit doesn’t make it feel like we’re using another separate application. It’s more like Revit finally has the functionality that it’s been missing all of these years.

For what we do, Enscape breaks the shackles of 2-D rendering and animations. In fact, when you think about it, both 2-D renderings and animations are fixed, static environments. On the other hand Enscape allows us to lose the barriers between merely visualizing something and really experiencing something. If a client needs a finished image, I can export it right there in the moment. That alone completely eliminates confusion about what the client is going to get when they request a rendering.




Another thing is that software companies that started out creating real-time visualization tools are now trying to do too much. On the other hand Enscape is focusing on one thing: be amazing at visualization. I’ve already got clash, measuring and other coordination tools in other applications. And none of those other coordination tools match what Enscape is doing in terms beautiful visualization.




Keep in mind that Enscape is also incredibly valuable when used side-by-side with Revit. When I’m in design review mode, I keep and Enscape open on one screen and Revit on the other. I’ll make a few design decisions in Revit and then explore and validate them in Enscape.





You’re very welcome! Let’s follow up in a couple of weeks and I’ll give you an update on our rollout of Enscape in 2016.




Phil Read – Read|Thomas – Author

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