“Because of Enscape we are able to deliver a better product quality.”
Devin Canton | Associate and BIM Manger | HMFH Architects | Cambridge, Massachusetts – United States
HMFH Architects improved their coordination and design review workflow by using Enscape. Being able to show the client what they are planning to do by easily exploring different design options helped them deliver a better overall quality.
About HMFH Architects
HMFH Architects was founded in 1969 as Hill Miller Friedlaender Hollander and quickly established a national reputation for thoughtful educational design and creating long lasting buildings. The firm grew rapidly, and in 1984 it was renamed HMFH Architects. Based in Cambridge, United States, the company offers services from architecture, master planning, campus planning, educational programming, interior design, graphic design, community engagement, and expert witness.
The interviewee, Devin Canton, is a project architect and BIM manager at HMFH Architects. He has been working in the industry for 16 years and at HMFH for eight years. He has been using Revit since 2008. At his current firm, they are exclusively using Revit for all of their projects. They use it starting from schematic design through project construction including presentations during the different stages of design and to fully explore construction documents.
Challenge – Quickly explore what you currently work on
Before using Enscape, HMFH Architects was mainly working with 3ds Max or traditional manual techniques to create renderings. They were satisfied with the results and the level of control in 3ds Max. However, using 3ds max for design exploration was not practical as each presentation quality render would take hours to create. According to Devin, “you are not able to just walk through your project to quickly explore what you are currently working on with 3ds Max.” Additionally, the company was using Revit to walk through their projects but the results were not smooth and satisfying enough to use Revit as a presentation tool for clients. HMFH Architects was looking for an easier-to-use solution, compared to 3ds Max, which creates better looking and more realistic results, compared to Revit.
The process to an easy to use visualization tool
HMFH Architects started to search for a solution that could be used in addition to 3ds Max, which they still use for final presentation renderings. They found out about Enscape in the Autodesk App Store and quickly decided to download it. While Enscape was not the only tool they tested, they soon realized the benefits of the Enscape plugin:
The other solutions were not as easy to use.
What is amazing about Enscape is that it is live within Revit.
No export is needed and you see the updates a couple of seconds later.
After thoroughly testing Enscape and comparing it carefully with other solutions, HMFH Architects decided to buy several Enscape licenses. Now, the team is using the software as a design and coordination tool for all their projects.
How Enscape helped HMFH Architects
Since they implemented Enscape, HMFH Architects uses it in each project stage, from coordination to design. Enscape proves to be a useful tool, especially during coordination meetings with consultants. “Before we were using Enscape, it was hard to show our clients what we were planning to do.” Most clients find it difficult to understand their buildings through looking at architectural drawings. Having the ability to virtually walk through the spaces while pointing out the location on a plan makes it much easier for clients and consultants to understand our design intent.
Now, with Enscape, our clients are amazed with what we show them.
They are able to actually experience their project before it is even built.
Enscape helps us to do a better job.
The ability to export a standalone file out of Enscape is another feature that helps the team of HMFH Architects. In this way their clients can explore the project on their own, which makes the coordination of any further steps or changes much easier.
Overall the team of HMFH Architects solved coordination issues with consultants as well as improved internal communication. With Enscape they are able to explore different conditions, identify details, and consider other conditions of the project.
It is amazing how easily you can explore different project conditions with Enscape.
The option to send an exported standalone file further improves coordination. “The ability to let people, who don’t know how to use Revit, have a look at the project on their own really streamlines our process.” After sharing standalone files with the team, we often use online meetings where we have the ability to walk through the spaces together. Then we can easily focus on the issues. For example, we would isolate the HVAC, ceilings and structure to better visualize those components.
The ease of use of Enscape enabled a seamless integration into the workflow of HMFH Architects.
The live link with Revit is a major advantage of Enscape.
For this project, the “The Carver Elementary School”, the team used Enscape on a daily basis as a design and coordination tool. Although they were not able to apply Enscape from the beginning of the project, it soon became an important instrument to experience the design before it is built.
They came up with ideas and different design options and were able to make quick prints within seconds. Moreover, Devin emphasized the advantage of walking through the project to make sure everything is modeled correctly in order to finalize construction documents. In the end, the team was able to make better decisions that saved them a lot of time and money. Prior to using Enscape, we would encounter tricky details during the construction phase that would need to be resolved, now we are able to explore many more of these conditions during the design and documentation phases.
In this particular project, Enscape was only used internally. Devin mentioned, however, that other teams at HMFH are using Enscape in front of clients and they reported that clients love it.
Overall, Enscape is helping HMFH Architects in saving not just time but also money. Before using Enscape, design reviews required planning, and time for us to generate graphics. Now we can review our projects daily by easily having the ability to generate clear renderings and explore our buildings via live walkthroughs.
Because of Enscape we are able to
deliver a better project quality.
Enscape allows the team of HMFH Architects to identify problematic areas and conditions. It enables them to deliver a better end-product. As Devin put it, “everyone in our office, even our consultants, has been very happy with Enscape and benefits from it. It is a great product that helps us along our work.”
Thank you Devin and HMFH Architects for your support and the honor of sharing your experience with us and our community!