Writer: Alejandro Sanchez
2 min read June 2022— As Palm Beach County’s economy continues to thrive, local architects are finding new opportunities to express their creativity while growing their businesses. From redesigning historical buildings to planning new housing developments, architects are at the forefront of a movement to transform the region. Technology has been crucial for that purpose.
Invest: spoke with leaders in the architecture sector to gauge their use of technology and how it is changing the industry.
William Hanser, Vice President & Managing Principal, LEO A DALY
We utilize a variety of state-of-the-art technologies in our practice, including building information modeling software to enhance project delivery. Our investment in technology includes engaging our digital practice managers, who are responsible for keeping us up-to-date with present-day technology and positioning us to proactively on-board new technologies as they become operational. We utilize in-house and mobile virtual reality studios, allowing clients to become visually immersed in their projects while they are still being designed.
AI is expected to have a dramatic impact on the practice of architecture, contributing to enhanced and efficient project delivery along with a myriad of associated technologies, including superior environmental analysis and augmented reality. The true impact of AI on the design and construction business is the subject of some speculation. Flexibility will be critically important in integrating AI into our profession while respecting the creativity of design professionals in the design process.
Mark Smith, Senior Vice President, Architecture, Director of Florida Operations, GHP, Inc.
From very early in our company’s history, we have always been on the cutting-edge. Our company was founded in Nashville, and, in 1983, we were one of the first companies to buy a computer-aided design machine. It was such an investment that we ran that machine on three shifts, 24 hours a day. We’ve always been poised to take advantage of technology. For the last 12 years, GHP has been doing video conferencing as the norm. Prior to COVID, it was just what we did. We bring all our various national offices together in a video conference setting every Monday morning. When COVID hit, virtual communication was already the standard practice for our company. This is from an operations perspective.
From a service perspective, we’ve always relied on technology to do our job. To be clear, GHP has three business units: architecture, environmental consulting and construction services. I am officially the senior vice president of the architecture business unit. I am based out of Florida but we have integrated all of GHP’s offices nationwide, which would be impossible without the use of technology. We also rely on technology for sharing files companywide. If I’m working on a project in Florida and I need a team member in Nashville to assist, they have ready access to the necessary info to do the work.
Rick Gonzalez, President & Principal Architect, REG Architects
We’ve upgraded all of our computers and use them to draw buildings three dimensionally (Revit). Out of 22 people, maybe one or two worked remotely once in a while. We’ve expanded that to senior management but we did keep the junior people in the office to receive guidance. Architecture is a field of heavy interaction between principal senior project managers and junior people and they really need to have that “one on one.” Our office environment is incredibly clean now, it has larger work stations and conference rooms. We have access to remote computers. The whole way of how we do business has forever changed.
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