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This firm-tested management method ensures design files perform smoothly

A&Q Partnership has produced a high-functioning file in Vectorworks to improve documentation, model exchange and collaboration on a 1,200 unit residential project

In association with
The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion.
The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion. Credit: Courtesy of Nick Lawrence and A&Q Partnership.

A&Q Partnership is working on a 1,200-unit residential project in Vectorworks.

A restoration of The Eight Gardens at Watford, the project involved structural engineers, landscape architects, civil engineers and more, so it was crucial to produce a high-functioning file that could be used for collaboration. 

The larger a project gets, the more performance risk the design file assumes. Files packed with too much information can be impossibly slow.

What the project has shown is that even for the largest endeavours - 1,200 individual units is big - there’s a verified way to produce a cohesive, high-performance file to use for documentation and model exchange. 

The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion.
The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion. Credit: Courtesy of Nick Lawrence and A&Q Partnership.

Collaborating on large files with Vectorworks

Nick Lawrence, director, and his co-workers at A&Q Partnership had addressed the concern of file performance long before they began the project.

They rely on a multi-file method, where each of the project’s six buildings is assigned its own file that is separate from the master file.

They referenced each building into the master file for coordination and did most of the design work in each distinct building file. Site-wide assets, such as wall styles and window types, are contained in separate 'asset library files'. 

  • The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion.
    The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion. Credit: Courtesy of Nick Lawrence and A&Q Partnership.
  • The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion.
    The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion. Credit: Courtesy of Nick Lawrence and A&Q Partnership.
  • The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion.
    The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion. Credit: Courtesy of Nick Lawrence and A&Q Partnership.
  • The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion.
    The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion. Credit: Courtesy of Nick Lawrence and A&Q Partnership.
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'For coordinating changes, you have to manage them from each building or library file, then update the link in the master file,' says Lawrence.

'It means that when one person makes a change, it’s then amended across the entire suite of drawings. It saves us a lot of time and, perhaps more importantly, it controls and limits people from making changes on a whim.'

The method limits information in each file so that architects and collaborators can work on it without worrying about performance.

The method also front-loads a lot of the coordination so when inevitable changes occur later in the design process, they are done smoothly and without significant effort. 

The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion.
The Eight Gardens at Watford, designed in Vectorworks and rendered in Twinmotion. Credit: Courtesy of Nick Lawrence and A&Q Partnership.

This method of referencing for managing large projects also works with Project Sharing, Vectorworks’ multi-user environment.

By breaking work down into more manageable pieces in this way, a large project is bound to turn out coordinated and ready for construction teams. 

For more information and technical support, visit vectorworks.net/uk

 

Contact:

01635 580318  

uksales@vectorworks.net


 

 

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