The latest digital tool is more than a pretty add-on for impressing clients. Its efficiencies mean streamlined bid pricing, better control of staffing costs and a proposal that’s clearer all round, reducing later confusion and repeat iterations
In the uncertain current economic climate, winning work has never been more important. To stand out in a crowded market, there’s an ever-growing need for architects to enhance their bids with digital visualisation tools.
The latest RIBA Benchmarking Report shows that, despite a small increase in revenue last year, profits are still flat. While there were shoots of recovery following the pandemic, the current economic outlook makes bolstering your bids with digital tools even more important.
VU.CITY: Seizing the commercial advantage
Seizing the commercial advantage means two things: pricing accurately and reducing over-servicing.
Investing in a platform that generates state-of-the-art 3D visualisation means that you can price your bids more competitively without extra labour, ridding your team of commercially unsustainable working hours and reducing the risk of expensive iterations, allowing you to focus on driving results for the client.
VU.CITY is a pioneering smart cities tool that has the whole of London modelled to 15cm accuracy and 90 per cent of London boroughs using the platform.
The platform also covers 25 major UK and international cities, with local authorities, developers and architects using it to provide accurate information and analysis to inform better, quicker decision-making and align stakeholders.
Its level of visualisation means that decisions on the design of a building can be made earlier on and in real-time, allowing architects to visualise possible conflicts that a proposed building would have with a neighbouring scheme or update their design to fit with the latest policy and regulations.
'Using VU.CITY is all about ease from an architect’s perspective,' says Giulia Robba, senior architect at Farrells. 'The ability to condense months of site validation, research and testing in a matter of days is where its value really lies.
'At our mixed-use regeneration scheme at Ruby Triangle, Southwark, which will provide 1,152 new homes, we’ve been able to conduct feasibility tests almost instantly, using VU.CITY’s 3D visualisation to contextualise our designs within the wider community in real-time.
'VU.CITY has given us a real commercial advantage enabling us to make quicker, smarter decisions for our clients at a reduced cost on a single digital platform.'
VU.CITY: Delivering more than design
Beyond combining everything architects and project teams need into one platform, VU.CITY’s edge is its ability to support the development of early design and access statements that are fundamental to bids.
In the first instance, VU.CITY generates an outline of a building, showing a prospective client what can feasibly be achieved and in turn creating a more efficient and competitive process.
'VU.CITY’s platform adds real value to our schemes,' says Laura Binaburo, BIM coordinator at Pollard Thomas Edwards. 'From site feasibility to massing studies, the benefits go well beyond the design front.
'Key considerations around building height, heritage and conservation are far easier to understand, plan around and convey using 3D visualisation, allowing us to better tell the overall story of a development.
'Being able to see and weigh your designs within a community, in both its current and future form, not only benefits an architect’s work technically, but streamlines a usually lengthy process of stakeholder management.'
While governments and policies will come and go, VU.CITY provides consistent and agnostic support, equipping project stakeholders with easy to use, understandable and reliable information.
Crucially, architects and planners need to be able to tell the story of a development to both decision-makers and the public to secure consent, reduce risk and reap rewards.
If a picture paints a thousand words, 3D visualisation paints a million. VU.CITY’s visual communication of plans to stakeholders and the public - alongside its speed, efficiency and commercial viability - is something that cannot be under-estimated in 2023 and beyond.