Established in 1990 and employing more than 375 professionals in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Athié | Wohnrath (A|W) provides integrated services for all phases of corporate interior and architectural design projects, including retrofits. The firm’s clientele includes some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, such as Nike, Nextel, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and Warner Bros. To continue delivering extraordinary value to its customers, A|W conducted a comprehensive search for the industry’s most advanced design technologies and processes. After careful review, A|W standardized on Autodesk® Revit® Architecture software for Building Information Modeling (BIM) in 2008—before any other design firm in Brazil. The firm also adopted other Autodesk software products, including Autodesk® 3ds Max® Design software and Autodesk® Inventor® software to complement the BIM process. Since adopting these products, A|W has used the BIM process to complete more than 200 corporate architectural, interior, and retrofit projects throughout Brazil.
One recent interior design project that highlights many of the benefits A|W has derived from using BIM is the Dow Chemical Company’s new Brazilian corporate headquarters—a 10-story, 12,000-square-meter building in São Paulo that will accommodate around 800 employees and include office space, an auditorium, and a restaurant, as well as laboratories and other technical facilities.
During the bid process, A|W used Revit Architecture and 3ds Max Design to help convert the original 2D building drawings into a vivid, information-rich 3D model and a series of high-fidelity presentations. After seeing these presentations, Dow Chemical engaged A|W to customize the building’s interior for greater sustainability and target LEED Gold™ Commercial Interiors certification.
Once Dow Chemical awarded the project, A|W continued developing the Revit Architecture model it had begun in the pre-award phase, thereby helping to accelerate and simplify the design process. "Working from a unified Revit Architecture model helped us overcome many of the coordination challenges we typically face on projects of this complexity," says Lopes.
The model also facilitated other aspects of the design process, which proceeded concurrently with construction of the building’s exterior. For example, at one point the client realized that the building needed to accommodate a greater number of employees than originally planned. "Using the Revit Architecture model, we could make those changes on the fly—without needing to start from scratch on the design," Lopes notes. The model also proved helpful in performing quantity takeoffs and conducting design review.
Throughout the process, A|W used 3ds Max Design in parallel with the Revit model to help create sophisticated rendering or lighting presentations whenever necessary. At project completion, the client referred to the model to help evaluate if the final result was in keeping with the goals identified at the beginning of the project.
A|W has also effectively used BIM from start to finish on numerous new architectural projects, including the 4,700-square-meter Baker Hughes Rio Technology Center in Rio de Janeiro with conceptual design by Energy Architecture, based in Houston, Texas. A|W created a Revit Architecture model during the preproposal process and modified it throughout the project. The BIM process helped A|W to maintain accuracy and consistency while keeping pace with numerous design changes on the highly technical project and notably reducing design time.
"Adopting a BIM process helped us reduce project completion time significantly through improvements in project coordination, design review, and cost estimating," says Lopes. "We are 100 percent committed to BIM and require every new designer to understand the BIM process and be trained in Revit Architecture. This practice definitely distinguishes our firm from the competition and helps us win new business."
In recognition of the firm’s successes with Revit Architecture and BIM, Autodesk has awarded A|W an Autodesk BIM Experience Award. This award also recognizes the firm’s innovative integration of other Autodesk products—including Autodesk 3ds Max Design and Autodesk Inventor software—into its overall BIM approach, facilitating expansion into new, complementary areas, such as furniture design and manufacturing.
|Athié | Wohnrath Customer Story (pdf - 384Kb)|