“Revit is the future of building design and construction. Everyone knows that. We also know that Revit MEP – out of the box, at least – is not quite ready for prime time. But, we’re not willing to wait for the future to start gaining benefits for us and our clients. We’ve taken the development into our own hands. We’re pushing it into production today.” –Jim Crabb, President of Perry, Crabb & Associates, Inc. of Atlanta. That fits with the firm’s mission – combining the best people in the industry with the best available technology to create better buildings.
PCA was approached in 2006 by an Architect that wanted to produce their first project in Revit. The MEP package for Revit wasn’t really ready for a $50 million hospital project, so PCA produced the project in 3-D using AutoCAD MEP. But, what PCA really wanted was to make the jump to Revit.
While Autodesk continued to improve the Revit MEP tools, PCA made a commitment to develop the content they need. They developed some components in-house, but quickly realized they couldn’t do it all alone. So, they contracted with Gregory Arkin of CADD Centers of Florida using Andekan (formerly Broutek) for additional development. “Making us fully operational in Revit MEP has been my goal for the past year,” says John Cook, Perry Crabb’s BIM and CAD manager. “Andekan offered us the opportunity to get the content built faster & better. We think BIM encourages a better design process, which means we’re creating better buildings.”
After a year of development, PCA began with a pilot project in 2008, re-designing a project that had been delivered in 2-D CAD. Cook says “It was a great opportunity to figure out how much more work we had to do.” With a little more development, they were ready for a live project. The opportunity arose with an Interventional Radiology Operating Room for Emory University’s Crawford Long Hospital. “This is the kind of space where you’re packing so much into the ceiling that 2-D plans just don’t convey the scope very well. With Revit, we’re able to model the whole space, including the medical equipment, and be confident it can be built before the first piece of steel is bolted into place,” says Bob Farrow of HKS Architects. “Because the design team used Revit, we were able to model the architecture, the structural supports, and even the medical equipment to deliver a design that the users can see and understand, and we all know it works.”
For Perry, Crabb & Associates, BIM is just a better way to do what they’ve always done – deliver high-quality, innovative design with a focus on the clients – both the Architect and the Owner. That builds long-standing relationships that have served them well for fifty years.
Client-focused engineering means more than just good design. For PCA, it means always looking ahead for better ways to serve the client. Today, that means using BIM to design innovative building systems through an integrated design process. It means sustainable design – more than a third of their technical staff is LEED Accredited and the focus on energy and life cycle cost permeates every design. It also drove them to form an alliance with Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute to make cutting-edge energy analysis and management strategies available to their clients.
“To be successful in any project,” says Crabb, “we have to bring real value to the table. Designing mechanical and electrical systems that work is just the foundation. We’re looking for solutions that serve our clients through the triple bottom line of environmental, social, and economic advantage. That may sound a bit trite, but we’re finding that it’s more than just the right thing to do – it’s good for our business as well.”
Perry, Crabb & Associates
2987 Clairmont Rd, NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Jim Crabb, PE, LEED AP
BIM and CAD Manager