This story features Kent Pretorius, Computational Design Manager at Fast + Epp, sharing with us how Speckle strengthened collaboration and connectivity during the PNE Amphitheatre project, a high-end complex geometry project.
Speckle’s Internal Adoption at Fast + Epp
Fast + Epp came across Speckle in 2021 as the team was looking for a way to connect platforms and applications easily. “We’ve always been looking for a reliable, transparent and easy-to-use Single Source of Truth,” says Kent. At the beginning of 2022, Kent started looking at Speckle and its capabilities, and the more he looked into it, the more attractive it became to other projects across the company.
To facilitate internal adoption, designers, architects, and engineers spent two to three months testing and evaluating Speckle, mainly focusing on building trust with its technology and workflows. After a few workshops in Grasshopper, the team quickly realised how much more efficient they were. Architects would upload data to Speckle, engineers would instantly make a couple of adjustments in Grasshopper, and the architects would, at that same moment, load it in.
“It didn’t take much convincing thereafter. Everybody saw how impactful it was in quality and efficiency.”
The PNE Amphitheatre Project
The PNE Amphitheatre venue is estimated to be ready in 2026. This project is complex in geometry and requires top-notch team coordination to maintain high-quality outputs and timely delivery.
Unique circular arches make the PNE Amphitheatre distinctive, a simple and elegant form that is quite challenging to build. These require different configurations and schemes, making quick editing and customisation difficult. The amphitheater consists of a 3-point arch structure and covers approximately 7,200 square meters, with 63 arches, all connecting a central keystone piece. Sixty arches are glue-laminated, while the remaining three and the central keystone are made from steel.
Maximizing Quality Outputs With Speckle
Such a complex project requires inputs from different teams and applications, including architects working with geometry creation tools (Rhino, Dynamo, Grasshopper), engineers performing analyses using programmes such as RFEM, and modelers working on Revit and Revu for documentation purposes.
How to integrate all these efforts and make sure the information is up to date?
Speckle stood out as a Single Source of Truth that significantly reduces the need to recreate models. Engineers and modelers live in two separate worlds, and Speckle brought these two worlds together by offering a reliable source of data and allowing these platforms to easily integrate with each other.
A centerline geometry served as an interface between architects and engineers. Connecting Grasshopper design and analytical models with Speckle enabled streamlined project data flow. Architects could focus on the best design options and organize them in a Speckle project. Abstract geometry was then developed further for setting out drawings for fabrication or full fidelity models for visualizations. With Speckle, one component change did not require manual updates of individual sections of the model, it was automatically updated across all applications, leading to a reliable SSOT across drafters, engineers, and modelers.
“It would have taken a couple of weeks to remodel the geometry in Revit and get it right. If [the drafters] had to edit or redraw the geometry that would have been another two weeks. Double the amount of effort was saved thanks to Speckle,” says Kent.
Similarly, modelers could upload Revit data into Speckle, to allow engineers to quickly and instantly access the right families and line types. Speckle made the coordination between multi-disciplines smoother.
We are happy to see companies like Fast + Epp master the internal adoption of Speckle to drive efficiencies at scale. Kent and his team saw an opportunity to accelerate processes and deliver value across different departments by successfully collaborating with Speckle as a reliable source of data and quality outputs. We are looking forward to seeing what Fast + Epp achieves next. If you would also like to try Speckle with your team, you can reach out to [email protected] or simply register today for free!