flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Digital tools accelerated the design and renovation of one contractor’s new office building

BIM and Information Technology

Digital tools accelerated the design and renovation of one contractor’s new office building

One shortcut: sending shop drawings created from laser scans directly to a wood panel fabricator.

By John Caulfied, Senior Editor | March 28, 2017

Photo courtesy of Heywood Chan Photography

Portland, Ore.-based Hoffman Construction is a national contractor that prides itself on using digital tools to complete its projects.

So, in mid 2015, when it was planning to renovate a 10,000-sf office space in Seattle, Hoffman challenged its interior designer, Gensler, to take a similar approach that would highlight Hoffman’s digital integration and technical delivery techniques.

With the help of a host of digital products—including SketchUp, Revit, Faro, Navisworks, Cyclone, AutoCAD and CNC—the Building Team designed the space in just four weeks and helped the client build it in seven.

“Hoffman is always looking to do the impossible in a possible amount of time. Gensler saw us as innovators showcasing our talents with this project,” says Kevin Ryan, operations manager and GM for Hoffman Construction in Seattle.

The focal point was the Think Tank, a 2,000-sf space that would serve as the office’s central hub. That space, according to Jeroen Teeuw, Senior Associate at Gensler who was Lead Designer on this design-build project, is clad in over 100 unique panels that were fabricated from shop drawings produced by digital scans. Fuller Cabinets in Eugene, Ore., supplied the panels, which were fabricated by Straight-Up Carpentry in Oregon.


Photo courtesy of Heywood Chan Photography.


Teeuw says that, before this job, Gensler had only rarely employed digital scanning for interior projects. The scans, he says, were accurate to the point where no tweaks to the design were necessary. “Hoffman had a lot of trust in us,” he says.

Demolition started on Sept. 1, 2015, and included four weeks of asbestos mitigation. Building started the first week October. Hoffman wanted to occupy the building by Christmas, “so we had to identified what absolutely needed to be done in order to satisfy the fire marshals and inspectors,” recalls Ryan. The Building Team stripped the floors, knocked down walls, and installed new T-bar ceilings.

For the renovation, the Building Team broke up the shop drawings into several packages, which Ryan says all but eliminated material waste.

Hoffman achieved its goal, even though the office wasn’t fully completed until April 2016. The space includes conference rooms and private offices, a central teaming area, pantry/lounge/kitchen, open workspace, facilities space, and a reception area.

Related Stories

AEC Tech | Jan 27, 2023

Epic Games' latest foray into the AEC market and real estate industry

From architecture to real estate, the realm of computer-aided design hits new heights as more and more firms utilize the power of Epic Games’ Twinmotion and Unreal Engine.

AEC Tech | Jan 27, 2023

Key takeaways from Autodesk University 2022

Autodesk laid out its long-term vision to drive digital collaboration through cloud-based solutions and emphasized the importance of connecting people, processes and data.

BIM and Information Technology | Nov 21, 2022

An inside look at the airport industry's plan to develop a digital twin guidebook

Zoë Fisher, AIA explores how design strategies are changing the way we deliver and design projects in the post-pandemic world.

BAS and Security | Oct 19, 2022

The biggest cybersecurity threats in commercial real estate, and how to mitigate them

Coleman Wolf, Senior Security Systems Consultant with global engineering firm ESD, outlines the top-three cybersecurity threats to commercial and institutional building owners and property managers, and offers advice on how to deter and defend against hackers. 

Smart Buildings | Jun 1, 2022

Taking full advantage of smart building technology

Drew Deatherage of Crux Solutions discusses where owners and AEC firms could do better at optimizing smart technology in building design and operations.

AEC Tech | Apr 19, 2022

VDC maturity and the key to driving better, more predictable outcomes

While more stakeholders across the AEC value chain embrace the concept of virtual design and construction, what is driving the vastly different results that organizations achieve? The answer lies within an assessment of VDC maturity.

Sponsored | BD+C University Course | Mar 24, 2022

Data-driven building design and successful project outcomes

Data-driven science, control systems and even journalism are in vogue today, reflecting the increasing reliance on real facts and figures—rather than experience or subjective opinions—to drive successful pursuits. In the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) realm, the same trend is helping make project teams and buildings more successful. The ultimate goal is to enhance value through a process that predicts accurately the cost of a building—even if its architects may not see the construction begin until two or more years after the start of schematic design.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021


Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: