Firm Profile: Gomez Vazquez International AECbytes Profile (January 17, 2017)

Gomez Vazquez International, a leading architecture firm with projects in over 80 destinations worldwide, shares its perspective on AEC technology in this Firm Profile.

What is the history and background of the firm?

Gomez Vazquez International (GVI) is an architecture firm with over 50 years of trajectory. Completing over a 1000 projects in 81 destinations worldwide, GVI is recognized among the leading architecture firms of the Americas. Offering architecture, planning and urban design services, the firm has successfully completed several projects including hotels and resorts, sports facilities, lifestyle and shopping, high-rise residential buildings, master planning, and corporate offices.

What is the firm's current focus? What are the key projects it is working on?

GVI has worked with a diverse base of clients to meet a range of demands. With offices located in San Antonio, Miami, Panama City, Mexico City and Guadalajara, the firm has designed a wide scope of projects, including residential complexes (Figure 1), mixed-use developments, corporate buildings, professional sports fields, arenas and stadiums, and in one case, an entire island in keeping with the surroundings. In addition to functionality and aesthetics, sustainability and return on investment are prioritized as important assets in all of its projects.

Figure 1. Two of GVI’s current residential projects: Bosque Real Five (top image) and Westpoint (lower image).

When did the firm start using AEC technology, and how is it being used today? How important is AEC technology to the firm?

Given the complexity and challenges that each project presents, together with the need to have applications that allow us to express our creativity in more effective and natural ways, we have implemented Building Information Modeling (BIM) in our work processes. Bosque Real Five, for example, a luxury residential complex of three towers with 30 apartments each, was a challenging project because of the rugged topography of the soil in which it is located, yet the use of Revit allowed us to analyze in depth the dimensions and magnitude of the project, giving us the ability to represent the design in 3D and get a clearer idea of the actualities of the space (Figure 2). This not only translates into a reduction of costs and time for us, but also gives the opportunity of making adjustments along the way, essentially providing total control of the project. With just some adjustments the work becomes more accessible, more practical and more real.

Figure 2. Use of BIM by GVI on the Bosque Real Five project.

The use of technology in architecture has given us the possibility to visualize in integral ways all the consultant’s work and engineering involved in the project, allowing us to improve the design, to visualize the details, and to foresee possible conflicts during construction. Such was the case for Westpoint, a residential tower with a contemporary design that involved a multidisciplinary team of consultants.

By using BIM, it was easier to share information, making it clearer, understandable and approachable to everyone. This information contain all the elements and characteristics of the design allowing the contractor to remain as faithful as possible to the design during the construction process.

The implementation of technology allow us to:

  • Have a common language with coherent information better organized

  • Communicate more precisely the qualities, characteristic and specifications of the project

  • Bring together different specializations more efficiently

  • Visualize more easily the communion of various consultant services to discover the relationship between them, allowing us to prevent and solve errors, conflict or failures that can occur during the consultants’ crossover

  • A better execution of the design during construction

  • Reduce time, errors and therefore costs

Globalization and technology have given way to new challenges, and the need to find more and better ways to meet user needs and provide solutions in an ever changing world result in bigger and more complex projects where different disciplines and expertise need to come together. Therefore finding a common language for information exchange and collaboration in real time between companies, suppliers and clients is essential to be up-to-date in the processes and technologies that allow us to work more efficiently.

Does the firm have a specific approach and/or philosophy to AEC technology? If so, what is it?

Innovation and constant growth is part of our philosophy as a firm, therefore we are always on the search for technology process that allow us to give our clients and collaborators certainty and a quick adaptation to the changes and necessities that are presented on the daily basis.

What are some of the main challenges the firm faces in its implementation of AEC technology?

The need of software that is capable of understanding our processes and bring them to this new technological framework in a reasonable time is the main challenge we face when it comes to finding the right partner for the implementation of new technologies.

How does the firm see AEC technology evolving in the future?

The implementation of AEC technology will give way for real-time collaboration and generative design, providing the right tools to achieve better results in less time involving fewer steps. This will translate to faster processes, resulting in efficiency and significant resource saving.

The opportunity to work with tools that allow us to design more freely and in more natural ways will provide us the ability to express our creativity and imagination in better ways.

If the firm had a wish list for AEC technology, what would it be?

We would like the adaptation of databases and intuitive processes of BIM to be faster and the development of new technologies carried out in more globalized and inclusive ways.

Any additional information/observations/insights on AEC technology implementation that the firm would like to share?

One thing we will like to stress is that AEC technology opens the door for new ways to express and represent ideas that can be understand easily by a multidisciplinary team, the client and even the final user. The opportunity to portray things that are not physically there through augmented reality and 3D, and the ability to work with better tools that capture our ideas opens a new spectrum of possibilities that go in accordance with what we think is the limitless creative capacity of the human being.

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