February 7, 2023

Why Every AEC Design Firm Needs a Detail Management Platform

Ari Baranian
Ari Baranian
CEO & Co-founder

Detail management has been a problem in the engineering and architecture industry since its inception. In the days of hand drafting, companies had a binder of typical details that designers could reference to reuse past work. With the adoption of AutoCad and Revit, those typical detail binders have been transferred into a digital PDF format but otherwise the workflow hasn't changed. Designers still scroll through hundreds of individual details to find the one detail they are looking for.

A detail management system allows designers to search for and filter down to the exact details they need without having to view every single detail. Modern drafting programs already store substantial metadata with each detail (sheet name, project name, etc) that allows for the search and filter functionality. Without a detail management system, all that excess data gets lost into a folder on the companies file server.

This platform also allows many more details to be catalogued and stored. In the past, the number of details you could standardize was limited to how big your binder was. Currently, firms are limited by the attention span of their designers. A pdf file with 2,000 details in it takes too long to open and browse and results in engineers avoiding it altogether to save time. Conversely, detail management systems do not degrade with more details added to them. Rather they get better because now you can quickly find that one unique condition you detailed 5 years ago on a project without having to first find the job number and the drawing set.

Finally, detail management systems inherently allow you to build out higher quality detail libraries. The company standard, typical details remain in front so designers use those first. If the condition is not covered by a typical detail, then they can search for details used on past projects as well. As a principal or manager, you can track the data of what details are reused most often and you can then determine what details to add to your vetted library. And adding that detail to your typical details is much easier than updating a large revit model and reprinting the PDF.

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