How KPFF Tackles Detail Management with Pirros

KPFF is a renowned structural engineering firm based on the West coast. KPFF tackles a wide range of projects varying in size and scope - anything from small interior TI to multifamily residential to large hospital developments.

The detailing phase of these projects varies depending on the project size, with smaller projects involving 20-30 details, and some of the larger buildings requiring over 2,000 details. While the designs and footprints of these buildings may vary significantly, many of the details are either direct replicas or slightly modified versions from previous projects. Because of this, the engineers responsible for detailing end up reusing previously approved details rather than redesigning each one repeatedly. This approach not only saves considerable design time but also ensures consistency and lessons learned across projects.

Challenges Faced

KPFF lacked an efficient process for accessing and retrieving past designs. While they did create a bank of details to quickly access, this bank was limited to only commonly used details. (e.g. steel connection, concrete slab, wood shear wall) due to the challenges that arose when the library became too big.

  1. Difficult to filter and sort through when libraries become too large
  1. Too much effort to update and manage details that aren’t reused as often

Finding specific details not in the library involved searching through extensive PDF sets of old projects. The absence of a comprehensive view of multiple projects simultaneously led to engineers only looking through projects they’ve worked on or projects their colleagues guided them to.  

As a result, KPFF spent countless hours sifting through past projects to locate the appropriate details for reference or reuse. Because this process was so inefficient and incomplete, they still found themselves redesigning many details that had already been completed in earlier projects.  

The Solution

Enter Pirros, a software solution that enabled KPFF to harvest the details from their previous projects into a searchable and filterable database. With Pirros, engineers could now forego the arduous process of hunting for specific details in extensive PDF collections and instead locate and retrieve details within minutes. 

The objectives achieved by adopting Pirros were as follows: 

  • Decrease the time spent searching for details. 
  • Minimize redesign work, thereby ensuring higher consistency and quality between designs and projects. 

Thanks to Pirros, engineers no longer had to navigate through hundreds of pages of PDF drawings to find a specific detail. Instead, they could swiftly search and locate the required detail within minutes. Additionally, the previously laborious process of extracting details from old Revit models and incorporating them into the current project's Revit model was simplified to a few clicks within the Pirros platform. 

The Results

KPFF has now rolled out Pirros to their entire 130-person LA office. Detailing workflows have witnessed a substantial reduction in time, allowing engineers to dedicate more attention to finalizing truly unique designs. Furthermore, KPFF now possesses increased confidence in the quality and consistency of their detailing, and is expecting to reap the benefits during the project's construction phase. 

“I started using Pirros for [confidential project] and it has been awesome. I would estimate that it has taken me about 5 hours to pull in 27 details. I think it’s safe to say that it would have taken me at least twice this amount of time if I didn’t have Pirros” - Yasamine Mesri, Project Engineer at KPFF

Currently, KPFF hosts a library of over 12,000 details on Pirros, utilizing the software to streamline detailing workflows on all their projects. Revit drafters within the organization are increasingly reluctant to use details that are not sourced from the platform due to the archaic process of opening and upgrading an old Revit model just to copy one detail. As KPFF continues to leverage Pirros, they anticipate to see further increases in efficiency and consistency not just across projects within one office, but also in offices across the country.