A new landmark hotel for Budapest
Márkus Engineering is a family-run multi-disciplinary engineering and management firm based in Budapest, Hungary, specialising in high-end construction projects. The firm has managed over 60 projects worth over €40 million and oversees everything from design through to operation.
Their most ambitious project to date is the build of a new Radisson Collection Hotel in Budapest’s central plaza, St. Stephen’s Square. The objective? Create a spectacular hotel to attract tourists to the centre of Budapest. Márkus was appointed to manage and provide technical supervision to guarantee project delivery on time and on budget.
Construction on the 71-room hotel began in mid-2019 and is set to complete in 2021. The renovation involves the retention of the landmark building’s original character features. Once complete, it will feature a rooftop bar with views of St. Stephen’s Basilica.
Digital transformation accelerated by a pandemic
At the beginning of 2020, Managing Director Tamás Márkus Sr. set his intention for the firm to become more digital and BIM-focused, because in his words, “either you keep up or you fall behind.” His goal is to position Márkus Engineering as a progressive firm at the forefront of Hungary’s rapidly growing AEC market.
The switch to digital became an urgent priority when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe: Márkus had to adapt to maintain communication and progress on the hotel project during lockdown.
Tamás Márkus Jr., engineer, suggested trying Revu, as he’d experienced how easy it was to use while working at another firm. With Revu in place, Márkus Engineering was able to keep the hotel project on schedule, despite lockdown restrictions.
Archicad-Revu integration: how it works
The Budapest Radisson project was designed using Graphisoft’s Archicad BIM platform.
"If it wasn’t for Graphisoft and Bluebeam, the COVID-19 lockdown would have derailed this project. The seamless integration and digital collaboration tools helped us work faster and more efficiently. I have no doubt we’ll continue to use Revu in the future.”Tamás Márkus Jr.
Bluebeam and Graphisoft are sister companies under the Nemetschek brand, a leading global software provider for the AEC industry that covers the entire lifecycle of building and infrastructure projects.
Graphisoft’s Bluebeam Connection provides a bi-directional link between Archicad and Revu. All annotations created in Revu are imported as native Archicad entries, appearing in the correct location on design layouts, without any manual work. The seamless compatibility saves time in design reviews.
Studio in Revu allows you to invite team members from anywhere in the world to collaborate easily, giving external stakeholders the ability to annotate and review documents in real time. Four teams on the Budapest Radisson renovation project used Revu and Studio: the architects and design teams, Márkus Engineering, the general contractor and the property owners’ facility management team. Graphisoft Hungary provided training to bring the Radisson project teams up to speed quickly with Studio’s functionality.
The Archicad-Revu design review workflow looked like this:
- Views or layouts were saved as PDFs in Archicad
- These PDFs were sent to project stakeholders for annotation in Studio
- The PDF annotations were imported to Archicad using Bluebeam Connection. The annotations appear in the right places, on the original source views in Archicad
- Architects could manage the annotations using the Annotation Tools palette
50% time savings on design reviews
Switching to Archicad-Revu led to a 50% time savings on design reviews for Márkus Engineering. For a small business working on a project as complex and ambitious as the Radisson renovation, gaining this time back was a blessing.
Márkus found several key features in Revu sped up design reviews:
- Annotations and Tool Chest
Creating customised Tool Chests made marking up and measuring much faster. Each discipline has its own designated toolset, making it easy for each team to know which tools to use. Customised Tool Chests also proved useful for creating fault logs, which are tracked automatically in the Annotations List.
Márkus uses its own properties for taking measurements, but there are pre-made speciality Tool Sets available to download from Bluebeam.
- Digital Document Comparison
Physical document comparison can take at least half a day. With Revu, Márkus could compare two documents in minutes, saving time and reducing human error.
- Overlay Pages
Spotting differences between plans and dealing with any resulting cost changes is faster and more accurate in Revu. Changes can be marked in different colours using the Overlay Pages function, and work can then be accounted for and acted on.
- Submittal Review
Submittal Reviews are simpler with Studio. Because remote and on-site workers can add annotations or queries in real time, issues are resolved quickly and it’s easy to track actions. Submittals reviews run smoother, saving time and increasing productivity.
A simple document management solution
To meet their complex document management challenge, Márkus set up a system to leverage Studio Projects to host a Digital Dashboard, using it on a daily basis to access up-to-date project information, from construction drawings to RFIs.
Digital Dashboard is a customisable navigation interface that links to a folder structure granting quick access to important project files. Because of the well-arranged interface, the team didn’t have to spend time searching for the information they needed among the 1,250 plans and 15,000 links stored on the Digital Dashboard.
Keeping communication flowing
Márkus kept up its weekly project meetings during lockdown with Studio Sessions. Because Revu is accessible online all of the time, there was no need to wait for face-to-face meetings for approvals.
Thanks to Archicad’s Bluebeam Connection, project stakeholders had direct access to the most commonly used review process features. It created a uniform working environment, where, as Tamás Márkus Sr. put it, everyone was able to “speak the same language”.
Five times faster quantity estimations
Quantity estimations are critical for every construction project. Thanks to the measurements and quantity calculation functions in Revu, Márkus was able to complete quantity estimations five times faster than before. “It speeds up a lot in checking quantities and controlling material costs,” a Márkus employee said.
The team found the Dynamic Fill function and measurement tools in Revu particularly helpful for guaranteeing the accuracy of their outcomes. The fact that Revu can handle drawings of any scale was also beneficial.
Another everyday benefit of using Revu was the electronic signature tool for RFI approvals. Márkus used this feature to approve each product change and to register all RFIs officially.
Change for the better, for good
"Our ethos is: either you keep up or you fall behind. With the help of Bluebeam, we’re taking the first steps on the technology ladder. It’s helped us put our small business on an equal footing with bigger players to gain a competitive edge in the local market.”Tamás Márkus Sr.
Because the majority of architects in Hungary use Archicad, the easy integration with Revu helped Márkus collaborate with designers. While Márkus’ partners hadn’t worked with Bluebeam before, they adapted to it easily and now have plans to adopt it for other projects.
Márkus saved thousands of euros in paper printing costs with Revu. What’s more, it helped eliminate human error. Previously, the team had to red-line delivered prints and digital PDF files manually, risking mistakes. The Archicad-Bluebeam Connection meant that all project stakeholders — even those not necessarily linked to any BIM platform — could mark up directly onto digital deliverables.
The transition to Archicad-Revu has helped the firm level up their digital workflows, reducing overall work hours on the Radisson project. Time is money in construction and any time saved adds profit to the bottom-line.
The team has a new digital strategy in place, which includes Graphisoft and Bluebeam on all future projects to keep pace with the industry, staying agile and competitive.