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From professional baseball stadiums to groundbreaking factories, Geoff Hoffman’s AEC tech expertise has helped bring many breathtaking buildings to life.
Geoff Hoffman’s love of architecture developed early. As soon as he took a handful of introductory drafting classes in high school, he knew he wanted to make a career out of making his visions a reality. As a successful architect and project manager, he’s managed to realize his dreams, working on everything from the Cincinnati Reds’ ballpark to an ambitious 5.8 million square foot factory for the next great American auto manufacturer along the way.
After receiving his degree in Architecture/Architectural Engineering back in 2001, Geoff spent the next 13 years working for several prominent firms in the greater Chicago Area. During that time, Geoff worked on a number of high-profile projects, including the Reds’ new stadium, Great American Ballpark.
But by 2014, he was ready for a change and new challenge. “I was starting to think about the industry a bit differently,” he explains, “and I asked myself what was changing in the industry and how could I be a part of that.”
Geoff made the leap to a new firm that was more focused on tech-enabled AEC processes. Working in a more forward-thinking environment opened Geoff’s eyes to an entirely new set of concerns. “You start thinking about the whole architectural process differently,” he reflects. “You are forced to think specifically about processes and workflows, whereas at a traditional firm you’re focused almost entirely on the building design itself.”
Having spent the majority of his career mostly concentrating on the details of designs, Geoff had to think more deeply about the process of designing. He left convinced of the tremendous value offered by AEC technologies.
Quickly, Geoff became a leading expert in the blossoming field of digitally driven design, mastering Revit, Navisworks, SketchUp, Bluebeam, and many other platforms. Hungry for a more hands-on role in large-scale projects, he decided to join the VIATechnik team.
At his previous firm, Geoff had been acting as something of a consultant, focusing more on the big picture and strategy than project execution. As a VDC Manager at VIATechnik, he has been able to apply his skills and expertise in a more direct and tangible way. “At VIATechnik I get to work more directly with contractors,” he notes. “We’re extremely involved during the construction process in terms of helping to get a structure built, from handling 4D project scheduling to creating 3D BIM models from an architect’s 2D drawings.”
Most recently, Geoff has been working on an enormous factory outside of Sparks, Nevada. In particular, he’s overseeing the BIM modeling and coordination of the electrical system, model-based quantity takeoffs or conduits, model-based phase tracking of electrical systems work (e.g., coordinated/singed off, released for fabrication, installed, etc.), and the utilization of point layout to quickly and accurately map hundreds of light fixtures.
A project this large is bound to present logistical challenges, but as Geoff points out, the use of a collaborative BIM model mitigated many of these concerns. “We worked with a contractor for one of the major sections of the factory,” he says, “but it was a unique project in that the design team was really still working as construction was going on. This meant that the importance of collaborative design was critical, and there were many instances where the design team would sit in on meetings with the construction team and talk about various issue. The 3D BIM modeling software really facilitated this collaborative effort.”
Geoff is also working on a new multi-family development project with a large integrated developer, which involves 251 residential units in a 430,000 ft2 structure. He’ll be using BIM to facilitate the seamless integration and prefabrication of most of the structural wood framing in the building along with a number of other architectural components. The goal is to achieve a clash-free, fully coordinated BIM that’s suitable for fabrication, which of course requires the complete and seamless integration of people, processes, and technologies — not always an easy feat to accomplish.
In the past, designers, contractors, engineers, owners, and facility managers typically worked in silos. A huge amount of data is specified and collected during each stage of design, construction, and operation; yet teams continuously find themselves starting over from scratch at the beginning of each new phase because they’re using a process that serves mostly themselves. Ultimately, a more holistic and integrated process means transforming all of the data and information specified and collected in design and construction into something that Owners can use for the ongoing management and operations of their facilities.
But this is Geoff’s bread and butter: helping all project stakeholders work smarter, more collaboratively, and more efficiently. As more project owners begin to understand everything AEC tech has to offer, the demand for Geoff’s skill-set will only grow, which is why we’re thrilled to have him on our team.
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