Datascape

Posted On 2024-01-17

DatascapeCrux

Architectural Pioneers: Navigating Chaos with Autodesk Construction Cloud in Datascape and Crux Architects’ Innovative Digital Transformation Journey

Datascape Architects Africa and Crux Architects Africa, distinct entities with shared resources, have emerged as trailblazers in the architectural landscape of the African continent. Specializing in Data Center design, Datascape Architects Africa is driven by a vision centered on technology, human-centric design, and the build-out of is industry that is pivotal to supporting economic development in Africa. On the other hand, Crux Architects Africa delivers diverse architectural services across the continent, demonstrating adaptability and expertise in various property development sectors.

Led by Henning Rasmuss, the visionary founder of both Datascape Architects Africa and Crux Architects Africa, alongside the expertise of BIM Lead, Aneesh Parbhoo, the journey from inception to their current success unveils a commitment to embracing digital transformation. Their innovative approach has not only empowered them to work on a global scale but has also positioned them as forerunners in managing the intricacies of complex projects in constrained construction economies on the continent.

In navigating the chaos associated with internal and external project stakeholders, both entities deploy a unique methodology. They thrive on chaos, leveraging technology as a powerful ally. The seamless integration of digital tools, including Autodesk Construction Cloud, forms the backbone of their operations. This strategic adoption enables them to optimise resources and time, allowing them to produce excellence in support of dispersed teams.

Their work ethos is grounded in curiosity and empathy, embracing the challenges posed by the ever-evolving architectural landscape. By practicing empathy, they not only understand the needs of their clients but also foster a collaborative and inclusive work environment. The amalgamation of chaos-embracing strategies and cutting-edge technology defines their distinctive approach, positioning them at the forefront of global architectural innovation.

Customer Challenge

The COVID-19 pandemic heightened the urgency for remote working solutions, and created the landscape for new ways of working. Both companies were formed as the world emerged from the disruptive lockdowns. The imperative of being agile took center stage, and was a central working approach to hard-wire into the new companies. Work in Africa is essentially about projects that require and clients who exude agility. Clients demanded a nimble and responsive approach from both companies. In this context, the adoption of Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC) became almost self-evident.

Remote working, a departure from conventional norms, stress-tested the inception of these entities. The intricacies of managing physical servers became a mute point and fostering effective team and stakeholder communication were magnified. Datascape Architects Africa and Crux Architects Africa sought a solution that not only accommodated the complexity of their projects—ranging from massive data centers to intricate 140-room hotels and towering 17-story building developments—but also addressed the nuances of human-centric communication within a technologically advanced framework.

Project Goals

In overcoming the challenges of what a ‘normal startup would look like’, Datascape Architects Africa aimed to build a company that defied conventional working culture. Their goal was not only to meet the agile demands of their global clients but also to create a technologically intelligent and human-centered organization. The emphasis on a remote-friendly setup and the elimination of physical server dependencies were central objectives, aligning with the company’s overarching vision for a data-centric future.

Business Solution

The selection of Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC) transcended mere technological deliberation; it stood as a strategic response to the complex dual challenge faced by Datascape Architects Africa. Their projects, spanning data-heavy ‘federated’ architectural models and being used by a actively by a large global stakeholder audience, required an innovative solution. Additionally, the coordination of resources scattered across both local and international landscapes posed a unique set of challenges. ACC emerged as the keystone, not only facilitating the efficient management of expansive project models but also harmonising the human-centric intricacies within their technological framework.

Henning, founder of Datascape Architects Africa, emphasised the pivotal role of Baker Baynes in their ACC journey.

He expressed that “working with Baker Baynes has been a symbiotic relationship, offering us access to the team’s expertise from diverse resources based on their specific support or technology needs.”

This partnership enabled Datascape Architects Africa to seamlessly connect with the right individuals, ensuring they received the apt assistance and advice. ACC, supported by this collaborative relationship, became the linchpin in navigating the vast landscapes of architectural design while enhancing the human-centric dynamics inherent in their innovative approach. These initial learnings are now being actively shared with property developers and contractors and contractor-developers in projects secured by Crux Architects Africa in Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana and Cameroon.   

Business Benefits

The adoption of Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC) has not only revolutionised the project management approach of both companies, but has also translated into tangible benefits that resonate with their commitment to sustainable and efficient practices. One remarkable outcome has been the ability to execute projects entirely remotely, never setting foot on-site—a feat made possible by ACC’s robust capabilities.

This shift towards remote project completion has translated into significant savings, not just in terms of travel time but also in reducing their carbon footprint. The exhaustive carbon inputs related to fuel consumption for meetings and site visits have been drastically minimised. The efficiency of ACC’s Request for Information (RFI) and transmittal processes has brought about project transparency, allowing for seamless communication among stakeholders. The integrity of project data is upheld through ACC’s access management, ensuring control over who has access to what. This, in turn, has introduced a layer of accountability, as a detailed record of individual contributions is maintained, offering a clear overview of areas requiring attention—with names attached.

ACC has allowed Datascape and Crux to ‘practice what they preach,’ creating an environment aligned with their ethos of working in the cloud while designing and developing data centers. Notably, the management of a new Data Center in Kinshasa, Congo, which posed inherent challenges due to compliance requirements and project complexity, was made possible through ACC. The collaboration with a willing local contractor, facilitated by ACC, defied geographical constraints and achieved the seemingly impossible.

ACC makes it practical and obvious to work within ISO 19650 requirements such as cross-project naming conventions. This has played a crucial role in adhering to the stringent global end-user standards of current projects. Overall, ACC has transformed their operations into a paperless landscape, minimising conventional operation headaches and offering a streamlined, efficient, and sustainable platform for architectural innovation.

Conclusion

The success narrative of Datascape Architects Africa and Crux Architects Africa serves as a compelling testament to the transformative influence of innovation, notably propelled by Autodesk Construction Cloud and a collaborative partnership with technology reseller Baker Baynes. Their evolution from envisioning a remote-friendly business model to the realization of global projects underscores the profound impact technology can have on shaping the trajectory of architectural design, not only within the African continent but extending its influence worldwide.

The symbiotic relationship between these architectural entities and Baker Baynes has not only streamlined their technological journey but also showcased the pivotal role of a strategic technology reseller. As they look forward, Aneesh and Henning express enthusiasm for the future possibilities presented by generative design and AI. Positioned as pioneers eager to test and embrace the forefront of digital transformation, Datascape and Crux stand poised to lead the architectural industry into a future marked by innovative advancements and cutting-edge technology. The horizon holds exciting prospects, and their journey serves as an inspiring beacon for others navigating the evolving landscape of architectural innovation.

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