Bridge for Design Collaboration: The Evolution of Project Federation Enabled with Controlled Sharing

Gabby Winkey Gabby Winkey May 22, 2023

4 min read

With the increasing demand for building and infrastructure projects, growing complexity of owner requirements, and the evolution of project delivery methods, the AEC industry faces an undeniable shift towards the need for a multidisciplinary collaborative design approach. This approach is being fueled by the availability of cloud-based design collaboration and document management solutions, but that’s not all that is needed.

In light of the growing expectation for multidisciplinary collaboration, there are several concerns that if not addressed present true barriers to operational efficiency. These concerns include varying levels of trust between project stakeholders, data residency and ownership, operational standards, and more.  

Bridge for Design Collaboration, a newly released capability available with subscriptions to BIM Collaborate Pro and BIM Collaborate, helps AEC firms address these concerns by providing a simple way to share and consume design content across internal and or external projects in a controlled manner. Project stakeholders can now work in their own projects and share data with other project stakeholders by packaging and bridging design content across projects. This  new way of bridging design content across projects enables to collaborate with their teams in their high trust environment, and share only the necessary details to other stakeholders. Now design teams no longer need to share all design steps and work-in-progress files, but instead can synchronize just the stage applicable to other stakeholders, regardless of whether they are on the same team or building project within the Autodesk Construction Cloud.

Project Federation was here before, but was it right?

According to the Tech-Clarity study on The State of Collaborative Design, the top 3 challenges faced in meeting design objectives include poor communication, project collaboration, and managing solutions. Underneath these challenges, projects suffer from inefficiencies due to the lack of information sharing and costly rework due to errors and omissions. Even in multidisciplinary projects today, where “collaborative” working models exist, projects are plagued by these challenges.

Without the Bridge technology and Bridge for Design Collaboration, multidisciplinary projects are set up where the account owner, typically the GC or lead architect, manages design work-in-progress models, data structures, standards & workflows, user access & permissions, construction documentation, etc. The GC or lead architect has full access and ownership of all design contents, and once a project is complete all other contributors lose access to models and data.
To prevent the exposure of intellectual property and potential loss of project data, project contributors develop a parallel infrastructure dedicated to safeguarding their sensitive data. In this working model, they leverage manual, timely workflows such as the downloading and uploading of design contents to create the barriers they see necessary. While this method can technically work, projects ultimately suffer from broken workflows, wasted resources, and missing data that’s crucial for decision making.

Age of a new Era – Bridge for Design Collaboration

Now with Bridge technology, project teams can collaborate in a more democratized way. Bridge gives project contributors the ability to work in their own project hubs, enabling them the right to own their work in progress data, and granting them the flexibility to share only what’s necessary, when necessary. Sharing data across projects with Bridge technology also enables firms the ability to work within their organization’s standards while maintaining project compliance.

While Bridge technology can transform multidisciplinary team collaboration on projects, Bridge for Design Collaboration further improves project collaboration with connected workflows enabling better visibility over changes and package control while increasing privacy and data control. With Bridge for Design Collaboration, it is no longer required for contributors to be members of each project for having access to sync design contents across, hence enriching data privacy. In addition, Bridge for Design Collaboration further enhances projects with:

With all these elements combined AEC firms are positioned to take better control of their design contents without sacrificing necessary collaboration— helping to minimize rework, meet deadlines, and deliver projects on budget.

Bridge for Design Collaboration is available today at no additional cost to BIM Collaborate Pro and BIM Collaborate subscribers. If you are interested in exploring these product offerings click here for a free trial or a demo. For pricing and packaging information, contact Autodesk, 1-844-311-6864.

Get AEC updates in your inbox

By clicking subscribe, I agree to receive the AEC newsletter and acknowledge the Autodesk Privacy Statement.