SP Architects

SP Architects Designs the Future with BIM


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Image courtesy of SP Architects


Standing out with its expertise in BIM, SP Architects, an international office that believes in the power of cooperation, collaborates with local architectural offices and companies from different sectors around the world. The Company, which started to cooperate with TEK TO NIK Architekten in Frankfurt, Germany in 2019 and to "export" its BIM know-how, completed the architectural design of six building projects in Frankfurt and Munich using only Revit. While SP Architects design its projects using the Autodesk AEC Collection BIM infrastructure, the Company manages its overseas projects requiring remote collaboration on Autodesk Docs, the cloud-based document management and shared data environment offered within the platform.

In the Istanbul Avrupa Konutları Çamlıvadi Project, quantities and accordingly, cost calculations were carried out very quickly and accurately with Dynamo codes. Image courtesy of SP Architects.

“The path to increasing quality and achieving more efficiency is through the transfer of know-how"

SP Architects, designing large-scale architectural projects on a local and global scale such as master plans, mixed-use projects and urban transformation projects since 2005, boasts a strong client portfolio consisting of leading construction companies and various investors in different sectors such as housing, commerce, healthcare, education and social facilities.

Equipped with a robust capacity to work in different climates, cultures and urban textures thanks to the projects it has launched in almost all the cities of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Germany as well as the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Europe, SP Architects is considered a role model pioneer on account of not only its architectural approach, but also its process management and know-how. Moreover, the Company documents this know-how along with the process management standards it has created and share them with the industry. Highlighting how important it was for the Company to transfer know-how, Sabri Paşayiğit, the founder of SP Architects, said: “The path to increasing quality and achieving more efficiency is through the transfer of know-how. We have developed some standards and created booklets in order to transfer our know-how to our teams. In addition to internally utilizing these standards, we also make them available to the industry. Because we believe that progress may only be made collectively. For example, we documented all the details of the Diyarbakır Walled City Project, including the project stages, the standards used, and the resulting know-how, and compiled all of it into a printed book and also published it on digital platforms.”

In this housing project implemented in Germany, Insight was used for wind and solar analysis. Image courtesy of SP Architects.

BIM Infrastructure for a Strong Standard-Based Process Management

Stating that they needed standards, a suitable process management and a strong technological infrastructure in order for a creative idea to become a reality, Founder Sabri Paşayiğit said, “As buildings become more and more complex, there is a need for an error-free, efficient project process that aims for excellence. The way to achieve this is to create a digital twin of a structure with all its layers.” Sabri Paşayiğit emphasizes that the BIM (Building Information Modeling) infrastructure, which they have implemented in cooperation with Autodesk, offers them the most suitable platform serving this end. This allows them to carry out an accurate process management approach that is based on standards.

"AEC Collection provides the best tools enabling and empowering us to create future-proof and efficient projects.”

The fact that Sabri Paşayiğit draws such attention to the “process management” concept also underpins the role Managing Partner Ayten Paşayiğit plays in the organization as an industrial engineer. Ayten Paşayiğit said, “Good process management is as important as the design itself. In this people-centric industry that is the construction industry, an effective and error-free process management approach must be implemented at every stage from design to construction and even the creation of asset models,", and stated that they developed an end-to-end process management approach that is engaged from the first moment a prospect is generated.

“You need to develop a sustainable system that allows for real-time monitoring of every project from various dimensions, for revisions to be implemented quickly, that is compatible with new technologies, that enables collaboration and remote working, that warns you against mistakes on time, that allows for your project presentations to be easily understood by everyone, that helps to measure productivity, and that actually supports project teams,” said Ayten Paşayiğit and added: “While establishing such a system at SP Architects, we positioned the BIM infrastructure at the very center. We believe that the Autodesk AEC Collection provides the best tools enabling and empowering us to create future-proof and efficient projects.”

The BIM Journey That Began in 2016

Behind the internationally recognized success of SP Architects is a strong, young and dynamic team of over 160 architects and multidisciplinary designers. At SP Architects, small project teams are combined to create larger teams. Each team can work at all project stages, from concept to construction drawings. There is also a business development department and a creative department that devises the presentation files of all projects in line with the corporate identity of SP Architects.

The SP Architects team established the SP Academy at the beginning of 2016 and switched to the BIM infrastructure in cooperation with Autodesk. Boasting the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System and Certificate, SP Architects was also declared a Design Center by the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology in October 2018.

Today, the team provides end-to-end architectural services from concept to construction drawings, using software and tools such as Revit, Dynamo, Navisworks, Autodesk Docs included in the AEC Collection.

Sabri Paşayiğit said, “The BIM infrastructure has enabled us to draw the right project from the very first moment when working on concepts. We work in a structure that is more suitable for construction, where creativity is fostered, decisions can be made and problems are resolved in the earliest stages, and we can document every stage.”

Noting that clash reports made an especially significant contribution to their efficiency, Sabri Paşayiğit stated that they started storing the standards booklets they created in the cloud libraries using Autodesk's cloud solutions, thus increasing the efficiency of the servers.

A version of this article ran previously on website. Photos courtesy of [credit].

SP Architects can track quantities and, accordingly, cost calculations very quickly and accurately with Dynamo codes. Image courtesy of SP Architects.

Holistic Approach in Transitioning to BIM

Stressing the need for having a different perspective for a healthy transition to BIM, Sabri Paşayiğit said: “In an architectural office, it is imperative that everyone, starting from the top managerial positions, understands BIM. Because BIM is too important to be left to the sole responsibility of a BIM consultant or BIM manager, and it requires a holistic approach. In the beginning, we made some mistakes, such as tasking a consultant or appointing a BIM manager to be in charge of all matters BIM, as was the case all around the globe. Finally, with the participation of everyone, including myself, we adopted the BIM approach as a team by learning it together and started to use our BIM infrastructure efficiently. I recommend the same method to all teams trying to make the switch to BIM.”

SP Architects, which has made great strides to strongly position itself in the industry by adopting the BIM approach stepwise, now has relatively more projects designed using the BIM infrastructure. Sabri Paşayiğit said, “It is safe to say that we know the ins and outs of the BIM infrastructure at the moment. And the number of projects we have designed with the BIM approach is growing gradually. My goal is to enable all the teams at SP Architects to design our entire project pipeline with the BIM infrastructure and to avoid 2D drawings as much as possible.”

ReCap was used in the survey works of cultural heritage sites of Diyarbakır Sur Project. Image courtesy of SP Architects.

BIM Is a Must for Global Projects

Transitioning to BIM has provided SP Architects with the capability required to seize global opportunities better. “As BIM has become a standard on global platforms, we now can speak the same language with teams abroad thanks to our expertise in BIM. Accordingly, we have successfully completed the projects we undertook in Europe using BIM,” said Sabri Paşayiğit and noted that they had to use BIM in order for their projects to be implemented efficiently in Western markets outside Turkeyand stated that they expected to see the use of BIM become a mandatory requirement for projects in Turkey after 2025.

SP Architects, an international office that believes in the power of cooperation, collaborates with local architectural offices and companies from different sectors around the world. SP Architects, which engaged in such a collaboration with TEK TO NIK Architekten based in Frankfurt, Germany in 2019, completed six projects in Frankfurt and Munich using Revit and the BIM infrastructure. The know-how of SP Architects proved to be extremely effective in this collaboration. It would not be far-fetched to say that SP Architects exported know-how to Europe. The Company has also been designing projects in Azerbaijan and the CIS since 2019. Sabri Paşayiğit stated that they opened their Baku offices as of the end of 2020 with a view to managing their projects in these regions and to leverage their know-how to serve the development of the region. Currently, there are ongoing urban planning and architectural projects in Azerbaijan, the Karabakh region and Uzbekistan. Next up on their expansion agenda is the U.S., and in line with this expansion goal, they have started working to establish collaborations by participating in various fairs in the U.S..

Managing BIM Projects

Among the key projects announced by SP Architects are the Finance Center, Avrupa Konutları, DAP Nisantasi, and OYAK projects in Turkey; the projects already launched in Germany and the Skypark Project launched in Baku.

Stating that Revit was the main design and modeling software they used during the concept development phase of all their projects, Project Manager Muhammet Birincioğlu emphasized the fact that analyzing the construction site and climatic conditions were the most important steps towards giving green light to a sustainable project. Birincioğlu said, “For instance, we used the Insight tool, which allows users to conduct wind and solar analysis, for the Erciyes Hotel project in Germany, and the ReCap tool for the cultural heritage site surveys of the Diyarbakır Walled City Project,” and added: “These tools play a pivotal role by helping us to achieve the project goals efficiently.” 

As part of project process management, they have automated some of their workflows with Dynamo codes. Birincioğlu said, “Dynamo codes enabled us to monitor the quantities and the related cost estimates of the Avrupa Konutları Çamlıvadi Project very quickly and with zero errors. Because Dynamo codes allowed us to pull the sheet list directly from Revit.”

Across all of the construction projects they designed to be erected in Germany, they utilized the document management, presentation and data sharing features of the Autodesk Docs cloud solution. Stating that they could prepare architectural projects within the entire detail spectrum by working on the same model with Statik and MEP business partners thanks to the BIM tools offered by Autodesk’s AEC Collection, Muhammet Birincioğlu added, “We can see all the mistakes and clashes in 3D in the last project stage with Navisworks, as well as revising the drawings and finalizing the model,” and added: “As a result, we are able to deliver our projects in higher quality and more quickly, manage revisions more effectively by minimizing clashes, and ensure better cost management by providing clients with construction simulations.”

Mentioning that everyone in their teams had completed a rigorous AEC expertise training program at SP Academy, Muhammet Birincioğlu said: “Thanks to our partnership with Autodesk, we continue to work with Autodesk experts for our trainings. Moreover, we have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Autodesk experts regarding certain necessary project-related matters.”

Future Shaped by Digital Transformation

Sabri Paşayiğit stated that BIM had been a material agenda item since the first time they set up their office. The workspaces in their Istanbul office were also designed with workflows and the BIM approach in mind. Paşayiğit said, “Nothing remains constant. The same applies to the processes. They are in a constant state of change and transformation. It was with this understanding that we created a flexible, modular office environment that is open to change. However, there are two key elements that make this environment dynamic and drive success: Our competent human resources and the technological infrastructure that allows them to collaborate efficiently.” 

Emphasizing that digital transformation was an important agenda item for all industries, Sabri Paşayiğit commented on the subject by saying: “The world is rapidly advancing on its path to digital transformation. While all industries have been rapidly adapting themselves to this transformation, the real estate and construction industry has been lagging behind. As architects, our responsibility is to keep up with these technologies before the next big thing comes our way, which is why we tried to pioneer digital transformation in our industry. However, we, at SP Architects, know that it is not enough for us to make this transformation happen alone. All of us, from the employer to builders, are cogs in this machine, and we must all adapt ourselves to this transformation for this machine to work. Together with our static, electrical, mechanical engineers and consultants, we considered this transformation as a responsibility and realized our transformation. We continue to communicate its importance to employers. Because we believe in the necessity of this transformation, despite all its financial and immaterial burden.”

Sabri Paşayiğit stated that they thought BIM would advance even further in the future: “The progress of the BIM concept has also accelerated to a great extent. Now, we are talking about the fifth, sixth, and seventh dimensions. We follow the developments regarding the Metaverse closely. We are headed towards a time when every single detail of a project will be planned and controlled digitally, a complete digital twin will be developed and then constructed. But we also remind ourselves that technology is a tool.”

“The important thing is the architectural design, the value that architecture generates for people and human life. Architecture serves people. For this reason, we also receive consulting outside the scope of architecture as we proceed with our projects. For instance, currently, we are actively working on Value Engineering, for which we also use Autodesk's software.”

A version of this article ran previously on website. Photos courtesy of [credit].

“Autodesk is our strongest long-standing business partner and we always have their support as we take steps towards global growth. I believe that we will continue to collaborate with mutual trust going forward as we shape the future.”

Sabri Paşayiğit, Founding Partner, SP Architects

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