Grimshaw Upgrades Revu To Upgrade Practice

Grimshaw Upgrades Revu To Upgrade Practice


Grimshaw Architects is one of the world’s leading architecture firms, with offices dotting the globe. Grimshaw’s international portfolio encompasses all major sectors, though many of their most impressive projects are within the transportation and commercial sectors.

Since 2017, Grimshaw had been using Bluebeam Revu to manage complex projects but, as the team and scope of projects grew, the company found that the limited number of licences attached to Open Revu was slowing the process. As team members at each stage of the process needed access to the software, they would have to request other users to log off to free up access. This halted their workflow, wasting valuable time on major projects.


The solution was simple: Grimshaw Architects transitioned from Open Revu to a larger number of perpetual licences. Having 90 licences meant that everyone who needed access could gain it immediately, without having to wait for a licence to free up.


The transition instantly streamlined and improved the speed of the workflow by giving everyone access – eliminating the waiting time, enhancing efficiency, decreasing costs and reducing the stresses associated with projects of this scale. This was in addition to the benefits already enjoyed thanks to Bluebeam Revu: improved collaboration, reduced printing, and enhanced information storage and management.

“We have been working with Cadgroup for several years, and the only comment I can make is that the quality of their service is second to none.”

Wojciech Klepacki, Grimshaw Sydney BIM Manager

A Global Power House

Grimshaw Architects was founded in London by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw in 1980. The practice became a partnership in 2007 and now operates worldwide with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Dubai, Melbourne and Sydney, employing more than 650 staff. Today, Grimshaw is an international architecture firm, with a broad portfolio of awe-inspiring and iconic projects.

The firm is a place of ideas and invention, driven by the ideals of human connection and a connection with the world around us. Alongside spectacular design, Grimshaw recognises the urgency of the challenges that face our planet and feels a duty to deliver clever, sustainable architecture designed for the future. The firm is also led by its carbon-neutral goal, one which informs many of the decisions it makes.

The company’s work is characterised by strong conceptual legibility, innovation and a rigorous approach to detailing, all underpinned by the principles of human-centred, enduring and sustainable design.

Grimshaw’s global portfolio covers all major sectors, though the most prominent and significant clients are from the transportation and commercial sectors. Among the most notable projects the company has completed for Australian clients are the revitalisation of the towers at 35 Collins Street, Melbourne; the Melbourne International T2 Arrivals Hall redevelopment; the expansion of Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station; and the Olderflower tower design, as well as the Harbour Mill Apartments, the UNSW Hilmer Building and the new Light Rail in Sydney. The firm is also behind major works in the UK, China, the Netherlands, the USA, Spain, France, Oman, South Korea and Russia.

Grimshaw prides itself on its involvement in every level of the design process, allowing the company to promise and deliver the highest standards of excellence. This has earned it more than 200 international design awards for its commitment to design excellence, including the AJ100 International Practice of the Year Award in 2016 and 2018, and the highest recognition at the Australian Institute of Architects Awards in 2021.

Many Moving Parts

This detailed involvement at every level of the process means that each project involves enormous quantities of information, files and documents, and many different people working on it at any given time. The size of each of these world-class projects also means plans are not static; constant updates and changes mean plans are dynamic and continuously changing.

Cadgroup was tasked with providing the software to manage these projects. Bluebeam was chosen as the main collaboration platform between architects and engineers as it suited the workflow style.

“The nature of our projects was that engineers did not model anything and they needed a simpler platform to convey their message to us. The message was in the form of markups, simple sketches, images, etc., and we then used that information to create BIM data,” said Wojciech Klepacki, Grimshaw Sydney BIM Manager.

“The engineers as well as our own team found Revu to be really easy, but a powerful tool to put together our thoughts and ideas in a simple form that was easy to understand for everyone in the team. Also, going back and forth was really easy as we were working with small PDFs rather than massive files in other formats.”

Using Revu as the main platform for project workflow also improved and simplified collaboration between every section of the team –both internally and externally – by putting allthe information, plans and adjustments in oneplace that everybody could access.

“The engineers as well as our own team, found Revu to be really easy, but a powerful tool to put together our thoughts and ideas in a simple form that was easy to understand.”

Wojciech Klepacki, Grimshaw Sydney BIM Manager

Revu helps to manage the constant adjustments to designs during the process by simultaneously updating all documents in real-time so everyone has access to up-to-date information. The implementation also helped the company slash their printing, along with the associated monetary and environmental costs.

Revu was quickly taken up company-wide, as it was the ideal platform for the work being done, but this swiftly put pressure on the Revu Open system. The limited number of licences available was creating hold-ups as engineers and designers had to shuffle access depending on who needed it at the time.

“The nature of Grimshaw projects is that we work with engineers a lot and we go back and forth a few times with our ideas using Revu,” said Wojciech. “With the limited Open licenses, not all of our team members were able to get access to Revu, and there were a lot of emails going around asking people to close Revu.”

Having to free up access before work could proceed was always slowing down the process, which was frustrating.
“We constantly ran out of licenses,” said Wojciech.

“People were forced to juggle the license pool, anyone who wasn’t using Bluebeam was asked to close and relinquish the license.”

Streamlining The Process

The solution was simple – and the benefits were immediate. To ensure that most of the team members had access to Revu at any given time, Grimshaw decided to switch from a few Revu Open licenses to around 90 perpetual licenses.

“The main pain point was providing access to the license to all team members whenever they needed. This is where switching from limited Open licenses to a lot more perpetual licenses helped the team alleviate the stress,” added Wojciech. “This ensured that we were able to continue our communication with the engineers in a timely manner.

“Now, we have more people working simultaneously. We can do more in less time, people work under less pressure, and they have more time to pick the right decision.”

The streamlined workflow has increased efficiency across all levels of the business, reducing the costs and stress of the major projects Grimshaw is known for.

And while the effect of relief on the system was immediate, the actual process of the upgrade was barely noticeable. A script to change the license serial number and product key was created and simply run in the background for a smooth and painless transition that caused no hold ups in the work.

Ordinary users didn’t notice any significant change to their workflow during this process except that, “One day they just stopped asking about relinquishing the Bluebeam license if not in use,” laughed Wojciech.

Most importantly, Grimshaw Architects finds that working with Cadgroup consistently exceeds expectations – and this held true for their upgrade of Bluebeam Revu.

“As always, Cadgroup delivered the best solution tailored perfectly to our needs. We have been working with Cadgroup for several years now, and the only comment I can make is that the quality of their service is second to none.”

Wojciech Klepacki, Grimshaw Sydney BIM Manager

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