Aumann Katzsch Architekten

The Company

Planning and coordination of construction projects

The classic architectural services are still offered by Aumann Katzsch Architects Ltd. But the architect's office has expanded its expertise and has specialised in the interface coordination for large construction projects - from design to implementation, with CEO,Arne Aumann and founder of the architectural agency - Architects Aumann Katzsch - Hajo Katzsch in charge. Both ensure that the transition from one planning phase to the next proceeds smoothly They also determine the work for the different teams in the different areas and the entire domestic territory - from the builder responsible for the basic planning, structural engineers and building technicians, to consultants and experts that are required.

The requirement

Current data for all participants

A major problem was the uncontrolled flow of data. In general, new documents were sent hither and thither to numerous project participants.

"In the end, everyone felt responsible because of having received all information, including irrelevant documents.

"A number of files could not be detected or at least not in a systematic fashion so that the database of the workspace ended up often being incomplete. Moreover, lack of user-friendliness of the program presented problems,” continues Katzsch. "Even with professional planners, acceptance was not particularly high."

So, the participants generally took the easy way out and settled for Katzsch to send the required documents. For the architect, this meant additional time, as often large amounts of data were not always asy to send by e-mail. The reception was blocked. So, CDs had to be burnt and sent by mail. A side-effect was that although coordinators had all the current files on their server, at times some of them ended up working with outdated planning status."

For Katzsch, providing everyone with their own server was no solution either as the required performance was too high, nor could security be guaranteed.

"Data must be available around the clock. We cannot afford a server failure, nor do we want to take responsibility for this.

The solution

Straightforward and consistent data storage

Katzsch was already acquainted with Projectplace as a virtual workspace. Earlier, the architect agency had been involved in a neighbourhood development project in Winterhude, Hamburg. Already from the outset during the planning phase, the coordinators convinced the owners to use the software. "The objections against using a virtual workspace were traditionally mainly due to issues regarding usability. But Projectplace works with well-known firms and, moreover, the simple user interface was quickly accepted, "said Katzsch.

According to the CEO, the fact that the software is web-based is highly practical."Otherwise, it wouldn’t work at all for us." The various planning teams are spread all over Germany, and must at all times have access to the data. "With Projectplace, this is guaranteed."

Using an Internet browser, anyone authorised access rights can enter any place in the virtual workspace. Is the data protected? Katzsch doesn’t give this a second thought. Firstly, access is protected with appropriate security measures by Projectplace. Secondly, financially confidential data isn’t stored there. "And technical information is largely uninteresting to others."

Katzsch uses Projectplace particularly as the current data pool for data storage. The advantage here is consistency: all files from all phases of the project are available in their current form and depending on the need, viewable or editable. For Katzsch, the monitoring function is of particular importance. In the case of new or changed files, he decides who should be informed and sent a link. This administrative work is part of the coordination services offered by Aumann Katzsch Architects, Ltd.

"We can now work much more purposefully: information is sent to only those who need it. This way, staff is spared from receiving an annoying flow of unnecessary data. Instead, the parties coordinate efforts and communicate amongst themselves and one other.
Projectplace has proven itself to be invaluable in the Neighborhood Development Project.

For Katzsch, apart from the practical benefit, Projectplace still represents very significant added value: the team’s overall mood is much better with the software. "the value of Projectplace cannot be over-estimated when you see your staff working with the software willingly rather than with reluctance." That this is reflected in the outcome should also be trumpeted.