Client Story.

Graves Lumber gets wins from BIM with Agacad framing suite

This US lumber yard adopted BIM with the help of Agacad Wood Framing software for Revit®, enabling it to provide more value-added services for general contractors and increase the efficiency of many of its own processes.


Construction services are a key complement to Graves Lumber’s historic role as a supplier of building materials and now occupy half the company’s head office, with a team known across the region for its framing expertise. They handle over 150 projects a year, mainly for GC’s constructing apartments, senior living facilities, and hotels.


“General contractors were starting to do more BIM coordination,” says Andrew Fenner, the Pre-Construction Coordinator at Graves. “So, we wanted to transition to 3D and BIM too, to stay ahead of our competitors with the ability to frame a building three dimensionally and collaborate and find the clashes with HVAC, plumbing, electric, etc.”

Graves Lumber

Graves Lumber is a large U.S. supplier of building materials and construction services with over 120 years of history. Based in Ohio, the company is also active in surrounding states, including Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Then, the team got its first project to do 3D modelling for a large building in downtown Columbus, a five-story wood construction on two layers of podium. “The question was how were we going to make that happen.” So, the search began for good timber framing tools, ideally in Autodesk® Revit®, the industry-leading platform for smooth collaboration among different BIM actors.

Since Fenner’s team began using Agacad’s Wood Framing plugin in 2019, his team hasn’t looked back.


“With these tools, we blew that first project out of the water,” he recalls. “From start to finish, it definitely helps speed me along in my framing. I can just set my settings up, hit ‘frame’ and let it do the work. Instead of picking one wall and having to frame it, then clicking another wall and framing that, I can select a bunch for framing with one click.”

Even when a project's general contractor does not take a BIM approach, Fenner finds value in the Wood Framing solution.

“I use your software every single day, to help speed things up and make us look good. I use it for framing details. I give cheat sheets to my guys in the field, so they have everything dimensioned and know how many sills there are, the header sizes, how many jacks and kings, how many stud packs, that sort of thing. I also like to include 3D representations in our advice to the architect and engineer.”
Being able to do BIM coordination and find the clashes ahead of time has given Graves Lumber an advantage over competitors, helping it win business. “Contractors often go with us since they know what we can do and the value they are getting. That's because we have this software and are able to model like this.”
Products used
In exploring the options on the market, Andrew Fenner, Pre-Construction Coordinator at Graves, found videos about Agacad's framing software, which showed it to be a user-friendly Revit add-on with powerful features. A trial confirmed those impressions.
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