April 15, 2019

Managing BIM families effectively proves key for UK-based design and fit-out business

This design firm in Manchester uses many specialized BIM families for interior detailing in the advanced Revit® models that help it sell, coordinate, and deliver projects in 10 countries. For two years now it’s been able to efficiently manage all that BIM content thanks to AGACAD’s Smart Browser solution.

Client Profile

SPACE ZERO is a world-class interior design and fit-out firm. They deliver learning, working, caring and living environments, from concept to completion, UK-wide and internationally. BIM plays a key role in the 49-member team’s design expertise, passion for new technologies, and commitment to exceed expectations.

Business Need

What helped Space Zero and its construction partners win a £23 million project to build the Lakes Care Centre care home was the firm’s combination, in a virtual walkthrough proposal, of high quality contemporary interior design with high-resolution BIM families of specialist furniture, fixtures and equipment (“FF&E”).

The firm finds such state-of-the-art uses of BIM Level 2 models to be a major selling tool and a factor that boosts the efficiency of the design process and getting ‘sign off’ of proposals. BIM is also key to coordination with its clients and partners, who include top architecture and construction firms, and to having cost certainty early in a project.

Interior design and FF&E involve a lot of BIM families, and managing them can be difficult. Not to mention time-consuming. That’s why Space Zero was looking for some good BIM content management software.

“We have our own bespoke library of families, where frequently we need to make sweeping changes across the entire library in every single family,” says Oscar Hughes, BIM Manager at Space Zero. Doing that manually took ages. And there was always the fear of missing something.

The firm needed a way to boost efficiency, ideally with a tool that could batch-edit and batch-add parameters as well as the information within them.


A search of the available options brought Space Zero to AGACAD, whose Smart Browser BIM solution for Revit® “was the only programme on the market that seemed to do what we needed,” Mr Hughes notes.

Trying it out convinced him: “Smart Brower does so much automatically, without having to edit every family manually. It’s a very powerful tool.”

SMART BROWSER is modular software for batch Revit® parameter management and easy family browsing in a quality-controlled environment.

It lets BIM managers organize and maintain Revit families and properties to ensure their teams use reliable high-quality content. Besides rules-based editing, it has features for verifying geometry and data to fill in gaps or fix mistakes, and for packing BIM data into sets of information for delivery.

Then there’s what many call the most user-friendly search-and-sort ever for Revit families, elements and their properties – with previews of all parameters and views, and drag-and-drop insertion from a library or open project.


Space Zero began benefitting immediately from the AGACAD software, which gave it new competitive advantage. “Accuracy and speed,” is how the company’s BIM Manager sums up the gains, two years after starting to use the unique BIM tool for Revit®.

“The time and money this saves is immense,” Mr Hughes stresses, noting also enhanced quality control. “Not only could we now change the entire library quickly, we could also eradicate any errors in it with ease. Any incorrectly named families can easily be seen, as can the state of parameters – what’s a new parameter, an instance parameter, etc.”

The company has also been pleasantly surprised by AGACAD’s outstanding support, both initially and on an ongoing basis.

“AGACAD are always quick to respond to questions and their team are extremely helpful. I’d rate the training and support as fantastic. At times they’re even ready to adapt their software for your specific needs,” Mr Hughes says. “Initially, as I had never heard of AGACAD, I was a little concerned, but all my expectations have been far exceeded.”

This client relationship exemplifies “Building BIM Together!” – the slogan at the heart of everything AGACAD does, notes its CEO, Donatas Aksomitas. “We aim to accelerate Building Information Modelling for everyone in AEC based on the insights of advanced BIM practitioners, by automating or eliminating unnecessary tasks so clients can focus on value-creating work.”

With nearly 30 years of experience in AEC technologies, AGACAD today is the developer of the world’s widest range of true BIM software for Revit® professionals, with 12,000+ users in 130 countries.

For more information, contact us at info@agacad.com or +370 618 55 671.