Following a six-month private offering and free product preview, GTeam is now available to the public at the starting subscription rate of $99 per month. The online file management and project collaboration software was designed by Gehry Technologies, a company launched by the research and development team at Gehry Partners. Recently added features include the ability to view 3D files in the cloud without downloading them to your desktop, and communication and social media enhancements such as sharing, commenting, messaging, and project and status update reporting, which aim to streamline project workflows.
At a press conference at the Center for Architecture in New York on Oct. 16, Frank Gehry, FAIA, said he envisions that the new software, created for AEC professionals and building owners, will improve efficiency and reduce costs throughout the design and construction processes by fostering better communication.
“The AIA acknowledges 30 percent waste in the construction industry. Change orders contribute at least 15 percent of building waste, in our experience,” Gehry said. “Everybody accepts that as the way it’s got to be. We tried to attack that [mentality].”
GTeam was created in a strategic alliance between Gehry and several high-profile architects, including Greg Lynn, of Greg Lynn FORM; Moshe Safdie, FAIA, of Safdie Architects; David Childs, FAIA, chairman emeritus at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill; and Patrik Schumacher, of Zaha Hadid Architects. During its trial period, GTeam was evaluated by these designers as well as hundreds of other invited firms, including HOK and OLIN.
GTeam users can share 2D and 3D files through an online, cloud-based collaboration platform that is accessible via desktop and mobile devices, and supports a range of file formats, including drawings, models, photos, spreadsheets, and PDFs. Moreover, it allows everyone in a project team to share information regardless of which BIM or CAD software tools were used and installed—or not installed—on their device. Digital Project, Revit, AutoCAD, Rhino, and SketchUp are some of the formats compatible with GTeam.
At the press conference, Lynn said that GTeam has allowed him to bypass general contractors altogether when his designs for items such as custom interior elements become highly complex because he can now share native 3D files and programming code directly with fabricators, rather than relying on conventional drawings sets. “With the level of complexity going into design today, it’s getting to the point where 2D is ridiculous,” he said.
Many designers are now even thinking in 4D, which incorporates logistics such as materials shipping into the process, he said. Additional GTeam features include a calendar tool that can track a project’s history, specific user controls for folder and file sharing, an internal social media platform, and the capacity to become a BIM data storage center for projects.
Gehry, who is using GTeam to manage the design and construction of the new Facebook campus in Menlo Park, Calif., said he hopes that GTeam will allow architects to take a more “parental” role and ingrain their values into the buildings they create, rather than losing authority as a project moves out of the design phase. “Our intent was to demystify the process so we, as architects, could control the destiny of a project from a design standpoint, guaranteeing at the end that we accomplish what we set out to do.” Gehry added, “We are a profession intent on making a better world, and we just need the tools to manage it.”