GHD uses Dynamo to automate coding capabilities and realizes time savings of up to 99%
by on April 09, 2019•
As one of the world's leading professional services companies, GHD connects the knowledge, skills, and experience of its people with innovative practices, technical capabilities, and robust systems. With over 200 offices and more than 10,000 employees across five continents, this employee-owned company collaborates seamlessly to understand client objectives, solve problems, and bring imaginative solutions to life. Through these initiatives, the firm creates lasting community benefits in the global markets of water, energy and resources, environment, property and buildings, and transportation.
GHD is currently in its second EBA with Autodesk, renewing the relationship in early 2017. Previously, GHD explored opportunities offered by utilizing Autodesk® Dynamo software. Following initial development efforts in 2016, GHD identified the possibility of developing a globally consistent approach to the management and consumption of Dynamo scripts to benefit all GHD users. Together with Autodesk, the customer worked on standardization, automation in coding, scripting, and graphing processes.
GHD identified the potential of Dynamo scripts and recognized the challenges it faced in developing and implementing them. After renewing its EBA, GHD engaged with Autodesk to maximize the possible opportunities and to help set best practices for the use of Dynamo, development of graphs, and standardization across the business. GHD had a desire to ensure all code being consumed was appropriately assured and suitable for use.
To accomplish automation, the teams leveraged Autodesk® Revit®, Autodesk® Civil 3D®, Dynamo, and internally developed Dynamo packages. Autodesk Consulting delivered a Dynamo Foundation implementation, with additional efforts around Python Scripting for Civil 3D, along with Autodesk® Navisworks® Application Program Interfaces (API’s). This effort included Dynamo and Python training for GHD’s recently established global automation team.
Establishing consistency across the new program and workflows was key for success, including the development of best practices and methodology for GHD scripting. Consulting developed an authoritative structure around the creation, deployment, and maintenance of Dynamo graphs and packages. The team created strategies to improve collaboration, knowledge sharing, and automation awareness throughout the organization. Finally, with these capabilities in place, the ability to measure global usage and adoption was implemented.
Working with Autodesk, the GHD team developed 160 Dynamo Graphs with User Interface (UI), better functionalities, and the ability to manage and update the graphs internally. These efforts embedded the new capabilities into the global team, virtually connecting the users and creating the ability to effectively service individual regions. By developing a script in Navisworks, processes that used to take up to two hours now take less than one minute. Several of the graphs developed have seen efficiency gains between 50 and 70 percent. In some cases, a 99 percent efficiency gain was seen—achieving almost full automation.
In addition to the impressive automation gains, the process built a strong relationship between GHD and Autodesk. The successful implementation of this initiative led to further development of automation initiatives across GHD within the Autodesk product environment.
“I am looking forward to the team continuing to develop more scripts and more efficient workflows, initially in Revit and then start to explore how dynamo can assist with some of the analysis and engineering tasks. Conceptually we've also started thinking about how we could apply the same techniques in linear assets. Ultimately, I am passionate about upskilling the wider GHD network in the use of these tools as it will become a core element of the way we work in the coming years.”
- Brenden Picton, Digital Delivery Lead EME, GHD
To read more about this GHD engagement, click here.