Unispace’s Intelligent Space Planning, Integrated Design, and Project Delivery Process

| August 22, 2017

by Vincent Poon

What is uniBIM? uniBIM is a unique process that integrates a collection of different technologies across all phases of the project journey, from strategy to design and construction. It creates projects that fit clients’ cultures and goals in ways that are more cost- and schedule-effective than traditionally possible. uniBIM is integrated into how Unispace works, so to understand uniBIM, it’s important to know:

Who are we? A global leader in workplace strategy, design and construction, we recently moved into our new Downtown Boston studio at One Post Office Square and our new New York studio at 285 Madison Ave. Both designed and built by the Unispace team, our new activity-based studios exemplify our agile, revolutionary, cross-discipline approach to workplace design that is disrupting the industry on a global scale.

What do we do? We practice what we preach. Our approach challenges convention and dated industry norms, and we construct workplaces that cater to the needs of the next generation of companies and their employees. We work for clients across the world, and in the Northeast partner with global pharmaceutical clients like Boston Scientific and Shire Pharmaceuticals; professional services companies like Berkeley Research Group and Robert Half; and tech startups like Animoto and Desktop Metal; among hundreds of others.

How do we do it? Unlike other firms, we bring full strategy, design, and construction integration right from the beginning of projects. Aligned with our full-service methodology, uniBIM is our proprietary process that integrates a collection of different technologies across all phases of the project journey, from strategy through design and to delivery. From the beginning of the process, intelligent space planning integrates a 3D scan into BIM where virtual reality experiences can be created.

Clients can often have difficulty understanding what a space can truly be like through a 2D floorplan. Our process allows clients to see the space interactively in a 3D format, so together we can comment, adjust, and approve much earlier than traditionally possible. In a deadline-driven industry, these drastic efficiencies can save us substantial time in the project schedule by quickly creating test fits and layout options to generate and track budget, transforming design guidelines into plug-and-play smart space-type blocks, and generating interactive virtual reality experiences at any stage of the project to expedite decision making.

The process also allows us to forecast and reduce risk, linking costing and specification databases to deliver near real-time cost estimating, detecting schedule interruptions and clash detections early, and maximizing coordination and reducing change orders during construction. Ultimately, this increases quality and results in cost savings, streamlining information and quality management for the entire process and improving efficiencies and collaboration across disciplines.

What is the reality modeling process?  

  • Initial space scan. Traditionally, staff would need to go back to the project site multiple times to remeasure and check conditions. With our highly accurate 3D photogrammetric survey and laser imaging process, both the design and construction team have a constant point of reference to understand the existing conditions.
  • Dynamic test fit. The design team lays out the 2D plan with the client’s requirements to create the test fit. This not only shows your potential space, but syncs to the bigger picture.
  • Virtual flythrough and walkthrough. Simultaneously, from the 2D plan we can create a virtual flythrough video or a walkthrough demo that can be controlled by the client. Per their feedback, layouts, materials, and other components can be adjusted in the model with everyone in the same room. This leads to rapid prototyping that creates buy-in and approvals, moving the project forward much more efficiently.
  • Views brought to reality. Construction documents are a natural extension from the plans, and since the smart block components carry pricing, FF&E information, and materials specs within them, the delivery team can rapidly get data and create take-off schedules to build the space just as the client and design team envisioned it.

This marriage of proprietary technologies and unique processes provide us unparalleled insight into the mission, culture, employee needs, workflow, and business goals of our clients. We then use that knowledge to design a customized workplace that maximizes productivity, efficiency, and employee satisfaction and health that is not possible with traditional firms.



Vincent Poon is a global principal for design and digital integration at Unispace. 





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