We gained our knowledge and experience as architects from more than 30 years of design and construction experience. Two decades ago we formed the Pasadena, CA office. While we did not realize it at the time, we were positioning ourselves to work in the global market using Building Information Modeling (BIM). Not many architectural firms were capable of sending CAD files of an entire project to team members outside of their office. We sent files on a 56 Kb modem to our Tokyo office. Today with internet speeds capable of handling such files, it is standard business practice.
While the industry buzz today is BIM, we applied BIM to
projects more than 14 years ago. We have always believed in utilizing
technology to the fullest and generating value for our clients. We
registered a domain name and had a website in 1993, atypical for most
businesses, especially architectural. All projects since then have been
managed through these web sites.
Shinjuku Elevation, 1990 using BIM
In 1991 we sent 3D building files into the Tokyo office
computer from California via dial up connections while the Tokyo office
was closed for the evening. Returning in the morning, Tokyo would
review the files and return them with comments. Before the idea of
"shipping work overseas" became popular, ONUMA, Inc. was already working
in a global market. We were self-sustaining and securing US government
and commercial projects. (We created our own IT systems and secured US
government and commercial projects.)
Shinjuku BIM, 1990
To accomplish this, we used database driven management systems
on almost every project. The improved results were immediate.
Meanwhile, hardware and software were gaining speed and allowing the
capacity to store larger files and move them over the internet. All of this appears simple today, but
most of our methods, with limited hard-drive space, and slow internet
connection in the early 90s, were not assisted by seamless interfaces. While these
methods are seamlessly incorporated in our business today, they were
highly advanced at the time. Meanwhile, real architectural projects and
deadlines helped us focus on using the best technology and processes
available and creating new support tools.
Paris Elevation, 1990
We wanted to make certain that clients were understanding and
visualizing what they communicated to us. When we met with
clients during the day, 3D fly throughs were rendered on laptops in the hotel room at night.
Clients were surprised to find these fly through renderings the
following morning. Although none of these technologies were a
requirement from the client, it was and continues to be our mission at
ONUMA, to constantly look for new ways to incorporate technology
and create value. Immediate communication with the client helped them
better visualize, hear their comments quickly, and in turn increased
our productivity, garnering rapport and repeat projects with clients.
BIM of Paris, 1990
ONUMA believes so much in developing new technologies that we spend
a large percentage of our revenues on research and development. Our
knowledge of the best technologies came about due to the need to be
efficient and resourceful and our first hand knowledge of what is
required to make architectural projects a success. Many architectural
firms consult with ONUMA to bring their practice up to speed with
newer technologies. Finding the right IT team is not easy. ONUMA
can bring your practice to this level.
It has been the focus of our practice to apply technology to
architecture. We are not only interested in technology,
but we are a team of registered architects and computer scientists, a
rarity for a company to have both. Perhaps your practice is not sure
about diving into BIM. We can bring your team up to speed with BIM
quickly, using tools approved by GSA. If you are interested in Easy
BIM, let us know.
ONUMA, Inc. is revolutionizing architecture.