It’s been a pretty extraordinary few months for Source, Architizer’s fast-growing network marketplace for building-products. Architects from more than a century of huge firms have now signed up to the platform, including (but not limited to) BIG, OMA, Studio Gang Architects, SOM, Adjaye Associates, Weiss/Manfredi, Ennead Architects, HOK, Rockwell Group, TEN Arquitectos, REX … you get the picture! The Source community is growing exponentially, undoubtedly helped by last month’s strategic investment in the platform by a host of top professionals.
The stellar cast of creative firms using Source is great news for the burgeoning number of building product manufacturers already established in the marketplace. It’s also great news for architecture as a whole, as the platform encourages innovation through smart search, better communication tools and more choice for architects. Not only will these factors lessen the headaches for architects during the specification process — they will ultimately result in better buildings for clients and the public. Everybody wins!
The question is, why are so many great firms rushing to get on board with this new marketplace for building products? The following three standout features are likely influential in their decision:
A Better Way to Communicate
In the past, communicating with building product manufacturers was like walking through syrup. In other words, it was painfully slow — not OK when you have an impatient client breathing down your neck! It frequently involved dozens of phone calls, emails and a variety of online forms, all of which needed to be summarized in the most mind-numbing spreadsheet known to architecture.
Thankfully, Source has a dedicated in-house message system, a place where you can keep track of all your conversations without ever needing to pick up the phone or fill out that glitchy information form in a dark corner of a manufacturer’s labyrinthine website. No more talking, no more time-wasting, no more hassle — just the information you need.
What was the spec for that copper cladding again? Time to cycle through a thousand open tabs on your browser as you attempt to weigh up the many performance specifications for the all-important façades of your project.
STOP! Now you can compare products side by side in a user-friendly interface that enables you to make design decisions fast — perfect for time-strapped architects, and even better for innovators looking to surface the interesting new products that will take their project to the next level. The clean, minimalist layout finally brings the specifying process in line with other contemporary marketplaces — online shopping for architects as it should be.
A Personal Digital Library of Building Products
How are you keeping track of the building products that go into your project? Perhaps a giant, infinitely complex spreadsheet, packed with manually inserted data and sorely lacking in beautiful images of the products themselves. Headache-inducing stuff!
It’s time to exit Excel — Source provides an easy-to-navigate online home for all your building product searches, helping you keep track of the specification information for every project. You can shortlist products and come back to them once your mind is made up, and you can even log products you found outside of Source. The best part of all? You can view your historic selections at any time, making it easy to select use your favorite products in future projects.
For forward-thinking, business-oriented architects, these factors are undoubtedly compelling, and they are the tools that firms such as Handel Architects,ODA New York and Selldorf Architects are now harnessing. Here’s to the next 100 firms joining the specification revolution — will yours be one of them?
Top image via iStock, credit elenabs