Why you should think more about archiving your projects

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Eleanor Parr
June 30, 2020

Why you should think more about archiving your projects

We’ve just launched ArchiveHub, our new tool that lets BIM 360 users download, view and manage all of their project data easily.  

We decided to build it after some of our partners told us they needed something to help them manage historic project data, and specifically mentioned archiving as a problem area. We hadn’t thought about it before, but the more we considered archiving and its role in AEC projects, the more we realised that AEC professionals needed a better way to archive their information.

Archiving is often overlooked

And fair enough — we get it. It’s completely understandable that administrative tasks like archiving go to the bottom of the pile when there’s so much to do. Different teams, suppliers, processes, timelines – projects in the AEC space are highly complex and can take years to complete.

But archiving should be a priority in project planning. It should be a fundamental part of every project outline. In the same way that construction workers must adhere to on-site safety regulations, archiving is a preventative measure that not only puts your files in order but also ensures that you have the proper systems and processes in place to protect and support your project in the long term.

So, in the spirit of best practice, here are our thoughts on why archiving is important and why you should be doing it for every project you run.

1. It stops you losing data.

It’s no secret that documents are at risk of being destroyed or lost. We’ve all been there when a computer has broken or a server has gone down and you lose your work. It’s an incredibly frustrating (and surprisingly common) phenomenon that costs you time and money.  

Archiving is like clicking ‘save’ but on a bigger scale. You might want to do it incrementally across project milestones or do it at the end - regardless, it’s important that you keep your data safe and archiving can help you do that.

2. It makes it easier to hand over.

There are many situations where project data needs to be accessed and shared with another team or person. It might be that you need to hand over your part of the project to another manager, it might be that the whole project has finished and you need to give the project owner the total project data, or it might be that you want to use that information for analysis.  

Whatever the reason is, it’s much easier to do when the information is packaged up in the right way.

3. It's good for compliance.

AEC projects usually involve stringent legal requirements when it comes to data and many teams have to undergo audits from time to time.

Archiving is good because it means that you have all of the information you need at your disposal, and hopefully in good order.

4. It helps you keep documents properly organised.

Speaking of which, it’s important to keep your house in order so that your information is easily accessible, no matter who is accessing it. If team members leave, then keeping an organised archive is essential for business continuity.

Archiving is a good exercise for this because it gives you an opportunity to manage project information in a considered way. It ties into best practice and serves as a reminder that there is need for due diligence when it comes to managing projects big and small.

ArchiveHub can help teams who need to archive data because it offers a way of creating high-quality, complete archives easily. Our tool integrates with Autodesk BIM 360 to gather your entire project dataset and package it up in a single, downloadable file that you can keep on your own system.  

It also comes with a desktop viewer application that lets users view and browse their archive, keeping all metadata and file structures intact so that it’s easy to explore.

Let us do the hard work.  

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In this article, I explore some of these challenges and the approach which Clarion Housing Group took in collaboration with matterlab, setting them apart as leaders in BIM implementation for Asset Management.
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