Project Description

Market Leaders are expected to develop innovative specification tools. The Dulux ‘Colour Atlas’ Revit Add-in created by UNIFI (formerly IGS) is exactly that.

Dulux Revit Add-In

Revit Add-in Development / Revit Content Creation / Digital Strategy

Project Summary

Dulux engaged UNIFI (formerly IGS) to design and create an innovative tool for specifying Dulux colours and coating products using Revit. The Dulux Revit Add-in – the Dulux ‘Colour Atlas’ for Revit – is recognised as one of the world’s finest manufacturer-specific Revit add-ins. It is a true ‘BIM’ tool that creates high quality project documentation and improves the painting process within Revit. Dulux is indisputably Australia’s premier supplier of paints and coating products. They are a market leader in providing paint specification resources to Architects and designers. 

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Project Background

With the number of Architects and designers using BIM authoring software for designing commercial projects increasing exponentially, Dulux was keen to ensure it was providing the best possible tools to these clients for specifying paints and coatings. In seeking a potential partner that could assist them with this process, UNIFI (in particular, UNIFI founder and Director, Ben Fox) was recommended by a global design firm as a company capable of providing sound strategic BIM advice and delivering the best possible solutions on a technical level. Initially, Dulux was eager to create a specification tool that catered specifically to the needs of Architects using Revit.

Challenges

Creating solutions that are truly befitting the brand equity and pioneering reputation of companies like Dulux is a challenge in itself. Moreover, whilst Revit add-ins for paint had been created previously, never before had anything been developed that incorporated the majority of the functionality, Revit API interactivity and database connectivity that would eventually be required to make the Dulux Revit Add-in a highly valuable design and documentation tool. Put simply, almost every single facet of this add-in would need to be conceived and developed from scratch, without having any key points of references or design precedent.

Key objectives for add-in development

Easy to use and intuitive interface

Easier workflow for adding paint materials into Revit

Multiple ways of finding and choosing Dulux colours

Populating paint schedules with important data

Solution

This project spawned what would later become the UNIFI Advisory Panel. UNIFI conducted a significant amount of research among BIM Managers, Architects and Interior Designers to ascertain what type of solution would be most useful to them. It was evident from early on that developing a fully custom-built Revit add-in would provide the best outcome. A custom Dulux Revit add-in would be able to automate a number of the laborious processes that would otherwise be required to manage this amount of information / content and apply paint (materials) within Revit. In turn, UNIFI assembled a project team comprising specialists in the Revit API Nicholas Broadbent, software development David Sanza, graphic design Jacky Wu and Revit content creation Ben Fox. UNIFI felt it was critical that each facet of the solution was executed to ‘industry best’ standard.

More about the Dulux ‘Colour Atlas’ add-in for Revit

Outcome

It would be fair to say that the Dulux Revit Add-in has been remarkably well received by industry. It is widely referred to as a ‘best of breed’ solution for its type, not just in Australia, but globally. Numerous reviews have been published online that promote the value of the tool to Architects, whilst a number of Australia’s largest Architecture firms have made the add-in their firm-wide ‘default’ tool for specifying paints and coatings for projects within Revit. Since the add-in was first launched in 2013, subsequent versions of the Dulux Colour Atlas for Revit have been released incorporating new functionality and features that have tapped into new improvements to Revit itself. In turn, Dulux continues to hold its place in the market as not only the leading supplier of paints and coatings products, but as the most innovative supplier of specification tools.

What Did The Client Think?

“With the rapid increase of BIM workflows being utilised on commercial projects, Dulux was keen to develop tools that enabled our products to be selected and documented ‘within’ BIM design platforms, starting with Revit. In seeking a BIM solutions provider, Dulux sought advice from experts within the design community and IGS was recommended by a number of industry leaders.

From the outset, IGS understood our intention to go beyond just creating ‘BIM paint files’ and break new ground in how colour and paint could be incorporated into projects using BIM authoring software. IGS conceived the idea of creating a user-friendly ‘pick and paint’ add-in that mimicked the Dulux online ‘Colour Atlas’ with an interface that painted surfaces in the project model and embedded key data that allowed immediate scheduling. Importantly, IGS was able to produce a well thought out and costed scope of works with clear milestones and timelines.

Since its release, numerous clients have remarked that the ‘Colour Atlas’ add-in is a highly valuable, multi-faceted design and documentation tool that has changed the way they select and specify paint in Revit.

IGS have been an attentive, enthusiastic partner and on hand to provide advice and support where needed. We would highly recommend IGS as a creator of BIM solutions and BIM strategy to others, as we have already done on a number of occasions.”

Mathew Henson
BIM Development & Commercial Specification Manager
Dulux Group

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