A raft of big name practices have written to software supplier Autodesk, demanding a replacement for 3D-modelling tool Revit and an end to spiralling costs
Nearly 20 firms, including Zaha Hadid Architects and Allies and Morrison, sent a letter to the Californian giant to complain about rising prices and ageing software.
Autodesk recorded annualised recurring revenue from its subscription products of $3.4 billion (£2.6 billion) in the 12 months to 31 January 2020 – up 25 per cent from the previous year.
Its building information modelling (BIM) package Revit is used across the architecture industry but frustration has grown with the price and performance of the product.
A survey of practices in June found many had seen the cost of using Revit on projects soar by up to 70 per cent over the past five years.
‘Practices would be less worried by these cost increases if they were mirrored by productivity improvements and a progressive software development program,’ said the open letter published this week.
‘Where once Autodesk Revit was the industry enabler to smarter working, it increasingly finds itself a constraint and bottleneck. Practices find that they are paying more but using Revit less, because of its constraints.’
The letter called for ‘a vision, roadmap and investment strategy that targets adding value and performance for design-based organisations’. This should ‘prioritise the replacement of Revit from the ground up,’ said the practices, ’to reflect the functionality needed for a 21st century digital industry’.
They also demanded ‘a proposal for cost stability’ and a commitment to research and development ‘focused on the needs of the global design community’.
Engagement with architects to build ’a cultural partnership with all customers based on trust, empathy and respect’ was also requested.
Autodesk said it was ‘reviewing the letter’ before issuing a formal response.
Signatories to the open letter to Autodesk
- Allies and Morrison
- Aukett Swanke
- BVN Architectural Services
- Corstorphine + Wright
- Fletcher Priest Architects
- Glenn Howells Architects
- Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners
- Scott Brownrigg
- Sheppard Robson
- Simpson Haugh
- Stephen George + Partners
- Wilkinson Eyre Architects
- Zaha Hadid Architects
Eight other practices added their support but did not wish to make their names public