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BIM News: Graphisoft to Merge with Data Design System of Norway

The Nemetschek Group looks to integrative value as the design of MEP and architecture form synergies via Graphisoft platform technologies.

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Hungary-based Graphisoft, a global leader in Building Information Modeling (BIM) today announced a merger with a fellow Nemetschek Group sister company, Data Design System of Norway. DDS is a mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering software specialist.

The Merger

For many Architosh readers who are not engineers in the AEC space, DDS is a company they may be unfamiliar with. Founded in Norway in 1984, Data Design Systems (DDS) develops software solutions under their Open BIM product family DDS-CAD. The product is an MEP software leader across Central Europe, with over 15,000 active installations.

“DDS delivers best-in-class capabilities based on rich domain experience gained from years of serving MEP professionals as a market leader across Central Europe. Graphisoft empowers teams to create great architecture worldwide, with leading BIM and design collaboration technology platforms and a global business network of local partners in well over 100 markets. Together, we look forward to bringing greater value to engineers and designers worldwide through integrated multi-disciplinary workflows,” said Huw Roberts, CEO, Graphisoft.

MEP Design

The Data Design System product portfolio covers the design of all MEP disciplines (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing). In addition to specialist engineering practices, the range of users also includes craft enterprises and educational institutions.

“I’m excited about DDS becoming a part of the Graphisoft family and the enhanced value we can create together for our customers. I’m convinced that strengthening our MEP capabilities with Graphisoft’s technology platform and global reach will allow us to bring additional value to our customers on a global scale,” said Bjorn K. Stangeland, CEO, Data Design System.

“The merger is a key realization of the Nemetschek Group’s unique opportunity to deliver broad, integrated value propositions to the AEC industry. Driven by the Group’s strategic focus to leverage synergies amongst the brands, we are convinced that this will accelerate growth for the Nemetschek Group as a whole and will strengthen our global market position,” said Viktor Várkonyi, Chief Division Officer, Planning & Design Division and Member of the Executive Board, Nemetschek Group.

The integration process has already begun, says the two companies, with product and business integrations to be expected beginning in 2022. In the meantime, both companies will focus on continuing to deliver value to their existing and new customers and delivering their exciting 2021 product releases.

Architosh Analysis and Commentary

Readers who follow the Nemetschek Group’s brands on this site and others are likely aware that the Group has been slowly working to drive unique synergies between their many AEC software brands. (see: Architosh, “Nemetschek Integrated Design—A Paradigm Shift,” 21 Aug 2020). Last year the company discussed its work with the SAF file format and structural analysis models (SAM). The so-called “Integrated Design” paradigm works very well for architects and structural engineers because architects actually conceive, draw, and model load-bearing structural components. They just don’t size or engineer them. This is especially true when these systems are a part of the architectural expression. 

However, for MEP components, especially the E and P disciplines, architects have near-zero interest in the layout of these systems as they are almost always hidden. Ductwork can be another visual component in a space and Graphisoft has long had ductwork modeling tools of a top-flight nature. The architect and the MEP teams have a similar but different kind of working relationship as compared to the architect and structural engineer. The technology behind the integrated design paradigm doesn’t lend itself to MEP in the same way it does to structural components of a building. Having MEP engineers working in the same BIM platform—if that is where this DDS to Graphisoft merger is headed—could be interpreted as a signal that Closed BIM has benefits that Open BIM can’t fully match. This is one of the more interesting questions coming out of this announcement. 

There are many open questions that need answering coming out of this news. However, the overall merger clearly shows that the Nemetschek Group is willing to take bolder and bigger moves to drive synergies and opportunities for growth by combining daughter companies. 

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