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  • Digital Design
    Make the move and become a modern,
    world-class digital design studio.

Is it really possible to win one lucrative new project each month and save 200 hours/year per person in design time?

The architecture and engineering industries are going through a huge change right now. Previously buildings were designed using 2D software packages and that was fine. Now clients are more sophisticated and they are demanding premium services like 3D BIM models, photorealistic rendering and Virtual Reality walkthroughs.

Parametric design and programming were fringe skills just a few years ago. Now these skills are not anymore a “nice to have” ... but quickly becoming essential in top firms.

"How can your firm make the move and become a modern, world-class digital design studio?"

The question that many business owners ask is "How can we make the move and become a modern, world-class digital design firm?"

This page will take you through all the strategies to get there. It’s important to realise that this is certainly possible.

And it doesn’t matter where you are starting from in your business. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out, whether you’ve been trying for years and it hasn’t worked out ... It doesn’t matter if you’re already a sophisticated senior executive.

The process that you will see below can get you there. It’s the same strategy that we use for our private clients and it’s the same strategy we have been teaching to thousands of members with many, many success stories.


ArchiStar Academy members are saving 4.4 design hours a week per person

In fact, we surveyed our members and they said on average, they save 4.4 hours a week in designing per person. That’s 211 hours a year or $4,224 per person if you pay them $20 per hour. So if you’re a business owner and you have 10 staff, you’re looking at saving over $42,000 a year just following these strategies.

“But we’ve always done it this way”

There’s a great quote. “What got you here, will not get you there.” All of the things you have done so far to get you here are great, but you need to do different activities to get to the next level.

In fact, as a business owner, you cannot afford NOT to have these principles in your business. They’re just too effective and too valuable. If you don’t have these, then you leave the door open for your competitors to shoot far beyond you (if they haven’t already).

Of course – our goal for you, is to have the opportunity to tap into your potential and start building an amazing company. The strategies on this page – they’re designed to take your business to the next level.

How ArchiStar Academy came to existence

ArchiStar Academy was started seven years ago by Dr. Ben Coorey. Dr. Ben has a PhD in Digital Architecture and is a Registered Architect. He’s an expert in Parametric Design and does a lot of international consulting and keynote speaking. Big companies and Universities often fly in Dr. Ben to consult with them on very complex projects like Parametric Stadium Design, complex High Rises and Robotics.

Dr. Ben has ten years of experience, done a lot of Lecturing at different universities, and he started to notice some big trends. He was finding that when he first started. Most Universities weren’t teaching any digital design software. They were more focused on teaching design principles.

But as the years went by, Industry and Universities were demanding that students learn the digital design software programs earlier and earlier.

It ended up getting to the stage where Dr. Ben was now teaching the first year students some of the same things he was previously teaching masters level students. There was a huge amount of pressure on the lecturers and tutors to teach more content in less time. Dr. Ben was working crazy hours. It became obvious this workload was not sustainable.

It was massively stressful for the students and the tutors as well. It was a very tough time.

Eventually Ben had a realisation

What if he used his skills with software programming and mixed it with his industry knowledge?

He could build software plugins and an online learning platform. The plugins would help automate manual processes, and the learning platform would help to teach these skills in a consistent way and pass the skills on in a rapid format.

And that’s how ArchiStar Academy was born.

Dr. Ben then showed ArchiStar Academy to the Universities and they loved it. Many have now come on board as members of ArchiStar Academy. You can see how happy they are.

"Our first and second year students are now producing work previously only reserved for Masters-level students. This online learning platform is the fastest way for our students to learn digital design "

Associate Professor M. Hank Haeusler, Director of Computational Design, UNSW.

"Our students are producing brilliant work and having access to the this platform means we can cover far more content in the course, get to the structural point, and get there faster"

Dr. Dagmar Reinhardt, Program Director Bachelor of Architecture and Environments, University of Sydney.

Then Dr. Ben started to get enquiries from companies, and many companies have now come on board as ArchiStar Academy members.

"We are excited to roll out this world-class training platform to our Australian and overseas offices "

Tim Fitzhardinge, Civil Project Engineer, Wood & Grieve Engineers.

"I really enjoyed the videos, they are so clear and easy to understand. So amazing to see what can be done!"

Stephanie le Grange, KD Marine Design.

And the results the members are achieving are phenomenal. Members are reporting that they each save 4.4 hours a week per person on average on their design time. 93% of members are confident to use the software in the workplace after taking our training.

Dr. Ben’s mission is to empower the next generation of digital designers. He is all about speed, workflow and brilliant designs.

Doing amazing work quickly is a great start…now it’s time to win new business

Once architects and engineers rapidly improve their digital design speed, a clear gap emerges.

Designers were starting to have more free time. There was now pressure to win new projects to fill up this new-found time. But traditionally Architects and Engineers are not trained in Sales, Marketing and Business Development. Most projects are won by word of mouth.

Word of mouth is great and the best form of business.

However, when you have an underutilized team, you can’t sit back and wait for the phone to ring.

That’s why Dr. Ben teamed up with his brother, Robert Coorey, MBA – one of the world’s leading sales and marketing experts. Rob was listed as one of Australia’s top 50 Entrepreneurs by Startup Australia. Rob delivers expertise to ArchiStar Academy members and shows how to win lucrative new projects.



Do you make these mistakes in your Architecture or Engineering firm?

Mistake 1:

“I’m too busy to implement this”

Rob speaks to business owners every day. Every single Architecture and Engineering business owner is always flat out busy on projects and team management. That’s normal.

Abraham Lincoln, the most famous US president said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”.

Many architects and engineers, are unfortunately trying to chop down a tree with a blunt axe. They are spending the whole six hours trying to chop the tree down, instead of slowing down, sharpening the axe, then making strategic chops.

An ArchiStar Academy membership sharpens your axe.

A big mistake Architects and Engineers make is just saying they are too busy to improve their business. But remember….what got you here won’t get you there. The strategies we are sharing with you will get you to the next level in a very quick timeframe.

Mistake 2:

Doing everything yourself

Sometimes the business owners and senior executive and get caught up and try to do everything. Doing the sales, marketing, expenses, managing the clients, managing the team, recruiting the team, emails, phone calls…even doing some designs.

A big reason why businesses fail is burnout. And doing every single thing yourself is a huge reason why people burnout.

Rob had a call with an Architecture business owner recently, she had six staff. When she took a weekend away she got sick with a throat infection. It meant she was out of the office for one week - and it was a disaster. All of the projects got delayed, the clients were going crazy saying “where’s our work” and the place was a circus.

Can you imagine that, just one week away and it all turns pear shaped?

Normally when a business is stuck at the 5-20 employee mark, it means the business owner is doing everything and hasn’t delegated key responsibilities.Remember…what got you here won’t get you there!

ArchiStar Academy membership empowers your team to design independently, and also have the confidence to win new projects…without always relying on the senior leadership team.

Mistake 3:

Running a “lumpy cashflow” business

Here’s some common challenges Architects and Engineers face with winning new business:

  • “Lumpy” cashflow – some months are great and other months not so good
  • Hard to differentiate against other firms
  • Entering a lot of competitions but not winning many
  • Doing a lot of “free work” in the hope of being paid later

A lot of these challenges come down to not having a predictable flow of new opportunities. If you have predictable flow, you can pick and choose what projects to work on, rather than taking any old project that comes in.

If you have a predictable flow, you don’t have lumpy cashflow because you can plan your projects.

If you have a predictable flow, it means you are differentiated and you don’t need to do free work because people are coming to you.

The ArchiStar Academy membership shows you how to get a steady, predictable flow of new opportunities coming into your business. It’s taught by our in-house sales and marketing expert Robert Coorey, MBA.

What surprises many members is that the marketing strategies are so simple, that your staff can implement them, even if they are not a senior executive.

Mistake 4:

Not running events

Our favourite way to ramp up inbound opportunities is to run events. Events are the fastest and easiest way to get new opportunities in the door.

Our recent ArchiStar 2020 event series was a huge success, with 4,000 architects, engineers, construction and government registered for our national tour.

You don’t need to run events with hundreds of people like we did. You could run very simple “lunch and learn” or “executive briefing” sessions with small intimate attendance.

Inside the ArchiStar Academy membership we run you through our unique process for running events large and small.

You learn how to fill the room up with the right people, what to do before, during and after the event to ensure it’s a huge success and the opportunities flow in.

Learn how to fill up large events like this!

Mistake 5:

Not offering premium services

This is the Operations Lifecycle Mindmap:

It may surprise you, but there is still a massive number of firms who are still exclusively on 2D CAD.

Our job at ArchiStar Academy is to teach your staff how to go from wherever they are, to being exceptional at the premium services. The reason why it’s so important is because it’s very profitable for you as a business to be offering these services!!!

Premium Services like 3D Walkthroughs, Virtual Reality and Rendering are becoming more in demand…and now almost expected by top tier clients.

Compare these two companies and see the difference

Company #1

Your team was speaking a business owner recently. We asked if she was providing any of the premium services. She said “no” because they were too busy just getting basic 2D work out the door. She said that nearly every client asks about it. But she just tells them they’re dreaming and to focus on getting a 2D model out the door.

When asked about how well the firm is doing…the client mentioned they are flat out busy but not making any money and always having downward pressure on their prices.

Their website portfolio had outdated designs and only had a basic render. It didn’t look very appealing from the perspective of a new potential client.

Company #2

We spoke with a different business owner who offers all of the premium services. Straight away they said: “Yes, of course we offer all the premium services, here’s our pricing, here’s our portfolio, here is how long it takes, here are our clients…..”

Company 2 is at full capacity and looking to expand their team.

If you were a client and had to choose between these two firms, who would you choose? The answer is obvious….

How to introduce premium services into your business?

Inside the ArchiStar Academy membership we give you the tools and training that allows you to perform all of these premium services rapidly. It’s a five step process.

  1. You start with a company wide benchmark to see where is everyone at right now...this way each person can have a custom training and development plan.
  2. You then train the staff so they can design faster, you use plugins to eliminate manual work. This takes pressure off your margins and improves your profitability immediately.
  3. You then train up a few of your high achieving staff in some of the premium services, so that you have a few upsells up your sleeve when you meet with new clients.
  4. You then improve your portfolio, you can train up your high achievers in things like Parametric design and introduce modern designs like curved walls and organic roofing.
  5. Finally you roll out sales and marketing training so you can win these new premium projects. Marketing to build awareness and bring new opportunities to the table. And Sales to close the deals into paid work.
Let’s go into more detail.

Online Learning for Architecture, Construction and Engineering Firms

Online Learning

Used globally by Architects, Engineers, Schools and Universities


Find out how your skills compare to the rest of the industry.

Step 1. Benchmark current team performance

The first thing you need to do is benchmark where you currently are. It’s like if you’re trying to lose weight. If you go to a personal trainer and say you want to lose weight, they are going to say - well how much do you currently weigh, and how much do you want to lose?

What we look for in this stage is to benchmark objectively. Where is the business currently at, how fast and how accurate do the staff currently design? How well do they actually know the programs? And how does their score compare to the market?

And if you’re hiring how do you actually know if someone is good at Revit, or SketchUp, or Dynamo? They say they are great….but how can you objectively test them?

Because we’ve all been there before with bad hires….the cost of one bad hire is at least 30% of their annual salary according to the US Department of Labor. For many businesses, a five figure mistake can be catastrophic.

If you are using any digital design software program, we are able to test your staff using multiple choice assessments

ArchiStar Academy Sample Question

At the end of the benchmarking process you will end up with a company-wide results page that looks like this:

ArchiStar Academy Dashboard - Result

Step 2. Create individual learning paths, and get started on the rapid design training

ArchiStar Academy Learning Paths

Once the benchmark is complete, we’ve identified the gaps. The next step is each staff member receives an individual learning path. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, people have taught themselves on YouTube and they have learned bad habits. They’re learning inefficient ways to design.

Dr. Ben had to learn the fastest possible way to get a design out the door, and he teaches rapid design inside the training courses.

So depending on what stage your staff members are at, they will take the appropriate course. As an example, if they are weak at Revit families, we’ll start them at the Revit families module, so they can learn how to make templates that are reusable.

The training courses cover all of the major digital design software programs, and will take your team from Essentials to ELITE level. All of our courses are covered below:

The next part of rapid design is support. It’s so important to have support and that’s why we include live expert chat for all of our ELITE company members.

ArchiStar Academy Live Chat

Our business clients love this because many companies don’t have a BIM manager, so it always falls on a senior designer to have to help out all the newbies - and this takes away valuable design time. Or even the firms where they do have a studio manager - the manager doesn't want to be tied up with simple questions like “where is this command on the toolbar” - they simply ask our team and keep progressing.

Step 3. Start using time saving plugins

Now your team has mastered the essentials and are producing digital designs at a rapid speed. Then we get to advanced techniques like scripting and parametric design. Your team learns programming to supercharge workflows. Inside ArchiStar Academy we teach how to use Dynamo, Pythion, grasshopper, and the members are making amazing designs.


Zaha Buildingr

But the challenge is that many architects and engineers dont want to learn programming code. They just want to get into the work.

With this in mind, Dr Ben decided to create a lot of the tools himself and share them with our members. So that’s how the ArchiStar Academy toolbar was born. The ArchiStar Academy toolbar is a Revit plugin and you can do amazing work with just a click of a button.

ArchiStar Academy Toolbar>

These plugins are amazing, we have over a dozen tools already available. For example, see the marketing floor plan generator.

Marketing Plans>

You can see here that if you had a 300 apartment building and needed to generate individual floorplans, you just click one button and it’s all done. That one tool alone can literally save you dozens of hours. That used to be the job that the most junior person in the company was assigned to. In the old days, you would have to manually create 300 separate marketing floorplans. And then if one floorplan changed, you’d have to manually rework the whole thing. It’s a nightmare really. Now with the ArchiStar Academy Tools plugin, you just press one button.

The Revit family library tool is also a game changer. You can see here that you just click any of the objects to bulk add them into your project.

Zaha Buildingr

This toolbar means anyone can get started with Revit now. And your team will be designing in a completely consistent format because they are all using the same objects, the same title blocks, the same templates. One client was happy because this means the end of the “wild west of design”.

You then have the worksets, sheets and views, model management, model data, documentation….so many great tools to automate and save valuable hours.

The ArchiStar Academy toolbar is the biggest timesaving design device.

Big firms are spending a fortune on computational designers to build custom scripts, that are buggy and not maintained.

Instead of spending a fortune on computational designers, you can simply add the ArchiStar Academy toolbar to Revit and click a button. If you have any extra functionality you want to see - just ask! We are always happy to add new features where possible.

This toolbar is fully designed and supported by ArchiStar Academy.

Step 4.Train team up into premium services

Earlier you read about premium services and how you can charge, $4,000, $12,000 and even more per project for these premium services. Once your team is mastered the basics and is smashing through the work, train up the top performers into premium services.

Elite Courses>

Step 5. Train team up on sales and marketing

We’ve discussed sales and marketing a lot in this letter. What the smart firms are doing is actually empowering the individual architects and engineers to do business development, find new projects, write fee proposals and win work.

In fact, thinking that you are the only one who can sell is a big mistake.

In the last few months our team have been spending a lot of time visiting client offices and learning more about how they do things, and how we can continue to improve and help them better.

We had meetings with two different engineering companies on the same day. They could not have been more different….

Company A

Company A was a small engineering business in the suburbs with a small handful of staff and had been around for 20 years. The business owner did all of the sales and marketing himself because he was the only one who could do it. He said they only use 2D CAD Software because none of their clients have ever asked for 3D modelling or BIM. We took that on board and went to see Company B.

Company B

Company B was a mid-sized engineering business in the city who have gone from a handful of staff to hundreds of staff in just a few years and growing rapidly. We met with a team member, who was an individual engineer, he had three layers of management on top of him. We asked him how they got new business, and his answer was amazing. He said that all of the engineers were responsible for getting their own work as well as doing the work.

He said it’s company policy that you have to pay your own way, build your own relationships, do your own fee proposals. Because that way we can have dozens of people in the field winning projects, instead of just a small handful of senior partners.

Then we talked about software. He said nobody is using 2D CAD anymore, all of their projects are on 3D BIM. And they build 3D walkthrough videos for their new projects. They wanted ArchiStar Academy to help improve the quality of their videos because they want to maintain a competitive advantage when bidding for new work.

And I thought, that is why these guys are so successful. They have empowered the staff to work on sales and marketing, they have fully embraced the latest technology and looking for strategies to improve their strategic positioning compared to other firms.

So your choice today is pretty clear - do you want to be a stagnant company A or be an enterprising company B who is going crazy with growth?

Next Steps to Get Started

If you are ready to get started with an ArchiStar Academy membership for your company let’s make it happen.
Our pricing for companies starts at $900/month on a 12 month agreement.

The next step is a discovery call with our member success team. They will look at where your business is currently at, where you’d like to be and map out a clear, simple 3-step action plan to get you there

Book a Demo

Frequently Asked Questions

Just in case you have a few more questions about ArchiStar Academy, I've compiled a list of the most commonly-asked questions below...

We like to think of an ArchiStar Academy membership like a swiss army knife to run your firm more efficiently and win new projects.
It’s like the consultant at the power plant.
There was a major technical problem at a nuclear power plant. The plant’s engineers worked around the clock trying to fix it and they couldn’t. They then called in the top consultant in the nuclear power plant field to fix it. The consultant put his white coat on, looked around at all the dials and gauges. After an hour he took out a black marker, climbed up on a ladder and put a large black X on one of the gauges. “This is the problem - fix it and you are all set.”
The engineers fixed it and the plant was back in action.
A week later the manager gets a bill from the consultant for $10,000 for “services rendered”. The manager was surprised at the bill, even though it’s a multi-billion dollar facility, and asked the consultant to itemise the charges. The consultant sent back a new invoice....$1 for writing the X, $9,999 for knowing where to place the X. And yes it was a $10,000 invoice but he saved them millions of dollars in lost revenue and they couldn’t fix it themselves. So it was definitely worth it.
With the offer we have made on this page, an ArchiStar Academy membership is the X. Yes there is an investment, but our goal is for you to make a substantial return on that investment. Sometimes you just need to slow down in order to speed up.

All courses are online with immediate access once you sign up. It’s like Netflix for digital design!
Each course is different, the shortest is about an hour, the longest is about 3 hours. We do everything possible to reduce the training time so your team can get back to paid work as quickly as possible.
Yes we can, just speak to our team and we can get you a quote. To hire Dr. Ben is $10,000/day plus travel expenses, so it normally works out a whole lot cheaper to go for the online training.

Sometimes you need to slow down in order to speed up.
There was a professor who stood before a class holding a large jar. He then filled up the jar with large rocks and asked the class “is this full?” They said yes. He then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He then said “is this full?” They say yes. He then got a bag of sand, and poured it into the jar. He then asked the class “is this full?” they said yes. Finally he filled it up with water and it was full without doubt.
The jar is a lot like running your business. Most business owners and senior executives say they are super busy but they are working on water and sand activities, phone calls, emails, social media, expense reports….the water and the sand. It’s critical that you make the time to prioritise these skills (the Rocks), becoming outstanding at winning new work and efficiently doing the work.
We have implemented a rapid learning methodology with all of the programs so your team can get started with the different software programs in as little as one hour. It really is that quick.

We provide you with ArchiStar Academy Tools and ArchiStar software as part of your membership. For commercial programs like Rhino and Revit, you can purchase them at member’s discounted rates from our online store.
There is group pricing available, you just need to contact our team and they’ll get you a quote. Group pricing starts at $900/month.
Yes your team get certificates and assessment results every time they take a course.

Next Steps to Get Started

If you are ready to get started with an ArchiStar Academy membership for your company let’s make it happen.
Our pricing for companies starts at $900/month on a 12 month agreement.

The next step is a discovery call with our member success team. They will look at where your business is currently at, where you’d like to be and map out a clear, simple 3-step action plan to get you there

ArchiStar is used by the best companies and universities

ArchiStar Office   |   Mezzanine, Levels 1-3, 388 George Street   |   Sydney NSW 2000, Australia   |   Phone: +61 2 9899 5247   |   Contact us

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