Why good AEC content is all about outcomes

The other day I was in a meeting about an engineering project. Highly technical, lots of chat around coding and toolkits, computational development and datasets; to say it was a ‘numbers’ meeting would be an understatement.  The work sounded very important and advanced, and I was trying my best to keep up when someone said…. but we don’t want you to write about any of this. He said, “We don’t want to talk about all this new technology. We want you to find out why these tools make our buildings better for those that live in them.”

I was surprised. The reason I was there was because Jenny and I had been asked to produce some in-depth content on this project. In our experience, most people working in AEC believe that the ‘story’ is that of the process – the intricacies of the HVAC system, the length of the steel girders, or the tensile thickness of the floor.

This engineer could see beyond that. He wanted us to write about what happened once the building was live. He knew that the tools and expertise involved in the project mattered, but what matters most was how the building worked for its users.

Focus on the outcomes, not the action

At Bentley & Hayes, this is what we do. We create content that focuses on the outcomes, the human-interest angle of the built environment. We know that huge technical skill goes into creating a warm, safe, functional office building, but what effect does that structure have on the people that work there?  Do they feel more connected with each other?  Is the ambient temperature right for everyone? Does the amount of daylight in the room increase productivity and aid employee retention? 

There are other outcomes; consider costs, both for clients and the end users.  Engineers may have used a digital twin to mirror the building pre-build.  Off-site manufacture and early engagement of contractors may have streamlined the construction, or perhaps global geopolitical tension has increased material prices during the build.  A well-designed, energy-efficient building is going to incur fewer running costs post-occupancy, creating a more positive outcome for the initial client and in the future, the tenant.

Capital value is just one outcome. Societal and environmental value is increasingly being seen as the main measure by which a building is viewed as a ‘success’, especially with the widespread adoption of net-zero principles. What jobs does this building bring to the community?  Does it divide or unity communities, and how does its design benefit the environment?

Crafting memorable stories

Ultimately, our writing at Bentley & Hayes is all about people. Whether writing about computational breakthroughs in parametric design, AI, digital twins and VR, or capturing the scope of ambitious new developments and sensitive restorations, we look for the people within your projects to craft memorable stories that speak to your target audience. We understand that the technical detail is important, and if that’s what your audience want to hear about, we’ll happily tailor our content to those people (and have the industry knowledge to do so).

But we feel that by showcasing the positive and personal stories from your projects, we sell your expertise to new clients with a stronger message. People want to know people, and by telling the story of your new building with a focus on the human outcomes, your audience will relate to you better, and ultimately increase your industry reach.

Whatever it is you want to communicate, Jenny and I can help you get your message across, in a way that is relatable, readable and written to appeal to each of your target audiences.  You do the coding and datasets. We’ll tell the world about the amazing things you have achieved.

Ready to discuss your next project? 

Drop us a line at hello@bentleyandhayes.com

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Tell us your story and we’ll tell the world.