Earlier in the week, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Byron Starnes, EMEA Director for StrucSoft Solutions, to find out about their latest expansion and see what the future holds for the company.
Hi Byron, thank you so much for your time. For those who don’t know, could you give us a quick insight into StrucSoft Solutions and a bit of the history for the company?
Good morning, it’s my pleasure. StrucSoft Solutions provides software, both out-of-the-box and bespoke for nearly 30 years and was founded in Quebec. Our current primary focus with framing for the AEC industry has been ongoing for over a decade now. Our flagship offering is our MWF framing software which allows users to populate their framing systems, using both wood and light gauge steel, inside Autodesk Revit. We have a variety of tools for further coordination and fabrication, including the ability to produce machine-readable files directly from Revit to send to roll-formers, panelisers, or saws for direct manufacturing in the factory.
So what brought StrucSoft over to the UK then?
We already had a large base of clients here that required dedicated support, we also wanted better reach into the European, Middle Eastern, and African markets. The UK was well positioned for us to achieve these goals.
Building on this, what would you say your ambitions for StrucSoft in the UK are?
We have consistently grown our user base, and that growth has continued year after year. As offsite construction and greater automation of the construction industry continues at a fast pace, we are in an excellent position to embrace this trend in the industry.
The UK team also manages all our virtual framing and design projects for StrucSoft Solutions. This would be for companies that would rather have a specialist team such as ours manage the modelling of their framing systems.
What is the most exciting project you’ve worked on?
There are many, and they are all great and exciting projects. We are at the forefront in innovation and deal with unique challenges everyday that a lot of the industry is just not yet exposed to.
These days I am especially happy to be working with a great architectural team at CITU, based out of Leeds, where we are playing a key role in producing the machine code and fabrication drawings for their factory. They are cooking up some really innovative stuff for the industry.
Globally, we have engaged in very interesting works in the USA with some of the largest offsite construction manufacturers in the world such as Katerra, Prefab Logic, and Factory OS. We have also recently started some interesting prototype work for Dragonfly Vert out of Tel Aviv.
Plenty of amazing things to work on there! On Tel Aviv, you do quite a lot of travelling with this role – where would you say is the most interesting place your role has taken you? (Apart from Liverpool, of course).
There have been many interesting places. China, Russia, and Israel come to mind as some of the more interesting places I have been to recently. Every trip is a learning experience and there is a tremendous amount of knowledge to be gained from regional variations in the construction industry.
I’m not jealous at all! So with business opportunities all across the world, what made you chose Liverpool and the Park in particular to set-up?
The location was fantastic and I was completely won over after a tour of the facilities. The environment is great for inspiration and the LSP team has been incredibly supportive and accommodating of our growth.
You’re far too kind! You’re now well ingrained in the city, what do you enjoy most about living and working in Liverpool opposed to Canada?
The weather is great here (no extremes) and we are so culturally aligned that it feels quite welcoming. Really interesting places to visit, both locally and abroad, and in relatively close proximity.
Liverpool itself is a great city to be in, lots of history and a great sense of culture with plenty of opportunities for growth and opportunity.
You’re probably the first person I’ve ever heard complement the weather here! On the flip-side, what do you dislike most about it?
Unfortunately, the nation as a whole drive on the wrong side of the road.
You’ve obviously never been in the car with some people I know! And finally, outside of the working hours. what do you get up to?
More work, then spending time with my family and keeping abreast in current trends in the industry. I am also pursuing a well overdue Bachelor of Engineering through the Open Uni which is nearing completion.
Congratulations, that’s amazing news! Thanks again for your time Byron, it’s been great!
A massive thank you to Byron for grabbing a cup of coffee with us in their lovely new office. Since joining the Park’s community back in the Autumn of 2016, StrucSoft have expanded four times and are now settled in nicely on the second floor of iC1.