Swinerton, one of the top 25 general contractors in the nation, provides commercial construction services throughout the Western United States, with regional offices located throughout California, Colorado, Hawaii, Texas, New Mexico and Washington. Currently, Swinerton's regional offices are deploying new technology solutions to take project workflows digital. While each region has been given the freedom to deploy the solutions that make the most sense for their individual projects, clients, employees and needs, many of them - including the Denver, San Antonio, Northern California and Southern California offices - are deploying Bluebeam Revu on the jobsite to electronically manage construction documents.
The construction industry has traditionally relied on paper-based processes to collect, manage and organize project documents including plans, shop drawings, RFIs, and punchlists. Managing these documents is extremely time-consuming. Documents must be constantly updated with changes and filed properly to ensure they can be easily accessed on a moment's notice to clarify jobsite questions. Additionally, documents are frequently viewed and commented on by multiple project team members, often complicating project tracking and accountability.
Among the various construction workflows, the plan revision process stood out as a particular area for improvement for Swinerton. Typically, two or three project team members were responsible for managing these printed document sets. When plans required revision, they would be redlined by hand. Revised documents would be printed and then slip-sheeted into the current set of plan documents, with notes transcribed onto duplicates to be distributed to project partners. Finally, additional documents such as RFIs would be placed in binders for storage.
With various project teams across Swinerton taking the initiative to evaluate and implement digital solutions, upper management quickly embraced the proof in concept and encouraged each regional office to determine which solutions would work best for them, as long as they met the following requirements:
After evaluating a variety of options, many Swinerton regional offices including Denver, San Antonio, Northern California and Southern California, chose Bluebeam Revu, a PDF-based digital workflow solution designed for the construction industry, as their project solution. Swinerton was drawn to Revu's ability to electronically create, edit and redline PDF drawings with industry-standard tools including text boxes, clouds, leaders, CAD symbols and takeoffs. These tools speed up plan revisions by replicating pen and paper workflows and eliminating the need to transcribe duplicates.
Revu's digital markups capabilities have allowed Swinerton to digitize its plan revision process. Project teams now rely on one PDF drawing set that contains all changes, ASIs and RFIs. First, team members use Revu's page editing tools to combine multiple source PDFs into one bound file, then add bookmarks to make it easier to navigate to the desired sheet. Second, users redline PDFs with changes and slipsheet superseded drawings using Revu's Replace Pages feature, which includes an option to Replace Page Content only so that existing markups are not lost when pages are replaced. All of the postings on these digital plan sets are hyperlinked for easy, one-click access back to relevant project information including RFIs and ASIs. Finally, digital plan sets are centrally located, either on a project server or FTP site depending on the project's needs.
Swinerton offices are also using Revu in conjunction with a variety of hardware solutions to make digital documents more accessible in the field. Digital plan tables consisting of a 42-inch touch-screen monitor, portable laptop loaded with Revu, printer, keyboard and mouse are housed in a gangbox. These digital plan tables put all critical project information where it is most useful - right in the heart of the project. One quick touch of the screen will grant any team member access to all answered RFIs, approved submittals, current drawings, safety information, BIM models, quality management program and more. Additionally, Swinerton is leveraging mobile devices including tablet PCs, enabling project team members to access PDFs on the road and at the jobsite and redline them using Revu.
While the use of Revu and complementary hardware solutions is still new, Swinerton regions are already realizing several benefits. "The use of Revu is helping our Denver, San Antonio, Northern and Southern California offices transition to a paperless environment," said Dustin Hartsuiker, VDC Manager at Swinerton. "While the implementation by region may vary, the industry-standard tools that Revu provides are helping these regions achieve the common goal of a completely digital construction process."
"Having the most current project data readily available to the entire team, including field staff, is improving project workflows and contributing to our overall success," added Eric Davis, Northern Region VDC Manager. "Using Revu has resulted in a single point of truth. One person can update the document set for the entire team, making them available to all project members, whether on their laptop computer in the trailer or tablet device in the field."
Finally, Swinerton is already discovering that digital plan sets created and managed with Revu benefit project Owners, too. "Using Revu to manage our documents electronically is great for project turnover," commented Brent Tyndall, Application Administrator. "At the end of our projects, the digital drawing set we maintained with Revu can easily be turned over to the Owner, providing them with a complete set of redlined drawings."