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Bernards and Colombo Team Up With Revu to Streamline Project Documentation for the Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District Replacement Hospital


Bernards, a well-respected, nationally ranked construction firm and Colombo Construction Company, a southern California firm known for its quality healthcare projects, teamed for the first time to provide construction management services for the $57 Million Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District Replacement Hospital in Tehachapi, California. This new 25-bed, 79,000-square-foot facility will replace the existing hospital which no longer meets current California safety standards and is located in a rural part of Kern County. As the only hospital in a 50-mile radius, the project is a vital addition to the community, so it’s important that the team completes the job as quickly and efficiently as possible.

architectural rendering
Rendering courtesy of SWA Architects.


The project broke ground in early 2013, and the first challenge the team faced was how to manage the enormous number of drawings necessary for the construction of a hospital. Since Tehachapi is a California hospital, it requires approval from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD.)* Because of time constraints during the bidding process, two sets of drawings had to be correlated: a “permit set” of 500 documents for OSHPD approval, and another “bid set” of 520 documents for the prime contractors.

Not only was the bid set larger, but it also contained updated information that was not reflected in the older permit set. The team needed a reliable solution to quickly and accurately compare the differences between the two versions. Printing hard copies of each set and comparing them against each other was not an option — the process would be time-consuming and risk a significant margin for error. Moreover, because of the project’s remote location, printing costs are extremely high. It was becoming clear that digital was the only way to go.

A Digital Solution

The team at first considered looking for a third-party service to help with the seemingly overwhelming task of comparing the two sets of drawings. Fortunately, Bernards Project Engineer William Lopez had a better idea. Having used Bluebeam Revu on other projects with great success, he was confident that leveraging Revu was the best course of action. The technology was already in-house, and this solution saved time and the cost of looking for a third party qualified enough to complete the work.

The Tehachapi team contacted the project architect, requesting PDF copies of both the permit and bid sets. They then began the process of creating an electronic plan room by installing two 55” screens and using Revu’s Compare Documents feature to display — side-by-side — the automatic comparison of the two sets. This feature enables users to select two drawings, and automatically highlights all disparities with clouds, so they are easy-to-find.

marked up digital blueprint

Upon completion, the team reviewed and organized all the markups using the “Markups list.” This feature tracks markups as they are added to the document in a convenient list that can be filtered, searched, imported and exported.


Using Revu, the team compared an initial test set of 100 sheets, and everyone was happy and surprised when it took only three hours to back-check the results. In fact, William and the team were amazed by the speed and success of the test. “We were able to complete the final job of comparing the permit set against the bid set in just 15 hours — pretty amazing, considering we had expected this process to take over a week!”

A quality assurance/quality control review revealed that Revu was finding the myriad of important details, including revision symbols and date stamps, that manual scanning could have missed. Even minute details in the scanned permit drawings were picked up. Best of all, the team was able to spend their valuable weekends at home, not in the office reviewing drawings.

Mike Funderberg, Bernards’ project manager for the Tehachapi project, commented “The utilization of Bluebeam for this document comparison effort saved nearly 400 hours of the Bernards/Colombo staff’s time to devote to other pressing issues. Being able to not only utilize software, but rely on it, made our processes so much more efficient.”

“I was originally attracted to Bluebeam because of its takeoff capabilities and its price. Bluebeam has since shown me that it’s much more than an affordable solution for performing electronic takeoffs.”

Mike Funderberg, Bernard’s Project Manager

Continuing to Leverage Revu

As of this writing, OSPHD is still in the process of updating the permit set to reflect the advancements of the bid set drawings, and is sending approvals just about every day. As the Bernards/Colombo team receives those changes, it slip-sheets them into the master set using Revu’s Replace Pages feature, updating the sets 10 times faster than it would take to update a paper set.

The Tehachapi team is also using Revu for BIM coordination. For example, when the team discovered the ceilings needed to be dropped to accommodate additional ducts and piping, it created 3-D PDFs of the sectioned BIM, to send to the architect with the team’s markups. This is a much faster and easier way to share redlines, and the team loves how easy it is to manipulate 3-D PDFs. The team also plans on using Revu for takeoffs, color coding and other day-to-day construction tasks, and it has already set up Wi-Fi in the trailer, enabling plan review in the field.

*OSHPD is an agency created in 1978 to provide the state with enhanced understanding of the structure and function of its healthcare delivery systems.

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