Sundt Turns to Revu to Manage a Complicated Punch Process for the San Diego State University Aztec Student Union
For large projects, simply deciding to implement a digital punch process is only the beginning. When the project team for a complex building makes the decision to go paperless, careful planning is needed in order to make the endeavor a success. This is exactly what Sundt Construction, one of the oldest and largest construction companies in the US, realized when approaching the closeout phase for the San Diego State University Aztec Student Union project in San Diego, CA. This facility is anything but typical. The $75,000,000, 206,000-square-foot building – which is targeting LEED Platinum – features expansive arches, arcades, balconies and courtyards indicative of the “mission revival” design of its southern California campus. Inside, the Aztec Student Union has a variety of technical needs in its diverse rooms, including a theater, a wood-cladded ballroom and a state-of-the-art bowling alley.
Not only does the Aztec Student Union project have several complicated technical systems and architectural details, but there are also 10 parties assigned to do punch, including Sundt, the Architect, the Construction Manager and seven consultants. With so many stakeholders involved and an 800-page plan set, Sundt knew that going digital would be the most effective way to manage punch. But, simply deciding to go paperless wasn’t going to be enough. Sundt needed a solution that would enable them to:
- Annotate building deficiencies with industry-standard markups and symbols
- Organize comments by the floor and room in which they exist
- Track who found punch items, and who is responsible for fixing them
- Provide mobile access to punch documents in the field
- Enable all parties to work off the same drawings to avoid rework and confusion
After reviewing a number of solutions, Sundt decided to use Bluebeam Revu, a PDF-based markup and collaboration technology for technical professionals. Revu is used by leading design and construction firms to manage project communication from end to end, and it is especially popular for punch. The software enables users to easily designate building deficiencies by placing pre-created PunchKeys, markups that provide detailed information about common issues, on PDFs. All the while, Revu’s integrated Markups list automatically tracks who made a markup and when, and enables users to easily assign responsibility and set the status – such as accepted or rejected – to any annotation. Once punchwalks are complete, users can filter markups by responsible party, thus providing each sub-contractor with a detailed set of visual and written instructions of what to fix.
Using Revu for Punch
After getting buy-in from stakeholders, Sundt began preparing for a streamlined approach to digital punch. First, they reduced the 800-page plan set to a 254-page punch set of Architectural & MEP floor plans. Using Revu’s hyperlinking feature, they linked the floor plans to reflected ceiling plans and elevations, thus providing project partners with a quick and easy way to access additional details.
Next, Sundt customized Revu’s PunchKey tool set to include approximately 200 symbols and predefined markups that describe issues related to the project’s various finished and architectural details. The customized PunchKey tool set was saved in Revu’s Tool Chest, allowing all consultants and team members to import and use the ready-made unique symbols and markups to perform punch.
Sundt also used Revu’s exclusive Spaces feature to organize the punch documents. Spaces allows users to define areas on a PDF, name them and shade them so they stand out. Once Spaces are defined, any markup placed within one is identified as being within that Space in Revu’s Markups list. By leveraging Spaces, the team is adding an extra layer of clarity to all markups by automatically identifying the location, whether it is a small meeting room or a specific area within the large theater in which the issue exists.
Finally, Sundt loaded up all their punch documents into Bluebeam Studio, Revu’s integrated online collaboration feature. Because the PDFs are stored in a live Bluebeam Studio Session, all parties are able to access the punch documents in the cloud using Revu on a desktop, tablet PC or iPad. All comments are tracked in real time, so everyone on the team knows exactly what rooms have been punched. Another benefit of completing punch in real time is that everyone can see recurring issues, thus putting them on high alert to check for deficiencies that may be happening in multiple zones of the building. Even project team members without immediate Internet access can use the Import Markups function to save and import their markups directly into the Punchlist Master Plan Set.
Already into the punch process, Sundt and its project team members have realized several benefits from using Revu. “Leveraging the power of Bluebeam Revu has allowed Sundt to be more effective and efficient while performing punchlisting. With a 5 phase punchlist process and a long list of participants, Bluebeam Revu afforded our project team the ability to simplify an otherwise complicated workflow,” said Dominic Daughtrey, Project Engineer at Sundt. “Using Spaces to automatically provide room number reference, and having the responsibility codes input into each tool set of the punch profile, have saved our team both time and energy not having to enter the data after punchlisting is performed. Time is definitely money in the construction industry, and using Bluebeam Revu on our project has definitely helped Sundt save both.”