Thursday, March 3, 2011

Construction Administration: The Future is Paperless

Imagine creating an RFP for that unforeseen situation at the job site and uploading it with a few clicks of the mouse to an online information sharing system that immediately notifies the Owner, the General Contractor and any Design Team members. Imagine printing off one copy of a shop drawing for review, or better yet, reviewing shop drawings online and returning them with edits to the General Contractor via the same online information sharing system. It sounds exactly what design firms like FourFront have been wanting to utilize for years...and we now have access to the technology. Recently, FourFront Design has been exercising some of these ideas with Submittal Exchange in the Construction Administration portion of four projects: Joint Force Headquarters Readiness Center, JFRC Addition, Toyota New Dealership Facility of the Black Hills, and Westhills Village Commons Remodel and Addition. Here are just a few brief highlights of how Submittal Exchange is helping quell the tide of paper in our office and helping to create better communication throughout the project:
  • Submittal Exchange is a great back up to our current tracking logs and files.
  • Instead of 5-8 copies of each shop drawing being trucked across town/mailed/physically walked to/from our office, a PDF of the shop drawing is uploaded to Submittal Exchange for review and distribution to all relevant parties.
  • Any time any item (RFI, RFP, Supplemental Instruction, Observation Report or Shop Drawing Submittal) gets uploaded onto the site or updated on Submittal Exchange, email notifications are then immediately sent to all consultants and architects/engineers that need to review that particular item. Submittal Exchange indicates who should review the item in what order so there is no doubling of work or missed reviews.
  • It is up to each individual user whether they want a paper copy of items or not. (Example: Currently, FourFront receives one paper copy of each shop drawing submittal for records while the project is ongoing. However,if more PDF editing software gets installed on users computers in the future the need for that copy may go away as well.)
  • At the end of the project, Submittal Exchange will send you a CD with all of the information accrued online during the project for your records.
  • Submittal Exchange is very interested in helping with LEED/sustainable efforts on projects. Recently, they held a free webinar concerning LEED, BIM and how Submittal Exchange can help the process.
These are just a few of the reasons that Submittal Exchange is making a difference in these four projects at FourFront. For more information feel free to stop by my desk or visit this link.

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