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Drawing, Drawing, Who’s Got the Drawing?
March 6, 2011
The amount of data that is collected and distributed during the construction of a building is staggering. Not only the design sketches, but floor plans, elevations, detail drawings, specifications, code and engineering details, but the shop drawings from each discipline, as built field sketches, interior design and tenant build out documents. And the “owner” of all this information can be the developer, design professional, bank officer, contractor, fabricator, tenant . . . you get the picture. Thousands of pieces of paper going through hundreds of hands.
The Internet has made the exchange of information easier, but not less confusing — and, in some respects, a little more risky. Depending on the design development stage, copyrighted information that is proprietary to the designer needs to be kept from public distribution. On some projects it is desirable for a wide range of bidders to have access to the documents; on others only pre-qualified bidders can access the drawings that are needed for bidding. And, on every project, the various owners have legal and professional responsibilities to keep track of who has received the more recent documents throughout the project.
In the past ten years dozens of software system have emerged to make the archiving and exchange of digital construction information more secure, efficient, auditable and accessible. No small feat. It is not a surprise that no one system has emerged as all things to all people but a number of solutions have become well entrenched in the North American market. Emerging on the horizon are over-arching systems that utilize SaaS products in the Cloud to allow all the stakeholders in the project to maintain their own systems but integrate with the other users to exchange information.
At Cushing we have utilized the ReproMAX Document Fulfillment System (DFS) to create secure portals for our clients and their project team members. Recently we have joined with other ReproMAX partners to adopt a global solution for project management, document fulfillment, construction supply chain support and BIM modeling tools. This product, cMAX, is Cloud based, and customizable for users at all levels of the construction process. Developed by Asite in London it is the forward looking tool that will open up cross platform tools for the next twenty year. We want you to know that there is a one stop shop for all your construction data needs.