Landscape and Building Architects know the cost of paper and ink. They regularly produce wide-format designs, layouts, and plans for review and approval. Once approvals are in place, they move to the construction phase, during which they record and process design change requests.
Changes often require a designer or engineering approval, so proposed changes are marked up (also called red, green, or blue-lining drawings). Although the design cycle is agile with resources sitting in the same offices, once the construction phase begins, changes and revisions take more time.
Depending on the organization, construction teams may use different technologies to create markups. It’s even still common to do these on physical copies using a red pen. If there is no wide-format printer or scanner on site, they will fold and ship the drawing back to the design office for processing.
This iterative cycle requires many hard copies, multiple wide-format MFDs (multifunction printers, scanners, and copiers), and increase turnaround times drastically. To improve the design and build schedule efficiencies, moving to an integrated document management system can reduce these requirements.
Drawing Collaboration and Review Tools
Traditionally, the industry was slow to adopt design collaboration tools as the different stakeholders found the digital markup operations complex, learning new software was time-consuming, and even the licensing costs were over the top.
This changed with the advance of standard portable document formats (such as Adobe PDF) and using markup languages like XML. These technologies enable layering markup text and lines onto the PDF drawings, storing the markup and its metadata in the file, and rendering the results on any PC.
New Collaboration Tools Leverage these Technologies and more
Modern collaboration tools use these technologies as part of a holistic design management system. The document management tools and processes integrate with markup and commenting features. This allows designers and site staff to cross-reference change proposals onto the associated documents and assign approval workflows.
With tools easier than ever to use, Landscape and Building Architects can streamline design reviews as well as providing quick clarifications for any technical queries arising during construction. It obviously also reduces the need for hardcopy printing, scanning, and transmitting.
Using Enterprise Content Management Solutions for Document Management
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions provide a single, cloud-based repository for all documents and drawings. With a centralized design and drawing library, approved documents are always available for checking, further reviews, and easy markups.
The best design solutions can cross-reference to their libraries of regulations and standards as objects onto the drawing, automating a substantial portion of the compliance risk assessments. All of this comes with an audit trail and version control.
Bluebeam Revu allows all team members to review and add input to a drawing quickly. By layering the various comments according to function, the drawing becomes a canvas for the entire team to base their tasks around.
Using this collaboration tool, teams’ clear punch lists more efficiently. As part of a central document repository, everyone has access and insight into the design cycles and constructive feedback.
Managed IT Services Integrated with Comprehensive Document Management Software
Although the designs are usually the primary focus of architect firms, many related documents require management too. Using a managed IT services solution with integrated document management and collaboration tools, firms can quickly improve their productivity.
With a hosted IT solution that includes the wide-format MFDs, firms have access to:
● Added Security
● Device Uptimes
● Print Control
● Mobile Content Access
● Centralized Document Management System
● Process Driving Workflows
● Collaboration Tools
These key drivers ensure companies can reduce costs while improving teamwork and as a result, be more productive. A technology solution firm will ensure you get an appropriately configured system according to your exact needs while remaining scalable along with operations.
A Landscape and Building Architect Focus
Blue Technologies is a technology service provider that works with customers to build sophisticated office productivity solutions. With close relationships to software companies that specialize in content, engineering, and architecture management applications, they can completely redevelop and improve your IT footprint.
By providing wide format printing devices that are access controlled with document management and design collaboration tools, they reduce technology costs while improving productivity. With hosted IT services, architect firms can move all the information management requirements to the cloud. Doing so helps them benefit from improved availability, data security, and regulatory compliance.
No matter what size the projects are, there are always opportunities to improve the design and construction processes. Making use of Blue Technologies as a managed IT service provider will help make your next project a more productive experience. If you need expert advice on how to streamline your operations, contact Blue Technologies today.