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How To Use 360TM Field® On an Active Construction Site

Posted by Matt Bennett on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 @ 14:12 PM
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Bringing technology to an active jobsite can prove to be culturally challenging.  A traditional job site is accustomed to generating a lot of documents from multiple sources throughout the course of the project.  The sheer volume of documentation can lead to an increased potential for miscommunication and error.  If the information is shared between individual stakeholders, a lot of time can be spent on re-entering data and can also lead to incomplete data.  Fortunately, there are many new and emerging technologies that are quickly overcoming many of these challenges. While innovation in building may bring many benefits, adoption can be difficult. To ensure success, project teams must agree to the following: 

  • Maintaining a Commitment to Build As a Project Community: When it comes to designing and constructing a project of any size, a bridge between office and field practices needs to be built. A bridge, in this case, refers to communication and collaboration among all stakeholders, in effect, the project’s community of owner’s representative, consultants, design and construction professionals and inspection services. There needs to be a true team commitment to utilize the technology for project communications. 
  • Striving to Build a Bridge of Open Project Communication:  In this case, 360TM Field is management software brings issue tracking, checklists, equipment management and 2D and 3D environments to mobile devices located on active construction site via cloud-based technology.  This software is a pathway for exchanging timely project information among field crews and office personnel.  Real-time access and exchange allows crews to make positive strides in quality, safety and commissioning. 

construction technology, iPad

Rudolph and Sletten manages one of the largest single concrete pours in recent San Diego history at the new $556M central courthouse project for the Judicial Council of California.

With a commitment to build as a community, we’ve found 360TM Field® to be invaluable on the jobsite management.  The following discusses how we’ve been able to tap into the many benefits of 360TMField®:

Ability to Efficiently Manage Project Issues:  Every project has “issues.”  It is a fact – each project has items that need action or documentation.  360TM Field® allows field personnel to identify, view, manage, track and distribute information regarding these issues in real-time. Instead of creating lists of items in the field and then needing to have someone re-enter them into other job management software, these activities can all be performed via mobile device.  The mobile device then syncs newly updated information back to the project’s database. Some of the specific management benefits include the following capabilities:

  • Add Common Project Issues: These types of common project issues can be broken down to different types of topics. Each project set up can be customized to include some of the following lists: (1) punch list, (2) work completion lists (work not complete or not passed inspections), (3) QA/QC reviews (from mock ups or first installs), (4) safety issues lists, (5) commissioning issues lists, and (6) architect review lists. When issues are entered they are saved locally into a mobile device and can be easily retrieved as a template, which saves time typically associated with “reoccurring” issues.
  • Append Issue Attachments: 360TM Field® mobile allows users to quickly attach pertinent images, documents, document folders, and/or web hyperlinks to an issue. For example a picture of an issue can be taken and then linked to the issue either upon entry or even after the issue has already been created. When the issue is distributed to the subcontractor or other project team stakeholder, the receiver has a helpful visual representation along with the report.
  • Create Issue Pushpins: This functionality allows field users to create and view issues on a project document via pushpins. Managing issues via pushpins help to locate an issue within the project by drawings that have been linked to a specific issue or project location. It is important to note that in order this function to work, 2D project plans need to be uploaded in the BIM 360 Field library. Additionally, this functionality is only available on iPads.
  • Attached Document Mark-up: Documents and/or photos attached to Issue can be easily “marked up” using the BIM 360TM Field® mobile drawing utility that is built directly into the application. This utility provides basic mark up and labeling tools to provide additional information or attention a particular area of a photo or document. This utility can also crop photos to be able to provide more focus on the topic of the issue.
  • Filter/Sorting of Issues: Filters and sorting methods may be applied to the “Issues.” Whether the user is working on-line via computer or iPad, filters allow you to hide issues so you may quickly and easily find and identify specific issues that you want to re-inspect and/or update. A filter can be applied to these categories: company, issue type, due date, author or location. Sorting uses the same filtering categories and also allows for ascending or descending category lists.
  • Issue Comments: Within each issue “Comments” can be added or viewed.  The user, either author (being the general contractor, architect, owner or inspector) or subcontractor (who can’t author issues), can ask a question, reply with an answer, to provide more information, or additional context. This context may describe the actual work completed, additional work that needs to be completed, or why the work may be incorrect. This dialog can be applied to each item instead of providing additional lists or other documentation to address the issues outside of BIM 360TM Field®.
  • Instantaneous Issue Distribution: Issues are communicated upon mobile device or desktop sync to the project database. Instant delivery saves time from sorting and filtering lists of each project stakeholder’s issues and then attaching it to emails for distribution. BIM 360TM Field® also allows for custom reports to be generated and sent out as frequently as the project team desires. The reports function is only available when using BIM 360TM Field® from a laptop or desktop computer using a regular web browser.

construction technology, autodesk, 360 Field, issue checklist

This screenshot illustrates the Autodesk 360TM Field® issue checklist.

Generate, Access, and Edit Field Checklists: A checklist is a pretty common project tool on an active jobsite. 360TM Field® comes with checklists that have already been developed for basic use. Any of these predefined, customizable checklists or new checklists can be made or created by the project team based on project specification requirements, other project specific requirements or even subcontractors work plans. Checklists include the following capabilities:

  • Create or Customize Checklists: Using templates or custom creating your own, field personnel can generate checklists setup in 360TM Field® for QA/QC, Safety, and Commissioning activities.
  • Issues created by Checklists: For each checklist question that is answered if that answer is not a favorable one (as determined/set up by the project team), 360TM Field® can automatically create an issue from within the checklist section of the program, which can later be managed as mentioned above.
  • Select and Edit Existing Checklists: Active checklists can be used if they are downloaded to an iPad via sync, or used on a laptop in the office or field if the computer is connected to the Internet.

Manage and Commission Equipment: BIM 360 Field can be paired with BIM 360 Glue to provide viewing of the coordinated set of BIM documents in the field. This ensures easier and timelier verification of installation of all architectural, structural, or mechanical/electrical systems and utilities prior to inspections or starting any type of installation qualification for commissioning. Some of the specific beneficial functionalities include:

  • Equipment Tracking and Commissioning: The BIM 360TM Field® Mobile equipment module allows field personnel to track and update information for project equipment or physical objects as well as associate any pertinent checklists, commissioning inspections, attachments, issues, and add or review comments related to an equipment-tracking program. All functionalities described above but specifically for equipment start up and commissioning.
  • Edit and Review Equipment Issues:  Via mobile device, field personnel can review equipment for any issues and be able to edit the equipment record with updated information. If any new information or images need to be added, this information can be associated.
  • Barcode Scanner: A barcode scanner in BIM 360TM Field® Mobile can be used together with the Equipment module to allow field users to scan a barcode using the iPad camera and pull up associated information.
construction technology, autodesk 360 glue, checklist

This screenshot illustrates Autodesk 360TM Field® checklists for QA/QC, Safety, and Commissioning.

New technologies are quickly changing the active jobsite. With BIM 360TM Field® and a mobile device, field personnel can easily access range of tools to handle almost any project issues and activities. BIM 360TM Field® does a fantastic job at creating a management environment combining several functions that at one point were all managed separately or processed in a less timely and less cost effective way. It is important to remember that the BIM 360TM Field® system can also be customized to any extent required by a project team. This provides feedback of usable analytics on a scale that we have never been able to automatically track in the past. The cloud environment allows for real-time adjustments and updates from many different field users.  The single project environment or community allows for more timely and relevant exchanges.  The result is reduced project error and time/cost savings. 

 To learn more about BIM 360TM Field®, please contact Rudolph and Sletten.

Topics: Business, Gear + Apps, Construction Technology, Project Management