Ask any construction business professional or an architect if they suffer from tantrums when penning their contract drawings, and you are more than likely to hear an enthusiastically frustrated, “YES!”
Oh yes, the old 2D contract drawings, also called “plans” or “blueprints” or just “drawings”… They were bulky, hard to read, and difficult to be read through in between the construction site and the office. But even with all of this newfangled 3D modeling and the virtual or augmented reality devices, these blueprints continue to bring the construction industry down!
But actually, there’s one quite valid reason that they won’t go away anytime soon. It’s because they are a part of the contract for every entity involved with the project.
As construction professionals, we simply require at least one static version of a document, which clearly outlines our respective scopes of work. Subsequently, newer versions of these contract drawings emerge, as it happens for a majority of projects.
Unsurprisingly, we struggle to keep up with all those full-sized and half-sized sets of paper plans and in keeping them updated accordingly…
To understand how actually deep this issue is, imagine a project engineer who has just received an addendum to initial contract drawings, which replaces 50 of the 500 sheets in the set. Imagine him taking the three bolts out that bind the sheets together and then coping to locate where does exactly each sheet goes, leafing them in one by one, and then dog-earing and marking each outdated sheet as “VOID.”
Think about how stupendous and monotonous a task like this is. Now imagine how would you feel if you were the manager of this project, who’s paying $50 per hour or more for the work.
What’s worse, it’s not just a solo set of prints your team needs to update. Can you imagine how many other teams on this project have to do the exact same thing for each change that comes out?
THIS IMAGE IS NOT ONLY HORRIFYING; IT IS COSTLY, FRUSTRATING, AND VERY UNPRODUCTIVE.
What you just pictured is the reality of contract documents.
I’ve learned that the hard way, because I’m a project engineer.
So why, with all of the digital drawing solutions available, are we still using paper at all?
So, the real question should actually be, “How much do paper blueprints really cost you?”
Statistics show that the price for reworking from poor document control can range anywhere from .12% to .72% of a construction budget. This equates to roughly $9B annually in the U.S.and times more for construction businesses worldwide…