Intelligent Construction Drawings - Multiple locations
Tracking updates across multiple locations continues to plague personnel working on a construction project, learn how Inertia's Intelligent Construction Drawings help make it simpler to track updates across multiple locations.

Drawings: The good, the bad and the ugly


Drawings have been a staple of construction projects for literally thousands of years. Of course, changes have occurred across the ages to keep pace with style, aesthetics, engineering and materials to make the vision of the architect constructible.  


As the AEC industry evolved, the detail and creation of drawings have evolved from etchings on a stone to ink on parchment to 2D and 3D modeling using sophisticated computing, visualization and other technologies. However, even with today’s advancements, there is a disconnect between the creation of the 3D models and the drawings used in the live construction phase. 


Traditionally, printed drawings have been brought onto the jobsite, taped to walls, and marked up  with colored highlighters or other visual elements to denote status, changes or issues. Later, technologies were developed to take that same approach but on a tablet, phone or laptop with the ability to create digital markups by clouding areas and/or dropping pins. Although this advancement made updates and sharing easier, it was (and is) fraught with organizational and delivery challenges.  


For instance, an RFI is typically relevant for more than one location on a project and therefore more than one location on a drawing. This is addressed by drawing a cloud on each area of interest and then dropping digital pins on specific elements that you wish to connect to the RFI.  


Simple enough, right? Not so fast. 


Because this RFI might apply to tens or hundreds of elements on one (or more likely, multiple) sheets, you’d need a full-time admin or your superintendent or PM to complete these tasks. Not only is this a poor use of resources, it’s tedious and error-prone with the potential for multiple downstream issues.


Let’s walk through this RFI scenario using the current approach found in all major PM solutions:

  1. Generate an RFI for a clarification on installation of a hardware set on a door. If we imagine this were a hotel, you’re looking at 500 interior room doors. 
  2. As the GC, I could: 
    1. Drop a pin on each door, which would take hours and most likely result in missed locations. In addition, different trades often use different sheets within the drawing set, requiring a comprehensive effort to pin all the drawings, regardless of the perspective.
    2. Ask the design team to update the drawings based on the RFI. The drawbacks? Other issues pinned to the drawings may no longer be valid, subcontractors might be working off of other versions of drawing sets, and timing of the updates show up after work is performed, resulting in further rework
    3. Broadcast changes via email. But this is unreliable. People may miss the email entirely, archive it away or be unable to locate it when needed. 
  3. As the subcontractor installing the doors, I need to:
    1. Scan the drawing to see if there is a pin for an RFI attached to the door I’m installing.
    2. Search my emails to see if someone has sent an RFI response to the doors being installed. 
    3. Hope that another sub doesn’t have a problem finding an RFI for the issue and submit a duplicate RFI, causing extra work for the design team and delaying the installation schedule. 


You can see the drawbacks–and the reworks and overruns just waiting to happen. 


Other workflows with similar impact such as Submittals have similar challenges. For example, what if a door lockset Submittal is not yet approved but the materials are procured anyway and installed?  The rework and schedule impacts should be apparent.  


This is where Inertia Intelligent Drawings come into play.  With Inertia’s location-based approach, we can look at the above scenario and see how these common and costly challenges are resolved in a familiar and easy to use process.


Let’s consider the same RFI being tracked from creation through response and reference during installation of the doors.

  1. When the contractor issues the RFI for the door, Inertia allows you to attach that RFI to all objects of the same type–in this case the hotel-room doors with one-click. This guarantees that the RFI is visible across all doors of the same type for the issuer and the design team. 
  2. When the design team responds and the RFI is reviewed and closed, the response and all related documentation are now attached to each of these doors automatically. 
  3. When the subcontractor teams come in to install the doors, they can simply click on the door or room they are working on in the Inertia location-based map and instantly see the RFI and reference it before installation. 


The benefits to the Inertia approach include:

  1. Reducing work on the design teams responding to duplicate RFI’s
  2. Ensuring that RFI creation and resolution associated with all like elements are accomplished with just a few clicks rather than multiple hours or days of tiresome clouding and pinning 
  3. Providing subcontractors with the latest information on the elements they’re about to work on, including all relevant information; no need to search emails, filter/sort logs or other laborious and error-prone approaches
  4. Close-out is simplified - all the inspections, RFI’s, photos, submittals and specifications are associated with the assets being turned-over to the owner/facility management team.


For the more than 80% of GCs using Procore, Inertia provides seamless integration using Procore’s RFIs, Submittals, Observations, Inspections, Photos among others.  This allows users to remain in the Procore portal and utilize all their same workflows, while using Inertia’s Intelligent Drawings to manage workflows visually and reap the same benefits.


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