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Bluebeam Studio: The Most Powerful, Overlooked Feature in Revu January 16, 2015

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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1 comment so far

While Bluebeam has 650,000+ users worldwide (as of August 2014) and growing, less than 10% of the customers use the free collaboration tool inside, Bluebeam Studio. Once you realize what it can do, you’ll be asking yourself, “Where have you been all my life?”, all over again. Use Studio to save time and improve productivity. Architects, Engineers, Specialty contractors, Material Suppliers and Owners love it.

Studio comes with every license of Revu (even the iPad Revu app) and is similar to GoToMeeting or Webex without audio controls, yet doesn’t require everyone you invite to attend simultaneously. Rarely are all construction teams available at the same time, especially when you need to meet with many people. Bluebeam understands that and has made an open ended cloud based collaboration site, with all the markup tools of Revu that the AEC Industry loves and the ability to have up to 500 people attend a Bluebeam Session. Come and go as you please and work online or offline. It will sync up automatically when you have connectivity.

Studio Sessions take care of collaboration. Studio Projects lets you share project files and folders including Word documents, Excel Spreadsheets, images, PDFs, DWGs, etc. You can check out documents from Studio Project, make revisions and check them back in or in the case of PDFs, collaborate on these documents in a Studio Session. With Revu you can convert many documents to PDF with the “Save As” option.

Common uses for Bluebeam Studio:
Design and Constructability Reviews (Studio Sessions)
Real-time Punch and Back Check (Studio Sessions)
Current Plan Sets – A Single Source of Truth (Studio Projects) including hyperlinked RFIs, Submittals, Images, Specifications, etc
Impromptu Problem Solving in the field with access from your iPad to photos captured of current conditions and access to sketch and markup with engineers, designers, etc
Check current project documentation and plans from anywhere.
Work completion updates including material staged (see “Visualizing Project Percent Complete with Your Owner” on how to do this).

Have a Markup you want to keep an eye on? Markup Alerts was added in Revu 12.5 to Notify Session attendees of markups in need of their attention, or in Studio Projects send them the Revision Alerts. Markp Alerts are sent as an email containing a snapshot view of the selected markup and the available associated metadata. The snapshot is also a link into the Session and clicking it will not only take the recipient directly into the Session, but straight to the markup as well. Users can send markup alerts for any markup, not just the ones they’ve created.

To create a markup alert, just right click on the markup in the Markups List while in a Studio Session:
How to alert a construction team member of a Markup change in Bluebeam Studio
Note that you can also see all the Pending items in the lower right panel of a Studio Session.

Don’t want volumes of email? Bluebeam thought of that too, with a daily digest option in the Studio preferences. You can see who’s been working and how much they’ve done. Stop emailing all your markups to the team and then having to combine all those separate PDFs with their replies and answers
Daily Digest email for all Studio Session Activity
Each markup placed on the PDF is tracked in the Record which links back to the PDF file, including its view at the time the markup was created. This is a great way to review the events of a collaboration Session once the Session is complete. Attendees can filter the information that is displayed in the Record by clicking Filter. The Record can also be turned into a Report.

Bluebeam Studio Best Practices:
Upload Project Folders including Images, RFIs, Submittals, Plan Sets, and Specifications Subfolders so that your relative paths remain consistent and your hyperlinks continue to work.
Plan Sets are best put into drawing subfolders for each discipline: 1-General, 2-Civil, 3-Architectural, 4-Structural, 5-Mechanical, 6-Electrical, and 7-Plumbing
If you want the drawings to appear in the industry plan set order, you should number your disciplines since folder structures default to alpha numeric order. (this numbering will be unncessary in Revu 2015 with enhancements to Sets 3.0 on February 3, 2015).
Create custom Profiles and Statuses (for your markups) to address the specific needs of your project. Larger projects may have more than one architectural firm, or have a complex multi-layered approval and reviewer requirement.

Benefits of Bluebeam Studio:
No Need to email back an forth, then combine PDFs to overlay and see who said what when collaborating with multiple parties.
No time zone issues when working with team members across the country or around the world.
Notify trades of revisions from a Studio Project
No need to have someone take meeting minutes! A perfect audit trail.
Ability to create and distribute daily/weekly records or a full report recap.

Here’s the Studio Stats of Sessions vs. Projects Recap:
Bluebeam Projects and Sessions Stats

If you own Revu Standard, CAD, Extreme, or Revu iPad, Here’s how to get started with Studio:

Don’t have Bluebeam Revu yet? Grab yourself a 30 day free trial here.

Sharing BIM with your Construction Team February 19, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in BIM, Construction Industry - Software.
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1 comment so far

The pervasiveness of BIM has proved to bring complexity in communications for extended construction team mebers. Especially those with limited expertise in Revit, Navisworks, etc. There are numerous ways to share models with owners, architects and major specialty contractors but what do you do to make it easier for the other subcontractors and suppliers?

BIM in a Browser
One way to allow viewing of your project BIM views is in a browser. The 4Projects project management solution has mastered this approach.

The limitation is that all team members must be using 4Projects. Obviously this works well when you have committed to that solution for all you projects, but 4Projects is not widely used in the United States. This will change overtime, especially with the acquisition by Viewpoint Construction Software. [Disclosure: I am a Viewpoint Business Development Partner]

Render 3D BIM in a PDF
Another solution is to share your model using Bluebeam Revu CAD. This offers advantages in that you can apply markups for a BIM expert to address in the model, or that other collaborators can answer by applying markups of their own. Coordination becomes easy with the ability to copy a specific area with a section box export instead of a full page 3D. Grabbing the view and copy to the clipboard in Revit or select the section in Navisworks.

You can drop 3D models into a PDF to make it quick to reply to RFIs and giving anyone that receives the PDF the ability to navigate through the model. The model tree remains available and the markups are embedded into the 3D model. A Bluebeam markup will actually float thru the model if the viewer decides to change their perspective as a markup indicator (blue sphere). Other’s using Bluebeam can add their own markups, answer questions and interact with the model. The clipping plane in Bluebeam is also handy when you need to view the interior or do a walk thru. A summary of 2D and 3D markups are a great way for sharing these markups with the novice BIM user or less technical subcontractors and construction team members. A picture remains the best way to explain construction issues. Making it simple for others to work with you will keep the project on time and under budget.

Web Collaboration with the BIM Novice
Web collaboration in a Studio session allows all you to invite subcontractors to the preconstruction review. With Bluebeam Studio the 3D markups can be viewed and annotated by your subcontractors without the subcontractor or other construction team members needing to buy a Bluebeam license. Just email an invite and anyone or any team can be working together with up to 100 people marking up the same document simultaneously. With Bluebeam’s markup list you can look at all the activity, view it by author, sort it by trade, etc. And have a full set of documentation distributed to all participants without worrying about missing anything or having someone change another authors work.

As a Bluebeam Partner, I’m here to answer your questions and would be happy to invite you to our next webinar. Let me know by requesting your invitation now.

How do you share your models with the less sophisticated specialty contractor or the novice owner? Keep this discussion going with your workarounds and solutions in the comments.

Construction Team Meetings: Where Baby Boomers and Gen Y Collide August 24, 2012

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, Document Imaging, records retention, Sharepoint, web conferencing.
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2 comments

Team meetings in construction offices are transforming as we speak.  After reading this CNN article, ‘Generation Y’ set to transform office life and a tweet from Jennifer Hicks it made me think about what is happening in the AEC industry. We’re all so mobile that unless we can all work together on our own schedules and collaborate effectively we’re doomed to failure.

Conversations are Team Meetings

What the construction industry is counting on is technology to make our communications clearer.  Industry leaders use video conferencing to have conversations – important to capture body language cues and readily available, apps abound on many smartphones and social networks today.  Seems like the project managers I know send an email following a conversation to recap and document what they just said.

Project Documents are Changing

Our documents are  easily accessible from Sharepoint, Construction Imaging, project management team portals, or Box.net as all generations are wanting access from anywhere, anytime.  (If you haven’t made the transition to electronic documents you better be thinking about it before you get busy again.) Mark-ups and edits occur on documents frequently and the construction plans seem to pose the biggest challenges.  Versioning control is a decision everyday.  Your records management integrity depends on it.

Collaborative Construction Communications Technology

What do construction team meetings look like today? They’re collaborative, mobile and transparent.  At least the successful ones are.  If you expect to collaborate solely with email you will need more hours in your day.  It’s time to transform your methods and it needs to work for internal and external teams.  One such solution is gaining respect in the industry.  It’s called Bluebeam Studio and I’m luckily part of their partner program.  Watch this short video and see what you think.  Your socks are about to be blown off!

The value is in working simultaneously or on your own time.  If you can’t make it to the Studio session it can be left open for you to chime in later.  If you’re running a pre-construction meeting you can meet virtually and work together. The flexibility is all there.  Have you used Studio?  Would you like to experience it for yourself?  Leave a comment and I’ll invite you and your team to a Studio project and collaborate together today.

This crosses all workforce generations and makes a visual record that’s easy to learn, review, share and save to your project document repository.

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