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AEC Hackathon Recap (June 27-28, 2015) June 29, 2015

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry, Construction Industry - Software.
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Update: (July 6, 2015) You can now watch the presentations on the AECHackathon YouTube Channel

Since most of my readers are not on Twitter,  I’ve decided to share the tweets which are jam-packed with emerging technologies in the construction, architecture and engineering sector.  I’ve cherry picked the cream of the crop to keep and put them in the order they occurred to make it easier for you to get a taste of what you missed at the AEC Hackathon and what the value of Twitter is (when you can’t be there in person).  Enjoy!

These Tweets were ramping us up for the start:
People arriving at the AEC Hackathon in LA
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Starting up, teams at work and when the next AEC Hackathon is taking place:
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Presentations Begin:
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AEC_Hackathon_5

AEC_Hackathon_6

AEC_Hackathon_Presentations

And the Winners Are:

AEC_Hackathon_Winners

AEC_Hackathon_Winners_2

For active links to all these posts, go to live #AEChackathon feed, @AEChackathon Tweets, the AEC Hackathon YouTube Channel or their website 

Now you might realize why Twitter is one of my favorite sources for learning and keeping abreast of emerging technologies.  To read all my construction and tech tweets on Twitter please follow me or just tune in (no Twitter account necessary)

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How to Find Your Center with Bluebeam Revu June 11, 2015

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Finding the center of an odd shaped room

Finding your center isn’t about Yoga. Whether you want to hang a chandelier or start laying carpet tiles you’ll want to start in the middle of the room. If you start with a square or rectangular room, you could find the center by placing two Diameter measurements and rotate one 90 degrees to see where the diameters cross. This method won’t work though if you have a an arch on one side of the area, like in this hotel foyer (above).

How to find the geometric centerIn this case the ideal tool to use is either the Rectangular Sketch Tool or the Area Measurement Tool and in the properties deselect Show Caption and Check the Centroid. The centroid is the geometric center so the shape of the space will impact your results.Centroid option in the Sketch or area measurement properties

The Centroid function is also available in the Volume measurement tool and numerous sketch tools including the ellipse, polygon, and polyline. Note that Sketch Tools are only available in Revu 2015 and are found under the Markups Tab. If you don’t have Revu 2015 (look under Help | About to find what version you have), give me a call and I’ll help you get upgraded.

For those readers who have Bluebeam Revu Standard or CAD editions and are interested in what the benefits are of having Extreme we’re hosting a free Webinar “Making the Case for Revu Extreme” on July 17, 2015 at 11:30am pacific time. Click here to learn more about this webinar and to RSVP.  We hope to see you there.

Bluebeam Tip: Estimating and Layers May 18, 2015

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software, estimating.
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Quickly assign many take-off markups to a single layer

How many times during your estimating take-off do you right click and add an item to a layer? You use layers to place like items together (all the electrical, all the the flooring or all the insulation, etc.), so you can toggle these layers on and off, to isolate trades and to keep your take-off ordered and uncluttered. When using one drawing to take-off many trades, layers helps but adding an item to a layer each time you take-off an item in Revu is time-consuming. There’s a quicker way.

Assign All Markups to a Layer in one stepEstimating professionals take-off like items together. By chunking your work you are naturally more efficient as your mind works best when focused. Once you take off all the plumbing (or electrical fixtures, etc) there’s a quick way to add all of them to a layer using the flatten tool. Just check the box next to Assign Layer then type in the Layer name (overwrite the default ‘Markups” in the text box). As you add Layers, a drop down choice will show you your previously entered layer names. Remember to keep the unflatten option checked so you can add any missed items and to then create or export your report summary to .CSV format (Excel) later. If you haven’t used the layers function you’ll want to turn the Layers Tab on in your left panel using the Tab Access (It’s an upside down orange triangle on the command bar). Then check/uncheck any layers you want to display/hide.

You could alternatively use CTRL-A in the Worklist then Right Click and Create a New Layer, but this doesn’t get all your markups out of the way in the Worklist for the next set of related take-off items like the Flatten Tool does. What else do you use Flatten for? The flatten function in Bluebeam Revu is important to use so you don’t accidentally move markups that should remain in place and it makes the markups printable. It’s also important when you email PDFs to others (who may not have Bluebeam yet) so that hyperlinks work in those other PDF programs.

For more tips on Estimating with Bluebeam, these topics may be of interest to you:

Multiple Monitors for Estimating Take-off Productivity

Show All Measurements in one Estimating Take-off item

Improving Estimating Take-off Accuracy

Bluebeam Tips: Construction Safety Hazards using Pictograms April 22, 2015

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software, Safety.
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How's this for trench safety?

How’s this for trench safety? (Photo by Ernest Brooks, Trenches of the 11th Cheshire Regiment at Ovillers-la-Boisselle, on the Somme, July 1916.)

OSHA’s new Hazard Communication Standard goes into effect June 1, 2015 and will require pictograms on labels as a safety measure. These new labels are there to alerts us to the specific types of chemicals hazards. They serve as a reminder to warn us of danger and to take special care. These visual cues should heighten our awareness so why not place them on your plans to remind employees as they enter work areas what is present? Use Bluebeam to help you with safety talks, acting as a visual aid.

Why visuals are so important to safety

Trench Safety and Job Site Hazards (photo by Sherry Eklund of Desert View Aerial Photography dvaerialphoto.com)

Trench Safety and Job Site Hazards (photo by Sherry Eklund of Desert View Aerial Photography http://www.dvaerialphoto.com)

It only takes us 150 milliseconds for a symbol to be processed and 100 milliseconds to attach a meaning to it. Every safety meeting should incorporate visuals, not just speaking or text. They are also easier to recall. That’s why pictograms are on the labels of hazardous material and having your team review the locations of these materials can be life saving. These pictograms may be incorporated onto the site planning for stationary hazards, or preexisting conditions. It’s great for remediation or environmental cleanup projects and will help your employees return home safe and sound. Adding visual symbols on HAZOPs, P and IDs and construction safety studies are also a good idea. Besides placing signs or symbols, shading work zones with open trenches, equipment traffic flow or crane boom reach, possible falling objects, etc is beneficial too. How bout scaffolding locations on the jobsite and lift placement. The list goes on.

Bluebeam Revu Osha Hazard Tools SetYou can find OSHA’s pictograms in vector quality (.EPS format) on the Department of Labor website (https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/pictograms). Add these tools to a new safety tool set in your custom “Safety Profile” and you’re ready to go. If you aren’t familiar with how to create custom profiles, custom tool sets or custom tools you may want to review these previous posts (below) or request our OSHA Hazard Pictograms tool set in our Safety Profile for Revu (for free): Email Me Your Contact Info.

Hagen Business Systems Inc can create custom profiles, tool sets and tools for your teams. To request these services, send an email with your business contact information to Email Me Your Contact Info.

Arizona Contracting Sales Tax Flow Charts for 2015 March 17, 2015

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry.
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If you’re in construction and perform work in Arizona, the first few months of 2015 have been confusing when it comes to sales tax (know as Transaction Privilege Tax). The recent changes signed into law a few weeks ago by our governor is supposed to ease the burdens on reporting and clarify the rules for the contracting community. After attending a few presentations on the subject by the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) and the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) it is abundantly clear that the construction industry needs help in understanding what is required.

Many professional organizations are sponsoring lunch and learns, all day courses and everything in between. It was nice to stumble onto a resource handout that will ease some of the burden. As a tech geek, flow charts and decision trees clarify not only the best decision, but how you arrived at your choice. The flow charts below will guide you to the correct choice whether your construction project should be treated as a Prime Contract, Maintenance, Repair, Replacement or Alteration (MRRA), or your Contract is Exempt and sales tax is collected at material purchase or tracked by the purchaser and self reported. Thanks go out to BeachFleischman PC for creating these flow charts for both commercial and residential construction contracts.

AZ 2015 Commercial Sales Tax Flow ChartArizona 2015 Residential Construction Sales Tax Flow Chart effective January 1 2015

File these with each project as a supporting document (in case of an audit from the Arizona Department of Revenue) and circle the Yes/No answers you used. Don’t forget to fill in the date in whichever grey box you end up in.  To request a copy of these flow charts, please Email Me Your Contact Info

For advice on any tax interpretations, talk with your Certified Public Accountant or get connected with the CFMA to find a CPA that focuses on construction.

Making Interactive Plan Sets (Auto Mark and Batch Link) February 2, 2015

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Today’s Tip will help everyone working on the project by making Interactive (Navigable) Plan Sets . Using vector based plans is key to making interactive plan sets so the sheet index is hyperlinked to each page. With Bluebeam’s Automark and Batch Link the time to get this done is just a minute or two away.

We covered AutoMark previously, and though it would help to see the progression to Batch Link (a Revu Extreme 12+ only feature) streamlines the hyperlink process.

We’ll cover adding hyperlinks to plan details, creating Sets and batch slip sheeting (Revu 2015 Extreme Only-Release Date Feb 3, 2015) in future posts.

If you don’t already have the Extreme version of Bluebeam, contact your IT administrator or Email Me Your Contact Info and we’ll get your upgrade processed today!

If you haven’t tried Bluebeam Revu, download a 30 day free trial of Extreme here.

Bluebeam Tip: Email Templates January 2, 2015

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software, email.
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For those of you still not using a Construction project management solution or Bluebeam Studio and the notifications feature, you are likely sending many emails for RFIs, Submittals, etc. to the architect, general contractor, specialty trade or engineer. Bluebeam has PDF document templates for RFIs as a PDF document and as fillable form. If you correspond frequently with the same few people on a project, why not make email templates to expedite the process?

Bluebeam email template prefills Email templates can be prefilled with To, CC, BCC, Subject, and Message so you can create a template for a specific Architect when sending an RFI, like this that reduces keystrokes for your project manager:

To create an email template in Bluebeam, click File
and hover over the down arrow next to Email, then select Manage E-mail Templates Bluebeam RFI email template between You and the Architect
If you have a large project with over 100 RFIs expected, you may want to put the Project Name in the Subject line and save the template as RFI to specific Architect for Project XYZ. Obviously you can do the same thing for submittals and to other recipients you frequently email.
Choice of email templates appear in the Bluebeam dropdown listWhat you end up with is a dropdown to select from like this (right). Email templates are especially handy for project managers assigned to one project for an extended timeframe.

Note that the dropdown list appears in alphabetical order. Be careful to create a good naming convention either by type of correspondence (RFI, Submittal, etc), by project name, or by recipient for consistency and ease of use.

Question for my readers:
What Document templates have you created beyond the Fax, Field Report, Invoice, Memorandum, Punch, RFI and submittal choices delivered with Bluebeam Revu? Please share your list of templates and forms in the comments.

New to this blog? Please either follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn or subscribe in a reader to learn new tips every week.

Next week I’ll cover notifications inside Bluebeam Studio.

Bluebeam Tip: Construction Coordination Overlays October 7, 2014

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The Document Comparison features in Bluebeam Revu are great for spotting differences between revisions but did you realize you can also use the Overlay Pages option for your construction coordination?

Simply select the construction disciplines you want to coordinate and assign each an appropriate color in the overlay pages dialogue box. The great part about using the overlay pages function is that each discipline (file name) will automatically come across as a layer so you can toggle each discipline off/on as you work on the coordination. In the sample below we used overlay pages with three documents: S1.2, A401 and E201 being the structural framing plan, architectural rcp and electrical wiring diagram respectively. To view your layers, use the shortcut ALT + Y or select layers from the Tab Access Menu.

Coordination Overlays in Bluebeam Revu

Bluebeam Revu is versatile and often one function serves multiple purposes. Once you overlay your coordination, you may want to assign work areas using Spaces and create a schedule for your specialty contractors, part of workface planning and the Fiatech Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) project.

Want to learn more about Bluebeam or need one on one web training for your construction team or office staff? We offer customized training for your Project Managers, Estimators and supporting office staff. To arrange for web-based Bluebeam Training using GoToMeeting, Email Me Your Contact Info.

Architects Build a Rock Solid Reputation with Project Owners April 10, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, estimating.
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An Architects reputation is thought to focus on building design, sustainability, open areas, and aesthetics. As the owner’s supervisor of construction work, what your reputation actually depends upon is your effective communication, coordination and collaboration. Conveying a clear vision, responding timely and controlling project costs while juggling schedules and maintaining quality ensures your success. Your ability to make the entire process appear effortless delights your project owner and creates a rock solid relationship.

Once your design has been selected your next step should pull the construction team together to make the magic happen. Beginning with a system that provides measurable results with analytics and project controls can make the e-procurement process a well coordinated project and set the tone for a collaborative experience that streamlines your project’s procurement process. Here’s an international solution coming soon to the United States that every Architect should know about:

Gaining a reputation for effective and efficienct communication will keep your reputation growing in the right direction. The owner will see his project start sooner, and you’ll be able to track and control costs all the way down to the supplier, all up front. If you’d like more information on ProTenders, please email their sales team, and tell them Carol sent you.

Information Chaos in the Construction Industry April 9, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, Document Imaging.
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Whether you still hold onto paper or not, more construction activity content is reaching you in a digital format. Email, electronic collaboration portals, file sharing, applications for payment, plan set revisions, etc all accumulate into a mountain of digital documents. How you manage your digital documents will determine your success in project management, effective communication, risk management and productivity. Without a strategic plan and integrated solutions to document workflow you are highly susceptible to Information Chaos.

This slide presentation by John Mancini presented at the AIIM conference explains the challenges, how to plan and prepare for Information Chaos in a Digital World

Your construction company has already felt the information chaos pain as you have worked with digital documents. A single source of truth that is easy to navigate, quick to access, and offers flexible search options is what you long for. What construction needs is a digital document workflow that incorporates project management correspondence, BIM collaboration, emails, reporting, human resources and accounting. With workflows the digital documents are stored, tracked, revised, managed and resaved all into a central depository with rules applied for document retention throughout the document lifecycle while maintaining secure access to sensitive data.

The silos of information spread across applications and mobile devices, within departments and held closely by employees is costly and often adds to the chaos. How do you measure the Lost time and missed opportunities these silos have created? They directly affect your bottom line. As a Viewpoint Business Development Partner I’m here to help address your mobile, digital, collaboration, cloud, project management, estimating and construction accounting initiatives. Let’s start a conversation about where you want to be and an IT plan to get there. Simply Email Me Your Contact Info and I’ll get back to you right away!

Bluebeam Tips and Shortcuts for Estimators February 21, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, estimating.
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These handy Bluebeam Keyboard shortcuts will help Estimators get their work done a bit faster:

Bluebeam Revu Keyboard Shortcuts for construction estimating

If you aren’t likely to commit these to memory, you can still work more efficiently with these helpful toolchest estimating tool tips.

Publc works Color Codes for Underground Utilities A Markup and its layer can be defined in the toolchest. To add a layer to a markup, right click on your toolchest markup tool and choose layer. Common uses of layers for estimators is to name each layer by trade or specialty. This way you can toggle them off and on, which is especially helpful when you have many measurements in a small area.

Color coding by specialty or discipline is also popular for custom estimating markup tools. My suggestion would be to follow industry standards like the American Public Works Association (APWA) uniform color code for underground utilites:

This also makes for a great “Legend” custom markup tool you can place on your estimating take-off plan set. Not sure how to make this color coded legend as one tool? Tune in for next week’s Bluebeam tip and I’ll cover how to group markups.

Bluebeam Tip: Improving Estimating (Take-off) Measurement Accuracy January 23, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software, estimating.
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Improve Take-off Accuracy Disable Line WeightsBluebeam Revu provides measurement tools ideally suited for construction estimating take-off.  You can use the snap to content for your estimating department to work with plan sets and “hit” the exact corner or inside wall for a perfect measurement but the line weight might may impact your measurement accuracy.

The problem comes in with the varying line weights on drawings.  It can be difficult to tell if there are two lines close together and a one inch measurement differential will adversely affect your accuracy.  Many plans do not have layers activated so toggling the layers off/on doesn’t improve the drawing lines.  Estimators will make it a best practice to Disable Line Weights .  This feature is hidden but can be added to any toolbar.  Follow these steps:

  1. Right click in a black space next to any tool barBluebeam Toolbar choices on your profile and select Customize from the list (right)
  2. Change the Categories choice to “All” and scroll down and select “Disable Line Weights”
  3. Select which toolbar you want to add it to, or click the plus to create a new toolbar that you can drop onto your profile.
  4. Click on the arrow to add it to your toolbar.  I added mine to the right navigation and it appears in the lower right on my screenshot at the top of this post.

I suggest you add Disable Line Weights before your next bid.  As a professional construction estimator you’ll be more productive and accurate with your measurements.

BONUS: Remember to have your snap to content activated so your clicks will attach themselves to the nearest underlying content.

McGraw-Hill: Arizona Construction Economic Outlook Highlights January 9, 2014

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Employment Rates Nov 2013

Today’s Dodge 2014 Construction Outlook drew 150+ people from the Arizona Builders Alliance, Construction Financial Management Association and the Construction Specifications Institute . The presenter, Cliff Brewis, Senior Director Operations at McGraw-Hill delivered an uplifting economic message for most of the Arizona Construction Industry.

While the unemployment rates for Arizona remain high, their forecast is for unquestionable improvement of 25.5% for 2014. Almost every construction market sector should expect positive growth with Health, Hotel and Single family homes leading the way. Construction Forecast for Arizona Education SectorWhile the education market is growing it is primarily in research facilities rather than higher education or public school districts. The only sluggish markets forecasted with negative growth are highway and multi-residential.

The 2013 construction numbers totaled $10,363,555 and are expected to reach $13,010,293 in 2014. While this remains well off the highs of 2006 with over $24 million the forecast brought smiles to the audience with a promise of recovery in Arizona dramatically outpacing the United States as a whole. Sunny days are here again!

E-Discovery in Construction Litigation January 8, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, Document Imaging, email, records retention.
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Construction E-Discovery Tips

As a panelist for the Arizona Bar Association luncheon yesterday along with Kathy Kozen, Esq, Director of Discovery Services for D4 E-Discovery and Russell Yurk, Esq, Jennings Haug and Cunningham, a crowd of 80+ lawyers filled the room at the Phoenix Country Club. They asked me to give them an overview of what Enterprise Content Management (ECM) was and what technology construction firms were using to manage their documents. There were cases sited involving email, metadata, and search terms that they asked us to comment on as well.

Here are a few highlights of what I shared that could prove helpful to contractors (and lawyers) to improve their construction document management and avoid unnecessary e-discovery litigation expenses in their future.

In an e-discovery process many documents are extracted for review and the delivered results are something like an ECM system – searchable, sortable, accessible and deliverable.

If you have an ECM system in place prior to litigation you’ll save money in the gathering phase and can produce native documents and metadata if necessary.

Document Management in accounting and project management systems is often a paperclip function and not all are alike. Some merely point to a file address and the link can be lost if the document is moved on a hard drive or archived.

Email is a terrible way to document a construction project and can be costly to recreate the timelines when older email is involved.

Avoiding the use of email, leading firms are collaborating on documents (marking up, editing and producing auditable records) in project management, cloud based systems and PDF editing solutions then importing the documentation into their ECM systems as part of the workflow. Email in these firms may only be a notification system to alert subcontractors and other project stakeholders of request for input or approval on RFIs, submittals, change orders,etc within the Project management or ECM system.

Photo management is exploding and innovative firms are capturing photos throughout the project from mobilization thru the punch process. On large complex projects like hospitals, many are outsourcing the capture of in progress jobsite photo collection at set milestones.

I sited an ENR article from February of 2012 that stated some firms were writing into their contracts that email would not be used for e-discovery on the project – This received many chuckles from the audience, however, as the trend toward less email use continues, there won’t be much value in email – just a bunch of expense. Some judges will uphold this argument as well if both parties had agreed before the project began.

Having a documented records retention and destruction policy can help avert opposing council’s request for you to pull email from backup tapes. Backups are for catastrophic loss (fire, flood, computer hard drive failue, etc). By having an email records retention policy that is followed (you destroy the emails in a timely fashion per the policy) may save you tens of thousands of dollars in e-discovery costs.

Printing out emails and storing them in a physical job folder while deleting the original email (and it’s metadata) could be a records retention policy breach and null your protection. Smart lawyers will ask you to produce the email with metadata since a printed out email could be produced on a typewriter.

ECM can include Word, Excel, Powerpoint, recorded VOIP messages, audio, photos, video, web content, scanned documents, e-forms, Text messages, email and the attachments in any format including .PDF, .DWG, .DWF, .IFC, etc.

It will be difficult to convert Building Information Modeling (BIM) to .TIF as it is a visual 3D rendering. BIM files are exceedingly large. Laser scanning is also becoming commonplace along with augmented reality which will also be “discoverable” in complex cases.

Much of the e-discovery expense is in exporting documents and converting them to a standard readable and searchable formats like .PDF or .TIF.

Bates numbering can be done with .PDF – Bluebeam Revu offers this feature and also has document conversion capabilities for many standard formats.

There will continue to be an explosion of data volume with smartphones, tablets and mobile device use in construction, therefore e-discovery data collection may also grow exponentially.

Without a plan to eliminate silos and share documents across platforms (Sharepoint servers, ECM systems, accounting, project management, mobile devices and other collaborative systems) a construction company increases its exposure as they collect and retain more data.

If you are looking for ECM solutions to make your plan room and/or your entire company electronic, mobile, collaborative, accessible, and auditable, we consult and market ECM and electronic document management systems to the construction industry. Just Email Me what you’re looking to solve and let’s get you started.

Bluebeam Revu Idea: The Ultimate HomeBuilder As-Built December 3, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry, Construction Industry - Software.
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Once you’ve completed building your customers dream home you hand over the keys and all the documentation.  Warranties, specifications, owner’s manuals, etc – it’s a stack of paper that may need it’s own filing cabinet.  What if you delighted your home owner with an interactive As-built with the appliances, fixtures and all their documentation embedded on the plans?  The ultimate as-built would deliver a remarkable experience.

PDFs embedded on Home Plans using Bluebeam Revu

PDF icons open up underlying documentation for each appliance or fixture

In the above example the PDF icon is shown with the attachment markup function.

This is easy to create using the Attachment option on the Markups Tab

Once you select the file and click to where you want it embedded on your plan set, you can open the Properties Tab on the Markup and change the ICON to PDF, Show File Name, paperclip, Tag, Graph, Attachment “push pin”, etc.  You could also include a Legend to explain what each symbol/icon represents (warranty, spec, photo, energy efficiency, etc).

Interactive As-Builts make the documentation make sense to everyone.  his is also great in the commercial space where a facilities manager might need to review maintenance instructions, etc.

To share these embedded PDFs on the planset with your homeowner, remember to flatten the document markups before sharing so the hyperlinks work using other PDF programs.  Remember it is likely that your homeowner will use a PDF reader that isn’t Bluebeam.  

Tip:  You can add other Icons to the Icon choices like a camera to symbolize embedded photos.

What do you do to make your as-builts pop?  Please share your ideas in the comments with our readers.

Bluebeam Tip: Translate Your Markups November 13, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Bluebeam can translate markups to 50+ languages

An often unnoticed function in Bluebeam Revu is the ability to translate all your markup annotations.  Have a Spanish speaking subcontractor, no problemo, the punch process and design reviews will be a snap!

It’s quite easy to use, just navigate to the Document tab, select Process and choose the Translate Markups.
This dialogue box will appear for you to select the to/from language:
Translate Markups in Bluebeam

With over 50 languages to choose from, you’ll be able collaborate with construction professionals worldwide.

Once your comments are translated, Flatten and Email to get your message across. With the hyperlinks, there’ll be no confusion!

Note: Bluebeam leverages Google Translate to perform the translation so an internet connection is required.  This was added to Bluebeam Revu in the version 9 release.

Arizona Construction Career Days Recap November 11, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in thought leadership.
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image

Read the Recap on the success of the construction industry and how they expose 1600+ high school students to the diversity of contracting opportunities. https://plus.google.com/app/basic/stream/z12dyj54pquhh3sxe04ce5risqnlf53rsbo

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How are you planning to address the construction labor shortages in your state?

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Please share in the comments.

Winning Projects with Interactive Construction Presentations October 17, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software, Construction Industry Hardware.
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Winning Projects wit Interactive Presentations

Turn Your Whiteboard into a Touch Pen Display

Construction presentation effectiveness is the difference between winning and losing a project. Since Powerpoint came on the scene, the innovative contracting firm has mastered storytelling and realizes than communication is a two way street. Proving your understanding of the project scope, site challenges and constructability is paramount to success. The static slide is being usurped by interactive presentations. Here are a few ideas to convert your next presentation from drab to interactive:

Make Your Information Visually Appealing
One of the most common presentation mistakes is made when displaying numbers in a row and column format. Most people think, I’ll make a chart or graph which is old school. Instead, create a Heat Map using Excel. This is especially effective when presenting energy data on a LEED construction project to an owner. This video from Annielytics is an excellent tutorial of how to create a heat map:

Add Interactive Elements
Links to supporting project data, photos, videos etc are the basics. Hyperlinking Slide content to construction documents or real-time data collection that translates these field updates into easily understood moving visuals are recommended. How you render project progress completion by building, floor or room can transport an owner inside his own building. Here’s an example of a design coordination meeting recently shared by Ryan Companies using Bluebeam Revu in a Studio Session:

Construction Design Coordination Meeting using Bluebeam Studio

All annotations and task statuses are captured in the Markups list of Bluebeam

Update Your Construction Visual Aides
U-Pointer works with all projectorsUsing whiteboards, projectors and flat screen monitors is so 2008. Convert your Whiteboard or wall-mounted flat screen monitor into a touch pen screen with the U-Pointer. It’s small and portable to take with you to a client’s office. Wherever your need to present, you can make a lasting impression, even at the jobsite:

Large Display

Interactive Display at Jobsite with U-Pointer

Add a Liquid Multi-Touch Display and immerse your audience with an iPad-like project kiosk experience. Show your construction team link portal, interactive

32" Liquid Display with Stand

32″ Liquid Display with Stand

plan sets, your visual punch process, the job site check-in process for your workforce and how you communicate when resolving time-sensitive issues.  The electronic documents of today necessitate mark-up and annotation capabilities.  Your client is expecting a mobile, connected and collaborative team that communicates efficiently.

Whatever cost effective technology you use on your construction site that adds value, improves communication and streamlines processes is a winning proposition to the construction team and the project owner.

For additional information on any of these technologies, please contact me directly via Email and please specify what product you are interested in.

Bluebeam Tip: How to Create Your Own Punch Symbols Quickly October 15, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Until the Bluebeam Revu 11 release, creating punch symbols was a laborious task requiring coping and editing each symbol in the tool chest. Bluebeam has punch symbol tool sets available to download and import (http://www.bluebeam.com/us/support/extensions-tool-sets.asp ) however, if you want to create your own groups of symbols there’s now a much quicker and easier way.

Creating Your Own Punch Symbol set in Bluebeam begins with a CSV file. You can create a CSV file even without Excel by just using NotePad. To access Notepad click on Start | All Programs | Accessories | NotePad.

Using the format “Subject”,”Code”,”Comment” (the comment is the detail description) type in one code per line with each component in “quotes” and separated by a comma as shown here:
Creating Bluebeam Punch Symbols in Notepad Once you added all your entries, save the it as .TXT file.

Next, Navigate to the Tool Chest and click on the gear [1] just below the tool chest to open Manage Tool Sets,Add Punch Groups using the Tool Chest Gear

In the Manage Tool Sets click on Add [2], Name the Punch group PunchKeytrade(where trade is a specific specialty ie. Electrical, Mechanical, Carpentry, etc).
How to Add a Tool Set to the Tool ChestThis will appear as the header for a group of punch symbols and will appear in alphabetical order in your Tool Chest. If you are a general contractor you’ll want to create separate symbol groups for each trade to make it easy for the subcontractors to update the punch status during the back check process. This is particularly useful if you are also using Bluebeam Studio to perform a real-time punch and back check.

Once the Punch Group is created, click Modify [3] and click on the Punch Key Import [4] button (only in Revu 11+), then navigate to the .TXT file you created, select it and click OK. This will import each line of the .TXT file into the Tools window on the Modify Tool Set pane as shown below:
Punchkey Import adds each line entry as a symbol
To finish, Make sure the relative path box is checked and optionally the show in all Profiles (if you desire), then Click OK to complete the Modify Tool Set.

Bluebeam Tip: How to Only Print, Email or Export Pages with Markups October 7, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
Tags: , , , ,
3 comments

How to only Print Pages with Markups in Bluebeam
After taking the time to markup documents in Bluebeam Revu, why send 100 pages when there are only a few pages with markups or notes on them? Instead of sending the full set of plans or a lengthy multi-page PDF, it is faster and sometimes more effective to only email the document pages that have markups. This is especially true when not everyone uses Bluebeam Revu. Here’s the quick 3 step process to just send pages with markups to the Print, Email or Export Pages option of Bluebeam:

1. Navigate to the Markups List
2. Press CTL-A to select all markups
3. Choose the desired function: Email, Print or Export Pages

The Page selection will prefill with the highlighted pages only. This is also true with the search function in Bluebeam.

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