Before coming to Applied Software, I worked for Walsh Construction, and I was tasked with implementing BIM 360 Field midway through our project. I was working on BIM Coordination & QAQC at the time, so I was pretty happy to get away from our old QAQC workflow which consisted of the following:
- Printing out an 11x17 floor plan or floor plans of what I planned to walk
- Printing out our excel sheet that kept track of all of our Discrepancies (it reached 300 at its apex) and sorting it by location & subcontractor manually
- Bringing my phone or iPad out to the field to document & take pictures
- After the walk, come back in & make my chicken scratches on my 11x17 presentable, attach the photos & send it to all parties
- Fight with the subcontractors about scope of work and location of the discrepancy
I hated this workflow. Every week I had to rewalk the issues. Every week I had to take new pictures - if I didn't, the size of the PDF would be unmanageable. Every week I had to remap everything on my floor plan because things changed from week to week. And if a bunch of subcontractors who wanted a report customized for just their issues, I was really in trouble because I was in for a long night or long nights. Coming from BIM where everything was in the computer, easy to organize & reporting was possible, I knew there had to be a better way.
We decided to implement our QAQC process into BIM 360 first. This required a bit of legwork on the front end to get started:
- Using Bluebeam, we broke each sheet out individually & hyperlinked them and uploaded them all to the Field Library
- We generated a Location List & imported it into BIM 360 Field
- We uploaded our Companies / Subcontractor List
- We linked our locations to the floor plans for pinpointing
- We moved our QAQC / Discrepancy Excel sheet to BIM 360
This took a while because it was a 450,000 square foot hospital with 12 buildings that had 3 or 4 floors each. But it was totally worth it because ANYTHING was better than what I was doing before (also we had 2 interns).
When I came over to Applied Software, this became part of our Implementation Plan, along with setting up Barcodes & printing out stickers to make the Barcoding of Locations quick & easy to deploy (among other things).
Anyway, once we implemented our site, I noticed a huge difference almost immediately. Before BIM 360, as I said, it was a disaster, and the subcontractors beat me up about it regularly. The reports were different almost every week, the information was disorganized, it was almost impossible to assign an issue from one company to another, and things didn't get done. We argued all the time.
The two most consistent things I heard from people regarding issues during my original workflow were that 1) "That issue isn't mine," or 2) "I don't know where that is." But because BIM 360 allowed me to create an issue that housed (in an easily accessible & organized format) the issue description, photo, assigned company, location, and even pinpointed the location on the floor plan, those arguments went away, and it allowed my team & I to simply focus on how to solve problems in the field. Meetings got shorter, site walks were more friendly, and the architect was even less grumpy.
- The subcontractors loved it because the information was easy to understand & accessible at anytime.
- The owner & architect loved it because things were getting done & discrepancies were being corrected.
- I loved it because it saved me time & effort, and made my job easier & more fun.
- And my boss loved it because he didn't have to fight with the owners & subcontractors about discrepancies.
It took about a 3 or 4 weeks to break that list of 300 items down to 200, and the list kept shrinking & shrinking from there. A bunch of our subcontractors even started actively participating in BIM 360 with their iPads - without prompting. It really turned around our QAQC process, and instilled confidence in the whole Construction Team.
Stay tuned for part two of this discussion about BIM 360 & Quality Control, where we will talk about Reporting in BIM 360.