Construction Today - November 2017 - 81
same source of truth impact this industry,"
Even when armed with the correct documents, it can be difficult to distinguish
the minute details that change between
versions of a blueprint. PlanGrid eases
this process by automatically analyzing
and highlighting where adjustments
have been made in the plans. That way,
if a plumbing crew has already partially
completed the piping installation, they
can clearly identify the changes and know
if they have to redo any of the previous
work. "They can compare the old version
of the blueprint with the new version of
the blueprint to see what the changes are
right in the field," Gootee says. "That type
of real-time, live access to the record set is
really key for our customers."
More project stakeholders are adopting
PlanGrid to ensure they are following the
same facts. The platform is designed to put
field operations first, making it the solution
of choice for general contractors in 72
countries. "There's a lot of software out there
in the world of construction," Gootee says,
"but we really focus on the field and making
sure the field superintendent has the right
information at his or her fingertips."
Although it was conceived as a platform
for working at a job site, project owners
have increasingly embraced PlanGrid
because of its speed, ease of use, simple
interface and robust features. Many even
specifically require their general contractors
to use PlanGrid during construction. "Owners are becoming more and more a part of
the PlanGrid experience because they're the
owners use PlanGrid because
of its speed, ease of use, simple
interface and robust features.
ones that save the most money in the end,"
The platform is designed to scale with
any size project, but the biggest benefits
are found on major projects with a lot
of complexity and greater opportunities
for time savings. "Where PlanGrid really
shines is over huge projects that have a
large scale," Gootee says. "You've got the
benefit of simplicity but the power of
something that can be used on a project
with 100,000 blueprints."
PlanGrid is being used on many of the
country's most visible projects, such as the
$20 billion Hudson Yards redevelopment in
New York City, the largest private real estate
development in U.S. history. PlanGrid is
serving as the document control and field
collaboration solution for Towers D, E and
the retail component of the project.
PlanGrid was also instrumental in the
construction of the Comcast Center in
Philadelphia and the Children's Hospital
of San Antonio. On the Comcast Center,
builder Structure Tone - which has used
PlanGrid on more than 4,000 projects -
estimated that the platform saved 900 users
By helping to put field operations first,
PlanGrid has been adopted by general
contractors in 72 countries.
an average of 15 hours per week. For the
Children's Hospital of San Antonio, general
contractor Bartlett Cocke determined that
PlanGrid saved $38,000 in paper, $194,000
in time and $567,000 in rework. "That's over
half-a-million dollars [saved] by not having
to build the wrong thing," Gootee says.
The savings potential of PlanGrid will only
grow as the platform improves with the
advancement of machine learning. The
platform already uses machine learning to
automatically mark hyperlinks and perform
deep searches of construction documents,
but the potential is far greater. "It's a huge
influence on the entire industry right now,"
Gootee says of machine learning. "How can
we be smarter?
"We'll be able to offer insights to our
customers that help them understand
things about their projects before they
ask," Gootee continues. One potential
application of machine learning is to better
facilitate the coordination between general
contractors and their subs. In the future,
when a blueprint change is made, the
systems may not only be able to identify
the change, but alert the general contractor
that the subcontractor is working on that
component now and ask if they want to
contact the crew directly.
The ability to analyze mountains of construction data could also lead to numeric
performance ratings for subcontractors and
provide owners with insights on past projects to better inform their decision-making
on the next development. "There's some
very exciting things we can do with that
data for our customers," Gootee says.
NOVEMBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM