When Trimble, www.trimble.com, Sunnyvale, Calif., announced its plans to acquire SketchUp, it was clear the construction-tech industry was in for a bit of a shake up. Once considered a BIM (building information modeling) entry point for all kinds of people and companies looking to create 3D models, the tool suddenly became part of an evolving sphere of construction-focused solutions.

Trimble, which has a division dedicated to providing solutions to the construction industry, focuses on linking office-based data and processes to the jobsite. This includes taking BIM data to the field, which Trimble says allows for more accurate positioning of foundations and MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) systems.

Now, Trimble has announced new functionality for its Field Link Construction layout software that integrates native SketchUp file support. Trimble says its Field Link layout software helps contractors locate and stake field points from 2D and 3D design models.

The SketchUp import support is the latest integration from Trimble, which also supports model data from Tekla and Autodesk. Benefits of integration include the ability for contractors to take 3D SketchUp Pro models into the field, which the company says allows for quick site verification and viability testing.

Pat Bohle, general manager, Building Construction Division, Trimble, says by taking SketchUp prototypes to the jobsite, contractors can better ensure quality. Plus, the technology helps contractors test the feasibility of mock-up designs.

SketchUp Pro was originally owned by Google, but was acquired by Trimble back in April of this year. The visualization tool continues to be used by contractors and architects to produce 3D models for both commercial and residential construction projects.

BIM-to-field capabilities in construction are an important part of integrating workflow throughout the various phases of a project. In the end, a more integrated workflow can help deliver increased efficiency, accuracy, and profitability.

By connecting the design process to the construction phases, BIM-to-field software solutions can also help connect the backoffice to the field and vice-versa. For Trimble, SketchUp integration demonstrates it is committed to the technology and to its users. For the construction industry, when it comes to technology solutions, the more integrated options, the better.