For the construction industry, one of the latest trends is finding new ways to improve collaboration capabilities at the jobsite. More often, new technology solutions are being introduced to offer construction companies more opportunities to enable a higher level of collaboration—online or offline.
One recent example of an enhanced product, announced today, comes from Bluebeam Software, www.bluebeam.com, Pasadena, Calif. The company released Revu 11, which will allow AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) firms to continue to edit and annotate files even when an Internet connection is not present.
Revu 11’s Studio Projects Offline mode builds on Bluebeam Studio—Revu’s cloud functionality. With this new mode, users will be able to access and edit files on a desktop, tablet, or iPad, even when there is no Internet connection available.
The company says changes can be synced as soon as connectivity is restored. Additionally, architects, engineers, and contractors will be warned if additional changes occur by others while they were offline, ensuring no edit is lost.
For the AEC industry, being able to work offline and sync changes is huge. Many construction sites are in remote locations where Internet connections can easily be lost. This new capability offered by Bluebeam Software will allow workers to continue to make edits and annotations and sync when online.
Other new capabilities in Revu 11 include AutoMark to organize PDFs by automatically creating bookmarks and page labels from PDF content; Sets to view, navigate, and edit multiple files as if they were one; VisualSearch to search PDFs for drawing objects; and Format Painter to apply property settings across multiple annotations.
The new product also has features to create 3D PDFs from any IFC file. The Section Box tool shows the issue by exposing interior details, while the Transform tool allows users to identify how elements fit together by selecting and moving individual objects within a 3D PDF assembly.
While this new functionality will allow AEC project teams to do more with Revu in the future, the offline mode is an interesting new development that will enable users to continue to collaborate anywhere.
The collaboration trend is also continuing to develop further as BIM (building information modeling) continues to mature in the AEC industry. Modeling software allows teams to visualize and quantify objects as well as share detailed data between architects, engineers, and contractors.
As an example, at the end of last week, Tekla, www.teklastructures.com, which became part of the Trimble Buildings Group in 2011, www.trimble.com, Sunnyvale, Calif., announced the newest version of its 3D modeling software.
Within the new release, Tekla Structures 19, concrete contractors are now able to visualize and quantify concrete. The software also enables tighter integration with other tools and Tekla has launched a new, online forum to learn about the software.
This release continues Trimble’s overall vision to exchange BIM information across trades, enabling project-based workflows from preconstruction through to field layout.
As construction teams continue to search for new ways to share data, technology remains at the center of most collaboration and BIM strategies. While these are just two examples of new products, the industry has a wide range of options to connect teams. As construction technology continues to advance, contractors will have more tools at their disposal for collaboration and BIM.