Technologies like Web collaboration and 3D modeling have empowered construction teams with more data than ever before. Devices like tablets and smartphones enable these professionals to carry such data with them wherever they go. So what does the convergence of the two mean for the construction jobsite?
The vision of Chris Ramsey, CEO and executive vice president, LATISTA Technologies, www.latista.com, Reston, Va., is quite simple: Create the paperless jobsite where owners, contractors, subcontractors, and architects use tablets and Web collaboration software for reviewing documents and BIM (building information modeling). With this, team members are able to initiate workflows for construction processes and share instantly critical jobsite information among key project stakeholders. In addition, relevant data can be updated in realtime to BIM software, creating an ‘as-built’ model for project owners.
LATISTA provides a suite of mobile and Web collaboration solutions that encompass everything from quality control, to commissioning, to punchlist, to production tracking, safety and document management. An underlying workflow engine is essential to realizing the full benefits of automating construction processes.
“In 2012, our Mobile BIM initiative will introduce functionality for BIM in the field starting with a BIM viewer for iPad and advance our BIM model integration with key BIM software partners,” says Ramsey. “LATISTA has already rolled out three unique features as building blocks for realizing the LATISTA vision: Smart Forms, Smart 2D PDFs, and schedule integration.”
As he describes, existing limitations of transportability and availability make full BIM model utilization in the field impractical for many construction project teams today. This is where the Smart 2D PDF technology can help, by enabling PDF plans and drawings to become intelligent and produce data that is relevant to the BIM model.
“With smart 2D PDFs in the field, end users can create markup drawings and plans,” adds Ramsey. “After synchronization to LATISTA Web, this intelligence PDF technology parses important data for generating workflows in LATISTA. It can also extract BIM relevant data.”
Creating the paperless jobsite has always been the vision for the construction industry. With the advent of new and more relevant technologies, it is safe to say the software-provider community is closer than ever to making such a vision a reality.