Best apps to use in the field for BIM modeling, inspections, compliance, and more

CRB has incorporated multiple technologies in the field to prevent and solve coordination and safety issues in a real-time environment.

11/29/2016


Matt Edwards, CRBWhile we all have access to today's great technology, it is truly only worth what we make of it. Without proper implementation, each device is only a different sized paperweight. CRB utilizes iPhones, iPads, numerous applications, and virtual design construction (VDC) kiosks in the field in order to drastically improve collaboration, installation, and safety during the construction processes. This gives our construction engineers, superintendents, and trade contractors the resources necessary to stay on-site.

Traditional workflows required field teams to make trips back and forth from the site to the construction trailers or design center to examine drawings, file reports, or make minor changes. CRB implements limitless technology in each and every project to improve our overall construction process and ensure that safety remains a top priority. 

iPhones/iPads

CRB's project teams are equipped with iPhones and iPads to stay connected to the most recent project documentation, schematics, blue prints, drawings, and inspection tools. Applications allow users to access 3D building models, electronic stick sets, and inspection forms. They make all components instantly available with a click of a button. This gives CRB's project team the information required to perform inspections and audits in order to verify that work is installed per the design intent and executed safely. 

Bluebeam app

The Bluebeam app is equipped with Bluebeam Studio which allows for real-time markup access between CRB's design team and those working in the field. The Studio session is cloud-based; both design and construction teams have access to the cloud from their iPads or computers. Users can upload and share an unlimited number of PDFs and any other file types so that project partners can be working on the same document concurrently. Diagrams and images can be added to the PDF to accurately communicate issues and quicken resolution time. Bluebeam can be utilized even in the case of no internet access therefore minimizing lost time. 

SafetyNet app

The SafetyNet application makes inspections easy to perform and feeds results into a project database so CRB's project team can quickly recognize trends. For example, if multiple reports were filed of incidents involving noncompliance with personal protection equipment (PPE) on-site, CRB would be alerted of the issue and could address it immediately. Traditionally, noncompliance paperwork would have to follow a trail and risk being lost in piles of forms. Safety issues ranked above "medium" are transmitted via text and image to CRB decision makers in real-time for swift correction. Accountability is enforced as the identifying person must log back into the system to physically change the status from "not corrected" to "corrected." Issues are resolved rather than forgotten easing rigorous inspections. SafetyNet permits all users to share information across multiple job sites throughout the country. This is crucial for preventing potential errors and identifying training needs. Online audits keep CRB in compliance with federal regulations. CRB's clients have access to monthly reports demonstrating how CRB takes safety seriously. SafetyNet is a vital tool that ensures all workers have a protected work environment with minimized risk. 

BIM 360 Glue app

This application allows the iPad users to have the entire BIM model at their fingertips. The user can click on any object and view all of the item's properties. For example, by tapping on an air-handling unit, the user can view sizing and utility requirements associated with the equipment. By simply touching, accurate measurements of all elements in the model are efficiently obtained. There is also a free view mode. This mode allows the users to hold the iPad up, and as they move, the model will move to the wall in the direction they are facing. CRB's team can quickly verify that all items have been installed in the right location. Bookmark views are created so users can select the room in which they are standing, and the model will automatically jump to their location. In addition, all the information in the design intent model is accessible through the app. 

ISNetworld software and app

ISNetworld is an online management and record keeping database which ensures that contractors meet internal and governmental compliance requirements. ISN collects health, safety, procurement, quality, and regulatory information. CRB's strict safety requirements for contractors are entered into ISN. Likewise, a contractor submits his or her information to ISN for a comprehensive review of  emergency medical records (EMR), OSHA Logs, Insurance Certificates, and the safety manual. These items are audited by ISN to make sure they meet the minimum standards of CRB. The contractor receives a grade of A, B, C, or F. Auditors work with contractors to build their safety program to meet CRB requirements. An added benefit is that CRB can request and solicit work from a contractor who is already approved.

ISNetworld's free mobile app enables CRB to obtain contractor information while in the field. If a CRB employee witnesses a contractor breaking a rule, CRB can instantly ascertain whether or not workers have received proper training. Using any device's camera, one can simply scan a contractor's ISN identification card to access an individual's qualifications even prior to being allowed on-site. 

CRB has incorporated multiple technologies in the field to prevent and solve coordination and safety issues in a real-time environment. Courtesy: CRBKiosk in field-2VDC Kiosk

A VDC Kiosk is a powerful tool that enables all trades to have access to models, drawings, and electronic file management systems in the field. All documents pertaining to the project remain accessible throughout execution. In addition to the obvious convenience, the use of kiosks streamlines processes, coordinates functions, facilitates clear communication, and eliminates costly mistakes. With video conferencing capabilities, the field team can conduct virtual meetings and discuss issues with off-site design staff; this reduces the need for RFIs. Coordination issues that might have arisen previously are usually prevented and conveniently solved. 

The bottom line Having technology at our disposal is important; using technology effectively is what sets CRB apart from the competition. With accessible documentation, smooth construction workflows, and improved traditional inspections, the process of your project is streamlined. Technology assists CRB's teams to manage projects wherever they may be, at any time and on any device. The work is done more efficiently producing quality results every time without compromising safety. CRB has incorporated multiple technologies in the field to prevent and solve coordination and safety issues in a real-time environment, thus alleviating obstacles and ultimately saving our valued clients time and money. Technology is working for CRB.


- Matt Edwards is director of virtual design & construction at the CRB Raleigh office. To receive Matt's content on virtual design & construction, go to: www.crbusa.com/deepdive/matte. CRB is a CFE Media content partner.



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Combined heat and power; Assessing replacement of electrical systems; Energy codes and lighting; Salary Survey; Fan efficiency
Commissioning lighting control systems; 2016 Commissioning Giants; Design high-efficiency hot water systems for hospitals; Evaluating condensation and condensate
Solving HVAC challenges; Thermal comfort criteria; Liquid-immersion cooling; Specifying VRF systems; 2016 Product of the Year winners
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
click me