Plan Production Workflow with CTC Tools: Sheet Sets

Technical Consultant Infr/GIS  at SolidCAD

 

Creating sheets has always been a time-consuming process and needs to be addressed quite early in the design for preliminary submissions.

While sheet sets can help us with global information updates across sheets with the use of fields, they cannot alter or create layouts and viewports.

Civil 3D does offer a solution for creating multiple sheets in one fell swoop. But, where these tools fall short is in flexibility and updating.

CTC Software has come up with a set of tools to bridge this gap in flexibility and updating. This workflow can integrate seamlessly into a company standard with only the addition of 3 blocks and a few designated layers.

Sheet Generator ties in with sheet sets for information updating, and has the power to update Plan & Profile sheets if the alignment or scope change throughout a project.

Instead of View Frames spliced by matchlines, Plan Viewshapes inserts blocks as viewport area extents and closed polylines representing the actual shape of the viewports in layout sheets.

Profile Views takes advantage of native tools to split up profiles for each sheet.

Networks to Views adds all desired networks to profile views, but only assigns parts to the views they are visible in.

Adjust & Move on Profiles allow for efficient tweaking of the profile views to best line up with Plan Viewshapes.

Profile Viewshapes overlays the extents of the profile viewports onto the profile views for designers to make any last adjustments.

Create Layouts takes the plan viewshapes and profile viewshapes, adds matchlines to either depending on settings, adds north arrows, and creates sheets that can be added to a new or existing sheet set.

The true power of this tool set is the Update layouts command. As plan viewshapes change or shift this tool can write that change out to the affected layouts. It will adjust viewport shapes, north arrows, matchlines, layout names, and ripple through the sheet set.

CTC also has great tutorials for all their tools on their Youtube Channel.

Bluebeam: PROFILES

By Jonathan Guibert , Account Manager A.E.C QC , Bluebeam / Laser Scan 3D

 

What is a profile?

One of the most essential features in Bluebeam that will help all users to organize themself is maybe one of the less known; Profiles.

Profiles in Bluebeam are important. It is not just about having a custom interface. It’s more about having an organized tool that will make you more efficient to work and you will be able to deploy at large in your department. In addition to the interface, by exporting a profile, you export everything you customized in Bluebeam (including Tool Sets and Markup list columns). So everybody is unified in their work.

 

How to create a profile

When you start Bluebeam, you will first go to the Revu menu and click to see the menu show up. Then go to Profiles and select Manage profiles:

A dialog box will open, and you will be able to add a new profile:

Click on Add… and another window will open (don’t worry there is no more after that)

Add your name or your service/department name and click OK. Your screen will flash (don’t worry it is not exploding) and now you are in your profile.

You will notice it looks like the previous one you were in. That’s normal. Revu doesn’t want you to create everything from scratch so it uses the last profile as a canvas you will work on.

But the first step is done. Let’s customize it:

How to custom my interface?

Before customizing your profile, you will need to ask yourself what you need to do with Bluebeam. This little brainstorm will be valuable to know what we will show and we will hide.

From there you have 3 ways to do it.

The first will simply consist of right-clicking where the current icons are to bring up the toolbar’s menu.

Then select from the available menu the toolbars you think you need. When you have done this, the selected bar will be displayed in your interface.

Now we will see how to create your own toolbar.

To do this, right-click at the top of the screen to bring up the toolbar menu and select Customize

A dialog box will open to allow you to customize existing toolbars and create your own toolbar

In order to facilitate the understanding of this part, we will identify each part and detail them:

1- Toolbars

These are all the toolbars that currently exist in Bluebeam and this is also where you will be able to create your own

2- Items

These are the tools which are the toolbars that we select in part 1.

3 – Orders (and Categories)

This is where all the tools Bluebeam offers are located. These are classified by category

To create your own personalized toolbar, click on the   icon and a window will show up

Name your toolbar as you wish and click OK

After that, we are going to select the tools that we are going to need for our most common tasks and add them to our custom bar.

The tools that we will put must be the ones we want to have at hand because they are the ones we will use most often

Finally, let’s see the 3rd and final way to add tools to your custom bar.

When you navigate the Bluebeam menus to choose a tool, you will notice a pushpin next to the name of the tool. Click on it to bring up the menu of toolbars.

Select where you want to add this tool (in which bar) and now the tool is available on your toolbar.

Remember to save everything by going in Revu →Profiles→ Save Profiles before closing Bluebeam.

Export a profile

To export a profile and everything in it, go to Revu → Profiles → Manage profiles.

Select the profiles to export and click on Export. Choose the location where your profile will be exported. Copy/paste it into an email and send it to everyone who will work with it from now on.

Civil 3D Pressure Pipes

By Matt Kolberg , Applications Specialist at SolidCAD

 

Civil 3D Pressure Pipes

Civil 3D 2021.1 introduced several new features including a new compass when creating a pipe run.  This is excellent news, but depending on your modeling requirements, it can cause an issue if you leave in a new setting.

In the examples below, the parts list has no bends, and they are not needed for this design.  The pipe runs as required to be drawn like a polyline.  While working with a customer, I ran into this issue, but I could not find the solution, and surprisingly, neither could Autodesk.  Thanks to my esteemed colleague, Colin Gaudet for discovering what turns out to be a very simple solution.

2021.0

This is the behavior from 2021.0 and it is the expected behavior.

2021.1

This is the behavior after installing 2021.1.  The compass indicates that there are no bends and it will not allow any angle to be drawn, only a straight line.

The Setting

There is a new setting to allow pipe runs to be “snapped” to known bend angles.  Turn off the new setting to return to the expected behavior when there are no bends.  The compass remains, but it now allows any angle to be drawn.

 

Why Revu Is the Essential Tool for Facilities Teams Leading Return-to-Office Plans

This article was originally published by Bluebeam, Inc. on the Bluebeam Blog.

As many organizations across the globe begin to bring employees safely back into the office after months of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, facilities managers are emerging as critical players in the transition. And Bluebeam Revu is essential in making it happen.

While employees have been busy adapting to working remotely, facilities leaders have been spending much of the last six months preparing for employees’ inevitable return to the office—whenever that may be.

For many, that day won’t come until later in 2021. Several large companies including Google, Facebook and Salesforce.com have announced that their employees won’t be required to return to company offices until as late as August 2021.

Others are considering embracing remote work indefinitely. Twitter is giving employees the green light to consider the option, which will allow many of its employees to permanently escape the high cost of living around the company’s home city of San Francisco. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, meanwhile, has said that the social media company will eventually move toward having half its workforce remote by 2030. The Menlo Park, California-based company also just hired a director of remote work as it plans for the shift.

Not everyone, however, is embracing the remote work movement. Reed Hastings, founder and co-chief executive of Netflix, recently told The Wall Street Journal that he hasn’t seen any positives from full-time remote work. “Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative,” he said.

A big, but manageable, undertaking

Organizations are anxious to get employees safely back into the workplace, and determining what that will look like is a complex process, according to Candice Stong, a project manager on Bluebeam’s facilities team. This team manages the construction technology company’s global office portfolio, including its Pasadena, California, headquarters as well as offices across the United States, Europe, the U.K. and Australia.

“To say it’s been crazy over the past six months is an understatement,” Stong said. “We all work from home now, but, eventually, we’re going to be back in the office. So, we have focused on what that will look like according to the requirements set forth in the various safety protocols.”

All workspaces are not created equal, and for most organizations, updating the workplace to meet the various public health protocols is necessary. In recent years, many companies embraced open, flexible, activity-based spaces, along with densely populated workstations with assigned seating. Others adopted a flex-work model using “hot-desking.”

These strategies, which allowed for increased density, have created a challenge given physical distancing requirements in a post-COVID environment. For Bluebeam, clusters of workstations situated closely together wouldn’t suffice to maintain the six-foot physical distance between employees necessary to meet public health protocols. Narrow hallways would have to be re-routed into one-way paths.

Rules around conference room occupancy and use would need to be instituted. In-office kitchen areas would need to be reimagined, along with the common areas and other informal gathering spaces.

Additionally, floor markers, as visual cues, ensuring physical distance requirements are met, as well as zones for temperature checks, are markings that were included on the return-to-office plan documents.

Enabling quick-and-nimble planning

As the early weeks of all-company remote work settled in, Stong began receiving inquiries from vendors offering to assist Bluebeam with workspace reconfigurations and occupancy management solutions considering the likely post-COVID requirements to come. “With access to Revu, utilizing outside resources to manage the return-to-office workspace planning didn’t seem to make sense,” Stong said she remembered thinking at the time.

Given the uncertainty of the pandemic and how our workspace would need to adapt to continuous changes in health protocols and government agency requirements, Stong said she needed to be more self-sufficient with creating relevant workspace plans and be swiftly responsive to changes.

“Being solely reliant on third-party vendors to map out the future of our workspace would take time and money,” she continued.

The larger situation surrounding COVID-19 was seemingly changing each day, which meant occupancy management and workspace reconfigurations required for a safe return would need a quick-and-nimble approach. An approved plan one week might become obsolete the next.

Even for facilities managers that choose to work with an outside resource, it would be smart for them to collaborate in the reconfiguration effort as much as possible. This way, if and when last-minute changes do come to light, the facilities manager can work with the plan documents themselves to institute the change—all without having to wait for the contractor or architect to respond under potentially tight approval deadlines with regulators.

“I think the challenge is facility teams now need to know their buildings better than ever,” said Ryan McGuinness, Bluebeam’s North American enterprise sales director, who interacts often with facilities managers at construction and architecture firms. “They’re trying to do whatever they can with the tools they have, but then they also need to communicate that information to the masses.”

What’s more, facilities managers’ ownership of the return-to-office plan and redesign allows them to take advantage of learning how to use some of the tools their architectural counterparts use to plan and plot out changes. Of course, becoming an expert in the tools architects use for design—like Revit or AutoCAD—is likely unrealistic. Luckily, there is another industry standard tool that is easy to adopt, putting the power in facilities managers’ hands.

Enter Bluebeam Revu

That tool is Bluebeam Revu, whose intuitive PDF markup and editing capabilities make it a manageable but powerful tool for facilities managers to learn when it comes to creating, managing and communicating return-to-office workspace plans.

Aside from detailed and industry specific reconfigurations and markups that will need to take place in workspace plan documents, it’s likely that many non-technical company stakeholders will eventually need to view and sign off on any final plans. This makes Studio in Revu, Bluebeam’s cloud-based document management and real-time collaboration portal, a valuable tool for accessible document communication and approvals.

“I see a lot of our customers being able to use Revu’s advanced markups to give a visual story of what’s going on with their current layout and with what needs to be changed,” McGuinness said. “And then also  being able to communicate that through Studio to anyone involved. Studio is going to give you an audit trail of all those markups.”

Revu tools for facilities managers 

There are specific tools and capabilities facilities managers should be using in Revu when embarking on return-to-office planning.

Basic Markup Tools: Simple markup tools like rectangles and circles, etc., can be used to identify and manage occupancy and physical distance requirements, with fill colors to designate, visualize and communicate various seat assignments. “You could do colored rectangles and place them over desks, but they can still have opacity,” said Andrew Gaer, Bluebeam’s technical account management director.

Custom Line Styles: Revu allows users to create custom line styles to designate different things. For instance, if a facilities manager wanted to present changes in “path of travel” on the return-to-work plan documents for specific hallway traffic, they can use a custom line style that has text in line with that, according to Omar Sheikh, Bluebeam’s senior professional services manager. “It could also be a text box even that says, ‘Temperature Check Station,’” Sheikh said.

Image Markups: Revu allows facilities managers to take photos of certain things in an office or use web-based images to indicate hand sanitization stations or floor markings and include them in the PDF for employees to view and reference. Gaer said this tool could be used to take pictures of temperature check or hand sanitation stations, for example, so office workers can see exactly where they should look for when they return to the office.

Sketch to Scale: This allows facilities managers to create shapes such as circles or rectangles to the exact scale needed for an office plan. If a facilities manager wanted to designate an area as off limits, for instance, they could use this tool to create a rectangle with the exact dimensions of the real-life area. Also, if a facilities manager wanted to create a circle designating six feet to mark up areas requiring strict physical distancing protocols, they can use this tool to do it.

Legends: The markups Legend is able to help facilities managers create a plan document that will ultimately be simple to understand for any collaborators or viewers either marking up, approving the plan document or using the plan when back in the office.

Calibration: This tool will allow facilities managers to determine the proper scale for the plan document. This will ensure all measurements moving forward will be accurate—an important element considering that proper distancing and spacing is required in a return-to-office plan document.

Studio: Once an initial draft of the return-to-office plan document is ready for review and additional collaboration, facilities managers can manage the document (or set of documents) in Studio Projects, Bluebeam’s cloud-based document management solution. They can then start a Studio Session to invite several different reviewers or collaborators to add notes and make markups of their own in real-time no matter their location.

 Tool Set: Facilities managers will likely need to make changes to their plan for multiple locations within their organization, so they’ll want to add these newly created tools to a Tool Chest in Revu so they can easily be accessed for future use.

Gravity Pipe Network Editing Best Practices using CTC Tools

SolidCAD, A Cansel Company

 

Today’s blog post will be focused on revealing the industry’s best practices for Civil 3D – Pipe Networks.

Explore the techniques to build Civil 3D gravity pipe networks and edit them using the new CTC Pipe Designer, Part Tagger, and Part Swapper all from CTC’s CIM Suite.

CIM Suite will help you to:

  • Improve sheet production with automated labeling, dynamic plan and profile sheets, and automatic legends
  • Create better grading models with dynamic site grading, corridor target automation, corridor splitting, and merging
  • Work more efficiently with pipe networks using a dynamic pipe run designer, multiple part swapping, and manhole schedule automation
  • Effectively manage multiple survey code standards, improve survey database workflows, and automate data prep for construction staking

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Blog to stay up-to-date.

On-Demand Access to the Latest Technical Drawings Anywhere

By Daniel Isaac, Technical consultant – Document management

Having instant cloud-based access to the latest asset information is now a priority for today’s manufacturers, as it maximizes safety and labor efficiency.

Accurent has added new features and integration tools to ensure maintenance teams have full access to the latest asset information. One of these features includes field access to engineering documents via mobile devices for added flexibility.

Made for Each Other: Accruent’s Enterprise Asset Management & Engineering Document Management Systems

Usually, Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems keep track of various documents, including work orders and bills of materials. However, field technicians require access to many other technical documents and drawings types linked to these assets.

Out in the field, a maintenance professional may require the following documents and information in to succeed:

  • Technical drawings, schematics, wiring diagrams
  • Asset manuals and documentation
  • Maintenance and operation procedure guides

In a standard office environment, it can be a challenge to search for the required documents through various folders and different locations, and while the lack of tools compounds on-site this obstacle. Communicating comments and markups to documents also prove problematic in this scenario.

Accruent’s Meridian engineering document solution offers integration to asset management tools to streamline access to the latest information and documents. This allows for easy access and a single source of truth for engineering documentation in the field or the office while eliminating duplicate data entry into multiple systems.

Ensure easy access to accurate, up-to-date engineering documentation related to work orders — download our brochure to learn more.

Combining the Power of Meridian & Maintenance Connection

While in the field, a Technician can use the mobile version of Maintenance Connection to document their work via notes, pictures, and videos.  Maintenance Connection’s ability to integrate with Meridian means that this information is also available to the corresponding engineering teams, which improves the collaboration of the latest data.

Back in the office, Engineers can review, approve, and update technical documents and drawings in Meridian, giving the Technicians the most up-to-date version of this data in real-time.

As a result of this integration, these teams can:

  • Improve collaboration between departments
  • Spend less time managing information
  • Find the latest data efficiently across multiple systems

On-demand Anywhere access of your Engineering Documents

Maintenance technicians now have access to many IoT tools, such as mobile devices, when working on asset management. Accruent’s Meridian Mobile offers an easy-to-use mobile application that gives technicians access to the latest engineering information online and offline.

The Meridian Mobile app provides the following functionality:

  • Preload the latest asset information before going on-site
  • Technicians can comment and attach photos/documents to the corresponding documents while on-site
  • Synchronize any comments/photos added while offline once a connection is available

The Meridian Mobile app is available for iOS, Android, or Windows. It is a great tool that allows users to view and approve assets documentation and view their task lists.

To learn more about Meridian solutions and how they can help your team, please contact the SolidCAD Meridian team.

Plumbing Code Calculations With Spreadsheet Link and Schedule XL – Part 2

CTC BIM Project Suite White Paper Library –  CTC Software

 

Result

When the workflow is developed and implemented, the entire building occupancy can be calculated in a minute, and the code validation table can be filled out. With one more step, that same table can be linked back into the Revit model for use on sheets. Any user, on any project, at any time can leverage this workflow to get updated numbers and update the tables on the sheets. Revit data-entry frustrations and quality control issues are gone, since you can leverage the power of computers to do what computers were designed for by automating the repetitive tasks that creative human minds are not great at completing.

Savings/Benefits Users do not need to know the formulas that are running automatically. They do not need to depend on Dynamo scripts that can be volatile after updates. They can simply walk through a simple workflow that is stable and repeatable. The manual, error prone process can be eliminated, allowing users to focus more on design and documentation more than focusing on basic calculations and manual data entry. Time savings can be found every time that print day approaches. Design time can be extended since this time-consuming manual process is now automated.

Conclusion

Spreadsheet Link and Schedule XL from the CTC BIM Project Suite can help automate calculations. This example of occupancy and plumbing code calculations can be automated nearly 100%. There are many other areas where this type of automation can save hours of time consistently throughout the design and documentation process. Whenever you or your team are pulling data from the Revit model, transferring to a spreadsheet environment, running some calculations then manually transferring data or graphics back into Revit, think about how this can be automated by the BIM Project Suite. Manual, repetitive tasks are not enjoyable, often error-prone and should be eliminated where possible. Let the tools generated for you by CTC Software augment your workflow to allow you and your team to be more creative for longer periods.

CTC Tools for Civil 3D Best Practice Series: Grading

SolidCAD, A Cansel Company

 

This week’s post is all about the best practices series that is focused on revealing the industry’s best practices for Civil 3D Grading tools. It has been designed for Civil 3D 2020 users.  After watching the recording, you will be able to apply industry best practice techniques to the following Civil 3D features:

  • Feature line geometry and elevation editing
  • Feature Line from alignment and profile
  • Grading criteria and objects
  • Slope transitions
  • Sloped-bottom ponds
  • Grading from corridors
  • Parking lots

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Blog to stay up-to-date.

Plumbing Code Calculations With Spreadsheet Link and Schedule XL – Part 1

CTC BIM Project Suite White Paper Library –  CTC Software

 

The Issue

Revit® has trouble with complex calculations and the ability to run cross-category math. This can be frustrating when design calculations need to be run. In the case of plumbing code calculations, we need to take the occupancy of a defined area (floor, smoke compartment, etc.) and use these totals to derive the number of different plumbing fixtures that are required by code to be designed into these areas. Many firms run these calculations manually, but this can be done far more efficiently. This white paper will describe how a re-usable workflow can generate occupancy, calculate plumbing fixture counts and generate graphics for use in Revit to present this information in a live model.

Typical Workflow

In manual workflows, some Architectural firms will use either fake calculated values in a Revit schedule, then sometimes copy those values across to a real parameter for display in a tag, a schedule, and on the actual room object. Some firms may also use a calculated value in a tag to reduce some of the manual data transfer. Other firms will export schedules to Excel®, and run calculations there, but then must manually copy the values back into Revit. In all cases, the process is very manual and extremely error prone.

This is also rather time consuming, reducing potential production time. Regardless of how we get the room occupancy, we always must manually transfer the occupancy to a spreadsheet for our code checks, present the information in a meaningful way and return this information back to Revit. This is also entirely manual and error prone. Nothing keeps this information up to date with the Revit project model. There needs to be a better, more efficient way to do these types of calculations, and return the result of our efforts to the Revit project model and include the information on the construction document set.

Solution

This entire workflow can be heavily automated using the Spreadsheet Link and Schedule XL tools from the CTC BIM Project Suite. Your current spreadsheet can be incorporated, and the values entered far more automatically. Even the room occupancy calculations can be tuned to your liking, entered directly into the room/area/space elements you are using in the Revit model. Further, the spreadsheet graphics can be directly linked into the model, avoiding any manual image or CAD file workflows.

  • Establish predictable, repeatable workflows for all Revit users
  • Leverage existing spreadsheet layouts so formatting in Revit aligns with company graphic standards
  • Implement the power of spreadsheet formulas to drive calculations and graphics
  • Import spreadsheet graphics directly into the Revit model for use on sheets

Five Ways to Design and Access Masterfully Efficient Digital Dashboards in Revu

This article was originally published by Bluebeam, Inc. on the Bluebeam Blog.

Digital dashboards offer teams a centralized, easily navigable hub for critical project documents and information. Don’t create one without making these considerations

Construction projects are loaded with complexity. Hundreds—sometimes thousands—of documents are assembled and distributed to scattered teams on frenzied jobsites, where dozens of subcontractors are hard at work building off carefully detailed plans. 

Time is money in construction, which means clear, accurate and expedient transfer of information is paramount to a project’s success. Aside from the hordes of design plans (many now digital) construction workers need to efficiently complete their work, there are several additional resources that they need at their disposal, most of which live on the internet or in other cloud-based tools.  

Thankfully, the evolution of construction technology, digital transformation and collaboration have made accessing and organizing this information more convenient. Bluebeam Revu is one of the tools that has grown to help construction, engineering and architecture workers in this area. 

Revu allows users to create customized digital dashboards for their project teams so that all relevant construction documents and supplemental reference information can be neatly organized and accessed through Studio Projects—regardless of whether team members are in the field or in an office. 

“The whole point of a digital dashboard is to eliminate that file hierarchy of folders and eliminate the time spent looking for files,” said Lillian Magallanes, Bluebeam’s industry alliances manager, who has extensive experience creating digital dashboards.  

Building digital dashboards in Revu and providing collaborators access via Studio Projects can be as simple as hyperlinking to a few of a project’s most-relevant design documents or as comprehensive as outfitting an intricate web of links using JavaScript to create a one-of-a-kind branded experience. The final product can be used not just by project teams during construction but also by owners and facilities managers throughout the building’s lifecycle.   

Here are four considerations to keep in mind as users build out digital project dashboards: 

Start with the end in mind 

What type of worker will be using the dashboard to retrieve information? 

Will they be architects or engineers in an office on a desktop computer or laptop? Or will they be field superintendents or subcontractors needing to track down a design spec in the middle of a hot, blistering day on a jobsite?  

What’s more, aside from the user’s environment, what frame of mind might they be in when looking for the information linked in a digital dashboard? 

Starting with this end in mind, according to Magallanes, is essential before starting to assemble a digital dashboard in Revu. “The last thing most people involved in a construction project want to do is have to learn something new that is complex just so they can find a file and send it to someone else,” Magallanes said.  

Map out information and navigation 

Once the frame of the end-user’s mind has been determined, then it’s time to map out the navigation of where the different hyperlinked buttons and elements of a dashboard will lead. Simple dashboards may only include a handful of buttons leading to the most relevant design documents.  

More comprehensive digital dashboards, however, may involve a few different layers of navigation that allow users to find and access disparate pieces of information for a project in a few quick clicks, while also linking to tools and resources either found on the web or as part of other cloud-based digital applications.   

“This is really going to help someone think what levels of information need to be brought up,” Magallanes said.  

Understanding how information is presented—as well as the user experience of navigating through it—is essential when building an effective digital dashboard.  

Bolster collaborator access with Studio Projects  

Creating a simple-to-use project dashboard is only half of what makes it so valuable. The other half is ensuring that the people using it can access it easily and efficiently. 

This is where Studio Projects, a document management capability in Revu, comes in. After creating and configuring a detailed dashboard in Revu, the most efficient way to make the most out of it is to host it for both internal and external collaborators with ease through Studio Projects 

Hosting a project dashboard in Studio allows teams to access corresponding documents from the dashboard without having to leave the Studio environment. This makes accessing often-viewed documents faster since those documents are not hosted in a company’s protected server or other cloud-storage service but in a shared Studio Project.  

Consider making design a priority  

Some projects may see a digital dashboard as a simple, easy-to-access portal for a few significant project contributors on a jobsite. Others, meanwhile, may decide to build something expansive for a large build where dozens and dozens of subcontractors are using the tool, oftentimes jumping in at the mid-point of a project.  

Still, for some general contractors, creating a comprehensive digital dashboard is an opportunity to create a branded experience—not just for the subcontractors collaborating on the project, but the building’s owners and facilities managers after the building is fully operational.  

These situations might call for a more extensive and thoughtful digital dashboard design using enhanced graphic design and web-development tools.  

“Larger contractors are definitely going to want to invest in creating something beautiful that’s aesthetically pleasing,” Magallanes said, “because that project dashboard is something that is going to the building’s owner, so it’s something that the owner and their team are going to use and remember.” 

Smaller contractors, however, may not feel like they need to worry about design if they’re simply looking for something functional. But if the dashboard is going to be viewed by other contractors—or even ownersit might be worthwhile to ensure the dashboard is built with the end-user in mind. If the owner will eventually view it, design might be more critically important; if the dashboard is only for workers in the field, basic setup may be more acceptable. 

Keep it simple    

Above all, don’t be overly concerned with creating an expansive digital dashboard if the team or project doesn’t require it.  

The goal of a digital dashboard is, after all, to reduce complexity and the amount of time workers spend looking for relevant project files. The less users have to think when using the dashboard, the better.  

“We’re reducing learning time, we’re reducing the time looking for files,” Magallanes said. “And we’re also just reducing the number of clicks that people have to get through. We’re trying to expedite the information for the right person at the right time.”