While the construction industry is adopting many new technologies and techniques, one area that has significant potential is the management of contract documents. Traditionally, copies of contract documents have been managed as hard copies: pretty tedious when you consider the scale of construction projects and the continuous change to these documents.
Find out how EPRs help deliver an outstanding
experience for our partners.
EPRs enable projects to make contract documents
and other relevant information easily accessible to
project stakeholders through multiple platforms
(desktops, kiosks, mobile devices).
Traditionally, copies of contract documents have
been managed as hard copies.
Alex Ramirez, a quality domain manager for operations support and the quality manager with PCL Calgary, explains that the approach to keeping physical records is not in stride with the technologically driven industry that construction is becoming. “We exist in such a modern electronic age, but many companies still rely on paper,” said Alex. “The project team has to spend a lot of time navigating the reams of documents to find the information they need.”
Some districts at PCL have been implementing electronic management of project documents through electronic plan rooms (EPRs)
, but there hasn’t been a standard set of best practices to guide implementation. EPR expertise in Ottawa, Orlando, Calgary, and Hawaii coordinated with PCL business technology, support solutions, and marketing departments to develop a set of best practices to guide the implementation of electronic plan rooms at PCL.
Best practices for best projects
“What we’ve developed is really a set of best practices for anyone in our company who would like to set up an electronic plan room on their project, regardless of the location,” said Alex. “The best practices include a design platform that can be customized to the project and project location, with document collection organized according to discipline, as well as training to get the electronic plan room up and running.”
Digital document management
As Alex describes it, EPR technology has several benefits that make document management cool:
The EPR provides access to current information that is interoperable with PCL proprietary applications and mobile devices to promote lean construction workflows.
- Productivity increases as the project plans can be shared with team members virtually on mobile tablets, electronic jobsite kiosks, plan rooms, board rooms, and desktops, and are easily exported as turnover documents.
- The meticulous job of maintaining multiple sets of documents (not to mention the person hours associated with this task) is nearly eliminated.
- Printing costs, which can reach into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, are reduced or even eliminated.
- Saves physical space.
- Upon close-out of the job, the as-built record-set handover to clients involves little more than loading an electronic folder onto a USB, rather than the process of gathering and preparing documents.