September 28th, 2010 | Published in Uncategorized
To tackle takeoffs, more and more contractors are receiving blueprints in some type of digital format.
Many construction estimators and owners have realized that they can avoid the cost and hassle of expensive, bulky blueprints by using software to perform digital takeoff. Whereas the traditional method of using color pens and highlighters to physically draw lines and make comments on costly paper blueprints, the digital takeoff handles it all electronically.
Contractors simply upload plans from a plan room or a CD, or scan them in, and then use computer tools (i.e., mouse, touch screen pen) to draw lines, turns, check marks and count up and measure with pinpoint accuracy. Plus with digital takeoff, contractors capture intelligence all within the system – attach notes, photos, addendums, and the like to the digital plan. No need to rely on the estimator’s memory or crawl through assorted paper files to find important details … it’s all there at the user’s fingertips. And when there are plan revisions, it’s much easier to compare new changes to original takeoff.
Furthermore, environmentalists would likely support the digital method. Software Advice published an article, “The End of Blueprints,” reporting that 42,000 trees are killed a year to print blueprints.Furthermore U.S. Green Building Council endorses LEED and stewardship of resources. Many in the construction industry have posed that LEED credits should be approved for the use of digital plans – review articles at BuildingGreen.com for more information.
To learn more about the value of digital takeoff for business purposes, you can read “Digital Takeoffs: Toward Paperless, Stakeless Job Sites,” published in Grading & Excavation Contractor (pages 34-38 in its digital edition at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?i=30384.)
Has your business moved away from using paper blueprints toward digital takeoff? What can you advise other contractors? Or are you hesitant to change and use digital takeoff? Why do you stick with paper blueprints?