Bartlett Cocke General Contractors is one of the largest general contractors in Texas and has earned the reputation for constructing superior healthcare and medical research facilities. This case study examines the use of PlanGrid by two separate project teams and how its implementation saved time, paper resources, and minimized the amount of necessary rework.
Project 1: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio — Academic Learning and Teaching Center
This $45 million, 125,000 square foot teaching center houses classroom space, lecture halls, labs for students (medicine, dentistry and nursing), a digital anatomy lab and administrative space. The unique challenges of this project included working on an occupied campus, a project site with minimal laydown area and a complex, underground tunneling effort for tie-in to existing campus utility mains.
To calculate time savings, we sent out a survey to the team asking, “About how many hours per week does PlanGrid save you, compared to using paper blueprints?” One superintendent responded to this question with, “Best thing to happen in Construction in the last 10 years,” instead of actual number of hours. For this superintendent, we used the average time savings from his counterpart on the project: five (5) hours of savings/week. The campus architect on the project responded to the survey question with, “Cuts time in half, drawings are always current,” instead of actual number of hours. For this user we will use the average time savings from the remainder of the team: 7.5 hours of savings/week. Together the nine (9) team members reported a total savings of 1,612 hours/year. Multiplying that out by the national average salary for their respective positions, we calculate the total time savings to be$167,024/year.
Bartlett Cocke General Contractors reported an internal budget of $6,000 for paper blueprints. They also reported an average of $500 — $1,000 budgeted by each of their subcontractors. For the purpose of this calculation, we used an average of the reported budget which is $750/subcontractor. We estimated about 20 major trades on a given project* which nets to a $15,000 total budget for all subcontractors. Therefore, the total paper savings is $21,000.
Rework is one of the most costly disruptions to a construction project. Rework is also one of the hardest construction costs to measure, yet its negative impact on the construction schedule and budget is something that cannot be ignored. Based on user feedback, one of the main causes of rework is the field worker’s accidental usage and building off of outdated drawings. This is due to the difficulty of physically distributing constantly changing drawing sheets and updating them with the most current information (e.g., Addenda, ASIs, PRs, RFI responses, submittal responses, etc…). According to a research report written for UC Berkeley by Dr. Peter Pei-Yin Feng, the cost of rework directly resulting from “poor document control” can range anywhere from 0.12% to 0.72% of total project costs. For this case study, we will use the average of this range which is 0.42%. This means that on a $45 million project, on average the cost of rework due to poor version control is $189,000. PlanGrid’s complete platform, automatic syncing, distribution, and versioning of new sheets eliminate this problem.
Time Savings: $167,024
Paper Savings: $21,000
Rework Savings: $189,000
Total Savings: $377,024
Cost of PlanGrid: $11,250
Project 2: Christus Santa Rosa Health System — Children’s Hospital of San Antonio
Bartlett Cocke General Contractors chose PlanGrid as their document control platform for construction, renovation, and expansion of the new $135 Million, 410,000 SF Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. Bartlett Cocke General Contractors is fully renovating 12 floors of the existing Christus Santa Rosa Health System City Centre campus structure, complete with a new façade. The unique challenges of this project include working in and around an occupied hospital, maintaining hospital mission critical operations, a project site with minimal laydown area and laser scanning of existing building for BIM coordination of new and existing building components in order to transform the landmark building into a modern, world-class children’s hospital.
We sent the same survey to team members on this project. Five (5) project managers and four (4) superintendents responded, all reporting time savings of at least five (5) hours per week. On average, the project management team reported 8.1 hours saved per week, per person, and the superintendents reported 6.63 hours per week, per person. Together, the nine (9) team members who replied to the survey reported a savings of 67 hours per week or 3,484 hours per year. Incorporating the national average salary, the total time savings results in $194,056/year. This total savings does not include the time savings from the 20 other members on the project.
Bartlett Cocke General Contractors reported an internal budget of $13,500 for paper blueprints. They also reported an average of $1,000 — $1,500 budgeted by each of their subcontractors. For the purpose of this calculation, we’ll use an average of the reported budget which is $1,250/subcontractor. We estimate about 20 major trades on a given project* which nets $25,000 total budget for all subcontractors. Therefore, the total paper budget including the general contractor is $38,500.
Using the same cost of poor document control of 0.42% means that on this $135 million project, on average the cost of rework due to building off old data is $567,000.
Time Savings: $194,056
Paper Savings: $38,500
Rework Savings: $567,000
Total Savings: $799,556
Cost of PlanGrid: $15,300
Originally published on September 12, 2014