PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog
BIM Detailer Andrew Wise

Behind the Build: Interview with Andrew Wise, BIM Detailer

The use of building information modeling (BIM) has been growing on projects globally. By 2022, the market for BIM is expected to increase by nearly 20%, to $10.36 billion. Of course, it’s no surprise as BIM has been cited as a disruptive technology in the building industry. BIM has been reducing rework and waste, increasing profits and improving labor productivity. As a result, projects that utilize BIM are at the forefront of innovation. Andrew Wise, BIM Detailer, comments, “As a member of the VDC team at my company, I get to work on the leading edge of the industry. We get to work with all the best technology on some of the most prestigious and rewarding projects out there today.”

Andrew has been working in the construction industry for 13 years. This week, we go “Behind the Build” to speak to him about his progression within the building sector. We learn about a few of Andrew’s first experiences on the job as well as how he prioritizes safety.  

What first got you into construction?

My interest in building first started when I took CAD classes in high-school. But in just my first semester in college, I was offered a job drafting for my friend’s father who is an Architect. I quit school about a week later.

I was very proud of myself when I got the permits for my first independent Architectural project but soon found out it was not constructible. After weeks of arguing, I went out to see the issues in person. The general contractor went off on me. Somewhere in the yelling, he said that if I wanted to design buildings I needed to first join an apprenticeship to learn how things are built. I took that message to heart and joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) a few months later. Immediately after completing the apprenticeship I went back to CAD.

Now, I’m a BIM detailer working for a large Bay Area contractor and I love my job.

Can you share one of your first experiences on the job?

My first week at the architectural job I was asked to get coffee in my bosses car. I didn’t know how to drive stick when I left but by the time I made it back I was doing just fine–in first gear.

What do you love most about the industry?

I love the opportunity to continually apply new technology to improve safety and efficiency within the industry.

The Pre-Construction department at my company is home to the most respected, dedicated, hardworking and innovative professionals in the industry. I am very proud when our trade partners comment on our superior level of service. I’m truly honored to be a part of the team that remains at the top of this ever-changing industry.

Is there a project that you are especially proud to have worked on?

I helped design a battered women’s home in Huntington Beach. It’s a bit of a secret because I cannot give out the address, but when I’m in the area I sometimes drive by quickly. It’s always exciting to see how projects can have a positive impact on a community.

What do you spend the most time doing at work?

I spend the majority of my time BIM detailing, plan checking, and RFI writing.

When did you first start using PlanGrid?

My job continually adapts to changing technology. I started using PlanGrid in 2013.

How do you benefit the most from PlanGrid?

PlanGrid is our primary tool for communication between the office and the field. Even within the office, I find that the Tasks tool helps align our discussion about a specific area of the building or info on a blueprint. PlanGrid has replaced email for most project discussions and often the first thing I do on a phone call is request the person on the other end of the line gets on the same PlanGrid plan sheet or Task, so we’re looking at the same information.

Do you have any recommendations or thoughts you want to share with the next generation of builders?

The construction industry continues to improve in many ways, but the most critical area of advancement is safety.

If you have a new idea, the first question you should ask yourself is how it will affect the men and women in the field. Will they go home safe?


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