PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog
PlanGrid BIM Mobile to Field

BIM Gets a Mobile Upgrade with PlanGrid

PlanGrid Releases the First BIM Product Built Ground Up for the Field

Around the world, construction companies are spending billions of dollars to create and use sets of data that physically represents the projects they are building, also known as building information modeling (BIM). Although BIM is a tool that has changed the way we design, build and operate most companies aren’t maximizing their investment throughout the lifecycle, especially when building and installing work during construction. In fact, according to theBIMHub, only 41% of contractors use some form of BIM in the field.

In reality, every company is at a different place when it comes to BIM. However, no matter where a company is in its journey, BIM’s importance in today’s building landscape is undeniable. Data from models is increasingly needed to coordinate work across the lifecycle. Furthermore, more project contracts are mandating the use of BIM to improve cost and time of construction and design teams are increasingly relying on Autodesk Revit® for 3D modeling.

Nevertheless, organizations still struggle to bring BIM to the field in a way that leads to real adoption. As models are flattened to PDF sheets for distribution to the field, a large portion of BIM data gets lost during construction. Technology firms have tried to solve this problem with mobile BIM viewers, but solutions have yet to live up to expectations; they’re often clunky, slow and complex. As a result, field workers can’t easily grasp a 3D view of their final work and frequently have to switch between multiple platforms to get important data.

At PlanGrid, we believe that better BIM enablement is key to solving our industry’s largest problems, from reducing rework in construction to improving decision making in operations. Today, our vision advances as we enable the entire construction lifecycle to access BIM data and information in an easy-to-use platform.

Introducing PlanGrid BIM: A New and Simple Way to Access BIM Data Anywhere

We are thrilled to announce the launch of a powerful new integration with our parent company, Autodesk. PlanGrid BIM lets anyone conveniently and immediately access models in the field and operations. Users will now be able to use the construction productivity software they love to drill down into 2D and 3D BIM data, without leaving the sheet.

We designed PlanGrid BIM to be different than other mobile viewers on the marketplace today. It was built with the same principles that we used to build our original product for viewing sheets in 2011–a simple, yet powerful product embraced immediately by old-school superintendents. Our goal with BIM was the same–a tool that’s uncomplicated and easy enough for anyone to get the information they need at their fingertips.

What we’ve built is an intuitive BIM product that maps against most workflows today. With three core elements, PlanGrid’s new BIM functionality includes:

Revit Integration

To get started with this feature, you need to export your sheets from Revit to PlanGrid. With the Revit plugin, getting data integrated into PlanGrid is exceptionally easy, eliminating the need for double entry and manual uploads. For instance, a BIM or VDC manager can install the PlanGrid plugin for Revit and then with few clicks, get the BIM data and 2D sheets from Revit directly synced to PlanGrid. From there, a Document Controller can review and push to the field.

All sheet titles, numbers and data properties transfer with accuracy. Meanwhile, drawings maintain the high-quality experiences and features PlanGrid is known for, like automatic callout detection and hyperlinking.


PlanGrid BIM Revit

BIM-enabled Sheets

Users in the field are very familiar with navigating plans in 2D. With PlanGrid BIM, they can now just tap anywhere on a sheet to pull up model details such as the product or dimensional information associated with an object.

3D BIM Viewer

If a user taps to view 3D from an object, like a wall or door, on a sheet, instantly zoom in on the object’s 3D environment, even offline. The 3D BIM viewer is easy to explore with an intuitive pinch and zoom gestures and includes snap-to tools for taking measurements between model objects. Currently in open beta.

PlanGrid BIM in Action: Supporting Teams Through the Construction Lifecycle

PlanGrid BIM in Design and Preconstruction

New BIM functionality in PlanGrid allows teams to easily conduct design reviews and owner walkthroughs by accessing the richness of the model from anywhere. Ensure that construction delivers on design intent by connecting the dots with just a click of a button.

PlanGrid BIM in the Field

PlanGrid BIM enables better decision making in the field. With BIM functionality at their fingertips, teams can get the full picture in one place. Having all the data properties in 2D and being able to quickly visualize how complex work comes together in 3D eliminates the need to refer back to the office or sign into another program and navigate complex models.

PlanGrid BIM in Operations

With PlanGrid BIM, contractors can hand over high-quality as-builts with all asset details and 3D views pinned to their location on the drawings. In turn, facility teams have fast access to information during repairs and renovations. Teams can access rooms to see manufacturing and dimensional data before even getting to the site, helping them save time when preparing to solve an issue.

PlanGrid BIM is available to all PlanGrid users today on iOS and web, with functionality in Android and Windows to follow in late May. In the near future, PlanGrid will further its aim to help increase construction productivity by supporting integration with other design and project review software such as Autodesk Navisworks®, in addition to adding functionalities to update the master BIM model with data from the field, and the ability to generate tasks, RFIs and punchlists from model data.

To learn more about PlanGrid BIM, watch our recent webinar.

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Other New PlanGrid Updates

The release of PlanGrid BIM correlates with several other new product features–all helping to further connect the lifecycle with more data and information.

Updates to Submittals

PlanGrid Submittals has new features to enable collaboration during the submittals process further.

PDF Markups for Submittals

For any submittal, there are multiple people involved in reviewing and approving a submittal before it gets published to the field. Through all of these handoffs, submittal documents get marked up, renamed, reordered and stamped to guarantee that the field team builds according to specifications.

With PlanGrid PDF Markups for Submittals, teams will no longer spend time exporting documents, marking them up in a separate PDF tool and uploading them back into PlanGrid. Instead, PlanGrid PDF Markups for Submittals means allows users to effortlessly annotate submittals with text, highlights, shapes, callouts and stamps, straight from PlanGrid.

Custom PDF Reports

Getting submittals approved on time is crucial to ensure a project is on schedule. To ensure they are on track, status updates and reports are frequently requested from the project engineer managing them. As these reports are shared with owners or other interested parties, it’s important they look professional. Now, PlanGrid Submittals offers the ability for users to create a PDF report that displays a selection from their submittals packages all with their logo on it.

Updates to Field Reports and Tasks

Updates to PlanGrid Field Reports lets construction professionals save more time and keep an accurate pulse on project progress.

Task References on Field Reports

Construction teams have been using PlanGrid Tasks to track work across the construction lifecycle. With the latest update to the product feature, users can now reference a task or create a new one in Field Reports to better tie a daily report to planned work that was actually completed that day.

Whether a superintendent creates a QA/QC report or an architect checks for conformance with contract documents, it’s critical to report on progress and ensure that necessary follow-up actions get taken. By clearly indicating what are the next steps to get an inspection approved or recommendations for addressing work that is non-conforming through PlanGrid Tasks, the field team is better equipped to complete work that exceeds the project standards.

Create a Tasks Report on Mobile

The ability to create a Task Report is now available on all mobile platforms, including iOS, Android and Windows. Filter the Tasks Log down to the most relevant items and then generate a PDF or Excel report based on the filtered results. With just one click, the Task Report can be shared via email anytime, anywhere.

Create a Task Report_iPad_Wide

Updates to Admin Console

For Organization Admins, we’re introducing several features to help admins better manage users and projects. Now users can view each user’s organizational projects and expire user sessions. Removing a user from the organization automatically removes them from all organization projects and expires their session. At the end of a project, projects can be archived and restored at any point.

See PlanGrid’s New Features in Action

BIM and the other new product updates to PlanGrid are bringing more data and visibility to the entire construction lifecycle, all within our powerful and easy-to-use productivity software the field loves. To see PlanGrid BIM and more in action, watch our webinar. 

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Rahul Shah

Rahul Shah is a Product Manager at PlanGrid on the Smart Recordset team, which focuses on intelligently ingesting construction data and making that information easy to access and use. His primary focus area is PlanGrid's BIM product strategy.

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