Thursday, January 13, 2011

Further on Bluebeam pdf and "Paperless Construction"

More about "" .....

Towards the end of December, I did a post about "" and its promotion of "paperless" construction.

On January 11, 2011, Bluebeam posted on its web-site the January 2011 issue of its "Bluebeam Insider Newsletter". Immediately below is the last paragraph in the "Bluebeam Buzz" column:

Bluebeam Users Share Incredible Paperless Stories
Since we launched our Paperless is Green site last fall, Bluebeam users have been sending us amazing paperless success stories.
Take a look at some of our favorite entries. Do you have your own story to tell? Submit it now for a chance to win a Motion Tablet PC with Bluebeam PDF Revu.

Immediately below, I've placed the Internet address for the "paperless stories" mentioned in the paragraph above. Note that some of the "paperless stories" are videos. I watched all of the videos and found all to be quite interesting, and, of course, thought-provoking (and a bit disturbing, since I'm still a reprographer at heart. "Egads, less printing?")

"Paperless stories"

In the blog-post I did in late December about Bluebeam, I posted the Internet address for Bluebeam's "case study" articles. For those of you who overlooked it, here it is again:

"Case Studies"

And for those of you who are too lazy (or simply don't have the time to be clickin' and clickin'), I decided to post the entire article that was one of the many case studies profiled on's web-site - its about Turner Construction's use of Bluebeam to reduce paper (and to reduce printing costs):

Turner Construction Company reduces project paper costs by digitizing submittals with Bluebeam

Turner Construction Company, the nation’s leading general builder, is deep into the construction phase of the $57,000,000 Cobb County Superior Court project in Marietta, Georgia. Though completion of this 230,000 sq. ft., seven-story plus basement facility is months away, the Turner project team is already delivering incredible paper savings for the Owner. Rather than printing and shipping submittals, the team is digitally sharing, redlining and distributing drawings and documents with Bluebeam PDF Revu. Using this technology, Turner is saving the Owner 65% of reprographic fees and 50% of courier fees for an overall paper cost savings of 63% compared to those expenditures on similarly sized projects.

Construction Submittals Savings with Bluebeam PDF Revu

ItemCurrent Savings* (%)
Reprographic Fees65%
Courier Fees50%
Total Paper Fees63%

* Percentages calculated by comparing data collected at halfway point of the 20-month Cobb County Superior Court project against data collected at halfway point of similarly sized and scoped 20-month project that used paper submittals.


Even before the design-build project broke ground, the team was determined to digitize its submittal process. “We wanted to cut project costs, and also create an example of how project communication should be – faster, more affordable and greener,” says Winston Williams, Turner Construction Company Project Manager.

While searching for software to digitally share and review submittals, Williams discovered Bluebeam PDF Revu. A PDF editor built specifically for the design and construction industry, Bluebeam creates and views large format PDF drawings and includes industry-standard redlining tools including takeoffs, change clouds and callouts. “When we discovered Bluebeam, we instantly saw opportunity,” adds Williams. “Bluebeam’s markup tools replicate the type of comments we normally make with pen and paper. It’s exactly the type of functionality we were looking for. We knew that by laying out the proper groundwork to gain adoption, Bluebeam would be a winner on this project.”


Williams and his project team members implemented this plan to get the Turner project team, architect and sub-contractors onboard with the new, digital process using Bluebeam PDF Revu.
  • Specified in the design-build contract that all submittals be redlined digitally with Bluebeam PDF Revu and distributed by email. Only one hard copy per submittal would be permitted.
  • Created training videos on most commonly used Bluebeam features to make it easier for project architects, contractors and sub-contractors to learn the software.
  • Purchased large, 27” monitors to make it easier to review and redline drawings onscreen.
Using Bluebeam, the project team electronically redlines 70% of submittal drawings. Among the most commonly used features are Bluebeam’s measurement tool for takeoffs, which Turner uses to verify material pricing. With this feature, users can calibrate a PDF drawing’s scale, then calculate length, area, perimeter, angle or diameter and count from PDFs, too. Other time-saving features include text stamps, which can quickly be applied in a batch processing mode, and PDF page editing features for adding, deleting, inserting and rotating pages.

For the 30% of drawings that are redlined with paper and pen, often to review details like rebar, Bluebeam helps streamline the document replication process. Rather than photocopy or hand-copy these comments onto multiple sets to distribute to the project architect and sub-contractors, Turner replicates the markups onto a PDF copy in Bluebeam. The redlined PDF is then emailed to all parties.


A little more than halfway through the project, Williams is amazed at the savings Bluebeam has delivered. “The dollars savings in printing and courier fees are only the beginning. Turner and the Owner have saved so much time using Bluebeam,” says Williams.

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