Top 5 Ways to Use Linked Drawings on the Jobsite

Delphine Wilson| March 23, 2020

When we typically think about construction document management, we think of the back office. But it’s on the jobsite where information that’s out of date or hard to navigate makes its most significant impact because it hurts communication. 

This leads to all kinds of problems, not least of which is rework. In fact, 5 percent of the average construction project’s total costs are created by rework. Yet this kind of thing is preventable.

One of the best ways to prevent poor document management and improve communication on the jobsite is with linked drawings. So in this post, we’ll review the top 5 ways to use linked drawings on the jobsite.

 

  • Connect Disparate Sources of Information

Even the smartest, most competent subs in the world won’t be effective if they can’t quickly and easily share information. 

Yes, linking organizes your project documentation. But more than that, linking can connect separate sources of information to make your drawings far more effective.

Subs and GCs can simply click through ASIs, RFIs, specs, and more. They can quickly and easily access the information they need to make informed decisions on the jobsite. 

As a result, the project team can make decisions faster, based on accurate information, with less reliance on admins to dig up information.

 

  • Navigate RFI, ASIs, Drawings and Specs Quickly and Easily

A big problem on jobsites is not that information isn’t available, but that it’s very difficult to access. For example, if you’re looking at a drawing and you need to drill down on certain specifications, you may need to open a separate binder or search for a different shared folder (or folders).

At best, this slows your project team down. At worst, project team members are forced to make assumptions because they simply have no time to look for the info they need. 

In either case, the result is a less productive jobsite and poor project performance. But linked drawings eliminate this issue.

 

  • Blend Automatic and Manual Linking Processes

The popularity of automated linking has caught on recently. But you’re missing out if you’re not blending automatic and manual linking processes.

For example, here at ARC, we audit and report discrepancies on plan sheets to highlight missing details. Purely automated linking won’t do that, so the accuracy of your drawings suffer.

In fact, in a study presented at the International Association of Pattern Recognition (IAPR), the authors created an automated linking system that produced an accuracy of 94.46 percent. 

While 94 percent is extremely impressive, that still leaves room for costly errors. So combining manual and automated linking processes provides the best of both worlds on the jobsite. 

 

  • Keep Drawings Up to Date

Another way to enhance the power of linked drawings is to use linking in combination with cloud-based storage.

By doing this, you make it possible to automatically update all the documents you have stored. Otherwise, updates to your drawings—and the documents those drawings are linked to—may become outdated.

Without cloud-based storage, using linked drawings on the jobsite is far less effective since you have to rely on manual processes to ensure all documentation is up to date.

 

  • Put the Giant Plan Sheets Away

You can use linked drawings and get rid of giant plan sheets. In their place, you can access and modify drawings and linked documents from a tablet or other mobile device.

This eliminates the need for plan rolls that need continuous updates, are liable to damage, and more. Plus, it makes it far easier and convenient to collaborate on and update your construction drawings.

 

To see how smarter linking solutions can save you time and reduce risk on the jobsite, learn more here.