Has the traditional shop-drawing review stamp and ink pad gone the way of the “DoDo” bird? I can’t recall the last time I used one. Nor can I recall the last time I hand drew a revision cloud with a big red marker on a submittal! With the fast pace world of document scanners, email and the internet coming this way, most of the construction administration process will be happening in the digital realm using PDFs and PDF markup tools. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, though an article I read recently warns of the risks of relying on email and ﬁle transfer protocol (FTP) sites for PDF transfer during one’s transition into virutal “CA.” Those risks include:
- Restrictive ﬁle size limitations.
- Spam ﬁlters preventing delivery of ﬁles.
- No clear version histories.
- No automatic logging or automatically generated email notiﬁcations.
- Limited ability to ensure prime points of contact.
These risks can be mitigated by using web-hosted products that have been on the market and have been tried and tested. Having used them before I can safely say they make for a much more streamlined, virtually clutter-free environment with a higher degree of accountability during the construction phase.
But what’s next? Soon, contractors will be reviewing digital shop drawings on the job site using their “iPads” while they’re watching concrete get poured. It’s true!