The film Pleasantville provides a worthwhile analogy for the type of enlightenment that can be paired with the use of color in construction documents. In the beginning of the film, the characters are depicted in black and white. However, as the characters ditch complacency and are enlightened by novel ideas and new information, they are depicted in color. Currently, the architecture, engineering and construction industries are the ones operating in a black and white world. They too have the opportunity to embrace color and become enlightened.
The design managers and fire protection contractors that are part of the API Group, are well on their way to color enlightenment. These individuals employ the AutoSPRINK design platform, which allows them to create highly detailed 3D models of building sprinkler systems and fire suppression assemblies. The data is so complex that it is easy to see why wide format color printing presents opportunities within their industry.
For the API Group, tire sprinkler installation generally lands at the end of the project schedule. Typically, the fire protection specialists charged with installing the sprinkler s must wait until the structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing have completed their work. By that time, the construction project is often behind schedule and the fire protection specialists are expected to complete the sprinkler installation quickly. This presents the ideal scenario for capitalizing on color installation documents. Color plans and blueprints can be read without difficulty, are easily interpreted, and are less likely to promote errors and omissions.
The use of color construction documents can result in cost savings in the field. One hour of cleaning and colorizing the documents can be done in the office can result in several hours saved while on site. The cost-per-hour difference between "office time" and "field time" gives the ratio more financial leverage and makes the argument even more compelling.
The API Group is already using color documents in some of its locations and has clearly embraced the concept that color can help their team become more efficient, and therefore, more competitive. They are already practicing Step 3 of the path to color enlightenment because the API Group is now focused on educating others and sharing best practices with colleagues. The API Group sets a great example of when to embrace change and the benefits that result from it. These enlightened color users would find it unthinkable to produce a black and white plan set from a richly detailed and multi-colored AutoSPRINK model.
As demonstrated by the API Group, the focus of converting to color print processes should be on the savings that color printing generates rather than the initial cost of wide format color printing. While initial costs may appear daunting, the resulting benefits are well worth the effort and primary investments.
Resource Center Home Printing Construction Documents in Color