A large percentage of small and medium-sized companies lack the means, financial resources or in-house skills to truly implement Building Information Modeling. However, these smaller architecture, engineering and construction firms still want to become more competitive and operate more efficiently. These firms should take advantage of the opportunities that color construction blueprints and plan sets can offer.
Many architecture, engineering and construction firms track various project performance metrics. These might include the quantity and cost of requests for information (RFIs) and change orders, as well as the project status in regards to the schedule and budget. Switching from black and white to color construction documents can help improve some of the very same metrics that Building Information Modeling can help improve. However, the amount of risk, effort and investment to implement color in wide format printing is radically lower than it is to implement BIM. As a result, employing color construction blueprints and documents is a viable option for smaller firms that are looking for low-cost ways to improve the way they work.
Research conducted by OcÚ shows that firms using the traditional design-bid-build project delivery system have the most room for improvement and are therefore the best candidates for employing color. Though they may operate more efficiently, design-build firms make excellent candidates as well, because they have more control over the standards, processes and technologies that are used on projects. These firms find it easier to gain acceptance internally as opposed to defending their working methods outside the firm. Employing color construction documents is a natural next step for design-build firms.
Many architects in this hypercompetitive market are seeking projects far outside the scope of their normal specialty and standard geographic range. In addition, the economic climate is forcing many firms to reduce their fees and contingencies in an effort to land contracts. For many, the thought of implementing Building Information Modeling is not a realistic possibility under these conditions. However, these architecture, engineering and construction firms should consider implementing color documentation as a low-cost method of making more accurate estimations, winning more projects, mitigating risks, improving productivity and reducing errors.
Resource Center Home Printing Construction Documents in Color