Color construction documents don't inherently improve productivity and improve profit margins. For instance, CAD designs containing colored line definitions that represent plotted line weights or design layers will not likely be useful to the contractor. Instead, to assure color data to benefit, a new method of assigning colors to construction prints is necessary. Color should be employed in construction documents for the sake of improving document quality.
If architects and contractors are committed to improving collaboration and reducing errors, they must effectively communicate the contents of the documents. These key stakeholders in the construction process need to work together to determine how color coding can be used to articulate each of their requirements. This collaboration will result in improved document quality, which will mitigate errors and promote cost savings.
Currently, within architecture design firms, there may be a "color coder." These individuals are responsible for manually marking up plan sets and blueprints with colored pencils to color code the document. This process of manual color coding can be time consuming, and therefore costly. As a result architecture, engineering and construction firms that currently implement this method of color coding are seeking options to digitize the color coding process. Unfortunately, software applications with the ability to automatically apply different colors to different disciplines with a push of a button don't yet exist.
Determining what colors to use, for what purpose, and how to apply them is still a key barrier to the widespread adoption of color. One approach would be to delegate an industry committee with representatives from numerous disciplines to create guidelines or standards. Once these color coding standards are identified, a CAD software developer could create a push-button software solution to further improve the color wide format printing process. CAD software developers should take note of this opportunity to develop such digital color coding solutions.