Construction software darling, PlanGrid, has been from the start one of the most promising cloud-based and mobile first SaaS offerings in the AEC industry, and a featured app on our latest Ultimate List of CDE (Common Data Environment) Apps for Architects [architosh INSIDER exclusive] list.
What makes PlanGrid great for AEC workflows?
There are dozens of reasons AEC pros have enjoyed using PlanGrid, but one of them wasn’t on that list until now: handling shop drawing submittals.
PlanGrid has very stiff competition in cloud-based CDE market, with a particularly large US competitor in Procore. The big competition has already solved the submittals process, a critical workflow sequence for general contractors.
PlanGrid Submittals now addresses this. A key first feature is the ability to automatically generate a submittal register from PlanGrid looking at the project specifications. From there, subcontractors are assigned a submittal package.
Once submittals are sent back from subcontractors the rest of the project team can begin to review the submittal package, using built-in submittal status codes (eg: Approved, Approved as Noted, Resubmit, etc).
When submittals are approved the general contractor can instantly share those documents with subs in the field through the PlanGrid interface, appearing on their mobile devices like iPad or iPhone. To learn more visit here: https://www.plangrid.com
Architosh Analysis and Commentary
PlanGrid has finally delivered on a feature that was sadly lacking for some time. The application has always shined in keeping up-to-date drawings in the hands of contractors and subcontractors in the field, linking office to field with markups, punch lists and RFIs. But the submittals process is a critical workflow in AEC so it was surprising it took this long for this feature to arrive.
The next step for PlanGrid would be for it to enable the BS/PAS 1192 standard for CDE (common data environment) applications, and thereby enable an intelligent link between architect CAD and BIM software systems and PlanGrid. The truth is architects and engineers shouldn’t have to take the extra steps to export out PDF files to some “place”—typically their internal file directors or servers—only to then navigate to those places and then upload files to CDE solutions.
Roundtrip solutions, like the one that GRAPHISOFT just began with Bluebeam, enables drawings to be sent out to a CDE from the BIM environment, then returned to the BIM environment with markups from the Bluebeam CDE environment. OpenTree’s Cabinet software serves as a middleware solution linking Revit to key CDE solutions like Aconex and others thereby streamlining BS/PAS 1192:2007 compliance.