We’re supposed to be in a modern era where the design team and construction team share a single collaboration platform which meets everyone’s needs... so why do we perform so much copy-typing?

  • Construction firms are typically standardized on one construction management platform across their entire project portfolio (eg. Procore, CMiC, Kahua) and it is impractical for them to use a different system for just one project.

  • Large owners are typically standardized on one platform too (eg. Newforma, Unifier, E-builder etc.).

  • The scale of the contractor’s management requirements during the construction phase mean even if the owner or designer has mandated use of their platform, the contractor will — by necessity — still be the primary source of data.

For architects and their consultants' there is no reasonable choice but to use the general contractor’s management system as the primary shared system during construction.

This has a number of drawbacks for the design team:

  • Contractor systems are created for contractors, and are generally not streamlined for design or engineering firms.

  • The settings for the system and the data in it are controlled by the contractor (for example, the calculation of turn-around times for RFIs and submittals). The project logs tell a story, and on the contractor’s system the story is told from the contractor’s point of view.

  • When the project is complete (or any time the site administrator chooses) the contractor’s shared site shuts down, at which point the design team firms must rely on the records in their possession (which hopefully have been copied to their network and filed in an organized way).

We’re supposed to be in a modern era where the design team and construction team share a single collaboration platform which meets everyone’s needs. However in order to maintain professional records architects and engineers must manage their CA logs independently, saving attachments and transmittals in carefully named network folders, and copying information as required to and from the contractor’s system.

Over the long term, design firms' records are a combination of manually organized (and likely incomplete) folders on their network plus a variety of active or inactive project websites controlled by others.

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