This is an article in the series adapting to the pandemic, where we intend to share useful tips for making it through these troublesome times.
In the event of a worldwide pandemic like the coronavirus outbreak that is currently plaguing the world, it is imperative that all ongoing construction projects be put on hold for the sake of personnel safety, and in order to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
However, with the help of communication technologies, we can carry out project planning and engineering design remotely.
In cases where the local government of your area allows for the submission of project paperwork and necessary documents, albeit through electronic means, one can still have access to permits during the coronavirus outbreak.
This article discusses how you can keep your construction project moving during the coronavirus outbreak.
Implementing remote collaboration during a health emergency
The coronavirus outbreak is an unfortunate plague that currently affects almost the entire world. To keep your project moving during this period, some provisions need to be made:
- Collaboration software for the team where the staff can have a virtual meeting point or chat rooms where documents and necessary details can be shared.
- Engineering design software that incorporates remote collaboration, including cloud-based storage features. An example of such software is Autodesk Revit
For instance, if you were working on a building model, before the coronavirus outbreak. All you need to keep that project moving is making sure all your design team members have the engineering design software. That allows everyone to work remotely on the building model.
Beyond the coronavirus outbreak, engineering design software tools are also very effective in normal conditions. This way, your design team can save time and utilize that time for other projects.
Working remotely during the pandemic is not just for engineers, architects or designers. Contractors can focus on bids and necessary documents pertaining to pending projects, while real estate agents can work on necessary documents and finances.
Of course, there are many stages a project goes through before the construction stage. If a project is just starting, all pre-construction requirements can be managed remotely. When the outbreak is over, construction can immediately begin.
Combining remote collaboration tools with design software
Early CAD software could only allow for 2D designs. Furthermore, they did not allow for team collaboration, meaning that everyone would work on their own version. Files were also stored on local hard drives, which meant they could get damaged unless proper backup systems were set up.
With 2D drawings, the information you could get to your team was limited. As such, there was always a great chance that other team members might not accurately interpret the project when reviewing it for the first time. The development of BIM (Building Information Modeling) software eliminated all these concerns, offering a lot more with 3D models and cloud storage.
BIM software is not your average engineering design software. Structural engineers and architects, because of the cloud storage feature of BIM, have access to the same BIM file through the internet. Any change made on the BIM file from any team member is immediately shared with everyone. This solves the problem of working with different versions.
Modern engineering design software is very effective at creating 3D models and the necessary documents, and they enable working as a team. By combining them with remote collaboration services such as videoconferencing, we can ensure projects continue running even during the pandemic.