Skanska, one of the world’s largest international construction and project development groups, works on a variety of commercial, residential and public-private projects throughout Europe, North America and South America. Currently, Skanska is building its biggest project to date – the 14 billion SEK ($2 billion US), 320,000-gross-square-metres New Karolinska Solna (NKS) project in Stockholm. This massive hospital is the size of 24 average-sized skyscrapers. NKS includes seven phases, each of which is being built simultaneously. In order to complete the project, Skanska will have nearly 2,000 personnel at the peak of construction, and the team will generate over 40,000 drawings by the facility’s completion in 2017.
With an unprecedented number of drawings and supplemental information to manage, Skanska needs an efficient way to organize project information for all phases. While construction workflows are traditionally paper based, for this project it would prove virtually impossible to turnaround updated hardcopies in a reasonable timeframe, and searching through stacks of printed drawings for answers would cause excessive delays. Instead, Skanska set out to find a solution to:
- Digitally manage drawings and documents and enable team members to quickly find up-to-date information.
- Electronically annotate drawings with familiar, industry-standard markups to make feedback instantly available.
- Easily bring documentation into the field, without needing to print.
After evaluating a number of solutions, Skanska deployed Bluebeam Revu, a PDF-based markup and collaboration solution for technical professionals, on many of the project’s phases. Having already leveraged Revu to manage communication on several other projects worldwide, Skanska was confident that Revu’s hyperlinking and PDF annotation technology could be scaled to meet the huge documentation needs of the NKS project.
Revu is making a significant impact on the way that the NKS project team is managing information. In particular, Revu is helping the team organize and link related information found in their SharePoint system. First, the project’s document control team is searching PDFs so they can instantly identify all instances of specific architectural references. Those references are then linked to the affiliated documents. Then, when a contractor in the field needs to look up the references instead of remembering the drawings number associated with the references, he or she simply clicks on the comment and the applicable document automatically opens. As a result, answers to jobsite questions are being found in just minutes. When additional comments need to be made, the contractors are annotating PDFs with Revu’s customizable, industry-standard annotations including text, highlights, shapes, CAD symbols, clouds and measurements. By annotating PDFs digitally, design questions and feedback are available as soon as a PDF is checked back into SharePoint.
In the field, the NKS project team is putting a variety of Revu features to work to help the project team complete room checks in real time. The hospital’s 8,000 rooms are double-walled, and Skanska needs to verify that all specialty work – including electrical, piping and mechanical – has been completed before a wall is closed. To do this, Skanska has created custom punchkey symbols with subcontractors’ names and stored them in Revu’s Tool Chest, an exclusive feature for saving frequently used markups and sharing them with other users. Next, Skanska is leveraging Bluebeam Studio, Revu’s integrated cloud solution which enables users to store files online and collaborate on a single copy of a PDF with others in real time. As specialty work is completed, subcontractors are accessing drawings hosted in Studio Sessions with Revu iPad, navigating to the specific room they have just completed and placing their punchkey symbols to indicate that their work is finished. Because these annotations are being placed on a PDF in a Studio Session, Project Managers at the jobsite can instantly see when work is completed, enabling them to more quickly coordinate construction of each room’s second wall. Finally, by leveraging Revu, Skanska has eliminated the need to create binders for room checks, thus saving the team from managing an additional 20,000 printed sheets of paper.
Over the years Skanska has seen Revu deliver impressive results on projects worldwide, but what we are seeing on NKS is that Revu is easily scaled to take even the largest, most document-intensive projects digital. – Swaroop Kadur, Senior Project Engineer on the NKS Project
Although completion is still a few years away, Revu is already making a huge impact on the NKS project. “Over the years Skanska has seen Revu deliver impressive results on projects worldwide, but what we are seeing on NKS is that Revu is easily scaled to take even the largest, most document-intensive projects digital,” said Swaroop Kadur, Senior Project Engineer on the NKS Project. “Given that this project has tens of thousands of drawings and documents, Revu has accomplished an impressive feat by consistently enabling our contractors to find the information they need in just minutes.”