The way construction teams are working together is changing. During the COVID-19 crisis, the vast majority of construction teams have had no choice but to adjust to remote work. Although this is hardly a new way of working for some team members, the new normal does open up teams for new hurdles in communication and collaboration.
Project shutdowns around the globe have undeniably impacted construction industry growth. However, as projects begin to restart, the industry is still expected to grow by 0.5% in 2020, according to a recently released report, "Global Construction Outlook to 2024 (COVID-19 Impact)". Contractors are tapping into project executives located in other regions and bringing in specialty consultants from out of state to meet project demands and win work. With the construction industry still booming and projects becoming more complex than ever with new restrictions, cautions, and communication challenges, teams run the risk of becoming decentralized and siloed.
Dispersed teams require the right technology solutions to stay connected and collaborative. A cloud-based construction management solution like BIM 360 connects your project teams and data in real-time, from design through construction. All team members have access to accurate information at their fingertips anytime and anywhere, which is key to keeping teams connected, avoiding mistakes, and not wasting time looking for answers. Here are three ways BIM 360 keeps teams of all sizes and locations connected.
Over the last few months, construction teams have increasingly relied on video conferencing technology to meet and connect. To continue to keep remote teams connected and collaborative, BIM 360 Meetings toolset now offers a free integration with Zoom Video Communications, Inc.
This integration gives meeting organizers the ability to automatically generate a Zoom meeting directly from a meeting record. When meeting participants access the agenda within BIM 360 or the generated PDF, they can select the Zoom link to join the meeting. Not only does this integration make it easier for participants to access and join meetings. Zoom's leading video conferencing capabilities, and built-in collaboration tools increase engagement during the meetings.
The screen-sharing functionality is perfect for reviewing details on project documentation and progress. Participants can co-annotate to ensure everyone is on the same page, while the chat functionality allows team members to easily share relevant links.
A common data environment "is the single source of information used to collect, manage, and disseminate documentation, the graphical model and non-graphical data for the whole project team," says the BIM Wiki. When project data and information are updated in one centralized common data platform, it leads to improved coordination and teamwork, especially when teams are working across various locations. Another great benefit of utilizing a common data platform is that data is enriched as the project progresses. This differs from traditional data and document management methods, where separate applications are used for each stage of a project, and data loss occurs as it moves from one application to another.
BIM 360 centralizes all project data into a common data platform that connects project stakeholders and workflows from design to construction to operations, from the office to the field and back. It makes it easy for team members to access all project information on an as-needed basis from any location. This makes contractual documents, design documents, markups, design, field issues, and RFIs all visible in the context of the current sheets and models.
BIM 360 also gives teams flexible, yet controllable permission levels that empower them to collaborate on coordinated shared designs. Information stays secure through different permission levels and customizable workflows that support varying needs and contract structures. Whether team members need real-time access to shared workspaces, or more strict access control and permissions around specific files and versioning, BIM 360 provides teams all levels of control.
Through a common data platform like BIM 360, cloud-based connectivity and access to information on mobile devices and desktops reduces time spent transferring information from one system to another. Whether you're working from your home office or the jobsite, the platform increases workers' ability to respond flexibly to real-time changes and reduces the potential for errors and conflicts. All of these benefits enables teams to quickly digest the information they need and move on to more important tasks.
The days of paper-based processes in construction are steadily dying. Nevertheless, new opportunities for disconnect and disorganization can arise as construction firms onboard new technology solutions quickly.
No one builds a project on their own. They gather a best-of-breed team of specialists that come together to deliver the project to their customers. In much the same way, leading construction companies want to unite their growing list of specialized technology applications. Therefore, integrated construction technology or software solutions that integrate seamlessly together are essential for removing data silos, disconnect, and duplication.
Today's leading construction companies rely on strong integrations and connected solutions that allow seamless data flow. BIM 360's direct API integrations allow data to be synced across a large range of leading and niche construction technology solutions. The newly released Autodesk Construction Cloud Connect (ACC Connect) also provides an out-of-box, no-code platform to create flexible integrations without relying on engineering resources. With ACC Connect, connect all your critical project data and simplify and automate workflows with hundreds of applications in one place.
Whether you are preparing to return to the jobsite or getting used to working from home, construction management software like BIM 360 keeps you, your team, and data connected. Are you interested in learning more about how the tool's cloud-based collaboration features can support your construction workflows? Request a demo.