Construction Information Technology Blog

Green Construction at the Bidding Phase

Posted by Dave Robertson on Nov 21, 2011 8:17:00 AM

A few years ago most bidders would not have pictured themselves submitting their construction bids online in a paperless environment. It represents a major change from decades of travelling to closings, faxing bid amendments, last minute decisions and all the drama that comes with it. Today, this green construction technology has finally arrived. Online bid submission has the double benefit of being a sustainable process along with the benefits of substantially improved efficiency. Supported with a complete document management system and audit trail, it ensures a complete record of who saw what documents and when. This combination greatly reduces the risk of costly bid related errors or omissions.

A great example of an early adopter of this technology is the city of Prince George in British Columbia, Canada. It leads the way in the electronic tendering of capital projects closing many of the projects that have utilized the recently introduced Owner Bid Management and Bid Submission applications within BidCentral. green construction technologyBidCentral is powered by PlanSource and is a suite of services that was designed specifically for the construction industry and is modeled after the processes that have long been accepted as industry standards. The City of Prince George procurement team and the bidders involved in the bidding process gave BidCentral very positive reviews and recognized it as the new construction procurement standard (view video).

Earlier this month, BidCentral was honoured with the presentation of the TechGREEN Award by the Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia. The TechGREEN Award winners are recognized for their contribution to a 'green' economy and sustainable society.  >" target="_blank">Click here to read the news release >>

Topics: Construction industry, Online bidding, Environmental impact, Electronic document management

Award Winning Technology

Posted by Dave Robertson on Oct 28, 2010 6:42:00 AM

PlanSource AwardIs the internet a useful vehicle for delivering innovative new sustainable practices to the construction industry? I am pleased and proud to say that the definitive answer to this is yes! On October 26th our firm was awarded the Vancouver Regional Construction Association’s inaugural Sustainable Construction and Innovation Award for our recently introduced online construction bid submission technology.

The award “recognizes sustainable construction and innovation that is having proven economic, environmental and/or social benefits, contributing to sustainable building practices. The innovation should be recognized as a robust building project, product or service, to which the industry is responding with enthusiasm.” We are very pleased that a panel of industry experts selected our technology as the solution best fitting these criteria from among a strong field of candidates.

We launched our PlanSource online bidding module in July 2009.  It takes the completion and submission of complex construction bids, formerly a paper-based process, and adapts the process for the Internet eliminating the need for bidders to prepare and print a paper tender form and then physically deliver it to the bidding authority. Even the submission of Bid Bonds is done digitally eliminating even more paper and delivery impacts. In addition to the important environmental benefits there are very substantial business efficiencies delivered by the technology creating a complete win/win/win for the organizations using it, the project it is used on and the environment we all live in.

In the 10 years our online technologies have been used in the construction industry we have literally saved a forest of trees worth of paper production. The fact that paper wasn’t required to be physically transported has also had a major impact on the amount of greenhouse gases polluting our atmosphere. Our team works hard to continually deliver innovative new solutions for the construction industry and it is very gratifying to know that their combined efforts are also helping to make our world a better place for us and our children to live in.

Topics: Online bidding, Company announcements, Environmental impact, Construction bidding

Surveyed Trades give PlanSource an A+

Posted by Dave Robertson on Aug 24, 2009 3:24:00 PM

Electronic document distribution is quickly becoming the norm for the construction industry.  The advantages of distributing documents electronically are numerous including time savings, cost savings,  improved staff efficiency and not the least environmental sustainability.  There are a several options available to contractors contemplating the installation of an "online planroom".

A recent survey of more 1,000 trades currently using PlanSource showed that 92% of respondents found PlanSource to be equal to or better than competitive system such as reprographers' online planrooms and Company FTP Sites.  Ease of secure access and the easy to use built-in tools for viewing, downloading and ordering documents, online take-offs are some the features that differentiate PlanSource from the others.

"Of all the programs I use, your site is the easiest to manoeuvre around in and the most logical."

                        - Electrical Mechanical Contractor

Of those who responded to the survey, 83% said that they like PlanSource so much that they would recommend it to the General Contractors they work with that are not currently using it.

 "Out of all the sites I've downloaded from or viewed documents, PlanSource is the best.  It's quick, easy and well organized.  I've even recommended it to some of our clients who currently use other servers."

                        - Drywall Contractor


Topics: Online bidding, Environmental impact, On screen takeoff, Analysis report

Is the amount of paper it takes to construct a building an environmental problem?

Posted by Dave Robertson on May 28, 2009 8:52:00 AM

Short answer ... yes. Almost every document produced today such as a drawing, specification, contract, transmittal or many others are all created digitally. Despite that fact, they are typically printed in multiple copies and distributed in paper form.

construction documents Large format drawings are a large contributor to the problem. There are an enormous number of sets printed from concept through to completion. They include sets for design development, coordination, development permits, building permits, tendering, contracts, construction, as-built records and others easily totalling 100 sets or more for a typical project.

Using our Environmental Impact Calculator we estimate that 100 average size sets of drawings and specifications weigh a total of 1.17 tons.

The impact of producing and distributing those sets is dramatic. It takes 28 trees to produce the paper. The energy used is enough to heat a home for 6 months. The Sulpher Dioxide emissions are equivalent to what 6 18-wheeler trucks emit in a year. The greenhouse gases (CO2) emissions are the equivalent of driving a car for 7 months. It is clear that reducing the amount of paper it takes to complete a project can have a very significant environmental benefit.

Topics: Construction documents, Environmental impact