Last week I had the pleasure of presenting my concepts for using apps on construction projects at the CMAA Annual Conference in San Francisco. My presentation focused on a case study project that my company successfully completed in Atlanta this year. This was an interesting project for one main reason, we as the new General Contractor (GC) on the project introduced new apps that the project Owner and other GC adopted.

On “The Flats” project at Ponce City Market our project team successfully completed 257 apartment units in thirteen months. To accomplish this task, the team had to deal with a limited egress to the building, extended drying in phase and an ever changing set of construction documents. The plan set started out with 205 plans originally, it grew to 883 by the end of the project. The project documents also included 113 RFI’s , 12 ASI’s and numerous change orders. How on Earth could our project team carry around all of this information each day?

At the start of the project I met with representatives of the Owners’ construction project team. I showed our Owners Rep how we had used PlanGrid on the last project successfully. I proposed that on this project if we were using PlanGrid to store all of our project documents, it would allow the Owners, Architects and Sub-Contractors to access the same information at all times. In order to make the Owners life easier I also suggested that their other GC on site do the same thing. This would allow the owners to access all of the project documents in one place during and after construction.

The JMW team introduced two apps that united the project teams on site:

  1. PlanGrid: for plan distribution and punch list.

“On a project with the size and scope of Ponce City Market, clear communication and coordination is paramount. J.M. Wilkerson’s introduction of PlanGrid to the project allowed for updates to be shared across multiple General Contractors, Ownership , and Design Professionals instantly – allowing for better version control and clearer communication across all teams.”

Annie Evans (Vice President Development and Construction, Jamestown LP).

  1. FotoIn Mobile: for field progress photos.

Part of my case study included number from my field beta test of the FotoIn Mobile App. One day I walked a floor with 19 units and took 6 rough in progress photos in each unit. I then drove to my office, downloaded the pictures to my laptop, uploaded them to my server, organized and labeled the files. This process took me 94 minutes in all. The next day I went back and took the same pictures with my iPad and the FotoIn Mobile App. This time I took the photos, tagged and synced them as I walked. This process took me 54 minutes, a 40 minute reduction in time!

A few people at my company thought I was crazy to show another company the apps that we were using on our projects. But what they failed to realize is that by sharing what we were using to improve our business I was attempting to improve the industry as a whole. Collaboration on a project is difficult to achieve, but can be accomplished when the right amount of spirit is applied.

If you would like to review the slides that were presented please follow this link to my SlideShare page.

Stay tuned for details about the CMAA trade show vendors that I met with on Wednesday.