Jim explains that it is important to understand the requirements of each particular submittal and review process when planning your workflow in order to properly configure the permissions and abilities within the cloud storage and group collaboration features contained in Bluebeam, called Studio Projects and Studio Sessions.
- [Voiceover] Now more than ever, the construction process really involves the submittal, review, markup, and approval of documents throughout the entire project life cycle. Now because of the built in cloud storage and collaboration features that are included in Bluebeam Revu, we can really use the software to help us manage the entire process as long as we have a good understanding of each process's workflow and how we can optimize that workflow. So the first step is to really understand the task at hand for each submittal process.
We need to know and understand who needs to be involved and we need to make sure that we set up a process that facilitates all of our requirements. So with that in mind, let's look at the example that I'm gonna run through in this course. In this course, I'm gonna look at the example of submitting, reviewing and approving safety data sheets for products to be used on my construction project. Now, I understand that in some cases, this is a simple procedure that might get very little attention or review, and sometimes this process is little more than collecting these product sheets into one location for access at the work site, but in this example, I'm gonna actually draw from a project that I'm currently consulting on, that requires extensive review of these product sheets by multiple parties before they receive final approval.
So, the nice thing here is that as long as you understand the process and the requirements, you can take this solution that we'll run through in this course and you can scale it up or down to meet your needs. So on this project, the work's being done inside of an existing government facility, and they're very picky about reviewing all of the products, so these safety data sheets that you see here have to actually go to not only the project management team for the owner, but they have to go to the facility manager and those two parties have to approve these before we can even bring any of these products on the project site, and that's not uncommon on an existing facility.
So because of these multiple reviews, we'll set up a workflow that facilitates this process, but again, remember, you can scale this up or down and as we go through this course, you'll see that even if all I need to do is collect these and bind them together or make them accessible, this solution will work for that and it'll give you a good electronic solution as opposed to a hard copy solution. So let's look at a couple more considerations here and then we'll discuss our parameters. Now one of the main considerations here is that these safety data sheets have to be readily accessible at everyone working on the project, so in the United States, this is a federal regulation.
It's enforced by OSHA, and many other countries have similar rules, so you probably know that most contractors comply with these rules by requiring all their subcontractors to submit hard copies of these sheets, which they then put in a binder and they keep in a job site office or construction trailer, but these documents are sometimes 10, 15 pages long, and there might be hundreds of them on a project, so it's not uncommon on a large project to end up with multiple three inch binders full of this stuff, and then I've seen at the end of the job, where you have data retention requirements, I've watched people take these hard copies and actually scan them in to create their archives.
So wouldn't it be better to just start out with the electronic documents and stay with that for the entire project? You know, do we really need these paper copies? Or is this one of those processes that really lends itself to electronic documents? So I'll tell you from a regulatory standpoint, most agencies will state that electronic access is perfectly acceptable as long as the electronic documents are readily available and accessible to anybody that requests them, so we're gonna keep that in mind as one of our parameters. So with that, let's kinda talk about the rest of the parameters.
The first thing is when I am done reviewing all of my individual safety data sheet submittals, I want to be able to combine them together into a single PDF file with a linked table of contents. Now, if I do this correctly, my table of contents will actually become my chemical list, and if you're familiar with safety requirements or particularly OSHA regulations on a project, you'll understand what that means to you, that chemical list means, but I want a single PDF file that is searchable and has a linked table of contents that anybody can use.
I need that PDF file to be universal and accessible, and what I mean by that is I can't assume that everybody that's gonna view these safety data sheets is using Bluebeam Revu. They might be using a multitude of other PDF software viewers and I need to create a document that's universal and can be read by anything, and that's important because that does sort of dictate part of my solution. I'm not gonna be able to create things, if you're familiar with PDF packages, in Bluebeam Revu, I'm not gonna be able to do that because those aren't necessarily viewable by other PDF readers.
So I also wanna recognize the limitations of my project partners. I have a large project, and it's not just me and my internal project team. I have lots of subcontractors and trade contractors, some big, some small, and I need to keep this fairly simple. I need to keep the process easy to understand and I don't want them to have to go through a big learning curve in order to participate in the process because otherwise, they just won't do it, and I really want all of my team participating in this process, not just part of my team, and again, in that same theme, this needs to be simple.
It needs to be easy, and by limited barriers, what I'm gonna show you here, is a solution that involves the Bluebeam Studio Sessions product, and the reason that I'm using Studio Sessions is because when I put a document in there, my project partners that don't want to purchase a copy of Bluebeam Revu can actually just use the free version of the software called Bluebeam Vu, and they can participate fully in this process as long as the document and the process is handled in a Bluebeam Studio Session, so, you know, that's one of the things we're gonna do to limit barriers.
And then finally, I wanna make sure that I have the ability to add more submittals later. So, again, I've been in construction for a long time. I understand that, you know, in an ideal world, we would start the project, we would have all of our subcontractors and trade contractors under contract, we would ask them to all send everything in at the beginning of the project and we would do one review. Now, I'd probably say that for as long as I've been in construction, I have never seen that actually happen on a project, right? This submittal process, particularly the safety data sheets submittal process, this is gonna go on for the entire project, and I'm gonna need a way to continue to add safety data sheets to that electronic document, cause remember, I'm not gonna do the paper binders anymore.
So I need a way to continue to add additional safety data sheets to that electronic file, and I wanna be able to update that PDF linked table of contents at the same time, so keep those things in mind because again, that's gonna dictate how we formulate the solution. So with all of these end goals in mind, let's go ahead and continue on to the next chapter and look at how to start our process.
The end result is an easily accessible electronic package, with a hyperlinked chemical list that acts as a clickable table of contents—all with considerably less effort. Jim Rogers shows how to set up a project, start a studio session for collaboration, invite collaborators to the review process, set up an approval workflow, and combine all the submitted sheets into a single PDF file that can be searched and shared. Plus, learn how to keep a session open for additional submittals or archive it when a project is over.
- Setting up a project
- Initiating a session
- Involving the project team in reviews and approvals
- Finalizing the PDF
- Sharing the electronic documents
- Closing the sessions