Explore the trends, techniques, and technology being embraced by the construction industry, in this weekly series.
- [Instructor] Welcome back to our weekly construction series. This week we'll continue our discussion on working with digital construction drawings. And this week what I want to do is show you how to work with construction drawings in a piece of software called Bluebeam Revu. So I'm going to take the same sample drawings that we've been working with and double click on them, but this time they're going to open up in Bluebeam Revu Extreme. Now I haven't done anything to process these drawings yet, so I still have one file with all 93 sheets that are included in it.
Bluebeam does have features like some of the other software we looked at that will allow you to extract all of these sheets and then work with them together as a set. And if you want to learn how to do that with Bluebeam or really learn about any of the tools and features that are included in Bluebeam, we have several Bluebeam courses here in the online library that you can take a look at and find lots of different topics. What I want to do here in this segment is I want to show you one of the things we haven't talked much about so far on working with digital drawings, and that is using digital drawings for your estimating purposes, or quantity takeoffs.
Now Bluebeam has a lot of features that are built-in and that they continue to enhance over time that allow you to do quantity takeoffs on your construction drawings. So let's take a look at those and see how easy it is to do quantity takeoffs with digital drawings, and it'll actually save you time compared to the way you used to do it with paper drawings. I'm going to start out with our architectural site plan, and what I want to do is I want to start. You'll see that there are not many measurements on this drawing.
So I want to go ahead and fix that. I want to add some measurements. I want to do some quantity takeoffs, maybe look at how much concrete here is in our oddly shaped driveway, and show you how easy that is to do. So first, we need to calibrate the scale, and to do that, I'm going to zoom in and see that the scale for this page is one inch equals 10 feet. And over on the right side of the page, I'm going to go ahead and open up my properties tool pane, and click on measurements.
So there's two ways that I can calibrate the scale in Bluebeam. I can directly type it in here, which is what I'm going to do now. I'm going to enter in one inch equals 10 feet. And I'm going to set my precision to hundredths of an inch, and at that point, I should be calibrated. My scale is now set for this page, and I can choose to store the scale in that page as well. Now if I didn't know what my scale was, or I wasn't quite sure, the other thing that I could do, and this drawing's not going to help us out much, because it doesn't have any measurements on it, but if I had a measurement.
It does say this sidewalk is three foot wide. Instead of directly typing it in, I could just click on calibrate, and it's going to tell me to select two points to calibrate the measuring tool. So let's close that out. That's the other way that you can calibrate. But since I've got it entered, my measuring tool is now calibrated, and let's see how easy it is to start measuring things on this digital drawing. I'm go ahead and click on just the length tool, and you'll see here that I'm able to actually snap to the intersections or the corners of this driveway, so I'm just going to click once on the mouse, and I'm going to click again at the end, and you see this driveway is 20 feet.
So it says this is the garage. Let's fix that. And we're going to highlight or select the markup that we just added. And anytime I don't like the color or the label that Bluebeam puts on a markup, I can just click to highlight it and then click the gears icon, which is the properties icon. And I want to just go ahead and get rid of that label. I don't need a label on it. I just want to add a dimension. So we've got some dimensions added there.
Go back to my measuring tool, and let's do one more. Let's go ahead and do an area measurement, and we'll snap to the corner of this garage, and just drag a rectangle out. You'll see my garage is 802.9 square feet. So it's really easy to start adding markups and measurements on this drawing. Let's go up here and undo these, and just get them out of our way, and show you one more way that you can measure things on these drawings.
For this, I want to go to the top of the page, and click on measure, and I'm going to choose this dynamic fill option. And I also want to zoom back out. What I want to do is I want an easy way to find the area of this oddly shaped driveway. So let's zoom in just a little bit. And we're going to click on the paint bucket icon, and we're just going to start painting in this driveway.
And the software's going to recognize when I reach the edges, and it's just going to fill in the driveway. And you'll see it kind of spilled out onto the street here, because there's no line to tell the software that that's the end of the driveway. So Bluebeam's got an easy way to fix that. We just click the icon next to the paint bucket, which is the add a boundary tool, and we're going to pick the start of our boundary, and double click to end our boundary, and we see we've added a line that tells it, hey, you've reached the end of the driveway, and it immediately got rid of everything that spilled out into the street.
So at this point, we have highlighted and selected. Let's zoom out so we can see the whole driveway. We've highlighted and selected the entire driveway. To get the area, I'm going to choose the area tool. So I'll click that, and click on apply. And now let's zoom in, and you'll see it's now telling me that what I have highlighted or shaded into my drawing is 2504 square feet. Let's go ahead and select everything we just did, and click on the properties icon.
And I just want to go ahead and we'll put a little bit of fill in there. Let's just choose the brick icon, and zoom out, again, and show you what that looks like. So I can do things like shading or hatching that help me remember when I've already measured something on the drawings. Let's continue this a little bit. Let's go to our floor plan. Actually, let's use our foundation plan, and let's zoom in. Since we're taking off concrete, we already started with the driveway.
Let's take off some more concrete. And don't forget, I just switched from a civil drawing to an architectural drawing, so a site plan drawing to a building plan drawing. My scale is probably different. So before I get too carried away measuring everything, don't forget to calibrate or reset the scale. In this case, we're going to change this to one quarter of an inch equals one foot. We'll leave the precision set there, and I should be set to measure things.
So let's zoom in. We have a little detached garage, and we're going to click on area. And again, just drag this out. And it says our garage is 575 square feet. Let's click on the gear icon and shade that a little bit, so that we can, oops.
And don't forget to select the tool and click on the markup that you just added or none of your attributes will be applied. So now that we've got it selected, we can go ahead and add that shading. And again, just helps us see that we've taken off this area. And we can also change the label if we need to. We're going to leave this alone, because this is the garage. But let's zoom out and use the area tool one more time by clicking on ruler, and area, and in this case, instead of dragging a rectangle or a square, I've got an irregular shape here, so I'm going to go ahead and just click once on each corner to measure the square footage of the floor in my house.
When I get to the last corner, I'm going to double click. It's going to close, and if you zoom in, you see now I've measured 1390 square feet, but it's not the garage anymore, so let's use the select tool, and click on that markup. Use the gear tool, and I want to go ahead and change this. We're going to call the subject concrete, and we're going to call the label house.
So you see, we've changed the label to house, and I want to go ahead and shade that again so I know I've taken off this area. Let's zoom out, and again, you start to see how easy it is to do quantity takeoffs on this drawing. Now it's nice that it puts the area on the drawing for us, but I'm going to close this properties pane on the right side of the page, and open this tab at the bottom of the page. And what this is is Bluebeam's markup summary.
So instead of having to look up the square footage that I've measured on the drawing itself, it keeps track of it down here, so I can see that my garage is 575 square feet. My house is 1390 square feet. It also automatically calculates things like wall area and volume. So if I am doing things like, instead of taking off the concrete floor here in my garage or my house, if I'm trying to find out how much drywall I have in this garage, and I know the heighth of the wall, I can enter that here, and it will give me wall area, and then room volume.
So all in one tool. Really quick way to do takeoffs on these drawings. Let's look at one last type of quantity takeoff that we can do very quickly here in Bluebeam. Let's open up our navigation pane on the left side of the page, and go to bookmarks. And for this example, I want to scroll down. I want to find an electrical drawing. Let's use the first floor plan power.
Let's close this so we can see things a little bit better. And what I want to do is zoom in. Let's say I'm the electrical contractor and I need to count all of the outlets that I have here in the house. This is the symbol for the outlets, and it's really kind of a pain to go through and count all of these, and remember which ones I've counted. But since I've got digital drawings, I've got a really quick way to do that. I'm going to open this pane and use what Bluebeam calls its visual search.
So I'll click on the binoculars, click on visual, and get rectangle. I can now just draw a rectangle around one of the outlets, and tell it to find everything that looks like that. So when I click on search, it's now looking for all of the symbols on this current page. You can see the progress down here. We'll give it just a minute to count everything.
It says it's found 72 outlets and counted those for us. So that's great, but let's go ahead and make sure that we know what got counted and what didn't. We'll go back up here to the top, and say I want to check all of those, and I want to click here and apply a count measurement to everything that I checked. And I just want that count measurement to be a check mark. So you see that when I did that, let's get this out of the way, it added a check mark on top of every single electrical outlet that it found.
And if I close that pane and open my markup list, you'll see that it added it to the markup list. It says it found 76 of these. Let's go ahead and highlight that. Go to our properties tab. Our subject now is electrical, and these are outlets.
You'll see it changes that down here in our markup list, and the reason that I want to keep track of what it is that I'm counting, and what it is that I'm taking off, is when I'm all done and I found everything that I need to find on my drawings, I can click on summary, and I can export all of this as a CVS file, which in our case. We'll go ahead and export all of the markups we did, and we'll save this Excel file to the desktop by clicking on save, and immediately, it exports everything that we just did, and everything that was in the markup list now opens up in Excel.
I have the items that I've done the quantity takeoffs for. I have lengths, counts, areas. Whatever quantity it is that I need in order to then start doing some pricing on this project. Let's minimize that. Go back and take a look at our drawings. So that's just one more way, one more example of how you can use digital drawings to simplify the work that you have to do in construction. In this case, quantity takeoffs and estimates.
That's it for this week, so join me next week, and we'll continue looking at digital drawings, and look at some mobile field applications for those.