»Aug 27 Posted by Todd

The iPad and PlanGrid are transforming the way ICI does business

With ICI’s roll out of tablets and utilization of cloud-based construction document software, we are poised to take full advantage of the rapid advance in technology-based solutions the construction industry has recently seen. Until this implementation, like most construction firms, ICI Project Team Members were lugging around hard copy drawing rolls and specification books. Addenda and Change Directives had to be printed and transported to the field for manual “leafing” into working sets. In our industry, when changes are issued, it is vital that they are distributed quickly to the field.  Time lost waiting for design changes to be implemented can lead to a project experiencing costly schedule delays.

Pairing our tablet rollout with the latest documentation and collaboration software, PlanGrid, is revolutionizing the way we use plans and specifications at ICI.  In its simplest form, PlanGrid is a cloud-based storage location for drawings, specifications, schedules, submittals, progress photos, RFIs and punch lists; all in one place for easy sharing and collaboration by team members. These documents are now uploaded to the PlanGrid website and downloaded by the Project Team to their iPad for instant access and constant updatability, no matter their location or internet accessibility.

PlanGrid brings simplicity to tasks which have traditionally been fairly cumbersome.

Take, for example, this “real world” scenario:

You are taking progress photos of your jobsite when someone stops you to ask a question.  You stop what you are doing, go back to the trailer and look at the drawings to answer the question. Once the question is answered, you walk back to where you were and begin taking photos again. Once completed, you have to load your photos onto your computer and rename them to indicate their location and the focus of the photo.


The superintendent uses the PlanGrid App to click on the location being documented within the drawings. The superintendent then takes a photo and it is attached to that location. The entire team now has instant knowledge of where and to what the photo refers. To further simplify, the question that was asked of the superintendent is now easily looked up with the entire set of drawings available at the swipe of a finger. If the question resulted in an RFI, this is documented on the drawings, a photo taken is (if necessary) and it can be emailed directly to the team member responsible.

As a Project Manager, I have personally utilized PlanGrid for two complete projects. In the end, both projects completed without the need to carry hard copy design documents to and from the project site.  Addenda and Change Directives were uploaded to PlanGrid by a Project Administrator and were instantly available in the field. Our Superintendent on both projects utilized PlanGrid exclusively, including maintaining the as-built record set for project closeout. After such a successful experience, I don’t see the need to ever go back to paper documents.