The days of lugging multiple 10-pound paper rolls to a construction site have finally departed. With the rise of iPad usage in commercial building projects, workers in the field are more and more efficient. Without superintendents’ capability to connect to a computer or laptop, there was a connectivity gap as construction becomes increasingly paperless. Now that paper blueprints are becoming obsolete, information sharing and productivity is sky-rocketing. Aside from the ease of not having to carry extensive paperwork, there are some other pretty transformative effects of iPads making PM and foreman life a little easier.
As change orders are issued/materials are purchased and large checks must be cut, it becomes frustrating from a construction manager’s standpoint, as there is no understanding of the need for these unforeseen expenses. When there is no way for field employees to input data, there is no way to use that data analytically to improve for next project. In an example brought to light by Construction Productivity Blog, “No field computing means no field data, which means you have no idea that your electrician, who you picked because he was 10% cheaper, is 30% slower than the other electrician you used last time.” There are countless reporting tools that help better communication, information tracking, and documentation of progress.
General property condition surveys are also a breeze with this hassle-free tool. I’ve talked to several real estate consultants who are fans of the iPad utility, SurveySnap, that allows users to document photos of current state to add notes coinciding with a geo location so it can be referenced in the future. Notes can be compiled into a PDF report and shared as required. There are countless features and tools such as this that can really spare a good deal of disparity in a project’s execution.
To some firms—JH Greene included—iPads represent an influence weighted as equally as cranes or hammers.