Moaning architects? (2)

Further to yesterday’s post, I received a more detailed response from Erik Winterkorn at the CICA. He writes:

"First, it seems that contractors and clients still request paper copies of documents for distribution purposes. Arrangements can be made for all project printing to be done through a bureau and perhaps paid for directly by the client, but this doesn’t seem to be the norm. Also, consultants still print drawings for checking and sign-off purposes. The general view of CICA’s Major Architects, Major Consulting Engineers and even Major Contractors is that on-screen checking, where the individual must flip between and compare different documents doesn’t usually work. Sometimes the possibility of using magnetic ink or simply AI screens is raised, but screen-based checking and red-lining seems to be confined to rare enthusiasts and applications such as the checking of piping and instrumentation drawings on petrochem work.

"Second, firms complain about the need to train people to use different systems on different projects and lack of fit with office QA and archiving policies.

"Finally, CICA still hear people say most extranets are designed to meet contractors’ needs, they are typically introduced too late in projects, do not always integrate adequately with CAD and other applications, and do not support an industry standard set of transactions involving industry standard metadata, eg: Doclink.  Perhaps, all these criticisms are now no longer true, but we still hear them along with comments like "the bloody thing doesn’t handle batch uploads properly."

Is Erik correct? Are extranet users really reluctant to use red-lining? Do architects and others need to update their QA and/or archiving policies to reflect the growing use of construction collaboration technologies?

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