An ENR editor renovating his apartment and overseeing construction had only a few moments to prove a point to his contractor. The critical information was available in the first round of project drawings. Luckily, the editor had the plans in hand.
Keeping plans handy is exactly what Plan Grid 2.0 aims to do. For desktop and iPad, the new version of the software is distinguished in the crowded marketplace by its lightning-fast plan rendering.
"The biggest benefit is the speed of the rendering of the drawings," says Curtis Faulkner, senior superintendent, DPR Construction, Redwood City, Calif. "I have tried Good Reader, but it's a little slower, and the few extra seconds of time really count."
Faulkner says he uses the application to carry around his 1,300-plus site drawings on his iPad. He has used the device to correct his subcontractors on the spot, without going back to the office to back up his argument.
"I can go to a sub and say, 'Hey, partner, you're working off the wrong set of drawings here,' " says Faulkner. He also uses the application's photo tool to tag photos to drawings, then he e-mails them to the crew. His company hasn't used the product's punch-list tool yet, but he intends to try it.
Danielle Douthett, project executive at Level 10 General Contractors, Sunnyvale, Calif., most often uses the software in meetings. "Normally, you have a set of drawings," she says. "But we were trying to prove that something hadn't changed, and I pulled out all four times that drawing was issued. It was all sitting right on my iPad."
When ENR tried out the software on an iPad and desktop, we clocked its plan rendering, even when zooming, at less than a second. There are several nice features, including annotation and measurement. In this product market, we also have tested ThresholdCM and Bluebeam Revu software. Plan Grid is positioned as a niche product with a free version for up to 50 sheets; a $19.99-a-month version that holds up to 550 sheets, and a $49.99-a-month version that stores up to 5,000 sheets.
Our editor got his point across. Now, he has loaded all his site drawings onto his iPad via Plan Grid.