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Reviewing Plans Digitally

Lowland

Cyburbian
Messages
111
Points
6
In the true spirit of the current global situation, I find myself working remotely for the time being. We have a few site plan review projects outstanding, and at least one new one coming in soon. Normally, we require hard copy sets of plans for routing to different departments, and I perform my review using the paper plans. We also require a digital PDF copy for printing to scale, images for staff reports, and for storing digitally for reference.

Now that I'm unable to have access to physical hard copy plans, I'll need to review digital plans to write our staff reports. One of the issues I know I'll run into is measuring dimensions that are not explicitly shown on the plans (missing drive widths, setbacks, landscaped areas, etc). Does anyone use any (free) programs that can measure said dimensions (length and area) in scale from a PDF? Do I need to request plans be sent in a different file format for said program (worried the answer will be CAD)?

Thank you in advance.
 

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,195
Points
50
We require digital submissions in pdf form anyway and our admin loads into a program called Trello so we can all review them and comment
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,386
Points
25
We review plans electronically via Blubeam. We are all set up to work from home and my 55" TV serves as my monitor. Blubeam is not free (trial version perhaps) but is great for plan review. I have not used others so my review is limited but serves our purpose well.
 

bureaucrat#3

Member
Messages
34
Points
3
We use bluebeam as well. It works well and allows for comments to be tracked and shared across reviewers. Before that I used Autodesk Design Review, which is free. Its not very robust, but you can set a scale and measure distance and area and mark it up. It does sometime have issues with pdfs, but I've been able to convert them to something else if that happens.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
12,818
Points
51
We use Bluebeam as well, but our efforts to fully implement digital plan review is stifled because there are 3 people in public works who refuse to review plans unless they are paper copies. PWD doesn't want to 'push the envelope' and make them do it. He'll just enable this to continue. We did get Fire Dept to switch, at least we got that going for us.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,386
Points
25
We use Bluebeam as well, but our efforts to fully implement digital plan review is stifled because there are 3 people in public works who refuse to review plans unless they are paper copies. PWD doesn't want to 'push the envelope' and make them do it. He'll just enable this to continue. We did get Fire Dept to switch, at least we got that going for us.
That is where the CA or CM needs to direct the PWD to mandate the switch.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
14,625
Points
51
We use ProjectDox. I think it's a pain and there could be a more efficient way of doing this, but then what do I know.
 

Lowland

Cyburbian
Messages
111
Points
6
We use bluebeam as well. It works well and allows for comments to be tracked and shared across reviewers. Before that I used Autodesk Design Review, which is free. Its not very robust, but you can set a scale and measure distance and area and mark it up. It does sometime have issues with pdfs, but I've been able to convert them to something else if that happens.
I checked out Autodesk Design Review, and I think this will work perfectly for now for our purposes. Bluebeam seems promising, but I think I'll try and get my department and the others on board with the free program and see how much buy-in I can get. Thank you, everyone!
 
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