In part one of our series of articles on the tools reshaping construction, we examined how cloud-based handover software is revolutionising the industry. In part two, we turn our attention to Common Data Environments, or CDEs.Read more
Over a series of blogs, we’re going to take a look at some of the technological innovations that are changing the construction process for the better, starting with digital handover software.
Building handover marks the formal exchange of a completed building from the contractor to the owner. To state the obvious, this process is a lot more complicated than simply handing over a set of keys. Handover documents, based on pre-agreed terms and covering every relevant piece of information (from manuals and warranties to BIM models and drawings) must be checked and signed off. Problems at handover are costly and painful for all involved.
Not so long ago, handover documents were all physical, paper-based files. In many cases, contractors are still reliant on paper. But is this still a smart way to work? When you think about how much data needs to be recorded (in some cases, specifications for every last screw used) you get an idea of how much paper old-fashioned handovers require.
The pitfalls the paper-based handover documents are almost too numerous to list. But let’s start with the obvious: this approach is laborious and complicated. Remembering to keep on top of your checks is hard enough, but then you have to take the documents and file them safely away. This approach is time-consuming and very prone to human error. Forgetfulness and disorganisation will lead to big problems further down the line.
Lost or damaged paper records compound matters. On busy, dusty building sites, your physical records can easily be soiled or misplaced, never making their way to the filing cabinet. If handover document omissions are only discovered at the point of exchange with your client, yet more time will be wasted putting things right. Client relationships you’ve worked hard to nurture can easily be undermined.
But the drawbacks don’t stop there. Paper records are tricky to move from A to B and require huge amounts of space to store. When it comes to the building owner trying to refer back to handover documents at a later date, finding the exact information needed is akin to finding a needle in a haystack, even with the best filing systems in place.
Thankfully, technology is making handover easier. With a cloud-based system, digital documents can be stored and shared easily. Collaborating is simple and efficient, and work duplication is avoided. Finding and checking your records in a digital platform is a whole lot easier, too. Files can be accessed anytime from anywhere.
Cloud-based digital handover documents are secure (user access permissions can be easily managed) and unlike paper files, cannot be lost.
Handover should not be thought of as the point in time when a building and it’s supporting information is exchanged. Effective handover takes time to plan and execute; it spans an entire building lifespan from planning through to its ongoing occupation. Digital handover will save time and stress throughout every phase of this process.
One of the few positives that construction can take from the COVID pandemic, is that it has sped up the industry’s adoption of new technology. Largely out of necessity, contractors have turned to tech to negotiate the various hurdles coronavirus placed in its path.
If you are yet to try digital handover software, now would be a great time to do so. The efficiencies offered by digital handover will bring welcome cost savings at a time when the industry struggles to maintain profitability in challenging market conditions.
And if your business operates in the UK, new legislation proposed in the Building Safety Bill adds extra impetus. Increased accountability and the requisite ‘Golden Thread’ of information look set to make digital handover a necessity in the near future. Now is the time modernise your construction operation and place your paper checklists into the recycling bin.
For superior digital handover software, look no further than Zutec Handover.
Zutec Handover will revolutionise your construction process. Book a free customised demo today and see for yourself. Once you’ve tried Zutec, you’ll wonder how you ever coped without it.