Autodesk Docs Updates: Powering Simplicity in Construction Document Management 

Managing all the paper and digital documents involved in a construction project can often feel like a project within a project. From as-built drawings and specifications to 3D models, the construction industry generates so many documents that need to be managed efficiently and made available for every project member. 

Data from Dropbox shows that in a year, AEC users and teams can create and save over a quarter billion files, translating to “roughly 25 million files per month or 800,000 files per day.” 

That’s a lot of paperwork.  

The good news is staying on top of your project documents is entirely doable with the right solution. 

Enter Autodesk Docs, which paves the way for streamlined document management. With Autodesk docs, you and your team can stay informed on project requirements, share important changes, and quickly deploy all stakeholders to perform actionable results in the office and field.  

In this blog, we will dive into the latest features in Autodesk Docs and share how these improvements can make your construction projects more powerfully simple. 


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Specifications 

Whether you’re new to construction or have several projects under your belt, you’ve likely encountered the term “specifications.” 

These detailed descriptions, or “specs,” as they’re often called, are the instruction manual for each project, consisting of hundreds or thousands of pages filled with critical project information. Project specifications help teams fully understand what needs to be procured, built, and installed at every project stage. 

These documents are detailed and complex, making them tough to sift through. Folks often find themselves searching for relevant information in these specs just to answer the simplest of questions, slowing down the building process. 

As a built-in platform solution, the Specifications tool in Autodesk Docs and Autodesk Build provides an efficient and automated workflow for teams to prepare and manage text-heavy specifications.  

By leveraging Autodesk AI and combining it with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, the Specifications tool brings new features, including: 

  • easy section navigation 
  • advanced search capabilities 
  • the ability to publish directly to the Files tool 

These capabilities empower your teams with more detailed knowledge of working relationships, liability management, and design intent. With the Specification tool, it’s much easier to get answers to “who” and “what” questions throughout the project lifecycle. 

Meanwhile, field teams can utilize specs information to alert stakeholders of discrepancies. 

The Specifications tool makes it easy for users to publish relevant data so field teams can access the information when they need it on the Autodesk Construction Cloud mobile app (iOS). 

Model Viewer (beta) & 3D Issues on Web

Sharing accurate project information from the office to the field is always top of mind for construction teams. Accessing data in the field enables you and your teams to make more informed business decisions and address design concerns on the spot. 

In line with that, collaboration in the field should be readily accessible to all project stakeholders, regardless of role, skill, or training. When everyone can access and understand the info they need, projects move forward faster, and you hit the right milestones and deadlines. 

This is why proper document viewing and management tools are essential. When tech is slow and unreliable, teams find it difficult to understand design information, leading to miscommunication and frustration between the office and the field. 

The enhanced model viewer on the Autodesk Construction Cloud mobile app helps resolve these challenges.  

With the new release, teams can get granular with their model data and enjoy enhanced visual technology that loads complex models faster and with reliable performance. 

It also enables you to view and contextualize complex 3D models more efficiently. For instance, you can section an object to inspect further and navigate the details. 

We know how important it is for teams to communicate and understand any design issues within the 3D model so concerns can be addressed promptly. These features let you do just that.  

On web, you can interact with the 3D models by viewing, selecting, and editing issue pins within the model. This provides a simple yet impactful field workflow for those in the office and field.

Bridge 

Bridge in Autodesk Construction Cloud gives users the autonomy to develop and maintain processes while sharing necessary project information with other stakeholders. 

Sharing information reduces the risk of errors and misunderstandings, which can lead to costly rework. It ensures everyone understands their roles, responsibilities, and tasks at every project lifecycle stage, especially at handover. 

As of last September, teams using Bridge could easily share as-built exports across projects or accounts, helping them relay and centralize information to other stakeholders. 

That said, this process had a few restrictions that created friction in the collaboration process. In order to share information with other projects or teams via Bridge, you had to be a member of both the sending and receiving projects. 

This meant one of two things. Either the information wasn’t shared at all, or the info had to be exported and then emailed, so recipients would get information that wasn’t updated in real time.  

In some cases, the receiving team had to invite random members into their project just so they could set up these shares.  

It was a cumbersome experience, so we’re happy to report that the latest Bridge release addresses these issues. 

Now, if there is a “Bridged project” in place, anyone from the sending project can share information with the receiving project. This saves teams time while preserving privacy; teams won’t have to add members to their projects just to share information via Bridge. 

Embrace the latest features in your projects 

Every construction project and its approach to document management are unique.  

So, take these insights, tailor them to your needs, and start building a more efficient and less stressful construction process in Autodesk Docs.  

Ready to streamline your data and further improve your bottom line? Learn more about Autodesk Docs or request a demo

Marisa Barreda

Marisa Barreda, Product Marketing Manager, Autodesk