Construction worker looking at digital building layout

Digitizing Your Construction Workflow: How Digital Layouts Streamline Building Projects

For vertical and horizontal construction projects, getting your layout perfectly aligned is one of the first critical steps at the beginning of any project. And while in the past, methods that included notepads, measuring tape, and distance meters may have been efficient enough, they were also a breeding ground for human error. As you might imagine, this can cost a contractor both time and money – and whittle away at a company’s reputation.

In the modern era, digital tools don’t only serve primarily virtual industries such as IT, digital marketing, or bookkeeping Today, digital tools are being used in the construction industry to improve accuracy and productivity, and for keeping costs under control.

As a contractor in Alaska, you already know that time is precious – and starting over due to an inaccurate layout can be an expensive situation. But one smart way to get your project off on the right foot is by ensuring that your building layouts are precise and on target. This is where data tools and digital layouts for building construction come in and can help you to streamline your efforts.

Could your company benefit from digitizing your construction workflow? Reach out to GPS Alaska today to learn more.

Benefits of Digital Layouts for Building Projects

4 Benefits of Digital Layouts for Building Projects Infographic

In the past, and still a process being used by many companies today, layouts for vertical building projects were often performed using optical referencing levels. This required a small crew – one person operating the level and another holding a positioning rod to determine the height. Moving forward in time, laser-guided levels became a much more accurate way to determine vertical measurements.

Regardless of commercial vertical or horizontal building projects, a crew was essential to getting the proper alignments in relation to project blueprints. And this is because commercial building projects require precise and often minute measurements to ensure that all needed openings are marked properly for installations.

Construction projects in Alaska require precision. And if you want to get the right marks the first time, digital layout tools can offer the perfect solution. For example, layout design enables precise measurements for openings and space for a variety of installations which include:

  • Stud intervals
  • Walls
  • Penetrations
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Ventilation

Today, in place of using tape measures or paper blueprints, layout blueprints are made into digital plans and uploaded to a field computer – a data collector – that is designed to take the plans and enter them into a software program. Positioning instruments such as total stations or GPS receivers are then used to help the user determine the layout.

Essentially, what would once take a small crew, or at least two people to perform a layout job over several hours now takes much less time and is more accurate – and the job can be completed by just one person.

Overall, the benefits of using digital layouts for buildings include:

  • A faster layout process
  • Incurring less labor cost
  • Greater accuracy with positioning tools
  • Greater productivity with fewer crew members
  • Fewer mistakes and rework

Contractors have more tools today than ever before to help streamline every aspect of project workflow. From initial surveying to layout design to re-measuring points and even seeding grass upon completion of a project, workflows are becoming much more complete – offering contracting companies a full package of digital tools that can be relied on for precision and accuracy from start to finish.

Essential Tools for Digital Layouts

When you’re working on a job out here in Alaska, the last thing you want to do is waste time and money. As the elements here can be unforgiving, going out to a job site to repeat an essential process is going to slow production, incur a greater cost, and could be more difficult especially if inclement weather becomes an obstacle. As such, using the right tools from start to finish will help ensure that you get the job done the right way the first time.

Here at GPS Alaska, we offer our contractors the best tools that will be assets to you on the job site. And a few of the best tools to use for the layout process include:

  • HiPer VR – A compact Topcon GNSS receiver including an integrated IMU, eCompass and equipped with universal tracking tech.
  • HiPer HR – A multi-purpose Topcon GNSS receiver equipped with an advanced Fence Antenna with 9-axis TILT™ compensation.
  • TOPCON GT Series Robotic Total Station – The flagship GT Series ultrasonic robotic total station delivers accurate and productive workflows for highly demanding survey and construction applications.
  • LN 150 – The LN-150 takes you from paper plans and tape measures into digital layout and construction verification workflows.
  • FC6000 – The ultimate handheld field computer – perfect for surveying projects, construction verification, and building layouts
  • Pocket 3D – Pocket 3D is project management, data collection, and stake out tool all in one perfect for civil and horizontal construction.
  • Magnet Field – A survey-grade field controller software perfectly suited for the survey, engineering, and vertical construction market.

The evolution in the construction industry through digital tools has not only improved accuracy and productivity, it has also cut labor costs and reduced the costly problem of project rework. Correspondingly, these changes in the industry also present major opportunities for contractors to take on more work and finish jobs at a much faster pace than ever before.

At the end of the day, digital layout tools are game changers when it comes to getting the job done out here in Alaska. And using the right tools – and getting the job done right the first time while minimizing rework – is going to set you apart from the competition.

Digital Tools and the Construction of the Future

According to Michael Williams of GPS Alaska, we’re going to see a major shift in all types of construction in the future because of how the overall cost of construction projects and labor costs have risen. But the more digital technology advances and the less expensive it becomes, the more contractors will begin using tech instead of paying hard-to-find laborers huge amounts of money when they could be using advanced digital tech at much less of a cost.

This also mitigates safety concerns while on the job site because fewer people will need to be out working in potentially dangerous conditions. And HR issues will also be reduced with a lack of personnel on a crew.

With the technology available today, from machine control and robotic total stations to digitizing an entire project workflow, construction projects are becoming simpler and more automated – and this is offering many contractors an edge over their competitors while also allowing them to get projects completed at a much faster pace.

At the end of the day, the construction industry is the largest manufacturing industry in the world, but it’s also the least automated. And this is GPS Alaska’s top priority – it’s our job to help automate the construction industry and give you the tools you need to get your job done with the least amount of difficulty while cutting costs and increasing productivity.

Could your company benefit from digital layouts or digitizing your entire construction workflow? Reach out to GPS Alaska today to learn about products and much more.