The Weekly is STREAMING now. Join us at HorizonTV

Is the PDF revolution advancing BIM workflows?

Many project teams who struggle to get everyone up to speed with BIM, find PDFs a useful tool to bridge the gap between the BIM world and the paper world

Sponsored content
November 12, 2015 |
Sasha Reed

This question was asked by members of the Construction PDF Coalition during a presentation at BIMForum in Orlando. Speaking to a room full of Architects, Engineers, and VDC/BIM Managers the question sparked a bit of a debate between those who believe PDF is no better than paper and those who see PDFs as an enabler for better project communication. The conference entitled, “VDC for Design Phase Management & Preconstruction” was aimed at presenting stories of project “moon shots” resulting in “creative disruptions”. All of which lead to a very important question, “How do we recreate these great results, project after project?” 

One off wins are good but are we really going to gain mass adoption and increase BIM literacy if we can’t consistently recreate positive results? Many project teams who struggle to get everyone up to speed with BIM, find PDFs a useful tool to bridge the gap between the BIM world and the paper world. Yet, our national CAD standards and even our BIM standards don’t address the creation parameters for PDFs, one of the most widely used file formats within the industry today. The Construction PDF Coalition, a grassroots, multidisciplinary effort, created a set of guidelines aimed at giving project teams a framework to standardize the creation of smarter PDFs.  It’s these smarter PDFs, 2D and 3D which are enabling digital workflows and allowing teams to replicate success project to project.  

The Coalition’s presentation at BIMForum offered insight into the value PDFs are bringing to BIM projects. It was the second public appearance for the group, aimed primarily at creating a dialog around the topic of PDFs and BIM. The group invited project leaders and owners alike to weigh in and add their voice to the conversation.   

It was two years ago, I sat down with a couple members of the Coalition and reported on it in this blog post. My main reason for attending BIMForum was to catch up with the group and report on the progress they’ve made. Two years later, they now have a website which hosts a public survey so they can gather feedback from the industry at large. They’ve also started a LinkedIn page so others can join the conversation. At the end of November, they plan to launch a web based version of the guidelines allowing project teams to create their own customized set of standards for PDF Construction documents.  Gaining support from groups like, AGC and BIMForum the group will be featured in a webinar scheduled for Thursday the 12th of November. You can sign up to participate here

If you can’t make the webinar, you can watch my interview with them (above) and also see their original presentation at BIMForum.

Sasha Reed | StrXur by Bluebeam
Bluebeam, Inc.
Vice President of Strategic Development

As Vice President of Strategic Development at Bluebeam, Inc., Sasha Reed collaborates with leaders in the architecture, engineering and construction industry to guide Bluebeam’s technology, partnerships and long-term goals. She joined Bluebeam in 2007 and co-created the Concierge Approach, a distinctly branded process of customer engagement, product feedback and solution delivery to which much of Bluebeam’s success is attributed, and which today is replicated at every organizational level.

Sasha is known industry-wide as a “conversation facilitator,” creating platforms for exchanges necessary to digitally advance the industry, including the BD+C Magazine Digital COM Blog, which she authors and manages. She’s been a featured presenter at numerous national and international conferences, including the 2014 Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), Federal Project Delivery Symposium and NTI Danish BIM Conference. Sasha also co-chairs the Construction PDF Coalition, a grassroots effort to provide a common industry framework from which to create and maintain construction PDF documents, serves on the City College of San Francisco BIM Industry Council, and is Advisor to the Board of Direction for the National Institute of Building Sciences BuildingSMART Alliance.

Related Blogs

December 15, 2017 | StrXur by Bluebeam

Looking beyond today’s constraints to the possibility of what “could be” is a key characteristic of those d...

November 30, 2017 | BIM and Information Technology | StrXur by Bluebeam

New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge first opened to traffic in 1955.

4 people speaking on a panel
September 19, 2017 | BIM and Information Technology | StrXur by Bluebeam

In this four-part series, Bluebeam VP Sasha Reed sat down with industry experts to examine the need for def...

A hospital under construction
August 28, 2017 | Healthcare Facilities | StrXur by Bluebeam

McCarthy will continue to lean on Bluebeam solutions to help solve the most critical issues, and to keep th...

An exterior shot of the Beijing National Stadium
August 17, 2017 | Building Materials | StrXur by Bluebeam

Lighter than glass and 100% recyclable, one material takes center stage in the future of building.

Rendering of a Matrix-style theater
August 02, 2017 | Architects | StrXur by Bluebeam

An Australian Home Theater Company is out to prove that the easier you can see it, the easier you can sell...

July 19, 2017 | Architects | StrXur by Bluebeam

Our goal is to present unique perspectives you may not be able to find anywhere else.  

July 13, 2017 | Accelerate Live! | StrXur by Bluebeam

From my perspective, what separates organizations thriving in the digital revolution from those who are not...

March 15, 2017 | StrXur by Bluebeam

Who is succeeding, and on what terms? And what will it take for everyone to experience the benefits of that...

October 04, 2016 | Building Team | StrXur by Bluebeam

As the construction industry bounces back from the Great Recession, an entirely new class of tech-savvy con...

Overlay Init

Your card will be charged: 0