Last year, I wrote about the Fifth Edition of Newforma Project Center, the project information management enterprise solution that allows AEC firms to track e-mail and project information without changing their work processes. Since then, Newforma has taken off with 28,000 seats under license. Newforma is now used by 61 of BD+C’s Giants 300. The company’s Sixth Edition adds LEED administration and BIM process support to its already impressive list of project information management uses.
“A lot of the 6th edition enhancements are around the administration of LEED certification — given the huge shift toward sustainable design — and how to manage digital workflows where processes are based on design rather than drafting because of the use of BIM,” said Ian Howell, CEO of Manchester, N.H.-based Newforma.
The high cost of LEED certification in both time and registration and consulting fees associated with the USGBC’s green building certification system has concerned many AEC firms trying to create high-performance buildings.
Since Newforma Project Center was originally designed to organize and manage project information, it was already well-positioned to document LEED points even before the Sixth Edition enhancements. With the Sixth Edition, Newforma Project Center can now import LEED roles and responsibilities as action items at the outset of a project, enabling project team members to easily file incoming email to appropriate action items, and reassign those items for follow-up through email notification. LEED categories can be tracked via keywords assigned to any Newforma Project Center item.
By using the “file in project” action, you can save items, such as a carpet specification for indoor air quality, in the project record on the central file server. The e-mail log and the current status of LEED categories are automatically saved on the server as well. LEED reports can be generated from the project center and action items can be associated with milestones in the project, ensuring all outstanding tasks associated with the milestone are completed.
With BIM and integrated project delivery (IPD) changing the way Building Teams design and deliver a project, documentation of design intent and construction decisions are more important than ever. But with each team member still used to working on his or her own model and discipline-preferred BIM program —Tekla for structural engineering and Revit or Microstation for architectural design, for example — , true integrated collaboration still demands that information be exchanged across disciplines and models.
Howell said that even if RFIs become a thing of the past (I'm not holding my breath), decisions related to the model will still need to be asked and design changes will still need to be communicated throughout the design and construction process. Newforma has answered these user needs by beefing up its markup session activity center and the ability to publish folders via Newforma Info Exchange.
Newforma Project Center Sixth Edition will accept markups from the most popular tools in the market today. Any .DWF or .PDF markup is now supported by the markup session activity center. PDF native mark-ups from Adobe Acrobat and Bluebeam PDF Revu are accepted. DWF native files from an Adapx pen and Autodesk Design Review are also supported.
IPD requires trust between team members and trusted information from them. The Sixth Editon’s info exchange folder updates team members on changes to a project whenever someone updates and republishes drawings or BIM model views. Rather than automatically sending large files to all team members, it instead automatically sends them all a link to the Newforma Info Exchange server where they can always trust that they have the latest version of that project. Newforma Project Center’s compare functionality allows users to easily compare files to previous model views and drawing sets, providing valuable QA assistance.
More than 60 customer-requested enhancements are included in Newforma’s Sixth Edition, including support for alternative markup tools, expanded Newforma Info Exchange capability, improved project timeline features, and enhanced project search with the ability to search project files containing international content. The ability to work with products such as Adapx, Adobe Acrobat and Bluebeam PDF Revue to facilitate design review as well as manage common project headaches like LEED administration makes the new version a big leap forward for Newforma. BD+C
Newforma's markup function now allows markups from Adapx and Bluebeam PDF revu to be viewed.