"With Vela Systems software, we can improve the efficiency of the CA process, establish documentation consistency across our many projects and offices, be more responsive to our clients, and reduce our risk profile. It has been a very worthwhile investment."
For three decades, the Miami-based international architectural firm Arquitectonica has been creating design excellence and innovation. Construction Administration (CA) Services are an integral part of the firm's commitment to total design excellence as it is during this phase of its services that Arquitectonica delivers to the owner a building as designed. With a growing project load in CA, Arquitectonica was investigating how it could increase efficiency, reduce its risk profile and continue to deliver unparalleled client service. How could the firm achieve these multiple objectives? The answer was to use technology to change CA delivery.
Traditional Construction Administration is Inefficient and Hard to Monitor Prior to adopting Vela Systems, Arquitectonica's construction architects prepared their field notes and created punch lists in the conventional way - with pencil and paper. While making field observations at the site, the Arquitectonica construction architect would write down the observations or work that needed to be corrected or repaired. Hand-written field notes and lists were then taken to the office and typed into a word processor or spreadsheet program, printed, and distributed to the contractor and owner via fax or email. The information flow was dependent on when the notes could be entered by hand and distributed, sometimes several days later. Information had to be entered twice making the process inefficient. Monitoring the status of projects required significant effort for Arquitectonica's project managers and partners because critical information was often locked up in emails. Further, without a convenient method of sharing files, it was difficult to enforce consistent Arquitectonica standard practices across multiple projects.
Vela Systems Streamlines Field and Office Processes in CA By replacing their field notebooks with tablet PCs and Vela Systems' Field Report software module, Arquitectonica was able to save substantial time in the field and the office. Says Jason Tapia, Project Architect: "Before Vela Systems, I had to spend hours retyping my field reports from my handwritten notes. Now, with Vela's Field Report module, I can log my observations electronically on the Tablet PC while I'm on the job and know that they're entered accurately - without any further retyping. To bring plans into the field, I use to have to carry the plan sets of the parts of the building I thought I'd need to review. If I didn't bring the right sets, I was out of luck. For viewing plans, Vela's FileSync feature automatically brings my plan set from my desktop to the Tablet PC I use. By having my files on the tablet, I can access and mark up drawings in the field electronically, then automatically share them with the team. The time savings from these two features is considerable. I also have peace of mind - I know that my non-conformances and quality issues are being logged for other project participants to review. Vela Systems helps me be more efficient and provide a higher quality of service to the client."
Goal Accomplished: Vela Helps Arquitectonica Streamline CA Processes In summary, Vela Systems software helped Arquitectonica achieve the following goals:
- Save time: Reduces time normally spent on transcription and communication of field reports and punch lists, saving 4-8 hours per week.
- Improve service levels: Automatic reports can be generated to clients to give them status updates.
- Reduces risk: Provides a secure audit trail of the progress of construction and establishes documentation consistency across our many projects and offices.
"Vela is like having an insurance policy - the owner and architect can sleep better knowing that the field report documentation standards are being consistently enforced across projects and are logged for future reference." - Sherri Gutierrez, Vice President, Arquitectonica
For more information about Vela Systems, visit them on the web at www.velasystems.com.