What We Produce
Crowdsourced Best Practices
Our first publication in 2014, The PDF Guidelines for Construction, successfully drove interest in the historically uninteresting topic of PDF drawing export quality from design authoring tools. The three page document was little more than a reference guide to existing CAD or BIM standards that have been ignored for too long. Many common offenses to PDF drawings from designers or inspectors are done inadvertently. Others issues come down to simply breaking old habits as we move from static drafting to parametric modeling.
The PDF guidelines have now been recognized by the National Institute of Building Sciences and referenced in their National BIM Guide for Owners. They have also been translated into Swedish for incorporation to their national BIM standard. Most recently, Terriann Nohilly of Bluebeam Software delivered an engaging educational session to over 300 interested attendees at their last user conference.
This year, we introduce a whole new design for the PDF Guidelines v3.0. With a more dynamic approach to adopting project specific standards, the upgraded guidelines will feel more like an interactive website than a static PDF document. Other forms of innovation crowdsourcing will include another Open Integration Summit, along with a new monthly report and interview called the Shared Pains Podcast.
Prior to the merger with the CPC, COSA partnered with the Association of General Contractors (AGC) to produce more than a dozen agcXML definitions. These existing standards provide a data dictionary for internal software integrations within the GC’s perspective. The CDX certification process is harmonizing similar data fields between agcXML and other industry open data standards like IFC, PDF, and XBRL. Current apps with open-APIs need only to submit their integration for CDX certification to confirm the required data fields are being transacted consistently and reliably.
The CDX development process began in 2017 with the inaugural Open Integration Summit in Denver, Colorado. Over one full day, 30 industry and technology experts convened to digest, debate, decide, and deliver a CDX definition for the Request For Information (RFI). The resulting summary report, Transforming the RFI, was released that October, and details the three tiers of exchange and the minimum data required for each level. The collaborative result was a clear delineation between an informal issue, a formal RFI, and a public Change Order. The final step is to produce the formal CDX definition and certification. The formal RFI CDX certificate is expected be completed by June 2018.
Measurable Project Improvement
Digital transformation requires a disruption of traditional industry performance metrics. For technology to deliver measurable improvements to construction, we must first agree on the metrics we use to baseline project performance. Co-founder Kyle Hughes set a vision in 2014 to produce a freely accessible web-form for project teams to define process and data standards, collaboratively.
This audacious goal can only be achieved when crowdsourced best practices are combined with reliable data integrations. The hardest part of digital transformation is not deciding the standard; it’s implementing it. The adoption tipping point occurs when project teams shift their focus from measuring the adoption to measuring the impact.
As contract and culture permits us over time, we will introduce the opportunity for project teams to anonymously opt-in their CDX performance data to our aggregated dashboard, and in turn incentivizing data transparency and knowledge sharing to improve productivity and reliability in construction. This enables teams to effortlessly track and compare their project performance metrics to an industry baseline, unlocking the opportunity for new contracts that reward value production over contract finger pointing.