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Improved Quantity Takeoffs Headline Revu 2019

Rob Dunn

Improved Quantity Takeoffs Headline Revu 2019

Posted: January 13, 2020 | Tradewinds, Estimating

Don Peters has been an estimator for more than three decades. When a prospective client insisted that his business use Bluebeam Revu to conduct an estimate as part of the bidding process for a recent job, Peters felt uneasy.

“I've been estimating for more than 30 years,” said Peters, who owns Solid Earth Civil Constructors in Pueblo, Colorado, with his wife, Rae. “When I look at technology, it's extremely scary.”

Peters then put one of his employees, tech-savvy field operator Drake Carter, on the job to figure out the quantity takeoff technology in Revu — and was amazed by the results.

Carter completed an estimate — in just one day — that was not only more accurate, but had initially taken Peters two weeks. What’s more, the estimate using Revu ended up saving the company from making a costly mistake.

“On one item, I had 15,000 lineal feet,” said Carter, who used quantity takeoffs in Revu to help produce his estimation, “but Don only had like 13,600 lineal feet, which would have been like a $50,000 to $60,000 hit to the company.”

“The first job we did with Bluebeam [Revu] it paid for itself,” Peters said.

Revu, the industry leading project efficiency and collaboration solution, has now become the standard for surveyors and estimators like Peters. And with the recent release of Revu 2019, estimators have access to new tools specifically designed to capture the most precise quantity takeoffs faster and more accurately than ever.

One Toolbox for Every Professional

New users will appreciate in-app onboarding for every role in construction, especially for estimators. The first time you open Revu, you’ll have the option to select the quantity takeoff profile — and customize it — based on your needs. It will give you quick access to the tools and markups that you’ll use the most. More in-depth lessons and demonstrations are also available online.

Precision is everything for estimators. Accurate quantity takeoffs are a crucial early step for any contract, and Revu has long been an industry favorite for estimators performing quantity takeoffs.

Measurements taken in Revu go beyond length, width, and area, with functions to calculate volume, depth, radius, slope, rise, drop, angle and arc, and cutouts. Features like “Dynamic Fill” section off and fill complex drawing regions to easily generate area measurements, while the “Count” tool and “VisualSearch” can be used for calculating and tracking quantities.

What’s more, you can live link measurements and counts for materials into Excel spreadsheets using “Quantity Link”. As you work and add measurements, the data will automatically populate the spreadsheet, so you always have an up-to-date cost analysis.

New Features for Quantity Takeoffs and Estimators

Revu 2019 introduces numerous improvements for quantity takeoffs that are a result of feedback and ideas from professionals in the field who have used the software for years. Most notably, Bluebeam has added valuable upgrades for estimators that will help manage scale through automatic prompts.

The new automatic scale prompts ensure 100% correct scale for every page of a document. A dialog will automatically prompt the user to calibrate or input a known scale on every page, and then apply that scale to a page range of the user’s choosing.

Furthermore, there are common preset scales for imperial and metric measurements, and scales can be viewed or modified in several places throughout Revu to make your scale always visible to you. These changes promise to reduce errors and make scale simple to find and use, so users can have confidence that the scale is set correctly on every page.

User-driven features like these benefit the user’s experience, saving time and making for a more intuitive process, so you spend less time in menus and more time in measurements. Revu enables you to create custom columns for the running total of measurement values when placing markups, so you can intuitively track the numbers.

Bluebeam also updated the “Viewports” in Revu based on users’ feedback, adding the ability to create new or edit existing Viewports for detailed breakdowns of design features. Also, each Viewport will have its own “Set Scale” prompt, so if a user magnifies a feature by five times to include a detailed estimation within a page, the Set Scale will reflect that magnification for precise and correct measurements.

Finally, if you want to shift viewports to their own page, you can easily remove viewports with the “Clear All” from the “Page” option, leaving the original page with the correct scale unchanged.

These additions are focused on quantity takeoffs for estimators, but many of the improvements made in Revu 2019 apply to the entire platform, such as a new hardware accelerated rendering engine that allows users to pan and zoom complex plans six times faster than any previous version, resulting in a smoother user experience.

As always, Revu is a highly customizable program; users can set unique markups and customize several other features within the platform to their liking.

Everyone’s Time Is Valuable

Yet another benefit to working with Revu that deserves mention is the availability of clear and fast communication with partners, potential clients, and any other stakeholders with an interest in your quantity takeoff.

Bluebeam Studio — which includes “Sessions”, for real-time collaboration, and “Projects”, for document management — is widely used throughout the AEC industry. If you use Revu, stakeholders know you’re engaging with a trusted technology, and can meet the pace set for the entire team.

Digital communication is increasingly a necessity for AEC businesses to remain competitive, because, as the speed of work has increased, the time it takes to drive to meetings to review plans and estimates on paper becomes a burden.

This is where Bluebeam Studio Sessions becomes invaluable for estimators.

For example, Knutson Construction in Minneapolis, Minnesota, had only two weeks to put in a bid for a $75 million job. “I put all the drawings in a Bluebeam Studio Session,” said Micah Vainikka, the company’s pre-construction manager. Bluebeam Studio allows numerous users to simultaneously review and measure a set of drawings, meaning Vainikka could collaborate in real time with his crew.

Vainikka added the estimating tool set he’d created for his group; then he gave a one-hour training session. After that, the team was able to do quantity takeoffs using the same file in real time, eliminating so much of the back and forth that usually comes with sharing files.

“It was just kind of magic,” Vainikka said. In total, about six estimators divided the labor: one person handled glazing and drywall; someone else handled waterproofing and siding, and so on. “We had many estimators getting all the markups done really fast,” Vainikka said.

Also beneficial to estimators using Revu: When you win a bid, all the measurements and markups you’ve already put together can be passed on to the pre-construction and construction teams within Revu. There’s no need to use another program to start design review, site logistics, or any other downstream aspects of a project.

Furthermore, switching to digital estimates and communications means saving thousands of dollars per year just on printing and document transportation, in addition to the savings of work hours required for traditional measurements and calculations.

You’ll save yourself — and everyone you work with — valuable time and energy by engaging with digital solutions.

A Full-Service Digital Platform

Revu serves the entire spectrum of AEC professionals, and with new features specifically meant to improve quantity takeoffs in the 2019 release, estimators can expect to save time and money in assembling bids without worrying over potentially expensive miscalculations and errors.

Using Revu, quantity surveyors can complete tasks in a more intuitive and streamlined way. They can also quickly generate your quantity takeoffs to help create a stronger bid, even for projects that require thousands of documents. For independent estimators and small- to medium-sized contractors that must regularly submit bids, using Revu for quantity takeoffs is worth the investment.

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