Founded in 1906, PCL Construction (PCL) is a group of independent construction companies across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and Australia developing commercial, heavy civil, and infrastructure projects. The firm utilizes the latest technologies to find the best methodologies to meet clients’ project goals. Inefficiencies in manually extracting submittals, especially on large projects, led to delayed work and the increased risk of missing submittal items. To better understand the project requirements from day one, PCL selected Pype, part of Autodesk Construction Cloud™, to automate the submittal log generation process, increasing project productivity and profitability.
Inefficient Methods for Reviewing Specification Documents Wasted Time and Effort
For PCL, reviewing the specification documents took significant time and effort. PCL’s teams spent hours searching for planning and quality information – such as submittal requirements for shop drawings, product data, samples, mockups, and QA/QC processes – and then manually copied and pasted that information into a spreadsheet.
PCL’s previous method of submittal log creation increased the risk, particularly on large specification documents, of missed submittal items, items arriving later than they should, or missed testing requirements. And the consequences of these items range from project delays to monetary loss that impacts profits.
And with construction projects receiving multiple versions of specifications from architects and engineers as a project progresses, PCL needed to be able to track those changes in real-time.
Using Artificial Intelligence to Automate the Submittal Log Process
The team at PCL evaluated Pype AutoSpecs and immediately realized the potential benefits the product could bring to enhancing their submittal log process. Pype provides immediate access to many of the project requirements and data, automating a critical workflow with increased accuracy by scanning specification documents to create an accurate initial submittal log.
According to Larry Andreychuk, PCL’s Quality Management Business Systems Analyst, “We did a demo, and it looked promising. We started using it [Pype] on a few test projects and were very impressed with the results.”
With PCL operating mainly in the US and Canada, Pype developed a Canadian version of its artificial intelligence (AI) rules. The availability of Pype in Canada allowed PCL to use Pype in both countries, further standardizing its closeout process.
“Enabling productivity gains for PCL employees through the use of smart digital technologies like Pype allows our people to better focus on our client’s pressing needs”
Chief Information Officer
Better Understanding Project Specifications Saves Time, Money, and Resources
By automating the submittal log process with Pype, PCL reduces risk and human error and saves time reviewing and understanding the project’s requirements. This process allows PCL’s project teams to get the information they need without sacrificing quality, which is incredibly valuable on fast-paced projects.
“Our projects have large specification documents. If we used the old method of manually reading and creating our submittal log, we’d be delayed,” says Carmen Thirsk, Project Coordinator at PCL. “Pype’s doing that for us, giving us the time back to review what’s important in the specification.”
The submittal review process is also much more efficient with Pype. With the SpecView feature in Pype, PCL can view the specifications alongside the requirements that Pype’s software pulled out. The extracted items are displayed in a sidebar, allowing the team to read along and verify that items are included in their submittal log and quality requirements matrix. There’s no need to go through the new iterations manually anymore—the Versioning feature does this by presenting changes, omissions, and additions in an easy-to-read format. The project team only has to upload the new versions, and the software reviews and compares them automatically.
Using Pype to review specifications, both before and during construction, improves productivity throughout the project lifecycle. It also allows PCL to reinvest the time saved to better understand its projects and estimate work more confidently, winning more business and providing owners with a better product.