DADO Intelligent Construction Document Search Framework

A Framework for Intelligent Document Search by Project Phase

Have you ever stopped to think about how search plays a role in your workday? The ever-increasing complexities of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) projects require real-time and regular review and access of documents for project coordination, communication, and reporting.

 It’s easy to say a technology, like DADO, can easily overcome the errors that come with a reliance on CTRL-F.  But what is the framework to drive the intelligent search solution?  In this DADO post, we provide a framework for deploying intelligent document search by project phase.

Framework Goals

The intended goals of DADO’s intelligent document search framework include: 

  1. Provide a helpful guide to reduce the time and cost associated with administrative search efforts at each project phase.
  2. Identify opportunities for intelligent search practices to ensure teams maintain focus on progressing the project at each phase and diminish the distraction that comes with the inability to find correct data.
  3. Remove the time spent searching across multiple platforms for project data.
  4. Reduce the consequences that can come from making decisions from bad search results for the life of the project.
  5. Encourage you to make intelligent search your source of truth.

An Intelligent Document Search Framework by Project Phase

Every day, you search through thousands of project documents.  Finding information is critical for answering questions and avoiding issues. Prior to intelligent search, there were times when finding the right document, like a design drawing, project communication, etc., seemed impossible.  You’d attempt several CTRL-F searches in multiple file repositories with the hope to find the document you need.  Given the sheer data volume, one search could consume hours or days. It is a new day! 

The following is an intelligent search framework* to reimagine how you seek the information you need to get the job done:  

Design Phase

Key Stakeholders:   Owner, Architects, Engineers 

Search Requirements:   A collaborative environment with no search limitations.

Key Documents: 

  • Entitlements Process Documents
  • Building Permit Process Documents
  • Regulatory and Code Compliance Documents
  • Construction Documents, i.e., drawings and specifications.
  • Construction Cost Estimates
  • Requests for Information (RFIs)

Intelligent Search Benefits:

  • If document management protocols are being established at the design phase, intelligent search should be included to ensure everyone is always working from the latest drawings, specifications, addendums, ASIs, RFIs and other changing documentation.
  • When a project includes BIM as a deliverable or as a collaboration tool, leverage intelligent search to locate contract drawings, specifications and RFIs to ensure the model is inline with the design intent.
  • Find conflicts and differences in the design documents; multiple documents tend to reference the same thing. For example, does the equipment on the contract drawings match what is in the specifications?

Preconstruction Phase

Key Stakeholders:   Owner, Architects, Engineers, VDC Professionals, Estimators, Construction Manager, Subcontractors, Purchasers

Search Requirements: Ability to find the latest activity to keep everyone accountable with accuracy.

Key Documents: 

  • Construction Cost Estimates
  • Construction Schedules
  • Subcontractor Bid Documents
  • Entitlement Process Documents
  • Contractual Agreements
  • Shop Drawings and Submittals
  • Team Communication
  • Project Meeting, Agendas + Minutes
  • RFIs, Bulletins and ASIs

Intelligent Search Benefits:

  • Ensures everyone is finding the latest drawings and specifications.
  • Search for files across multiple platforms instantly. 
  • Find and track bid activity in real-time.
  • Find updated information on the RFIs, Bulletins, and ASIs quickly
  • Locate activity and events in real-time to ensure accountability.
  • Search, find and compare documents.
  • Save regular searches for efficient tracking.
  • Search and track bid documents more efficiently.

DADOs Framework for Intelligent Search

Construction Phase

Key Stakeholders:  Owner, Construction Manager, Construction Field Crew, Subcontractors

Search Requirements:  Deploy intelligent file search efforts that need to flow from the office to the field in real-time.

Key Documents:

  • Team Communication
  • Project Meeting, Agendas + Minutes
  • Contractual Agreements
  • Change Orders
  • Requests for Information (RFIs)
  • Transmittals
  • Submittals
  • Contractor Schedule Updates
  • Safety Protocols
  • Facility commissioning documents
  • O&M manuals
  • Guarantees and warranties
  • Punch lists
  • As-built Documents
  • Contractor’s Record Drawings
  • Close-out Documentation

Intelligent Search Benefits:

  • Easily find and share project information from the office or the field.
  • Search for files across multiple platforms instantly. 
  • Easily locate and access the files you need from any device.
  • Find and collaborate with project teams from an easy to navigate and secure solution.
  • Locate activity and events in real-time to ensure accountability.
  • Save regular searches for efficient tracking.
  • Search, find and compare documents.
  • Find and initiate RFI’s directly from project documents.
  • Find the current status of submittals.
  • Find submittal packages from anywhere.
  • Teams stay connected by finding the latest project updates.
  • Find, collaborate and share information instantly with your team members.

Post Occupancy

Key Stakeholders:  Owner, Facilities Manager

Search Requirements: As-built data needs to be easily accessible by Facilities Managers and Owners.

Key Documents:

  • As-built Documents
  • Contractor’s record drawings
  • Close-out documentation
  • O&M manuals
  • Guarantees and warranties
  • Start up and TAB* documentation
*Testing and Balancing

Intelligent Search Benefits:

  • Easily find building data.
  • Locate guarantees and warranties. 
  • Locate O&M instructions.
  • Empower a more targeted building operation by being able to easily find the information to support the owner/occupants needs.
  • Helps to find data to predict future operational needs.

To conclude, deploying an intelligent search tool will result in process efficiencies, reduce risk, and, ultimately, save your company and, by extension, the project team both time and money. 

Did we make a good case for intelligent document search? Did you find our framework for deploying intelligent search practices helpful?  Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

*Note: This framework is based on a design-bid-build delivery method.