How Fieldwire Helps ROSACE Build a Digital Network in Eastern France

DavidroundDavid Vasquez
Head of Customer Support

There are over 100,000 projects run by Fieldwire users all around the globe, and we always love the opportunity to shine the spotlight on their efforts. One such project over in France is the SDTAN initiative, which seeks to develop a broader digital framework for people living in the Eastern portion of the country. This will close the public gap between those with digital coverage and those without, and help encourage more investment interest from private operators.

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ROSACE, the team behind the project, is a joint venture between NGE, a heavy civil contractor, and Altitude Infrastructure, a telecom infrastructure firm. Over the next six years, ROSACE will fulfill their mandate by installing a massive fiber optic network in more than 700 cities throughout the Alsace region of France. This encompasses over 3,200 square miles, and ROSACE is responsible for designing, building, launching, and maintaining the entire network. By 2022, citizens and companies within the Alsace region will enjoy new, optimal coverage for cloud computing, telecommuting, and digital spaces in order to connect people both better and faster.

This long-term commitment to providing a scalable fiber optic network is an enormous endeavor, but the improved internet service will more than justify the effort. Modern networking will stimulate both commerce and socialization, and this particular data system will span over 370,000 fiber optic outlets connected by 13,000 kilometers of cabling. ROSACE will deploy more than 500 workers across 80 companies to develop the network, with a total project cost of 480M€ (that’s approximately $512.5 million).

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With such a daunting task ahead of them, ROSACE has trusted Fieldwire to help them manage the daily supervision of this expansive project. The core management team is utilizing the construction app to organize and access their plans more efficiently, and with at least one dedicated plan for each Alsace city, that’s around 700 municipal layouts to keep track of. Luckily, Fieldwire allows them to carry every plan around on a mobile device for easy reference and the ability to mark them up on the fly.

Fieldwire also enables the ROSACE team to manage all of their tasks with real-time notifications and comprehensive data storage. They can measure installation progress through detailed reports and handle all QA/QC issues in the app, keeping their subcontractors on track with checklists and helping them document important items with photos and notes from the field. There’s no event they cannot record and track from start to finish, which ensures that each section’s installation goes as smoothly as possible.

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In the video below, ROSACE and our own Stephane Denerolle discuss how their superintendents use Fieldwire on their tablets to hold inspections and stay on top of daily progress. The app helps reduce wasted time by sharing data from throughout the Alsace region directly to them, so they don’t have to make any unnecessary treks for project updates, as well as by making it easier to compile on-site reports. The entire information flow from the field to the office to the client is streamlined tremendously within Fieldwire. Check it out (and be sure to turn on English subtitles):

Pour lire cet article en français, cliquer ici.


Heavy Civil Field Management

MarielleroundMarielle Price
Director of Customer Success

It’s no secret that Fieldwire gives construction firms the edge that they need to save time and streamline their days on-site. But today we want to focus on one branch of the industry - heavy civil construction. Handling roadwork, paving, excavation, and other infrastructure jobs can be pretty strenuous, and with so much riding on the success of their endeavors, any tool that can make time in the field easier is a welcome advantage. So here’s how Fieldwire can lend a hand to our heavy civil brothers and sisters and help save them time and money:

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Remote Document Updating

Many heavy civil projects are in remote locales, often times with little to no internet access or cell service. Ordinarily, that lack of connectivity might be problematic, but that’s not the case with Fieldwire! Your plans, tasks, photos, and files will all remain accessible without an internet or data connection. Simply sync up the app in the morning on your tablet or phone, and at night when you’re back at the office or home, and all of the information that you logged that day will sync with the rest of your team (and their data will sync to you as well). It’s a great way to stay in touch with the latest progress.

Since many different projects can be going on at once, often miles, cities, or states away from the home office, you’ll need an easy way to get the latest information from the office to the field. Rather than emailing team members and making sure they download and print plan updates, you can use Fieldwire to update everyone at the same time. Whenever they next connect to the internet, those changes get updated in the app without any effort on their part!

Speaking of plan updates, you can also use Fieldwire to create as-builts while you’re in the field. No need to send sketches back to the office to add to a set of plans anymore. Simply export PDFs of your plans at the end of a project and your client will have a clean, up-to-date set of as-built record drawings. All of the links on your exported plans are kept live as well, so your client will be able to see any RFIs, change documents, or any other file attachments that have been posted on the plans. This ensures they’ll always have the full picture available to them.

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Issue Tracking

When you’re dealing with excavation, you never truly know what you’re going to find. You might come across an abandoned utility pipe, an old foundation, or troublesome soil conditions. Unforeseen circumstances are par for the course in heavy civil construction, and Fieldwire allows you to document any and all sudden issues as soon as they turn up. Add a time-stamped photo or video, leave detailed notes, and assign the issue to the appropriate person. They’ll immediately be notified of the new obstacle and will be able to respond, as well as track any costs and keep you up-to-date on the progress. The entire history of this issue will be saved within the task you create for it in the app.

You can also use Fieldwire’s photo and video features to document any noteworthy existing conditions on the jobsite before you start working. This makes it easier to compare existing conditions against your contract to make sure everything is covered and you aren’t blamed for anything that was there when you arrived. Elevations, surveying points, grid-lines, compaction testing, and all sorts of data about your site’s surroundings can be stored within Fieldwire. Should any change orders need to be drawn up, you’ll have the information necessary to explain and justify these extra expenses right there in your Fieldwire tasks.

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Inspections & Documentation

There are a lot of different groups involved in heavy civil work. Whether it’s independent inspectors, geotechnical engineers, or civil designers, there’s always going to be some coordination necessary to make sure these third parties can verify the work is being installed per design. Fieldwire makes it easy to track when inspections take place via tasks, photos, dated notations, and the ability to sign off electronically using our Scribble task tool. Documentation is the name of the game, so there’s never any confusion or uncertainty about the status of the project.

Make use of our wide selection of drawing markup tools, such as the area and length measurement tools, to track how much asphalt has been placed, highlight any prioritized locations, or calculate material orders. You can also assign start and end dates on your tasks to keep an organized schedule. Use the calendar task view on Fieldwire’s web interface to easily see what’s coming up next and make any schedule adjustments on the fly by simply dragging and dropping tasks as you see fit. You can also keep everyone in the loop about open issues, or simply share a list of items to target during walkthroughs with Fieldwire’s reporting system. Generate custom PDF or spreadsheet reports manually, or schedule them to be sent out automatically on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

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Earth-Shattering Results

Fieldwire is dedicated to improving everyone’s day in the field, and that includes those in the heavy civil community. Infrastructure and public works are the backbone of building, and while that line of work may differ from the efforts of vertical contractors, heavy civil teams can still benefit greatly by incorporating Fieldwire into their daily routine. Using the suggestions above will certainly deliver a seismic boost to your crew’s on-site efficiency, so take Fieldwire for a spin today and start enjoying the savings!


Construction Terms 201

StephaneroundStephane Denerolle
Product Evangelist

There’s a lot of common terminology that gets thrown around in the construction industry. We went over a number of them in our previous article. If you’re still a bit in the dark when it comes to understanding all of the industry language and are ready to learn more, we at Fieldwire want to shed light on some more key terms that you’re likely to encounter while on the job. Let’s dive right in!

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15 More Construction Management Terms:

  • Addendum: Any documentation (drawings, specifications, etc.) issued during the bidding process to modify, clarify, or complement the information outlined in the bidding documents. Addenda become part of the contract documents upon awarding of the contract to a firm.
  • Back Charge: A charge against a contractor’s contract for costs incurred by another party that should have been incurred by the contractor. A back charge typically takes form in a deductive change order. For example, if the contractor in charge of fire sprinklers damaged a wall using a boom lift, that contractor may incur a back charge from the drywall contractor for the repair work.
  • Bid: A binding offer made by a contractor to do the scope of work specified in the bidding documents at a certain price. This offer must be in accordance with the plans and specifications of the project and the terms and conditions stated in the offer.
  • Bulletins: The new drawings or specifications that are issued (usually by the architect or lead designer) to the contractor after its contract award. These may be a result of RFIs, an Owner’s request, errors/omissions, or a reviewing agency request.
  • Commissioning: The process of testing and verifying the intended behavior of the building systems, such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical, life safety, lighting, etc. This is generally conducted by the contractor in tandem with the facility management team in order to ensure that the building staff are prepared to operate and maintain its systems and equipment.
  • Contingencies: The cost provisions in the project budget that make allowance for oversights and unforeseen circumstances associated with the project. Depending on the nature of the contract, the contractor may require Owner’s approval to draw funds from contingencies.
  • Core & Shell: A term that refers to the base construction of a building. This includes its structure, cladding, and vertical systems, such as MEP utility risers, stairs, and elevators, as well as its finished common areas, such as lobby and restrooms.
  • Field Order: A work order issued to a contractor by the Owner or General Contractor to perform work not included in the contract. The contractor will then be entitled to a Change Order for the extra work. Field Orders are used to expedite work in an emergency or crucial situation, when there is no time to compile and approve a Change Order request.
  • Fit Out: A term that refers to the interior construction of a building to make it suitable for occupation. This could include distribution of MEP services, ceiling systems, finishes, furniture, lighting, etc.
  • Liquidated Damages: An amount of money that the contractor would owe the owner in the event of a breach of contract. These would typically get calculated by a formula such as $10,000 per day that substantial completion is delayed.
  • OAC Meeting: A meeting held at a scheduled time (generally weekly or biweekly) between the Owner, the Architect, and the General Contractor. This meeting covers general project management topics, such as safety, scheduling, procurement, RFIs, Submittals, Change Orders, Design Changes, etc. The General Contractor is usually responsible for leading the meeting and distributing the meeting minutes.
  • Rough-In: The initial stage of the wall framing, HVAC, electrical, and plumbing installation. This includes all of the components that won’t be seen after the completion of the project. All trade rough-ins must generally be inspected prior to insulation and application of finishes.
  • Schedule of Values: The breakdown of a contract amount into sub-items and sub-costs for identifiable construction elements. This is usually used as the basis for submitting and reviewing progress payment.
  • Substantial Completion: A milestone in construction projects defined as the stage when work is sufficiently completed in accordance with the contract documents. This indicates that the Owner can now utilize the building or facility for its intended purpose. Only minor works, such as punch list items, will ordinarily remain after reaching substantial completion.
  • Take Off: An estimation of the quantity of material required to complete a certain scope of work.

That does it for our second list of valuable construction terms that you should know! These definitions should come in handy while you’re out in the field and contributing to your projects. If there are any other terms that you regularly come across and would like us to focus on, don’t hesitate to let us know by writing to support@fieldwire.com. Keep an eye out for our next list!


Mobile Technology at the Jobsite

MarielleroundMarielle Price
Director of Customer Success

We’re excited to share an interview our CEO and co-founder, Yves Frinault, had with the JBKnowledge team this past summer. A lot of interesting insights came from that conversation around efficiency in the field, adopting technology on-site, and the benefits of leveraging mobile tools to manage tasks.

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“We tend to say a good project is a good design, then a good plan, and then a good execution.”

Yves makes the case that even with great design and a perfect plan, you can still fail all major goals on a project if you have poor execution, and that’s the aspect that Fieldwire focuses on.

During the interview, Yves points to two main problems facing the industry today. The first is the efficiency and knowledge gaps between the average contractor and the best-in-class contractors. The former usually struggles to even profit from a project, while the latter enjoys healthy margins. How can we bring more consistency to the industry and help contractors get closer to best-in-class?

The second problem is efficiency on-site. Yves mentions that, of the time spent on-site, “70% is coordination and 30% is pure construction.” How can we reduce that coordination time and start to use field workers’ time more efficiently on-site? That’s where technology comes in - most of the tasks involved in that 70% are repetitive and fairly easy to automate or streamline with mobile.

Another interesting observation pertains to software adoption. Traditionally, software decisions came from the top and most of the tools implemented were meant to give leadership visibility into the field, but little thought was given to the actual value that this would provide the guys actually inputting the information. Because of that, we’ve seen resiliency from field crews towards new software.

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There are two main aspects to think about in regards of adoption, Yves says. The first one is adding value to the user. The level of sophistication between individuals using a given tool can significantly vary - You have engineers in the back-office with college degrees that are very tech savvy, and you have several foremen on-site that have much different backgrounds. The interesting part for software providers like Fieldwire is making sure that everyone can derive value. Even if the foreman only uses 10% of the software’s functionality, it should still add considerable value to his or her work, or adoption will fail.

The second aspect stems from the complexity of commercial construction. You typically have 30-50 companies coming together for one project, and the challenge is to become the common technological denominator between all of them. How do you solve the problem of multi-company adoption at the timeline of a project? The key to making that happen is reducing your adoption cycle. You want the team to be able to demo the software, then test and deploy it all within a week.

The most important metric mentioned during the interview is the increased margin to the bottom line. Yves says, “There’s a 5-10% [margin increase] to get in the next 10 years just because mobile increases the quality of the collaboration and fundamentally reduces the cost of those interactions on-site.”

You can listen to the full interview and check out our use cases to see how others have started increasing their bottom line using Fieldwire.