Fieldwire and MIT Dance Troupe

DavidroundDavid Vasquez
Head of Customer Support

Fieldwire is designed to help construction teams streamline their work and tackle jobs more efficiently, but in truth, our app can be applied to virtually any venture in need of effective project management. From fast food chains to social media events, Fieldwire has been deployed on a variety of unconventional projects with startling success, and the latest example comes from the world of theater. Despite the lack of a familiar setting, this unique implementation proves just how handy Fieldwire can be at making work days easier for any team in any situation.


Since 1994, MIT Dance Troupe has made quite a creative impact at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Carissa Skye, Technical Director for MIT Dance Troupe, acts as part liaison, part arbiter of all theater setup that the student-run group requires. She oversees the efforts of the group's lighting and equipment technicians as they prepare for each new show. The tight schedule between productions used to lead to some strain on the team, until the group adopted Fieldwire during the 2016 season.

"The problem that we often run into is that we have very little time to install all of our equipment," says Skye. "There will be a certain production on one day and an entirely different one the next evening, so we have to completely change what the theater looks like and be ready within a very short period. We use Fieldwire to organize and prioritize the tasks that need to be completed."

Coordinating over 200 individuals every semester requires careful attention, and using Fieldwire helps Skye shepherd all group tasks efficiently. Each dancer contributes several hours of work and the dedicated technicians put in much more, so having all of their notes and assignments housed within the app replaces outdated methods previously used by the troupe.

"Before we started using Fieldwire, we partially worked through Google Drive. That was fine for taking notes, but the customization didn't quite cut it and it wasn't very feasible for the tasking and planning applications we had in mind. We also used to take notes on physical pieces of paper, which was significantly harder to track and distribute to everyone. Using Fieldwire is much easier. It certainly saves us a lot of time and effort when it comes to communication, which is something we're grateful for."


While Fieldwire's task management certainly aids the coordination of Skye's team, perhaps the even bigger draw is the plan management system. The plans utilized by MIT Dance Troupe are not quite the same as construction drawings, yet the app still helps keep the group current on the latest layouts and allows them to store complex sheets in their pocket on a mobile device. Skye has eliminated a major hassle from her team's work by ensuring they have access to the right plans at all times.

"Since we deal with lighting, we have various charts and plots outlining where the lights go," says Skye. "These charts are usually too complicated to print out on anything except really large sheets of paper, and it's difficult to climb up a ladder while holding paper that's 3 feet wide. It's far more useful sharing those charts and collaborating on our work in Fieldwire to indicate any changes throughout the day.

"Rework can happen fairly often, particularly working with lighting. A common problem is when someone tries to string cables in one direction and gets halfway across the theater before realizing they should be going the other way. Or people realizing they should have talked about what they were working on before starting. So the ability to have all of our charts available in one place, especially on the mobile app, is particularly helpful for all of us. Being able to update them as we work has gone a long way toward streamlining lighting setup and reducing mistakes."

Creative Fieldwire usage like that of Carissa Skye and the MIT Dance Troupe isn't just an impressive anecdote. It's a great example of how intuitive software design can benefit a diverse range of teams on a host of projects. It may be jarring to picture a prestigious dance troupe making use of an app originally created for construction workers, but their success just proves that a little ingenuity can go a long way toward making the tools of another trade work wonderfully for your own.

Photos by Maude Gull

Fieldwire and Hilti Partnership Announcement

DavidroundDavid Vasquez
Head of Customer Support

Today, we are pleased to announce a strategic partnership between Fieldwire and Hilti Group. Hilti is a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of construction technology, and has selected Fieldwire as a key partner in this endeavor. They will also be joining the Fieldwire board to cement our new partnership.


Hilti Group has made great strides in recent years to help revamp the industry with digital solutions and connect construction professionals together. Fieldwire’s mission has always been to bring efficiency and transparency to construction project management, so this new partnership is an ideal next step in our continued pursuit of that goal. Our collaboration with Hilti is off to a great start, and we’ll be combining our efforts to further improve the way people are working in the field.

“Fieldwire’s approach to jobsite productivity stands out in the construction tech scene and aligns very well with Hilti’s mission,” says Joerg Kampmeyer, Member of the Executive Board and CFO at Hilti. “We were impressed by Fieldwire’s leadership, and our investment in the company is a first step in establishing a long-standing strategic partnership.”

We’re excited to be working with Hilti Group and growing our relationship in order to better serve the men and women of the construction industry. To read the full press release for this partnership, click here.

Design Coordination in Fieldwire

ClaudiaroundClaudia King
Construction Specialist

There’s an old adage about walking before running that always seems timely when a new construction project begins. Getting all of your ducks in a row prior to construction can often be tedious, but it’s an essential part to getting the project started on the right foot. Even before ground is broken, there is a seemingly endless stream of back-and-forth between stakeholders as the design evolves and is value engineered. It’s crucial to get everything done right during this pre-construction stage, so the importance of a reliable communication tool cannot be overstated.


Streamlined Document Control

Preconstruction involves a range of different stakeholders who often have conflicting priorities. With early contractor involvement becoming increasingly common, value engineering and effective communication become more and more important. The design process requires a balancing act between the viewpoints of each discipline - architects, owners, contractors, engineers, designers, the list goes on. During this process, interactions between these groups is constant and evolving, and making sure everyone is up-to-date with design changes can be a challenging. Strong collaboration and a clear, immediate flow of information are paramount.

Fieldwire turns this process into an automatic endeavor. When architects and engineers issue new versions of drawings, all of that valuable and current data is shared with everyone instantaneously through our software. Fieldwire is a platform designed to keep the entire team on the same page when it comes to real-time data, so confusion caused by outdated information is eliminated and replaced with clarity.

Project drawings can all be housed within the app, viewable offline and available at all times with a few simple clicks. Sheets are automatically versioned thanks to cloud syncing, so everyone is working off of the correct sheets no matter how often they get updated. You can even set up notifications to alert the entire team when new versions have been uploaded, and unlimited storage capacity allows you to keep a record of every past iteration of your design for easy reference. There’s also an option to overlay and compare sheets, whether they’re versions of the same drawing or entirely different sheets, and export comparisons as color-coded images. This simplifies change management and ensures you can catch any inconsistencies with little effort.


Improved Communication via Tasks

As the design continues to develop from concept to IFC (Issued for Construction), Fieldwire’s task management system makes tracking interdisciplinary collaboration a breeze. You no longer need to jot down hand-written notes and scan or photograph them to be shared with others; much like redlining and overlaying plans no longer requires a pencil, your detailed notes can be recorded and shared with a few taps of your fingertips. Any items or concerns can be marked-up, assigned, categorized, prioritized, and worked into the schedule.

If a particular design change or question comes up, a task containing that question and any other notes can be assigned to the respective designer. He or she will immediately be notified, and the task creator will in turn be notified in real-time once the designer responds. These immediate alerts keep everyone aware of updates as they happen, so no time is wasted during various back-and-forth. Tasks can be placed directly on drawings as well, so there is full transparency about the issue at hand.

Fieldwire makes it easy to capture all of this correspondence within one platform for improved accountability. The app dates and timestamps all task updates and plan markups, so you always know who did what and when they did it. As with all of the above features, this helps save your team precious time by distributing information quickly and without any strain, so collaboration is steady and free from uncertainty. You’ll know as soon as someone assigns you a task or responds to one you made, and you’ll be able to respond just as quickly. It’s also easy for design managers to remotely log in and see the complete task dashboard, which gives them an overview on the status of all outstanding tasks.


To get your project up and running successfully, consider introducing a valuable communication and document management tool from day one. Fieldwire boosts collaboration and transparency throughout the design phase of your project, and that same convenience will carry over into the proper construction stage as well. All stakeholders and designers will be kept in the loop at all times, and you’ll never need to worry about drawn out email chains or outdated drawings. Fieldwire handles all of that for you, creating a clear and structured flow of information that will help you complete your design efficiently and on schedule.

Heavy Civil Terms 101

DominicroundDominic Delfino
Construction Specialist

Construction lingo is as diverse and abundant as the types of trades you’ll encounter on the job. We believe team communication becomes more cohesive when you can understand what your teammates are talking about, which is why we’ve highlighted a number of common words and phrases you’re likely to hear on-site. The latest installment in this series is specific to heavy civil work. Here are 15 heavy civil terms that you should keep in your toolbelt.


  • Abutment: Supporting structure at each end of a single span bridge. Types of abutments vary based on geotechnical, geographic, and constructability factors.

  • Clear and Grub: The process of removing vegetation and material from land in the construction area. This prepares the site for excavation and grading work to take place.

  • Cofferdam: A structural enclosure installed to retain water in damp soil or bodies of water. The cofferdam is installed and water is pumped out of the enclosure to provide a dry and safe work environment.

  • Critical Lift: Per OSHA 1926.751, a lift that (1) exceeds 75% of the rated capacity of the crane or derrick, or (2) requires the use of more than one crane or derrick.

  • Derrick Barge: Also known as a crane barge. These floating cranes lift large loads while on water. These are great for offshore construction use.

  • DLB (Dig, Lay, Burry/Backfill): Term used in underground construction that describes the activity of utility installation. Dig/excavate dirt, lay your utility line, and backfill.

  • Embankment: An elevated landmass made of compacted soil or aggregate. Embankments help create roads and level surfaces for slabs or levees.

  • Falsework: These are the temporary structures that are built to hold and support cast-in-place concrete during pours and while it cures to strength.

  • Grade and Compact: The process of leveling out an area of land and exerting force using heavy equipment to stabilize the soil or aggregate.

  • K-Rail/Jersey Barrier: A precast concrete barrier that comes in 10’ or 20’ lengths. These are used to separate traffic, protect traffic from a leading edge, or designate the construction zone.

  • MSE (Mechanically Stabilized Earth) Wall: A wall system consisting of vertical panels and horizontal straps backfilled with aggregate or soil. MSE walls allow for easier and quicker installation than traditional cast-in-place methods.

  • Pile: Usually, a long structural member driven into the ground to act as support for a foundation or wall. There are many forms of pile that differ by material, shape, and size.

  • Shoring: Temporary structural support for underground excavation to prevent soil movement or collapse. Shoring is used when you can no longer excavate to your maximum allowable slope.

  • Shotcrete: Concrete that is shot onto a reinforced surface, usually wire mesh, by way of air pressure and hose. Shotcrete is a typically installed on soil nail walls.

  • Tremie Concrete: Concrete that is designed to be poured underwater through a gravity feed system. This method is often used to create underwater foundations as well as seal cofferdams and caissons.

These are just 15 of the common terms you will encounter when dealing with heavy civil firms. Understanding each of these terms will hopefully make communicating with your project colleagues much smoother. After all, boosting communication is something Fieldwire is very passionate about!

Fieldwire Updates: A Year in Review

DavidroundDavid Vasquez
Head of Customer Support

As 2017 draws to a close, we’re getting a little sentimental here at the Fieldwire office. This year has been full of milestones for us, and hopefully for you as well, as each of our great strides is made with the goal of improving your experience using our construction management platform. So before 2018 arrives, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and look back at all of the tremendous developments Fieldwire has made in 2017!


Improved Calendar View and Project Dashboard

Way back in January, we started the year off right by making some improvements to existing interfaces. We gave the project dashboard a nice new design and made it so that you could use the calendar view for tasks as far into the future as you like, so scheduling your projects would be easier than ever.


Batch Scale Editing, Task Sorting & Recently Viewed Plans

Batch scaling for plans allowed you to edit the scale for multiple sheets at once on web, and on the mobile apps we added the ability to sort tasks more effectively and pull up recently viewed plans. This makes locating specific sheets and tasks relevant to your work take less time and effort during your workday.


2-Way Syncing with Box and Dropbox

One of the major developments for our Business users was 2-way syncing between Fieldwire and Box/Dropbox. By engaging this powerful syncing tool, keeping up-to-date documents in the hands of your team will never be easier since the updates made in one program automatically transfer over to the other.


Mobile-Friendly Data Management

We prioritized improvements to the mobile Fieldwire experience by adding smart syncing for iOS users and external storage for Android users. Smart synchronization on iOS helps cellular data users download high-resolution versions of files in the absence of WiFi, and external storage on SD cards on Android gives users more options regarding data storage on their mobile devices.


Sheet Comparison & Plan Notifications

Another huge feature update was sheet comparison on web, which allows you to take any two sheets (or two versions of the same sheet) and overlay them, so that you can easily view the differences and even export the comparison as an image file. We also enabled plan update notifications, so you and your team could be easily made aware whenever new markups were added or sheets were uploaded in your project.


Batch Task, Plan & Photo Management

To further make your task and document management convenient, we added a multitude of batch task, plan, and photo management options. Organizing plan tags or descriptions, or mass assigning or updating statuses for tasks, or even batch exporting photos will never be more than a few clicks away on web!


Task Location Field

A small but significant addition to our task system was adding the Location field within every task. This makes it easier to specify where tasks can be found on-site, whether they’re in a certain room, area, floor, or building.


Expanded Markup Editing & Undo Button

A major update from the fall made it possible to edit markups in far more detailed ways. With a simple right click (web) or press-and-hold (mobile), you can easily duplicate or resize markups, as well as change font or color. You can also see who made the markup and at what day and time. Similarly, the new Undo button on the markup toolbar makes it possible to quickly erase any markups made accidentally or worth taking one more shot at.


Reports on Mobile

After many requests from our community, we were very happy to add the ability to send saved report templates from our iOS and Android apps. Now sending out a report from your mobile device is as simple as moving your thumb and will ensure your team receives important updates at any point in the day.


360 Photography

Earlier this month, we released 360 photo capability within Fieldwire, so you can take advantage of this growing trend to capture an entire room or site with one click of a button. We’ve always celebrated technological innovation, so this addition to our suite of tools will surely come in handy on your construction projects.


Growth In-Office & Around the Globe

We wanted to end this yearly wrap-up with a few notable achievements for our company itself. Our team has grown quite significantly this year as we continue to expand in order to meet the needs of our customers. Fieldwire has steadily popped up on more and more job sites, now helping manage over 200,000 projects worldwide, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. And to accommodate our growing number of users abroad, we have localized several new languages within our software: Italian, Dutch, Swedish, and Norwegian!

2017 was a phenomenal year for Fieldwire, and it wouldn’t have been possible without support from all of you out there who place your trust in us each day. Like I said before, we build all of these great features to improve your day-to-day, and we look forward to building even more goodies for you in 2018. Thanks again, and have a happy and safe new year!

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