Construction Apps for Architects

Sarah Causey imageSarah Causey  •  

2019 08 15T04 32 53

To the displeasure of many architects and designers, major construction management apps like Procore and BIM 360 seem to be designed solely with a contractor in mind. They offer a wide range of functionalities, most of which a typical design firm will never use. And, to top it all off, this functionality comes with a hefty price tag.

Designers need concise, easy-to-use, and free architecture apps that speak to their side of the construction administration phase. Rather than a set of complex or disconnected tools, they need construction management software that unites dispersed teams and solves simple problems. That’s why, when RATIO, an interdisciplinary design firm with several office locations found Fieldwire, they couldn’t believe their luck; Fieldwire was built with designers and architects in mind.

RATIO consists of architects, interior designers, historic preservationists, landscape architects, urban designers, and urban planners. For years, this international, multidisciplinary practice had been seeking architecture software for their users that was intuitive, mobile-first, flexible, and affordable. A major reason why they selected Fieldwire over other architecture apps was its ability to adapt to the various ways in which each team operates at RATIO. For example, RATIO’s historic preservation team uses Fieldwire to document window assessments of some beautiful historical buildings they’re renovating into boutique hotels, the landscape team uses Fieldwire to produce condition assessments of sites, and RATIO’s interior designers use the app to punch furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) packages on large-scale workplace projects.

“Fieldwire has been an invaluable resource for documenting and tracking distinct historical features on our projects, which has saved us both valuable time and resources.”

Anne Schneider, Preservationist, RATIO

Architecture app for historic preservationists

The historic preservation studio at RATIO often has the fun job of inspecting historic buildings before any work can be done. As you’d imagine, they come across some real gems in the process and need to document them before anything can be removed from the site. Recently, their team completed a windows assessment at the Bottleworks District in Indianapolis, IN. The Fieldwire inspection app allowed RATIO preservationists to quickly identify and organize the historic age and condition of each window on the façade. A tedious task on paper, Fieldwire saved the team hours if not days in documentation. Now, this 90-year-old Art Deco-inspired Coca-Cola Bottling plant is being given new life as a boutique hotel.

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Construction software for architects

Fieldwire is extremely reliable when it comes to referencing files in the field. The construction blueprint app eliminates long load times, plus sheets can be accessed offline, making navigation quick and easy. Fieldwire’s tasks help architects track issues as they arise onsite to swiftly communicate change with clients and contractors.

In addition to field reporting, RATIO architects use Fieldwire’s construction management software to document and record site conditions using photos in real-time. For example, jobsite teams can easily navigate through their various plans on mobile to locate a photo pin which identifies an issue or progress. Being able to attach an image to an exact location on a plan helps architects communicate exactly what’s happening without the need for emails or calls. With several architects working across RATIO’s five offices, this functionality allows all team members to reference existing site conditions remotely and at the same time, which is paramount to efficiency.

“I was told once by one of our clients that our field reports were the most detailed and coherent that he had ever seen. I attribute this to a great tool and support team.”

Ben Horn, Architect, RATIO

Fieldwire for interior designers

Inside the renovation of Cummins Inc.’s flagship office in Columbus, IN, RATIO’s interior design team used Fieldwire's punch list app to develop punch lists of multiple FF&E packages. With over 5,000 pieces of furniture across five bid sets, it was crucial to be able to manage such a mass of data accurately and efficiently. Fieldwire-specific filters and tags used in the documentation process enabled the team to instantly generate punch list reports specific to each furniture dealership. It is difficult to quantify just how much time was saved by this process, but it is hard for the team to imagine managing such volume of data using pen and paper. It is clear that Fieldwire saves time on the jobsite and in the office, but more than that, the peace of mind this construction software provides designers is truly invaluable!

“Utilizing Fieldwire has created an intuitive, quick, and easy way for us to track every step of furniture installations, with the added benefit of collaborating in-house and sharing with other team members.”

Samantha Schonegg, Interior Designer, RATIO

As the use of Fieldwire becomes more prevalent across RATIO’s multiple studio locations and teams, it is clear that a continued molding of the application will occur. RATIO is working on developing template project setups for each discipline and use case. Standard checklists are beginning to form organically as users see the efficiency gained. RATIO is excited and energized to have finally found a field management app that works for everyone — contractors, owners, and designers! Try Fieldwire for free today.

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