Better communication among a construction job site’s various subcontractors is the key
“Hurry up and wait” is a phrase anyone who has ever worked in the construction industry is familiar with. Many times a mistake by one trade and the resulting delay can throw a job site into turmoil. Image consulting firm Lyra Research estimates that 10% to 30% of a project’s cost can be attributed to waste. Based on US Department of Commerce building estimates for 2009, a 10 percent waste factor is equal to $94 billion.1 Reducing waste seems daunting when you consider the average construction project involves hundreds of subcontractors and suppliers, many of whom have never worked together before. It is estimated 21% of the time poor exchange of information and communication causes errors at work.2 Facilitating better communication among all these job site stakeholders is the key to reducing mistakes. Lyra Research offers an interesting, yet simple solution to avoiding construction job site mistakes: Construction plans printed in color.
The typical construction document is generated using computer aided design (CAD) software and reproduced in black and white (black lines on a white background). Depending on the complexity of the project, these black lines can become difficult to interpret, increasing the likelihood of error. Reproducing these same lines in color adds dimension and lends greater clarity in a way black lines cannot. Color provides better understanding when reading files with multiple lines. But don’t take my word for it:
In up to 65% of cases, color documents are more easily understood and the information is retained at higher rates than monochrome (black and White) documents. Up to 80% of errors are reduced due to the use of color documents.3
Every dollar invested in color printing can yield four dollars in savings for a given project.4
Although CAD color systems are widely in place today and construction documentation and designs are created natively in color, color CAD documentation techniques are generally underutilized in building projects. This is because of the perception color construction documents (commonly referred to as red lines) are exponentially more expensive than traditional black and white construction documents. In the past this was the case. Today with the advent of low cost, high speed color printing technology, construction plans can be reproduced as quickly and inexpensively as black and white construction plans. LDI Reproprinting out of Norcross GA with multiple locations throughout the southeast is one company utilizing and offering this new technology.
In conclusion, waste in the construction industry is negatively impacting productivity and profitability. This industry wide problem can be easily resolved with the use of construction plans printed in color as opposed to construction plans printed in traditional black and white. Thanks to new technology, he barriers to using color documentation (high costs and slow turnaround times) no longer exist. LDI Reproprinting, a proven leader and innovator in construction printing, is now pioneering the use of this new technology.
1 Lyra Research Inc., “Color Construction Documents: A Simple Way to Reduce Costs,” April 2010.
2 According to GdC-Associazione Italiana Colore, “Color and Colorimetry Multidisciplinary Contributions,” 2012.
3 According to “Color For Impact,” by Jan V. White, 1996.
4 Lyra Research Inc., “Color Construction Documents: A Simple Way to Reduce Costs,” April 2010.