Last Steel Beam in Place at Construction project
Why Contractors and the AEC Industry Need Cupcakes
June 3, 2011
Construction Collaboration: PDF Secrets Part 2 – On-line Meeting for PDF Changes Now or Later
July 6, 2011
Show all

Construction Collaboration: PDF Secrets Part 1 – Estimating Takeoff

Estimating Takeoff with BlueBeam PDF Area Volume

Estimating Takeoff with BlueBeam PDF Area VolumeConstruction collaboration with PDFs has been utilized poorly. Even with the Microsoft Office 2010 release that gives you the ability to convert documents to PDF built-in, it’s lacking when it comes to collaboration for the AEC Industry. To help change that I’ll share some best practices and features that contractors, architects and estimators perhaps weren’t aware of. What PDFs do best is share documents in a format that everyone can access. Print to PDF gets the document out of that technical construction software package (AutoCAD, Revit, etc) and serves it up for every construction team member, without needing the same software. This will be a series of posts that will discuss construction collaboration using PDFs for Estimating Takeoffs, Converting Large Format and 3D Drawings, AutoCAD and Revit Integration, Drawing comparisons, Hyperlink referencing, Tablet PCs, and Sharepoint.

To be clear, not all these secrets are available in Standard PDF programs but are specifically designed for the AEC industry by Bluebeam, a PDF software firm which impressed me so much that I recently became an authorized reseller.

I understand that each person learns differently so you may want to download this tutorial Bluebeam Revu measurements takeoff or Watch this video (13 minutes) to see how the measurement tool in Bluebeam will give contractors the ability to perform takeoffs from PDF. This includes: Calibrate the drawing or set the scale, use measurement annotations for area, length, volume and counts, and perform further calculation with your takeoff data. The video shows the takeoff details and how to group items into sections (this could be CSI codes, tasks or areas). There’s also the ability to price and export the details to a spreadsheet. Realize this is just one secret to Bluebeam Revu and is built-in to every version Standard, CAD and eXtreme. You may also want to view a few more sample takeoffs like the one at the top.

If you can’t wait to see all the “Secrets” for the AEC Industry, you may want to watch this overview video “Which Revu is Right for You?” to to see how Bluebeam can make your team collaboration and productivity improve with large format drawings, Revit, AutoCAD, Bentley Systems BIM and more.  Download a 30 day free Revu Trial here.


Call us at 480-705-4241 or find us on:


  1. SteveWalter says:

    Wow. Really Great Idea using PDF files on construction design. I love this idea and I found it cool.. Thanks.. 🙂

  2. John says:

    I found this article whilst looking for other information on PDF projetc blueprint schematics however I have to agree with the author here, PDF usage is done poorly in the industry and if companies were to raise their game, it would be so much easier to share project plans in PDF.



Leave a Reply