Revolutionizing as-built data submittals, validation, and direct loading into Geographic Information Systems
BROUGHT TO YOU BY OPEN SPATIAL
Imagine that CAD files for new construction are pre-validated to contain all the data needed in GIS before submittal to your organization. Further envision the information seamlessly loading to your GIS database in a few minutes. These concepts are driving a revolution in digital submission and capture of new construction project data, and ACDC (As Constructed Design Certification) from Open Spatial makes it possible.
ACDC advances the process of as-built submittals by managing data, validating its quality against organizational and industry standards, and transforming it into geospatial and asset management information that can be automatically loaded into GIS and Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) with minimum disruption to current workflow.
ACDC allows uploading of CAD files drawn to your defined standards to the ACDC web portal and validation of drawings against specified GIS data requirements including breaking and snapping of lines and points, and inclusion of attributes matching your domain values on assets.
ACDC’s cloud-based pre-validation of plans and submittals moves the industry from status-quo CAD standards to more comprehensive data standards that ensure all entities are fully attributed. While the majority of new infrastructure information in digital form is in CAD systems, which are capable of including attributes and other key information, this data is often missed, provided in PDF files, or worse, needs to be resurveyed and recaptured after the project is completed.
ACDC transforms the slow and inconsistent PDF and paper-based process by automating and defining required data, domain values, and attributes used in all new projects. Organizations can use existing data standards or configure the system to their own standards and then share their standards for as-built drawings. ACDC’s As-Constructed Portal offers online service and allows external developers to pre-validate digital drawings prior to submission. Portal validation is offered as a subscription service allowing a low ongoing cost with some consulting assistance provided at the outset/setup of the project and reviewing the organizations standards. While validation can be done via the portal or in-house, plans always remain under the control of the organization.
ACDC can be installed and customized by organizations, and Open Spatial offers expert assistance to ease the transition to ACDC and streamline current workflows and data requirements.
Process in Evolution
In a typical organization, the workflow for submitting as-constructed plans and their associated data has developed over time. The process involves many steps and input from various groups, depending on the stage of the project. Resistance to change is exacerbated by lack of ownership of the entire process by one group, multiple requirements along the way, and a lack of appreciation of the cost and impact of poor and incomplete asset information to organizations. The delay and cost of recapturing information after the project is completed is substantial, and instead of being included into the original cost of the project, it is often paid for by internal funds.
ACDC empowers organizations to take charge of data standards and streamline the process of data capture into GIS and CMMS.
Advancing to More Comprehensive Data Standards
In an effort to facilitate plan checking and make submittals consistent, many organizations have a CAD standard. While this is an important start, it doesn’t go far enough for the data involved and manual checking is still required. As discussed above, data standards must advance. Let’s look at why.
CAD standards are focused on presentation within a structured set of layers, line styles, and blocks, but the standards usually don’t include sufficient information on the attributes required and don’t include techniques for checking mandatory information. Using a CAD standard doesn’t ensure all entities are fully attributed. Point data in CAD drawings can easily be attributed, but assigning attributes to linear and polygon features is difficult and seldom done. The typical process for plan creation, submittal, checking and data capture is outlined in figure 1.
ACDC supports and enables more extensive data standards that can be used during the beginning design and drafting phase. Process adjustments such as providing tools for designs to be pre-validated before submittal and enhancing validation techniques to include location, geometry and topology can ensure correct information such as diameter, depth, manufacturer, and project number. Further, linear features like pipes can be automatically snapped and segmented from node to node.
So, while it is good to provide a CAD template, the template should highlight mandatory entries and be connected to an automated validation system. This allows pre-validation of drawing submittals before the design is approved. The other key change in the process is ensuring the drawings are updated to reflect the as-constructed conditions and information before final acceptance.
Moving to the Forefront
These process changes help bring geospatial data and asset infrastructure projects more in line with architectural construction projects where Building Information Modeling (BIM) is becoming standard practice and opening a new era of data capture, transfer, and construction management. BIM is a digital 3D model of a building and includes a process that integrates data during the design, construction, and maintenance of a project to be shared with all partners. This streamlines data capture during the design and construction phases and improves the mutual exchange of data, but also results in a complete digital description of a project. When a building is finished, information is up-to-date and orders of magnitude more complete, saving organizations millions of dollars.
ACDC moves the geospatial process more in step with architectural construction by evolving as-constructed plan workflow and validation, and advances a more holistic approach encompassing organizations, advocacy, guidelines, and requirements, to save time and money. Ultimately, ACDC promotes efficiency and delivers dramatically improved data quality and currency in an automated and real-time environment.
The process when using ACDC for plan creation, submittal, checking, and data capture is illustrated in figure 2.