Efficient defect documentation and tracking
How Bühring Architekten GmbH is saving up to 80% of time during building inspections with PlanRadar
Bühring Architekten is an architecture, interior design and expert construction supervisor company based in Wolfsburg, Germany. Looking for a solution to improve their building inspection processes, they implemented PlanRadar to track defects, collaborate with contractors, and document repairs.
As a result, they have experienced a 80% saving on time spent on building inspections and PlanRadar has become an indispensable tool for daily work on the construction site.
The challenge: error-prone processes during building inspections
André Bühring is the managing partner at Bühring Architekten. As such, he is responsible for company management, client acquisition and project control for particular projects.
One day, he was involved in a particularly extensive follow-up inspection. During a break, he spoke to his colleagues about the possibility of using software to streamline two tasks: the typical and very cumbersome processes for recording defects, and the subsequent tracking of snagging for these. Until then, staff had worked with Excel lists during their building inspections and follow-up inspections. They printed out A3 extracts of floor plans and stuck red dots to them to identify defects. Only a few hours after the discussion with his colleagues, André Bühring saw a PlanRadar advert on Facebook. “It was almost a little spooky,” he explained. “Our decision-making process was very short. We did research other providers, but we then based our decision on the testimonials of PlanRadar and how the tool was presented online. We decided to try it out.”
The solution; digital defect management for documentation and tracking
PlanRadar was convincing. The team independently familiarized themselves with the intuitive and constantly evolving tool. “We then used PlanRadar immediately in the next project, as the internal feedback from employees, the building owner and the subcontractor was very positive,” André Bühring added. For projects such as multi-story car parks, where all stories look the same, it can be very difficult to localise defects, so the tickets and photos mean that defects can be precisely located. The photographic evidence makes it possible to check later whether defects have been addressed, speeding up completion of follow-up inspections.
At Bühring Architekten, PlanRadar is currently mostly used for documenting defects identified during building inspections and for tracking when these defects are addressed. However, the software is also increasingly being used in project control and in the site coordination and monitoring phase too.
One current project that PlanRadar is being used for is the Capgemini Design Campus, a new complex in Wolfsburg with a net construction volume of €20m. The construction management software is used by 11 people, including 3 Bühring Architekten employees, 2 people working for the building owners and 6 team members at the general contractor. They work with the PlanRadar platform to create tickets during inspections of general contractor services and interior finishes, to identify and document damage to furniture deliveries and to track the processing of tickets. Andre Bühring explained that PlanRadar is well received among project workers: “The building owners are very happy that as onlookers they can follow the status of the construction site and the defect management. The general contractors appreciate the tool because complaints can be immediately passed on to the employees or sub-contractors. They even prefer working with PlanRadar to using internal company programs.”
Customers generally do not need any training to use the platform. The tool’s intuitive design means that they can understand it in no time and get started right away.
The result: great time savings, practical benefits and new areas of application
André Bühring summarised the key advantage of the time savings: “With PlanRadar, we estimate that we now need only 20% of the time that we used to spend on our previous procedures.”
“We estimate that with PlanRadar we need only 20% of the time compared to our previous procedure,” André Bühring summarizes the great advantage of saving time. If around 100 working hours were booked for an extensive building inspection with the conventional processes, this can be reduced to 20 hours with PlanRadar. This is because not only is the recording and documentation of defects efficient and accurate with the software, but time is also saved in compiling the inspection documents. What’s more, the precise documentation means that many misunderstandings can be prevented in the course of subsequent tracking and information is no longer lost.
The use of PlanRadar also results in a variety of practical benefits for the project participants around Bühring Architekten. On the one hand, many on-site visits can be saved because PlanRadar can be used to track and check the processing of defects from the office. Secondly, smartphones and tablets replace lugging around plans, cameras and notepads. The company has reduced paper, can save on rework costs, and is also enjoying positive marketing benefits from using PlanRadar.
“We now can’t imagine our daily work on site without the PlanRadar tool, especially in terms of the final phase and project documentation,” said André Bühring. Due to the many functions, however, it is planned to test further functions of PlanRadar and to extend the scope of application to other aspects of the work, such as generating project reports (to provide evidence of project progress to investors) or starting to work with the tool in the planning stage.