Punch out faster with construction software for developers
See how Boston Properties ditched Excel to improve communication with contractors and simplify their punch process.
When Blake Levy’s team started punching out, they didn’t want to use Excel. “We needed something that could be done on a mobile device,” explains Levy, a Construction Manager at Boston Properties.
His current project is The Signature, Boston Properties’ latest—and biggest—residential project at the Reston Town Center in Virginia. The project boasts 2 towers, 508 residential units, high-end amenities, and retail space.
On such a large project, punching out is no easy feat—and Levy wanted a faster, simpler way. With help from HITT Contracting, the general contractor on the project, the team settled on Bridgit Tasks to manage their punch lists. “It’s a really massive project,” says Levy, “and we’ve been using the Bridgit app in all areas of the project to close it out.”
Save time on walkthroughs
Levy uses Bridgit to complete punch list walkthroughs in residential units, amenities spaces, and corridors. To speed up the process and increase quality, Levy teams up with Gina Volpicelli from Shalom Baranes Associates, the architecture firm on the project. “We’re typically together,” says Levy. “We’ll jump into a unit, and she’ll go through the kitchen and living room while I go through the bedroom and bathroom. Or Gina might walk through the units while I do the corridors. Whatever is available, we go there and start punching.”
Thanks to Bridgit’s cloud-based platform, Levy and Volpicelli can see what the other is logging in real-time, allowing them to split up and complete an area faster. “Having everything logged in real-time is improving the process,” explains Volpicelli. For example, each person will start on the opposite end of a corridor and work their way toward the middle. “We can cut the walkthrough time in half because we can both be working through the same thing at once,” says Levy.
As they’re punching, they take advantage of different features to save time for themselves and the contractors completing the job. Volpicelli appreciates Bridgit’s photo tool the most: “The photo portion of the app is very useful because we can be more general in our notes. Photos allow us to capture more information, and having the ability to mark the photos up lets us offer even more information.”
Photos save time during their walkthroughs, because Levy and Volpicelli can type out a shorter description for each task. But photos also save time for contractors. When contractors receive their tasks, they are able to view all the photos logged in Bridgit, as well as the markups.
Assign and approve right away
With this process in place, Levy and Volpicelli can complete punch walkthroughs quickly. They walk the available areas, logging and assigning punch items right away. “The time it takes from logging an item to when it goes out to the contractor—it’s pretty fast and seamless,” explains Levy. All the items are assigned to the general contractor, so they can be sent to the proper trade for the job.
Because the items are assigned right away, they can also be completed faster. Once an item is resolved, the general contractor marks the item as complete in the Bridgit platform, which signals that it’s ready for Levy and Volpicelli’s approval. When the contractor marks something as completed, Levy and Volpicelli see a green line on those tasks in the app.
According to Levy, this is their cue to walk the area one more time: “Once we see green in the entire unit or area, we know we can do another walkthrough to approve it.” Using the app, developers and architects have the option to approve or reject the work that has been completed, and the ability to add comments or pictures to clarify.
Stay informed with filters and reports
After the walkthroughs are complete, Levy and Volpicelli return to the Bridgit app to review and report on the project. With custom reporting features and construction metrics, Bridgit makes it easy to share progress updates, investigate issues, or create an accurate record of work. Levy uses Bridgit’s web app to create progress updates on specific locations: “If someone asks how we’re doing on a certain floor, I’ll make that report for them. We can print it out and walk the site with the report in hand.”
Volpicelli agrees that Bridgit’s nested locations are helpful when reviewing or reporting on the project: “Within the unit, it’s helpful that the locations are broken down by the different living spaces. It makes it easy to go back and sort things to review.” Users can quickly sort items by location—whether that’s an entire floor, a specific unit, or a single bedroom—then make a focused report.
While Levy creates location-based reports as progress updates, Volpicelli’s reports serve a different function: “I was printing the report for our own records. But also making reports to hone in on certain areas that had an ongoing problem or issue.”