How Overaa Construction improves coordination on healthcare projects

Norwegian immigrant, Carl Overaa opened a small construction business in California in 1907. The company has grown through four generations — constructing schools, housing, and healthcare facilities. PlanGrid is one of the tools used to support their focus on continuous improvement and efficiency.


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Costs of coordination and version control add up

On past projects, plans changed regularly, sometimes multiple times per week. Version control and coordination among trades became a real concern for Project Manager Camille Hardin and her team.

“It was very manual,” she explains, “each new bulletin had to be printed and slip sheeted into the plans and all information must be distributed and coordinated amongst the subcontractors.”

The process was time consuming and required coordination with all parties. Camille elaborated, “For each revision, our team had to sift through the bulletins to find the changes, quantify the cost, work with the subcontractors to explain the changes, and ensure nothing was missed.”

The time spent on coordination was key. Brian, the superintendent explains, “If you send a big list of changes to subcontractors, it isn’t helpful — they don’t have the time to figure out which items are theirs and which aren’t.”

The inefficiencies didn’t stop there. On a hospital project, Brian had to get approval from special inspectors, fire marshals, and compliance officers with OSHPD (Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development). This process was frustrating for all parties involved. As Brian walked the job with an inspector and a question about materials came up, they would have to stop, go to the trailer, pull up the specific submittals, then go back out to the site to verify them. Brian said, “We weren’t using the inspector’s time most efficiently. He was getting irritated.”

With PlanGrid, this type of inefficiency and irritation has become a thing of the past.

“For each revision, our team had to sift through the bulletins to find the changes, quantify the cost, work with the subcontractors to explain the changes and ensure nothing was missed.”


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Access to all project information, anywhere

Since 2015, Overaa has used PlanGrid’s mobile-based technology because it gives Brian and the team mobile access to all project information.

When addendums or new bulletins are issued, plans are distributed to the entire field staff in minutes and they are notified in PlanGrid immediately. Sheet Compare enables them to easily identify changes from one version to the next. “A bulletin might move a wall or add a door, but won’t always be clouded on the drawings. PlanGrid helps us easily flag those changes, which ensures that we build it right the first time, and can appropriately account for any cost impacts that we may have missed otherwise.”

PlanGrid also saves the frustration of multiple trips back to the trailer. Now, when Brian walks a site with an inspector or fire marshal, he can pull out his iPad and show the inspector the necessary documents right on the spot. “We don’t have to go back to the office or anything,” he says. “Its more efficient and makes his job and the inspection process easier. The improvement is noticeable. The fire marshal now loves working with us.”

Ensuring peace of mind through PlanGrid

Overaa has used PlanGrid on more than 140 projects and has such confidence in it that they now write PlanGrid into all of their contracts to improve access to information and ensure coordination across every project.

Camille and her team no longer spend time manually updating the drawings. “PlanGrid saves us and our subcontractors time. I know that everyone always has the most current set.” says Camille.

Brian found that even as a superintendent he now finds himself documenting as-builts at project closeout because it’s fast and easy to do in PlanGrid. This is a big help to the team and frees up time for others to focus on important issues. “Things don’t fall through the cracks anymore. How do you quantify peace of mind?”

“As a project team, we’re much more cohesive with PlanGrid. It’s a pivotal tool. We can stand boots on the ground, have everything right there, and be on the same page. I don’t know how we did it before.”

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