Bluebeam User Groups (BUGs) finished 2020 strong, despite the obvious challenges during the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BUGs, which have remained entirely virtual since March 2020, continued to help construction, architecture and engineering professionals stay on top of their game as the industry demands more from its technology.
Last year, the BUG community celebrated a key milestone and BUG Champions found new and interactive ways to connect their groups. Highlights include:
- The five-year anniversary of the first Bluebeam User Group launch meeting. Despite not being able to celebrate in person, the ChiBUG (Chicago) Champions united the group for a friendly, competitive game show.
- LABUG (Los Angeles) joined forces with the ASCE student chapter at UCLA for the first student-led industry organization and BUG meeting.
- SanDBUG (San Diego) ended the year with a virtual party with Bluebeam trivia and a custom-made Revu word search in a Studio Session.
Finally, former BostonBUG Champion Jeff Collins launched the first Bluebeam User Group in New Hampshire (NHBUG).
The Built Blog spoke with Collins, associate transportation engineer at Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, to learn more about his industry experience using Bluebeam, how he initially got involved in the BUG community, as well as why he thinks others in the industry should strongly consider joining a BUG. Edited excerpts follow.
Built Blog: When and how did you first start to use Bluebeam?
I first heard of Bluebeam on the exhibitor floor of a Bentley (MicroStation & InRoads) Conference. I don’t remember exactly how long ago but probably roughly 10 years ago. Hopefully that doesn’t show my age. It was a couple years after that I started using it.
Built Blog: When did you first get involved with a BUG and why?
In 2017, I got involved with BostonBUG. I was looking for two things: First, I was trying to automate a tedious Bluebeam task. Second, I was looking to get involved in an organization or activity related to—but outside of—work.
When I came across the Bluebeam User Groups, my initial ask was: “When’s the next BostonBUG meeting?” Before I knew it, I was being asked, “Would you like to present?” and “Do you want to be the Champion?” I was reluctant at first, but eventually said yes, and it led to three years of learning more about Bluebeam Revu then I could ever imagine and recently launching the NHBUG!
Built Blog: What is the Bluebeam tool you get the most value out of and why?
It’s never easy picking just one, but I’m currently pushing the use of “Overlay Pages.” Just the other day I used it to overlay a proposed site design onto the existing site. I quickly had a color plan (existing red, proposed green). I better understood what was happening; additionally, I was able to share and convey that to other stakeholders. It’s also extremely valuable for quality control. To have a visual of what has changed since the last submission, you can quickly see and verify the changes that needed to be made. It’s been so beneficial internally we’ve started submitting the overlays to clients, which has helped show project progress.
Built Blog: Do you have a most memorable BUG meeting you’ve attended?
That would be my first, fall 2017. When I went from inquiring about when the next meeting was to presenting at my first meeting and being the champion. I’m so glad I did!
Built Blog: What advice would you give to Bluebeam users who haven’t yet attended a BUG meeting?
What are you waiting for? I promise you’ll learn something new at every meeting you attend, and with most being virtual now you can attend any of them you want. You’ll also meet great people doing amazing things not only with Bluebeam but across the architecture, engineering and construction industry.
BUG year-end Thank You:
Share Your Work Setup!
We would love to feature users’ work setups, whether they’re at home, in the office or in the field on a jobsite. Send us your pictures, as well as a caption explaining the setup, to email@example.com.