Crucial Conversations Part Four: Why Argue File Types?

In the final part of our series, Bluebeam VP of Strategic Development Sasha Reed sits down with construction industry experts to talk about the role of PDF files in BIM workflows.



  • Sasha Reed, Bluebeam VP of Strategic Development
  • Nigel Davies, Director, Evolve Consultancy
  • Josh Bone, President, J.Bone Technology
  • Brok Howard, Technical Account Manager, dRofus

File Formats and Information Sharing

Information sharing can be one of the more confusing aspects of BIM. In addition to defining the deliverable and knowing how far into BIM projects should go, many in the industry also see the data file format as an issue for concern. Because BIM is so complicated, industry experts agree that transmitting and receiving data should be made as simple as possible. Brok Howard breaks it down, “There’s two types of ways of showing data to someone.  You’re exporting it into something they can see, or you’re printing it into something that they can understand.”

Why PDF?

“When you’re trying to communicate to an owner who doesn’t work in the field and isn’t capable of understanding all the nuances related to the data, having it in a format that you can show them, and that they can understand and feel comfortable with, is where PDF comes into play,” explains Howard.

Howard also advocates running a PDF report, which can harness a great deal of information into a file format that makes it easy for the recipient to understand. “That’s why as an ISO standard you’re never going to run into a problem of giving someone a PDF,” Howard elaborates. “You have to have a solid ability to communicate those changes. We have a great tool with Bluebeam to communicate these are the things that need to be changed.”

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