Cleartech wins 50% more jobs with enhanced digital estimations

CEO Feargal Cleary started ClearTech Engineered Solutions in Dublin, Ireland, in 2010, during a major industry downturn

Cleary knew that the traditional operations and models in design and construction would soon give way to technology-driven and environmentally sustainable models that would require leaner operations.

While large companies cut budgets to steady their businesses, Cleary aimed to build something more flexible: the first concrete post-tensioning service in Ireland.

Post-tensioning is the process of casting concrete with steel cables in ducts then tensioning the cables to compress the cured concrete. The resulting slab has the compressed strength of concrete and the tensile strength of steel.

“So, what we do is we reduce the concrete depth, reduce the reinforcement and this gives the client a sustainable solution over the lifetime of their building,” Cleary said.

ClearTech’s post-tensioning process has benefits for the environment and the company’s balance sheet – it uses less concrete and earns tax incentives and rebates by lowering environmental impact.

With a decade of delivering major projects, ClearTech remains a niche contracting business, with just 20 full-time employees. ClearTech’s team punches well above its weight attracting clients, thanks to its lean approach, which became possible when it implemented Bluebeam Revu.

Digital estimations

In 2018, ClearTech’s reputation led to more tender estimation requests than ever. Everyone was using PDFs for releasing design information, but there was no easy way to quantify material measurements digitally.

Furthermore, the ClearTech team was still using A3 and A1 prints, often losing half a day waiting for designs from the printers, only to spend hours marking and measuring drawings by hand.

This time-intensive process was also prone to errors, resulting in inaccurate estimations and rework. ClearTech needed to speed up its estimation process.

The team at Powergreen Software introduced ClearTech to Bluebeam Revu and trained the team on doing digital estimations with its automatic measurements and exportable metadata.

The results were immediate: the printing budget was cut by two-thirds, saving thousands of euros. And since proposals weren’t trapped in administration, there was more time to look at new projects.

ClearTech then started using Revu elsewhere. Now, everything happens in Revu at ClearTech before going on a jobsite.

Expanding Revu

The overlay tool in Revu was discovered and put into use by ClearTech engineers in the design revision process. Tracking design changes and keeping stakeholders aligned can be challenging because a single project might have hundreds of different designs. ClearTech engineers use overlay tools to compare plans and spot design differences.

Leticia Siqueira, a ClearTech structural engineer, uses the overlay tool to track the change that happens on site and at the construction stage.

“So, when new revisions come in, I can easily see the difference and work on them straight away,” Siqueira said.

ClearTech also uses Revu to set key performance indicators (KPIs) for engineers on site to track how long each task requires, as well as to input that data into custom column sets in Revu. By analysing this information, ClearTech can more accurately make digital estimations of the cost of labour, concrete and steel in subsequent budgets.

Because Revu is at the centre of ClearTech’s data operations, it’s also used for the company’s QA/QC processes — partially for its own recordkeeping but also in fulfilment of the Building Control Amendment Regulations (BCAR), which require tracking materials used in building and renovations.

There’s also the advantage of better communication. “The other companies that we work with, they use Bluebeam as well,” said Thiago Tamm, a ClearTech structural engineer.

Cutting waste, saving money

Since ClearTech implemented Revu, it has cut waste, improved recordkeeping and communication and increased transparency.

ClearTech has also won an additional 50% of projects and has gone on to complete work for clients such as Salesforce, Facebook and Amazon.

ClearTech has since taken its business international, completing projects in Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, where it recently opened an office.

Growing the business at home has also become a bigger priority.

“We want to be a leading light in the industry,” Cleary said, “and we’re pushing the likes of Bluebeam to demonstrate there is an opportunity for innovation in the industry here in Ireland.”

Catch us at Digital Construction Week on 5-6 June. Come by stand D450 and say hello.



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