Sunday, June 3, 2012


The Dallas Morning News has an excellent story (Construction goes paperless at airport by Cheryl Hall) on a construction firm as it ditches paper for the Cloud.  The cloud technology in this case is HybridCloud by Egnyte in Mountain View, CA.  The construction company in this case is Balfour Beatty Construction.  The project in question for the application of the cloud technology is the $800 million project to reconstruct Terminals A and C at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Key points in the article - -
  • The construction industry is quickly adapting cloud technology to store huge drawings and documents on the Internet.
  • Balfour Beatty utilizes iPhones, iPads, and other hand-held devices.
  • Balfour workers can instantly access documents and drawings on their iPads even when there's not an Internet connection.
  • The file on the cloud and the one that's behind the firewall keep in sync with each other - - at night, they pull down current drawings and changes from the cloud onto the iPads as PDFs.  This helps with bandwidth being devoured by dozens of workers trying to simultaneously access multi-megabyte files from the Web.
  • The nature of construction requires cloud technology that can deal with spotty or nonexistent Internet connection.
  • Sample of the Balfour paper load - - five sets of construction drawings requires 10 rolls of paper, weighing 800 pounds and cost $12.000.
  • The Balfour Parkland Hospital project will generate 4,500 sheets of documents.
  • The DFW Airport project would have required 60,000 sheets of 42-by-36-inch paper that weighed 9,000 pounds - - about 112 linear feet of hanging space in the construction trailers.
  • Cost for the new technology - - including the Egnyte's subscription service, 40 iPads, and four 55-inch monitors for group discussions - - about $60,000. 
  • Savings on paper alone - - $1.2 million.

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