Property Australia

Digital estimation drives growth


How has construction company ClearTech cut waste, improved record-keeping and communication and increased transparency?

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 says.

ClearTech’s post-tensioning process has benefits for the environment and the company’s bottom line – 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.


Digitising estimation

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.


Cutting waste, saving money

Since ClearTech implemented Revu, it has cut waste, improved record-keeping and communication and increased transparency.

Revu also helps ClearTech 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 estimate the cost of labor, concrete and steel in subsequent budgets. ClearTech has also won an additional 50 per cent of projects and has gone on to complete work for clients such as Salesforce, Facebook and Amazon, and in Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, where it recently opened an office.

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

Read more about ClearTech's digital journey with Revu.