Best Practice: All About Integration

As we continue our series on best practices for Commissioning (Cx) technology, we address the importance of integrating your Cx software with other commonly used tools to make your process more efficient, streamline communication, increase collaboration and reduce risk.

A Critical Part of Modern Construction

The volume of software applications currently being used on construction projects has grown exponentially over the past few years due to increasing project complexity and technology advancements. The need for a seamless exchange of data between these applications makes integration a critical feature for modern construction. 

Despite its importance, however, many software applications remain siloed, making it really hard to keep project team members up to date. And that doesn’t even account for the re-work associated with copying and pasting information from one application to another. Teams are disconnected, inefficient, and face increased risk to overall project success when software products, especially Cx systems, don’t communicate with each other.

Integration Drives Successful Outcomes 

A recent Dodge Network SmartBrief found that over half of building owners surveyed have already created integrations between various software products or use a single, connected construction management solution in an effort to drive more efficient processes and better decision making. This push for integration is making its way to Cx software as it’s increasingly the common thread throughout the construction process, helping the entire team – owner, general contractor, subcontractors, CxPs – track, verify and manage building systems and equipment throughout the project’s lifecycle. 

Integrating Cx software with other essential construction software can help standardize processes, streamline workflows, improve productivity, increase operational efficiency and, most importantly, allow team members to focus on value-added activities during the testing and Cx instead of spending time on administrative tasks. 

Integration Considerations

With a plethora of software solutions out there, which are the key solutions to integrate with to help create a “connected construction environment?”  

Let’s start with Procore. Ensuring your Cx software can seamlessly integrate with construction management software is imperative, as most of the team will be using it. Sharing data with these applications will be essential to keeping projects on track and resolving issues quickly. 

Next, ensure your Cx software integrates with CMMS tools. Building owners often use asset management software to manage their building assets for work orders, maintenance, etc.. Seamlessly transferring equipment and systems data and history from Cx software to CMMS ensures accurate information and reduces data entry time at the end of a project by the owner’s personnel. 

Mark Up tools, such as Bluebeam, Adobe Acrobat, iAnnotate, represent another critical integration point. This represents one of the most significant areas of rework and one that can and should be eliminated. With Cx software integration, notations, mark-ups, and images should be synchronized automatically without users having to re-enter the information back at the office manually. This is a critical time-saver. 

Finally, as new technologies are rapidly emerging, it’s important to ensure your Cx software is ready for integration. For example, prepare to integrate with digital twinning software, such as Willow or Azure Digital Twins, which essentially replicate buildings in the digital world. Increasingly desired as a project deliverable, users will be looking to bring checklists, test results, and other data accumulated throughout their Cx process into the digital twin of the building. Another example would be automated and monitoring-based Cx software such as SkySpark and Clockworks. Leading CxPs will be ready to integrate these emerging software solutions into their environment to meet customer demands. 

At Facility Grid, we’ve been focused on the connected construction environment for a while and have ensured that our software integrates seamlessly with all of these essential solutions as well as others. As a CxP it’s important to demonstrate to building owners and contractors that you understand and value collaboration, and ensuring your tools integrate with their tools is a key first step. 

Additional Resources

To learn more about how Facility Grid integrates with essential construction software, we invite you to watch our previous Discovery Hour: The Benefits of Facility Grid Integrations or contact support for a live demonstration of how to use them on your project.