Article February 05, 2001
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Construction hub launched

Construction hub launched

Hard Dollar Corp. of Tempe, Ariz., launched its website, which is the first online operations hub devoted exclusively to the $300 billion infrastructure construction industry. According to Hard Dollar, the site is a virtual workplace that offers access to a set of application, information, education and commerce tools that may be needed to bid and build projects of any size.

The site’s design incorporates the familiar and user-friendly metaphor of an office building— a construction company’s headquarters in the shape of a multi-floor pyramid. Each "floor" of the building offers a different set of rooms, each containing content or applications relevant to the floor. Users can experience the following "floors":

  • The Ground Floor is where users check in and go to work, discover information about Hard Dollar Corp., including pricing and client testimonials, and take guided tours of Hard Dollar applications and services;

  • The Community Floor is where users can stay abreast of what’s going on in the industry. Here, they can find industry news, results of bid lettings, jobs available for bid, the Infrastructure Directory, informative web seminars and discussion groups, and stay abreast of industry events;

  • The Education Floor is all about learning. On this floor, users find tips from industry experts, white papers related to their work, access to research projects in the University room and various types of online training opportunities, such as prep courses for engineering technician certification;

  • The Information Floor provides the strategic and tactical information required to effectively bid and build projects. Information includes current labor wage rates, the ability to check current weather or historical weather for any job site, safety regulations and best practices, in addition to two Hard Dollar applications;

  • The Commerce Floor is about buying and selling. On this floor, users can browse through various industry-specific products and services offered for sale by Hard Dollar alliance partners. This floor features online quote solicitation and analysis, heavy equipment and other necessities, as well as consultants, vendors, banks and other resources; and

  • The Project Floor is where infra-structure jobs get bid and built. Users can access the industry’s leading estimating and bidding system for project management and cost control, as well as manage documents collaboratively over the Internet.

Estimating concrete

Featuring digitized takeoffs, a cost item database, job-specific estimate capabilities and 10 visual assemblies, Concrete Solution software from Quest Solutions, Sarasota, Fla., provides contractors with precise estimates for virtually any application.

A standard digitizer board allows contractors to easily convert simple or complex areas, lengths and count-up items from any set of drawings into a digital takeoff in seconds. The digitized takeoffs accurately measure within 1/1000th of an inch and can use any engineering, architectural or metric scale. The takeoffs also permit instant conversion of quantity totals from one unit of measurement to another.

The software saves multiple takeoff sheets with each job, providing a printable visual audit trail for review. Contractors also may insert custom lines, symbols and text for reference points into each takeoff.

Exclusive visual assemblies allow users to delete multiple pay items in a single pass, and they also can act as graphic checklists by turning takeoff measurements into a computer generated diagram of the project—users can see exactly what they are estimating, which makes it easier to spot any errors or omissions.

Bid tab searching made easier

For anyone who needs to search through DOT bid tabs for information, Oman Systems Inc., Nashville, has come up with BidTabs Professional software which eliminates the need for searching through confusing abstracts, multi-page hard copy printouts or screens of information. With just the click of a mouse, a user sets the parameters for what they want to find and the software does the rest. Contractors can analyze historical bids for change orders/supplemental agreement pricing, view what prices the competition has been bidding on every item from every project and look up rare pay items.

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