The Notorious B.I.M.

Kick in the Door: It’s Time to Digitise

Blog Post Image 1

Visualise technology being used at Construct//Disrupt in June

Change is coming

The government has mandated that all of its projects employ BIM by 2016. Yet according to the Software Advice BuyerView Survey, a company that helps buyers connect with construction software vendors, 52% of us still rely on pen and paper for our daily operations. So how do we initiate the move from tradition to disruption? Firstly, we need to identify what we are moving towards.

What is BIM?

The UK Government defines BIM as “a collaborative way of working, underpinned by the digital technologies which unlock more efficient methods of designing, creating and maintaining our assets”. In essence, BIM encompasses so much more than just digitising current processes – that’s the means but is not the end. Improving and increasing collaboration and the sharing of data is the endgame of BIM, which can be facilitated with effective construction software. Big Data has revolutionised so many other spheres – why not ours?

Real savings in real time

BIM’s core focus is to improve our industry. Despite this, more than half of us still cling to traditional pen and paper use in order to get work done. We are not only creating more work for ourselves, we are also wasting time, money, and valuable resources. According to the U.K. government, £804m was saved in 2013 and 2014 largely due to the use of BIM on projects. Digital Built Britain is real and has tangible savings for the firms that realise this. How do we convince those that have not yet digitised that the benefits far outweigh the costs? How do we cross the chasm into the twenty-first century?

Adopting innovation

In a world where technology has made it possible to share information and data at the click of a button, the industry cannot afford to remain stagnant. Construction is at an impasse; digitise or risk being left behind. The question now is how do we move along the Technology Adoption Curve, to diffuse new innovations and ways of working across organisations?

Technology Adoption Lifecycle

As with any change, there will be resisting forces. The Software Advice survey found that one of the biggest barriers to the investment in construction software is the perceived learning curve for users. Mindlessly digitising is not the point; engaging and empowering individuals at all levels of the organisation and the supply chain is.

This emphasises the importance of the roles of BIM managers, coordinators and champions. The industry needs them to foreground user-friendly technologies and empower individuals to work more efficiently and collaboratively. Ground-up adoption of new technologies is key to the diffusion of innovation and BIM managers have a key part to play in this.

What does all this mean for me?

The construction industry is evolving. Technology has given us the ability to reach heights we could have never imagined thirty years ago. By 2016 all public sector projects will use BIM. Positive change is coming, but only with the collaboration of people can we hope to truly advance as an industry. It falls to BIM managers, coordinators, and thought-leading engineers and architects to drive this change. Innovation is on the horizon, the time to implement is now.

Keep your finger on the pulse by joining our innovators group where we share the latest innovations in the built environment.

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Product Updates: Dropbox integration


We’re building BaseStone as a tool for the industry and strive to really build around your needs and feedback. We aim to make it super simple for you to upload your files into BaseStone and have an exciting update to announce to you today.

You can now import files to BaseStone seamlessly from Dropbox!

  • Login to your account from the web browser
  • Create a project or select an existing project
  • Click the ‘Import’ button


  • Select ‘Dropbox’ from the sidebar and then click ‘Choose from Dropbox’

  • This will take you to your Dropbox where you can select files to import.

Login to your BaseStone account to try it out

Please let us know any feedback you have!

Find the right information and collaborate wherever you are

We’re very happy to announce the release of the new iPad app 2.3! We’re on a mission to make your life easier. These new features give you easy access to all the information you need and real-time collaboration wherever you are.


Easily find what you need

  • Easily find projects or files with new search functionality
  • You can now also customise your projects with a photo!

project view with search


Improved syncronisation

  • You can now manually sync files from the app.
  • Just select the sync button when you have wifi and ensure that your files are available when you need them.


Collaborate and complete review tasks wherever you are

  • Tasks are now supported in the app so you can complete tasks with ease wherever you are.
  • You can also collaborate and communicate with others using the app with real-time commenting.

real time commenting


Simply track and manage issues

  • The new issue view lets you access, filter and edit all issues from one screen.
  • Clicking on an issue will take you directly to that issue on the drawing giving you the information you need in one click.

issue list by status priority

You can download the app 2.3 here – we hope you enjoy using these new features. 

Be a BaseStone Beta tester!


We are looking for beta testers to try out the very latest features and provide feedback. If you’re excited to help shape the next generation of engineering drawing review, here is your opportunity!

Simply sign up here and we’ll be in touch!

Constructing BaseStone: March



Working closely with our users and listening attentively to feedback, we pick up on certain things – annoyances you face everyday. Whether you’re communicating with others on the project or creating as-built redlines for handover, we focus on building technology to help you get the job done.

Here’s what we’ve released for you this month. Enjoy using these features and let us know what you think – we’re listening.


Shiny new web interface.

You might have already noticed that BaseStone is looking particularly dapper in your browser of late. We have released a brand new shiny web interface for you to use.

But there’s more to life than just about being ridiculously good-looking.  We’ve also worked hard on the user experience to make your life easier.  Take a look now. 


Reporting, hassle-free.

Reporting is important for sharing progress with others, you can now more easily generate and manage these outputs.

On the web, simply generate a report or snapshot of a drawing from the top menu. Communicate progress by sending these files to other stakeholders.

reporting outputs


Manage reports and snapshots.  

All of your reports and snapshots will be available for you to view and download in the main project dashboard. Magic.

reports and snapshots

Seek and you will find.

We have made it easier for you to search through all of your projects. You can also personalise them by adding a project photo. Lovely.

search through projects


Scroll to zoom on drawings.

Have you tried the new scroll to zoom function yet? You can also view issues more easily. Click on any piece of markup on the drawing to see the issue in more detail.



Get excited about app 2.3.

This just in: we’ll be releasing a new version of the BaseStone iPad app in the very near future. The new release features a slick new interface and review functionality. As you so kindly found your way to our blog, here’s a sneak preview…

 tablet 2.3 preview

That’s all from us. We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback.

Try the new features on BaseStone

Construct of the Week: The Sagrada Família


Construction of the Sagrada Família began 133 years ago this week but besides its remarkable gothic design and art nouveau contribution to Barcelona’s skyline, it has another reason to be famous. Over a century later, construction is still underway. Although its architect, Antoni Gaudí, often said “my client is not in a hurry” (his ‘client’ being God), construction is now progressing rapidly thanks to the use of innovative technologies. It has since been announced that Gaudí’s “unfinished masterpiece” will be completed in 2026 – in time for his centenary.

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 12.11.51


As expected, opinions on Gaudí’s style have been mixed but his spirit of innovation is evident in the legacy he has left. At the time of Gaudí’s death in 1926, less than a quarter of the Basilica had been completed, and it progressed slowly for the next few decades owing to the Spanish Civil War and the need for private donations. Although new machinery was being utilised, it is fair to say that the introduction of computers into the design and construction processes, in the 1980s, was a pivotal moment. Pioneering research has also taken place since the mid-1990s into the flexibility of parametric modelling throughout construction projects.

As new technology has arisen, the construction of the Sagrada Família has accelerated. Jordi Bonet i Armengol, the monument’s 88-year old chief architect, said “I never thought we could go this far”, who, like many others, hadn’t even been able to envisage its completion. CAD and stone-cutting technologies have dramatically cut the labour time and costs. BIM is now being used for the latest stages of the Sagrada Família, offering an accurate visualisation of how the Basilica will look once complete – a welcome sight and an example of technology’s ability to revolutionise the construction process.

In keeping with Gaudi’s vision of longevity, the Sagrada Família School was built next to the church, for the children of the construction workers and children from underprivileged backgrounds. Although the School has been relocated, Gaudí’s progressive approach and sense of social responsibility have served as inspiration for many.


The Sagrada Família began serving its true purpose when it was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 and has since held daily mass.

It is an impressive example of persistence and the effect innovative technology has on construction, especially in bringing together generations of construction workers, engineers and architects.

The Construct Series is here to explore the industry in a wider, cross-disciplinary sense, to champion the creativity of the past, as we drive the future of construction. We’ll be foregrounding innovation which is at the heart of BaseStone’s technology.


Media attributionsThe B1M (Main)

A special thanks to The B1M for the Visualisation of the Finished Basilica.

The B1M is the definitive video resource for BIM, inspiring one million people to mobilise widespread BIM adoption.

Construction, early 1988

The roof under construction, 2009

Construction workers and aerial work platforms in the nave

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Construct of the Week: The Bosphorus Bridge


On 20th February 1970, the construction of the Bosphorus Bridge began. It was the first of three suspension bridges spanning the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, Turkey. The Bosphorus strait is a historically contested body of water bisecting Turkey, dividing the European and Asian side of the country. So, the Bosphorus Bridge not only serves as an important transport route – it literally connects two continents.

The Bridge united the two banks of Istanbul, at Ortaköy (Europe) and Beylerbeyi (Asia). It was the first road crossing the Strait and upon completion in 1973, it was the longest suspension bridge outside the U.S. Bridge-making not only requires effective collaboration between those involved in its construction; collaboration and camaraderie is also needed on cultural and political fronts, gradually fostering stronger ties for the future.



The idea to bridge the gap between the two land masses dates back to around 400 BC when a floating pontoon bridge was built under the rule of Darius I in an attempt to expand the Persian Empire further into the Balkans. The decision to build a permanent, modern bridge was taken in 1957 by the Turkish government. The design of the Bridge was the work of renowned British civil engineers Sir Gilbert Roberts and William Brown, who also designed the Humber Bridge, the Severn Bridge and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. By 1968 a contract had been signed with the British firm Freeman Fox & Partners for the steel engineering work, who teamed up with Turkish construction cooperation Enka. With 35 engineers and 400 construction workers on the project, the Bridge was completed in 3 years and now has daily traffic of about 200,000 vehicles.

Bosphorus Bridge on the 1000 lira banknote (1978 – 1986)

Suspension bridges can withstand a surprising amount of weight but they are known to be swayed by environmental change. They can move subtly from side to side in strong winds and the Bosphorous Bridge is said to sag about 90cm in the middle of its span when at its traffic capacity. The Bridge was built with this in mind and has an aerodynamic deck – enabling it to withstand weather changes.



Since the Bosphorous Bridge opened, two more bridges have been constructed to cross the Strait and plans for a second underground ‘Eurasia’ tunnel are underway. The bridges have eased trade and commute routes but they also help strengthen intercontinental relations between the two sides of the country – connecting people and cultures, despite terrestrial separation!

The Construct Series is here to explore the industry in a wider, cross-disciplinary sense, to champion the creativity of the past, as we drive the future of construction. We’ll be foregrounding innovation which is at the heart of BaseStone’s technology.


Image attributions

Bosphorus Bridge aerial view

Bosphorus Bridge on 1000 lira banknote

View of Istanbul

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Constructing BaseStone: February

Prepare for super slick drawing review with BaseStone’s new features…


Welcome to Constructing BaseStone, our blog series dedicated to all of the updates we’ve made to BaseStone. We always look forward to releasing new features to you, but we are extremely excited to reveal our new review experience; prepare for fast and intuitive drawing review in your very own web browser.

15 02 feature.001

Scroll to zoom

Our users and industry partners told us that speed is important when reviewing drawings back at the office. You can now scroll to zoom in and out of your drawing on the web platform. Navigating around your drawings is now super slick.


Markup with meaning

Have you ever done a piece of markup and forgotten what it means later down the line? On the web, you can now add multiple pieces of markup for each issue created. This allows you to capture and describe issues more effectively using the web interface.


Try it out on BaseStone!


Select issues more easily

Issues contain critical project information captured from the site. Click on any piece of markup on the drawing to see the issue in more detail.


Improved photo gallery

We know that your photos are important for capturing what’s on site and conveying information. We have improved the way that photos are displayed on the web and added the ability for you to download photos straight to your computer.




App version 2.0 and earlier are no longer supported

As a final note, app versions 2.0 and earlier are no longer supported. Please update your app to the latest version to get the best experience from BaseStone.


Thanks again for your continued support and we hope you enjoy using these new features.

Try them on BaseStone!

Construct of the Week: The Washington Monument


March_on_Washington_edit copy


The work of engineers, architects and construction workers becomes the world we live in and affects the way we relate to specific geographic locations. Even indirectly, they form the backdrop to our collective histories – especially in the case of today’s Construct of the Day.

Friday marked the release of Selma, a film about the march from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama, 1965, conducted by civil rights activists demanding racial equality and voting rights. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most prominent figures at the march and much of the support he had gained was due to his unforgettable “I Have A Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, two years earlier. The enduring images depicting tens of thousands of civil rights supporters listening to King’s speech, are marked by the 169.29 metre-high Washington Monument, rising from centre of the crowd.


The soaring monolith became the world’s tallest structure upon completion in 1884 – surpassing the 157 metre-high Cologne Cathedral. It was dedicated to the first President of the United States, George Washington, and the design criteria stated that it should reflect Washington’s character and patriotism: “unparalleled in the world” and “wholly American”. The construction was a national effort. Funds of $28,000 were gathered from across the country, and marble and granite was brought in from each state.

Architect Robert Mills was commissioned to head the construction of the Monument in the style of an obelisk, a tall four-sided stone pillar that tapers as it rises – originally seen in ancient Egyptian architecture. Construction halted for almost 20 years because of the lack of funds and political unrest, but after the Civil War, there was renewed interest in the Monument, evidencing the important role it plays in national solidarity.

The foundations were reinforced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the construction progressed quickly after sufficient funding was obtained from the Congress, opening it to the public in 1888.


75 years later, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous speech in clear sight of the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, giving American society a strong message about the misalignment of their racial prejudice and the values upon which the country was founded.

The Monument stands today as a reminder of a revolutionary history and the construction efforts, though slowed by economic and political upheaval, became a symbol of American tenacity.

The Construct Series is here to explore the industry in a wider, cross-disciplinary sense, to champion the creativity of the past, as we drive the future of construction. We’ll be foregrounding innovation which is at the heart of BaseStone’s technology.


Image attributions

Crowd at Washington March 1963

Mid-construction photograph, c. 1860

Monument plans and construction timeline, c. 1885

Aerial view of Washington Monument

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Introducing The Construct Series

As the inaugural post, we decided this would be the perfect opportunity to unveil BaseStone’s new blog series. Twice a month, you’ll notice that the banner image on the BaseStone website changes and with a click, it will take you to The Construct Series, where we’ll be exploring the dynamic, groundbreaking construction scene. What’s really happening behind that construction work you see on your way to work every morning – beyond the high vis and helmets?


We’re passionate about championing engineering and promoting the positive image of construction and the innovation behind it.


In The Construct blog series, we’ll be updating our website with different images of engineering, construction and architectural projects – from around the world and across time, bringing construction out of the construction sites and discovering the stories on the other side.


By doing this, we hope to fulfil one of our main objectives – to champion construction by foregrounding the innovation and creativity behind the structure and demonstrating the importance of the built environment to our daily lives.

The work of engineers, architects and construction workers shape the modern world and form the backdrop to our memories and collective histories – keep your eye on our changing banners and click through to stay updated with the The Construct blog series!

Image attribution

The Colosseum, Rome

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Constructing BaseStone: January

There is no better way to bring in 2015 than with a stack of fresh features for BaseStone’s users. Welcome to Constructing BaseStone, our blog series dedicated to all of the updates we’ve made to BaseStone.

Having worked closely with our users and industry partners over the last few months, it’s obvious that the construction industry needs tools that facilitate collaboration and communication throughout the review process. Effective communication requires that the right people have the right information, and these new features achieve this.

Comment and discuss issues

Resolving issues is an integral part of the review process and requires communication between many different people. Normally this information is exchanged over email and in-person which makes the process very disjointed.

With BaseStone you can now comment on issues and discuss them with project members. This allows you to resolve issues more quickly and effectively, whilst ensuring that all of the information is in one place.


Introducing BaseStone Tasks

To improve collaboration and the visibility of your work, we have released BaseStone Tasks. In this first version, we have developed Tasks for drawing review.

You can now assign a drawing to one or more members of the project for them to review. The assigned user is notified and the drawing will appear as an assigned task in their BaseStone dashboard. When the review process is finished, the user can mark the task as complete and you’ll get a notification to let you know they’ve completed the review task.

This feature facilitates collaborative review, whilst ensuring that your project members have the right drawings in their hands.


We hope that you enjoy using these new features!

BaseStone is built around the needs of construction professionals, so all of our features originate from insights provided by our users and industry partners. If you have any feedback or requests, feel free to get in touch at