AI-powered submittal tools

Discover AI adoption in the AEC industry with our AI-Powered Submittal Tools. This webinar includes a live demo and a sneak peek at upcoming features!

Jun 12, 2024

About the webinar

Discover AI adoption in the AEC industry!

Hosted by Part3's CCO, Jess Luczycki, this webinar covers how you can use AI to improve your shop drawing review process.

The session features:

  • Demo of AI tools on the Part3 platform - From Submittal Assistant to AI-generated hints

  • Interactive Q&A where Jess answers attendees' questions

  • Sneak peek at our upcoming AI project!

👉 Book a personalized demo today to see how our construction administration platform can work for your business!


00:00 - Hi everyone, we'll probably get started shortly. Just going to wait for a few more people to come in, give them a couple of extra minutes. As a quick intro, I'm Jessica, one of the co-founders at Part3. My background is in CA, general contracting, and working for architects and with consultants, so that's kind of how Part3 came to be. There's another Jess on the call here, and she's going to be moderating for me today. If you drop any questions along the way, we'll catch up at the end, and everyone can have a chance to answer and let me know what you think and your ideas as well.

00:47 - How many people do we have now, Jess?

00:50 - We have 37.

00:51 - Okay, cool. I'll get started and then people can catch up.

00:58 - Today is obviously about AI and what Part3 is doing with AI. We're going to talk about a few different things. I'm going to give a quick overview of AI in the AEC industry, what people are thinking, how firms are using it, and why Part3 wanted to start using it as well. Then we're going to do a quick talk about shop drawings because that is the first place that Part3 has decided to implement AI. We'll go through the reasons why, and then I'm going to dive into a demo and show you what's up.

01:32 - We're going to focus on the goal, really, which is to make your lives easier. I think with everything we do at Part3, we're just thinking about efficiency—how can we make people's lives easier in terms of team collaboration, getting your work done quickly and properly? So I'm going to go through a few different things and then I'm going to tell you what's next. We're never going to stop iterating on this. I'm sure if you're part of Part3 and you're in the platform, you'll see that we're always working on something. The team is always busy with new features or enhancements. We're not done with SMID right now, and we're going to keep moving. I'll give you a little sneak peek about what that's about, just as a little hint in falls doors.

02:15 - Okay, so talking about AI adoption in the industry, all these stats are from a UNET report, which is great. We aren't sponsored by UNET; I don't care, but they're a great firm. If you guys want to check out this separately, it's a really great report. Some of the things that we're taking away first of all are how can we implement AI meaningfully? We don't want to just say Part3 does AI for the sake of saying we do AI. We need to make sure that people are actually making the most out of things. We want to do this in a really impactful way.

02:57 - So, we're looking at things like what is keeping people up at night. They are thinking about their operational efficiencies, retention, and recruiting. Those are some big things that we're talking about. The overall economy—we can't do much about that, but we can help people work better. Then, when we look at firms with really good win rates, they are firms that are embracing tech and they are embracing AI. Part3 is obviously there to make people work better and really help you guys win work. We surface a lot of data, but how can we bring AI into that now? One in three firms believe that AI will have a powerful impact for them. How can we move that needle? How can we get more people to understand the impact that this can have?

03:45 - I think when people first started talking about AI, it's, "Oh no, it's going to replace me." Everything that we're doing, all of the knowledge that you have, you can't be replaced. We are just helping you. We are trying to make your work more efficient. We are trying to make sure that all of this basic stuff, we can do for you. We don't need to do that heavy lifting. You still need to review things, but we're going to make things and life easier for you.

04:13 - This is obviously shop drawing reviews. None of this is new information. Everyone on the call here knows how painful shop drawing reviews are. Basically, whether you're new to the industry or you know you're in this area, you have to do the same process. Every submittal you get, you're comparing it to the specs, to your drawings, everything. You're under tight timelines to get your reviews in and coordinate with the entire consultant team. When I was in the industry, I remember one of my principals at my firm said, "You should know the specs like the back of your hand." I thought, that's a really nice idea, but Control F was my friend. I would just never know 1600 pages of specs as much as I really wanted to.

05:00 - So that's kind of where Part3 was. This is where we're going to start. Every project has shop drawings; you cannot escape it, no matter if you have a $200,000 small project or a billion-dollar project. Every project has them; no one can get away from this.

05:17 - So, I'm going to show you now what we've done in Part3. If you've already enabled your submittal assistant, that's awesome. If you haven't, hopefully after this webinar, you'll be inspired to give it a try.

05:27 - I'm going to jump in now to Part3 so everyone can see this. Thumbs up if you can see the app. Okay, cool. You'll notice on a new project, you have the ability to come in here, and when you go to your submittal log, you can import your project manual. This is really the point where you're going to say, "Okay, I have this combined PDF document; now I'm going to bring in Part3." Some of the benefits of this are that we're going to generate your entire log for you.

06:00 - What we're going to do is go through your project manual, go through all the divisions, and see which ones mention submittals until you have a submittal required. If you don't want to do this in Part3 or you're like, "My GC, this is their responsibility," this is a free tool outside of Part3. Your GC can use this, upload the specs, and then they get an Excel sheet. This will help them track as well, and it helps you keep in mind, "What am I owed? Do I need samples? Am I missing something?"

06:25 - You can import the project manual from here, or you can go to the settings page. Under settings, you're going to see project spec manual. This is, again, the combined PDF document that you have of all of your project specs. So, I'm going to say upload project specs. You can drag and drop your specs in here, and what we're doing is ingesting that document.

06:50 - So, I'm going to say enable submittal assistant. I want to make sure that this is going to be turned on, and then I can decide if I want to populate this on my logs page. If you already have a bunch of submittals and you're not doing this on a new project from scratch, you can skip this step. You don't need to go down that path, but you can still enable submittal assistant without messing up or muddying up your logs if you don't want to.

07:15 - For this one, I'll say I'm going to generate the logs because it's a fresh project for me. So again, now we're going through here, we are uploading everything, and it'll take time because it's a big document. You can go through here; you'll see the files uploading. When you go back to your logs page, you'll see it there. Now you can view your document here; it's been uploaded, it's being processed. We'll always give you these little hints to let you know, "Hey, we're working on it, something's coming in."

07:41 - You can view here. You have all of the same tools here, so of course, you can view full screen. If you wanted to come back, I can see my submittal assistant is turned on, and then if I go to the logs page, this is going to be generating as well. We're pulling in all those submittals that I mentioned.

08:00 - So now I'm going to kind of do this like a cooking show. I'm going to jump into a project that has some information already logged. If I go into my logs here, I can see this is everything that was generated for me. You can tell that it is generated from Part3 because you'll have this pending here. You'll see this attachment sign here, and it's pending. That just means that Part3 has uploaded this for you, but there's no attachment there yet. So, you don't need to start your review; there's no consultant assigned to it. You don't yet have a task. You're waiting for the GC to come in and upload that shop drawing, or you can come and upload it for them.

08:36 - I'm going to go through a couple here and just show you what this actually looks like. If I go into here, I can see this is a glass rocks submittal. This is for sheathing, and I'm uploading it the exact same way that I normally would. I'm going through this submittal flow. I'm entering my spec number; nothing has changed here with the way that you're actually pulling in and creating your submittals. The only thing here, now that you have submittal assistant enabled, is that you're going to see this little beta sign here. This is in beta because we are always iterating, testing, and adding enhancements.

09:12 - You'll see here we have four hints along the top. These are the hints that we originally thought were pretty basic. They apply across multiple spec sections and could be useful in a lot of different scenarios. Each division is unique, of course, so now we're into the aspect of, "Okay, maybe we don't need colors for sheathing, but what else could we need?" I'll dive into that in a minute as well.

09:38 - You can see here on the left-hand side, we have project specifications. This is pulling everything from the manual that I uploaded. These are all the approved manufacturers. I can see here that was uploaded here is an approved manufacturer, so automatically I'm like, "Okay, cool. I don't need to worry about this. I know it meets the specs.” Going into testing compliance, I can see this is all the testing requirements mentioned in the specs, and we have a lot of orange ticks over here. So, when you see an orange tick, it means we think this matches, but if you want to double-check, it might be a good idea. A green tick means this 100% matches what is outlined in the spec.

10:19 - Colors: obviously, no colors for sheathing and no warranty. So, I've leveraged and received hints for two of these items. Now I can go into additional hints. Here, I decided that I was going to click models, and then I clicked this blue request hints. This is going to let me know that I am pulling out all of these different models, and it is showing me what I need to have in terms of fasteners, fire retardant, anything else. These are some other things that you could ask for.

10:52 - So, again, sheathing probably doesn't need to have a mockup or a sample. If I dive into another example here, so that's one of them. And again, as I'm going through here, drop questions or comments in the chat, and then we can come at the end, and I can come back to any questions in the app that you have. So, this is another one here. This is security film. Again, I've come in here. I get the popup that hints are being generated. You'll see this area will say, like, "Hang tight, we're generating hints." Again, we're taking this six-page product data sheet and comparing it to 1,600 pages of specs, so it takes time. Don't worry when you see that spinning. You can go and come back, or you can leave it there. It will pop up; it just takes a couple of seconds.

11:38 - So, again, project specs are on the left. We're comparing it to the actual PDF that you uploaded here. 3M is approved. These are my testing compliance. The project specs say that this is the color required, so we're giving you that heads-up. Like, if that's not mentioned here, maybe you want to add that comment. Maybe you want to annotate and say, you know, like, let us know or give us a sample of what this would look like. And then the warranty: the spec said you need a five-year warranty for this. The product cut sheet mentions the five-year warranty. Awesome. If the product cut sheet didn't mention it, that's probably another comment that you want to make on this middle. Say, "Refer to specs, five-year warranty needed."

12:22 - Then, if I go into additional hints in the top right here, again, I said give me some extra. So I clicked model. I could click installer experience. Do I need a mockup? Do I need samples? And I can go in and request these hints. So, again, you can pick what you want. Some of these will say recommended because now we're going through that process of saying for these divisions, most of the time, this is what people are asking questions about. And most of the time, based on all the samples that we got from our customers and from anyone who is helping us through this Alpha Beta phase, these are the most common items mentioned in the project specs.

13:00 - So, again, this is comparing your product cut sheet to everything that you have in the manual. Again, it takes time. So, when you're looking at this, some of the information that you want to consider is, or some of the thoughts that you might be having are, can my GC see this? Can my consultant see this? Who can use this? So, if your GC is uploading things to Part 3, let's say they receive a cut sheet from their subcontractor and they upload it in Part 3, they can automatically tell if this is a product that's in the specs and if it meets requirements. If it's not listed, maybe they need to revise it and submit it as an alternate, or maybe they need to tell the subs, "That's not what was in the spec. Please give me the right cut sheet."

13:45 - Your consultants can also come in here and see that. They can request hints, they can review things, and then most importantly, you can. So, none of this is hidden based on permissions. We're leveraging this information for everybody. So, now that I've requested this, I can see 3M Ultra S800. That's the product model that I'm supposed to have. And then as well, I can see I can have this security film, and then we're going to pull out all that information for you again so you can double-check beside it. And then we do need some installer experience. The specs have said that someone with experience in this particular area is required. It can't just have anyone installing this. Also, a mockup is required. We want to see what this looks like, and that's outlined in the specs as well. And we need samples. We really want to see exactly if you're applying a film to glazing, you want to know what that looks like at the end of the day.

14:38 - So, those are pretty obvious comments and requests. So, this is again just a hint for you and a reminder. You can always go back to the specs. All of this review on the right-hand side, nothing changes there in terms of consultant review process and what it looks like when you're collaborating down here at the bottom. So, all of this is meant to do the heavy lifting for you when you're comparing your project manual. You don't have to go in and check the models, the manufacturers, the warranty—we're surfacing all of that for you. So we're not replacing you. We also want to make sure that you don't forget to do your job and actually do your reviews. We just want to make sure that we're making you more efficient and that the team can work better together.

15:27 - Another example that I have here is—let me find one. Okay, so this is an example that I wanted to show you. Here I have Owen's Corning, and I can see that they're listed in the specs with a green tick. Everything's good. I can see I have some testing compliance that looks good; it meets the standards. There's no results for warranty or anything like that. But I have someone who submitted an alternate. So Rockwool is not listed in the specs, but maybe if I dive in, I can see testing compliance and how it stacks up. This will really help you when you're trying to compare apples to apples. If someone proposed an alternate, we can do some of that heavy lifting for you and tell you if it stacks up. Some of those scenarios, especially where you just can't get your hands on a product, might have an alternate you could consider. Sure, if it saves you money, awesome, but does it actually meet those spec requirements for you?

16:28 - Again, we're not replacing spec writers. Everyone has a lot of information that AI can't necessarily get their hands on right now and make sense of, but we can help you get a head start on that. So that is basically how we're using AI right now. If you have your SML assistant turned on, you're uploading a shop drawing, and then you want to make sure you go in here for the additional hints.

16:55 - I'll show you what this looks like now. I'll go through and upload a sample here. I'll just say, let's call this Tremco. Again, nothing changes here in terms of how you're assigning and selecting people. All you're going to do is go in and drag and drop your cut sheet. Let's say again, you can upload as many as you want. You can make sure that everything is populated for the individual files. For each different attachment, we're going to pull out separate hints for that. And then this is the popup that you'll see, where we're generating those hints. We're working in the background, and you'll see that again for each different attachment that you have, the additional hints in the top right corner.

17:48 - You'll see that we have these ones that are recommended. For this specific product and division, normally we see people call out certain models or products and we also see people want some samples. So I'm going to request any additional hints for that. I'll see what it pulls out from the specs and what it tells me—if I get any hints, if I get any models that are specifically called out. These recommended ones are just based on the industry knowledge that we're gathering from you guys. We're trying to go through division by division and make sure that we're stacking up.

18:25 - As a side comment, because we always want your feedback, this is our take on it and we are open to feedback. If you think there is something that's super helpful, please let us know. So again, I can see here the different products that are coming up. No mockups needed, but we do want samples. Those are good comments to make, and this gives you that head start so that you can actually go and make your comment. Maybe I'll say here, "Samples required as per spec. Submit separately," and that's my review.

19:00 - Now I can go here, I can see Tremco listed. It's good. I'm meeting my compliance. We wanted black and it lists black, so I would make that comment as well—that this should be black. And the warranty here—we call out warranties here but they don't really mention it. They just say it's available. So maybe you want to say, "Refer to spec for warranty requirements." And then again down here, you're getting the same thing. Dow, you're meeting all the testing compliances, the colors. Again, they don't mention anything in the warranty, so you can go through all these different things and make your comments. The hope is that this gives you a head start on those comments.

19:48 - I want to be conscious of time and make sure I leave enough time for questions, so I'm going to go back here. We've talked about shop reviews, done the demo, and so now we're talking about what's next. Door hardware is a nightmare. It's the type of thing where you know it's coming on a project. You're waiting for the huge package, you know you need it, and you just don't want to review it.

20:13 - For example, we've got some information from our customers, which is awesome and is helping us get a head start on this. What we want to do is take your door schedule from your drawing sheets, which will give us every single door on your project. If you're using Revit, that obviously auto-populates most of it for you. We're going to say, "Yep, this is the fire rating, this is the size." Then, the hope is that we're going to compare it to what's in your specs. We'll say, "Okay, for this specific door, these are the different pieces of hardware that you need on it. These are the models."

20:48 - If the subcontractor or the GC has given you that compiled list of documents, which is basically every single cut sheet grouped into one PDF, we're going to pull out and say, "Does this mention SL8 blah blah blah?" Maybe it's just me, but when I was a CA and I looked at this, I had to Google everything if I didn't have a compiled binder from my design team or we didn't have a hardware consultant. This is the heavy lifting that we're going to try and do for you. How can we compare your door schedule and your door hardware specs to the actual submittal and surface all that information for you?

21:30 - Obviously, we can't do everything, but if we can give you that leg up and say, "This isn't the right manufacturer, this isn't the right model," if we can tell you what color it was supposed to be based on your specs, then you can request that sample. Maybe you don't need to go to the design team or review every different shade of bronze that they have. We're just surfacing that information for you already.

21:58 - We're iterating on this and just getting started. One of our senior developers is actually on this call, so if you have any questions or specific ideas about door hardware, please let us know. It's direct feedback to the Part3 team, so we really appreciate it. That's where we're at and where we're hoping to go.

22:17 - I want to make sure we leave enough time for questions. Especially if anyone has been using the Submittal Assistant in Part3 and has any feedback, please don't hesitate to reach out. It's really important for us to understand the value that we're providing for you. Use the thumbs up or thumbs down—was it good, was it helpful or not? We review that internally. What division was it not helpful for? Why wasn't it helpful? What information should we be surfacing?

22:49 - I know it seems like it's hiding in this corner here, but if you have time during your review process, if you can click thumbs up or thumbs down, that would be super helpful for us to make sure that we're continuously building something that you guys like.

23:04 - I'll leave it open for questions now. Jess, if we have any in the chat or if anyone wants to speak, go for it.

23:13 - Yeah, for sure. I definitely encourage more people to pop in some questions. I'll go in order. The first one is: Will Part3 have a directory over time where alternatives can be suggested due to long lead times or availability of the specified items?

23:30 - I don't know if we could have a directory to give that kind of advice because spec writers are super qualified for that. One thing that we have been talking about internally is how we can create this community. We have so many customers that work on very similar project types, and everyone uses very similar products. Perhaps we can create that community where people can say, "Does anyone have an alternate for this? Has anyone ever worked on this detail?" You guys can share with each other. The economic drivers for this, like when drywall wasn't available or masonry was really short, what are those things that other firms are doing? I don't know if we would ever be in the position to propose alternates—I don't want to become a consultant for projects—but I think it's really important for you guys to be able to share and leverage that knowledge from each other. As we grow, making that community could be something really powerful.

24:33 - Awesome. The next question is: Can Part3 work with GC submittals via Procore? It seems like a lot of GCs are on Procore.

24:41 - Yes, definitely. If you have this connected to Procore, you're still going to get all the exact same AI prompts. When a submittal comes in from Procore, when you add it to your workflow—which is that standard flow that we have right now—step one, you're pulling in your attachment. You'll get all the same AI hints, and you'll have those same additional hints in the top right corner.

25:04 - So, you can enable it. My only suggestion there is that you probably wouldn't want to populate your logs when you upload your spec because that will muddy the waters. In a Procore case, the GC is taking the lead on the submittal, so I wouldn't generate the logs. I would just enable the submittal system so that you get those hints when you pull in your attachments.

25:26 - Will we be sharing a recording of this presentation?

25:30 - Yes, we will be. We have a YouTube channel that we've been trying to throw them up on, so we'll keep posting things there, and then we can share it.

25:40 - Awesome. That's all the questions in the chat so far. We still have a couple of minutes if people want to get some more in.

25:47 - Awesome. I think, first of all, I do want to say we really appreciate it. We had some customers in Alpha as we're going through, and we're, you know, submitting. We're asking people for door hardware schedules, any samples that you feel comfortable giving us. That would be amazing. So you can use the question mark down here, drop us a link, send me a copy of your documents, your drawings. I know you can delete any project confidential information, but anything that you have for us is super helpful. It's the way that we can build these things and make sure that they're working well, and people are getting the results that we want them to get. We also have some help docs here.

26:37 - Oh, sorry, I just gonna say we had a few more questions come in whenever you have a second.

26:43 - Oh, yeah, cool. Let's do it. If you ever need to find help docs on this, you can click here. And then, just as a general FYI, clicking the title opens it up into the big area, and you can see what's going on.

26:55 - Awesome. Ted has a two-parter question: is the feature live already, will it be launched in the next few days, and are you still working on it, i.e., improving it, or will it rely on further feedback from your customers?

27:10 - Yes, so it's already live. If you go into your project settings now, in the general area, you will see the ability to upload your project manuals. As with everything in Part3, we're always going to continue improving it and enhancing it. Whether or not it's reliability, adding more prompts, and we do want that feedback. So again, the thumbs up, thumbs down, any written feedback that you have for us. For example, if you think in Division 08 it would really be great if you guys could surface this information. If you think it's common in that division or you think that's a gap that we have, give us that feedback because it's what we have to go on, right? We don't want to make assumptions about what's helpful, so make sure you let us know.

27:57 - Michael's got what looks like a feature suggestion, perhaps: can we add a workflow that hints at who needs to review? For example, RTU submittal should be reviewed by architect, mechanical engineer, structural, and electrical, but carpet submittal would be reviewed only by interior and architect.

28:12 - Yeah, that's a really good idea. Noted.

28:20 - Awesome, that's it from the chat? That's it.

28:23 - Okay, cool. I left enough time for a long session, but I think we just really want to iterate that we're here, we are improving things, and we want to use AI in a meaningful way. So I appreciate everyone joining the call, taking time over your lunch, breakfast, wherever you are in the world. But yeah, thank you so much for joining. We'll send a follow-up email with the recording shortly. Thank you, everyone.

28:54 - Thanks. Bye.