Research Outline

Digital Transformation and Document Management in AEC


Determine how much time (as a percent) is spent on email and spreadsheets per person at an AEC company that uses separate emails and spreadsheets to track project processes. This process tends to create design conflicts and disagreements between parties involved, thus slowing down progress. Then, determine how much time would be saved per person in an AEC company that offers interdisciplinary coordination if an AEC app were created that offered cloud centralization (i.e. document management, design, communications, etc.), within a single platform. This data will be used to prove that such an app would be a time saver.

Early Findings

AEC Tool Case Study: cove.tool

  • According to a case study analysis of the amount of time saved by AECs using cove.tool, the average user saves 220 hours and $44,000 per project with the building performance simulation tool.
  • On average, AECs take between 2-4 hours to collect site details using external applications such as Google Maps and GIS, followed by an additional 4 hours for digital site replication.
  • Most optimization tools for AEC require 20-30 minutes for calculating each individual design iteration.

Email Time Consumption

  • The average professional services firm loses approximately $50,000 per employee, per year as a result of untracked time spent on email.
  • Employees spend between 2-3 hours per day (or 20-30% of the business day) managing emails.

Summary of Early Findings

Within our first hour of research, we were able to locate a case study detailing time saved from an alternative centralized AEC tool, cove.tool. This study offered a comparative analysis of time average AEC firms spend on various project tasks, followed by time saved using the cove.tool app. We were also able to locate various statistics detailing how much time employees from AEC firms spend on emails each day. Our initial research efforts indicate that data on this topic is rather niche, and specific industry studies stating how much time AEC firms spend on decentralized email and design processes may not be explicitly available. However, additional case studies of similar AEC tools or metrics of time spent on individual project processes, such as email and communications, marketing, design review, and more may be applicable and available. We are confident that through the proposals suggested below, we can offer additional findings that may prove a centralized AEC coordination app could indeed be a time saver.