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Canon Solutions America - 5/14/2013

Canon Solutions America Provides Guidance to the Construction Industry

Industry estimates claim that 10-30% of all building project costs can be attributed to waste, such as wasted labor time, wasted materials, inaccurate 
estimates, field change orders and unnecessary litigation1. However, there is an effective solution to this problem that is often overlooked by 
construction industry professionals - the use of color in construction documents.

Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A, Inc., outlines below how a simple change to color construction documents 
can benefit construction industry professionals in three critical areas.

Operating Costs – Requests for Information (RFI) Management
According to a report by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), general contractors waste approximately $0.12 per square foot 
and $.016 per square foot during the design and construction phases of building, respectively, with RFI management2. However, construction 
workflows that leverage color throughout the design and construction phases can reduce costs for traditional design-bid-build projects. 

The improvements in collaboration gained through reduced RFIs and change orders actually outweigh the cost of color printing. Each incremental 
dollar invested in color printing can yield $4 in savings for a given project. These savings are a direct result of the use of higher-quality color 
construction documentation during the estimation, bidding and construction phases of building where collaboration involves multiple stakeholders.

Project Costs – Estimation Cost Contingencies 
General contractors typically enter the building project well after the project owner has approved the building designs. This often results in built-in 
contingency costs by contractors and subcontractors to mitigate the risk of insufficient design details. In fact, for moderately complex building 
projects, contingencies of 10 to 20 percent are considered common without the use of color 2D construction documents3.  It stands to reason that 
if contingencies could be reduced – by improving the speed and accuracy of estimating – general contractors would have an opportunity to win more 
business and increase their revenues. 

By incorporating color construction documentation during the planning and bidding phase of a project, the total number of estimation cost contingencies 
can be reduced.  Color allows for more accurate coordination and compliance review, as well as savings from more accurate coordination of services 
(i.e. mechanical, electrical and plumbing). Providing clear, color-coded construction drawings to subcontractors can also result in more accurate job 
costing and lower bids by subcontractors. 

Project Turn-Around Time – Shorter Project Schedules Delivered Under Budget 
Incorporating more accurate color construction documentation can help to ensure that communication between all stakeholders is improved, while 
also increasing value to the owner, reducing waste and maximizing efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication and construction. Additionally, 
the ability to accelerate project schedules through improved communication helps to reduce errors and omissions, enabling more continuous 
throughput of subcontractors and supplier assignments. Depending on the project, general contractors stand to benefit financially through project 
bonuses for completing project milestones early or under budget. 

Applying color construction documents to design-bid-build projects presents a significant near-term opportunity for improving project collaboration and 
reducing project-related waste. Construction industry professionals also stand to achieve quantifiable savings and grow their revenues by reducing 
RFIs, estimating contingencies and project schedules by making a change to color.

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