I have noticed a trend of adding more color to the Iowa DOT plans. Now that the IDOT does not print paper copies of plans there is less inhibition about adding color to a plan without the cost of printing in color. This seems to be especially true of plans produced by Office of Design rather than by county engineers or consultants. I think the trend will continue because the plans have long been produced on CAD systems with their own set of colored templates that are displayed on the designer's screen.
So what does this mean for contractors? You can still print the plans in black and white at your expense. Or print in color for more money. The trend in construction is to view plans on a screen either with a laptop out on the job or on a big monitor in the trailer. DOT plans have always been hard to read with small printing. I welcome the idea of zooming in on the details on a monitor. Plus the colors represent the same thing from plan to plan (Red = concrete, Brown = rebar, Green = dimension lines.)
How have you used digital plans on the job? Add your response to this blog post.