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Implementing Bluebeam Software in Architectural Engineering Design Courses

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Architectural Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Divisions

Architectural Engineering and Construction Engineering

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Paper Authors

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Michael James Deigert P.E. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo


Anahid Behrouzi California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Anahid Behrouzi is an assistant professor of architectural engineering at California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo. She has been involved with STEM education beginning in 2003 as a volunteer and summer instructor with the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science. She has been engaged with undergraduate/graduate course delivery in the topic areas of engineering problem-solving, structural engineering, and reinforced concrete design at North Carolina State University (2008-2011), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2012-2015), Tufts University (2015-2016), and Cal Poly - SLO (2016-present). She has a BS in civil engineering and BA in Spanish language & literature from North Carolina State University, and a MS/PhD in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Pamalee A. Brady California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Pamalee Brady is a Professor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She teaches courses in structural systems, concrete, steel and wood design as well as structural engineering courses for architecture and construction management students. Prior to joining the faculty at Cal Poly she worked in applied research at the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois. She is a member of the Education Committee of the ASCE Forensic Engineering Division. Her research is in the areas of engineering education, including engineering case studies in undergraduate education as well as early education to promote interest in engineering.

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A critical aspect of structural engineering education is helping students develop effective electronic graphical communication skills to convey their design solutions. Many undergraduate civil and architectural engineering programs address this at the document creation stage by teaching Autodesk AutoCAD or Revit to create 2-D or 3-D structural design files. However, students tend to have limited exposure to commercial software for document management and markup that allows for coordination between the engineer, architect, and contractor teams. Bluebeam Revu is one such software that has emerged as an industry standard for annotation and markup of engineering design documents.

Previous educational studies on the use of Bluebeam have been in construction management courses where students practice plan reading. The main motivation for instructors to incorporate this software in their classes is to expose students to technology they will encounter as practitioners, especially significant since contractors view these drawings as a legal description of their scope of work. Therefore, the production and interpretation of the documents requires that they exhibit a high level of accuracy, specificity, and clarity.

This paper focuses on the use of Bluebeam markup and grading in architectural engineering courses to enable communication between faculty and students during the iterative structural design process. The paper provides sample student hand calculations, sketches, and CAD structural drawings with Bluebeam markups provided by practitioner faculty. This markup describes and models how the student might implement necessary design changes.

Feedback collected via interviews of course graders, surveys of students, and faculty co-authors is included and illustrates that the use of Bluebeam markup in architectural engineering courses provides a meaningful and efficient review during the development of a structural design solution. The goal of this paper is to show instructors how to integrate Bluebeam into a course, beyond plan reading activities. Faculty will thus be equipped to educate students on a software commonly used in structural design firms for quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) and communication between the design and construction disciplines.

Deigert, M. J., & Behrouzi, A., & Brady, P. A. (2020, June), Implementing Bluebeam Software in Architectural Engineering Design Courses Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34779

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