Drawboard Projects & AECOM Qatar : A Case Study

Scott Cooper on

AECOM Qatar case study

AECOM is a large multinational engineering firm, providing design, consulting, construction and management services to a wide range of clients in a variety of industries.

The AECOM office in Doha, Qatar is using Drawboard Projects, formerly Bullclip, to improve its design process across all civil and infrastructure projects. The team recently won an AECOM regional innovation award for implementing a paperless design process with Drawboard Projects at its core.

The problem

On average, large projects for the Doha office consist of in excess of 7,000 drawings, not including duplications made across revisions and for review. Engineering time was being wasted in rework, administration, follow ups and pointless paper related problems.

AECOM discovered Drawboard Projects after determining that a solution was needed to reduce paper usage in the office.

The Doha team identified that their existing PDF solutions were cumbersome and in fact increased time to delivery.

With less paper being used and timelines shortened In just one month, a Drawboard Projects pilot allowed AECOM to significantly reduce printing within its Doha head office.

The AECOM teams in Doha use the Projects Windows 10 app on Surface Studios to digitally mark up design packs and complete the design, check print, squad check and multi-disciplinary approval processes. Utilizing Projects individualized markup layers with digital ink, all engineering disciplines are now capable of simultaneously commenting on drawings, instead of having to complete a traditional discipline by discipline squad check process.

By working in parallel rather than in series, Projects helps make a slow sequential process more efficient and drastically reduces the squad checking timeline.

Increased quality of work

An added benefit of using Bullclip for digital design review has been an increased attention to detail.

All drawing development revisions from first sketch to the final approved drawing are easily accessible, allowing users to track who made which comment, and when. The markup process has become fully transparent and accountable for all participants involved.

An intuitive platform is a productive platform

Drawboard Projects was implemented in the AECOM Doha office with virtually no training.

“One of the most enjoyable aspects of implementing the initiative has been watching team members become excited about using the new system. Team members seem to have become more engaged with their work and with each other, with comments such as “This actually makes the checking procedure enjoyable”.”

James McCormick, Senior Engineer at AECOM

Same process, better results James also commented “the beauty of the Projects app is that the team can follow the same checking procedure but avoid printing and increase delivery efficiency through enhanced collaboration”. Projects represents a new and improved way of working within an existing process at AECOM.

Inter-office, region-wide

AECOM is now looking to expand Projects adoption to other offices, as well as external client review cycles within Projects. Inter-company collaboration would take place with real-time Projects markups tracked to specific users, improving workflow efficiency and ultimately bringing benefit to the client.

AECOM is also exploring on-site markups with Projects iOS and Windows 10 apps to enhance collaboration between site and office teams.


Drawboard Projects brings handwritten markup to a cloud based team platform accessible on Windows 10, any web browser and iOS. Project teams can see everyone’s markups and annotations in real-time on any PDF drawing or document, wherever they are in the world.

Projects is powered by a document management system that is the first of its kind, eliminating the need to print, deal with version control problems, and use disparate systems for markup control.