Portfolio PDF Digital Delivery

I am working on a project submittal in District 4 and spoke with Joseph Williams about the usage of a portfolio pdf in a digital delivery submittal. This process is especially helpful when there are a large number of PE's signing the plans. Below are some notes I took on the conversation. I just wanted to start a discussion on this method and try to show how to do it and the merits of doing so.

  • When a PE signs a pdf, they are actually signing all the sheets in the pdf
    • This is because Adobe doesn't let them sign individual sheets, just the pdf.
  • The idea of the portfolio pdf is to have each PE sign a pdf of only the files that they need to sign
  • Then those pdfs would be compiled into a portfolio pdf
  • This eliminates the need to have everyone sign one pdf and also eliminates the possibility of one of them messing it up.
  • The problem I have is that I have random sheets in the middle of my roadway set that need to be signed by other PE's.
    • For example, PE Roadway would sign sheets 1-57 EXCEPT
      • PE Drainage signs sheet 7
      • PE Geotech signs sheet 20
    • In order for the portfolio method to work, I would have to break this one pdf up into 5 different ones
      • 1 for PE Roadway, pgs 1-6
      • 1 for PE Drainage, pg7
      • 1 for PE Roadway, pgs 8-19
      • 1 for PE Geotech, pg 20
      • 1 for PE Roadway, pgs 21-57
    • Instead of doing that, I would make my one pdf with all the roadway sheets.
      • I would then add a signature sheet to that pdf with those three PE's on it.
      • They would all then sign and seal that pdf
      • That pdf would go into the portfolio
    • The structures plans also have three PE's; PE Structures, PE Drainage, and PE Geotech
      • I would again create one pdf of these plans, with a signature sheet with those three PE's
      • They would all sign that pdf.
      • That pdf would go into the portfolio.
    • Any additional component sets would be their own standalone pdfs.
      • They would not have a signature sheet as they would one be signed by one PE.
      • Each component set would go into the portfolio.
  • This way, if there is an issue with something, we have broken up the set into as many pieces as possible so that when we need to sign and seal again, its only sent out to those need to sign and seal that particular pdf.
  • This is sort of a hybrid of the method described by Joseph
  • He went a little further and actually renumbered the sheets in the sets and put them at the end.
    • Back to the original example of the roadway plans from 1-57
      • PE Drainage pg 7 would be renumbered to DR-1 (or something) and placed at the end of the set.
      • PE Geotech pg 20 would be renumbered to G-1 (or something) and placed at the end of the set.
      • Renumber the roadway set 1-55
      • Now each PE only has one pdf to sign
    • The same could be done with the structures set.
  • The only problem with this is would the DOT accept our sheet numbering and locating those sheets at the end of the set?
  • This would be something to discuss with the FDOT PM
  • This would definitely make things easier if any changes arise, but then certain sheets would not be where the need to be as per the PPM
  • Joseph has had success with this, but he is in-house DOT.
  • I feel they would not be so kind to a consultant trying that.
  • This is going to be a tough sell. It is arguable that the process could be streamlined a bit for the revisions but we may have to wait until better tools are developed by Adobe.

    If we had the ability to sign multiple PDF’s at the same time an alternate version of this could be a Portfolio with each sheet as a separate PDF. Harkening back to the time of Electronic Delivery!

  • Yes I think the issue is that when a PE signs a pdf, they are signing the WHOLE pdf. That is probably the reason for the signature sheet. I think this method could be useful when there are many component sets that are only signed by one PE. That way they can sign just that set and there is no need for them to be involved with the signature sheet.

    But plan sets that have multiple PE's signing is more difficult, especially when there are random sheets by different PE's in the middle of a long line of sheets for another PE. The signature sheets is needed here, but just for that component.

    At the very least, you can limit the number of PE's signing one pdf and hopefully avoid the issues of having to track everyone down again if one person needs to make a change. Changes right before submittal always happen and its easier to get just the PE's in that particular component to sign as opposed to every PE in the whole project.

    Just something to consider. I guess some folks in DOT are already doing this for their internal projects.

    Zachary Billings, P.E.

    Senior Roadway Engineer (Licensed in FL and MI)

    CONSOR Engineers, LLC

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