We all know what Redlines are. Either digitally or by hand, someone is reviewing a set of drawings and marking them up to be corrected. Redlines are a critical part of the chain of command. A younger staff member can do a set of drawings or model a building and the project architect or some other experienced coworker will review them. Mistakes are caught, corrections are made, and beautiful, coordinated, and accurate drawings are produced. But there is another kind of mark-ups that is much less effective. To the causal observer these two types look the same. But they are not. In fact the two are almost polar opposites.
I hate pinklines. They drive me crazy. What exactly is a pinkline? There are many variants, but most can be boiled down to this:
Unnecessary graphic corrections
The beauty of modeling in 3D is that you can better understand the building as a holistic design. You aren’t designing a plan isolated from a section or the east interior elevation of the dining room disconnected from the north elevation. Views wrap corners. As someone designing with ArchiCAD or just producing documents with ArchiCAD this is great. Drawings are inherently coordinated and you are constantly aware of the rest of the design as you focus in on specific areas. But there is a drawback. If you spend 10 hours on an ArchiCAD model you might have partially developed plans, sections, and elevations. If you spend 10 hours doing 2D production (hand or computer) you might have a developed plan. I use italics because all of us BIM users know that that 2D plan is full of lies, errors, omissions, and impossibilities. To the non-BIM project architect the 10 hr 2D plan is comfortable. It looks pretty and they can focus on just it. But the 10 hr printed set of a BIM can look very ugly. But it looks ugly because it doesn’t hide the unknowns. It doesn’t fake. It is more true to the level of work and the level of knowledge of the design. And here lies a pinkline trap. Instead of noting the drawings to clarify the design, focus is put on marking up lineweights, object visibility, overlapping elements, etc. All the things that will be fixed as the drawings are developed. All the things that are INCONSEQUENTIAL to the development of the project at this given time.
Fortunately many of these triggers of pinklining can be minimized or avoided. In the end, someone who is a consummate pinkliner will always find ways to pinkline. But if the pitfalls of early BIM presentation can be avoided (I’ll save that for other blog posts – The Ugly Trap), then one can more easily fight back against the pinkliner.
Avoidance of Liability and Responsibility
In many ways, this is the cause of the pinkliner who focuses on unnecessary graphic corrections. They are running the project, or at least responsible for correcting the drawings, but afraid of or refuse to make the necessary corrections. So instead of reviewing the flashing detail or answering the questions from the production staff, they make a show of being in charge by focusing on non-issues.
Who’s got some stories to share? Leave a comment or e-mail me and I’ll share your story anonymously. I’ve got too many to count.