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Digital Signatures Survey and Best Practices Guide

This is the second part of a three-part Fiatech initiative designed to identify, remove, and/or reduce barriers to effective adoption, approval, and use of digital signatures and seals in the construction industry, including by government regulators.

This project follows up on “A Practical Deployment Strategy for Digital Signatures and Seals in Fully Electronic AEC Processes,” which identified the benefits of and the process involved in adopting use of digital signatures by owners and AEC firms. That Fiatech report, completed in April 2012, can be found at here.

In Phase II of this effort, the Fiatech project team has designed and issued a survey for identifying current use of digital signatures by owners and AEC firms. Based upon survey input, the project team will conduct follow-up interviews to identify and produce a guide to best practices. The guide will be distributed by Fiatech to owners, AEC firms, and regulators.


The objective of this project is to increase effectiveness and efficiency in building design, construction, and regulatory processes by identifying and eliminating barriers to expanded use and advancing the legal recognition of digital signatures and seals. An additional objective is to bring design, construction, and regulatory systems fully into the digital age, which will save time and resources.

Among the documented savings from using digital signatures are:

  • On average, digital signatures reduce the time it takes to sign documentsby 30 percent.
  • Shipping costs also are reduced. The AEC industry spends an estimated $500 million annually moving plans from one discipline to another via paper courier services.
  • One large U. S. engineering and project management firm found digital signatures applied to a single project process saved over $100,000 per year over wet signatures. Savings came from reduced cycle times for that process, and from reducing delivery time from weeks to minutes.


This project is open for Fiatech member participation. The survey instrument is posted to the Survey Monkey Site, and survey feedback will be used by the project team to draft the text of a “Best Practices Guide.” Opportunities exist for Fiatech members not currently involved in the project to join the project team in drafting and producing the guide.

Fiatech Staff Project Manager

Bob Wible, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Participating Companies

CCC, Hatch, Avolve Software, Target, AIA, AVEVA, Solibri, and CH2M.


Survey results and “Best Practices Guide”

Completion Date

July 2017