The Ins and Outs of Digital Signing in AEC

Digital signatures are taking off especially in high-volume signing applications such as banking and insurance documents, and electronic notarization is becoming more common, thanks to government regulations such as The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA).  However, even as the AEC industry works to add efficiency and security with digital workflows, the process of applying signatures, seals, and stamps remains primarily paper-bound. Printing a page each time a signature is needed, then converting back to a digital file to send it, clearly is inefficient and impractical for many large-scale documents. In contrast, the use of digital signatures allows files to be kept online throughout the entire project, saving significant time, money, and resources. This article summarizes the many benefits of going paperless, explains the technology behind digital signatures that makes them so secure, clarifies the difference between certifying and approval digital signatures as used in AEC, and presents two case studies of organizations that have switched to digital signatures.