Opportunities and challenges for location aware computing in the construction industry

This paper describes the opportunities for location aware computing to enhance information capture and use within the construction industry. The construction industry is characterized as being slow to take up innovative mobile ICT, despite the highly mobile workforce who must collaborate with a range of on and off-site personnel, and make use of large volumes of information. Based on fieldwork and workshop activities within COMIT (a large-scale mobile IT project within the construction industry), the information used within two key business processes – health and safety audits, and site design problem resolution – is outlined, and the opportunities for support by location aware computing discussed. Some potential challenges are also identified, as is the need to understand how to provide real value (as opposed to just information) to the end user.