Mobile technologies for improved collaboration on construction sites
journal contributionposted on 17.08.2009, 15:40 by Shabbir Ahsan, Ashraf El-HamalawiAshraf El-Hamalawi, Dino Bouchlaghem, Salman Ahmad
There has been increased efforts in the introduction of Information and Communication technologies (ICT) in construction to support collaboration. However there is still little focus on support for mobile users on construction sites. It can be argued that it is often on the construction site that ICT tools can offer the greatest benefits as they can enable the timely collection of information and knowledge during the build process. Convergence in networks, the merging of voice, video and data provides increased opportunities for mobile workers, allowing for a greater array of information to be shared to support collaboration on site. This paper looks at convergence, as well as other technologies including mobile computing, speech recognition and the use of multimedia content to support the construction worker on site and ensure a smooth decision making process. The paper describes several construction case studies, including the Heathrow Terminal 5 project, where decision making processes were examined, along with ICT usage. A scenario illustrating the use of advanced ICT on site was developed to gather requirements for a technical solution which could support the decision making process, and ultimately collaboration during construction. Requirements for an ICT support system were defined with the use of the case studies and scenario analysis, the proposed solution which combines many of the latest advances in ICT in a single system is then presented. It is explained and demonstrated that this could support the decision making process by allowing more information to be accessed and shared from the construction site. The use of advanced communication technologies such as convergence and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) can ensure that audio information can be retrieved along with other project data to provide a clearer more fluid decision making process where all relevant project members can easily be up to date with project progress.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering