Construction Management Engineering

Tracking Construction Projects Using Smart Phones

tracking projects

Nowadays, it can be claimed that smartphones are handled by all project members starting from the labors to the project managers. In 2012, a survey conducted by engineering new-records reveals that 93% of random samples of general contractors and 87% of subcontractors are now using mobile devices on their job sites to boost job site productivity. There are several aspects of improvement in the productivity of onsite operations. Any onsite information management system should have the following characteristics:

1) enable project monitoring capabilities,

2) provide easy access to relevant information so that onsite resources could be managed more effectively, and

3) function in near real-time to share information and facilitate interactions among project participants.

There are several aspects for improvement in the productivity of onsite operations. The information management system must empower project monitoring abilities, facilitate interactions among project participants in real-time of project execution, and share information. Progress tracking relies on periodical reports, which requires manual data collection and entails frequent transcription that affects the progress estimations. Moreover, Engineers rely on the 2D drawings or 3D drawings during the project’s lifecycle which makes a gap between the real and digital environment. Recent researchers exert efforts on mixing virtual information with the real environment to decrease this gap. Most of Architectural, Engineering, and Construction meetings are spent on explaining and describing the rationale behind the decision-making process and infrequently on value-adding tasks as evaluating and predicting the effects of a decision on the project. Moreover, low effectiveness rates on these decision-making tasks are reported. The process of understanding projects’ drawings, documents, specifications, etc. takes place during the project’s lifecycle that could result in defects in design and rework in construction. The article’s objective is to automate construction projects tracking processes to facilitate data collection, entail frequent transcriptions.

As a step towards improving productivity on site, it is required to perform a beneficial reporting system to provide the opportunity for project management to detect the performance deviations. However, a typical practice for progress tracking mostly depends on supervisors’ daily or weekly reports, which involve intensive manual data collection and entail frequent transcription or data entry errors. Field engineers and/or superintendents along with 2D as-planned drawings, project specifications, and construction details to review the progress achieved by that date then study these reports. After that, they study the construction schedule to identify the work planned to be done by that date. This requires a significant amount of manual work that may affect the quality of the progress estimations.

To overcome such limitations, the world trend moves towards improving construction monitoring by using standard smartphones. The standard of most smartphones can be classified into Global Positioning System, High-resolution color touch screen, sensors, camera, and high-speed data transfer. Therefore, many companies started to exploit smartphones using customized developed applications, commercial applications, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Building Information Modelling (BIM), and more technologies for stronger reporting systems that will allow stronger project management.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) became a well-known term in the construction industry. The Building Information Model was defined as a three-dimensional digital representation of a building and its intrinsic characteristic. It consists of intelligent building components which include data attributes and parametric rules for each object. BIM has acquired global attention in the construction field and related societies in Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Facilities Management (AEC/FM). Adopting new technologies with BIM in the field of construction increases efficiency and productivity.

Construction Management Software for Builders and Contractors

BIM construction management and scheduling tools are mainly used in clash detection, model and spatial coordination, and scheduling. Various BIM tools are available as shown below:

1.Navisworks Manage

The Developer is Autodesk,” Autodesk, Inc. is an American multinational software corporation that makes software services for the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, education, and entertainment industries.”

BIM Use:

  • Clash detection
  • Scheduling
  • Coordination

Developer Web Link: www.autodesk.com

2.ProjectWise Navigator

The Developer is Bently, “Bentley Systems, Incorporated, is an American-based software development company that develops, manufactures, licenses, sells, and supports computer software and services for the design, construction, and operation of infrastructure.”

BIM Use:

  • Clash detection
  • Scheduling
  • Coordination

Developer Web Link: www.bently.com

3.Visual 4D Simulation

The Developer is Innovaya, “Innovaya provides innovative software technologies for the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries. These technologies, based on building information models (BIM), help AEC firms to maximize the potential of computer tools in design and construction processes. Companies that wish to gain advantages in today’s ever-competitive AEC markets will find Innovaya solutions beneficial.”

BIM Use:

  • Scheduling
  • Coordination

Developer Web Link: www.innovaya.com

4.Vico Office

The Developer is Vico Software, “Trimble Vico Office is the integrated platform where construction estimating, scheduling and design management all come together.”

BIM Use:

  • Scheduling
  • Coordination
  • Cost estimation
  • Quantity take-off

Developer Web Link: www.vicosoftware.com

5.Solibri Model Checker

The Developer is Solibri, “Solibri, Inc. develops and markets Quality Assurance solutions for AECO field that improve the quality of Building Information Modeling (BIM).”

BIM Use:

  • Clash detection
  • Coordination
  • Quantity take-off
  • Design review

Developer Web Link: www.solibri.com

Building Information Modeling usage and awareness has been straightforward. According to the fifth NBS National BIM Report in 2015 for UK construction professionals including architects, engineers, surveyors, and contractors.

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