Construction Management Technology

 

Construction Management Assignment

Introduction 

It has been researched that the technology can productively upgrade the integration in the industry of construction. The nature of the market of construction and the recreated demand for the productivity and the quality in the industry of construction are creating a problem of integration more difficult. The construction procedures and functions of the organization can be redesigned in order to attain the integration of various activities of the construction. Technology has become important in the industry of construction because of the necessity of team work, the degree of coordination, flexibility and vigorous nature of various processes of construction. The industry of construction can effectively use communication, accessibility of data and the various systems which are designed in order to process the data and this further helps in achieving integration. It has been researched that the commitment of the management and their quality of leadership helps in the effective implementation of the technologies in the construction industry.  The construction organization should understand the various factors which impacts the business organizations i.e. internal and external while implementing the technology (Harris et al, 2013). Therefore, implementation of technology is not only a technical refinement, but it is a managerial decision which includes the re-engineering of various operations and functions of the construction industry. Further, the report will help in understanding the impact of technologies in the construction management.

Technological Advancement 

The technological advancement has assisted the various organizations in order to save cost and time during the process of production, and this has been a benefit for the organizations. Earlier the organizations don't have enough budget to increase the profitability, but now with the help of technology, the organizations of construction industry can achieve the competitive advantage by increasing the business value. The technology impacts the construction management in both ways i.e. positive and negative. Further, there are some technologies which are most commonly used in the organizations. The technologies are as follows:-
•    Building Information Modelling 
BIM i.e. Building Information Modelling is understood as the 3D digital model of the building. This model helps in the visualization of the building. A model of BIM includes the virtual counterparts of the parts of the building. The various attributes of the digital specimen of the elements of the building like walls, doors, windows, stairs, etc. that enable to vitalize the building and help in understanding the behavior in an environment of the computer before the actual process starts. There is an application of BIM which can be installed in the mobile devices of the operators as they are using the BIM model more frequently in order to see the visualization. The BIM model helps in creating a good visualization of a thing which is going to be build. It gives a clear idea that how it will look after it gets completed. This helps in comparing the actual design with the alternatives in order to get the best and cost effective result (Chen et al, 2014). This also helps in giving an idea to the client that how the project will look after it gets completed and they can tell the changes accordingly if required. The data in BIM model is saved in the central place, and if any changes are made then, the entire model gets modified automatically like the change in the plans of floors, elevations, etc. This helps in making the documentation faster and also gives the quality assurance by developing the coordination of various views.
•    Barcode Readers 
Barcode reader is an electronic device which can read the printed barcodes. It is made up of a very light source i.e. a lens and a sensor that transforms the impulses of optical to the electrical impulses. The barcode readers contain the circuitry of the decoder which analyzes the image data of barcode which is given by the sensor and then the content of the barcode is sent to the port of the scanner's output. The barcode readers intervene the data into numbers, so it is very important that the data is sent to a computer in order to get it converted into an understandable data. The scanners of the barcode get connected to a computer through the port of the keyboard, port of the serial, interface device i.e. wedge, etc. It works through the light beam over the barcode and measures the amount of light which is reflected back. The scanner then transforms the energy of light into the energy of electricity which is further transformed to data through the decoder and is being forwarded to the computer. The types of barcode readers are scanners of the slot which is used to scan the bar codes which are available on the cards of identification, devices of the charge-couple helps in finding the errors during the scanning of barcodes, pen wands known for the minimum cost and the durability, scanners of the image uses the video camera in order to get the barcode’s image and then decodes it, the laser scanners makes the use of lenses and mirror’s system to enable the scanner in order to read the barcode (Gelay et al, 2016).
•    GPS Locator Devices 
GPS stands for Global Positioning System and the GPS tracking is the location’s surveillance in order to trace the location of an object. It is a constellation of 24 satellites that makes possible for the people in order to refine their locations geographically. The equipment of GPS is very cost effective so that everybody can get a GPS in order to access it on a tablet, smartphone or by using the device of GPS navigation. GPS tracking is priceless for the personnel of military, police, the businesses of courier service, etc. The systems of automatic vehicle locator are also used. The systems of AVL contains the vehicle's network which is equipped with a receiver of mobile radio i.e. GPS receiver, modem, and antenna. Further, the network gets connected with a base radio that includes the computer station and the interface and receiver of GPS. The systems of AVL are used to maximize the accountability of personnel and also increase the efficiency of a dispatching process of a company with the help of communication and tracking. The organizations mostly use the GPS devices in the smartphones in order to track the location of an employee. GPS locator devices are also used by the government, advertisers, stalkers, hackers, etc. in order to track the locations of the end users (Obradovich, M. L., 2016). 
•    Radio Frequency Identification 
Radio frequency identification is shortly known as RFID. It is referred to the electronic devices which include the antenna and a small chip. The chip has the capacity to carry 3,000 bytes of data. The purpose of RFID device is similar to the purpose of the barcode readers. The RFID device is scanned in order to retrieve the information of identification. The advantage of RFID device is that it doesn’t require to be placed precisely to the scanner. As it is very important that the ATM and credit cards are swiped with the help of a reader. For example, the groceries which are purchased are placed in a bag, and the bag is further placed on the scanner. RFID device will help in calculating a number of total purchases. This technology is available more than forty years but there was the problem of lack of standards, and because of this, the technology was not so popular earlier. Various organizations invested in this technology in order to trace the items. There are some problems with the device of RFID such as the problem of reader and tag collision. The reader collision is that when two or more reader’s signal overlap (Lavedas, T.G., 2012). The problem of tag collision is that when multiple tags are available in an area. But the read time is fast, so it has become easy for the vendors to develop such a system that will enable to tags to respond one by one.

Technological Advancement and Construction Management 

The technological advancement is impacting the construction industry in a positive way as it is helping the companies in developing efficiency and effectiveness in the operation of day-to-day activities. The technological advancement is continuously transforming the landscape of the industry of construction. It is very important that the companies should use these technologies in order to sustain in the competitive world and this will further help in increasing productivity and business value. There are some technologies which are commonly used in the construction management and how they are impacting the construction management (Electrical, J., 2016). The technologies are given below:-
•    BIM and Construction Management 
Building information modeling helps the complete project to be arranged, handled and implemented in one location. It is taking the industry of construction to the 21st century. Earlier multiple drawings were made and many hours were spend over the process of the light table. But now BIM has made it very easy for the construction industry. In the BIM model, the coordination gets started at the first phase of the process. The first step helps in bringing all the parties together. This makes the opportunity cost effective, and it takes less time. Building information model is basically a 3D file that embodies the various elements which are required to make a building. BIM is similar to the document of cloud-stored text that enables people to create view edits. The BIM model is known as the process of integrative design. The model of BIM has the capability to be entrenched with data like a spreadsheet or database (Hardin et al, 2015). This data is further generated when the process of design gets started to like the price of a particular material, dimensions of the wall, etc. Earlier the engineers of the construction industry had to calculate the cost every time when they made changes or added something. BIM model made it easy for example, as the engineers draw the walls within the model then they will be able to get the required information related to the walls without even calculating like length, area, cost, etc. Building information modeling helps the team of engineers remains coordinated and integrated till the project gets completed.
•    Barcode Readers and Construction Management
Barcode readers are becoming very essential in the industry of construction as it is very necessary to trace the materials, equipment, etc. The clients of the construction are using the barcode readers for the various activities like the materials that are received at the site of a job, the materials which are used on the job, the transfers of material, the usage of equipment and the fueling, scanning of the employee badge, etc. Barcode readers are very beneficial for the construction industry as it reduces the number of errors as compare to the data which is entered manually. The scan of the barcode is very reliable and takes very less time in entering the data. The scanning system of the barcode readers has become very important for the data of integrity in the construction industry as it is essential to scan the movements of each and every item. For example, the integrated camera is used in the organization which has equipment of consumer grade and requires the data entry of barcode occasionally (Wu et al, 2013). Therefore, the barcode readers have become essential in the construction industry as it makes the entries of data very easy as compared to manual data entering. It is very important to track each and every movement of the material and equipment, and the barcode readers make it easy to track.
•    GPS Locator Devices and construction Management 
GPS locator device is the very valuable tool for the businesses of the construction industry as it helps in managing the expensive machinery like cranes, equipment of earth moving, mobiles, trucks and the service vehicles. Therefore, the GPS locator device is used in every type of asset in order to track them like compressors and generators. The construction industries use the GPS locator device by installing it on the asset, and the device is roughly handled and is used in any type of temperature and sometimes the device uses the power source of equipment and sometimes it uses a source of power of its own as the duration of the battery is to six years. The device of the tracking is wired to the equipment, and the information is collected like when the machine gets started and when it gets stopped. The device is being registered with the tracking program of GPS. The device helps in getting the update of the equipment in every two minutes. This makes the equipment to appear on the dashboard of the tracking software of GPS. The GPS locator devices help the construction industry in a positive way as the operators or managers can easily track the location of the equipment and machines (Kim et al, 2013). Earlier, the managers didn't know that where the equipment or material had reached and whether it was in good condition or not. It was very difficult to track the equipment and materials, but GPS locator device has made it easy for the construction industry.
•    RFID and Construction Management
The RFID device is helping the businesses of the construction industry in getting a competitive advantage and maximizes the business value. The companies of the construction industry face the challenges of operations and asset management. The activities which are regularly done on a construction site are like forming and developing material, managing the labor, operating vehicle's fleet, keeping the expensive assets secured, etc. The main issues in the sites of construction are like theft, unauthorized usage of equipment, etc. It has been researched that radio frequency identification is a technology for tracing assets and showing the challenges of operations as it represents the new method for the industry of construction in order to do the business. RFID helps in improvising the accuracy and maximizes the productivity in the various phases of the process of construction which includes, planning, building, maintaining and operating (Kelm et al, 2013). Therefore, the companies of the construction industry are completely utilizing the use of radio frequency identification device. 

Example of a Real Project 

There is an example of a company of a construction industry which used the GPS locator device technology. The name of the company is Bovis Lend Lease. The company not only works in U.S., but it also works in more than 90 countries. The company was established in 1885 in London. The company has the capability to develop, construct and invest in the infrastructure and properties and also offers solutions to the clients which are integrated and innovative. A few years ago, the company was facing the problem of theft of machinery, and the fleet managers were not able to manage the vehicles on the site of the construction. Then the company decided to use the GPS locator device. The device was placed on the equipment and was wired. The installation of GPS device locator helped the drivers of the vehicle to find the correct location of a job site where they were supposed to deliver the equipment and materials. The managers were able to track the location of the equipment until they were not delivered. The installation of GPS locator device in the vehicles helped the fleet manager or foreman to know that how fast vehicle was moving and he was able to handle the vehicles and equipment on the construction site effectively. This also solved the problem of theft as the managers were able to track the location of machinery and they knew the exact position of the equipment. Therefore the GPS locator device technology helped the Bovis Lend lease in solving the issues and now the company is having a very high return on investment. The company is now able to provide much better solutions to the clients related to construction and infrastructure ("US Home | Lend lease," 2016).

Conclusion 

It can be concluded from the report that it is very important for the construction industry to adapt the new technologies in order attain the competitive advantage. It has been observed from the research papers that the construction industries are slightly slow in adapting the new technology. All the companies should immediately start using these advanced technologies in order to solve their problems and issues related to machines and equipment at the job sit. Further, the report helped in understanding the various technologies like RFID, barcode, GPS locator and BIM. The report also helped in understanding the impact of these technologies in the construction management and how they are benefitting the companies of construction management. Further, there was an example of a construction company which gave a clear picture that how the company used the technology in order to sustain in the competitive world and how the company solved their issues related to the machines and equipment at a construction site.
 

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REFERENCES

Chen, L., & Luo, H. (2014). A BIM-based construction quality management model and its applications. Automation in construction, 46, 64-73.
Electrical, J. (2016). The Importance of Technology in Construction. BostInno. Retrieved 29 September 2016, from http://bostinno.streetwise.co/channels/the-importance-of-technology-in-construction/
Gelay, G., Hussey, R. M., & Thakkar, B. (2016). U.S. Patent No. 20,160,117,528. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Hardin, B., & McCool, D. (2015). BIM and construction management: proven tools, methods, and workflows. John Wiley & Sons.
Harris, F., & McCaffer, R. (2013). Modern construction management. John Wiley & Sons.
Kelm, A., Laußat, L., Meins-Becker, A., Platz, D., Khazaee, M. J., Costin, A. M., & Teizer, J. (2013). Mobile passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) portal for automated and rapid control of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on construction sites. Automation in Construction, 36, 38-52.
Kim, C., Park, T., Lim, H., & Kim, H. (2013). On-site construction management using mobile computing technology. Automation in construction, 35, 415-423.
Lavedas, T. G. (2012). U.S. Patent No. 8,098,161. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Obradovich, M. L. (2016). U.S. Patent No. 9,247,524. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
US Home | Lendlease. (2016). Lendlease.com. Retrieved 29 September 2016, from http://www.lendlease.com/us/
Wu, W., Yang, H., Li, Q., & Chew, D. (2013). An integrated information management model for proactive prevention of struck-by-falling-object accidents on construction sites. Automation in Construction, 34, 67-74.

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