Online Remote Construction Management: A State-of-the-Art Report

Kajewski, Stephen L. & Weippert, Achim (2003) Online Remote Construction Management: A State-of-the-Art Report. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.


Computer application within construction companies began little more than a decade after the first electronic computer was built (1950s). It seemed like a promising start when breakthrough computer-based project management techniques such as the critical path method (CPM) moved quickly into the construction industry. Now that the construction industry is in its fourth decade of computer applications things have been changing more rapidly. With an economic force generated by a technology moving as rapidly as that of the computer, change is inevitable. (Boyd and Paulson, 1995)

There is a need for the expansion of construction IT into an ‘industry-wide supporting tool for change’. This expansion will help prevent the existing fragmentation between sub-sectors and/or levels in the industry, to be ‘compounded’. The collective and concerted application of construction IT may provide one consistent feature in construction practices, which supports the development of a changed and changing construction industry.

The Australian construction industry can make a competitive mark in the global construction market by taking full advantage of IT, enabling it to operate as a seamless single source supplier of innovative construction solutions. Tendering, procurement, e-commerce and virtual project teams will become a reality, changing the way the construction industry will conduct its business operations by influencing designs, products, materials, project management and relationships with clients and competitors. (Industry Science Resources, 1999)

Due to the fragmented nature of the construction industry, however, no single organisation within the industry can dictate or be held responsible for establishing and maintaining the necessary communication networks required for a construction project. In an industry as 'information-intensive' as that of the construction industry, where creating and sharing of information is inevitable, time is still wasted in locating it. The construction industry is therefore forced to accommodate an ‘ineffective communication and information process’ that has been proven to contribute to project cost and time overruns. (Love, et al. 1996)

This report represents a literature review of ‘Information Technology and the Construction Industry’, as required under the various Online Remote Construction Management QUT/Industry Partner agreements. The literature review presents a ‘state-of-the-art’ report into current industry practices and current research directions.

Section 1 of this report provides an introduction to the Australian construction industry. Section 2 presents the Online Remote Construction Management (ORCM) project outlining the project’s aims, objectives, research significance and activities. Section 3 identifies problems associated with documentation and communication in the construction industry and examines the role of information technology (IT) in overcoming these challenges. Section 4 examines national and international research projects pertaining to the construction industry and its current level of information technology (IT) adoption, application and implementation. The issues associated with planning and implementing information technology in to organisations is reviewed in Section 5. Identified advantages, disadvantages and the drivers and barriers to IT implementation are reviewed in Section 6.

The primary purpose of this report is informative and is to be viewed as a 'stand-alone' report. It provides an international perspective and overview, of previous and/or continuing state-of-the-art information technology (IT) research being undertaken and its application and/or implementation within the construction industry. The literature review does not present a detailed examination of e-commerce in general although many of the issues presently being faced by general business such as security, encryption and interoperability, will be reflected in the construction industry. These, and other such issues, will be highlighted in future reports as their impact within the construction industry is identified.

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ID Code: 4053
Item Type: Book
Additional Information: This version of the work is posted here with permission of the copyright owner for your personal use only. No further distribution is permitted. For more information about this book please contact the author. Author contact details:
Keywords: construction, ICT, online, internet, basec construction project management, internet
ISBN: 0975049402
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Construction Engineering (090502)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 QUT
Deposited On: 11 May 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2015 15:08

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