How Tablets Can Improve Communication in Construction Projects

Erle Harstad1, Ola Lædre2, Fredrik Svalestuen3 & Nawras Skhmot4

1M.Sc., Dept. of Civil and Transport Engineering, NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, +47 95011205, erleharstad@gmail.com
2Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil and Transport Engineering, NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, +47 911 89 938, ola.ladre@ntnu.no
3Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of Civil and Transport Engineering, NTNU/VeidekkeEntreprenør AS, Norway, +47 986 73 172, fredrik.svalestuen@ntnu.no
4Project Engineer, VeidekkeEntreprenør AS, Norway, +47 414 09 992, nawskh@blockberge.no

Abstract

Lack of adequate communication tools can cause information losses in construction projects. The most efficient way for construction personnel to manage information on sites is to retrieve information at the point where they are and at the time when they need it. This has been difficult to achieve as information management normally involves paper-based documents. However, the rapid development of mobile information and communication technologies are offering new possibilities for portability and access to information at the construction sites. This paper aims at exploring the effect tablets have on communication in construction projects, through a literature study, a document study, and an exploratory study with interviews of different key stakeholders in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. The result of this study shows that tablets can enrich the communication between design and construction practitioners, and help reduce waste such as unnecessary transportation and rework caused by errors due to old, wrong and irrelevant drawings. However, tablets also entail initial costs of training and equipment, and is highly dependent on internet accessibility. This study can help AEC practitioners and academics to understand the strengths/challenges of using tablets as a communication tool at the construction site.

Keywords

Lean construction, waste, flow, tablets, communication

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Reference

Harstad, E. , Lædre, O. , Svalestuen, F. & Skhmot, N. 2015, 'How Tablets Can Improve Communication in Construction Projects' In:, Seppänen, O., González, V.A. & Arroyo, P., 23rd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Perth, Australia, 29-31 Jul 2015. pp 391-401

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