Inventors of new technologies often claim their scanning or artificial intelligence software can replace construction professionals on the job site.  Despite the widespread use of BIM, drones and laser/photo scanners, the question is, “Why do construction companies still send project team members into the field with highlighters and paper drawings to track project status?”

The exciting innovations you are seeing in construction technology can often help, but do they solve the issues you have on the job site today? Those of us with field experience look to use practical knowledge to best apply tech solutions that have a direct impact on construction productivity and quality.

We have outlined some of the information you may be hearing and what is true and/or certainly what you need to question: 

MYTH 1: WE CAN TRUST BUILDING INFORMATION MODELS AND THE DATA IT CONTAINS WITH FULL CONFIDENCE OF ITS ACCURACY.

Fact 1: Building models and their data are far from perfect. Designers and Detailers are under pressure to produce deliverables fast, sometimes with incomplete or uncoordinated data and layout. Some models are produced with elements that look the part just to generate the typical 2D plan drawings required for construction. The accuracy and LOD (Level of Development) of models are always in question even though they are being used for construction purposes.

MYTH 2: LASER SCANNING/PHOTOGRAMMETRY OR 3D CAMERAS CAN GIVE YOU FIELD INSTALLATION STATUS.

Fact 2: True with a caveat. You can verify as-built conditions with a visual confirmation of an element’s placement from imagery collected by scanners/cameras. However, those scanning technologies can’t fully automate the data collection process for tracking completion status as they rely on linking to the original model data for intelligence (see Myth 1) to sort out permanent vs. temporary elements or non-modeled elements for association.

Hidden elements, such as wire pulled in conduit or layers of drywall and non-visual statuses such as connected or sealed, tested vs. inspected vs. QC’d, for instance, can only be identified by field personnel with knowledge of the installation.

MYTH 3: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) CAN GIVE YOU FIELD INSTALLATION STATUS.

Fact 3: Once again from design to installation to FM, AI can expedite some processes that help automate and expedite some functions, such as design iteration. However, field personnel see the conditions on the jobsite and use their intelligence and experience to make logical decisions based on known and unknown factors.  

AI is a growing technology that can help expedite and support project tasks, but it is still evolving for daily practical use on a busy jobsite.  

Innovation that works today

As stated earlier, with all this innovation, why are project teams still using paper and highlighters?

To accurately track the placement and completion status of elements, technology can assist the project team who would otherwise resort to manual verification of completion status. 

One technology that combines the best of computer modeling and human experience is ICT Tracker. 

HERE ARE THE FACTS OF HOW ICT TRACKER DIFFERENTIATES FROM OTHERS TO OVERCOME THESE TECHNOLOGY SHORTCOMINGS:

·         Fact 1: ICT Tracker has an automated process to condition your models and correct for variances in software and human factors, while confirming the data used is properly formatted to streamline field tracking and improve reporting.

·         Fact 2: ICT Tracker allows the user to track elements and apply custom statuses to track the many phases of an installation for earned value and apply cost codes or activity IDs to these elements to synch back to your ERP software.

·         Fact 3: ICT Tracker aids but does not replace human interaction to simplify the data collection process and provide data rich reports that confirm status at all stages of construction.

To streamline field productivity tracking using intelligent data to generate powerful real-time reporting, we invite you to see a demonstration of ICT Tracker.