Interactive Voice-Visual Tracking of Construction As-Built Information
Abdelrehim, Mohamed S. A.
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The documentation of complete and timely as-built information related to construction projects is essential for tracking progress, planning corrective action, and analyzing the schedule. The collection of site information, however, is currently a challenging, time-consuming, and error-prone manual process. To improve the tracking of as-built information, this research focused on the development of a low-cost voice-visual framework that utilizes commonly available communication tools such as email and interactive voice response (IVR). The goal of this research was to create project-wide bidirectional communication between site personnel and head office to automate the tracking of daily site information. The research involved an in-depth analysis of the possible site events and progress-tracking needs related to construction activities. Accordingly, activity-specific email forms and logical-flow diagrams were developed as a means of facilitating site data collection. A framework was then developed that integrates several components: the developed tracking forms; a cloud-based IVR service; a customized scheduling application; and an email application. During construction, the automated system identifies eligible activities to be tracked; collects as-built details from the relevant supervisors; and uses the daily time segments of the schedule as an integrated depository for all as-built details, including progress information, events by all parties, and requests for information (RFIs), quality/safety issues, and other video/audio/drawing-markup notes. The developed system generates detailed as-built schedule that clearly show the evolution of all as-built events and their accurate timing on the daily segments for each activity. The project schedule is thus converted from a static report into information-rich, visualization media, and decision-support tool that provides decision makers with timely progress details so that they can easily follow the project progress , facilitates schedule updates, facilitates accurate schedule forensics, delay analysis, , and the planning of appropriate corrective action. The developed framework was validated though a number of case studies that demonstrated its usefulness and practicality. This research contributes to construction efficiency through the facilitation of bidirectional communication between site personnel and head office and the provision of timely and legible as-built data for decision-making. Ultimately, the research will assist construction firms to have better control over construction projects and more effective decisions during construction through improved communication.