Initial Results of Survey Reveal Reach, Efficacy of e-Construction in Practice
e-Construction, as defined by the joint FHWA-AASHTO initiative of the same name, is paperless construction administration and delivery. This includes electronic submission of all construction documentation by all stakeholders, electronic document routing/approvals (e-signature), and digital management of all construction documentation in a secure environment allowing distribution to all project stakeholders through mobile devices.
In their Every Day Counts (EDC-3) implementation plan for e-Construction, AASHTO and the FHWA list a multitude of potential time- and cost-savings benefits and improved communications.
But how widely adopted is e-Construction, and how effective is it, in practice?
Dr. Joe Mahoney, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington, and Dr. Steve Muench, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington, are conducting a benchmark e-Construction & Project Delivery survey to find out.
Here are some of the initial findings, based on 214 respondents who participated in the construction of roads, streets, highways or bridges in 2015 and responded thus far:
- 45 percent said they have adopted or piloted one or more e-Construction tools and processes. 31% are currently exploring their use.
- Among e-Construction users, 59 percent reported delivering all or most construction projects on budget in 2015, vs 47 percent of non-users.
- Fifty four percent of e-Construction users reported delivering all or most construction projects on time in 2015, versus 41 percent of non-users.
- The top three uses for e-Construction tools in 2015: 1. making key documents easily available to field personnel (66 percent); 2. digitizing inspection reports (61 percent) NS 3. managing the design, letting and bidding process (60 percent).
- Nearly all e-Construction users (88 percent) agreed or strongly agree the e-Construction tool they use most has improved document distribution and workflow. Eighty-seven percent said it reduces paper use, printing and document storage needs, and 85 percent said it improves records storage, tracking and recall. Fifty three percent believe it has improved document security, helping mitigate risks to an acceptable level.
Change management and IT support rank #1 and #2 among the top hurdles faced when adopting e-Construction tools and technologies, suggesting that the human element is as essential as the technology.
Who is taking the lead when it comes to the adoption of e-Construction tools and processes? How is e-Construction supported from an IT perspective? And who are the go-to subject matter experts for various e-Construction uses? We will publish the complete results after the survey concludes.