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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Emerging Technologies for Construction Delivery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25540.
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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Emerging Technologies for Construction Delivery. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25540.
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1 Emerging technologies have the ability to impact the construction industry positively. State departments of transportation (DOTs) use emerging and innovative technologies to deliver critical highway and roadway projects across the United States. As the highway con- struction industry infuses more technologies into the process of project delivery, state DOTs have an opportunity to realize improved project performance regarding cost, schedule, and quality. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Every Day Counts (EDC) initiatives promote the use of various advanced and emerging technologies (e.g., automated machine guidance, unmanned aircraft systems, building information modeling, handheld instru- ments and devices, and work zone intrusion detection systems). The goal of this study is to investigate the current use of technologies for highway construction delivery. The purpose of this synthesis is to identify and document the state of practice for the use of select emerging technologies for highway construction delivery. This synthesis identifies five advanced technology areas used on state DOT highway construction projects, docu- ments their level of maturity, investigates the implementation barriers and success factors, and discusses the lessons learned as noted by state DOTs in their effort to study, test, and implement a new construction technology. The five technology areas are (1) visualization and modeling, (2) interconnected technol- ogies, (3) safety technologies, (4) instrumentation and sensors, and (5) unmanned aircraft systems. Visualization and modeling technologies include building information modeling, virtual and augmented reality, light detection and ranging (LiDAR), and three-dimensional (3-D) printing. Interconnected technologies for construction vehicles, equipment, and tools are used for delivery and haul vehicles, pavement and earthwork equipment, and handheld tools. Advanced safety technologies include work zone intrusion alarms, proximity warning systems, enhanced personal protection equipment, dynamic message signs (DMSs), and variable speed limit (VSL) zones. Real-time kinematic (RTK) handheld global position- ing system (GPS) devices, remote sensing, and devices to measure specifications, structural integrity, and environmental conditions are technologies associated with instrumentation and sensors. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) perform tasks such as construction survey- ing, site mapping and inspections, and monitoring progress of work. The means used to investigate these technologies included a literature review and con- tent analysis, survey questionnaire distributed to 50 state DOTs, and case examples with seven state DOTs. The literature review involved collecting and reviewing journal articles, reports, and documents along with gathering state DOT documents, reports, templates, and guidelines on the five technology areas. The information collected from the literature review was used to create a web-based survey questionnaire; 41 state DOTs completed a survey response (82% response rate). Then, structured case examples with seven state S U M M A R Y Emerging Technologies for Construction Delivery

2 Emerging Technologies for Construction Delivery DOTs were conducted to document the use of the technology areas in this synthesis and to inquire about other innovative technologies. The state DOTs of Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin participated in the case examples. From the data collected in the literature review, survey questionnaire, and the case examples, the key findings, and practices observed in this study are as follows: • Visualization and modeling technologies are used primarily for constructability reviews, as-built documentation, quality control and quality assurance, and simulating bridge and nonbridge construction. DOTs create and distribute 3-D models of projects to contrac- tors for their discretionary use as only a few pilot projects have used 3-D models as contract documents because of legal concerns. • Interconnected technologies, in the forms of machine control systems and vehicle track- ing, are in use primarly for earthwork and paving equipment. • Safety technologies for construction are used for work zone traffic management, provid- ing real-time information to motorists, and accident avoidance. • Instrumentation and sensors technologies are implemented for monitoring the progress of work, quality control and quality assurance, and construction inspections. • Unmanned aircraft systems are used for monitoring the progress of work, site mapping and surveying, and construction documentation. Federal and state regulations dictate and sometimes limit a state DOT in its use of UASs, but contractors are implementing UASs for construction. • DOTs often encourage contractors to use innovative technologies during construction with the caveat that they do not increase costs and have obtained agency approval. • The use of technologies provides an opportunity to manage resources more efficiently to complete design and construction tasks. However, using innovative technologies relies on new knowledge and skills for efficiency and the realization of the full potential of those technologies. • Factors that assist with understanding and moving a technology into practice include identifying an internal champion within the DOT so that such technology can gain momentum for implementation and collaborating with other state DOTs to share infor- mation and learn how to implement technologies for highway project delivery. • Combining certain technologies (e.g., site mapping from a UAS to develop a 3-D model for automated machine guidance) can enhance efficiencies in design and construction processes. • Processes to investigate, test, and implement a technology for construction varies among DOTs, from an ad hoc approach to a formal systematic process. From the observed findings, this synthesis identified some knowledge gaps regarding innovative and advanced technologies and their use during construction delivery. Three areas of research to address those gaps are suggested: (1) exploring the use of technologies for delivery of highway construction projects from the contractor’s perspective, (2) investi- gating the skills and the knowledge needed to use technologies successfully for digital proj- ect delivery, and (3) examining and developing processes to initiate, investigate, test, and implement construction technologies statewide to provide a means of developing a formal framework or process for state DOTs.

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The uses and levels of maturity of five advanced technology areas visualization and modeling, interconnected technologies, safety technologies, instrumentation and sensors, and unmanned aircraft systems in transportation highway construction projects are documented in TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 534: Emerging Technologies for Construction Delivery. The synthesis also investigates the implementation barriers and success factors for these technology areas and discusses the lessons learned as noted by state DOTs in their effort to study, test, and implement a new construction technology.

As the highway construction industry infuses more technologies into the process of project delivery, state DOTs have an opportunity to realize improved project performance regarding cost, schedule, and quality.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Every Day Counts (EDC) initiatives promote the use of various advanced and emerging technologies (e.g., automated machine guidance, unmanned aircraft systems, building information modeling, handheld instruments and devices, and work zone intrusion detection systems).

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