National Academies Press: OpenBook

Emerging Technologies for Construction Delivery (2019)

Chapter: Chapter 1 - Introduction

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." 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:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." 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:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." 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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3 In the digital age, various technologies convey efficient approaches for completing spe- cific tasks and assignments for many industries. In transportation construction, emerging new and innovative technologies are changing how state departments of transportation (DOTs) deliver highway construction projects. Emerging technologies, herein referred to as technologies, are defined as technologies that are radically novel, fast growing in use, and comprehensible and that demonstrate prominent impact as well as uncertainty (Rotolo et al. 2015). The use of technologies for highway construction delivery has resulted in faster, more accurate, and more efficient planning, design, and construction. For example, Every Day Counts-2 (EDC), an FHWA initiative, showed that combining three-dimensional (3-D) modeling and GPS for machine control and guidance resulted in completing construction surveys faster and with improved quality and safety. This combination can increase productivity by up to 50% and cut survey costs by up to 75% (FHWA 2016). Similarly, EDC-3 promoted e-construction technolo- gies as an effective tool to (1) decrease the delays inherent in paper-based project administration; (2) support secure, expedited, and transparent document transmission, distribution, and stor- age; and (3) enhance real-time management of all documents (FHWA 2017; Landers 2015). Research shows that e-construction time savings average 1.78 hours per day per inspector and that inspectors collect 2.75 times more data compared to conventional methods. Reported cost savings of using e-construction are approximately $40,000 per construction project per year (Weisner et al. 2017). Various technologies such as 3-D and four-dimensional (4-D) models, automated machine guidance (AMG), work zone intrusion alarms (WZIAs), real-time kinematic (RTK) devices with GPS, and unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), are now being used in the construction industry. Many technologies are relatively new and innovative to the transportation con- struction industry. Technology use and implementation for construction vary between state DOTs, depending on their level of maturity. The variety of applications and experience with technologies is attributed to challenges and barriers that DOTs face in investigating, testing, and implementing specific technology tools for construction delivery. As technologies con- tinue to be introduced and enhanced, state DOTs continue to consider and explore various technologies for construction. Therefore, the purpose of this synthesis is to document the implementation and use of selected technologies by state DOTs for highway construction delivery. C H A P T E R 1 Introduction

4 Emerging Technologies for Construction Delivery Synthesis Scope, Goals, and Objectives This synthesis investigates state DOTs introducing and applying innovative technolo- gies to deliver highway construction projects focusing on five specific areas as shown in Table 1. The objectives of this synthesis are to 1. Identify technologies currently in use by state DOTs to deliver construction projects, 2. Document the strengths and weaknesses of emerging technologies, 3. Identify unique opportunities to improve construction delivery, 4. Identify barriers in applying specific technologies to construction delivery, and 5. Report the uses of emerging technologies and the associated lessons learned in the application of technologies for highway construction delivery. The following approach was used to accomplish these objectives: 1. Review current FHWA literature, similar research on these technologies, and relevant information from state DOTs; 2. Review information from vendors that manufacture and supply the technologies; 3. Survey state DOTs using a web-based questionnaire sent to voting members of the Com- mittee on Construction of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO); and 4. Develop case examples of selected highway agencies and industry representatives in the use of technologies for highway construction delivery. Technologies for Construction Delivery Examples Visualization and modeling technologies for constructability, communication, and documentation during construction • 3-D and 4-D modeling • Virtual and augmented reality • Virtual design and construction • Building information modeling • LiDAR • 3-D printing Interconnected technologies for construction vehicles, equipment, and tools • Location of vehicles • Automated machine guidance • e-ticketing • Remote-controlled trench compactors • Intelligent compaction and thermal profiling • Autonomous rebar tying machine Safety technologies used during construction for workers and motorists • Variable speed zones • Dynamic message signs • Proximity and intrusion warning alarms • Queue detection systems • Communication systems for motorists • Portable rumble strips Instrumentation and sensors technologies to measure short-term or locked-in boundary conditions or member forces for specialty projects • Stress and strain gauges • Sensors to measure environmental conditions • Sensors to measure specifications • Ground penetrating radar • RTK GPS devices • Nondestructive testing devices UASs for construction monitoring, documentation, surveying, and inventory • Construction surveys • Construction inspections • Site mapping • Asset management/Inventory • Monitoring progress of work • Construction documentation Table 1. Technologies and application areas.

Introduction 5 Synthesis Methodology Information collected and reported for this synthesis is a result of the following research tasks: • Performing literature review on the type and uses of emerging technologies, • Surveying state DOTs on their use of these technologies, and • Conducting case examples of technology use by select DOTs. First, a comprehensive literature review explored innovative and advanced technologies and the associated current practices in use for highway construction. The FHWA EDC-3 recently reported that more than half the DOTs across the nation are exploring the use of 3-D models in construction, and that several DOTs have developed mature practices (FHWA 2017). For example, the California and Washington State DOTs implemented 4-D models for the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge East Span and the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement projects, respectively. The FHWA EDC-3 also found in 2016 that more than half of state DOTs use LiDAR to collect field data, which they then use to create models for various construction work. Similarly, the FHWA EDC-4 highlighted that state DOTs are moving toward digital construction document management using e-construction technologies. Next, a questionnaire was developed and used to survey state DOTs. The purpose of the survey was to gather information on current nationwide practices, uses, and implementation of technologies for construction and to identify state DOTs with knowledge and experience that warrant additional investigation. Also, the questionnaire allowed state DOT respondents to provide document links, references to websites, and attachments that offered specific DOT information on the investigated technologies. The survey questionnaire was distributed electronically to voting members of the AASHTO Committee on Construction, which included representatives from all 50 state DOTs. After several requests to participate in the survey were sent , 41 completed questionnaires were obtained (an 82% response rate). The responses were then tabulated, evaluated, and supple- mented with follow-up telephone calls and emails as needed for clarification. Last, case examples were conducted to gather specific information on the use of technolo- gies during construction delivery. Seven case examples were conducted with the state DOTs of Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. These states actively used various technologies during construction and indicated a willingness to participate further in the study. The case examples include documented information from DOT staff and provide application examples for highway construction projects. Synthesis Organization This synthesis report contains five chapters covering the following topics: Chapter 1. Introduction to the subject area and covers the scope, objectives, and study methodology; Chapter 2. Literature review of technologies as applied to highway construction delivery; Chapter 3. Current practices in the types and uses of technologies for highway construction delivery; Chapter 4. Case examples conducted with seven state DOTs, including technology implementa- tion, use, benefits, challenges, and lessons learned; and Chapter 5. Key findings, current practices, and future research to address gaps found in the synthesis.

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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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