Publications / 2015 Proceedings of the 32nd ISARC, Oulu, Finland

Construction Apps: A Critical Review and Analysis

Salman Azhar, Andrew Jackson, Anoop Sattineni
Pages 1-7 (2015 Proceedings of the 32nd ISARC, Oulu, Finland, ISBN 978-951-758-597-2, ISSN 2413-5844)

At the end of 2013 it is estimated that there are nearly 13,000 apps related to design and construction available on Apple's iPad. with this many apps available in the market finding the right app for a construction manager can be a challenge. The purpose of this research was to identify mobile apps that can be used in the life cycle of a construction project. A total of 205 design, construction, and facility management apps were recorded. The majority of mobile apps discovered were apps to be used during the construction phase of a project. Research revealed there is a lack of mobile apps for facility management in the market. Apple's iOS platform was found to be the most popular operating system followed by Android with Windows 8/8.1 being the least popular platform. This research also aimed to discover the top ten best apps for a construction manager. Construction managers from several different companies were interviewed to find out what apps are currently being used in construction as well as which activities mobile apps would be most useful. It was discovered the majority of apps currently used by construction managers are not construction apps. Interviewees also indicated apps would be most useful for activities related to quality control, specifically deficiency tracking. Another goal of this research was to explore current and future challenges of implementing apps in the construction industry. The top two problems identified were (1) lack of training and (2) difficulty viewing documents on mobile devices. This suggests companies could improve the use of mobile apps by properly training employees.

Keywords: Mobile Technologies, Apps, Smart Phone, Tablet, Project Management