Publications / 2002 Proceedings of the 19th ISARC, Washington, USA

The Value of Handheld Computers in Construction

K. Saidi, C. Haas, N. Balli
Pages 557-563 (2002 Proceedings of the 19th ISARC, Washington, USA, ISSN 2413-5844)

Construction is an information intensive industry in which the accuracy and timeliness of information is paramount. Construction projects can experience extensive delays or rework due to information that is unavailable, inaccurate or simply outdated. Handheld computers (HHC) have the potential to solve some of these problems by providing field workers with accurate, reliable and timely information at the location where it is needed. Thus, HHC?s can increase the amount of direct work on a project indirectly by directly decreasing the time spent on support work (such as accessing drawings and sending RFI?s) and by reducing idle time. Applying a HHC evaluation method to 6 hypothetical construction field activities (punchlisting, materials tracking, MSDS access, drawing access, RFI?s, and quantity surveying) showed that HHC?s could potentially save time and improve accuracy at the task and activity levels of a construction project. However, barriers related to the HHC?s technological limitations and to the nature of the construction industry must be overcome in order to reap the full benefits of HHC?s.

Keywords: field data, handheld computers, material tracking, punchlisting, quantity tracking