Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering


Dr Sarah Bowden


Application of Mobile IT in Construction

Project Title

Application of Mobile IT in Construction


Ove Arup


Professor C Anumba
Professor A Thorpe

Mr Alex Dorr
Mr Stuart Cowparthwaite

Director of Research:
Professor A Price

Research period

2001 - 2005

Application of Mobile IT in Construction


Currently there is much discussion about web based collaboration systems solving the industries’ fragmentation problems. However, there is a need to first assess a construction project’s information and communication needs prior to choosing the appropriate systems to enable the efficient transfer of information.

It is assumed there are core information flows that are common to all construction projects. If these processes can be mapped out and best practice defined then the systems that should aid these processes can be chosen with these in mind.

Aims and Objectives

To produce a toolkit that provides a framework that a construction project team can use to determine their information and communication needs for a project and choose and implement the most suitable IT systems.

• To understand the information requirements of relevant personnel, in the design office, on a construction site, and after completion.
• To recognise, and look for ways to support, the key communications between the construction parties – i.e. the client, design team, the contractor, sub-contractors and suppliers.
• To understand the technology that is currently available.
• To establish any process improvements that could be made through the use of IT or other mediums.
• To analyse attitudes towards the use of IT in construction and discover any cultural or other barriers to its implementation.

Method and Current Status

In order to fully understand a construction project’s lifecycle the period from July 2001 until March 2002 was spent working for Carillion Plc on the Birmingham Northern Relief Road project. This provided first hand experience of site information requirements and the relationships between the team members from a contractor’s viewpoint. Following this a series of case studies will be undertaken in order to understand and map generic project information and communication flows.

Benefits/Expected Outcomes

The first period of research will result in the following:

• Greater understanding of the information needed on site and the format of that information
• Recommendations for tools that can be used effectively on site
• An information and communication framework

Bowden, S. And Thorpe, A., ''Mobile Communications for on-site Collaboration'', Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 150(2), November 2002, pp. 38- 44.
[DOI: 10.1680/cien.]. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/246840669_Mobile_communications_for_on-site_collaboration

Bowden, S. ... et al. (2006). Mobile ICT support for construction process improvement. Automation in Construction. Vol. 15, (5).
DOI: 10.1016/j.autcon.2005.08.004 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0926580505001263

Bowden, S.L. … et al. (2005). Making the Case for Mobile IT in Construction'', Proceedings, Soibelman, L and Pena-Mora, F, ASCE International Conference on Computing in Civil Engineering, Cancun, Mexico, 12th July , 12pp

Bowden, S. … et al. (2005). Opportunities and Challenges for Location Aware Computing in the Construction Industry, 7th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services. Salzburg, Austria, September 19-22 2005.

Bowden, S.L. … et al. (2004). Mapping site processes for the introduction of mobile IT, Proceedings of the European Conference on Products and Processes Modelling (ECPPM 2004). Istanbul, Turkey. September 8-11, 2004, pp 491-498. [DOI: 10.1201/9780203023426.pt7].

Bowden, S. ... et al. (2003). Usability testing of hand held computing on a construction site. CIB W78,, International Conference on IT for Construction, University of Auckland, Waiheke Island, NZ, April 2003, pp. 47-54, ISBN 0 908689 71 3.





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