Jobsite Wireless Computing (Archived)

RT-136 Topic Summary
RT 136


Wireless communication technologies, the transmission of voice, video, and data without the use of wire linkage, are capable of enabling on-demand access to all project information by all parties at any location. The technologies include the use of cellular phones, mobile phones, personal and portable computing devices, video communication, voice clips, faxes, and modems. Such capabilities were investigated by the CII Wireless Computing and Communications Research Team.

The purpose of RT-136 was to assess wireless data communication technologies that are applicable to the construction jobsite, including the extent to which wireless data technology can fulfill the information needs of the jobsite. The publication describes the available technologies and discusses particular applications that could enable cost-effective decisions to be made for a particular job.

The research study was limited in scope in that it was concentrated primarily on jobsite information needs of the Industrial Process construction sector. To this effect, the Lyondell/CITGO Refinery (LCR) revamp/expansion project in Houston, Texas, was used as the primary source of data.

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Access to Information

Wireless communication can provide field personnel with information while they are performing work. This means that if a crew in the field has a problem, the foreman has the means to consult with the trailer for a solution without having to actually go to the trailer. The faster that answers to problems can be received, the less likely it is that a crew will need to stand idle waiting for information. (RS136-1, p. 36)
Reference: (RS136-1)

2 : Information Flow

Wireless communication technology will permit information to flow in a faster, timelier manner between the field and the trailer. Wireless communication techniques will allow the two parties to communicate without leaving their respective locations. (RR136-11, p. 140)
Reference: (RR136-11)

3 : Cost Effectiveness

If a given transfer of information can be done using hardwired means, it will be less expensive than using wireless technology. If the information is not time critical, then it can wait until a break or the end of a shift when a foreman would normally be going to the trailer. (RS136-1, p. 37)
Reference: (RS136-1)

4 : Ability to Access Information at the Workface

Wireless communication technology is a means to allow the supervisory personnel at a construction site to stay in the field more hours to supervise crews and thus increase productivity. (RR136-11, p. 140)
Reference: (RR136-11)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved cost/benefit of wireless communication, Improved productivity of resources, Improved delivery & timing of Information

Research Publications

Wireless Communication and Computing at the Construction Jobsite - RS136-1

Publication Date: 05/1997 Type: Research Summary Pages: 42 Status: Archived Supporting Product

Wireless Communication and Computing at the Construction Jobsite - RR136-11

Publication Date: 02/1997 Type: Research Report Pages: 157 Status: Archived Reference