Document Detail

Title: RR173-11 - Construction Technology Needs Assessment Update
Publication Date: 5/1/2002
Product Type: Research Report
Status: Archived Reference
Pages: 292
This publication has been archived, but is available for download for informational purposes only.

Vorster, Lucko, Virginia Tech.
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Abstract

This research report describes the work done during an assessment of future technology needs in the construction industry. The research team conducted a thorough literature review of previous needs assessment for the construction industry, and of topics related to technology in construction, its development, implementation, and relation to the situation of the construction work force. A survey questionnaire was developed as the primary research tool. Three different versions of the questionnaire, customized to the respective respondents, were sent to CII member organizations, craft superintendents, and CII Project Teams. The questionnaires sought the respondents’ backgrounds, the respondents’ ranking of the potential and impact of various technological areas and of CII Knowledge Areas, an evaluation of technology adoption and work force issues and of attributes of successful technologies, and the respondents’ approach to technological innovation and the general prospect for the future of the construction industry.

Among the important findings were that the respondents highlighted the need for integrated systems for planning and execution of construction projects that are geared towards improving the actual field operations and their management, the need for more and better communication between the project participants as well as in the construction industry at large, and the need for a structured approach to the issue of technological innovation. Barriers to technological innovation were acknowledged and the attributes of promising technologies, in particular a proven and clear cost-to-benefit-ratio were highlighted. Based on the knowledge gained in the study, the researchers developed the Technology Implementation Cycle as a viable way of integrating all parties in the construction industry in a process of continuous evaluation and development of better technologies, having a benefit with regard to cost, time, safety, or quality. Application of this comprehensive Technology Implementation Cycle, which includes the assessment, communication, and solution of technology needs in cooperation of the technology providers and users, will enable the construction industry to become a dynamic entity that sets its own technology R&D agenda and embraces innovation through technology.