Dave, Bhargav, Kubler, Sylvain, Främling, Kary and Koskela, Lauri (2016) Opportunities for enhanced lean construction management using Internet of Things standards. Automation in Construction, 61. pp. 86-97. ISSN 0926-5805

Traditionally, production control on construction sites has been challenging, and still remains challenging. The ad-hoc production control methods that are usually used, most of which are informal, foster uncertainty that prevents smooth production flow. Lean construction methods such as the Last Planner System have partially tackled this problem by involving site teams into the decision making process and having them report back to the production management system. However, such systems have relatively long “lookahead” planning cycles to respond to the dynamic production requirements of construction, where daily, if not hourly control is needed. New solutions have been proposed such as VisiLean, KanBIM, etc., but again these types of construction management systems require the proximity and availability of computer devices to workers. Through this paper, the authors investigate how the communication framework underlying such construction management systems can be further improved so as to fully or partially automate various communication functions across the construction project lifecycle (e.g., to enable lean and close to real-time reporting of production control information). To this end, the present paper provides evidences of how the Internet of Things (IoT) and related standards can contribute to such an improvement. The paper then provides first insights – through various construction scenarios – into how the proposed communication framework can be beneficial for various actors and core business perspectives, from lean construction management to the management of the entire building lifecycle.

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