Information has the best value when it is delivered to the correct place at the correct time in the required format. Many scholars have noted information and communication chaos in the construction industry. Inadequate communication and non-availability of information were well observed in almost all the construction projects, which caused low productivity. Further, workers also emphasized about inadequate communication in their working environment as a cause for low productivity. Construction companies, with the help of technology developers, are trying to incorporate numerous software/hardware systems to achieve better productivity and competitive advantage. However, these isolated systems may create more confusion in construction projects, due to the mismatch of the software and hardware systems. Site observations reveal that supervision staff lose more than two hours a day as a result of ineffective information management.
The AUSIA framework discussed in this PhD thesis is a communication platform based on information integration and field automation with an information hub called the i-Booth. This framework integrates several other information/communication technologies. There have been extensive pilot site implementation for prolonged periods in commercial construction settings with very satisfactory results. AUSIA framework is developed to improve accessibility of information while enhancing the end user satisfaction and usefulness of the data through information integration. This automated systems ensures that workface and office can communicate real-time to minimise the time waste and productivity loss due to ineffective information management.
Framework was implemented in a commercial construction project for one year and level of communication was measured before and after implementation. Field staff judged improvement in communication through a survey instrument. Statistical analysis was performed to determine enhancement in communication. Communication was judged on ten information categories and analysis revealed that overall communication was improved by roughly around fifty percent compared to earlier state, while increasing information integration and field automation significantly. Field staff appreciated integration of virtual design and construction with field level by providing infrastructure to interact with models with minimal training. With the conclusion of the research AUSIA framework was successfully commercialized and the first kiosk was sold in early 2013 to a general contractor.