University of Findlay Mobile Devices on Jobsites Article Paper and Presentation read the article and try to connect( relate ) it to the topics in the other

University of Findlay Mobile Devices on Jobsites Article Paper and Presentation read the article and try to connect( relate ) it to the topics in the other picture,for a presentation , presentation will take about three minutes, I need one paragraph, 100 words, and powerpoint. if you have more question tell me. Available online at
Procedia Engineering 123 (2015) 488 – 495
Creative Construction Conference 2015 (CCC2015)
Implementation of mobile devices on jobsites in the construction
Dr. Anoop Sattineni* and Taylor Schmidt
118 M. Miller Gorrie Center Auburn University, Auburn, AL,36849 USA
In the construction industry, the use of mobile devices at various stages of a construction project is on the upswing. In the
construction industry having accurate information on the fly is essential to make critical decisions in a timely manner and
eventually compete in the industry. Construction is witnessing efficient and effective ways of using mobile devices for personnel
on a construction site. It is increasingly clear that mobile devices are her to stay in the construction industry because of their
ability to improve communication and productivity. In the United States, mobile devices such as tablets and mobile phones are
being used constantly amongst superintendents and project managers on constructions sites. Large software providers such as
Autodesk, are making efforts to improve availability of building information models on mobile devices for jobsite use. In this
qualitative research, several end users were interviewed to discover how they are using mobile devices on construction sites.
Thematic and content analysis of the interview data was conducted as part of the data collection and analysis procedures of this
research. The results reveal that these devices are increasingly effective in enabling site personnel in a myriad of ways. The
benefits of using these mobile devices on jobsites will be discuss
The Authors.
by Elsevier
by Elsevier
Ltd. This
is an open
access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of the Creative Construction Conference 2015.
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of the Creative Construction Conference 2015
Keywords: mobile devices, construction jobsite, qualitative research, thematic analysis, content analysis.
1. Introduction
Mobile devices in construction were primarily driven by email and text messages that became popular to
contractors through any smart phone that had this capability. Since then, technology has improved tremendously and
has brought forth impressive products such as the iPad and the Microsoft Surface. These two tablets were first
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-334-844-4518; fax: +1-334-844-5386.
E-mail address:
1877-7058 © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of the Creative Construction Conference 2015
Anoop Sattineni and Taylor Schmidt / Procedia Engineering 123 (2015) 488 – 495
presented to the public less than ten years ago. These devices are designed to be thin and light weight, making its
everyday ergonomics usable on a construction site. Apple and Microsoft have both designed these tablets to handle
and process everything a normal, full-size computer can along with the bonus of mobility and ergonomics.
Businesses have immediately jumped on board in the past decade and have started using these mobile devices to
help with employee productivity. The construction industry has always been known to be behind in technology on
the jobsites, as compared to other industries in the United States [1]. According to most articles, construction
companies in recent years started with devices such as the Blackberry phone. Blackberry phones were driven
through their accessibility of email and fast Internet connection. Now, Apple has taken the Blackberry’s place in the
construction field with its advancements in applications for construction with new devices like the iPhone and iPad.
Bedard [2], director at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, suggests, “In construction, one of the biggest recent
developments in project management is the integration of mobile technology”. Bedard also mentions that [2], “The
tools that help collaborate and eliminate bottlenecks in the three phases of construction- planning, designing, and
building- are rooted in tablets, smartphones, and mobile intelligent hotspots”. Companies may be looking for
competitive advantages against competitors, mobile devices seem to be saving time and money on projects and that
is an important factor as well. The industry has taken a large step forward with companies accepting mobile devices
and using them on job sites. Each year, technology of these devices moves forward with new applications allowing
theses devices to be useful in several areas of construction management. The idea for construction companies is that
they can save time, communicate easier, and cut costs with the applications presented with these devices [3]. Mobile
devices should accelerate fieldwork into a place of better productivity and allow for less management inefficiencies.
The construction industry is facing usual pressures to decrease costs, improve field productivity, and have a
competitive edge in terms of quality of service and customer satisfaction. Recent mobile devices and technologies
could be one answer to alleviate these pressures including many other situations such as a software called
SmartBidNet, which simplifies the bid process through an online server for subcontractors [4]. Understanding how
companies are benefitting and stumbling with these technologies can allow for improvements for the future and
open the eyes of the future adopters of this technology. Mobile devices need to be seen as more than a primitive tool
with basic applications but also as an aid to solving various construction related processes at different levels of a
project such as being used to look at digital plans and 3D models.
2. Literature Review
The construction industry is information-intensive due to numerous pieces of crucial information that need to be
transferred and exchanged during the life of a project [5]. Mobile Devices were first introduced to construction sites
in the 1990s and contained very primitive features. Currently, with the invention of the iPad and similar devices, the
use construction technologies have increased enormously. Some of the larger construction companies in the United
States supply all of their project managers and superintendents with mobile devices for construction operations.
Construction firms in the U.S. with less than $250 million in revenue invest about 1.6% of it on information
technology, while companies with $10 billion in revenue only spend 1.1% [6]. These levels of spending on
information technology (IT) related resources indicate that construction companies are making major investments in
the IT area and may well be using mobile devices in their daily operations.
A survey was released recently found 75% of small to mid-sized construction firms in the United States and
Canada have used a mobile device to access work-related information [7]. A critical element in construction is the
communication between different workers on a construction site. Before mobile devices, there was a significant
problem with interpreting field entries for different areas of a project. Mobile devices enable the worker to collect
data in a more structured format rather than on paper forms in which there are high chances of human error. As an
example, Skanska Construction developed an iOS application for mobile devices to help manage their active
hospital projects across the United States. The application is called iSite Monitor and it measures environmental
conditions instantly and communicates to the project members an alert of any issue the moment they emerge. This
communication feature through the project devices allows for crucial minutes to be saved with some of the hospitals
most at-risk patients [8]. Research conducted about on-site document exchange between high and low level
Anoop Sattineni and Taylor Schmidt / Procedia Engineering 123 (2015) 488 – 495
employees of a construction firm found that a mobile communication network could effectively combine
information, experience, and competence to solve specific problems caused by unanticipated events that occur on
jobsites [9].
Building Information Models (BIM) is now not only offering opportunities for just construction managers and
designers, but also for the clients and owners. Research by McGraw-Hill Construction, ‘The Business Value of BIM
in North America’, shows that BIM adoption in that region expanded from 17 percent in 2007 to 71 percent in 2012
[10]. BIM in today’s construction is playing a large role in preconstruction stages for designing and clash detection
purposes. It is also being used on high profile projects to show workers what phase of construction they are currently
in and how their work should look once they have finished for each step of the way. Smart- BIM virtual prototypes
are being used and tested for interior design purposes. This technology uses a smart board and mobile devices to
provide a 3D representation of an interior room. Autodesk, a major player in BIM software has developed new
software called ‘BIM 360 Field’ which allows for mobile management on the job site within a BIM environment.
According to Autodesk, 75% of construction dollars are spent in the field and 25 cents of each dollar spent is
wasted. The workers in the field are able to look at plans, models, punch lists and relay information to others
through BIM 360 Field. As construction continues, this software is capable of keeping subcontractors and engineers
constantly connected and up to date on all activities taking place on the site. Field informational reports created by
this software are accessible to managers at any time [11]. The ability to digitally collaborate on a building’s physical
and functional characteristics strengthens and deepens partnerships between architects, engineers, and the client [5].
One of the major benefits of using mobile devices on construction sites is being able to use RFID technology to
improve material management. The existing information systems that mainly run on desktop computers cannot
operate efficiently because the materials on construction sites are stored far away from the computers in the office.
In recent years, information systems based from RFID were developed to track steel, pipe, and structural
components with corresponding mobile devices based on a wireless network [12]. These information systems
significantly improved equipment management on construction sites [13]. RFID mobile technologies can also assist
in recovering misplaced and stolen materials on jobsites. During the worst of the economic downfall in the United
States stolen and misplaced material on jobsites reached an all-time high. The National Insurance Crime Bureau
estimates that one billion dollars in metals and equipment is stolen from jobsites each year [2]. Thus, RFID enabled
mobile devices connected to company-owned jobsite materials can save a significant amount of money due to
companies not having to pay for lost or stolen items.
The literature review for this paper was dedicated to get a better understanding of the ramifications of mobile
devices on construction sites. All of the subjects reviewed, from the processes companies are using the devices for to
future prophecies, were intended to contribute towards the investigation of mobile device usage on construction
sites. In contemplation of the literature review for this paper, mobile devices have shown usefulness through three
important aspects of construction; efficiency, financials, and safety. While there were several topics discussed
previously on mobile devices, a majority of the topics seemed to address to the ability of mobile devices saving time
or money and improving safety on construction projects.
3. Methodology
Research methodology is a system of methods used in a particular area of study according to the Oxford
Dictionary Online [14]. Methodology can have a simple meaning as well, being defined as the strategic process of
how one goes about conducting research project. Semi-structured interviews with construction managers and
information technology specialists of construction companies were used as the primary method of data collection in
this study. Semi-structured interviews allow the researcher to explore a topic in great detail and enable a discussion
format so that clarifying questions can be asked. This research involved interviews with twelve individuals either on
a construction site or in a company office. Research has shown that twelve interviews is an acceptable target for
qualitative data collection purposes [15]. The interviewees were all asked the same questions and each interview
Anoop Sattineni and Taylor Schmidt / Procedia Engineering 123 (2015) 488 – 495
was conducted in a time frame of 20 to 30 minutes. The participants in the study were selected based on their
knowledge of the subject of using mobile devices on construction sites or were crucially involved in helping others
with the implementation aspects of mobile devices. Questions to the interviewees focused on the following themes:
x Various uses for mobile devices on the construction site
x Pros & Cons of using mobile devices in construction
x Feedback from end users about use of mobile devices on the construction site
The analysis of the data acquired through the interviews was conducted using thematic analysis and content
analysis. Thematic analysis and content analysis are acceptable forms of data analysis techniques for qualitative data
[16]. The interview data was first transcribed verbatim and coded separately for thematic analysis and content
analysis. Coding the data separately allowed for the minimization of any bias towards interpreting the data. Both
methods were adopted to get a comprehensive understanding of the results of the interviews.
3.1. Thematic Analysis
Thematic analysis is a method for identifying, analyzing and reporting patterns within data [16]. This analysis
focuses on the coding, examining, and patterns that occur within the recorded data. The themes of the information
are meaningful and are associated to the specific research question. An inductive thematic analysis will be taken in
this research meaning that the themes identified are strongly linked to the data themselves [17]. This strategy was
chosen because the deductive analysis would entail a pre-existing or a framed theme, which would eliminate some
of the unknown themes, derived directly by data. In this approach, if the data has been collected specifically for the
research, the themes may bear little relation to the specific questions that were asked of the participants. In addition,
inductive thematic analysis is a process of coding the data without trying to fit it into a pre-existing coding frame
3.2. Content Analysis
The quantitative content analysis of a large amount of textual data starts by identifying the frequency common
and key words used. Krippendorff [18] defines content analysis as “the use of replicable and valid method for
making specific inferences from text to other states or properties of its source”. Through identification of these reoccurring words, coding is used to create categories for providing a meaningful explanation to the researcher. As in
the case of thematic analysis, inductive and deductive approaches can be used for quantitative content analysis. In
this research, inductive analysis was chosen to be the structure once again, with the themes all being derived from
the data. Inductive reasoning was chosen because of its methods of arriving at a conclusion through formulating
tentative hypotheses to measure and explore rather than a narrow and fixed approach [19].
4. Results and Analysis
The data analysis was conducted after coding the interview data and then in two distinct but related methods
through quantitative content analysis and qualitative thematic analysis of the data gathered from the interviews. Use
of these two methods for analysis is intended to reveal all of the critical information behind the context of the
information collected through the interviews. The data itself is presented by separating it into various themes as
described in the research methodology section. Thematic analysis data is presented by the various unique themes
identified in the data. Content analysis data is presented in percentages, by grouping codes by frequency of
4.1. Field Uses of Mobile Devices
Understanding how construction companies use mobile devices is an important aspect of this study. The theme of
field uses involved the largest combination of questions in the interview, with four questions related to the field uses
Anoop Sattineni and Taylor Schmidt / Procedia Engineering 123 (2015) 488 – 495
of the mobile devices. The questions that were used in this theme were all in relation to how companies were using
their mobile devices in the field and the software/applications involved in the day-to-day processes of construction
by their employees. In the thematic analysis, the questions lead to three categories namely ‘applications’, ‘software’,
and ‘basic functions’ as shown in the Table 1.
Table 1: Field Uses of Mobile Devices – Thematic Analysis
Basic Functions
Construction Specific
Default device software
Autodesk BIM 360
Tracking Materials
Plangrid for RFI’s
Photo Documentation
Web-Based Scheduling
Bela software
Photo Messaging
PDF Viewers
Carlson for layouts
Visual Conferencing
The data revealed that all participants are aware of the new construction software and are using them in a broad
and beneficial ways on their projects. The data analysis showed that construction specific software related to BIM
was being used, such as Autodesk BIM 360, Latista and Procore. This software have the capability of viewing BIM
models, assigning tasks, conducting checklists and using plan rooms for accessing details of a project. The
interviewees reported that applications such as Plangrid and PDF Expert are conventional because they allow users
to digital files and plans from any location for quick solutions. The data also revealed that several built-in basic
functions of the device such as e-mail and camera functions were popular. Other applications used included viewing,
editing, submitting data online using the built-in web browser application.
From a content analysis perspective the uses of mobile devices on the field are listed in Table 2. The data
revealed that more than half of the participants use applications related to e-mail, file sharing, document viewing,
BIM related applications and photo sharing. More than a quarter of them use mobile devices for collision detection
using BIM models, punchlists, decision-making apps and PDF annotation apps. Other applications also mentioned
by the participants included texting, document storing, 3D modeling and video conferencing apps.
Table 2: Field Uses of Mobile Devices – Content Analysis

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