Utilisation of Smart Devices in the Construction Industry: An Empirical Study in the Dominican Republic

Utilisation of Smart Devices in the Construction Industry: An Empirical Study in the Dominican Republic

Manuel Silverio-Fernandez, Suresh Renukappa, Subashini Suresh
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJ3DIM.2018010102
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On a global scale, the construction sector is considered to have a high degree of decentralised information. In the Dominican Republic, the construction industry represents the most significant economic activity in the country. Smart devices and the Internet of Things create an opportunity to enhance the exchange of information in the construction sector. This article reports on the empirical findings of an investigation focused on the implementation of smart devices in the AEC sector. Findings address the status of digitalisation in the construction sector of the construction industry as well as main utilisations of smart devices. The findings are based on semi-structured interviews with fifteen professionals from nine construction organisations. The article concludes that smart devices increase efficiency in the construction industry of Dominican Republic by adding mobility, ubiquitous data access, and digitalisation of paperwork.
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1. Introduction

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a relatively recent paradigm that is rapidly gaining grounds and acceptance in the scenario of wireless telecommunications. This concept is based on a continuous presence of diverse objects connected to a network or other devices that can interact with each other to reach common business goals (Giusto et al., 2010).

Traditional internet consists of a global network that enables communications between computers. When connecting those computers, the main purpose of the internet is connecting the users of those computers. The traditional internet is user-centric however Internet of Things (IoT), is a network that connects things; anything can be connected to this network (Miller, 2015). The IoT interconnects uniquely identifiable embedded computing devices.

The main strength of the IoT is the high impact it will have on several aspects of everyday life and behaviour of potential users in both working and domestic fields. If effectively implemented in the field of Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) it represents a major step towards the integration of stakeholders via autonomous information exchange.

According to Atzori et al. (2010), the IoT has an enormous potential for developing many applications in our society. By implementing this paradigm in the construction industry, regular objects would record data which can be used to build relevant metrics to users. The data obtained from the integration of the IoT with traditional construction processes can be used to enhance construction projects efficiency, and subsequently, make the industry more sustainable, by enabling regular objects to communicate with each other and collect information from the surroundings where a wide range of autonomous applications could be deployed.

Smart devices are objects capable of communication and computation which range from simple sensor nodes to home appliances and smartphones. This paper considers smart devices as the objects present in a pervasive network of the IoT (Stojkoska & Trivodaliev, 2017)). Some authors also use other terms when referring to smart devices, Azhar et al. (2015) use the terms “mobile tools”, “mobile technologies” and “mobile devices” for devices that allow professionals to get instant access to project documents, plans and specifications.

Some of the main technologies associated with smart devices in the construction industry are Cloud Computing (CC), Augmented Reality (AR), Building Information Modelling (BIM), and Geographical Information System (GIS). The main idea behind each one of these technologies are discussed below:

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