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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Computerized site documentation of public sector construction projects English, Ralph William


This paper presents the results of a study to develop and field test a prototype computer-based system, the goal of which is to improve the ability of owners to monitor progress on and manage the site documentation of construction projects. Public agencies in particular often collect exhaustive site data which is used for such on-site purposes as decision-making and reporting, as well as serving claims support and design feedback needs by becoming the basis of the 'as-built' record of construction events. This information is typically kept in the form of site reports, diaries, photographs, test results, meeting minutes, etc. which are recorded, filed and archived in hard copy format for future reference. Retrieving the information relative to specific needs is cumbersome at best, especially when performed well after project completion, and correlating the different information types manually is virtually impossible when considering the volume and diversity of data generated. Additionally, public agencies often have needs unique from those of the private-sector contractor, especially since the former's direct costs are related primarily to contract pay items (e.g.: as with unit price contracts) as opposed to resource and time costs. Using an existing project management system as a starting point, routines were added and integrated with previous functions to accommodate pay item and quality management tracking, the linking of records and pay item information with activities, records searching and sorting, scanned records viewing, and associated report generation. The study makes use of a British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Highways reconstruction project, in order to identify the needs of a public owner, assess the implications of such a system with regard to typical site practices, and field test the prototype system. The resultant prototype system offers a seamless integration of various functions: planning and scheduling, progress measurement, quality management, documentation of progress and problems, and analysis of performance. Benefits of the system are projected to include improvements in claims support, problem assessment, report generation, communications, and feedback for future design and constructability refinement.

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