Cranes, Concrete, Construction...and Computers

by Paul Tarricone, Assoc. Ed.; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 6, Pg. 44-47

Document Type: Feature article


Computers are already firmly entrenched in the design process. Now, they're touching all corners of construction. Applications range from traditional project management tasks (such as scheduling and estimating) to simulated three-dimensional site planning. During 3D construction, cranes, materials, batch plants and the like are moved around the site to find the optimum position, before ground is even broken. Other firms are using computers to track materials and documents over the course of the project. The most elaborate and futuristic use of computers, however, would be to create a linked database containing every detail of a project's history, from conception through completion. The goal of this computer-integrated construction would be to consolidate the notoriously fragmented construction industry. Obstacles, however, continue to slow the automation of construction. The small, mom-and-pop specialty contractors may be averse to automating, but a bigger problem in this litigious industry may be resistance by engineers to share computer data with contractors. Ultimately, owners will dictate how computerized the industry becomes, and by the turn of the century, many believe the term CIC may be as common as CADD.

Subject Headings: Cranes | Concrete | Concrete construction | Computing in civil engineering | Project management | Construction materials | Construction sites | Automation

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