ITcon Vol. 9, pg. 19-34, http://www.itcon.org/2004/2

Case studies on the use of information technology in the Canadian Construction industry

submitted:August 2003
revised:January 2004
published:February 2004
editor(s):B.C. Björk
authors:Hugues Rivard, Professor,
Dept. of Construction Engineering, École de technologie supérieure, Université du Québec
email : hugues.rivard@etsmtl.ca, http://www.ctn.etsmtl.ca/hrivard

Thomas Froese, Associate Professor,
Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia
email: tfroese@civil.ubc.ca, http://www.civil.ubc.ca/~tfroese/

Lloyd M. Waugh, Professor,
Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of New-Brunswick
email: waugh@unb.ca, http://www.unb.ca/civil/waugh/waugh.html

Tamer El-Diraby, Assistant Professor,
Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto
email: tamer@ecf.utoronto.ca, http://www.civil.utoronto.ca/profs/el-diraby/

Rodrigo Mora, Research Assistant,
Dept. of Building, Civil and Env. Engineering, Concordia University
email: rodrigo@cbs-engr.concordia.ca

Heli Torres, Research Assistant,
Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia
email: htorres@civil.ubc.ca

Sohaib Munir Gill, Research Assistant,
Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto
email: gill@ecf.utoronto.ca

Tim O’Reilly, Research Assistant,
Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of New Brunswick
email: t1kys@unb.ca
summary:A series of eleven case studies were gathered from across Canada in the summer of 2002. These case studies define an initial compendium of Best Practice in the use of information technology (IT) in Canada. The professionals interviewed included architects, engineers, general contractors, and owners. Many of them are at the cutting edge in their use of IT. The documentation of their pioneering use of IT can demonstrate how useful these technologies can be and what potential pitfalls are of concern. The case studies cover architecture, engineering, construction management, and specialized contractors. The following technologies were demonstrated: 3D CAD; custom Web sites; commercial Web portals; and in-house software development. No case was found that used wireless communication or standardized data formats such as IFCs or CIMSteel. The following issues were identified: the electronic distribution of documents is more efficient and cheaper; the short time-line and the tight budgets make it difficult to introduce new technologies on projects; the industry is locked in one CAD system and it is difficult to introduce new ones; it is costly to maintain trained CAD and IT personnel; and companies that lag behind reduce the potential benefits of IT. Still, the industry could achieve substantial benefits from the adoption of IT if it would be more widespread.
keywords:Information technology, Technology use, Case studies, Architecture, engineering and construction industry, Canada.
full text: (PDF file, 0.518 MB)
citation:Rivard H, Froese T, Waugh L M, El-Diraby T, Mora R, Torres H, Gill S M, O'Reilly T (2004). Case studies on the use of information technology in the Canadian Construction industry, ITcon Vol. 9, pg. 19-34, http://www.itcon.org/2004/2