Improved Decision Making in Construction Using Virtual Site Visits
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This study explored the dynamics of information exchange involving field issues relating to construction and the assistance that a virtual site visit can provide to the field decision-making process. Such a process can be used for inspection and surveillance situations in addition to field decision making. The virtual site visit integrates advanced digital audio/video/data conferencing technology in wired and wireless Internet formats to assist in communicating field situations to remote off-site personnel. At its highest development, project information can be transmitted wirelessly through the Internet from a remote construction site to a residency and then to multiple locations through existing communication networks. This research demonstrates the ability to provide high levels of information transfer at relatively low cost, thus enabling critical and timely decisions. This is done through the use of available hardware and software assembled in a manner that allows interactive real-time audio/video transmission and reception. The research identifies the types and applicability of information critical to design and construction operations and the applicability of the Internet and advanced technologies to improve communication and decision making. In addition, the technical limitations on implementation of low-cost real-time audio-visual information transfer were explored.