Year of Publication

2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Engineering

Department

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Paul M. Goodrum

Abstract

Over the past decades, information technology has been impacting industries, economics, the way of life and even the culture throughout the world. Productivity has been attracting much attention as an important indicator of economics, and numerous researchers have investigated the relationship between information technology and productivity. Construction is one of the largest industries in the United States, but little research has been conducted to investigate the relationship between information technology and construction productivity.

The major objective of this dissertation is to determine the degree (if any) to which information technology usage, specifically the use of information technology to automate and integrate construction project work functions, is related to construction productivity. First, the author analyzed the relationship between information technology and construction productivity on a national-level basis. Second, the author compared the relationship between information technology’ contribution to value added growth and productivity in the construction industry with other industries. Third, the author performed a series of statistical analyses to investigate the relationship between construction productivity and automation and integration applications at the construction project level. Based on the above results, the author developed a matrix to map the relationship between technology usage on each work function and productivity in the concrete, structural steel, electrical and piping trades. In addition, a technology index developed from technology usage on all of the work functions were used to investigate the general effect of information technology usage on a project level.

In order to leverage the relative importance of technology on each work function, regression analyses were performed to obtain a further understanding of the relationship. Factor analysis was also applied to identify the latent factors and simplify the patterns of relationships among the different work functions. This analysis could provide construction companies an indication about information technology usage priority and deployment in their work. Finally, a detailed examination of how Building Information Modeling, representing a current significant advancement of information technology usage on many construction projects, impacts the performance of a specific construction project is performed through a case example.

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