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Journal of Information Technology in Construction;21(1)
International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction
Today’s design teams deliver engineering models sophisticated enough to serve as blueprints for production and construction work. However, issues of adoption persist for the on-site use of building information modelling (BIM). It is known how delivery and placement of material such as reinforcing bars influences the productivity of the overall construction process. This article presents an early pilot case of BIM implementation for facilitating on-site placement of reinforcing bars. No traditional shop drawings were used throughout the fabrication and placement of the reinforcing bars. The research question asked is: Will BIM technology be accepted or rejected by concrete reinforcement ironworkers in carrying out their work? This question was considered worthwhile since whether or not individuals accept or resist using a new technology depends on whether they perceive it as beneficial or detrimental for doing their jobs. The technology acceptance model was used to structure the inquiry in this article. Data were collected based on a series of semi-structured interviews with reinforcement workers in Oslo’s new airport terminal T2 project. The workers used a highly sophisticated virtual model indicating the position, type and dimension of reinforcement loops and bars. Findings are that even less IT-literate workers perceived the virtual models to provide them with a large relative advantage over paper workshop drawings. Thus, BIM systems, handheld devices, and apps can be considered sophisticated enough for replacing workshop drawings. A prerequisite is careful preparation work by structural and site engineers. Several issues hindering a more wide spread adoption could be identified: (1) information technology capability of structural engineers; (2) appropriate contracts, and (3) additional workload incurred by structural and site engineers. Our work indicates that substantial building process productivity improvements are possible when BIM adoption in reinforcing bar placement is introduced. However, there are costs which may outweigh some of the advantages. It was beyond the scope of our study to establish the added value of BIM for the reinforcement and the overall construction process.
© 2016 The author. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 unported (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
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