Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC)
GIS technology is on the rise in this field which has been dominated by CAD software and now BIM technology. GIS is increasingly being seen as a valuable tool that can supplement the capabilities of these other two systems. If you want to compare your project's data to other aspects of the environment such as an aerial photo, site topography, soil types, slopes, or even other nearby projects GIS provides an easy platform to do that. However, it's generally on larger or more regional construction projects where GIS can really play a useful role. On projects like these the spatial component of project features in relation to each other becomes critical to gaining valuable insight into the project making informed decisions. GIS can be used to not only share real-time information regarding the status of various construction tasks at a granular level but also convey information about the progress of project phases. This information can easily go mobile and be brought into the field due to recent advances in hardware and robust cellular networks able to process large amounts of data. Evari has used GIS on regional construction jobs like a $10 Million Asphalt Overlay project which involved paving streets across the city of San Diego. GIS was used to clearly define areas where work was to be done allowing for much more accurate estimates of project supplies and workcrew time needed to complete project tasks.
Lean Construction management principals are rapidly becoming integral in many major construction jobs. Many firms have a “Lean Advocate” who works toward implementing Lean concepts. GIS helps teams fulfill many of the major tenets of lean construction. Lean Construction is modelled after Lean Manufacturing principles, used and promoted by Toyota as the Toyota Production System (TPS). The overarching goals are to maximize value by reducing waste. Traditional wastes are 1) overproduction, 2) waiting, 3) unnecessary transport or conveyance, 4) over-processing or incorrect processing, 5) excess inventory, 6) motion, 7) defects and, 8) latent skill.
On construction jobs with a regional scope, using a GIS to streamline communication across an enterprise empowers all stakeholders (workcrews, managers, tradesman, agencies) to get the information they need to make the best decisions. Examples of applications where GIS can be useful are asphalt overlay, streetlight conversions and high speed rail construction. Creating an interactive map as a platform to communicate has proven to be very effective at reducing inefficiencies, getting the most out of fieldcrews and creating a pull-production environment, where systems are organized to deliver products and services “just-in-time.”