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Emerging Technology in the Construction Industry: Perceptions from Construction Industry Professionals

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Mobile and Emerging Technologies in Construction

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Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.595.1 - 26.595.10



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Paper Authors


Eric A. Holt University of Nebraska, Kearney

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Eric A. Holt is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, teaching in the Construction Management program. He has 23 years of industry experience, with 16 years in the design field. He teaches Plan Reading, Virtual Design and Construction, BIM, and Building Codes to CM Majors.

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James M. Benham JBKnowledge, Inc.

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James is now the President and CEO of JBKnowledge, Inc. and a highly acclaimed construction technology public speaker. JBKnowledge specializes in IT solutions for the construction and insurance industries and is the maker of the SmartBidNet, SmartCompliance, and SmartReality cloud solutions. JBKnowledge specializes in enterprise application and database development, electronic data interchange, strategy consulting, mobile solutions, and web development, focusing on the construction and insurance industries. As a rapidly growing business year after year, JBKnowledge is a six-time recipient of the Aggie 100 award, six-time Newman 10 recipient, and was recently named to the LSU One Hundred for the first time. The company, and James, are headquartered in Bryan/College Station, TX with offices around the U.S.A. and in Argentina.

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Ben Fitzgerald Bigelow Texas A&M University

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Dr. Bigelow joined the faculty at Texas A&M in August of 2011. Dr. Bigelow earned a BS in construction science at Texas A&M, an MS in construction management at Arizona State University, and his PhD from The School of Education at Colorado State University. He teaches Estimating and Residential Capstone. His research interests are generally related to affordable and sustainable residential construction, construction higher education, underrepresented groups in construction, and technology in construction. Dr. Bigelow holds the professional designations of: AC (Associate Constructor) from the American Institute of Constructors and CGP (Certified Green Professional), CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist, and RCS (Residential Construction Superintendent) from the National Association of Home Builders
Dr. Bigelow serves as the Texas A&M NAHB student chapter’s faculty advisor, and competition team coach. He is a member of the NAHB student chapters advisory board, and is a former member of the NAHB education committee.
Professionally Dr. Bigelow spent three years building production homes in Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas. He has also operated his own design built remodeling firm since 2001, providing remodeling, consulting, and expert witness services.

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Emerging Technology in the Construction Industry: Perceptions from Construction Industry ProfessionalsAlthough historically the construction industry has been a slow adopter of technology, in recentyears the technology available to increase productivity and thus profit margins has seen rapidadoption and advancement. As these advances have taken hold the need for students to beexposed to this technology, to properly prepare them for their careers has arisen. Projectmanagement, estimating and building information modeling (BIM) technologies can now becommonly found in construction higher education. However, as technology in the constructionindustry continues to advance educators must be aware of what the “cutting edge” of technologyin construction is, so they can expose their students to it, and more thoroughly prepare them forwhat they will interact with in their careers.This study utilized a survey of construction industry professionals to learn about advances intechnology and where they are being used. The internet based survey netted more than 1,000responses and produced a sample for each question that ranged from n = 122 to n = 710, andrepresented all construction industry segments and a broad range of company sizes. Using ahealthy sample from across the industry, this study provides a current look at emergingtechnology in construction.Specifically this study sought to learn about two specific technologies, other technologies thatindustry professionals are interested in, and the barriers to technology adoption. Participantswere asked about use of augmented or virtual reality, and wearable technology, to learn if andhow deeply these technologies have penetrated the industry. Participants were also asked whattechnology they are experimenting with on projects as well as the technology that they have seenand hope to see used in future projects to explore those areas that are being tested and that havegrassroots support. Finally participants were asked the factors that limit the adoption of newtechnology at construction firms, so strategies for improving technology adoption in theconstruction industry can be explored.The study provides recommendations for technologies that should be introduced to studentsbeyond computer applications for estimating, scheduling and BIM. Further this study providesconstruction educators and professionals alike an idea of the direction technology is going in theindustry.

Holt, E. A., & Benham, J. M., & Bigelow, B. F. (2015, June), Emerging Technology in the Construction Industry: Perceptions from Construction Industry Professionals Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23933

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