E-Site: the construction site in the digital era

Unforeseen events are the cause of a many failures on site, resulting in longer construction periods and increased costs. To alleviate the problem, CSTB engineering experts are working on the development of a software suite covering the three main phases in the life cycle of a building: design, construction and operation. The software suite is based on Web services which can either be used by the contractor for a specific project or all its sites, or be pooled by the designer to be made available to a number of contractors.

The objective for the construction phase is to create a mobile platform that can increase transparency and access to site schedules by adding events and risks to them and making the data available to all the parties involved. Under the umbrella of the European e-NVISION project, the CSTB has developed a prototype – “E-Site” – to manage events and risks and incorporate them in the definition of an “enhanced schedule” for a construction project.

The approach adopted by “E-Site” consists of detecting and then digitizing all kinds of site events in order to transmit them to the site manager, who can then propose solutions and change the schedule in real time if necessary. “E-Site” is based on telecommunications infrastructure (wifi, 3G, EDGE, etc.) and data collection devices (Personal Digital Assistant, Smartphone, Tablet PC, etc.).

Therefore, “E-Site”:

  • covers the site needs for materials (material inventory management), the availability of lifting equipments, the location and availability of storage areas, the availability of human resources for unloading, check-in of deliveries, etc.;
  • manages events in real time: plant breakdown, weather forecasts, lack of available workforce, etc. All this information is captured in real time by ad hoc communications equipment that suits robustness, minimal size, reliability and interface ergonomics requirements;
  • takes into account delivery management: date, place, time, electronic tagging, route to be taken given the volume or weight, storage location on site, events associated with the non-conformity or damage caused to the product to be delivered.

The specification for this platform was produced in collaboration with CARI, a construction company from the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, which is particularly innovative in all aspects of sustainable development.

(1) e-NVISION "A New Vision for the participation of European SMEs in the future e-Business scenario":