A recent article on KomoNews details how the advent of tablet computing is taking the construction world by storm. From the university education of construction managers to the professional construction site, tablets are quickly becoming the standard. On the Boise State University’s campus, professors such as Casey Cline are requiring their construction management students to acclimate themselves to tablet technologies in order to prepare them for the real world.
Such technologies enable construction firms to remotely manage projects, and account for project and safety-related changes using virtual markups and onsite photography. Until recently, technological advances in construction management were slow to be adopted. When firms such as Hoffman Construction began to see how much time and money could be saved due to tablets and related products, they began to shift their mindsets. Noelle Spencer, a Project Engineer at Hoffman said, “Handheld technology has moved decision-making outside.” Tablets are allowing contractors and their staff members to access information and take action without ever having to stop at the office.
Tablets also have the added benefit of being environmentally friendly. They allow companies to go virtually paperless during their construction efforts. The resurgence of the construction industry from the economic decline of recent efforts has been slow but steady, causing some to doubt the ROI of tablets. However, tablets can make up for their initial costs very quickly through future savings. As Michael Papac put it, “Before, if an architect made changes, hard documents would have to be ordered and sent out to everyone associated with the project, and it would take three to five days just to get the docs in hand.” With tablets, these costs would be history.