The Construction Industry is a complex environment because of its uniqueness, the amount of resources involved in it, and the complexity of the technology required. Contractors have to estimate the duration of activities that in some cases have never been performed before. Based on these estimates, contractors allocate the resources to perform these activities in order to minimize their costs and in turn be both competitive and profitable at the same time. After the owner and the contractor enter into a contract, many situations conspire against the completion of a project on schedule, such as frequent change orders, delayed drawings, unexpected underground conditions, adverse weather, and material shortages, among others.This complex situation has become more severe with increasing project complexity, and as a result a large number of contracts end up in long and expensive trials, in arbitration chambers or in courts. Delays are the main reasons for these disagreements.
The analysis of a delay is not a simple task, not only because of the technical nature of the question, but also because it requires an investigation of past actions, as recordedin hearings, reports and design analysis. A software package that could be used in an arbitration hearingor in a court of law, showing not only a movie of the site activities but also a dynamic schedule…should be a very usefull tools… and prevent many disagreements from ending up in court or arbitration. (Jorge Abeid and David Arditi)
That was written in 2000 right after the defense of the thesis of Dr. Jorge Abeid advised by Dr. David Arditi at IIT-Illinois Institute of Technology. It was also later published in the Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering in its volume 16, number 4 (2002) under the title: Linking Time-Lapse Digital Photography and Dynamic Scheduling of Construction Operations.
It is now 10 years later. Over 20 clients have employed PHOTO-NET II as a tool for controlling the construction of 48 projects in 4 countries (Canada, USA, Peru and Brazil). By the success obtained by these projects, it seems like the article was right. None of those projects ended up in legal disputes; though claims have arisen, all of them settled peacefully under the evidences recorded by PHOTO-NET II system and PHOTO-NET II progress analysis tool.
Dr. Jorge Abeid, Ph.D.