e-Construction and Partnering
The e-Construction and Partnering (eCP) innovation uses web-based and mobile platforms to reduce or eliminate the use of paper and increase collaboration and communication on construction projects. eCP is a
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Every Day Counts Round 4 (EDC-4) innovation that Pennsylvania championed.
How Does It Work?
PennDOT has traditionally administered contracts and managed highway construction through a paper-based documentation system. By using digital e-Construction technologies, PennDOT has enhanced collaboration among project teams and improved communication to streamline project delivery.
PennDOT employees, along with contractor and consultant personnel, use iPads to access several e-Construction apps to share information and connect to PennDOT’s core systems. For example, with the development of the PennDOT Project Collaboration Center (PPCC) system, contract submissions can now be completed in a concise system that improves turnaround times and ensures submissions are not misplaced or lost in emails. PennDOT uses mobile computing apps, which allow field inspectors to access and download documents and contracts to their devices, including specifications, drawings and submittals. Another app allows field inspectors to complete their daily logs, including payments, on a mobile device.
Construction Partnering is a project management practice where transportation agencies, contractors, and other stakeholders create a team relationship of mutual trust and improved communications. Partnering builds relationships and connections among stakeholders to improve outcomes and successful completion of quality projects that are built on time and within budget, focused on safety, and profitable for contractors.
What Are The Benefits?
Utilizing e-Construction increases the level of automation on construction activities and helps to reduce costs through the reduction of paper, and elimination of printing and storage needs. It increases transparency through secured and expedited document transmissions and saves time through online communication, which helps to eliminate misunderstandings and expedites project delivery schedules. These processes also increase efficiency as inspectors, on average, are spending one and a half fewer hours each day on administrative tasks, enabling them to spend more time in the field engaged in valuable inspection and quality assurance duties.
Construction Partnering connects public and private stakeholders to improve outcomes and successful completion of quality projects, and reduce project schedule delays, change orders and claims by eliminating misunderstandings or miscommunication.
DID YOU KNOW...
Mobile apps and other improvements are driving productivity savings of more than $80 million across all users, a savings of more than four times the development cost.
Innovation in Motion
In 2019, PennDOT and the FHWA co-hosted a national conference in Pittsburgh to showcase best practices associated with e-Construction and Partnering. The workshop brought together more than 200 state and national leaders from 27 state Departments of Transportation (DOTs), design consultants, contractors, and other industry leaders to discuss technology and best practices related to this EDC-4 innovation.
Since 2013, PennDOT has deployed nine mobile construction apps with more in development. The goals of the mobile construction program are to provide tools that are transforming processes through efficient technology, increasing productivity in the field and providing more accurate data collection and reporting. In 2020, PennDOT District 11 also began piloting electronic ticketing for aggregates and concrete, in addition to asphalt, which had previously utilized electronic tickets.
PennDOT and FHWA, in cooperation with the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), used
FHWA STIC Incentive Funding in 2018 to conduct a study to determine the level of workforce preparedness for eCP in the public and private sectors. As part of the study, a statewide survey was conducted of APC members, American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA) members, PennDOT and PTC construction management staff and others. Eighty-seven percent of respondents had at least heard of e-Construction, and 62 percent had used e-Construction apps. Respondents across all industries indicated that in-person training would be the most helpful to implement or continue to implement e-Construction.
The majority (79 percent) of respondents heard of and used Construction Partnering at least once. Noted benefits of partnering were increased communication and transparency and increased efficiency. Respondents indicated that statewide guidance and in-person trainings would be most helpful to implement or continue a Partnering program.
For more information about this innovation, contact the
STIC Management Team.