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- Safety: We have also observed in our previous research that the instruction
misunderstanding produces unsafe situations as many safe procedures are not
understood and followed. This also increases the need for safety inspections.
Summarizing, as Figure 1 shows, the use of traditional verbal work instructions plus
construction drawing sets leads to many questions at the workface, rework, low
productivity, and unsafe situations. Moreover, the informality of verbal instructions
implies a high variability in both the delivery of instructions and the final performance
of the laborers, and, as one of the Lean Construction principles states, the reduction of
variability is key to improve performance (Thomas et al., 2002). Therefore, there is a
practical need for a better and more formal means to communicate work instructions.
Equip. & tools
Figure 1. Illustration of verbal communication of work instructions and its negative
impacts on the field. At the left, the superintendent/foreman verbally explains to
laborers what to do and where, using the construction drawing sets. At the right, the
figure shows the consequences of this poor communication.
At the same time, the use of virtual design and construction (VDC) methods and tools,
such as BIM-based estimating and energy simulation (Staub-French et al., 2003;
Bazjanac, 2005), are formalizing design and construction management information
and tasks. So, there is an opportunity of linking these formalizations with the