Document Detail

Title: SD-84 - Advanced Construction Technology System (ACTS)
Publication Date: 12/1/1992
Product Type: Source Document
Status: Archived Tool
Pages: 375
This publication has been archived, but is available for download for informational purposes only.

Ioannou, Liu, Dias, Univ. of Michigan
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The expedient introduction of emerging construction technologies into practice is one of the most effective methods for improving product quality, decreasing costs, and improving the effectiveness of the construction industry. In spite of recent advances in construction automation, however, the industry still lacks an efficient system for the rapid identification and evaluation of potential technological solutions during design and construction. This lack of organization and availability, when coupled with the natural human tendency to stay with the tried and true, is probably the major cause of the slow rate of technology transfer and adaptation in the construction industry. Information about technological innovations needs to be centrally organized and disseminated so that it may be readily usable at a moment’s notice.

The objective of the Advanced Construction Technology System (ACTS) is to provide a solution to this problem. The project’s long-term objective is to establish ACTS as an ongoing information service to the U.S. construction industry that will help contractors, designers, and owners identify and use emerging technologies to improve construction efficiency and effectiveness.

ACTS is a computerized database for the classification, documentation, storage, and retrieval of information about emerging construction technologies. ACTS consists of a custom MS Windows application, classification, and keyword files, and a database of emerging technologies. It currently includes more than 400 technologies that relate to civil, architectural, electrical, instrumentation, mechanical, and piping systems. The identification and documentation of advanced construction technologies was accomplished through a joint effort by researchers at the University of Michigan, North Carolina State University, Purdue University, and Argonaut AEC, General Motors Corporation.

ACTS was developed at the University of Michigan using Actor, an object oriented general purpose language for MS Windows 3.x. ACTS operates in two modes that support the needs of end-users, as well as the needs of the persons responsible for compiling and entering new technology information in its database. ACTS is a flexible, graphical application that uses an extensive set of windows, drop-down menus, and dialogue boxes that make it very easy to use. It can be operated simply by using a mouse and does not require keyboard input, except for documenting new technologies. Furthermore, it can be easily modified and extended because of the loose coupling between the system and its contents. Technologies in ACTS have been classified according to the CSI Masterformat, indexed with keywords using a predetermined set of 9,247 keywords, and described according to a standard format that determines the type, amount, and organization of information about each technology.

The ACTS project was supported by the Construction Industry Institute, the Construction Productivity Advancement Research program (CPAR) of the Corps of Engineers, and Argonaut AEC, General Motors Corporation. The ACTS project was directed by the CII Technology Survey Task Force.