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NIST Research Toward Construction Site Integration and Automation



William C. Stone, K A. Reed, P Chang, L E. Pfeffer, Adam S. Jacoff


Current uses of computers in construction include design, planning, scheduling, and cost estimating. Much more could be achieved on a fully computer integrated construction site. This paper describes initial work at NIST toward construction site integration and automation, beginning with a simple steel erection procedure using an instrumented crane. CAD-generated geometry sets are transformed into a library of 3D construction site objects. These objects are then loaded into an augmented simulation system that tracks both equipment and resources based on real-time data from the construction site. With some future enhancements, the end results will be a world model of the site in which as-built conditions can be assessed, current construction processes can be viewed as they occur, planned sequences of processes can be tested, and object information can be retrieved on demand. A project can be viewed and managed remotely using this tool. Remotely controlled construction in hazardous environments is a natural extension of this environment. The National Construction Automation Testbed (NCAT) is currently being used in various research projects with the intentions of making such possibilities a reality. A major effort in the NCAT is the development and testing of the metrology, communication, and simulation protocols required.
Journal of Aerospace Engineering
No. 2


augmented simulation, construction automation, equipment tracking, information exchange, metrology, remote-controlled construction, resource tracking, virtual reality


Stone, W. , Reed, K. , Chang, P. , Pfeffer, L. and Jacoff, A. (1999), NIST Research Toward Construction Site Integration and Automation, Journal of Aerospace Engineering, [online], (Accessed July 14, 2024)


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Created April 1, 1999, Updated February 19, 2017