University of Calgary

A new building tool

UToday HomeApril 18, 2012

By Jennifer Sowa

Janaka Ruwanpura (left) accepts the 2012 Industry Partnership Award from Dave Smith, president of the Calgary Construction Association. Photo courtesy Janaka RuwanpuraJanaka Ruwanpura (left) accepts the 2012 Industry Partnership Award from Dave Smith, president of the Calgary Construction Association. Photo courtesy Janaka RuwanpuraIt’s a wireless, mobile kiosk with a touch-screen that puts project management quite literally at your fingertips. Janaka Ruwanpura, Canada Research Chair in Project Management Systems at the Schulich School of Engineering, launches his second-generation i-Booth today at a gathering with industry partners at Hotel Alma.

“The construction industry lags behind others when it comes to adopting modern communication technology,” says Ruwanpura. “Ineffective communication is a major barrier to productivity and efficiency of projects.”

Construction projects are massive undertakings that often result in delays and cost overruns. Ruwanpura’s goal when creating the i-Booth was to help companies become more efficient, save money, and improve worker safety. The touch-screen provides instant access to information that is relevant to the work planned on a given day: specific instructions, weather forecasts, customized safety information, staff schedules, even building plans and drawings that would otherwise take time to acquire.

Earlier this year, Ruwanpura received the 2012 Industry Partnership Award from the Calgary Construction Association for his work developing tools and best practices for improving construction productivity.