Applicability Of Site Automation In Monitoring Project Perfomance In Kenya: A Case Study Of Construction Firms In Nairobi
In modern construction management, site automation has been used to improve on project performance. This study sought to evaluate factors affecting site automation levels in construction firms and identify their impact on project performance. The study identified seven factors affecting site automation levels. The study hypothesized that, site automation levels varies significantly with the size of a firm, complexity of a project and cost of site automation technologies. Further, sought to find out whether there is significant difference in project performance by construction firms that have high automation levels than those with minimal automation levels. The study employed two conceptual models to establish the factors affecting site automation levels on construction sites and further explore the influence of site automation on project performance. Higher project performance was measured in terms impact of site automation on project time, budget, quality, scope, and safety. The study employed descriptive research design and structured questionnaires were used in data collection from a sample size of 277 construction firms registered under NCA 1-3. The impact of factors affecting adoption of site automation technologies and evaluation of the impact of automation on project performance was measured using a five-point likert scale. Correlation analysis was undertaken to determine the strength and significance of association between factors influencing automation and levels of site automation while to explain the variance in levels of site automation and to generate a predictive model, standard multiple regression was undertaken. Finally, to establish whether the level of site automation significantly varies with the theorized factors of site automation, a chi-square test for independence was undertaken. The results showed that the level of site automation is strongly and significantly associated with costs of automation, size of the firm, project magnitude, and staff capacity. The results showed that majority of the firms (96 percent) were using partial automation. The results further indicated that automation of labour, materials, plant and equipment; construction processes can be associated with improved project performance up to 41.9 percent. The study established that there is significant difference in project performance by construction firms that have high levels of site automation than those with minimal levels of automation. In this regard, 76.7 percent of the firms indicated that use of site automation technologies had a major influence on project performance with greater influence on improved quality, better health and safety, and reduction in completion time and thus recommended that firms be sensitized in the adoption of site automation technologies. The study further recommends that, the National Construction Authority to formulate legal framework that construction firms that can be used to use site automation to improve project performance.
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