Digital Works Supervision System (DWSS) Enhancement – Another Major Leap towards the Construction 2.0 Vision

By Andy Cheung - Founder & GM, Spatial Technology Limited

As promulgated under DEVB TC(W) No.3 2020, Digital Works Supervision System (DWSS) has been mandated in capital works projects exceeding HK$300 million. This had triggered a wave of E-site supervision system adoption in past few years, undoubtedly paving the very first foundation for construction digitalisation.

Yet, based on our observation in the field, there exist numerous shortcomings and gaps in actual deployment to achieve the objective of improving site efficiency.

Under NEC contract requirements, nearly all capital works projects execute the DWSS selection process based on the rule of “lowest bids win”. Most awarded solutions appear to be E-formed based only, facilitating merely basic “digitisation” of forms, instead of “digitalisation” of your existing or preferred workflows, which leads to following issues:-

  • The low configurability of system makes addition of new forms & processes throughout the project life cycle more difficult, taking far more time resources in development & deployment.
  • There is a lack of scalability to extend the system to new quality applications out of the DWSS scope in the future, such as MiC, Material-On Site, Concreting, etc.
  • It is more heavy lifting & challenging for main contractors to setup ICWP (Integrated Capital Works Platform) as required by Development Bureau in later stage for data collection & analysis after the project goes Live.

In light of the latest DWSS 2.0 TC with new enhancement and lower adoption threshold from $300 million to $30 million, coupled with the new Smart Site Safety System (SSSS) mandate released earlier this year, main contractors are strongly recommended to revisit your systems in current projects and shed key thoughts on below areas while evaluating to do 2.0 upgrade or implement in new projects:-

  • Does the system include smart site application module to collect & consolidate data from different smart site applications?
  • Is it capable of integrating with added centralised management platform for connection with SSSS ?
  • Can the system be fully compliant with the 2.0 requirements with added functionality of contract management & ITP, especially in latter function for true real time progress monitoring & data sharing in one platform?
  • Is your solution provider well equipped with knowledge & skills to help you design and develop dashboards for data analytics?
  • Is the system sustainable & upgradable to fulfill other potential requirements like connection with CDE/BIM for project progress monitoring?

The aforementioned are indeed significant issues worthy of more thorough consideration if you are a serious practitioner aiming at achieving enhanced efficiency and uplifting site supervision performance.

It is indeed a very long road to achieve the vision of “Smart Construction Empowered by Construction Digitalisation”. The recent DWSS enhancement is seen as another major leaping step towards Construction 2.0. As an 20-year old AEC specialised solution provider who has always embraced progressive mindset advocating innovations, we are committed to supporting the industry along this digital transformation journey – from processing construction data into valuable information and ultimately transforming to knowledge for making smart decisions.

More about the author

As the founder & GM of Spatial Technology Limited with more than 30 years experience in the AEC sector, Andy has been leading the company in playing pioneer role to drive innovative construction technology adoption in the past decade, providing customers from government/clients, consultants to main contractors with advanced BIM & construction digitalisation solutions. Andy is well regarded for his profound industry knowledge & visionary insights.

Prior to setting up ST, he had held senior sales management positions in major AEC market leaders including Autodesk & Leica Geosystems. He graduated from Polytechnic University of Hong Kong with major in Civil Engineering (Hons) and was ex-President of CEEAA (Civil & Environmental Engineering Department Alumni Association).