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Kumaraswamy M M

Identifying needs and potential for decision support in construction procurement

Abstract: Procurement options in construction have proliferated amidst innovative approaches to financing projects, segregating functions, choosing participants and managing processes. Recent studies confirm that the selection of 'appropriate' procurement options is a necessary (although insufficient) condition for improving project performance levels. One such study compared procurement vs. non-procurement related variables in influencing project performance. Data from a sample of building projects in Hong Kong was used to develop time and cost over-run models, through multiple linear regression and artificial neural network techniques. These exercises indicated the significance of 'procurement variables' such as 'payment modality' (e.g.: fixed price lump sum) as well as 'non-procurement variables' such as client characteristics (that include secondary variables/ factors such as 'client type' and 'client experience') and project characteristics (including secondary variables such as 'building type' and 'project complexity'). A follow-up pilot study next evaluated (a) the relative impacts of various procurement and non-procurement variables on eleven identified project performance criteria; and (b) the feasibility of developing a decision support system for improved construction procurement that targets these eleven performance criteria, while 'modelling in' (and therefore incorporating) the influences of significant non-procurement variables. A viable model of a decision support system is thereby developed to help optimise project-specific procurement decisions by clients and their advisers.

Keywords: construction, decision support, knowledge-based, performance, procurement

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Liang Y L, Amette L S, Simon S K

Multimedia project control and documentation system

Abstract: Construction experience and knowledge are omnipresent yet difficult to capture at the project site. Many problems and innovative solutions can not be effectively documented because ofthe lack of proper tools to collect and organize the as-built iformation. In claims or disputes, mmy issues involving site conditions cannot be thoroughly analyzed because ofthe lack of information. This as-built information may exist in diverse formats such as text (reports, daily logs), sound (meeting recordings, discussions), and video (site walk through, inspection records). Using multimedia technology, these diverse formats of as-built information can be integrated with project scheduling and control systems to provide an environment not only to control and document project information but also to elicit and study construction experience and knowledge. Such information could also be very valuable for facility operator/maintainers in the later stage of the facility life cycle. This paper presents the design and the operatian of a multimedia project control and documentation system (M73LTROL) under development at the University of Illinois and Construction Engineering and Research Laboratory (CERL). This system allows the users to document and retrieve the as-built project information in the form of text, sound, image and video associated with construction activities. The current version of MULTROL is developed for the FC platform and runs under 'Microsoft WindowsTM operating environment. This system uses graphical user-interface for all operations, creating a user- friendly environment far construction personnel. The retrieval of the as-built information is further assisted by user definable queries to support different needs of construction management.

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Series: w78:1993 (browse)
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Class: class.man-software (0.041560) class.retrieve (0.016578) class.environment (0.015832)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the National University of Singapore. The assistance of the editors, particularly Prof. Martin Betts, is gratefully appreciated.


Lindfors, Christian; Leiringer, Roine

CREATING LEAN ENTERPRISES THROUGH PROCESS ORIENTATION - MODELS FOR NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

Abstract: The construction industry is experiencing large and radical changes forced upon it by external influences such as changing social patterns, internationalisation, growing environmental awareness, rapid development of the IT sector, knowledgeable and demanding customers, as well as development within the industry itself. The need for organisations to adapt to this new set of circumstances is evident as companies face financial difficulties at a time when they need to come up with innovative solutions and increase their customer focus. One way of adapting – the one explored in this paper – is to make the organisation leaner. ‘Lean enterprises’ are resource and time efficient and agile to the point that they are able to respond to customer demands and expectations. Instead of having activities aligned according to functions, lean enterprises are organised along value chains of products or product families. This paper addresses the implementation of process thinking to the construction industry and presents a structured way of making a systematic representation of processes. It discusses initiatives, including the creation of extensive functional models that have been initiated to systematically identify processes within organisations and to create new models for more efficient enterprises. Conclusions are drawn that confirm the utility of adopting a process orientation for bringing about improvement and as a pathway towards establishing lean enterprises.

Keywords: Lean thinking, process orientation, customer focus

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M Lo Prete, L Dal Cerro, V Bonora

“Canopée des Halles de Paris” Case study for an innovative digital approach to tender competition

Abstract: The traditional tender competition procedure embeds a series of negative aspects, linked to the use of 2D technical drawings that describe geometries and technological solutions of which an architectural project is composed. The technical language linked to orthogonal projections is no longer a good medium to describe contemporary architectural concepts: during the tender a potential incoherence generated by 2D representation may lead to a not accurate evaluation of costs, risks, and time. The goal of this study is to introduce an innovative concept of digital tendering, integrating the traditional set of 2D technical drawings into a 3D interoperable model based on the widely diffused IFC format, detached from specific commercial approaches. This implemented documentation will help construction societies to better comprehend the complexity of the technical solutions, through a pedagogic 3D model which contains all the information needed for economical evaluation and a series of direct links to the whole project documentation. “Canopée des Halles” project was approached during the PRO phase, which preceded the tender competition. During this period the company DECODE played an intermediary role, developing a 3D master model based on technical information and made it evolve through a verification and correction process. Once the model was completed, DECODE acquired the documentation for the tender and started to fill the 3D model with semantic information useful during the calculation phase. Then the geometries were linked to their specific 2D technical documentation and the whole master model was exported into an IFC interoperable format. Construction companies received from the Paris City Hall a dvd, containing the 4D model (3D geometry + information), the pdf documentation attached to this and the eveBIM viewer. Into this innovative approach eveBIM represented the pedagogical instrument able to increase the comprehension of the project and provide a technical support to the calculation process through a paper-less approach.

Keywords: Digital tender competition, IFC, Interoperability, Master model, ICT strategies.

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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M Lu, X Shen, S Mao

Estimating Potential Cost Savings from Implementing an Innovative TBM Guidance Automation System

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Series: w78:2014 (browse)
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Mao S,Shen X,Lu M,Wu X

Real-time tablet-based virtual reality implementation to facilitate tunnel boring machine steering control in tunnel construction

Abstract: On the majority of tunneling projects, steering a tunnel boring machine (TBM) currently relies on a laser station which projects a laser beam onto a laser target board mounted on the TBM. However, laser target boards lack accuracy and reliability, thus potentially contributing to quality defects and increased risks of schedule delay and budget overrun in tunnel construction. This research has developed a cost-effective, real-time solution called “virtual laser target board (VLTB)” to substitute for physical laser target boards in guiding TBM during construction. Through integrating automation control mechanisms, innovative computing algorithms, and wireless network technologies, the VLTB technology transforms a popular survey tool, the robotic total station, into a construction control robot which precisely tracks and positions the TBM. By applying an enhanced point-to-angle computing algorithm, VLTB calculates the exact coordinates of the cutter head center on the working TBM in millimeter-level accuracy. The invisible cutter head center is projected onto a “virtual laser target board” on a tablet interface in relation to the as-designed alignment. Based on field testing, VLTB is found to be able to lend real-time, relevant assistance to TBM operators and tunnel surveyors. Compared to other advanced technologies in the market, VLTB provides a simpler and more flexible solution to ensure tunnel alignment control and enhance quality and productivity performances in tunnel construction.

Keywords: Tunnel Construction,Tunnel Boring Machine,Virtual Reality,Mobile Computing,Machine Control and Guidance,Robotic Total Station

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Martin Fischer

Tomorrow's workday: spontaneous, creative, and reliable

Abstract: Through several scenarios, this paper shows how a construction project manager might spend a workday in the future. The particular tasks addressed include participating in a design review meeting, preparing the construc-tion input to an engineering issue, tracking the schedule, budget, and environmental performance on a project under construction, dealing with organizational issues around innovative methods, and maintaining the company’s intelligent production planning and control system. Through these examples, the paper also tries to show that the combination of lean production methods and virtual design and construction tools should not only lead to reliable workflow, but should also enable and leverage the ingenuity, spontaneity, and creativity of designers, engineers, and builders.

Keywords: virtual design and construction, lean construction, future scenarios

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Mittrup I, Smarsly K, Hartmann D, Bettzieche V

An agent-based approach to dam monitoring

Abstract: Software agents - autonomous, mobile and intelligent software programs - provide all the necessary characteristics to innovate and accelerate the development of distributed applications. They represent powerful and robust software technology for implementing distributed collaborative work flows and complex interaction. Applying software agents, the Institute of Computational Engineering, in cooperation with the Ruhrverband (Ruhr River Association) is taking an innovative approach to develop a modern dam monitoring system, which is capable of supporting the collaborative work of experts involved in monitoring. While the conventional computer-based monitoring systems consider the remote monitoring, the presentation and the electronic transfer of measured data, the present agent-based approach is focusing the distributed work flow of data analysis and safety assessment. Consequently, the complete work flow of dam monitoring is mapped onto a multi-agent system: regularly performed tasks (e.g. measuring at the dam) are carried out by task-oriented agents. In addition, the involved human experts are assisted by personal agents, which allow a direct communication with the multiagent system and provide access to specific tasks. Associated with the known advantages of the agent technology, such as robustness and mobility, the introduced concept is a significant enhancement compared to conventional monitoring applications. The present paper gives a short introduction to dam monitoring, outlines the selected design of the agent-based dam monitoring system and provides an insight into the current implementation. It is to be pointed out that the realization is still incomplete and a matter of research.

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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Auckland. The assistance of the editor who provided the full texts and the structured metadata, Dr. Robert Amor, is gratefully appreciated.


Moodi F

Integration of knowledge management and Information Technology into the repair of concrete structures: an innovative approach

Abstract: The use of Information Technology (IT) in design and construction can exploit strategic opportunities for new ways of integrating, sharing and facilitating information and knowledge in any field of engineering. The technologies available are sophisticated computer programs which store expert knowledge on specific subject and are applied to a broad range of engineering problems. The integration of separate areas of IT can be used to bring a group of experts and specialists in any field of engineering closer together by allowing them to communicate and exchange information and expertise. The research described in this paper is based upon a total management system for repair of concrete structures with sufficient flexibility to allow an inexperienced user to develop his interest in concrete repair technology whilst at the same time allowing an expert to contribute knowledge towards improving and evolving problem solving capability in the field of concrete repair. This computerised management system, which is called DEMAREC, comprises a knowledge expert system (DEMAREC-EXPERT) and a database management system (REPCON) alongside visualization technologies and an evaluation system (ECON). It is developed to produce an innovative platform which will facilitate and encourage the development of knowledge in education, evolution, evaluation and diagnostic modes of concrete repair. The methodology is developed to provide technology transfer of information and expertise from the research community in the repair of concrete structures to other practitioners and vice versa, and to allow the promotion and relegation of knowledge according to the opinion of users of different levels of ability from expert to novice.

Keywords: information Technology (IT), concrete repair, knowledge management system

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Series: itaec:2004 (browse)
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Motawa I A, Price A, and Sher W

A fuzzy approach for evaluating the iterated implementation of innovations in construction

Abstract: A fundamental challenge of implementing construction innovations is the planning and control of work. Most innovative projects do not fulfil their time and/or cost. Evaluation of innovation performance is not often simulated within existing innovation process models. Such an evaluation enables managers to accept new processes/ products or iterate the implementation process to achieve satisfactory performance. This paper introduces a conceptual model that deals with the effectiveness of the innovation implementation phase. This model adopts the Dependency Structure Matrix (DSM) tool to simulate the iterated implementation of an innovation. The model uses influence information, and managerial and technological performance to control and simulate the implementation of innovations by their nature of experimentation, iteration and refinement. The paper presents a fuzzy logic approach to identify the required classification of interdependencies among iterated tasks within the DSM. Analysis of the model resulted in the implementation of innovations being programmed more effectively.

Keywords: construction innovations, dependency structure matrix, fuzzy logic, planning techniques

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