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Andresen J, Baldwin A, Betts M, Carter C, Hamilton A, Stokes E, Thorpe T

A Framework for Measuring IT Innovation Benefits

Abstract: This paper presents a new framework for measuring the benefits of IT in construction. The framework is based on the principle that benefits realisation must be managed by: planning for strategic alignment and business-driven exploitation, managing the process of predicting benefits, and by measuring resulting benefits after a system or innovation is implemented. Three distinct types of benefits are identified within the new framework associated with business efficiency, business effectiveness and business performance. A key barrier to the more effective exploitation and application of IT in the construction sector has been the lack of investment on a scale comparable with other sectors. A primary reason cited for the low level of investment is the low level of perceived benefits from IT investments amongst construction business managers. Many benefits evaluation methods exist and are widely applied in other sectors. Benefits evaluation methods in construction are under-utilised. One reason for this is the lack of fit between these methods, and their associated language, with the peculiarities of the construction sector. The new framework presented in this paper has been derived for specific application to the construction sector. The framework has been subjected to testing and application within UK construction organisations. The results of this testing suggest a number of improvements in the benefits realisation process.

Keywords: information technology, business benefits, innovation, evaluation framework

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/2000/4 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:2000 (browse)
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Anfas Thowfeek, Nashwan Dawood, Ramesh Marasini, John Dean

Industrial case study of innovative managerial control system applied to site control process (IMCS-CON)

Abstract: Construction projects are complex, fragmented and highly risk business, due to the nature of construction operations. Therefore project managers require more efficient techniques and tools to plan and monitor the construc-tion project. In recent years many research studies have been carried out in order to make construction industry more efficient, profitable and attractive business. The IMCS-CON developed as decision support system for project mangers to assist project-controlling processes using a holistic approach. The IMCS-CON provide a framework to measure, analyse, review, and report performance data and enabling project management team to make corrective decision and keep project on track. The IMCS-CON system was evaluated using a case study of £2.3 million, three-story residential apartment building project in UK. The IMCS-CON system utilises multivariate statistical process control techniques to monitor the construction site variables. The MSPC combines a large number of variables into few independent vari-ables, which then can be monitored and any process deviations from the normal operating conditions can be identified with corrective actions suggested. The IMCS-CON models on-site information as quantitative variables and uses his-torical data and establishes patterns of correlated variables and assists project management in making future decisions. The outputs can also be visualised in multi-dimensional graphs. Statistics of external variables and internal variables influencing construction site operations were identified using a real life case study. The results of modelling the vari-ables and conducting experiments with IMCS-CON are analysed and discussed in this paper.

Keywords: performance measurement, construction process variables, statistical process control, construction proc-ess benchmarking, construction process improvement, construction productivity

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Full text: content.pdf (1,290,858 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Anumba Chimay

Industry uptake of construction IT innovations - key elements of a proactive strategy

Abstract: There is general agreement that the construction industry's uptake of innovations in Construction IT is disappointing, particularly when considered in relation to the huge research effort and expenditure being invested in this field. This is of growing concern to research funding agencies, Construction IT researchers, and some industry practitioners, albeit for very different reasons. This paper examines some of the reasons for this low uptake of Construction IT innovations, drawing on examples of specific technologies and research projects, where appropriate. It highlights the need for partnerships and closer working arrangements between the key actors and stakeholders - researchers, funding agencies, software developers, end-users and industry managers. The paper outlines the key elements of a framework within which technology transfer from research to practice will thrive, and concludes with a review of several initiatives that seek to address the low uptake of Construction IT innovations.

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Full text: content.pdf (45,709 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.bestPractise (0.022337) class.education (0.014975) class.strategies (0.009723)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Bo-Christer Björk and Dr. Adina Jägbeck, is gratefully appreciated.


Arthur W T Leung, C M Tam

Assessment of Impacts of Project Technical Complexity on Building Production Using Clustering and Knowledge-Based System

Abstract: Site production layout planning is highly correlated with the technical complexity of a building project. Building structures, building layouts, scales of project and external site conditions are the major components affecting allocation and positioning of site facilities and construction plant. The relationships between these attributes are well known by experienced project managers. In the planning and tendering process, project managers and planners would assess and decide the site production layout by applying their cognitive knowledge using intuitive rather than quantitative approaches. They recognize the benefit of using quantitative models in decision making, which however present much difficulty when modeling the intwined and complex relationships between large numbers of variables. This study proposes an assessment model to examine impacts of technical designs, building layout designs and site conditions on building production with respect to the site layout plan using a data-based platform, which can assist decision making in site planning.The system consists of two components, the Building Production Impact Assessment Model (BPIA) and the Building Production Impact Database (BPIDB). The BPIA adopts the natural clustering technique, the self-organizing Map (SOM), to classify building project samples in terms of technical complexity to compute the technical complexity index for the sample projects. The sample projects and their index are uploaded to the BPIDB forming the data records. In the assessment platform, planners can input the project information of a new project, and the system will return with a complexity index and three sample projects with the highest similarity. The objective of the proposed system is to generate both a quantitative complexity index derived by the clustering model and the cognitive knowledge through the selected projects to improve the quality of decisions. The conceptual framework of the system will be discussed and illustrated with examples.

Keywords: technical complexity, building production, clustering, database

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Full text: content.pdf (73,314 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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B de Vries

Building management simulation center

Abstract: Introduction to the BMSC In the Building Management Simulation Center new and experienced construction managers are trained. The center is unique because of the use of a virtual building site that can be inspected by the trainees. The actual status of the building and of the building materials and equipment on the building site is simulated by the system dependent on the trainee’s actions. The main part of the center is the simulation hall. Here, ten cabins are located with a view on a large parabolic projection screen. The trainee has to execute tasks in the cabin in an environment that is familiar to him/her. On the projection screen the building under construction can be viewed and it can be inspected by navigation through the full-scale model. Similar VR based training systems can be found in the aircraft industry, the automotive industry [http://www.ttsl.co.uk/home.htm] en de shipbuilding industry [http://thor.sv.vt.edu/crane/]. These examples inspired the initiators of the BMSC to investigate if the same methodology could be used in the building industry. Building site activity patterns Construction process simulation research has mainly been focused on the development of a construction planning analysis tool [e.g. V.R. Kamat, J.C. Martinez in proceedings of CIT2000]. In the BMSC though, interaction between the construction manager and the building on the building site will steer the construction process simulation. Investigations on the building site and discussions with experienced construction managers learned that they work in fixed patterns. A pattern consisting of a list of activities is called a transition type. These transition types describe all kinds of procedures that a construction manager performs to fulfill a specific tasks (e.g. ordering of new material). Transition types also take into account actions required to perform corrections beforehand or afterwards. For a specific case the transitions were entered into the system. The transitions were deduced from the construction managers that had worked on that building project when it was actually built. For the training purposes every possible situation the trainee can end up with has to be covered by the transitions. The interactive 3D training system The trainee’s actions are logged by a kind of Electronic Data Management System. All documents that are created during a training session are stored in the system. The system itself also contains project information that can be consulted. Finally the system offers an interface to communicate with the other participants in the project. After the training session that consists of the execution of a set of tasks, the system has stored all actions, their order and the produced documents. These data are compared with the predefined transitions for the case that was used. The document contents are compared with the predefined activity results. With this method it is easy to detect if the trainee missed certain activities in a transition and if the information is consistent. Finally, a visual feedback can be created be regeneration the 3D model in the VR environment in accordance with the trainee’s actions. The 3D model will show has far the building could have been built successfully. The learning effect After the training session the trainee will be confronted with the (possible) mismatch between has own actions and the preferred actions following from the predefined transitions. Evidently this is discussed during the evaluation after the training. Recognition of the right transition by the trainee to solve a specific task is considered one of the major learning effects of a BMSC training. Paper Outline In the paper the software architecture of the system will be explained. The activity patterns and the management of the system are discussed in more detail. A layout of the building where the BMSC is hosted is presented. Finally some examples of the training sessions will illustrate how the BMSC operates in practice and an overview will be presented of the first experiences.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,053,282 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.deployment (0.027827) class.man-software (0.018630) class.communication (0.013308)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by CSIR Building and Construction Technology. The assistance of the editors, Mr. Gustav Coetzee and Mr. Frances Boshoff, is gratefully appreciated.


Boshoff N, Coetzee G

The use of electronic commerce in the materials procurement in SA construction industry

Abstract: South Africa is facing the challenge of providing housing and infrastructure to millions of its residents. The improvement of the construction process to enable and improve delivery of such scale, is of paramount importance to the industry. The paper focuses on the use of Internet enabled electronic commerce in the procurement of building materials. The CSIR in South Africa is developing a product "Eze-build" in collaboration with the construction industry, IT companies and the major banks. Eze-build consists of a core building product library, tender management and bill of materials systems integrated with an Internet enabled ordering and payment gateway. Eze-build gives contracting companies access to building materials suppliers via the Internet for the ordering and payment of building materials from a pre-compiled bill of materials.Eze-build provides materials suppliers, contractors and construction managers an easy to use tool that improves the overall management of materials procurement significantly. It also improve site processes since the procurement of materials can now be pre-scheduled and delivery of materials can occur on a just in time basis reducing materials storage and wastage significantly. Specific items addressed in the paper includes: A process analysis of Eze-build and the related changes in the construction management process. 1. The technologies used to implement Eze-build. 2. A brief description of the project including: * the merging of these diverse technologies to develop an integrated materials procurement solution for the construction industry; and * some of the difficulties that are encountered during the roll out of such a integrated system in the construction industry.

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Full text: content.pdf (51,611 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.commerce (0.029106) class.store (0.024954) class.communication (0.023370)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Bo-Christer Björk and Dr. Adina Jägbeck, is gratefully appreciated.


Can Ersen F?rat, Juhani Kiiras, Kalle Kähkönen, Pekka Huovinen

Model based scheduling in building projects – is it oxymoron?

Abstract: In building, most projects are still planned and scheduled based on the randomly accumulated, contextual experience among planners and managers. The key inputs for scheduling tasks, i.e. the dependencies, man-hours, and durations of activities may have never been organized well in the focal planner’s mind. The aim of the paper is to intro-duce some new viable ways of modeling scheduling activities in the context of building based on the integration of a product model, a process model, and complementary IT solutions. The integrative rationale of the new Building Con-struction Information Model (BCIM) is herein justified in terms of combining the building product model, the building construction resource and cost model, and the building construction process model. Some new feasible ways of auto-mating building project planning are explored, in particular in terms of using template schedules to automate schedul-ing activities as part of the advancement and exploitation of the suggested BCIM.

Keywords: building projects, information technology, modeling, process models, product models, scheduling

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Full text: content.pdf (759,119 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Carter G, Smith S

IT tool for construction site safety management

Abstract: The UK construction industry kills some 80 employees per year. This corresponds to a fatal accident rate of roughly 4.4 per 100,000 employees. Furthermore, major injury and 3-day injury rates are approximately 400 and 900 per 100,000 employees, respectively. Figures for the rest of Europe are similar, if not worse. It has long been realised that the reduction of hazardous events is fundamental to good construction safety management because these events have the potential to cause accidents, which may result in injuries and fatalities. However, there have been examples within the industry where hazard identification and the subsequent assessment of risk have been carried out by people ill equipped to identify all the hazards, assess their risks and suggest appropriate responses. Our research aim is to develop a knowledge-based system to aid in site safety management. The system will consist of a centralised database containing the combined knowledge and experience of all personnel within the company. This database is accessed via a user interface, which takes the form of a dynamic data-driven website and consists of four main applications that focus on the main areas of site safety management. The first application concerns creating and maintaining a company risk log, which can be used to identify hazards, assess risk, establish adequate hazard responses and report risk reduction performance. The second application is intended to aid in the method statement preparation process. Hazard referencing to tasks within the methodology and assigning significance values to tasks based upon assessed risk are the main features of this application, which should improve the level of hazard identification and enhance safe systems of work on site. Our system relies heavily upon historical data to provide an objective and dynamic evaluation of risk, rather than current subjective and static estimations of risk using the traditional method of risk matrices. Thus the other two applications are concerned mainly with entering data from accident reports and site safety tours into the central database. The other function of these applications will be to perform detailed analysis of accident causes, which will help safety managers to better respond to hazards to prevent future accidents. We are currently at the stage of developing a prototype version of the system. Field trials will be conducted between February and May for validation of the prototype. Validation will take the form of analysing method statements and risk assessments before and after implementation if the system to determine its effect on improving hazard identification, the assessment of risk, hazard response and accident rates. Qualitative evaluation will also be carried out. Questionnaires to, and interviews with, safety managers will give an indication of the usefulness of the system from a management and operational perspective. Doing the same thing with site foremen and operatives will allow us to determine the effectiveness of the outputs of the system, i.e. method statements and risk assessments, in enhancing safe systems of work.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,139,352 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.026762) class.social (0.018951) class.impact (0.007440)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by CSIR Building and Construction Technology. The assistance of the editors, Mr. Gustav Coetzee and Mr. Frances Boshoff, is gratefully appreciated.


Cheung S O, Au-Yeung R F, Wong V W K

A CBR based dispute resolution process selection system

Abstract: In construction, the use of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to assist project management in the areas of planning, quantity measurement and quality control have been reported. A.I. can minimize subjectivity which would otherwise predominate in many management decisions, one of which is the selection of a method to resolve disputes. Disputes in construction are common and resolving them has become a daily routine of project managers. Despite its importance, the use of A.I. in dispute resolution has not been extensive. Employing an appropriate resolution process is critical to resolve construction disputes. This is because that having an appropriate resolution process should pave the path to success. In this type of selection exercise, previous experience is invaluable and thus fits nicely with the function of Case-Based Reasoning technique. Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) can systematically select a dispute resolution process to fit the circumstances of a case. This paper describes the development of a CBR based dispute resolution process selection system identified as CDRe. Forty eight cases were used to develop the system which was tested by another 9 independent cases. Seventy seven percent prediction accuracy for the testing set was achieved suggesting that the CDRe is a reasonable decision support tool for project managers.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, construction dispute resolution, case-based reasoning

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Full text: content.pdf (1,950,478 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: itaec:2004 (browse)
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Clarke P, Clarke J

Analysis of phenomenological perceptions of effectiveness of information technology in computerised maintenance management

Abstract: The general aim of this empirical research was to examine the phenomenological perceptions of both asset managers and support or ancillary staff using qualitative and quantitative analysis for the purpose of assessing efficiency of information technology in a public sector building construction maintenance management environment, particularly to develop a framework technique that will be useful to investigate such fundamental phenomenological facets as efficiency of training and information technology, the effect of information technology on human relations within the workplace, the perceived impact of information technology on the efficiency of occupational performance, and a summative evaluation of information technology in the asset management environment. Empirical investigation by structured interview with both management and support staff within a public sector asset management organisation was undertaken. The data was analysed through unpaired t-tests between asset managers and support staff, and dichotomous questions for experienced versus inexperienced employees and employees as differentiated by age. The results of the analysis revealed that both asset managers and support staff perceive information technology as beneficial in terms of both qualitative and quantitative outcomes. Further it would appear that individually at all levels within the maintenance management sphere exhibited phenomenological perceptions of information technology that were particularly favourable and overall were consistent with the conclusions of researchers who had observed information technology's benefits in terms of other quantitative and qualitative outcomes, in industry. Further research is suggested in the areas of customer satisfaction both prior to and subsequent to the implementation of more sophisticated information technology systems in addition to investigating the interaction between actual productivity levels and phenomenological perceptions of beneficial outcomes as a function of information technology.

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Full text: content.pdf (63,348 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.environment (0.043979) class.impact (0.034129) class.economic (0.021698)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Research Press of the National Research Council of Canada. The support of the editors, particularly Dr. Dana Vanier, is gratefully appreciated.


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