A.K. Jallow, P. Demian, A.N. Baldwin & C.J. Anumba
BPM-driven Construction Client Requirements Change Management
Abstract: Changing client requirements is one of the principal factors that contribute to delays and budget overruns of construction projects which as a result causes claims, disputes and client dissatisfaction. Change management ensures that such changes are handled through a properly coordinated and controlled process and retained throughout the project life cycle. This paper presents an empirical study that investigated the potential for an automated process of managing changes to clients’ requirements in construction projects. An initial focus group meeting was set up as a preliminary study which was followed by two case studies. Participant observation was used to conduct the case studies during which technical documents were also reviewed. The results show that current requirements change management process lacks efficiency. The paper concludes that business process management (BPM) approach could be a solution to better manage the requirements change process
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Archer G O, Futcher K, McMahon M A
Multi-participant project informationmanagement system
Abstract: This paper examines how information technology is contributing in a significant wayto the management of construction projects. The deployment of a project informationmanagement system (PIMS) was a mandatory requirement on the construction phaseof 'Route 3, Tsing Yi and Kwai Chung Sections', which is an important element ofHong Kong Government's airport core programme of projects (ACP).The paper reviews the concerns of the Client for the ACP and how the PIMScontributed to alleviating them. It includes comments, based on empirical evidence,on the implications for the change which is needed in the construction industry as itmigrates from paper-based systems to computer-based information technologies. Inparticular the need for adherence to quality-assured site procedures within aconstruction process which is traditionally highly differentiated and transitory innature.Analysis of data and consideration of the issues, arising from the use of thePIMS in the control of costs, settlement of disputes and in the dissemination ofinformation, provides guidance, which is relevant to a deployment of PIMS in thefuture.
Keywords: construction; project-management, information management-systems.
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Brien M J O', Al-Biqami N
XML, flexibility and systems integration
Abstract: "O'Brien (1997) outlined the two primary ways in which data can
be integrated. One invloves the establishment of a centralised
data store that meets all the needs of a construction project;
the other recognises the geographical and functional fragmentation
of the industry and views data integration as a conceptual
process. From a purely technical point of view the first is
perhaps the easiest, but it fails to meet the organisational
and economic demands of the construction industry. Thus the
second approach is more likely to be adopted by the participants
of that industry. The problem then becomes one of mapping the
meta-data structures of one participant onto those of another.
Various efforts at the development of standards have attempted
to address this issue. However, standards can be both complex
and inadequate. The complexity is a demand of the industry
while the inadequacy stems from the impossibility of coping
with every eventuality - a severe problem given the essential
uniqueness of each building product. This is not to say that
standards are not required, merely that their limitations are
fully realised from the outset and that expectations are not
raised to the point where disappointment sets in and they fall
into disrepute. EDI is a perfectly good standard but has
failed to make a great impact on the construction industry.
The volume of application-to-application communications remains
This paper argues that while standards such as EDI can form the
backbone of data communications - and therefore provide a
vehicle for data integration in the construction industry - they
are insufficient to cope with the desired flexibility demanded
by the industry.
The paper then develops this idea by suggesting that something
more is required, something flexible. Extensible markup language (XML)
is a tool which can help provide the necessary flexibility.
XML is a language which provides a common syntax for expressing
the structure of data. While it can be seen as an extension
of the commonly used Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) this fails
to recognise that XML has uses beyond the creation of Web pages.
In its broadest sense XML allows systems developers to define
the structure of a document. Currently its main uses are for
data interchange between humans and machines, but the ability
to facility machine-machine interactions is the most exciting
concept for construction industry systems.
Now EDI is a perfectly good tool for such interactions but in the
event of any new requirements the standards need to be extended.
This is such a long process that by the time it is completed it
is of no use to the original users. XML however provides a dynamic
mechanism which can be adapted as required to meet the needs of
the users. This is its great strength for the construction industry -
an industry that is ""document-rich"". In effect by using XML to
specify meta-data structures one overcomes the differences between
the data structures of different trading partners. No longer will
we require all parties to conform to the tramlines of a strictly
enforced standard, but rather those parties will be able to
exchange data merely by changing the XML description of their
documents. Thus in conclusion this paper shows that the use of XML
within the construction industry will facilitate data, and hence systems,
O'Brien, M.J. 1997. Integration at the limit:construction systems,
International Journal of Construction Information Technology, Vol 5, No 1,pp 89-98."
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by Icelandic Building Research Institute. The assistance of the editor, Mr. Gudni Gudnason, is gratefully appreciated
Crook D, Rooke J, Seymour D
Research techniques in construction information technology
Abstract: An important strategic issue in the use of IT by construction organisations is its use as an enabling technology for re-engineering the construction process. An examination of research reveals a tendency in IT research to adopt a mechanical systems view of an organisation’s activities: the organisation is treated as a complex of ‘black box’ processes or sub-systems linked by information flows. It is suggested that although this may be necessary for the production of a computer model, a detailed study of the empirical world, which the model is intended to represent, is a prior requisite if the system designed is to meet its purposes.We argue that the current assumptions made in construction IT research characterise a dominant ‘rationalist’ research paradigm. The main feature of this paradigm is belief in the objective reality of information or data: this has the effect of excluding from consideration the meaning or semantic content of information. A consequence is that the processes which are the interpretive context for information and data are ignored as matters for study. Information requirements within the system are treated as unproblematic, and do not seem to be adequately addressed by researchers within this paradigm.We suggest that research where an insufficient examination of the empirical world is undertaken misrepresents the nature of the processes under study. It also highlights the limitations of a positivistic approach to research. We note the emergence of ‘soft systems methodologies’ as an attempt to address these issues, and a call within the construction IT research community to recognise their importance, albeit one which may as yet have gone unheeded.In order to develop a more coherent research strategy for construction IT, we present an alternative, interpretive research paradigm which seeks to provide an appropriate footing on which to model socio-technical phenomena. We introduce the concept of participant observation-supported software development, which may help to remedy some of the problems identified.
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Ljubljana. The assistance of the editor, Prof. Ziga Turk, is gratefully appreciated.
G J Brewer, T Gajendran & SE Chen
Construction project supply chains and their use of ICT
Abstract: This paper describes the first stage in a much larger project, funded by the Co-operative Research Centre for Construction Innovation in Australia investigating the application of supply chain concepts in the context of the construction project to develop a model of supply chain interaction that is appropriate for investigating ICT adoption both within a single construction project and across the sector. It models the influences described in previous literature relating to ICT-related supply chain participant performance and further proposes an on-line, modified Delphi methodology to facilitate the asynchronous participation of an international panel of experts in the validation of the model. It concludes by reporting the findings from the study and directions for further research.
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.
Hitchcock R J
Improving building life-cycle information management through dwumfntatiqm and communication of project objectives
Abstract: Most CurrentIy available computer tools for the building industry proffer little more than productivity improvement in the transmission of graphical drawings and textual specifications, without addressing more fundamental changes in building life-cycle
information management. This paper describes preliminary research into the
development of a fiamework for the aocumentation and communication of the project objectives of a building project. When implemented in an interactive networked environment, this fiamework is intended to promote multiple participant involvement in the establishment and use of a common set of explicit goals, from the earliest phase of a project throughout its life cycle. A number of potential applications for this fiamework are identified. The requirements for integrating this life-cycle information with a product model of the physical design of a building, in an attempt to document
and communicate design intent, are also discussed.
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Stanford University, USA. The support of the editors, particularly Prof. Fischer is gratefully appreciated.
Ivan Mutis, Raja R.A. Issa, Ian Flood
Missing fundamental stratum of the current forms of the representation of concepts in construction
Abstract: The generation of concepts in the construction industry involves the interpretation of syntactically defined symbolic notations, such as logic, frames, semantic networks, natural language, and of other forms such as visual rep-resentations. These notations are deliberately organized to define concepts. Models as forms of representations are based on symbols that are aimed at referring to some entities of the world with properties and relations apprehended within them. Models involve grouping a set of relations, which characterize concepts, with the purpose of sharing and understanding these concepts by members of the community. However, models suffer the limitations that logic and the symbolic notations bear, because they cannot capture the richness of the phenomena of the world in their syntactic no-tation nor other intentionality features. Other forms of representations such as visual representations suffer the same limitations. An analysis of the nature of the representations employed in the construction industry suggests the inclusion of the ac-tor’s role in a new stratum for generating representations of construction concepts. This actor, who manipulates or generates the representation for communicating concepts, is committed to the intentionality aspects of the represented concept that are not captured in current forms of the representation. The inclusion of these and other phenomenological aspects concerning the nature of the representation are intended to generate representations for accurate interpreta-tions. The modus operandi with these representations indicates a subsequent interpretation by other actors or project participants. The inclusion of this stratum promises a significant progress in creating efficiency in interoperability on construction projects. The assumption is that the representations are cognitive manifestations of common, shared con-cepts employed by the construction industry community. This analysis is supported and developed through the semiotic theory which addresses the nature of the representations through signs and the role of agents with the representations and with the external physical domain. This study attempts to approximate semiotics as an experience that illustrates the reasoning process from external rep-resentations and the role of intentionality in employing external representations. This experience inquires about the form of the correspondence of the perceived, entity, event, and relations, or, in other words, a correspondence of a phe-nomenon in the world with the concept in the construction participant’s mind. In addition, the purpose of this experi-ence is to provide direction to the method of how semantics aspects should be understood to give interpretations for concepts employed in the construction industry.
Keywords: semiotics, construction concepts, representations, interpretation
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Ken Thomas, Brian Graham, Tim McCarthy, Pat Troy, David Crowe
Making an Impact: Improving the use of ICT in a Leading Construction Company Through an Industry-Academia Partnership
Abstract: This paper concerns the improved use of ICT in a leading Irish construction company via an Industry-Academia partnership. The partners are Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and BAM Contractors, who are part of the wider Royal BAM Group based in the Netherlands. The bespoke MSc in Construction Project Management (MScCPM) programme that was developed through this partnership involves a number of modules, including one on â€˜ICT in Constructionâ€™. The majority of the required assessments on the bespoke programme relate specifically to BAM business activities. BAM saw the benefits of getting the participant either individually or in groups to investigate issues that are of importance to the company. Each assessment was designed and agreed by the relevant WIT Module Leader and the associated BAM Expert in line with the agreed MScCPM framework. The processes of aligning the required programme assessments with topics and problems of direct interest to the company may not always have been straightforward, but the potential befits were clear to all concerned. In the case of the â€˜ICT in Constructionâ€™ module the WIT Module Leader agreed the topics and approach with the BAM ICT Manager and his team. Essentially the group was divided up into six groups of three people and the other two participants were given individual projects. The group projects concerned the use of COINS, SharePoint, BIM, Project Planning software, ICT on Sites and Mobile ICT Devices. The individual projects related to the use of ICT in two other companies, BAM Nuttall and Suir Engineering. The background to these topics, how they were researched, the publication of the associated reports, the oral presentations to WIT and BAM Senior Management are described in this paper. Most importantly, the subsequent impact of these ICT projects on the BAM people, processes and technologies are also considered.
Keywords: ICT, Construction, Industry-Academia Partnership, Work-Integrated Learning
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M Hooper, A Ekholm
A Definition of Model Information Content for Strategic BIM Implementation
Abstract: In response to the increased early workflow implied by BIM processes it is important for design consultants to focus on creating and communicating information that is critical for its purpose (Jernigan 2008) - be it model content for 3d Design Coordination at scheme design stage, or Cost Estimation at Design Development stage, or generation of a suitable Record Model for Facilities Management. Today, with many of the technological matters of integrated information management dealt with (perhaps excluding the matter of interoperability), defining the content and status of BIM information deliveries remains both a practical and theoretical problem. A development of a participant-friendly method of articulating BIM content is required to clarify what information is needed when and conversely what information is indeed not needed to implement a BIM process at a particular stage in a construction project. Priority must be placed on the information that is vital for current tasks without getting distracted by desires to populate models with additional or other information or objects masking the absence of key information. Here there is a lack of existing knowledge to solve this practical problem.New BIM tools and new design processes and procedures have led to a certain confusion of what information is needed when for particular BIM uses. This report seeks to explore and enable a method of defining the content of model information deliverables through a review of 2 key primary specific BIM uses: 3d Design Coordination and Early Energy Appraisal through an analysis of practical application.The scope of this study is limited to a review of information flow within residential projects in a Swedish context and looks at two case projects with a view to identifying and establishing a common definition of the key BIM objects and properties necessary for particular tasks. The study follows a case construction project together with an experimental pilot design project with the purpose of extracting and recording what data is needed to carry out parallel and sequential BIM uses with optimised efficiency. By mapping both processes and the precise information needed to successfully carry out tasks, improved productivity can be realised and a greater quality of design output produced.The key deliverable from this study is the BIM-Info Delivery Protocol (IDP) which attempts to align consultant BIM-Info delivery expectations and represents a tangible solution to assist consultant disciplines manage BIM-Info.
Keywords: BIM, Building Information Modelling, information exchange, model information content
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Moloney J, Amor R, Furness J, Moores B
Design critique inside a multi-player game engine
Abstract: The design critique process, used to provide expert feedback on a building design concept to students in architecture schools throughout the world, is reinterpreted within the context of an ITbased collaborative virtual environment. IT support for design critique allows new modes of participation where the experts do not have to be co-located to carry out their tasks and, through the ability to record criticisms, can join, or leave, a critique session as their time pressures allow. Students can guide tours through their virtual designs, yet those making the critique still have the ability to explore other aspects of the design which intrigue or concern them. Commentary and annotation on the design is attached to various aspects and views within the model and dialogues between the student designer and those making the critique can be built up over time. The resulting discussions recorded against the design can then be used for future reference by the student or as instructive commentary for newer students reviewing previous design approaches. A game engine provides the real-time 3D visualisation, base interactivity and multi-participant support upon which critique specific functionality has been incorporated.
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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.