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Paper w78-2010-47:
Using Construction Deficiency Reports and Product Models as Systematic Feedback to Avoid Design Errors Caused by Lack of Knowledge

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Peter Johansson, Kaj Granath

Using Construction Deficiency Reports and Product Models as Systematic Feedback to Avoid Design Errors Caused by Lack of Knowledge

Abstract: Design errors cause a big part of the defects occurring in production and maintenance. Earlier research has shown that the most common cause for design errors is lack of knowledge. Product-model based CAD-systems are increasingly used in structural engineering practice and it is well known that these systems reduce the design errors, mostly through better visualization and collision checks. The design errors caused by lack of knowledge are however, in most cases, not prevented using product-model based CAD-systems as we do today. This paper describes a case study of design errors where the structural engineer is involved. The aim of the study was to find new ways to prevent design errors using the product-model based technique. The study shows that the use of product-model based CAD-systems have a great potential in preventing design errors, especially co-ordination errors. But the study also shows that many of the design errors caused by lack of knowledge could be prevented in future projects if the design errors were documented and made available to the structural engineer in the design process and that this could prevent as many design errors as is prevented by using product-model based CAD-systems today. The study shows that 90% of the design errors that could be prevented in this way were situated where two or more elements meet. It was also found in the study that the information needed about the design errors could be retrieved from construction deficiency reports. Based on these findings it is argued that design errors, caused by lack of knowledge, can be prevented in future projects by making the information from the construction deficiency reports available and retrievable for the structural engineer by indexing them using information about the elements meeting where the design error occurred.

Keywords: Structural Engineering, Design Errors, Product-models, Feedback, Knowledge reuse

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