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Paper w78-2011-Paper-76:
Design errors caused by lack of information

Facilitated by the SciX project

P Johansson

Design errors caused by lack of information

Abstract: Design errors is the cause to a large part of the defects occurring in building production and maintenance. Earlier research have 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 not prevented using product-model based CAD-systems as we do today. This paper describes two case studies 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 supports earlier findings that the use of product-model based CAD-systems have a great potential in preventing design errors. The study also argue that many of the design errors caused by lack of knowledge could be prevented in future projects if the design errors from earlier projects were systematically documented and made available to the structural engineer in the design process. In the case studies many of the design errors were caused by lack of information. That is, the information transferred to the structural engineer and from the structural engineer to the building production was not sufficient. It is argued in this paper that the use of BIM-manuals/IDM:s should be able to reduce much of the information lack noticed in the case studies, partly because the information required is more precisely described but also because of the analysis on the structural model that is required in these documents. This paper also shows that more than 80% of the design errors caused by the Structural Engineer could have been avoided using BIM-manuals/ IDM:s together with knowledge feedback from the building production to the Structural Engineer.

Keywords: Design Errors, Lack of information, Product-models, Feedback, Information delivery manuals


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