Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Construction Management Related Abstracts

24 Labor Productivity in the Construction Industry: Factors Influencing the Spanish Construction Labor Productivity

Authors: G. Robles, A. Stifi, José L. Ponz-Tienda, S. Gentes


This research paper aims to identify, analyze and rank factors affecting labor productivity in Spain with respect to their relative importance. Using a selected set of 35 factors, a structured questionnaire survey was utilized as the method to collect data from companies. Target population is comprised by a random representative sample of practitioners related with the Spanish construction industry. Findings reveal the top five ranked factors are as follows: (1) shortage or late supply of materials; (2) clarity of the drawings and project documents; (3) clear and daily task assignment; (4) tools or equipment shortages; (5) level of skill and experience of laborers. Additionally, this research also pretends to provide simple and comprehensive recommendations so that they could be implemented by construction managers for an effective management of construction labor forces.

Keywords: Construction Management, Labor Productivity, Lean construction, Improvement, factors

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23 Critical Path Segments Method for Scheduling Technique

Authors: Sherif M. Hafez, Remon F. Aziz, May S. A. Elalim


Project managers today rely on scheduling tools based on the Critical Path Method (CPM) to determine the overall project duration and the activities’ float times which lead to greater efficiency in planning and control of projects. CPM was useful for scheduling construction projects, but researchers had highlighted a number of serious drawbacks that limit its use as a decision support tool and lacks the ability to clearly record and represent detailed information. This paper discusses the drawbacks of CPM as a scheduling technique and presents a modified critical path method (CPM) model which is called critical path segments (CPS). The CPS scheduling mechanism addresses the problems of CPM in three ways: decomposing the activity duration of separated but connected time segments; all relationships among activities are converted into finish–to–start relationship; and analysis and calculations are made with forward path. Sample cases are included to illustrate the shortages in CPM, CPS full analysis and calculations are explained in details, and how schedules can be handled better with the CPS technique.

Keywords: Construction Management, Scheduling, Project Control, critical path method, critical path segments, forward pass, float

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22 Conceptual and Funnel Methods Contribution to Critical Literature Review: PhD construction Management

Authors: Samuel Quashie


This study is aimed at demonstrating the applicability and contribution of ‘Conceptual and Funnelling Methods’ during the literature review stages, for PhD in Construction Management, which focused on the ‘Development of an Integrated Management for Post-Disaster Reconstruction’, the viability of this approach using conceptual and funnel methods are demonstrated. The ‘conceptual review method’ builds upon the strengths of relevant material, detailing major points and areas covered and evaluates lesser relevant literature. Publications are reviewed in an integrated style, challenging the scientific theory and seeking to develop new insights. The funnel method grouped reviews by commonality, regardless of the topic or thesis statement. It shows that the literature review is acquired using different kinds of information to increase the variety and diversity of the investigation. Results demonstrated conceptual and funnel methods ability to reviewed and appraised the relevant literature. It puts them into an integrated style, allows an evaluation of credentials, originality, theory base, context and significance of the quality work to emerge. Objectives of the review are met and gaps in knowledge are identified and direct further studies to answer the research questions.

Keywords: Construction Management, Ph.D, critical literature review, conceptual and funnel methods

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21 PhD Research Design and Descriptive Theory: Theoretical Framework for Development of Integrated Management System

Authors: Samuel Quashie


The importance of theory for PhD construction management research cannot be underestimated, as it requires a sound theoretical basis. Theory efficiency reduces errors in the research problem, solving it by building upon current theory. Provides a structure for examination, enables the efficient development of the construction management field and to it practical real world problems. The aim is to develop the theoretical framework for the application of descriptive theory within the PhD research design To apply the proposed theoretical framework using the case of the topic of ‘integrated management system,’ classifying the phenomena into categories, explore the association between the category–defining attributes and the outcome observed. Forming categorization based upon attributes of phenomena (framework and typologies), and statement of association (models). Predicting (deductive process) and confirming (inductive process). The descriptive theory is important and provides a structure for examination, enables the efficient development of construction management field and to it practical real world problems. In conclusion, the work done in management presents fertile ground for research and theory development.

Keywords: Construction Management, theoretical framework, descriptive theory, PhD research design

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20 The Reason of Principles of Construction Engineering and Management Being Necessary for Contracting Firms and Their Projects Managers

Authors: Mamoon Mousa Atout


The industries of construction are in continuous growth not only in Middle East rejoin but almost all over the world. For the last fifteen years, big expansion and increase of different types of projects has been observed. Many infrastructural projects have been developed, high rise buildings, big shopping malls, power sub-stations, roads, bridges, schools, universities and developing many of new cities with full and complete facilities. The growth and enlargement of the mentioned developed projects has been accomplished through many international and local contracting organizations. Senior management of these organizations depend on their qualified and experienced team whom are aware of the implications of project management, construction management, engineering management and resource management during tendering till final completion of the project. This research aims to find out why reasons of principles of construction engineering and management are necessary for contracting firms and their managers. Principles of construction management help contracting organizations to accomplish and deliver projects without delay. This can be maintained by establishing guidelines’ details for updating the adopted system of construction management that they have through qualified and experienced project managers. The research focuses on benefits of other essential skills of projects planning, monitoring and control. Defining roles and responsibilities of contractor project managers during tendering and execution is a part of the investigated factors that will be analyzed. Other skills like optimizing and utilizing the obtainable project resources to deliver the project within time, cost and quality will be also investigated to find out how these factors are affecting the performance of contracting firms, projects managers and projects. The conclusion of the research will help senior management team and the contractors project managers about the benefits of implications and benefits construction management system and its effect upon the performance and knowledge of contract values that they have, and the optimal profit margin of the firm it.

Keywords: Construction Management, Roles and Responsibilities, contracting firms, project managers, planning processes

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19 Benefits of Construction Management Implications and Processes by Projects Managers on Project Completion

Authors: Mamoon Mousa Atout


Projects managers in construction industry usually face a difficult organizational environment especially if the project is unique. The organization lacks the processes to practice construction management correctly, and the executive’s technical managers who have lack of experience in playing their role and responsibilities correctly. Project managers need to adopt best practices that allow them to do things effectively to make sure that the project can be delivered without any delay even though the executive’s technical managers should follow a certain process to avoid any factor might cause any delay during the project life cycle. The purpose of the paper is to examine the awareness level of projects managers about construction management processes, tools, techniques and implications to complete projects on time. The outcome and the results of the study are prepared based on the designed questionnaires and interviews conducted with many project managers. The method used in this paper is a quantitative study. A survey with a sample of 100 respondents was prepared and distributed in a construction company in Dubai, which includes nine questions to examine the level of their awareness. This research will also identify the necessary benefits of processes of construction management that has to be adopted by projects managers to mitigate the maximum potential problems which might cause any delay to the project life cycle.

Keywords: Construction Management, project objectives, resource planing and scheduling, project completion

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18 Scheduling of Repetitive Activities for Height-Rise Buildings: Optimisation by Genetic Algorithms

Authors: Mohammed Aljoma


In this paper, a developed prototype for the scheduling of repetitive activities in height-rise buildings was presented. The activities that describe the behavior of the most of activities in multi-storey buildings are scheduled using the developed approach. The prototype combines three methods to attain the optimized planning. The methods include Critical Path Method (CPM), Gantt and Line of Balance (LOB). The developed prototype; POTER is used to schedule repetitive and non-repetitive activities with respect to all constraints that can be automatically generated using a generic database. The prototype uses the method of genetic algorithms for optimizing the planning process. As a result, this approach enables contracting organizations to evaluate various planning solutions that are calculated, tested and classified by POTER to attain an optimal time-cost equilibrium according to their own criteria of time or coast.

Keywords: Planning, Risk management, Genetic Algorithms, Construction Management, Scheduling, project duration, planning scheduling, repetitive activity

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17 Techniques of Construction Management in Civil Engineering

Authors: Mamoon M. Atout


The Middle East Gulf region has witnessed rapid growth and development in many areas over the last two decades. The development of the real-estate sector, construction industry and infrastructure projects are a major share of the development that has participated in the civilization of the countries of the Gulf. Construction industry projects were planned and managed by different types of experts, who came from all over the world having different types of experiences in construction management and industry. Some of these projects were completed on time, while many were not, due to many accumulating factors. Many accumulated factors are considered as the principle reason for the problem experienced at the project construction stage, which reflected negatively on the project success. Specific causes of delay have been identified by construction managers to avoid any unexpected delays through proper analysis and considerations to some implications such as risk assessment and analysis for many potential problems to ensure that projects will be delivered on time. Construction management implications were adopted and considered by project managers who have experience and knowledge in applying the techniques of the system of engineering construction management. The aim of this research is to determine the benefits of the implications of construction management by the construction team and level of considerations of the techniques and processes during the project development and construction phases to avoid any delay in the projects. It also aims to determine the factors that participate to project completion delays in case project managers are not well committed to their roles and responsibilities. The results of the analysis will determine the necessity of the applications required by the project team to avoid the causes of delays that help them deliver projects on time, e.g. verifying tender documents, quantities and preparing the construction method of the project.

Keywords: Construction Management, Planning and Scheduling, Control Process, cost control

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16 An Integrated Framework for Seismic Risk Mitigation Decision Making

Authors: Mojtaba Sadeghi, Farshid Baniassadi, Hamed Kashani


One of the challenging issues faced by seismic retrofitting consultants and employers is quick decision-making on the demolition or retrofitting of a structure at the current time or in the future. For this reason, the existing models proposed by researchers have only covered one of the aspects of cost, execution method, and structural vulnerability. Given the effect of each factor on the final decision, it is crucial to devise a new comprehensive model capable of simultaneously covering all the factors. This study attempted to provide an integrated framework that can be utilized to select the most appropriate earthquake risk mitigation solution for buildings. This framework can overcome the limitations of current models by taking into account several factors such as cost, execution method, risk-taking and structural failure. In the newly proposed model, the database and essential information about retrofitting projects are developed based on the historical data on a retrofit project. In the next phase, an analysis is conducted in order to assess the vulnerability of the building under study. Then, artificial neural networks technique is employed to calculate the cost of retrofitting. While calculating the current price of the structure, an economic analysis is conducted to compare demolition versus retrofitting costs. At the next stage, the optimal method is identified. Finally, the implementation of the framework was demonstrated by collecting data concerning 155 previous projects.

Keywords: Decision Making, Construction Management, Seismic retrofit, demolition

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15 Non-Chronological Approach in Crane Girder and Composite Steel Beam Installation: Case Study

Authors: Govindaraj Ramanathan


The time delay and the structural stability are major issues in big size projects due to several factors. Improper planning and poor coordination lead to delay in construction, which sometimes result in reworking or rebuilding. This definitely increases the cost and time of project. This situation stresses the structural engineers to plan out of the limits of contemporary technology utilizing non-chronological approach with creative ideas. One of the strategies to solve this issue is through structural integrity solutions in a cost-effective way. We have faced several problems in a project worth 470 million USD, and one such issue is crane girder installation with composite steel beams. We have applied structural integrity approach with the proper and revised planning schedule to solve the problem efficiently with minimal expenses.

Keywords: Structural Integrity, Construction Management, delay, composite beam, non-chronological approach

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14 Empirical Study on Causes of Project Delays

Authors: Khan Farhan Rafat, Riaz Ahmed


Renowned offshore organizations are drifting towards collaborative exertion to win and implement international projects for business gains. However, devoid of financial constraints, with the availability of skilled professionals, and despite improved project management practices through state-of-the-art tools and techniques, project delays have become a norm these days. This situation calls for exploring the factor(s) affecting the bonding between project management performance and project success. In the context of the well-known 3M’s of project management (that is, manpower, machinery, and materials), machinery and materials are dependent upon manpower. Because the body of knowledge inveterate on the influence of national culture on men, hence, the realization of the impact on the link between project management performance and project success need to be investigated in detail to arrive at the possible cause(s) of project delays. This research initiative was, therefore, undertaken to fill the research gap. The unit of analysis for the proposed research excretion was the individuals who had worked on skyscraper construction projects. In reverent studies, project management is best described using construction examples. It is due to this reason that the project oriented city of Dubai was chosen to reconnoiter on causes of project delays. A structured questionnaire survey was disseminated online with the courtesy of the Project Management Institute local chapter to carry out the cross-sectional study. The Construction Industry Institute, Austin, of the United States of America along with 23 high-rise builders in Dubai were also contacted by email requesting for their contribution to the study and providing them with the online link to the survey questionnaire. The reliability of the instrument was warranted using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.70. The appropriateness of sampling adequacy and homogeneity in variance was ensured by keeping Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin (KMO) and Bartlett’s test of sphericity in the range ≥ 0.60 and < 0.05, respectively. Factor analysis was used to verify construct validity. During exploratory factor analysis, all items were loaded using a threshold of 0.4. Four hundred and seventeen respondents, including members from top management, project managers, and project staff, contributed to the study. The link between project management performance and project success was significant at 0.01 level (2-tailed), and 0.05 level (2-tailed) for Pearson’s correlation. Before initiating the moderator analysis test for linearity, multicollinearity, outliers, leverage points and influential cases, test for homoscedasticity and normality were carried out which are prerequisites for conducting moderator review. The moderator analysis, using a macro named PROCESS, was performed to verify the hypothesis that national culture has an influence on the said link. The empirical findings, when compared with Hofstede's results, showed high power distance as the cause of construction project delays in Dubai. The research outcome calls for the project sponsors and top management to reshape their project management strategy and allow for low power distance between management and project personnel for timely completion of projects.

Keywords: Construction Management, construction industry, causes of construction project delays, power distance

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13 Genetic Algorithm Optimization of Multiple Resources for Multi-Projects

Authors: A. Samer Ezeldin, Sarah A. Fotouh


Optimization of resources is very important in all fields, as in construction management. Project managers have to face problems regarding management of cost, time and available resources of single projects and more problems arise when managing multiple projects. Most of the studies focused on optimization of resources for a single project, but, this paper will discuss the design and modeling of multiple resources optimization for multiple projects using Genetic Algorithm. Most of the companies in construction industry optimize the resources for single projects only, but with the presence of several mega projects in several developing countries running at the same time, there is a need for a model to enhance the efficiency of available resources and decreases the fluctuation as much as possible. The proposed model calculates the cost of each resource, tries to minimize the cost of extra resources as much as possible and generates the schedule of each project within a selected program.

Keywords: Optimization, Construction Management, Genetic Algorithm, multiple projects, multiple resources

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12 An Introduction to Critical Chain Project Management Methodology

Authors: Ranjini Ramanath, Nanjunda P. Swamy


Construction has existed in our lives since time immemorial. However, unlike any other industry, construction projects have their own unique challenges – project type, purpose and end use of the project, geographical conditions, logistic arrangements, largely unorganized manpower and requirement of diverse skill sets, etc. These unique characteristics bring in their own level of risk and uncertainties to the project, which cause the project to deviate from its planned objectives of time, cost, quality, etc. over the many years, there have been significant developments in the way construction projects are conceptualized, planned, and managed. With the rapid increase in the population, increased rate of urbanization, there is a growing demand for infrastructure development, and it is required that the projects are delivered timely, and efficiently. In an age where ‘Time is Money,' implementation of new techniques of project management is required in leading to successful projects. This paper proposes a different approach to project management, which if applied in construction projects, can help in the accomplishment of the project objectives in a faster manner.

Keywords: Construction Management, Project Management, critical chain project management methodology, critical chain

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11 A Techno-Economic Simulation Model to Reveal the Relevance of Construction Process Impact Factors for External Thermal Insulation Composite System (ETICS)

Authors: Virgo Sulakatko


The reduction of energy consumption of the built environment has been one of the topics tackled by European Commission during the last decade. Increased energy efficiency requirements have increased the renovation rate of apartment buildings covered with External Thermal Insulation Composite System (ETICS). Due to fast and optimized application process, a large extent of quality assurance is depending on the specific activities of artisans and are often not controlled. The on-site degradation factors (DF) have the technical influence to the façade and cause future costs to the owner. Besides the thermal conductivity, the building envelope needs to ensure the mechanical resistance and stability, fire-, noise-, corrosion and weather protection, and long-term durability. As the shortcomings of the construction phase become problematic after some years, the common value of the renovation is reduced. Previous work on the subject has identified and rated the relevance of DF to the technical requirements and developed a method to reveal the economic value of repair works. The future costs can be traded off to increased the quality assurance during the construction process. The proposed framework is describing the joint simulation of the technical importance and economic value of the on-site DFs of ETICS. The model is providing new knowledge to improve the resource allocation during the construction process by enabling to identify and diminish the most relevant degradation factors and increase economic value to the owner.

Keywords: Construction Management, Construction Technology, Life Cycle Costing, ETICS

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10 The Impact of Using Building Information Modeling Technology in Construction Projects Management

Authors: Mohammad Ashraf


This research links the use of Building Information Modeling technology in constructions and infrastructure projects, starting from the moment when considering the establishment of a project to demolishing or renovating it, going through the design work, planning, procurement and implementation. BIM Software's which used are Revit, Navisworks and Asta Project in the case study for the Atletico Madrid Stadium project (Wanda Stadium). Also, the project improves through various phases of construction (planning - implementation - management). Besides, the level of the details managed within this project advances gradually. In addition, the construction process problems become about 30 % less than before, resulting from high coordination between designing, implementation and follow through that is done by the project management office (PMO). The current disposition in the industry is to tightly manage the detail contained within the planning and coordination phases of construction, but we miss the opportunity to manage that data as it matures and grows into the execution and commissioning phases.

Keywords: Design, Planning, Construction Management, critical path method, BIM technology, procurements

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9 A Construction Management Tool: Determining a Project Schedule Typical Behaviors Using Cluster Analysis

Authors: Natalia Rudeli, Elisabeth Viles, Adrian Santilli


Delays in the construction industry are a global phenomenon. Many construction projects experience extensive delays exceeding the initially estimated completion time. The main purpose of this study is to identify construction projects typical behaviors in order to develop a prognosis and management tool. Being able to know a construction projects schedule tendency will enable evidence-based decision-making to allow resolutions to be made before delays occur. This study presents an innovative approach that uses Cluster Analysis Method to support predictions during Earned Value Analyses. A clustering analysis was used to predict future scheduling, Earned Value Management (EVM), and Earned Schedule (ES) principal Indexes behaviors in construction projects. The analysis was made using a database with 90 different construction projects. It was validated with additional data extracted from literature and with another 15 contrasting projects. For all projects, planned and executed schedules were collected and the EVM and ES principal indexes were calculated. A complete linkage classification method was used. In this way, the cluster analysis made considers that the distance (or similarity) between two clusters must be measured by its most disparate elements, i.e. that the distance is given by the maximum span among its components. Finally, through the use of EVM and ES Indexes and Tukey and Fisher Pairwise Comparisons, the statistical dissimilarity was verified and four clusters were obtained. It can be said that construction projects show an average delay of 35% of its planned completion time. Furthermore, four typical behaviors were found and for each of the obtained clusters, the interim milestones and the necessary rhythms of construction were identified. In general, detected typical behaviors are: (1) Projects that perform a 5% of work advance in the first two tenths and maintain a constant rhythm until completion (greater than 10% for each remaining tenth), being able to finish on the initially estimated time. (2) Projects that start with an adequate construction rate but suffer minor delays culminating with a total delay of almost 27% of the planned time. (3) Projects which start with a performance below the planned rate and end up with an average delay of 64%, and (4) projects that begin with a poor performance, suffer great delays and end up with an average delay of a 120% of the planned completion time. The obtained clusters compose a tool to identify the behavior of new construction projects by comparing their current work performance to the validated database, thus allowing the correction of initial estimations towards more accurate completion schedules.

Keywords: Construction Management, Cluster Analysis, schedule, earned value

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8 Application of Knowledge Discovery in Database Techniques in Cost Overruns of Construction Projects

Authors: Mai Ghazal, Ahmed Hammad


Cost overruns in construction projects are considered as worldwide challenges since the cost performance is one of the main measures of success along with schedule performance. To overcome this problem, studies were conducted to investigate the cost overruns' factors, also projects' historical data were analyzed to extract new and useful knowledge from it. This research is studying and analyzing the effect of some factors causing cost overruns using the historical data from completed construction projects. Then, using these factors to estimate the probability of cost overrun occurrence and predict its percentage for future projects. First, an intensive literature review was done to study all the factors that cause cost overrun in construction projects, then another review was done for previous researcher papers about mining process in dealing with cost overruns. Second, a proposed data warehouse was structured which can be used by organizations to store their future data in a well-organized way so it can be easily analyzed later. Third twelve quantitative factors which their data are frequently available at construction projects were selected to be the analyzed factors and suggested predictors for the proposed model.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Data Mining, Knowledge Discovery, Construction Management, Data warehousing, Construction Projects, cost overrun, cost performance

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7 Risk Management in Construction Projects

Authors: Mustafa Dogru, Ruveyda Komurlu


Companies and professionals in the construction sector face various risks in every project depending on the characteristics, size, complexity, the location of the projects and the techniques used. Some risks’ effects may increase as the project progresses whereas new risks may emerge. Because of the ever-changing nature of the risks, risk management is a cyclical process that needs to be repeated throughout the project. Since the risks threaten the success of the project, risk management is an important part of the entire project management process. The aims of this study are to emphasize the importance of risk management in construction projects, summarize the risk identification process, and introduce a number of methods for preventing risks such as alternative design, checklists, prototyping and test-analysis-correction technique etc. Following the literature review conducted to list the techniques for preventing risks, case studies has been performed to compare and evaluate the success of the techniques in a number of completed projects with the same typology, performed domestic and international. Findings of the study suggest that controlling and minimizing the level of the risks in construction projects, taking optimal precautions for different risks, and mitigating or eliminating the effects of risks are important in order to prevent additional costs for the project. Additionally, focusing on the risks that have highest impact is the most rational way to minimize the effects of the risks on projects.

Keywords: Risk management, Construction Management, Project Management, Construction Projects

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6 The Effect of Critical Activity on Critical Path and Project Duration in Precedence Diagram Method

Authors: J. Nisar, S. Halim


The additional relationships i.e., start-to-start, finish-to-finish, and start-to-finish, between activity in Precedence Diagram Method (PDM) provides a more flexible schedule than traditional Critical Path Method (CPM). But, changing the duration of critical activities in the PDM network will have an anomalous effect on the critical path and the project completion date. In this study, we classified the critical activities in two groups i.e., 1. activity on single critical path and 2. activity on multi-critical paths, and six classes i.e., normal, reverse, neutral, perverse, decrease-reverse and increase-normal, based on their effects on project duration in PDM. Furthermore, we determined the maximum float of time by which the duration each type of critical activities can be changed without effecting the project duration. This study would help the project manager to clearly understand the behavior of each critical activity on critical path, and he/she would be able to change the project duration by shortening or lengthening activities based on project budget and project deadline.

Keywords: Construction Management, critical path method, precedence diagram method, project scheduling network

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5 Identifying Strategies and Techniques for the Egyptian Medium and Large Size Contractors to Respond to Economic Hardship

Authors: Michael Salib, Samer Ezeldin, Ahmed Waly


There are numerous challenges and problems facing the construction industry in several countries in the Middle East, as a result of numerous economic and political effects. As an example in Egypt, several construction companies have shut down and left the market since 2016. The closure of these companies occurred, as they did not respond with the suitable techniques and strategies that will enable them to survive during this economic turmoil period. A research is conducted in order to identify adequate strategies to be implemented by the Egyptian contractors that could allow them survive and keep competing during such economic hardship period. Two different techniques were used in order to identify these startegies. First, a deep research were conducted on the companies located in countries that suffered similar economic harship to identify the strategies they used in order to survive. Second, interviews were conducted with experts in the construction field in order to list the effective strategies they used that allowed them to survive. Moreover, at the end of each interview, the experts were asked to rate the applicability of the previously identified strategies used in the foreign countries, then the efficiency of each strategy if used in Egypt. A framework model is developed in order to assist the construction companies in choosing the suitable techniques to their company size, through identifying the top ranked strategies and techniques that should be adopted by the company based on the parameters given to the model. In order to verify this framework, the financial statements of two leading companies in the Egyptian construction market were studied. The first Contractor has applied nearly all the top ranked strategies identified in this paper, while the other contractor has applied only few of the identified top ranked strategies. Finally, another expert interviews were conducted in order to validate the framework. These experts were asked to test the model and rate through a questionnaire its applicability and effectiveness.

Keywords: Construction Management, recession, survive, economic hardship

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4 Integrating Virtual Reality and Building Information Model-Based Quantity Takeoffs for Supporting Construction Management

Authors: Chin-Yu Lin, Kun-Chi Wang, Shih-Hsu Wang, Wei-Chih Wang


A construction superintendent needs to know not only the amount of quantities of cost items or materials completed to develop a daily report or calculate the daily progress (earned value) in each day, but also the amount of quantities of materials (e.g., reinforced steel and concrete) to be ordered (or moved into the jobsite) for performing the in-progress or ready-to-start construction activities (e.g., erection of reinforced steel and concrete pouring). These daily construction management tasks require great effort in extracting accurate quantities in a short time (usually must be completed right before getting off work every day). As a result, most superintendents can only provide these quantity data based on either what they see on the site (high inaccuracy) or the extraction of quantities from two-dimension (2D) construction drawings (high time consumption). Hence, the current practice of providing the amount of quantity data completed in each day needs improvement in terms of more accuracy and efficiency. Recently, a three-dimension (3D)-based building information model (BIM) technique has been widely applied to support construction quantity takeoffs (QTO) process. The capability of virtual reality (VR) allows to view a building from the first person's viewpoint. Thus, this study proposes an innovative system by integrating VR (using 'Unity') and BIM (using 'Revit') to extract quantities to support the above daily construction management tasks. The use of VR allows a system user to be present in a virtual building to more objectively assess the construction progress in the office. This VR- and BIM-based system is also facilitated by an integrated database (consisting of the information and data associated with the BIM model, QTO, and costs). In each day, a superintendent can work through a BIM-based virtual building to quickly identify (via a developed VR shooting function) the building components (or objects) that are in-progress or finished in the jobsite. And he then specifies a percentage (e.g., 20%, 50% or 100%) of completion of each identified building object based on his observation on the jobsite. Next, the system will generate the completed quantities that day by multiplying the specified percentage by the full quantities of the cost items (or materials) associated with the identified object. A building construction project located in northern Taiwan is used as a case study to test the benefits (i.e., accuracy and efficiency) of the proposed system in quantity extraction for supporting the development of daily reports and the orders of construction materials.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Construction Management, building information model, quantity takeoffs

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3 Investigation of Learning Challenges in Building Measurement Unit

Authors: Argaw T. Gurmu, Muhammad N. Mahmood


The objective of this research is to identify the architecture and construction management students’ learning challenges of the building measurement. This research used the survey data obtained collected from the students who completed the building measurement unit. NVivo qualitative data analysis software was used to identify relevant themes. The analysis of the qualitative data revealed the major learning difficulties such as inadequacy of practice questions for the examination, inability to work as a team, lack of detailed understanding of the prerequisite units, insufficiency of the time allocated for tutorials and incompatibility of lecture and tutorial schedules. The output of this research can be used as a basis for improving the teaching and learning activities in construction measurement units.

Keywords: Construction Management, learning challenges, building measurement, evaluate survey

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2 Subcontractor Development Practices and Processes: A Conceptual Model for LEED Projects

Authors: Andrea N. Ofori-Boadu


The purpose is to develop a conceptual model of subcontractor development practices and processes that strengthen the integration of subcontractors into construction supply chain systems for improved subcontractor performance on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building projects. The construction management of a LEED project has an important objective of meeting sustainability certification requirements. This is in addition to the typical project management objectives of cost, time, quality, and safety for traditional projects; and, therefore increases the complexity of LEED projects. Considering that construction management organizations rely heavily on subcontractors, poor performance on complex projects such as LEED projects has been largely attributed to the unsatisfactory preparation of subcontractors. Furthermore, the extensive use of unique and non-repetitive short term contracts limits the full integration of subcontractors into construction supply chains and hinders long-term cooperation and benefits that could enhance performance on construction projects. Improved subcontractor development practices are needed to better prepare and manage subcontractors, so that complex objectives can be met or exceeded. While supplier development and supply chain theories and practices for the manufacturing sector have been extensively investigated to address similar challenges, investigations in the construction sector are not that obvious. Consequently, the objective of this research is to investigate effective subcontractor development practices and processes to guide construction management organizations in their development of a strong network of high performing subcontractors. Drawing from foundational supply chain and supplier development theories in the manufacturing sector, a mixed interpretivist and empirical methodology is utilized to assess the body of knowledge within literature for conceptual model development. A self-reporting survey with five-point Likert scale items and open-ended questions is administered to 30 construction professionals to estimate their perceptions of the effectiveness of 37 practices, classified into five subcontractor development categories. Data analysis includes descriptive statistics, weighted means, and t-tests that guide the effectiveness ranking of practices and categories. The results inform the proposed three-phased LEED subcontractor development program model which focuses on preparation, development and implementation, and monitoring. Highly ranked LEED subcontractor pre-qualification, commitment, incentives, evaluation, and feedback practices are perceived as more effective, when compared to practices requiring more direct involvement and linkages between subcontractors and construction management organizations. This is attributed to unfamiliarity, conflicting interests, lack of trust, and resource sharing challenges. With strategic modifications, the recommended practices can be extended to other non-LEED complex projects. Additional research is needed to guide the development of subcontractor development programs that strengthen direct involvement between construction management organizations and their network of high performing subcontractors. Insights from this present research strengthen theoretical foundations to support future research towards more integrated construction supply chains. In the long-term, this would lead to increased performance, profits and client satisfaction.

Keywords: Supply Chain, Construction Management, Sustainable Construction, general contractor

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1 Bio-Inspired Information Complexity Management: From Ant Colony to Construction Firm

Authors: Hamza Saeed, Khurram Iqbal Ahmad Khan


Effective information management is crucial for any construction project and its success. Primary areas of information generation are either the construction site or the design office. There are different types of information required at different stages of construction involving various stakeholders creating complexity. There is a need for effective management of information flows to reduce uncertainty creating complexity. Nature provides a unique perspective in terms of dealing with complexity, in particular, information complexity. System dynamics methodology provides tools and techniques to address complexity. It involves modeling and simulation techniques that help address complexity. Nature has been dealing with complex systems since its creation 4.5 billion years ago. It has perfected its system by evolution, resilience towards sudden changes, and extinction of unadaptable and outdated species that are no longer fit for the environment. Nature has been accommodating the changing factors and handling complexity forever. Humans have started to look at their natural counterparts for inspiration and solutions for their problems. This brings forth the possibility of using a biomimetics approach to improve the management practices used in the construction sector. Ants inhabit different habitats. Cataglyphis and Pogonomyrmex live in deserts, Leafcutter ants reside in rainforests, and Pharaoh ants are native to urban developments of tropical areas. Detailed studies have been done on fifty species out of fourteen thousand discovered. They provide the opportunity to study the interactions in diverse environments to generate collective behavior. Animals evolve to better adapt to their environment. The collective behavior of ants emerges from feedback through interactions among individuals, based on a combination of three basic factors: The patchiness of resources in time and space, operating cost, environmental stability, and the threat of rupture. If resources appear in patches through time and space, the response is accelerating and non-linear, and if resources are scattered, the response follows a linear pattern. If the acquisition of energy through food is faster than energy spent to get it, the default is to continue with an activity unless it is halted for some reason. If the energy spent is rather higher than getting it, the default changes to stay put unless activated. Finally, if the environment is stable and the threat of rupture is low, the activation and amplification rate is slow but steady. Otherwise, it is fast and sporadic. To further study the effects and to eliminate the environmental bias, the behavior of four different ant species were studied, namely Red Harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex Barbatus), Argentine ants (Linepithema Humile), Turtle ants (Cephalotes Goniodontus), Leafcutter ants (Genus: Atta). This study aims to improve the information system in the construction sector by providing a guideline inspired by nature with a systems-thinking approach, using system dynamics as a tool. Identified factors and their interdependencies were analyzed in the form of a causal loop diagram (CLD), and construction industry professionals were interviewed based on the developed CLD, which was validated with significance response. These factors and interdependencies in the natural system corresponds with the man-made systems, providing a guideline for effective use and flow of information.

Keywords: Complex Systems, Information Management, Construction Management, biomimetics, System Dynamics

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