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2023 | Buch

Proceedings of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering Annual Conference 2021

CSCE21 Construction Track Volume 1

herausgegeben von: Scott Walbridge, Mazdak Nik-Bakht, Kelvin Tsun Wai Ng, Manas Shome, M. Shahria Alam, Ashraf el Damatty, Gordon Lovegrove

Verlag: Springer Nature Singapore

Buchreihe : Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering


Über dieses Buch

This book comprises the proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering 2021. The contents of this volume focus on specialty conferences in construction, environmental, hydrotechnical, materials, structures, transportation engineering, etc. This volume will prove a valuable resource for those in academia and industry.


Interdependencies of Lifelines: A Case Study of Transportation Infrastructure Under Hurricane Impacts

Infrastructure lifelines such as energy, water, transportation and communications are interconnected and interdependent. Extreme events can damage these lifelines and disrupt their services. The recovery of one infrastructure not only depends on the extent of damage directly caused by these events but also the recovery of other infrastructures. The Southeastern United States experienced the damage of these infrastructure lifelines caused by hurricanes and tropical storms every year. This study empirically investigated the direct impacts of a recent major hurricane, Hurricane Irma, on transportation infrastructure and its dependencies on other lifelines during the recovery in Southwest Florida—an active hurricane region in the South. The transportation infrastructure of two counties that was directly hit by the hurricane was the subject of the current study. Data were collected from the two county departments of transportation. Group interviews were conducted with six engineers and managers working at the two departments to assess the extent that transportation infrastructure depended on three other infrastructure lifelines, namely energy, water and communications during its recovery. The hurricane caused the outage of all intersections managed by the two transportation departments for at least a short period of time. Electric power and wireless services were considered the most determinants in the initial recovery process. The Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief policies can prolong the recovery if local transportation agencies do not proactively procure “recovery” contractors prior to extreme events. The findings of this study contribute to our understanding on the dependencies of transportation infrastructure during recovery after hurricanes.

Long D. Nguyen, Alexis Slobodzian, Claude Villiers, Seneshaw Tsegaye
Constructability in the Design Process: A Review of Current Practice Within the UK Construction Industry

Improving productivity has been a longstanding challenge for the UK Construction Industry and has increasingly become a focus of the UK Government. Constructability is a specific term used to describe how efficiently a design can be realised in construction, thus improving productivity. While this term has been used for many years, it remains a consistent challenge for the construction industry to address. This exploratory research addressed the question: what is the current practice for the incorporation of constructability in design within UK construction industry design firms? The aim is to establish what is currently done in practice, identifying changes needed to enable the industry to transform and meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. This paper will describe a research investigation that included 20 structured interviews with current designers in senior roles, representing 10 organisations within the UK construction industry. Qualitative data was collected and thematically analysed, showing that while the industry has embraced the importance of constructability, it is rare for a formal policy or process to be used by designers. Designers generally consider constructability only through their tacit knowledge whilst making subjective decisions, not data-driven decisions. Furthermore, UK designers associate constructability with the Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations which are focused on health and safety; this is perhaps not the best vehicle for incorporating constructability. The findings of this study have provided an insight into the current practices of UK construction industry design firms, suggesting avenues for future improvement.

P. Nolan, G. Gibson Jr.
Analysis of Concurrent Delays in the Construction Industry

Any construction project is constrained by three main elements; namely time, cost and quality. As such, its success depends on how balanced these constraints are. These elements are interrelated, as any change in one of them will affect the others. Managing delays is very crucial in the construction industry because failing to finish the project on time could affect the stakeholders’ interests. One of the most controversial type of delays in construction is the concurrent delay. The main aim of this research is to perform a comprehensive comparison between the different technics of concurrent delays analysis in order to create an analytical model to identify concurrency delays and the party responsible for them. The different technics presented in this research are the Association for the advancement of cost engineering 2011, the Society of Construction Law 2017, and the American Society of civil engineers 2016 being the most internationally recognized protocols in dealing with construction delays. In addition, different countries’ laws including the Egyptian Civil Law, the English Law and the US Law are also discussed as examples of different courts dealing with concurrency. Moreover, the FIDIC 2017 and NEC3 are also highlighted as standard forms of contracts dealing with concurrency.

A. Samer Ezeldin, Yasmin El-Hakim
Current Practices of Calculating and Utilizing Road User Costs in the U.S.

Road user costs quantify the inconveniences to road users resulting from ongoing construction projects. Although the concept of road user costs has traditionally been associated with the life cycle cost analysis, its importance has increased in alternative contracting methods in recent years. Despite its importance, some state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) lack a systematic methodology to compute road user costs or have inconsistent methodologies within the same state DOT. This study reviewed existing literature on the topic and conducted a nationwide survey to understand the current practices of calculating and utilizing road user costs. The study found that 34 out of the 37 responding state DOTs are currently calculating road user costs. More than half of the state DOTs have developed their state-specific methodologies for various purposes including A + B contract evaluation, incentives/disincentives determination, and benefit–cost analysis for alternative project evaluation. The study also found that the DOTs’ decisions to calculate road user costs for a specific project primarily depends on the duration, location, and complexity of the project. The delay costs and the vehicle operating costs are the two most common components of road user costs. The results of this nationwide survey provide the most comprehensive details on road user cost calculation methodologies. These findings are expected to aid state DOTs in developing a new road user cost calculation methodology or improving an existing methodology. Such improved methodology will aid state DOTs in making more informed contractor-selection decisions.

K. J. Shrestha, M. Uddin, J. Adebiyi
Mass Timber: A Review of Typologies and Environmental Benefits

Mass timber has quickly risen in global popularity as a sustainable building material that shortens building processes, provides a high level of prefabrication and modularity, enhances aesthetic quality, and lessens environmental impact. Most notably, cross-laminated timber’s structure of orthogonal layers of laminate allows panels to span great distances and provide significant structure, allowing much taller wood buildings than traditional wood structures. Furthermore, the high level of prefabrication allows a deeply integrated design process, resulting in less waste and a streamlined assembly process. This paper describes the variety of mass timber products and examines their use in mass timber structures, highlighting connections and building practices. It also outlines the benefits of mass timber, with an emphasis on the positive environmental impact in comparison with concrete and steel, including factors such as its low embodied carbon, reusability, and waste reduction. Advice for maximizing positive environmental impact is given and justification is provided for a shift towards mass timber as a primary building material for tall structures, especially in regions where timber is plentiful.

A. Gray, A. Sadoughi
Building Energy Retrofits: A Review of Decision-Making Models

With increasing energy consumption and the resulting environmental concerns, the need for energy conservation has grown. Buildings, as one of the most energy-intensive sectors, have gained much attention. In 2018, the buildings and construction sector accounted for 39% of the US’s total energy consumption. Therefore, improving building energy efficiency can result in a significant effect on energy conservation. Retrofitting is a practice that can improve the energy performance of existing buildings. One of the main challenges of energy retrofit projects is selecting and prioritizing criteria, systems, and energy-retrofit measures. Numerous decision-making models have been introduced to support retrofit measure selection and combinations for a specific building. However, due to the wide variety of parameters, such as architectural, existing systems, regional, and facility operational features, the decision-making process is a complicated and dynamic problem. This study presents a literature review on energy retrofit decision-making models. We identify the most influential factors, methods used for combining conservation measures, and their implications for lifecycle cost and energy savings. In addition, recommendations for using energy retrofit decision-making models are presented. Results show that although the models’ financial criteria are considered more than social and environmental parameters, factors such as legal regulation and technical considerations should not be neglected to achieve the best possible solution.

E. Asadian, A. Karji, R. Leicht
Building Information Modeling in Canada: A Multidisciplinary Practical Analysis

Building information modeling (BIM) provides promising opportunities to architecture, engineering, construction, and facility management (AEC/FM) disciplines in Canada and around the world. Although used in practice primarily for design, BIM has improved coordination and enhanced productivity of field workflows for contractors too. This paper investigates the state of BIM in Canada from a multidisciplinary perspective. It is then followed by a case study to explore the potential uses of BIM in the field. Governments around the world have introduced or plan to initiate national/local digital programs to incentivize or mandate the use of BIM in public projects. In Canada, however, there is no such national initiative in place. This study demonstrates the current state of BIM adoption in Canada and provides insights into the viewpoint of those in architecture, engineering, construction, and BIM specialized disciplines with regard to the effect of BIM on working practices and its benefits and barriers. To this aim, Building Innovation Research Centre at University of Toronto, in collaboration with national and local industry organizations, conducted three nationwide surveys over the past years. These results were analyzed and presented in this paper. The case study examines the feasibility of BIM implementation on a construction site through interviews with key site individuals, as well as active attendance at site coordination meetings. The outcome of this study can serve as a benchmark for evaluating and tracking the state of BIM adoption in Canada from the perspective of disciplines.

H. Nasrazadani, K. Shahi, A. Shahi, B. McCabe
An Automated Approach to Generating Optimized Crane Mat Layout Plans

The modular construction approach is capable of increasing the speed at which buildings are constructed. To accomplish this, the designers and practitioners front-load these modules with a broad range of features to reduce the amount of on-site construction work required. Consequently, the modules have become heavier over time, which has led to an increase in the amount of on-site crane work and the resources required on-site for the safe installation of these modules. One of the main safety concerns is whether the ground support has the capacity to hold and stabilize these heavy cranes with a dynamic payload. Crane mats are often employed to offer ground support in the case of poor soil bearing capacity, avoiding ground failure that may result in crane collapse. Due to the increased usage of crane mats, there has been a subsequent increase in the demand on the practitioner’s time to prepare mat layout plans and/or drawings for the construction site. To reduce the amount of time required, the present study provides a novel automated mat layout optimization algorithm as an application that can develop mat layout plans taking into account mat laying constraints. An agent-based optimization approach is applied such that the maximum area is covered using a minimum number of mats, avoiding overlapping, and mats are placed starting from one edge of the area as required (payload pick and/or setting point). The results indicate that the practitioner’s time to prepare the mat layout plans/drawings using the developed optimization application can be reduced significantly (90%).

G. Ali, E. Tamayo, A. Mansoor, J. Olearczyk, A. Bouferguene, M. Al-Hussein
An Automated Mobile Crane Selection System for Heavy Industrial Construction Projects

Lifting heavy objects on the construction sites has always been a challenge for projects, since a great number of parameters are involved. Heavy lift planning has an influence on the whole project especially on cost, scheduling, and safety. Proper crane selection as a part of heavy-lift planning has been done by engineers using tabulated crane capacity charts for each configuration. Capacity charts are organized with details of the cranes, e.g., the length and the angle of the main boom, lifting radius, jib length and angle, and super-lift capacity, which makes the aforementioned crane selection process tedious. This paper proposes a heuristic approach that utilizes machine learning techniques and structured query language to select the proper crane for a lifting scenario. The approach takes into account the size and weight of all the modules in the project, boom and anti-two block clearance, lifting radius, dimension and weight of the equipment such as hook and rigging, and the cost of the crane usage. The proposed algorithm calculates the boom and anti-two block clearance in three-dimensional (3D) space rather than two dimensional (2D), which provides more accurate results. This approach enables an automated crane selection process that helps improve planning efficiency and accuracy. Moreover, the algorithm assigns a score to each configuration based on the user input and provide the user with the near optimum crane for the project. The parameters that affect the score of each configuration include the percentage capacity of the crane that has been utilized, Anti-Two Block clearance, boom clearance, monthly rent of the crane, mobilization and demobilization cost, project duration, and super-lift. The weight associated to each criterion has been determined through both running sensitivity analysis and consulting with lift engineering experts.

R. Azami, Z. Lei, R. Hermann, T. Zubick
Supply Chain Optimization to Gain a Competitive Edge in the Construction Industry

Globally, project owners have serious concerns over growing project costs and have been looking for ways to reduce or contain construction costs to meet organizational objectives. Likewise, consultants and contractors are also attempting to be the most competitive in the market to get more business. Nevertheless, the scarcity of skilled labor and increasing material costs due to inflation are inevitably pushing construction costs up and forcing the industry to live with minimum possible profit margins. Therefore, the construction industry is in dire need of finding creative ways to lower overall construction costs, to not only align with project owner goals, but to also improve the bottom-line without impacting negatively on-time project deliveries. In the coming years, economists foresee a sizable surge in construction volume and a potential deficit of skilled workers, which obviously calls for the industry to pay higher wages to secure the right people, which means there will likely not be a way for the industry to lower costs in the human resources category. Therefore, the industry may be left with only the option to investigate more creative and modern ways of acquiring project materials to generate hard and soft cost savings to lower the overall cost and consequently improve profit margins. Researchers on construction procurement topics have already done a significant amount of work that is focused on refining conventional acquisition processes and pinpointing the right time to involve critical suppliers on individual projects in order to help with balance of projects (BOP) design, to minimize rework, and to improve schedule and labor productivity by ensuring timely material deliveries to the job site in order to realize some soft cost savings. Since very limited research has been done in the context of lowering material costs, there is an opportunity to study techniques with the potential to shift cost-saving approaches from conventional to world-class and to reposition the materials management function from individual projects to programs and from programs to portfolios with the intent to consolidate commodities and leverage enterprise-wide buying power.

Asif Mansoor, Muhammad Khan, Waleed Shakeel, Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Ahmed Bouferguene, Mohamed Al-Hussein
Applying ISO 19650 Guidelines on Digital Deliverables Intended for BIM-Centric Facility Management (FM) in Quebec’s Context

ISO19650 has been developed to standardize the organization and digitization of information in the construction industry. It is used primarily to guide the implementation of building information modeling (BIM) and proposes an adaptation of traditional work processes towards more collaborative approaches across the entire lifecycle of built assets. While the use of BIM is increasingly common during design and construction, the use of BIM for facility management (FM) is still an emerging practice. As such, many questions still abound around information management practices during this phase namely with information handover between construction and operations. ISO 19650 provides some insight into this process. This paper discusses a case study of the challenges faced by Quebec construction industry stakeholders in the production and handover of digital information intended for facility management (FM) using ISO 19650 as a framework. The main objective of this research is to understand the potential and impact of ISO 19650 in the Canadian context. Data gathering was done through surveys, and the analysis of project information flows. Results intend to help the construction and facility management industries develop an integrated strategy for BIM implementation within the political, economic, and legal context of Quebec. The results could help stakeholders acknowledge this disruption, identify how it affects their work process and suggest ways to address potential obstacles standing in the way of fluid information management with the framework of ISO 19650.

M. Robitaille, E. Poirier, A. Motamedi
Assessing the Carbon Cost of Utility Installation via Multi-Utility Tunnels (MUTs)

Progressive urbanization and the concomitant requirement to develop new cities fuels the need for more sub-surface utility infrastructure. Conventional methods of utility placement, i.e. open-cut trenching techniques, are expensive in terms of their many social, environmental, and indirect economic costs. This necessitates consideration of alternative construction methods such as Multi-Utility Tunnels (MUTs). However, a lack of quantification of their short-term and long-term costs and impacts (i.e. a comprehensive understanding of all the consequences of moving to MUTs) inhibits uptake. Carbon accounting, a globally important consideration, is increasingly adopted within the construction industry and could be used as a convincing argument for why alternatives such as MUTs might be a preferred method of utility placement in cities that are advancing global sustainability agendas. This paper compares carbon cost estimations of open-cut excavations with flush-fitting MUTs. The results show that although flush-fitting MUTs have much greater carbon footprints in the short-term compared to open-cut installation methods, they would save a considerable amount of carbon in the long-term (over their lifetime) by eliminating the need for numerous excavation and reinstatement (E&R) procedures, which are inevitable for repair and maintenance of buried utility services. The research reveals the tipping points in favour of flush-fitting MUTs, in terms of carbon saved, when repetitive E&R works are eradicated, to support their adoption.

A. Hojjati, D. V. L. Hunt, C. D. F. Rogers
Adaptations of Municipal Solid Waste Management Systems in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has challenged the operation of municipal solid waste management systems (MSWMSs) in the United States and elsewhere. With the growing concern about the potential exposure to the coronavirus, people are spending more time in their homes while changing their waste generation behaviors. This phenomenon has changed not only how people produce waste but also how MSWMSs plan and adapt the operation of their facilities. Since solid waste management has been declared as an essential service in addition to public health, MSWMSs have faced new challenges and thus developed adaptive measures in order to keep their critical operations. This study (i) identifies a broad range of waste management and operational challenges and (ii) summarizes various adaptive measures taken by different MSWMSs. Ephemeral data were collected and analyzed on the longitudinal impact of the pandemic on multiple MSWMSs in severely affected U.S. states, such as Florida, California, and New York, over a nine-month period. Note that best management practices for such waste-related challenges and adaptive measures can vary across different MSWMSs and states. In order to facilitate the development of different MSWMSs’ plan for future pandemic events, this study will characterize the identified impact of the pandemic and its relevant adaptive measures in terms of system structure (i.e., what facilities exist [entity], how they interact with one another [interdependency], and who control which facilities [control]).

Ana Daniela Pinto, Juyeong Choi, Tarek Abichou, Fehintola Sanusi, Emilia Aninat
Gordie Howe International Bridge Construction Anxieties—The Bridge

The Gordie Howe International Bridge project consists of four components—the Canadian Port of Entry, the Bridge itself, the US Port of Entry and the Michigan Interchange on I-75. The Project is being delivered through a Public–Private Partnership Agreement (P3). The design phase of the project commenced in July, 2018, with site preparation works by the private-sector partner beginning on both sides of the river in January, 2019. The essence of the project is the six-lane cable stayed bridge, providing three Canada-bound lanes and three US-bound lanes over the Detroit River, between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. The bridge will have a clear span of at least 853 m (2798 ft) across the Detroit River with no piers in the water. Two approach bridges, one on each side, will connect the main span to the Canadian Port of Entry and the US Port of Entry. The crossing, including the bridge and approaches, will be approximately 2.5 km in length. This cable stayed bridge will be the 6th longest in the world, the longest in North America and will be the longest composite cable stayed bridge in the world, with out-of-the-river drilled shaft foundations and concrete towers, at 218 m in height. These towers will be the tallest structures in both the Windsor and Detroit skylines. The approach bridges will be all concrete design, 11 spans on US side, 10 spans on the Canadian side, with precast concrete girders and drilled shaft/driven pile foundations. The six drilled shafts for each of the 4 Tower foundations are reinforced concrete in 3.162 m OD steel casings set 4.5 m into competent rock. The six anchor and side span pier foundations are 3.162 m diameter reinforced concrete in a steel casing on the Canadian side and 3.0 m diameter on the US side, set 4.8 m, minimum, into the bedrock. Bedrock is approximately 30 m below ground surface and the overburden is silty sands and silty clays deposited during glacial recession across the lands. The installation of the drilled shafts for the Tower foundations and the side span and anchor shafts began at various times between July, 2019 and February 2020. Two of the last shafts for the Canadian spans, to be drilled and poured, a side span shaft and an anchor shaft, became problematic. Shaft casing deflection and distortion, casing wounds, groundwater leakage and concrete anomalies necessitated significant remedial works including alterations to the rock sockets, modifications to the reinforcing steel, concrete removal and micro-piling. The subsequent construction of the respective pier footings was able to commence in December, 2020.

R. Pickle, A. van Rooyen
Technology-Oriented Innovation in Construction: A Conceptual Mapping Framework

Compared to conventional construction practices, Off-site Construction (OSC) offers many potential benefits including improved safety, shorter construction time, reduced costs, and better-quality construction. Despite these potential benefits, offsite construction continues to account for only a small percentage of the construction market in Canada. Currently, there is a need for a strategic roadmap that will help direct efforts in research and innovation with a goal of improving the adoption of OSC practices in Canada. The first step of such a roadmap is to identify the current state of the OSC industry. This paper presents a conceptual framework for mapping and benchmarking technological innovation that draws from similar frameworks in other publications to develop a model specific to off-site construction. It proposes the use of a maturity model as a means for benchmarking the current maturity of technological innovation, measuring progress, and identifying maturity gaps or areas for supporting decisions about identifying potential improvements. The paper introduces a six-dimensional framework for measuring technological innovation that includes (1) Research maturity (2) Industry acceptance, (3) Application areas, (4) Sectors of technology, (5) Time, and (6) Context. It includes a discussion of the development and thinking behind the model and concludes with a proposed approach to implementation.

A. Suliman, J. Rankin, A. Caskey
Forecasting Budget Overruns by Productivity Variations in Electrical Construction

Budget overruns are a key performance indicator for construction projects. Current overrun forecasting methods, such as Earned Value Management (EVM), are based on accounting data or empirical judgments and provide quantitative warning signals of project overruns. However, the predictive power of EVM is limited to binary outcomes. For instance, the cost performance index (CPI), one of the EVM indices, indicates over or under-budget if index values are greater or less than one. Estimate at Completion (EAC) associated with the CPI is usually used to evaluate if a project can be completed ahead of schedule rather than an indicator for cost overruns. To fill this knowledge gap, the authors developed an estimated hour at completion (EHAC) index by integrating labor productivity measurement into the existing EAC method. The variation of labor productivity is considered a leading indicator of field disruption-induced impact on final project costs, which is less frequently addressed in the literature. Specifically, labor productivity is measured as a ratio of actual labor hours and percent completion of work put in place to estimate EHAC given various disruptions encountered during project execution. Lastly, the authors conducted a case study to demonstrate the application of the proposed EHAC approach in forecasting total labor hours for an electrical project. The findings from this study add to the body of knowledge by providing project control practitioners with a new forecasting tool to manage project overrun issues from the productivity perspective.

Fei Han, Susan M. Bogus, Heather Moore, Su Zhang
Towards Construction’s Digital Future: A Roadmap for Enhancing Data Value

The success of a construction project depends on the execution of numerous project management functions by multiple stakeholders. While digitalization and ‘big data’ solutions have enhanced practice across many sectors, the construction industry has failed to capitalize on such advances. Fragmentation along project value chains, project complexity and uncertainty, transience of involved stakeholders, and, often, remote and harsh environments have obstructed the development of a standardized digital solution in construction at both the industry and corporate levels. As a consequence, construction data remain noisy, fragmented, and heterogeneous (e.g. both subjective and observational, both structured and unstructured). These types of data form natural barriers for use in data-driven applications, inhibiting the use of data-driven decision-support systems in construction. Aimed at bridging raw construction data with real-time data-driven applications, this research reviewed state-of-the-art information technologies in construction literature and industrial practice to identify three challenges limiting digitalization in construction: (1) heavy manual data manipulation when pre-processing raw construction data for project-level decision-support, (2) low implementation of machine learning to appropriately deal with the flood of available construction data, and (3) a lack of means for fusing heterogeneous information derived from various sources for data-driven simulation in real-time. Following the exploration and adaptation of a number of interdisciplinary methods, this research addressed the identified challenges by providing a novel roadmap for improving the transformation of fragmented construction data into reliable, real-time, and data-driven decision-support.

L. Wu, S. AbouRizk
User Engagement for Sustainable Development: How Can Virtual Reality Help?

This study investigates the potentials of gaming and Virtual Reality (VR) for engaging end-users in the initial design stages, particularly in interior material selection processes. The study first provides a review to explain why BIM-VR technologies can achieve the study’s objective. Next, a prototype is developed to provide a virtual platform for users to engage in the design process of a building. Users can navigate within a building, select different elements, and see a set of pre-defined scenarios using the platform. The model will visually represent design scenarios, and a set of graphical user interfaces provide access to the scenario information (e.g., cost and environmental impacts). The platform was evaluated in a case study. The results showed that the platform was technically successful and could properly show the users' required information.

Mojtaba Rezvani, Hosein Taghaddos, Soroush Sobhkhiz, Mojtaba Noghabaei, Khashayar Ghorab
An Examination of Quality Management System Implementation in Egyptian Contracting Companies

The construction industry is a leading sector in the Egyptian economy. In 2020, its gross domestic product share was $23.75 billion, representing 6.7% of the total gross domestic product. While the construction investments reached $2.6 billion, representing 8.7% of Egypt’s total investment. However, in many cases, it is characterized by poor quality and performance. Many industries claimed that adopting a quality management system (QMS) enhanced their performance, productivity, and profitability. Previous research widely explored QMS implementation in different industries; only a few studies focused on the implementation and its key aspects in the construction industry, especially in developing countries. This paper aims to highlight the current QMS implementation status in Egyptian contracting companies and examine QMS implementation barriers, benefits, and critical success factors (CSFs). Accordingly, a survey questionnaire was distributed among top managers and quality management representatives. The findings indicated that resistance to change is the main barrier that encounters Egyptian contractors, while the top benefit identified is improved customer satisfaction and confidence. Besides, top management commitment and leadership was recognized as the essential factor for implementing QMS successfully. This study provides an insight into QMS implementation in Egypt to facilitate its successful implementation and promote quality management practices improvement in contracting companies.

N. Elsokhn, A. Samer Ezeldin
Association of BIM-Related Contract Language and BIM Use on Construction Projects

Building information modeling (BIM) can be implemented to improve project delivery and performance in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. Although BIM can benefit projects, there is a gap in understanding how contract requirements affect project stakeholders’ BIM use. To this end, the objective of this research was to evaluate the association between BIM contract requirements and BIM use on AEC projects. Researchers specifically evaluated the use of BIM by key stakeholders (architect/engineer, contractor, and subcontractor) and the use of a BIM execution plan (BEP). Researchers conducted an industry survey to capture BIM practices from construction projects completed within the last five years. Data were analyzed using Fisher’s exact test to evaluate the association between stakeholder BIM use and their respective contractual requirement, and BEP use and its respective contractual requirement. The results of Fisher’s exact test indicate that there was an association between contractor BIM use and contractual BIM requirement for contractor, and the use of BIM with subcontractors and their respective contractual BIM requirement. These findings suggest that owners and contractors can include BIM contractual requirements to increase subtier BIM use on projects.

A. Celoza, D. de Oliveira, F. Leite
A Gap Analysis of Current CCDC Standard Contract Documents and Provisions for Successful BIM-Enabled Projects in Canada

Building Information Modeling (BIM) emphasizes the importance of information flow, communication, and collaboration amongst team members. Successful implementation of BIM is helping the industry move from traditional project delivery systems to integrated ones. This transition, however, requires reliable and concrete contractual mechanisms to provide guidance and structure. Risk allocation, role definition, and legal dimensions have been achieved through a series of contractual functions such as control, coordination, and contingency. While past scientific publications have investigated the impact of contracts on BIM and vice-versa, questions remain as to how these realization mechanisms interact with BIM requirements and legal issues. This study aimed at understanding the influence of contractual language and legal aspects on BIM-enabled projects. To do so, an in-depth literature review was performed in multiple rounds. Problematic issues in contracts were identified, including contractual complexity, emphasis on controlling provisions, contract incompleteness and missing or unclear legal clauses. Then a coding system was created based on the legal factors identified. The results indicate that current standardized contracts in Canada are incomplete and ill-adapted to support effective BIM implementation. The key elements such as intellectual property, ownership of data, responsibilities regarding the production and control of critical project data and asset information are underrated or overlooked. While efforts have been made to counter this (e.g., IBC BIM contract appendix and BIM Execution Plans), these efforts remain fragmented and bespoke for the most part, which introduces variability in the contracting process and therefore impacts the BIM implementation process at the project level.

S. Mahbod, I. Iordavona, E. Poirier
A Framework to Determine the Optimal Locations of Temporary Debris Management Sites in Response to a Hurricane Event

Major hurricanes generate significant amounts of debris. Limitations of post-hurricane debris removal resources often impede the timely debris removal operation for recovery, thereby intensifying the impact of a disaster. In such trying situations, the planning of temporary debris management sites (TDMS), to serve as designed buffers for the sorting, storing, and processing of debris becomes important for the resilience of a local debris management system. This study develops a framework to find the optimal locations for TDMSs, which meet geographic requirements (i.e., related to their land use, land cover, and proximity to natural and built environments) while minimizing the threats imposed to the communities health and safety due to delayed debris removal operations. Specifically, we performed a geographic information system (GIS) analysis to find possible locations for TDMSs based on various geographic requirements by federal government agencies, such as the US EPA and FEMA. Further, we developed a simulation model to evaluate debris removal performance with various TDMS site options in a post-hurricane planning scenario. Using the AnyLogic Optimization Experiment, the optimal TDMS locations were explored in a way that minimizes the overall debris collection time and adverse impacts on community health. To demonstrate the implementation of the proposed framework, we investigated as a case study the debris removal operation for Liberty County, Florida, in response to a hypothetical hurricane event.

Navid Nickdoost, Juyeong Choi
Feasibility of Wearable Heart Rate Sensing-Based Whole-Body Physical Fatigue Monitoring for Construction Workers

Since construction workers are often engaged in demanding whole-body physical activities for a prolonged period of time, whole-body fatigue (WBF) is one of the most common risks at construction sites that can detrimentally impact workers’ safety, health, and productivity. To continuously and less-invasively monitor WBF, the authors proposed a wearable biosensor-based method. The method first uses a wristband which can measure the wearer’s percentage of heart rate reserve (%HRR) over time to index the intensity of physical activity. Then, the critical power model (CP) is applied to track WBF from the %HRR data. The CP is a threshold for the intensity of physical activities to determine whether an ongoing physical activity is expending anaerobic energy, which leads to the accumulation of WBF. To test the proposed monitoring method’s feasibility, the authors collected data at a construction site from 12 workers over two days. During their daily work, the workers’ heart rates were continuously measured using a wristband and their perceived WBF was periodically surveyed. The authors conducted a correlation analysis between the fatigue index calculated by the proposed method and the self-reported WBF. Results showed that the two measurements showed a statistically meaningful correlation coefficient (0.61, p-value ≈ 0). This result indicates that the proposed method is feasible to monitor WBF trends among construction workers during their ongoing work. Given that most affordable wristbands include heart rate monitoring capacities, the authors expect the proposed method is easily applicable in real construction practice.

G. Lee, S. Lee, G. Brogmus
Improving Project Definition Practices with Lean-Led Design

During project definition, all the decisions related to the planning, programming, and schematic design stages, have a significant impact on future work environments. In these stages, client needs are identified, and the design solution is developed accordingly. However, the way project definition is traditionally managed has proved to be inadequate in complex projects such as hospitals. Poorly defined project may lead in these cases to injuries and difficulties to perform tasks. Participative approaches such as Lean-led design—in which stakeholders such as the clinicians and the patient are involved during the whole process of project definition—are proposed to address this problem. However, little is said in the literature, regarding the value of this approach to deliver projects that are better aligned with hospital client needs. This paper provides, firstly, based on a scoping review, a better comprehension concerning the implementation of Lean-led Design that is used to generate a synthesis of the literature around the subject. Secondly, it presents the preliminary results of the implementation of Lean-led Design approach during the project definition of a mega hospital in Canada. This approach was adopted in order to ensure the harmonization of needs and requirements stemming form the fusion of two hospitals in this complex. The main contributions of this research are to clarify the Lean-led Design concept and to identify its impact on the project definition process.

Hafsa Chbaly, Daniel Forgues, Samia Ben Rajeb
The Use of BIM for Robotic 3D Concrete Printing

Digitization has proven its added value to the construction industry, particularly through Building Information Modeling (BIM). This digital shift addresses all phases and aspects of construction projects. Additive manufacturing (AM) through 3D Concrete Printing (3DCP), is one of the most remarkable technologies which development has accelerated in recent years. BIM and 3DCP are evolving in parallel, though, and the potential for their integrated use or convergence has not yet been sufficiently studied. Indeed, the association of these two systems faces challenges in terms of interoperability. This concept is not only limited to the ability to exchange information between two software, but also concerns the procedural, organizational and contextual aspects of these systems. Nevertheless, design process has evolved with the help of computational design tools and recent developments such as Rhino.Inside.Revit and Speckle. This study aims to streamline the use of BIM in the 3DCP process. An overview of the technological interoperability between these two systems is presented. The necessary approaches to be used in concrete additive manufacturing applied to construction are defined. Finally, this research suggests the optimal approach for the application of BIM to 3DCP and identifies the obstacles encountered through a case study. Possible development paths for a better adoption of BIM in 3D concrete printing are identified.

W. Anane, I. Iordanova, C. Ouellet-Plamondon
Enhanced CPM/LOB Repetitive Scheduling Formulation to Meet Deadlines

Large portion of construction projects involve large number of units (e.g., highway sections, floors, housing units, etc.). For these repetitive projects, existing scheduling formulation integrates CPM network analysis with the line-of-balance (LOB) analysis. Despite the CPM/LOB benefits in determining the necessary crews that meet a given deadline, however, CPM/LOB formulation has a serious drawback as it underestimates the number of crews and can result in a project delay although the deadline is relaxed. To overcome this drawback, this paper proposes an improvement method that modifies the project deadline to avoid creating schedules that lead to project delays, while keeping resource usage at an optimal value. The paper introduces two variations of the CPM/LOB formulation for shifted and parallel crew arrangements and uses an example to highlight the deadline satisfaction problem. The paper then introduces the detailed formulation of the proposed solution and demonstrates its effectiveness. The paper contributes to improving the schedule computation for repetitive projects to systematically meet deadlines and project constraints.

Tarek Hegazy, Kareem Mostafa
A Risk Management Tool for Construction Sector India During Covid-19 Crisis

In construction industry, with the management of time and cost of the project, risk management is also especially important. Recently, COVID-19 pandemic has brought a huge crisis on construction sector. During this crisis, risk management becomes even more crucial to avoid further losses in the project. This study aims at identifying the risks involved in construction project during COVID-19 crisis, analyse them and develop a plan to bring the project back on schedule. Possible risks involved in construction sector due to COVID-19 are identified and defined. The risks are classified based on the categories like commercial risk, health and safety risk, completion risk etc. The project was analysed for all categories of risks using Expected Value Method (EVM) for statistical analysis. EVM evaluates the average outcome when the future events may or may not happen. Based on the analysis, Composite Likelihood factor, Composite Impact factor and risk severity has been computed. The EVM results shown that the commercial risk would be at a high level with a risk severity equals to 0.034 and completion risk would be at a low level with a risk severity equals to 0.003. Using this approach, the occurrence of risks at various stages of the project can also be predicted. EVM is found to be a convenient and accurate method to identify risks that might occur and prepare a contingency plan to avoid further losses.

S. Jha, M. Bhoi, U. Chaduvula
Situation Awareness Based Smart Contract for Modular Construction

Modular construction has been implemented to achieve shorter project duration, lower cost, and higher productivity for construction projects. This option is especially helpful to reduce on-site activities and interaction under and after COVID impact. However, additional planning and support in engineering, procurement, and delivery are required to facilitate modular construction. Unreliable prefabrication and delivery can deteriorate subsequent activity productivity and overall project performance. This research aims to develop an automatic incentive—penalty enforcement system for modular construction based on the situation awareness of delivery tracking. The research selected a high-rise residential project in Singapore as a case study. The project used modular construction for making and installing 120 Prefabricated Bathroom Units. Based on the empirical data of delivery, on-site lifting, and installation, we built STROBOSCOPE simulation models to understand the impact on productivity and schedule from five scenarios at various delivery reliability levels of the Prefabricated Bathroom Units. Smart Contract rules were developed based on the impact. A Blockchain platform was established so that once a real-time delivery is identified and the information is entered into the Smart Contract, the associated incentive or penalty can be triggered instantly. The Smart Contract based incentive—penalty enforcement system will be beneficial for construction projects to monitor and track modular delivery, motivate reliable supply, reduce payment disputes, and improve productivity.

Huaming Li, Gongfan Chen, Min Liu, Simon M. Hsiang, Ashtad Jarvamardi
The Feasibility of Reuse in the Concrete Industry

Construction and demolition (C&D) waste in Canada accounts for 27% of the total municipal solid waste disposed in landfills. However, over 75% of C&D waste has residual value. The need for comprehensive waste management (WM) mechanisms, technologies, rating systems, and policies is widely recognized. There exists a WM hierarchy tool that prioritizes, in order, preventing, minimizing, reusing, recycling, energy recovering, and finally, disposing of waste. The highest level commonly attained by the concrete industry in Canada is downcycling (e.g., crushing concrete and using it as base aggregate). This study explores the opportunities and barriers to advance to the next level in the WM hierarchy by reclaiming concrete from decommissioned structures for reuse with minimal reprocessing. A survey was distributed to members of the Canadian concrete industry to answer two main sets of questions: (1) to what degree, if any, is the Canadian construction industry currently reclaiming waste concrete? and (2) what is the perception of industry professionals on concrete reuse? A total of 125 participants responded to the survey. Although the environmental advantages of concrete reuse were clear to all, views on the financial benefits were mixed. Many participants highlighted that a successful approach to concrete reuse should involve all parties and stakeholders. Overall, there is positive interest in the concept of concrete reuse; however, there is apparent uncertainty on how to approach it and, thus, there is a need for practical guidance to address various technical, logistical, and liability concerns in a comprehensive and holistic manner.

Zaineb Al-Faesly, Martin Noël
Lessons Learned from the Development of an Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) Game for Construction Safety

The use of Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) games as a learning tool has gained researchers’ attention because of their ability to deliver an immersive environment for learners. As it is a growing area of research, the efficacy of IVR applications for learning in various fields needs to be investigated before their full-scale implementation. The authors developed an immersive environment game for construction hazard identification. The game allows players to explore a virtual construction site setting to identify potential safety hazards and associated controls. To create such games, the developer should have expertise in using game engines, coding in computer languages, creating game assets, and designing user interfaces. These requirements can make game development difficult for many instructors who want to build a game-based teaching tool but have no game development experience. Without compelling evidence that learning games are effective in a particular area, training institutions and business organizations may not be willing to invest resources to hire game developers. Therefore, the authors present lessons learned from their game development experience to help those interested in creating immersive Virtual Reality content but lack game development experience.

Harsh Shah, Zia Din
Design and Implementation of a Fuzzy Expert System for an Ergonomic Performance Assessment in Modular Construction Operations Using the DMAIC Approach

Employees in construction industries are often exposed to ergonomic risks that can result in injuries and decrease productivity. To prevent ergonomic injuries, appropriate ergonomic risk assessments must be used to detect ergonomic issues and change the ergonomics of workstations in the industry. The study’s importance arises from the lack of rapid, robust, and integrated systems for conducting ergonomic risk assessments. Thus, this study is aiming to design a Fuzzy Expert System (FES) to continuously evaluate the physical, environmental, and sensory ergonomic performance to minimize ergonomic risks, injuries and improve productivity. The DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) methodology is used as a general structure to be integrated with the proposed FES. It supports identifying the standard ergonomic metrics and their practical tolerances, collection of relevant data from the industry, determination of linguistic scales, and fuzzy rules based on the collected data to determine the ergonomic performance of the industry. This proposed FES is expected to help the industry avoid the challenges of relying only on individuals’ subjective inputs while performing ergonomic assessments and eliminating miscommunications among teams in the decision-making process. Three important reasons to use FES in ergonomic performance evaluation are (1) rapid and accurate assessments based on knowledge database, (2) extraction of insights from the FES, (3) elimination of common psychological biases associated with ergonomic performance reviews. The developed system has been implemented in a modular construction industry and is expected to conduct a rapid ergonomic assessment to support an ergonomic intervention plan.

A. Govindan, X. Li
Using Data Mining for Prioritizing Roof Rehabilitation Works

Roofing systems require frequent inspection and rehabilitation due to their continuous exposure to the elements. For large owners who manage many buildings, the low resolution of inspection data leaves many roofs being classified at critical condition. This makes the allocation of the limited rehabilitation funds a very challenging task. To help identify top priority roofs, this study uses clustering techniques to offer a more granular classification of roofing criticality. Clustering is a data mining technique that can group datapoints into distinct clusters of similar attributes. The study uses inspection data from 400 roofs collected from the Toronto District School Board and compares the clustering results of various techniques in terms of roofing severity levels. Based on the study results, the K-Means algorithm has been determined to be most useful. This study is expandable to other asset types and contributes to improving the efficiency of the fund allocation process.

Kareem Mostafa, Tarek Hegazy
Evaluation of the Return on Investment of BIM—The Case of an Architectural Firm

Building Information modeling (BIM) is recognized in the literature as a potentially powerful means of improving project performance in the construction industry. The adoption of BIM requires significant and ongoing investment in hardware, software, training, and process change. However, for most companies, the choice to invest in BIM is essentially an economic one. Therefore, an assessment of the return-on-investment (ROI) of BIM is necessary. In addition, there is in fact no standard method for calculating BIM ROI. The aim of this action-research was to define and validate a method to empirically measure the ROI of BIM implementation in an architectural firm. Based on the literature, KPIs were established to compare projects realized with BIM and without BIM to build a business case for the benefits of using BIM. Benchmarking results suggest that the use of BIM allows for better control of project costs, reduces the speed of production of project execution plans, helps optimize workflow, and improves employee productivity. Finally, this exploratory study implements a KPI-based strategy that allows the firm to consistently evaluate its BIM implementation performance. Future opportunities for research to validate and improve the ROI assessment of BIM are recommended.

N. Lechhab, I. Iordanova, D. Forgues
A Framework to Evaluate School Infrastructure Project Need Using Fuzzy Expert System

During the last decade, a large portion of infrastructure investment in Canada has been in either new school construction or school renovation. Much of this investment results from various issues such as evolving capacity needs due to student growth, changes in regional demographics and boundaries, structural improvements required in older building systems, and improvements needed to provide students and staff with a twenty-first century learning environment. Due to limited resources and budget, agencies must prioritize the most crucial needs to receive funding. While a great deal has been published on how to prioritize capital projects, there is work that must be done to formalize the framework on the process. This paper describes a comprehensive framework for enhancing the school infrastructure project prioritization process based on the unique need of school projects. The proposed framework outlines the process of input selection and integration of the fuzzy expert system to evaluate the school project need in a quantitative term. The fuzzy expert system (entirely rule-based) has been developed in consultation with the domain experts, and the application of the framework is presented with example cases. Even though the proposed framework is developed in the context of the Canadian environment, the method presented can be applied as a general framework worldwide for evaluating the school project needs by any authorities or agencies.

Monjurul Hasan, Ross Newton
Decision Support System for Fast Provision of Healthcare Facilities in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic Outbreak

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) rapid spread across the world has unfortunately led to huge number of fatalities and large number of cases overflowing the capacity of health care facilities (HCF) causing a global public health issue. This health crisis has gotten worse with the new corona virus variant, which transmits even faster leading to critical shortage in hospital care beds and ventilators. To address this shortage, efforts are directed towards the fast construction of HCFs or conversion of non-medical facilities into temporary medical ones. However, there is a lack of structured support systems behind the decisions made. Disaster management has recently been growing in importance. It mainly addresses humanitarian logistics and emergency responses in case of disasters using various methodologies including operation research approaches. However, it did not tackle yet the emergency cases of pandemics and outbreaks. Accordingly, this paper presents the framework for a decision support system (DSS) that would help arrive at the best decision for fast provision HCFs in a timely and cost-effective manner amid health crises. The DSS consists of two modules: (1) first module determines the optimum structural system for fast construction of new HCFs considering the construction cost and duration and the associated life cycle costs, and (2) the second module determines the optimum selection of candidate non-medical facilities that can be converted into temporary HCFs considering multiple attributes. The proposed DSS will help policy makers respond quickly to pandemic crises and confine its disastrous impact on the society.

D. A. Saad, M. M. Hassan
A Case Study of the Impact of Modular Manufacturing on a Hospital Expansion Project

Today, Off-site Manufacturing (OSM) is considered to have the potential to be the main driver for improving productivity in the construction industry. In addition to reducing the dependence of operations on adverse weather conditions, OSM offers a solution to the shortage of skilled labour. This approach to construction is being reinvented through the use of new technologies, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mobile Communication Technologies (MCT). For these reasons, it is beneficial for the construction industry to evaluate its practices and consider an effective adoption of OSM. In this context, the main objective of our research project is to study the effect of the OSM approach on the project realization mode. Moreover, to evaluate the effects of early stakeholder involvement and the impact of using collaborative platforms for sharing information and digital models on the successful adoption of OSM. Also, we would like to identify the challenges and find the main barriers faced by mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) contractors. The project is based on a case study that consists of building a 36-room hospital annex using the modular construction approach in the context of a COVID19 health emergency. The research reveals that the adoption of OSM with the use of BIM in a well managed mode would offer the construction industry a new collaborative paradigm that encourages the sharing of information and profits while ensuring an optimal outcome of the delivered product.

A. Boudaouara, I. Iordanova, M. Mejri, E. Poirier
Why Do Energy Projects Fail? Understanding How Controversy Impacts Construction Projects

The successful implementation and operation of energy projects is critical to meet the world’s increasing energy demands. These infrastructure projects often face challenges due to opposition from various external stakeholders. Conflict between stakeholders has the potential to cause delays, cost overruns, and even project termination. It is critical that developers anticipate potential controversy when planning projects; yet limited research exists as a point of reference. We seek to fill this gap by collecting and analyzing data about previous energy projects to identify stakeholders, types of controversy, and resulting consequences. Specifically, we perform a media analysis of news articles concerning wind energy projects globally. Results indicate that community members are the most active stakeholders involved in efforts opposing an energy project. Most stakeholders are especially active during the project’s proposal phase, often participating in public meetings and commenting periods. Community outreach may mitigate negative consequences, demonstrating the importance for developers to engage and learn about the community’s concerns early in the process. By anticipating potential controversy, developers will be able to plan for cost and schedule impacts and mitigate unforeseen consequences. They may be able to engage with community members to reduce opposition or include additional funds and days in the project schedule to account for inevitable setbacks. Government agencies may also find this useful when introducing strategic requirements in the regulatory process to improve community engagement and minimize escalation of controversy. Ultimately, a better understanding of the impacts of controversy will lead to more efficient project construction.

M. LaPatin, L. A. Spearing, H. R. Tiedmann, O. Kavvada, M. Giorda, J. Daniélou, M. Hacker, K. M. Faust
Blended Analysis of Occupational Safety Hazards and Risk Assessment Approach in the Construction Industry

Occupational safety hazards and risk management in construction industry are major worldwide concerns due to its unique dynamic nature of the working environment. Industry injury reports contain valuable information to support the risk control and prevention programs. Systematic analysis of the risk factors on cause-and effect relationship and safety attributes of the incident injury reports can make significant contributions to the construction industry and is an ideal approach for the occupational performance and risk evaluation. A blended analysis of the occupational injuries is proposed by using an attribute-based risk assessment model together with degree of risk assessment to determine the level of injury and magnitude of safety. To enhance the current quantification method, this study quantified risk attributes associated with frequency of exposure, incident probability and potential consequence. Incident injury cases are first collected from a large number of construction-related injury reports and then classified according to the pre-assigned categorized risk factors and a list of relative safety attributes based on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) procedures and other safety standards. The availability, quality and reliability of the data will also be assessed. Data mining-based analysis is then conducted following the attribute-based risk assessment to further reveal the associations, visualization, and correlation coefficient of risky activities and constructional hazards. The blended analysis is expected to help the construction industry identify relationships on causes of safety hazards, key safety attributes and ergonomic characteristics, as well as the level of injury and their corresponding risk controls and preventions.

Changcui Qiu, Xinming Li
Resource Sharing: Singularity Function Cooperative Game

General and subcontractors working on the same construction site often utilize and share the same resources (i.e., tower cranes, batch plants, etc.). But there is a lack of optimal resource sharing techniques that allow for fair cost splitting across the participating contractors. This study suggests a novel approach that accommodates parties not only to share their resources, but also fairly allocate their costs by combining singularity functions with cooperative game theory. The singularity function allows parties to flexibly determine resource productivities while respecting the underlying schedule. Meanwhile, cooperative game theory determines the stable coalitions of contractors and fairly allocates their associated costs. An example is presented to illustrate how the suggested model operates and its application in a construction site. As a result, the study provides an innovative and robust method to obtain stable cooperation and optimal outcomes for each individual party.

Huu T. Huynh, Gunnar Lucko, Mohamed S. Eid
Cost Production and Utilization in Collaborative Delivery Methods in the Construction Industry

Although cost generation and utilization are central to project delivery, the construction industry has a poor record of predictability. Studies suggest that this lack of predictability stems from the traditional project delivery method and propose to substitute collaborative delivery methods. By comparing the production and cost utilization processes of each, this research aims to compare different delivery methods and identify the key elements that allow collaborative methods to perform well in terms of cost predictability. Based on the principles of action research, it integrates two case studies, one in a vertically integrated company and the other in a company that uses Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) contracts for project delivery. The results show that the key elements include the establishment of the entire project team at the pre-project phase, the collaborative contracting method where risks and benefits are shared, and the use of creativity-based methods to optimize project value. They also demonstrate that a vertically integrated structure does not guarantee success. This research confirms that the use of a collaborative approach to construction project delivery can greatly improve cost predictability, and identifies the mechanisms used to achieve this.

P. Martel, D. Forgues, C. Boton
Analyzing the Causes of Conflicts and Disputes in Modular Construction Projects

Conflicts, claims, and disputes cause cost and schedule overruns in construction projects. Previous research studies have considered contractual risks as one of the main factors affecting the performance of modular construction projects. In fact, modularization requires unique contractual agreements that foster the successful implementation of such construction method. This paper identifies the causes of disputes in modular construction projects. To this end, a multi-step interrelated research methodology was used. First, the authors collected and analyzed 15 actual national case studies reflecting disputes in modular construction projects. Second, social network analysis was conducted where frequency analysis and centrality measures were used to identify the top causes of disputes as well as understand the dispute causation network in modular construction projects. The results showed that the common causes of disputes in modular projects include: (1) delays in work progress, (2) lack of team spirit, and (3) lack of communication. The analysis of the dispute causation network identified the lack of collaborative environment and adequate communication among the project stakeholders as primary contractual risks in modular projects. Ultimately, this paper adds to the body of knowledge by helping practitioners in better understanding the contractual risks that should be addressed to minimize disputes in modular construction projects.

M. Abdul Nabi, I. H. El-adaway
Opportunities and Challenges of Offsite Construction

The interest in offsite construction technology continues to grow as project stakeholders are becoming increasingly comfortable with this modern and transformational construction method and its outcomes. While different studies have been conducted to investigate multiple aspects of offsite construction, there is still a lack of research that was directed to study the opportunities and challenges of offsite construction for the workforce. As such, this study addresses this knowledge gap by examining the workforce implications of offsite construction. To this end, the authors followed a methodology consisting of the interrelated review of previous studies as well as the analysis of industry experts’ opinions. First, literature review was performed to identify different workforce properties. Second, a survey was designed and distributed to industry experts to understand their perceptions on the identified workforce properties. Third, the implications of offsite construction were quantified using descriptive statistics based on the obtained responses. The findings reflected that offsite construction could create: (1) many opportunities for the workforce including greater productivity, higher learning rate, better working conditions, enhanced worker quality, and improved safety and health, among others, and (2) some challenges for the workforce including longer career path progression, higher cost of training and development, and displacement of local workers, among others. Ultimately, this study adds to the body of knowledge by helping practitioners in better understanding and quantifying the key workforce opportunities and challenges of offsite construction.

R. Assaad, I. H. El-adaway, M. Hastak, K. LaScola Needy
Prioritization of Project Factors Affecting the Use of Modular Construction: Comparison Between the Perspectives of Industry and Literature

The attention of the construction industry and academic community has been remarkably directed towards modular construction methods during recent years. In fact, many efforts have examined and modeled the various project factors affecting the use of modular construction. However, no research work has been directed to study the alignment between research studies and the perception of industry experts. As such, this paper performs a comparison between industry and literature as related to the prioritization of project factors affecting the use of modular construction. To this end, this paper followed an interdependent methodology. First, to examine the current literature and research streams, a content analysis was conducted of peer-reviewed articles published in well-established journals. Based on the examined literature, 50 project factors affecting modular construction in the industry were identified. Second, to study the experts’ perceptions, a survey was developed to quantify the importance of these factors as related to the use of modular methods in construction projects. Based on 30 expert responses and 65 reviewed journal papers, statistical and quantitative comparative analysis was conducted to examine the alignment of the literature and industry as related to the modular construction factors. The statistical results showed significant difference between the literature and the industry perception on the importance of the 50 identified project factors affecting the use of modular construction. Ultimately, this paper adds to the body of knowledge by suggesting the need to have a better alignment between the industry needs and research efforts in relation to modular construction.

M. Abdul Nabi, I. H. El-adaway, R. Assaad, M. O. Ahmed
Role of Transactional Blockchain in Facilitating Procurement in International Construction Projects

Blockchain is an evolving technological innovation that offers a distributed and secure method to record and share data, such as financial transactions, using cryptographic techniques that guarantee immutability. Due to its many benefits, blockchain has evolved into many sectors including finance and supply chain, among others. However, there is much speculation and ongoing research concerning its integration into the construction sector. Accordingly, the goal of this paper is to investigate the role of blockchain in facilitating procurement in construction projects, with a focus on international projects. This goal is achieved by: (1) studying the applications of blockchain in the construction industry; (2) analyzing case studies implementing blockchain in construction projects; and (3) performing a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis for adopting blockchain in the construction industry. The SWOT analysis is based on the thorough interrelated analysis of the case studies and surveyed literature, and is intended to provide guidelines on how to capitalize on the advantages of transactional blockchain in construction projects. Ultimately, this research aims to provide a holistic understanding of the applications of blockchain in facilitating procurement in international construction projects.

T. S. Elbashbishy, G. G. Ali, I. H. El-adaway
Improving the Reliability of Electric Power Infrastructure Using Distributed Solar Generation: An Agent-Based Modeling Approach

Natural disasters, such as storms, hurricanes, and earthquakes, are major factors that cause disruptions of electrical power services. Improving the reliability of power infrastructure systems against such events is a major goal in research and practice. Distributed Solar Generation (DSG) can improve system reliability against such disruption of services by providing alternative sources of electrical power, located at the end-consumers, and detachable from the conventional grid. However, the growing adoption of DSG creates many challenges and uncertainties for system operators. As such, the goal of this research is to investigate the benefits of DSG in improving the reliability of the electric power infrastructure. To achieve that goal, an Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) framework is introduced to simulate the integration of DSG into the power infrastructure and markets. The model combines an ABM approach with reliability assessment of power infrastructure systems, aimed to determine the DSG resources required to mitigate the effect of natural disasters on the electric power infrastructure. Results of the complex ABM model verify the suitability of the developed framework in improving power system reliability against natural disasters. Ultimately, this research shall benefit researchers and practitioners in the field of power infrastructure systems reliability and DSG.

G. G. Ali, I. H. El-adaway
Integrating Simulation and Emission Models for Equipment Cost Analysis in Earthmoving Operations

The construction industry is one of the major economic sectors that exert substantial influence on the environment. Extensive research endeavors intended to develop methods and materials to turn this industry more cost-efficient while mitigating negative environmental impacts. This study proposes an application framework that integrates simulation and emission models for equipment cost analysis in earthmoving operations. The application framework is based on the general concepts of lean and green construction and published data of field measurements for estimating fuel use and emission rates of construction equipment. Ultimately, the application framework represents a guideline to selecting appropriate construction equipment by simultaneously considering greenhouse emissions and productivity performance. A demonstration case of planning equipment use on a rough grading site is provided.

Nicolas Diaz, Ming Lu
Identifying the Impacts of COVID-19 on Chilean Construction Projects

The construction industry has been highly disrupted by the pandemic as the development of construction projects must be adapted due to policies to minimize the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing. As the construction industry contributes approximately 7% of Chilean GDP, it is important to identify and understand the impacts the construction industry has suffered due to the pandemic context. This study aims to identify the impacts of COVID-19 on Chilean construction projects. This study is enabled by data from 40 semi-structured interviews collected between May and November 2020 with multiple stakeholders working on projects during the pandemic, namely construction managers, construction engineers, and laborers of construction work. This study’s results are obtained by categorizing the impacts of COVID-19 on Chilean construction projects, performing content analysis to the data collected. We found that the impacts of COVID-19 on construction projects can be classified in nine categories, being the categories with the most coded responses the following: economic impacts, productivity, and the stop and delay of construction projects. Additionally, the impacts from COVID-19 were identified to reach multiple levels, namely at the company, project, workers, and suppliers and subcontractors’ levels. The most coded excerpts regarding the impacts of COVID-19 were found at the project and workers’ levels. This study is a first step that identifies the impacts suffered by the construction industry due to pandemic conditions; understanding these impacts may guide the most appropriate plans and policies of decision-makers in the fight against COVID-19 in the construction industry.

Felipe Araya, Leonardo Sierra, Diego Basualto
A Framework Supporting the Empirical Evaluation of BIM Assessment Models

Numerous assessment models have been developed for organizations to measure their progress from traditional to BIM-enabled practices. These models have been designed to meet the industry’s needs for planning, executing and measuring the BIM adoption and implementation process. To date, however, the models that have been developed have largely been non-cumulative, non-comparable, derived from different theoretical bases and generally have lacked empirical validation outside of their development. The multitude of models, methods and guides has made it difficult to choose an appropriate strategy and evaluate their effectiveness. This can lead to confusion amongst industry stakeholders and hinder the deployment of BIM on a broader scale. The collaborative action-research project presented in this paper aimed to address this issue by developing a framework and a method to support the empirical evaluation of BIM assessment models. The proposed framework provides a structured and replicable method to evaluate and validate BIM assessment models for industrial applications. This research makes several contributions to both theory and practice. First, the empirical evaluation of the models allows for the informed choice of an appropriate BIM assessment model depending on the implementation context, which combines both the values inherent in BIM evaluation and concepts found in the social sciences. Secondly the research provides validation of said assessment models outside of the validation performed during their development. In addition, several concepts relating to validation within the field of information technology research in construction are identified and developed within the context of the framework. Lastly, the outcomes of this research have been applied in practice to improve two assessment models, one of which is currently being used in the context of a wide-spread digital transformation effort in the province of Quebec.

E. Nonirit, D. Forgues, É. Poirier
Integrating Building Information Modeling and Virtual Reality to Facilitate the Implementation of Universal Design for Facilities at the Conceptual Stage

The demographic projection expects that in 2024 one in five Canadians will be over 65 years old. This shift is compelling designers to consider the entire lifespan of occupants during their design process. Universal Design (UD) is defined as a design to accommodate all people to the greatest extent possible. It emphasizes the design’s usability by people regardless of their age, gender and ability, and it aims to house everyone irrespective of their chronic health conditions. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a significant development in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry in a more collaborative and automated way. It helps AEC professionals in planning, designing, constructing, and operating a facility. Integrating BIM and Universal Design allows designers to easily and efficiently incorporate Universal Design standards at the conceptual design stage of buildings using the functionalities and capabilities of BIM tools. On the other hand, integrating BIM and Virtual Reality (VR) allows immersive visualizations of proposed buildings’ design models. It offers users unique real-time simulations in an interactive environment while enhancing communication and interaction between owners and designers to meet occupants’ satisfaction and needs in reducing future modifications and alterations for their dwellings to age in them. Therefore, this study proposes the development of an automated model to be used at the conceptual design stage of buildings to facilitate the adoption of universal design standards and processes. This paper introduces a methodology to integrate Universal Design requirements, Accessible Design and Conventional Design Standards with BIM at the conceptual design stage of buildings to help designers and owners select optimal design alternatives based on their predefined criteria.

Vafa Rostamiasl, Ahmad Jrade
Proceedings of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering Annual Conference 2021
herausgegeben von
Scott Walbridge
Mazdak Nik-Bakht
Kelvin Tsun Wai Ng
Manas Shome
M. Shahria Alam
Ashraf el Damatty
Gordon Lovegrove
Springer Nature Singapore
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