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Much research and development has been conducted in the last few decades under the subject of efficient construction methods, which has revolutionized the construction industry. Various methodologies have been developed which has presented opportunities as well as challenges for the designers and architects of today’s world. The science of efficient construction has established significant pressure on efficient utilization of space, energy and material resources. Therefore prudent use of resources, consideration of renewable / recyclable materials usage and efficient designing is considered to be of prime importance for any construction project (Pacheco, 2007).
The ability to communicate, manage and present data in electronic form, also called interoperability, holds extreme importance in the construction industry. This can be successfully achieved through the use variety of information technology tools and applications. The multi dimensional visualization and simulation / modeling programs, and the Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) are one of the most influential techniques which are now being used to improve the construction efficiency. Tools have also been developed which supports cost estimations, tracking of materials, activity scheduling and laser scanning. These tools provide extraordinary management facilities which are useful for providing pivotal information to clients as well as other stakeholders such as contractors and suppliers / vendors. It enhances engineering designs from the planning stage, and improves operations and project management. These also provide support in the financial and legal requirements of the project.
One of the most commonly used computer aided model which is now being used in many projects is known as the Building Information Modeling (BIM). The BIM generates and manage useful data during the life cycle of the project (Lee et al. 2006). The parameters that this program covers include geographical details, spatial analyses, material properties and quantities, processing details and many others. BIM can be utilized for presenting the complete building details, which includes the operational facilities and construction processes (Liu et al. 2009)
Figure 1: Building Information Modeling Standard (Source: NIBS, 2006)
Although these recent computer aided technologies have facilitated various aspects of the facilities and engineering, their effective utilization requires collaborative and integrated planning at the starting stage of any project. The process fragmentations can be avoided through effective processes planning and thus improve the quality and subsequent decision making of the project.
The impact such processes generate on parameters such as supply chain management, work-flow sequence and data accuracy are quite phenomenal. Application of such tools on the subject project aims to eliminate the conflicts between the design and engineering, which practically reduces the time of the project as reworking on activities, is not required. The system is aided to provided real time information during on-site works; therefore it improves the infrastructure’s life cycle management.
The main aims of the research are;
The main objectives of the report are as follows;
The following research questions will be answered in the research to be undertaken;
BIM Technology was never a new entrant in the building industry, however through the evolution of programs, software and applications, various new systems have been formed. Various names and acronyms have been used to describe this, including BIM (Building information modelling), VC 3D CAD (Virtual Construction, 3 Dimensional AutoCAD), IS (Information System), CIC (Computer Information Construction), and IT (Information Technology). These systems have contributed towards the creation of an integrated and interactive space for sharing information.
Jung and Gibson, 1999, define computer information construction as an integration spanning the complete life cycle of the Project, between computer systems, management, information technology and strategy embedded within the corporation, all of which is applicable through different business systems. CIC has been recognized as an enabler, for not only engineering and construction but more notably for efficient project management.
Jung and Gibson, 1999, further state that Information Systems (IS) were initially formed to help with labour intensive tasks, but the years have been IS being firmly integrated within the business procedures, and has furthermore been moulded to support and transform the corporate strategy. To ensure efficiency and optimal utilization, IS should be amalgamated within the higher management systems. Another form of BIM, a computer integrated system, has been formulated recently and is the ongoing topic of discussion for their benefits and subsequent costs.
Aranda-Mena et al, 2008, in the course of evaluation of business sense, stated that where BIM is merely a software application for some corporations, for others it serves the purpose of documenting and designing built information, where for others it may serve the purpose of furthering and advancing business options, which requires implementation of contracts and policies amongst the main stakeholders. Since BIM requires interaction and integration of various stakeholders, their opinions and perspectives should be given weightage in order to ensure effective and efficient implementation.
A huge amount of research has been conducted in order to decipher and implement the perspectives of various professionals operating in the field, such as contractors, engineers, with specific reference to BIM and its subsequent definition through a focus on the differences rather than similarities.
The Business Value of BIM report, compiled by McGraw Hill, 2009, defines BIM to be a procedure which creates and uses digital models for not only construction but also operations of the business. Woo et al, 2010, define BIM as an intelligent 3D model, which makes use of the virtual building information which can be transformed into the idea of an optimized building model, which not only reduced risk but also enhances the value of the Project through specific focus on the perspective of the design. Zuppa et al, 2009, in the course of their research state the BIM was found to be a perceivable tool used for coordination and visualisation of work related to AEC, which led to avoiding errors and omissions.
National BIM standard, 2006, defines BIM to be a building information model, which represents digitally, the functional and building factors that should be taken into account for the building Project. It not only aims to represent a reliable forum for decision making but also an interactive knowledge sharing platform, during the life of the Project. The basis and the aim of the BIM, inherently is to serve as an open standard for interoperability.
The various aforementioned definitions highlight the confusion that has been a result of quantification of potential benefits and subsequently defining BIM. This results in the outcome of the quantities of BIM being too generic since there is no collaboration between the stakeholders. Zuppa, 2009 highlights the qualitative benefits that stakeholders think arise from the use of BIM, such as contractors would seek to see improvements in estimating, scheduling and the architects would see the use of BIM to enhance productivity, business operations and coordination. Moreover, comparing benefits across different Projects becomes difficult since all stakeholders hold different perceptions of what may constitute benefits, and as pointed out by Becerik-Gerber and Rice, 2010, despite there being much debate on the benefits of BIM within the industry sector, organizations fail to lay down specific guidelines to help them utilize the full benefits. There is a need to lay down a valid baseline which can be used to evaluate the projected or expected benefits arising from the use of BIM in a given Project.
Construction industry has long been identified as an enabler within the industrial sector. It is a key contributor of growth towards the economy of United Kingdom, thereby, employing over two point five million workers and giving an output of one hundred and seven billion pounds in the year 2010. Furthermore, it also plays an important part in the climate change targets that have been set up by the government of United Kingdom.
Over the years United Kingdom has managed to achieve competitive advantage in various sectors of the construction industry which include low carbon emitting environmental friendly products, architecture and engineering. This advantage is inherent and important to the economy of United Kingdom since it creates opportunities for new technologies to emerge keeping in line with the environmental concerns and awareness. The construction industry within United Kingdom is predominantly based on the levers of public sector which procure over thirty percent of the Project with the promise of renewing and expanding the infrastructure within United Kingdom.
The purpose of the capability assessment is to analyse the current construction industry while setting out future opportunities for the government to ensure the amalgamation of BIM into the construction industry sector.
BIM is a way of collaboration which allows for technological innovations to bring together the concepts of design, creation and maintenance of various assets. The purpose of the BIM is to amalgamate the product, the data available of the asset and the computer model to for effective and efficient utilization of resources and information from the beginning of the Project to the end of its subsequent operation. BIM has been described as a game changing phenomenon within the ICT sector. Various countries around the globe have recognized the potential of BIM and have subsequently begun to develop their own infrastructure and capabilities to ensure implementation of BIM. It can be used both as a mainstream instrument and a refurbishment instrument for both new and old Projects that require rapid energy analysis or laser scanning techniques. It is seen as a collaborative measure between the software industry and the construction industry creating opportunities for both sectors.
BIS published a report in 2011 which contained mobilization and implementation plans for BIM, it was stated that BIS and the cabinet office have begun to embed the use of BIM within their public procurement projects for efficient use. Since BIM works through analysis of data and application of the same, various government construction clients have begun to adapt to the use of BIM within their Projects. It was further stated that the government related work was continuing and the cabinet office aimed at developing their capacity and capability in BIM through DFMA (design for manufacture and assembly), and lean construction which not only enhances and raises the standards for production but also collaborates different approaches which have been implemented and used by various sectors.
The construction industry has positively responded to the government initiative of implementation of BIM and the United Kingdom has come to be known by the global construction industry players as one of the leading countries to use, implement and exploit BIM driven technology. BIM is now known to be one of the key factors which contribute towards economic growth both within the country and internationally as well (BIM, 2011).
This section of the paper has been included to analyze the various strategies that can be used to enhance project management in the construction engineering industry. The initial main objective in this regard was to perform intensive exploration of different papers, articles, and journals composed by different specialists on various construction wastes, techniques, lean principles and articles or journals containing building information modeling were completely inspected to comprehend the concepts of lean construction and Building information modeling.
Before analyzing the how the BIM can be approached and used to enhance the performance of any construction project, it is important to shed light on the lean concepts that have been used for the many decades to streamline the construction strategies. We have to keep in mind that the lean concept is still young and in stage of steady advancement. New concepts rise and the substance of the old ones changes, yet the following methodologies are still being used in the subject industry;
Just in time approach; Any action that includes cost without increasing the worth is characterized as waste. It might be because materials are being moved unnecessarily, accumulating abundance of stock, or the utilization of production methods that are faulty making reworking on the created products necessary. The JIT concept helps in enhancing the benefits and profit on investments by decreasing levels of stock, enhancing item quality, lessening variability, decreasing production and lead times of delivery and reducing different expenses; for example, those connected with machine set-up and breakdown of equipment (Koskela, 2010).
To boost the production efficiency, they attempted to keep everybody as occupied as can be. This brought about expansive inventories, long time for production, high rates of defected items produced, items produced being outdated in nature, delivery plans getting hard to meet, and hence high expenses. All of these could have been avoided by adopting “just in time” (JIT) manufacturing.
3-D and 4-D Modeling to Improve production methods: Basic for all phases in the building construction procedures is the broad/extensive utilization of information technology. The 3D model is dependent upon offering a shared database which supports in the provision of the latest forms of drawings and data accessible from the database to all distinctive teams in the development process. Various kinds of documentations might then be prepared from this database, for instance distinctive 2D and 3D presentations, specifications of materials and drawings for assembling and production. The database can additionally process information for calculating cost, time planning and extremely critical information required for the customer and the future lodger.
The 3D modeled design concentrates on the outline of the building, spatial planning and development, the materials utilizations and various other aspects. The 3D model is a static model which is built to represent the physical building in the computer. This could be seen as a detriment for the development (construction) process since the development methodology is a dynamic process and requires a dynamic presentation (GSA, 2007).
4D-CAD is an integral model, which integrates an object oriented 3D-CAD model with the fourth dimension; in the form of time. 4D-CAD is a form of data visualization that is simpler to comprehend as compared to the conventional methodologies, for example; 2D drawings and time plans, which are utilized to oversee development projects. 4D-CAD is a method for envisioning a construction based on logic.
The utilization of visualization and the 4D concept adoption empower the project partner to concentrate on the significant data and other resources. Through the utilization of 4D tools, there are more opportunities to carry out related predictions and more proficiently assessing the design, construction scheduling or constructability. Along these lines, the design and development stages will be extensively integrated which will bring about a more effective development process.
The 4D idea, by visualization of the development procedure, is a productive tool for planning to organize the logistic of the site throughout the planning stage rather than during the production / construction stage. The layout of the site might be visualized and simulated with a 4D CAD tool for the participants in the project which specifically will help the site designer to organize the exercises, material streamlining and site logistic. The utilization of 3D-4D modeling has numerous benefits for stake holders, engineers, architects and contractors (Liston et al., 2000).
Total Quality Control (TQC): TQC is an administration tool for enhancing overall performance. The quality development began with the investigation of raw materials and items utilizing systems based on statistics. In Japan, the quality development has developed from being just inspection of items to total quality control products. The term total being used here refers to three extensions (Shingo, 1988):
The quality strategies have created and grown in correspondence with the assessment of the idea of the quality. The main idea has transformed from an investigation perspective (sampling theory), through process control (procedure control involving statistics and the seven other tools), to persistent process change (the new seven devices) and at present to designing quality into the item and methodology (quality function deployment).
Total Productivity Maintenance: Total productivity maintenance (TPM) is the self-sufficient maintenance of production hardware by little groups of operators having different skills (Nakajima, 1988). Total productivity maintenance tries to expand generation yield by keeping up perfect working conditions. The production operators are there to perform routine maintenance undertakings regularly, while technical experts and engineers handle more specific assignments. TPM system aims to avoiding maintenances (using such designs or choice of equipment which is simple to maintain), upgrades on equipment, preventive and predictive maintenances.
Employee Involvement: Involvement of employees is critical for working of any organization. Quick response to any issue which occurs obliges strengthening of the employees. Non-stop betterment is intensely subject to normal perception and motivation of the workforce, subsequently the thought of quality circles. Keeping in mind the end goal to avoid waste connected with the division of work, teams of multi-skilled or self-directed groups have been created for projects/ production/ client based production.
Continuous Improvement: The key thought behind this concept is to uphold and enhance the working gauges through continuous enhancements. It's an endless procedure. A continuous improvement procedure includes everybody from the precise lowest part to the top; the essential reason being that little periodic enhancements lead to a huge positive change over the long haul. (Koskela, 1992).
Time based Competition: The procedure of compressing time all around the association for the purpose of achieving competitive benefit is regarded as time based competition. This is the summed up manifestation of just in time theory (JIT logic). As per Ohno, shortening of lead-time is advantageous, for example, by decreasing the work not identified with processing, an abatement in the stock, and simplicity of identifying the problem (Robinson, 1991). Time based competition has gotten prevalent, particularly in managerial and data work where the JIT theory sounds unfamiliar.
Concurrent Engineering: Concurrent engineering is basically related to the project's design phase period. In spite of the fact that its dependent upon ideas similar to JIT and TQC, it didn't evolve specifically from them. The term Concurrent alludes to an enhanced design process by upfront requirements analysis, consolidating the limitations of consequent stages into the conceptual stage, and tightening of change control at the close of the design phase.
Value Based Strategy: This strategy alludes to "conceptualized and clearly articulated value as the reason for contending" (Carothers and Adams 1991). Firms driven by strategies that are value-based systems are client oriented, rather than contender oriented firms. Improving continuously to build client value is one fundamental quality of value-based management.
Visual Management: An incline towards visual control in generation, quality and work environment planning is the thing that visual management is about. This is one of the first JIT thoughts and the objective is to render the standard which has to be applied and a deviation from it is instantly conspicuous by anyone.
Re-engineering: Re-engineering alludes to the radical arrangement of processes and undertakings, particularly concerning usage of information technology. Consistent with Hammer (1990), distinguishing and splitting far from antiquated standards and basic assumptions are the key problems in re-engineering.
A considerable lot of the BIM applications help in effectively executing the strategies described in the previous section. For instance, BIM encourages early error identification, collisions; subsequently helping in accomplishing high quality. Thus, BIM helps in total quality control. An alternate example is that BIM encourages co-ordination, which thus prompt participation of employees.
It is interesting to see that BIM likewise supports in accomplishing a large portion of these principles. For instance, reduction of the time span of the project by discovering clashes in early stages of the design phase by lessening non-value adding activities and increasing the value of the client. A case study has been presented in this section to show that applications of BIM aids in accomplishing a large number of such key lean principles
A typical case study of constructing a multi-storey building can be used to show the BIM can be successfully used in all the construction stages of the of the project, and how it can impact during the life-cycle of the project. For any multi-storey building, there are various activities which must be listed to develop understanding of the project requirements in order to successfully complete the structure of the building.
In this assessment, the client is looking forward to develop a 6 storey residential tower, for which the major activities (till completion of building structure) can be listed as below;
Table 1; Project Activities
Project’s Major Activities
Activity 1; Design and Planning
Outlining the requirements of the client/residents, completing the geographical analyses, subject soil analyses, site-layout planning, completing calculations and drawings, and the building layout plans
Activity 2; Approvals
Proposing the completed documentations from the activity 1 to clients, carrying out discussions and amendments and preparing the final approved documentations/designs/plans etc
Activity 3; Project Handling/Management
Completing the BOQs (bill of quantities), establishing procurement team, completing arrangements for tender approvals, selecting the team of workers/builders/construction team. Prepare the primary site as per the approved documentations, import the required machinery, and set-up/develop workshops
Activity 4; Basement and foundations development
Initial and complete the excavation process in order to construct the foundations and basement in accordance with approved plans.
Activity 5; Material of construction
Complete selection process of material of constructions, procurement processes and construction material assembling
Activity 6; Structural woks
Complete the structural installations works based on the material section decisions from activity 6, along with all other associated engineering works
Activity 7; Testing and finishing
Complete finishing of structural work and engineering works, complete the testing procedures, and complete flooring, roofing and walling works
Successful completion of the all the activities as described in the table 1 above requires that the optimum project completion methodology is adopted. Previously we have discussed how the lean principles can provide support in completing such activities, and the following shows how the BIM can be effectively utilized in with respect to this case study
In addition to the provision of a 2D model, a BIM generated 3D model will be developed in order to provide enhanced support in visualizing the project. This tool has the ability to provide support in the presentation of the proposed models to clients and other stakeholders, as shown in the figure below
Figure 2: BIM Design and Implementation (source: Facilities, Princeton University 2014)
Through the application of BIM modeling tools as shown in the figure above, the building design/model can be thoroughly examined and the design team is able to quickly perform simulations and benchmark the performance. There is better correspondence and comprehension from 3D visualization (McGraw Hill construction, 2009).
Various issues associated with the all the project activities can be settled promptly during the design phase and subsequently there will be fewer issues in the plans following and henceforth fewer errors (McGraw Hill construction, 2009). Any design updates completed to the building could be immediately updated. Henceforth, there will be less revision required because of conceivable errors or omissions in the drawing (Eastman, 2008).
The application of BIM in this project is expected to allow for all the workers to participate at an early stage and work simultaneously on all the aspects and activities of the project. This provision allows reduction in the time taken for design as well as it decreases and possible errors and/or omissions. This additionally helps decrease the cost as the value engineering process being carried out are initiated at the same time and not at the end of design phase (Eastman, 2008).
BIM performs generation of 3D visualizations as well as quantifying material amounts. This aids in exact and expense assessing at an early stage. Henceforth the configuration plan of a building can be checked / verified in terms of both qualitatively and quantitatively at an early stage in the process (Eastman, 2008). In the event that any updates are completed in the model, it can be promptly redesigned exactly and henceforth completely reliable drawing might be created when design adjustments are made.
The 3D design parameters in the model will be interfaced to the development plan and henceforth will be conceivable to show how the building and the site might look like at any instance. This is an attractive tool which is being utilized in this project. Trouble shooting is another parameter which is rated as top means by which managers save the time and cash utilizing BIM (McGraw Hill Construction, 2009). In 2-D drawings, any modifications in one drawing are not upgraded in other related drawings. This prompts numerous conflicts and consequently generates error inputs. Many of these conflicts are discovered after the work has already begun at the site, which may prompt numerous site clashes, legitimate questions and revision requests.
Better comprehension and easier understanding of life cycle costs and environmental performance can also be performed through the use of subject system (Azhar, et.al, 2008). At any phase of the design, the BIM can be used to get the bill of quantities for tender approvals and generations, and estimating the cost of materials for selection purposes. These qualities will be utilized to get more reliable expense estimation at an early stage of the process.
Architectural sustainability is considered to be one of the primary factors when designing and constructing any complex. Various regulations have been applied at the governmental level to complete the project in accordance with the sustainable practices. Through the use of BIM, the building model can be integrated with the energy modeling tools. This is to assess energy utilization and henceforth furnish chance to construct this multistory building with better energy effectiveness. The overall sustainability of the building will be improved through efficient utilization of materials, waste reduction, better performance of the materials and equipment, and through many other factors.
The downstream process of construction of a multi storey building can utilize the digital item information and it can be used for manufacturing of structural frameworks (Azhar, et.al, 2008). In BIM, the components are as of now characterized in 3D and subsequently their automated creation utilizing numerical control apparatus is encouraged. This encourages exact off site fabrication and subsequently lessens expense and development time. Probability of on-site updates occurring is decreased, and afterwards larger segments/parts could be manufactured without worrying about later conceivable measurements being changed because of other components being developed (Eastman, 2008). The site is likewise more secure since a larger number of components are getting manufactured off site and trucked to the site keeping onsite exchanges least (Smith, 2007). This also ensures that there is less amount of waste generated on site, which enhances the sustainability score of the project
The application of BIM in this case study is expected to furnish a great source of data for all the different systems utilized as a part of the building, which can used to check if all of them are in order and functioning as the building is finished / completed (Eastman, 2008). Likewise, the data about maintenance and warranty of mechanical parts, control systems and others could be delivered and therefore help an improved facility management.
The advantages that come with the use of BIM have real effects on quality control, completing tasks on-time, production rate, overall expenditure, project economics and safety (Suerman, 2007), as shown in the figure below;
Figure 3: BIM planning and constructability analyses (source: REVIT BIM, 2007)
The BIM model used for this project will be obtained from one of the various BIM services providers, such as REVIT, Innovaya, Archi-CAD, and Saneo etc. The model to be used / applied in this project will be integrated with Primavera and/or MS Project to enhance the engineering performance during the project. Automated generation of project activities will establish clear goals for the workers/builders on periodic bases in real time. And with recently optimizations in the BIM in terms of dimensions (time, cost, life-cycle, discussed in detail in the next chapter), the construction activities presented in the table 1 can be completed with much enhanced efficiency.
Consistent with the survey led by McGraw-Hill developments, more than 48% of the owners say that the overall project proves beneficial, as not many RFI's and field coordination issues/problems occurred. BIM helps exchange data effortlessly, which is considered to be one of the prime befits of its use. It is usually produces better quality of data and can be reused (Azhar et.al., 2008). Furthermore, BIM rapidly responds to plan or site issues (Eastman, 2008), which eventually saves time and hence cost of the project. Some of the other benefits of BIM that are currently recognized are detailed as below (Azhar, et.al. 2008), which can also be useful during the course of the complete life cycle of the proposed building in this case study
Figure 4: Operational methodology of BIM (source: Arayici et al, 2011)
From the research completed in this paper, it has been observed that the BIM is a valuable tool for the construction business. But it is not impeccable and it is even now developing. There are still numerous tests and restraints in BIM which it must overcome.
There are many questions which are yet to be answered with respect to the application of BIM, such as; who claims the rights of a model? Legal concerns are displaying tests in the matter of who claims the ownership of the various designs, fabrication and development datasets, and who makes payment for these, and who is answerable for their precision (Eastman, 2008).
The ownership of the responsibility of data management is another aspect which needs to be answered. Furthermore, engineering firms frequently may not utilize the BIM software, which prompts general contractor to outsource the whole model. This is tedious as well as expensive. Additionally, if people working on the same project utilized more than one type of modeling software, teaming up with them could be challenging and may cause a few losses of data (Eastman, 2008).
Implementing BIM requires thorough comprehension and a plan for how it is going to be implemented before the change can start (Eastman, 2008).
This section presents the analyses of the literature provided in the previous section and the completed case study. Details of the key points are discussed, and relevant discussion is completed to achieve the aims of the paper.
The following paragraphs amalgamate series of ideas, innovations, processes that have been known to have the most effect on the operations within the construction industry. All these process, and activities, subsequently are not only interrelated but also ensure and enable implementation of each other. Government agencies and high rise corporations seek to benefit from the implementation of the stated activities so that they can be transformed into standard operating procedures. Furthermore, these agencies and corporations will seek to ensure that the low cost, but high quality sustainability of the Project is integrated and upheld. It is however noteworthy, that these changes and collaboration cannot take place without the integration of not only major stakeholders but also contractors, architects, sub contractors, researchers etc.
In order to enhance the competitiveness and the quality of productivity within the United Kingdom construction industry, it may be suggested that a forward path should be implemented for the required changes. Furthermore, it has been highlighted by various researchers that every individual’s quality of life is inherently dependent upon the quality of products provided by the construction industry which includes houses, bridges, water and sewer lines, roads, airports, hospitals, shopping centres. Furthermore the construction industry provides products within the sphere of infrastructure that are inherent to shelter, water and power, while at the same time supporting connectivity, mobility and commerce within United Kingdom.
Not only is the construction industry within United Kingdom a major contributor towards gross domestic product, but also the provider of a large proportion of jobs. The robustness of the national economy is dependent upon the quantifiable values associated to the construction, such as how much did the construction cost, which all invariably effects the prices for the final consumer who may wish to purchase a house or a building subsequently. Not only this, but construction business and its subsequent productivity will enhance the national economy through renewal of existing bridges, infrastructure, sustainability through the use of green products and enhanced competitiveness in the market. Furthermore, in order to ensure green productivity and sustainability, the efforts to modify the structural design as well as recycling material must all be given precedence over other matters so that the national efforts for green economy are enhanced, following which not only greenhouse effect will be minimised but carbon emissions can also be controlled.
There is much debate about the confused status of the construction industry. The analysts cannot seem to agree as to whether the industry is improving or declining. Some analysts seem to observe that the construction industry has been undergoing a continuous decline since the last thirty years, where as other economists and analysts believe that there has been vast improvement in the way that the construction industry has evolved, a commonly cited example being the laying down of pipes. However, there is agreement by both the parties that there is room for vast amount of improvement, some of which have been highlighted as below;
Tulacz and Armistead, 2007, point out that in studies that have documented construction efficiency in contrast to construction productivity show that between twenty five to fifty percent of waste are accounted for in terms of managing, modifying and moving labour and machinery. The main key point highlighted in the report is primarily that advancement of technology can not only improve the efficiency of construction industry but also look into meeting various other challenges faced by the nation such as environmental sustainability. The research completed along with the detailed case study showed that there are various interrelated activities, which if implemented, will result in a breakthrough of productivity within the construction industry. The paragraphs below include a brief discussion of each of the activities.
Enhanced efficiency on the job site, through effective interaction between machinery, people, information and processes. This is a dynamic set up since the construction site is where equipment, people and equipment interact with each other to complete the tasks. In order to manage all these activities, it is imperative to efficiently utilize the available resources. Poorly managed resources can not only lead to waste of the said resources but also waste of time since the equipment will have to be moved multiple times, schedules will be mismanaged, and the workers will have to wait around for the tools and equipment.
Use of enhanced technology such as automated equipment (pipe installation and concrete movers), information technologies such as trackers, digital assistants, real time movements and improvements in the process could lead to a great cut down in the waste and enhance the security and quality of the employees as well as the operations. Sequence of planning along with segmentation proves to be obstacles in the use of such technologies. Furthermore, it is pertinent to state that efficiency within the job process and operations require a skilled labour force not only apt at communication and collaboration but also proficient in management and technological faculties.
Enhanced use of prefabrication, modularization, and preassembly and off site processes and fabrication should be implemented. These involve assembly or fabrication of components and systems at manufacturing sites and off site areas. Once this is complete, the equipment is then shipped to the area of construction for installation procedures. Implementation of these techniques will bring about a lower cost, efficient utilization of resources including labour and enhanced quality. Various barriers exist including building codes, conventional designs and procedures which hinder the use of such automated modern technologies.
Demonstration installation should be implemented as well, which include field experiments, seminars, training, high tech scientific laboratories which use reporting protocols and standardised testing procedures. Demonstration installation can be implemented as a means of testing the validity of the effect of new technology, procedures, and their impact upon implementation on the construction site. If implemented effectively, they can be used to reduce risk, mitigate innovation of contractors, engineers and subcontractors.
In order to support innovation, effective performance measures should be implemented, which not only enable innovation but also ensure corrective actions throughout the operation of the Project. This leads to an analysis by the organization with regard to success and failure of the project, the drawback or inefficiency of the Project, and any potential outcome of the Project. Given the nature of the construction projects and the industry sector, leading performance indicators are mandatory at all levels and Projects respectively.
Various other factors contribute to inefficiency of works on the job site which include exposure to high levels of dust, noise, extreme weather conditions which all lead to inevitable fatigue. Use of new technologies can not only lead to lesser work load for the workers, but also ensure their safety, since the equipment is easier to control and use. Also, altering the use of material used can reduce the weight of the material thereby making it easier to move and handle. Manufacture of building equipment away from the job site not only entails precision but also quality of the equipment. Pre fabrication, modularization, pre assembly and off site fabrication all involve assembly or fabrication of systems and equipment at offsite plants and manufacturing areas, and when this is complete and the appropriate time comes, this equipment is shipped to the actual construction site so that it can be installed. All these activities can be successfully completed through effective use of learn principles and with the application of BIM
A survey was conducted to analyse the relationship between the material technology and the subsequent productivity within the construction industry, based on hundred specific construction related tasks and found that:
Environmental impacts that arise from construction and demolition are astonishing. Landfill sites are one of the major sources of pollution since all the construction and manufacturing debris is brought to them every year. Statistics have been highlighted by the environment protection agency with regard to magnitude and impact of construction and demolition which can be positively utilized by owners, contractors and designers.
On the other hand modular construction is efficient in resource utilization, since it allows reassembly of repetitive units within a controlled condition. Another factor to be taken into consideration is the utilization of material waste which is a subsequent result of conventional construction practices and somewhat weather intrusions. Whole modular units if finished before installation onto the construction site would lead to a significant lesser generation of waste. Modular construction is inherently based on the ability move a product in a condition that is controlled and tight towards project schedules. If it takes into account the various site constraints, it would be an efficient tool for minimising the impact on the site given the environmental concerns.
A report produced by United Kingdom, Waste and Resources Action Program, states that off site manufacture can significantly reduce the amount of waste generated along with ensuring quality, cost predictability and enhancing the safety of the workers on site via utilization of effective management tools such as BIM. Various industries within the construction sphere contribute significantly to the amount of waste generated however; the main stream ones include plasterboard with up to thirty six percent waste generation, timber up to twenty five percent, and packaging up to five percent. It is stated that up to ninety percent of waste can be reduced including cement, timbre, concrete, pallets, cardboard etcetera by implementing the modern equipment used for construction and ensuring off site manufacturing; for which much support can be obtained through utilization of BIM and/or lean principles as detailed in the previous chapter
Four inherent stages comprise the construction process in the factory. First and foremost, approval of design by the authorities and the end consumer, second, assembling module components within a controlled environment, third, transporting the equipment modules to the final site, and fourth, erection and assembling of modules to make a finished building, the final product, as shown in the table 1 of chapter 3 A factor which is unique to modular construction is that both the assembling of modules as well site work is being conducted simultaneously. This has various benefits such as reduced construction time, increased efficiency, reduction in finances and supervision costs, and an earlier occupancy permit. All the procedures are conducted within time and therefore all amalgamate as a part of the construction process.
Another factor unique to modular construction is the fact that various construction including floors, roof, walls, ceilings and rafter can be completed simultaneously. In comparison, when construction is done on site, the ceilings cannot be built until the walls have been built, similarly, walls can’t be erected unless the floors are in place. Whereas, in modular construction, all walls, rafters, ceilings, floors are built at the same time and after their completion they are brought to the site to be given the form of a building. The time taken in modular is half of that consumed with conventional construction methods and techniques.
Since we have already seen how the use of BIM can effectively enhance the performance a construction project (from the case study), it is therefore important to develop understanding of the strategies the government is keen to adopt in order to benefit from this modular construction and project handling tool.
Given the widespread adoption of BIM technology within the construction industry, it is estimated that the United Kingdom government would save up to two billion pounds; according to the study conducted into the Business Case for Interoperable Building Information Modelling by Wix and Nisbet, 2008, which works well with budget cut scheme that has been implemented by the government with the aim of fifteen to twenty percent savings on each of the Projects by next year. The implementation of BIM technology within United Kingdom began in 2011 and has since then become a widely used in both private and public sector organizations for procurement and delivery of products Projects. The BIS BIM Strategy lists down the drivers for BIM technology and highlights three requirements which have been implemented by the construction industry and the government: (1) To achieve higher efficiency in operations along with reducing the costs of the assets; (2) Ensuring efficiency and effectiveness of construction supply chains; and, (3) basing the growth ambitions on a sector which implements forward thinking approach.
The government has been working in continuous amalgamation with the construction industry council to ensure implementation of BIM. There are various industry focused programs which aim to implement the BIM technology, with specific focus on supply chain in order to give effect to the mandate of the government to ensure that all publically procured projects are delivered using the BIM technology by the year 2016 (Department for Business Innovation & Skills, 2014)
Throughout all levels of supply chain, the use and implementation of BIM ensures transparency as well as collaboration between suppliers as well as engineers and other stakeholders which inherently has proven to be one of the greatest competitive advantages of BIM. It furthermore reduces waste produced through procurement, processing and materials. Furthermore the key driver in the success of BIM is the benefit that the technology has created for clients, customers and all the stakeholders within the entire supply chain.
BIM has become to be recognized as a driver for competition as well as growth within the European countries. The European Union Sustainable Construction Strategy aims at not only enhancing the performance of the industries within their domestic sphere through the use of BIM but also ensure their competitive advantage in the global market. On the other hand, the application of BIM is being currently viewed by European Union Directive on Procurement and it is important that both United Kingdom and European Union work in collaboration to ensure that any future protocols on BIM are compatible with the BIM technology already implemented within the United Kingdom.
The ICT industry within United Kingdom is very advanced and modern which can be an advantage for United Kingdom and therefore it can provide a backbone for future developments and improvements within the BIM technology which may be implemented within United Kingdom. This was also pointed out by the BIS BIM strategy and was then introduced internally by the software teams and construction markets.
Government Construction strategy formulated the BIM technologies alliance which is a collective representative of BIM technologies and software(s). The main aim of the BIM technologies alliance is to collaborate with the Government to ensure effective embedding of existing technologies of BIM along with implementing and developing future products and data analysis schemes to ensure effective and efficient protocol and procedural systems.
Engagement and collaboration between construction, manufacturers and products represent about forty percent of the value of the construction industry within United Kingdom and manufacturers more importantly are the inherent contributors to the construction industry. The ability and willingness by the manufacturers to implement BIM data analysis and then provide feedback about their products is critical to not just the success of BIM technology but also for the future embedment of data throughout the lifecycle of the Project from the beginning to operations to the end product. The Construction Product Association has been actively involved in the use of BIM technologies and has been involved in coordination between the manufacturers of the product to ensure good quality sustainably. Various standards including SMART, IFC and COBie have been implemented along with collaboration with various organizations including British Standards Institute to produce an era of structured protocols (HM Government, 2012).
The final stage, the hand over, is extremely important in ensuring that product is produced and used as it was designed and to further ensure that it continues production with the same design sustainably. This area has been subject to observation by the Government construction strategy and is implemented in public procurement projects through government soft landings. The synergy between the data provided by the BIM and the hand over procedure which involves analysis of the performance of the Project post its operation stage, is extremely strong. The BIM technology has been successful in providing an approach to the industry which shifts the focus from supply chain operations to analysis of the product post operation and delivery. Government soft landing has been enshrined within the BIM task group to ensure an efficient transition from construction/manufacture to operation/delivery of the product asset.
Industries throughout the globe have recognized the potential benefits of using BIM technologies and have immersed themselves in research for the same. An example is BCO, British Council of Offices, who in collaboration with HOK Architects and Salford University, were successful in establishing a programme whereby knowledge based benefits of BIM can be identified and then subsequently applied throughout the design, operation and manufacture of the Project (Department for Business Innovation & Skills, 2014).
Procurement portals have been utilized by local and central government to ensure effective delivery of the said product, however, the progress of BIM can be impeded if these portals react slowly to the data provided by the BIM technology.
There is no doubt that we have recognized the potential of BIM technologies and therefore have further developed digital built Britain which will give basis to our intention of becoming the global leaders in the use of BIM technology. It is through digital built Britain that United Kingdom will not only support but also deliver the integration of BIM into various public procurement projects including Smartcities. Using BIM strategy will allow the investors and other stakeholders to ensure strategic alliances as well as sustainable investment decisions for those systems and Projects that cut throughout the city. One of the key objectives of digital built Britain is to integrate various network and softwares so that they can work together while increasing the variety of BIM technological application but decreasing their complexity. On the other hand, it is also important to develop the legal, political and commercial practices so that they support the use of BIM technologies.
Throughout the previous two decades the BIM made a critical movement forward. BIM extended its borders, getting extra functions (dimensions) and made further opportunities in the construction industry. Initially, BIM transformed from 3D-CAD configuration (with inclusion of dimensions of shape, place and sizes), to a more efficient 4D configuration. The 4D BIM system added the fourth dimension of time to the three fundamental dimensions. This fourth dimension supports the full development coordination in design. According to the research conducted by Akinci et al. (2002), the 4D integrated tool of BIM has the capacity to empower a contractor/sub-contractor with respect to; materials requirements, human resource planning, layout planning, supplies requirement in terms of real time.
Thereafter, cost size was added to 4D concepts, which matured BIM to an advanced 5D-level. The 5th dimension extension assures that it is conceivable to count the total expense for the whole development project and also assuming that it is vital for project parts. The aggregate expense of project related activities is dependent upon the data such as expense of labor, materials, and others could be set-up physically or consequently at site with assistance of chosen software tools.
The latest improvement made to BIM brought it to the new 6D-level. The 6th dimension is related to the life cycle of the project, administration of site offices, and natural effect. Although some of experts and scientists still believe that the 6th extension is under the development stage, it is challenging to tide it into one entire framework with the rest five extents utilizing the software tools accessible in the commercial sector right now (GSA 2007).
Throughout the last decade, the imperativeness of BIM has been generally distinguished far and wide. In a few nations, BIM usage has got the backing from the administrations of these states. Among the heading nations are the USA, Hong Kong, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Singapore, and the UK. The national frameworks related to BIM in the above named nations are designed considering state authorities.
The General Service Administration (GSA) of United States focused on a key and incremental method of adopting 3D, 4D and BIM technology. Current stage for GSA in BIM usage is investigating the utilization of BIM innovation all around the project's life-cycle in the following fields: validation of spatial project, 4D phase establishments, sustainability and power/energy consumptions, laser scanning, circulation and security approval, and various other building components. The United States is assuming the leading part in BIM usage, and this U. S. experience could be generally utilized by different nations (NIBS 2007).
The National Institute of Building Sciences of Unites States developed and distributed the first ever National BIM Standard in the year 2007, which incorporated classifications and guidelines, specifications and suggested practices. An alternate organization developed for BIM usage is the building-SMART International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI). IAI has united the partnered associations in 14 nations around the world. IAI formulated three standards and the International Standards Organization (ISO) recognized these. BuildingSMART standards are created universally and spread information about facilities and projects, standard methods and standard names for items and properties (BuildingSMART, 2014). The following shows the operational model for these standards;
Figure 5: The BIM operational Model (source: self edited)
Research conducted by Teicholz in 2004 pointed the significant causes for the lack in advancement in the construction productivity field. This differentiates the design of the project from its construction phase, which prompts a rise in the field-costs. It mostly implies an inadequate consideration of knowledge of construction throughout the design stage, often prompts more changes and clashes throughout construction stage that affects the project in terms of unwanted/additional delays and expenses
Despite the construction industry’s adopting to Information Technology (IT) on a large scale, these applications/activities for the most part have a tendency to run in a standalone mode that does not allow enhanced integrated efforts by the project team. This results in increased effort and time and reduces the capacity of project team to react rapidly and successfully to changes in site-conditions, scope, delays, and so forth. In this way, regardless of the wide execution of IT, it has not been able to produce considerable enhancements in field of construction.
The industry has countless small stakeholders, for example, customers, suppliers, designers, vendors, and contractors who are regularly not in a position to lead in the adoption of new technology and practice, generally due to insignificant size of these stakeholders.
There is a low level of investment on research and development in the construction industry. Therefore, new methods that are being developed are mostly constrained to individual projects only. This prompts a slower rate of adoption of new technology. The usage of BIM provides stakeholders the best chances to make positive progressions throughout design and construction phases of a project, which ought to enhance the gainfulness on construction sites (Suermann et al., 2007)
This research gives a stage to move the entire BIM methodology forward, and expands on the paramount work embraced by the Government and the stakeholders of the industry. BIM activities are intended for provision of competitive advantage over the conventional methods. It stretches out the overall competencies and markets, from infrastructure investment and expert services to construction and ongoing asset administration. It further also allows for giving customers an abundance of new information regarding the infrastructure being built and management tools.
The figure 6 below shows how the effort in design can influence the overall effectiveness of the project
Figure 6: relation between level of effort in design and distribution of add-on values (Source: NIBS 2007)
These results produced by show conclusive evidence that adaptation traditional and/or BIM can save costs, and improves the efficiency of the project.
From the research completed in this paper, it can be concluded that for the processes in the construction industry, efficiency enhancements and innovation are considered to be at the heat of the strategy and planning. There are various methods that can be utilized to achieve efficient construction and constructability, some of which have been successfully implemented throughout the UK. Along with such proactive efficient methodologies, the BIM has gained much success among the major contractors in the construction industry, and it has been further supported at governmental level, as the major stake holders have identifies this advancement as a key to success in the near future.
Regardless of the technological advancements and their adaptations, the fundamental work ethics and practices can never be ignored. Following the basic principles in the designing, planning, constructions and finishing stages of any project involves various critical activities which requires optimization and utilization of standardized working procedures. It is fundamental to attain an optimum balance between the cultural and technical platforms. Consideration of optimized site layout planning, sustainable material selection, efficient designing, adaptation of most suitable construction techniques, construction activity planning, managed plan executions, communications system usage, trouble shooting, quality control, waste management etc are some of the most utilized approaches used to enhance the effectiveness / efficiency of any project.
Recent advancements in the field of digital engineering have revolutionized the construction industry. It is also worthwhile noting that the BIM technology not only provides state of the art computer aided models, it also provides support in generating insight knowledge in various steps, and produces foundation for sustainable and efficient solutions. Apart from the standard use of BIM in geometrical and data analyses, it can also be applied in cost analyses which eventually benefit the building / infrastructure over its complete life time.
Furthermore, the application of this technology has produced fruitful results in the form of enhanced construction process’s productivity, end product’s improvements in terms of quality and reduction in the associated impact costs. It further promotes higher levels of collaboration, and an informed decision making process with integrated associated project teams; through forecasting the activities and chain of supplies to achieve the objectives of the project. Moreover, it is has been considered to be an effective communicational tool, which acts as bridge between the project life and client’s requirements in a form of a virtual world.
It is inherently clear then that the quality and standard of life of the residents and the economy is dependent upon the capacity of the government and related authorities to provide various services digital or otherwise to people static or moving. There is a need to be able to predict the demand supply of such product and digital services, so that the authorities or organizations have the capacity to not only match such demand but furthermore inform the customers in case of any discrepancy. BIM is one of the key drivers for data and networking but it does so through connecting with various building blocks which may include location data taken from the mobile cellular services. Inherently, the consumers want these services and want them to be available when they want it. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully integrate different data sets with different data sources to ensure effective transformation in the paradigm of date volume.
BIM is revolutionized the way the current industry thinks and operates, opening new efficiencies for the clients, supply chain management and project management. BIM is a central a piece of the integrator philosophy, guaranteeing best value at each phase of the project life cycle. The Government construction strategy supports integrated supply chains. The industry is now intended to accept that the evolved construction strategy and its BIM necessities will affect all parts of the supply chain and envoy a new era where astute choice making and ideal asset performance will be encouraged by organized in-house data about the asset under construction.
IMPROVING CONSTRUCTION EFFICIENCY & PRODUCTIVITY THROUGH UTILIZATION MODULAR TOOLS