10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization: Volume 2

Cover of 10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
Subject:

Table of contents

(57 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xi
Open Access

THE ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS OF CONSTRUCTION

Purpose

Provide explanations to why firms subcontract.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Theoretical analysis based on current and specific conditions of the construction sector and empirical indicators.

Findings

Attributes potentially influencing the subcontracting decision are updated.

Research Limitations/Implications

The paper will only focus on the make-or-buy decision of the main contractor and not the client.

Practical Implications

Contributing to coming analysis on the subcontractor decision.

Originality/Value

Updated transaction cost analysis on the construction industry.

Purpose

Identify what kind of research we need to reach extraordinary performance in value chains in construction projects.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Theory and qualitative case study (document study and interviews in the Bispevika project).

Findings

To change the collaborative game and transform the construction industry, there is a need for research on projects with extraordinary ambitions. The research needs to bridge from strategic level down into specific details in operations. We need contributions that do not follow the general tendency to limit perspectives and focus small, isolated questions. Research must be designed in a multidisciplinary fashion that includes aspects on all levels from individuals to across organisations in the project and even the industry itself. Research also needs to define a new “business model”. If not, research can become irrelevant rather than being a relevant partner producing knowledge and insights in the transformation of the construction industry.

Research Limitations/Implications

For researchers, this result indicates that there is a need for more complex, interdisciplinary research to be able to cover both the strategic and fundamental levels.

Practical Implications

The Bispevika project shows that both strategic direction and fundamental issues need attention and practical action.

Originality/Value

The research raises important aspects of a research agenda for the industry. This paper argues how research can contribute with relevant insights and will help define a more ambitious research agenda where the construction industries’ challenges can become the catalyst for also transforming future research design.

Purpose

Social sustainability is of increasing importance in societal development, which will affect the implementation of construction projects. The social responsibilities for both construction clients and suppliers will be an increasingly relevant part of their business processes. The objective of this study is to evaluate how the procurement process functions today with respect to social considerations.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The empirical data is based on interviews with procurement officials for each studied contract, together with official guidelines concerning social considerations and tender documents for each studied contract. Furthermore, the interviews addressed the level of knowledge that exists with procurement officials concerning social considerations in the procurement of road and railroad projects.

Findings

The results showed that there was a positive attitude towards social considerations in the procurement process and that there is a need in the construction sector to consider social issues to a higher degree.

Research Limitations/Implications

This study is based on six road and five railroad contracts within the Swedish Transport Administration as the client organization.

Practical Implications

It was evident that the level of knowledge with individual procurement officials concerning social issues is relatively low and needs to be increased. There is a perception that the management social considerations in construction procurement need to be clarified.

Originality/Value

Further research is needed to develop procedures, guidelines, routines and strategies for social considerations in procurement. Another important issue for further research is the development of routines to follow up social terms of contract during the implementation of the project.

Purpose

The aim of the present study is to look into the potential of standardization of special purpose buildings, with the example of the Norwegian Directorate of Public Construction and Property Management (Statsbygg).

Design/Methodology/Approach

The present study uses results from a group workshop on the topic of standardization, suggesting building types suitable for standardization or modular construction. In addition, data from Statsbygg’s project database is used.

Findings

There is a broad specter of special purpose buildings with potential for standardization, such as customs facilities, courthouses, university buildings and buildings with a high share of office functions. Even buildings with an individualized character, such as museums or government buildings, have a certain potential for standardization of functional or constructional elements. Modular construction can be used where and when appropriate.

Research Limitations/Implications

Being on a brainstorming level and limited to Statsbygg, the study provides a starting point for further research looking at other building commissioners working with special purpose buildings, or quantifying the potential for cost reduction.

Practical Implications

On the basis of the findings from this study, Statsbygg considers further standardization of their special purpose buildings, not only within building types but also across the portfolio or within a project, for example rooms or functional elements.

Originality/Value

Research on standardization of special purpose buildings is limited. The article presents the results of a workshop with project managers, contributing to the topic based on their experience from the construction of special purpose buildings. Although on a brainstorming level, the research is a starting point for further research into this topic.

Purpose

The architecture, engineering and construction industry faces several challenges when performing life-cycle cost calculations. On the basis of activity theory, this study aims at improving our understanding of the current cost calculation in design practices as an activity system with a number of built-in contradictions.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Drawing on one of the authors’ practical experience from a design office, the research design comprises a paradigmatic case study of a Danish architecture firm, in which data are gathered through documents, observations, interviews and physical artefacts. Moreover, this paper applies a literature review on barriers for adopting life-cycle costing.

Findings

The paper identifies a number of primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary contradictions between practices of design, cost calculations and data management. Thus, hypotheses are formulated on how and to what extent these different contradictions shape cost calculations in design practices to obstruct or support the application of life cycle costing principles in design.

Research Limitations/Implications

This study is part of an ongoing research project. Thus, additional analysis is required before the authors may conclude on final results.

Practical Implications

This paper identifies a number of factors that obstruct or support the implementation of life cycle costing in current design practices.

Originality/Value

This paper provides new insights into the various contradictions that shape data management in architectural offices as a prerequisite for improving life cycle design practices.

Purpose

This study aims to advance networking-based, construction-related business management (BM) knowledge, concepts and practices. The focus is on the supply side and therein networking between three or more companies on an equal, legal, managerial and organisational basis.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The literature reviewing process has resulted in the identification of 79 construction-related BM concepts published between the years 1990 and 2017. In this paper, the focused review reveals the degrees to which the authors have designed their BM concepts along the networking dimension.

Findings

Indeed, 33 (42 per cent) construction-related BM concepts have been designed along the networking dimension. There are 7 (9 per cent) high-degree, 11 (14 per cent) medium-degree and 15 (19 per cent) low-degree BM concepts. The high-degree ones include Bennett’s (2000) tapestry, Hobday’s (2000) project-based organisation, Cheng and Li’s (2002) partnering model, Love et al.’s (2002) long-term alliance, Kiiras and Huovinen’s (2004) virtual PM company, Helander and Möller’s (2007) network resources as well as Wikström et al.’s (2010) business networks.

Research Limitations/Implications

Aligning with Penrose (1995), networking-based BM may imply a paradigm shift vis-à-vis managing in construction markets, i.e. it is envisioned that many researchers replace a firm with a business network as a unit of theorising.

Practical Implications

It seems that the seven high-degree BM concepts enable firms to manage businesses with similar contexts embedded within construction markets in networking-based, viable ways.

Originality/Value

There is very little applied theoretical knowledge about networking as part of construction-related BM. This exploratory, focused review may trigger future BM research along the networking dimension.

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how a partnering contract facilitates project values and the culture in a construction project and the consequences of said facilitation. Hence, it answers the following research questions: 1) How does the contractual framework in Bispevika facilitate relational culture? 2) What effects of this facilitation can be identified in the early phase of development?

Design/Methodology/Approach

An explorative approach is taken into a single case. A literature study into the topics of relational contracting and culture provides a backdrop for the study. The empirical work consists of a study of the construction contracts and six in-depth interviews with actors from the supply-chain.

Findings

Contractual elements affect the project organizations’ motivation. On the basis of existing literature, five contractual elements are identified explicitly in the contracts: “shared goals”, “incentives and bonus”, “open book”, “colocation”, and “design-build”.

Research Limitations/Implications

The data collection is restricted to a single point in time in a single project. Further research is necessary both at a later stage in the same case and in similar projects.

Practical Implications

The paper identifies the effects that proper use of contractual elements has on the relational culture in a construction project and is, therefore, important for subsequent research within the area.

Originality/Value

In addition to identifying the existing contractual elements, the interviews also revealed two additional practices that might be useful for subsequent research: “involvement of executive management” and “subsequent contracts dependent on previous project performance”.

Purpose

Reports from the Norwegian police indicate that actors in the architecture, engineering and construction industry face severe competition from criminal actors. Sub-contractors working within the law struggle to be competitive compared to dubious sub-contractors. This study aims to examine (1) what the sub-contractors’ perceptions of current contracting practices are, (2) what problems they face and (3) what countermeasures can be used to improve the situation.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The research was carried out on the basis of a qualitative approach. A literature review and a document study of reports from the sub-contractors, public agencies and other relevant organisations were conducted. In addition, in-depth interviews were conducted with the management of eight sub-contractors in the Norwegian architecture, engineering and construction industry.

Findings

There is a significant difference in the perception of the reality between contractors’ management and the blue-collar workers. Management among the contractors maintain that their control systems work; however, the result from this study shows that it is easy for the sub-contractors to take advantage of loopholes or avoid the countermeasures.

Research Limitations/Implications

This paper is limited to Norway and use only the paint industry as a case study.

Practical Implications

This study shows that sub-contractors constitute an important source of information in the effort to prevent dubious sub-contractors as they are the actors who experience the greatest pressure and competition from them. Therefore, contractors should include the sub-contractors in the process of developing measures to prevent this misconduct.

Originality/Value

A very little research has been carried out within this field of study in Norway.

Purpose

The study aims to address the seemingly unexplored scope of action for project managers to conduct work-related crime in the Norwegian construction industry.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Literature review: In-depth interview with 13 senior officials. Document study.

Findings

Broad scope of action to contract criminal subcontractors seems to be exploited intentionally and unintentionally.

Research Limitations/Implications

Limited number of interviewees. The scale of intentional exploitation unknown. Research could be used as basis to further research on incentives and countermeasures.

Practical Implications

Need for industry wide effort to improve barriers to avoid crime and contracting criminal subcontractors.

Originality/Value

Unexplored field globally and in Norway. Little to no documentation found in previous research.

Purpose

Strategic partnerships and construction supply chain management are claimed to improve productivity through their capabilities of managing internal and external relations between stakeholders. Thus, this study aims to present an analysis of a major Danish contractor group’s efforts to increase performances by building trust and long-term relationships across stakeholders of complex building projects with use of these managerial initiatives.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Scrutinising the social reality of the group, neo-institutional theory provides the analytical lens of an interpretivist case study drawing on empirical data (i.e. interviews and observations) collected through one year of enrolment in the group.

Findings

Findings reveals that internal organisational circumstances negatively influence the efforts to implement logics of strategic partnerships and construction supply chain management. Nevertheless, we propose organisational practitioners to obtain the perspectives of hybridisation as a fruitful concept for creating productive interactions between otherwise distinct managerial logics.

Research Limitations/Implications

The triangulation of the interpretivist data is limited to generalisations based on only one group operating in the Danish construction industry. However, the assumption is that critical implications of hybridity address generic issues across the industry.

Practical Implications

Organisational practitioners should experiment with hybridity of managerial mechanisms and dynamics, which potentially can influence the construction industry positively by innovating the operational performances in the entire value chain.

Originality/Value

The inquiry contributes to the puzzle of integrating strategic partnerships and construction supply chain management by rethinking dualism of logics generating alternatives of how hybridity can increase performance by combining various aspects of managerial initiatives.

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the Company Dynamic Response Map (CDRM) risk management model that uses the dynamic capabilities concept. The study examines risks associated with strategic decision-making in construction projects and evaluates proposed methods that connect the dynamic capabilities of project-based organisations with risk management.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This preliminary study examines risks associated with strategic decision-making in construction projects and evaluates a proposed model that connects the dynamic capabilities of project-based organisations with risk management. Specifically, the CDRM model is evaluated, a risk management model developed by Arena et al. (2013) to better respond to risks and opportunities based on the concept of dynamic capabilities.

Findings

We argue that although the CDRM presents a promising development in that it uses dynamic capabilities prospectively in a risk management model to produce tangible results, there are, nonetheless, impediments to the CDRM being used by construction clients. The primary impediment relates to the issue of categorisation, the difficulty in assigning a specific identified risk to a particular category of dynamic capabilities.

Research Limitations/Implications

A conceptual argument is made and not an empirical one.

Practical Implications

The CDRM model was developed to be used in practice and this paper evaluates that model.

Originality/Value

Contributes to both the dynamic capabilities literature as well as risk management literature. The paper ends with a discussion on the possible merits of the CDRM, and an evaluation on potential impediments to its use by construction clients.

Purpose

For a public project leader charged with a construction project, it can be crucial to meet the budget, while maximizing the qualities within a construction project. A method to achieve this is to use the “opposite design build” procurement method, in which the price is fixed and the contractors compete on adding a wide range of qualities to the project. However, such procurement approaches are rare, and it is difficult to find models on how to implement such an approach.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This study firstly looks at the literature on design-build, quality-only as the main selection criterion and to some degree on constructors’ bidding behaviour. Secondly, it explains a model for a design-build, quality-only procurement designed within the public tendering legislations. Thirdly, it investigates the outcome of the model applied to a specific case in Norway.

Findings

There seems to be a research gap within literature and cases on design-build, quality-only selection with a fixed price. The developed model allowed for negotiations, which led to more comparable and improved bids. In the investigated case, and the client was able to implement more qualities in the project than expected within the budget.

Research Limitations/Implications

The researcher was himself partly involved in the process as an advisor.

Practical Implications

The developed method is relatively simple and might readily be applied by any client to maximise a project’s qualities within a given fixed price.

Originality/Value

The long-term value should be to widen the range of useful procurement methods.

CONSTRUCTION AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Purpose

Targets set out by state institutions, with respect to supplying water to deprived communities, seem to be idealistic and not realistic. Study envisioned to assess challenges of financing water infrastructure projects, and determines the role of the state towards infrastructure development by holistically planning and engaging with the private sector.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The study adopted a quantitative approach, whereby a questionnaire survey was conducted among different stakeholders involved in water infrastructure projects in South Africa. Data gathered were analysed using percentages, mean item score and standard deviation.

Findings

The study revealed that most challenges affecting the success of the financing of water infrastructure projects in South Africa are corruption, hostility towards private participation, cost recovery constraints, high fiscal deficits by state government, unreliable planning and procurement processes, and a rapid increasing number of municipalities that lack technical and administrative capacity to plan implement, operate and maintain water assets.

Research Limitations/Implications

This research paper investigates projects’ financing challenges with a broad inspection on the role of the public sector. The apparent role of the international structures such as OECD, IMF and World Bank had no influence in the study. From the findings, it is clear that the central government and state institutions lack the necessary resources to accelerate infrastructure development, water infrastructure in particular. The study, thus, recommends a complete expansion and development of state capacity as well as improved collaborations with the private sector to drive the success delivery of services to the public.

Originality/Value

Improved and flexible regulations and legislative guidelines are required to ensure that both sectors fulfil their side of the bargain, with an ultimate goal of meeting the predetermined targets of supplying adequate water to the deprived communities.

Purpose

This paper aims to highlight the need to place focus on ensuring soft factors in construction projects’ design management and to discuss whether soft factors are hidden success factors.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The presented data is a result of findings from two master theses. The approach is qualitative research and consists of nine semi-structured interviews with design managers and two case studies involving document analyses, meeting observations and descriptions of seven interviews.

Findings

This empirical study demonstrates that soft factors are considered important for design managers’ achievement of a successful design process. Focus on soft factors promotes good communication and will improve team performances. Factors are hidden because they are invisible and immeasurable. Furthermore, soft factors are not defined as assigned tasks and are, therefore, easily neglected. Designers are hesitant to explore the possibilities of new technology owing to the fear that they will forfeit human interaction.

Research Limitations/Implications

This paper is limited to the presentation of empirical findings. Therefore, theory is not a basis for the study but rather a framework for the discussion.

Practical Implications

The results in this paper broaden the understanding of human behaviour during the design phase. This knowledge should be considered when the project’s delivery model is designed as it will safeguard actor concerns during the ongoing technological transformation.

Originality/Value

This paper contributes knowledge of the view regarding soft factors among project actors. It expands the traditional understanding of value by adding soft factors to the traditional success measures of time, quality and cost.

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is 1) to address the importance of contingency at the right level when defining project control baseline, including cost reserves / “room to manoeuvre” and 2) present proactive uncertainty management as a regime to ensure cost effective management of project reserves and contribute to project success.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The paper is a combination of literature study and quantitative research on how contingency develops during the lifetime of a case project. The investigation into the case project includes document study into quantitative material from the case project. The combination of empirical material and theory makes the discussion robust.

Findings

Unrealistic low cost uncertainty will lead to unrealistic low contingency. The case study from a Norwegian mega project shows a contingency of 15 per cent in addition to expected costs. The case study shows that by continuous opportunity management and risk reduction, the needs for management reserves are systematically reduced and the contingency is controlled.

Research Limitations/Implications

This research is limited to one case study. A higher number of cases are necessary to generalise the findings. However, the authors would claim that the systematic mapping of need for management reserve towards the project contingency, and a continuous uncertainty management system will help to obtain cost effective management. The findings from the case study could be applied on similar cases.

Practical Implications

The case study shows a way of setting contingencies and managing contingencies through systematic uncertainty management.

Originality/Value

Improved management of project provisions will increase the value of future projects.

Purpose

The paper aims to describe the evolution and use of project alliancing in Finland: how the model was discovered, and then, little by little, became an established practice.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The paper is based on a long-term observation of the construction sector activities, involvement in their development and a review of related research and practice documents.

Findings

The paper illustrates how a major change may be laborious. It also reveals that the application of project alliancing seems to have been successful so far, but there are still threats on the horizon.

Research Limitations/Implications

The overview ignores many meaningful details and does not include a critical review of the positive experiences reported by the industry. There certainly is need for related research.

Practical Implications

The study offers a point of reference for evaluation of the smoothness of the progress of industry wide changes.

Originality/Value

This paper seems to be the first one providing a more comprehensive picture of the progress and use of alliancing in Finland, thus supplementing existing view- and project-specific examinations.

Purpose

This paper aims to provide decision support for precast concrete contractors about both precast concrete supply chain strategies and construction configurations.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This paper proposes a simulation-based optimisation for supply chain and construction (SOSC) during the planning phase of PC building projects. The discrete event simulation is used to capture the characteristics of supply chain and construction processes, and calculate construction objectives under different plans. Particle swarm optimisation is combined with simulation to find optimal supply chain strategies and construction configurations.

Findings

The efficiency of SOSC is compared with the parametric simulation approach. Over 70 per cent of time and effort used to simulate and compare alternative plans is saved owing to SOSC.

Research Limitations/Implications

Building simulation model costs a lot of time and effort. The data requirement of the proposed method is high.

Practical Implications

The proposed SOSC approach can provide decision support for PC contractors by optimising supply chain strategies and construction configurations.

Originality/Value

This paper has two contributions: one is in providing a decision support tool SOSC to optimise both supply chain strategies and construction configurations, while the other is in building a prototype of SOSC and testing it in a case study.

Purpose:

Previous research on clients’ procurement typically focuses on their procurement strategies. Research on local sustainability governance has, however, revealed that municipalities also govern construction projects through land allocations. This paper aims to explore how housing developers are governed by municipal land allocations and the implications. The purpose is to problematize the governance of sustainability during the early phases of construction projects.

Design/Methodology/Approach:

A case study on an urban development project in Sweden was conducted. Empirical material consists of interviews with housing developers’ project managers, observations from seminars and meetings between the developers and municipality officials and the municipality’s policy for land allocations and sustainability program. This was analyzed using Bulkeley and Kern’s (2006) typology of modes of governing change at the local level as a framework.

Findings:

The results provide examples where the municipality governs the housing developers by authority, enabling and provision. The implications for the housing developers during the early phases of their construction projects are explored.

Research limitations/implications:

Findings have implications for research on clients’ procurement strategies because it illustrates how they can be governed during the early phases of certain construction projects, which might limit their flexibility during procurement. However, the study is only based on housing projects in one urban development project governed by one municipality.

Practical implications:

Findings provide support for clients when designing their procurement strategies.

Originality/value:

This paper contributes to the understanding of how sustainability is governed in construction projects and the implications for housing developers’ flexibility.

Purpose

Low productivity in construction is typically blamed on the seemingly complex and chaotic nature of construction, which emerges as the stakeholders do not have an adequate picture of the evolving situation. The ever-increasing volume of situation data owing to the recent advances in IoT devices and reality capture platforms provide a unique opportunity to capture the actual situation data of construction projects accurately at a fraction of the cost compared to manual status tracking and reporting. This paper aims to investigate the concept of a situation picture, challenges in collecting situation data and its benefits.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Empirical data is collected through interviews in California and Finland, and by organizing workshops.

Findings

We contribute to literature on managing operational information by defining the concept of a situation picture in the context of construction, specifically from the blue-collar’s perspective during on-site activities. We present the key components of a conceptual information model that represents a situation picture in construction.

Research limitations/implications

The applicability of conceptual information model of situation picture is not tested in practice, but the model will provide a starting point for research to comprehensively integrate social and digital information exchange for improving workflow.

Practical implications

The paper claims that designing and building comprehensive information management infrastructure would contribute to solving the problems of low productivity, quality and safety in construction projects.

Originality/value

Research on situation picture and situation awareness is scarce in the context of construction. The study links various information management technologies and practices to actual construction productivity.

Purpose

The purpose of the study presented is to outline an understanding of the question of who benefits from crime in the AEC industry. The perspective chosen is conceptual in nature, and therefore focusses professional roles rather than individuals and/or cases.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The methods chosen include literary studies and in-depth analysis of previous research carried out within the research project from which this publication stems. Being conceptual, it is, nevertheless, deeply grounded in practical, coordinated research.

Findings

The findings indicate that most actors would seem to profit from crime in the AEC industry. Decision-makers (owners, contractors and to a certain extent sub-contractors) seem the most likely to profit – structurally and/or individually – on such dubious activity. According to the analysis, controlling agencies – as institutions – tend to profit by rather than to suffer under such criminal activity. Blue collar workers (in particular legally employed workmen and FM-personnel) and society as a whole in general bear the burden of the costs inflicted.

Research Limitations/Implications

There is an urgent need for a reorientation of the activity of the controlling agencies, redirecting their focus of attention from simple working on controlling worksites to addressing in-depth organisational challenges and responsibilities.

Practical Implications

Several papers have been identified that discuss the downsides of criminal activity in the construction industry. This paper suggests how most actors – on individual level – may profit on criminal activity.

Originality/Value

Little seems to have been published on the subject of who is to actually gain and what there is to gain from crime in the AEC industry. This paper presents a contribution to this research gap.

Purpose

This paper is based on research addressing quality of construction schedules. The paper aims to structure a Schedule Health Assessment method and present it as a means to carry out the evaluation of construction schedules.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The development of the Schedule Health assessment method can be characterised as constructive research. The structuring of the method is based on analysis of factors forming the overall quality of construction schedules. The method has been tested in a proof of concept study. This comprised a case study in which four master schedules developed by junior production managers were evaluated using the Schedule Health assessment method.

Findings

It is possible to construct a method for the quality evaluation of construction schedules.

Research Limitations/Implications

The completed testing is still rather limited since it is based merely on experiences of junior production managers with a single case.

Practical Implications

The Schedule Health assessment method can in a useful manner make the quality evaluation of construction schedules easy to approach and effective process.

Originality/Value

This research has produced a novel method for the quality evaluation of construction schedules.

Purpose

Construction projects operate within a risky environment. It materialises as delays, which must be prevented or mitigated to avoid becoming amplified into late completion. But previous research has largely ignored how structural complexity of the underlying network schedules shapes their resilience.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This research hypothesizes that schedule structure plays a vital role in its ability to absorb or propagate delays. The impact of activity-level local risk factors is represented via activity duration distributions, i.e. probability density functions. The impact of project-level global risk factors is more challenging because they arise via interactions between multiple activities.

Findings

Modelling resilience to local and global risk factors can employ a matrix approach. Simulation shows that delay amplification depends on local structure, not global complexity.

Research Limitations/Implications

Criticality had merely relied upon a single deterministic analysis of a network schedule to categorize activities as having zero or nonzero float from fixed relative duration a dependency structure. Repeated probabilistic analysis with sampled durations gives criticality indices of activities. This research limits itself to network schedules with point-wise relations between activities.

Practical Implications

Managers can use this knowledge to develop schedules that protect their expected project duration with a suitable structural complexity.

Originality/Value

Contributions to the body of knowledge are as follows: It converts the dependency structure into a reachability matrix and adds a correlation matrix to capture how the predecessor performance may impact its successors. It correlates criticality of activities with structural complexity indices. And it ranks activities objectively by their cruciality, i.e. potential delay propagation.

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to explore the dominant ideas in research on the management of time in construction. The focus of research has been to improve techniques for optimising the timing and sequence of activities.

Design/Methodology/Approach

A critical review of research on construction time management, challenging the typical focus. We examine the assumptions different authors make, underline the limitations of the dominant research approaches and examine the prospects for developing a new approach to researching these issues.

Findings

The dominant approach in literature focuses on unique activity traits in construction planning and measurable patterns between time-related variables. This assumes that time in construction can be managed by changing the way activities are calculated. These approaches have not been correlated with improvement in performance. Social practice theory may help to explain how programmes figure as one of many objects used during construction.

Research Limitations/Implications

The focus is on reviewing indicative literature from key journals in construction management. The implication is that research is needed about how such documents are used in practice, which goes further than optimising plans in theory.

Practical Implications

Future research could focus on understanding the context of construction planning practice and shift the debate from a focus on optimisation to practice.

Originality/Value

An interpretivist approach with a focus on how tools such as planning documents are used on site. Social practice theory may provide a clearer explanation of the place of construction planning within the practice of construction management. This could provide solutions that deal effectively with stakeholder expectations around timely completion of construction projects.

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to map previous and current construction procurement research to further develop the research in the Nordic counties.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Mapping of previous and current research based on search in national database. The analysis is based on research perspectives, empirical contexts and research methods.

Findings

That the blind spots are partly overlapping, but that there is potential for knowledge transfer in some areas. There is also the potential for a Nordic research program on one or several of the blind spots.

Research Limitations/Implications

The study is limited to PhD and licentiate-thesis reports in Norway and Sweden. Further research should include the other Nordic countries and a more extensive literature review including journal articles to broaden the scope. Findings have implications on collaborative Nordic research initiatives, knowledge transfer and in a longer perspective on the level of procurement knowledge in industry and society.

Practical Implications

Findings provide a base for future research collaborations, initiatives and applications.

Originality/Value

Findings provide a comprehensive understanding of construction procurement research in the Nordic countries, starting with Norway and Sweden. This understanding is needed for developing research collaborations and applications.

Purpose

How learning is facilitated in inter-organizational projects remains underdeveloped in the literature. The aim of this study is to focus on viewing the relationship between the multiple organizations in a project, from a perspective of the learning aspect.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This research analyses the learning trajectory that occurred in the largest tunnel project in the Netherlands. Data were collected through archival documents, in-depth interviews, and site visits. Answering the research question will be done through inductive research.

Findings

The results indicate that the most significant change that exploitative learning has led to is the change in mind-set. The learning paradox of projects does not play a factor in the learning trajectory present at the GSP project.

Research Limitations/Implications

While the research was conducted in a Dutch context, it is suggested that the findings presented would align with the experiences of construction organizations in other parts of the world.

Practical Implications

The findings have implications for understanding learning in practical project management. The organizations need to focus on learning initiatives on people, and not on the collection of data.

Originality/Value

This research responds to the debate over the learning in projects. Learning stimulates openness and that this has positive impact om collaboration.

Purpose

For a number of years, the construction industry has seen an ongoing shift from design-bid-build to design-build contracts. This transition in contract type entails changes for both the organizations and the individuals involved. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how the client manages the transition between the different contract types from an organizational change perspective in a project-led organization.

Design/Methodology/Approach

A multiple case study of six infrastructure projects with DB contracts, all managed by the Swedish Transport Administration, was conducted. The major source of data is semi-structured interviews with respondents from both the client and the contractors.

Findings

Results suggest that the transition has resulted in a mix of design-bid-build and design-build as contract type owing to issues when changing in a project-led organization. A change in vision also requires a concomitant change in culture, systems and roles.

Research Limitations/Implications

The study only includes cases from the Swedish transport infrastructure sector, which limits the generalizability. The findings are also indicative owing to the small number of cases.

Practical Implications

The findings further our understanding of managing change in complex projects, which might help practitioners to manage change in a more integrated way.

Originality/Value

The findings enrich our understanding of the systemic change that a switch in contract types can have in inter-organizational complex projects such as transport infrastructure projects. Furthermore, it emphasizes the intricate task of change management in project-led organizations and its effects on roles and responsibilities.

Purpose

This study aims to focus on a reinforcement supplier’s efforts to diffuse solutions, more or less innovative, in the construction sector to gain understanding of what facilitates and complicates innovation diffusion from a supplier perspective.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The interpretative research presented builds on 28 semi-structured interviews with the supplier and its customers and document studies. The research emphasizes dynamics in the diffusion process and rests on the assumption that the innovation content, innovation context and the innovation process interacts in the diffusion process.

Findings

The findings and the contribution from the study provide significant details concerning how the dimensions interact and how the diffusion process may unfold over time, but also that different solutions interact to push diffusion forward.

Research Limitations/Implications

The study relates to one supplier’s work and the interplay implies uniqueness in different cases. Studies in other contexts could, therefore, also be suitable to develop findings and their transferability.

Practical Implications

The study provides understanding for suppliers diffusing innovations in construction on how to act.

Originality/Value

A major contribution from the study is that it puts emphasis on how the diffusion process proceeds in interaction with its content and context and problematizes this dimension. Furthermore, the importance of nuancing sub-contexts to display decisive factors in the diffusion process is emphasized.

Purpose

This paper aims to report on a new form of project insurance in the UK construction designed to improve collaborative working among project participants. It aims to examine the interprofessional collaborative endeavour under the new insurance arrangements, drawing on a structuration model of interdisciplinary collaboration developed in the field of healthcare studies.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The research employed a longitudinal, action research approach with participant observation. A novel element included a project facilitator as part of the action research team. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews with close scrutiny of the documented project record.

Findings

Project structure emerges as a more important element in the collaboration process than is typically recognised in practice-based studies; the analysis revealing the interplay of structure, the socialising processes of participants and how facilitation helps develop interdependence among project participants. The analysis provides a basis for understanding collaboration on the trial project.

Research Limitations/Implications

The project provides a unique context for the examination of collaboration under the new project insurance arrangements. The results have implications for the study of collaboration in highlighting the important relationship between project structure, collaboration and facilitation.

Practical Implications

Understanding how interdependency is developed through structure, the socialising processes of collaborators and facilitation has important implications for those concerned with designing project arrangements and managing collaborative processes.

Originality/Value

The paper reports on the first full trial of new project insurance arrangements in the UK. It highlights the significance of project structure, and the interplay between collaborators’ emerging practices and facilitation.

Purpose

This paper aims to address one of the fundamental issues of gathering existing knowledge/solutions from projects for re-use in other projects, that is, contextual elements that are integrated with the knowledge. Contextual elements that are associated/integrated with knowledge do not often taken into consideration adequately during knowledge transfer. Hence, this can lead to undesirable consequences, for example, unnecessary use of time and resources. This paper will increase the awareness of (and lead to finding appropriate ways to) dealing adequately with contextual elements in knowledge transferring processes.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Qualitative method: narrative literature study.

Findings

This paper provides a conceptual understanding of dealing with contextual elements in knowledge transferring processes from the sense making perspective.

Research Limitations/Implications

This paper, which is connected to a research and development (R&D) project that has recently started, uses this paper to emphasize the importance of addressing contextual elements adequately in knowledge transferring processes. This emphasis is important as this R&D project deals with, among other things, collecting lessons learned on energy efficient solutions from building and renovation projects for re-use in other renovation projects.

Practical Implications

This paper will contribute to replicate knowledge / lessons learned effectively and to increase the application of energy efficient solutions in building renovation projects.

Originality/Value

This paper attempts to point out and increase our understanding on how acquisition of knowledge at an earlier point of time can influence transferring of that knowledge at a later point of time. In general, there is inadequate focus and awareness on this issue in construction projects.

Purpose

This study aims to gain an understanding of success factors and barriers to public private collaboration in the context of zero emission neighbourhood.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Qualitative research method: narrative literature study.

Findings

On the basis of the identified success factors and barriers, a model with the following five interconnected themes is developed: (1) supportive public policy, (2) stakeholder management, (3) creation of a common ground for understanding, (4) knowledge sharing and learning and (5) uncertainty management.

Research Limitations/Implications

The model can be further developed and tested. In-depth conceptual/empirical study on the five themes can shed more light on the topic.

Practical Implications

This model is one of the several ways to understand, structure and simplify the reality (of public private collaboration in the context of zero emission neighbourhood). These five themes are arranged in the model in such a way to represent strategic, tactical and operational levels. This model can be useful to identify measures (steps, concrete actions, etc.) To address issues related to the five themes in a given organisational context. Focusing adequately on these five themes can contribute to successful public private collaboration in the context of zero emission neighbourhoods.

Originality/Value

This study/model provides an overall, holistic approach to address/improve public private collaborative endeavours in the context of developing zero emission neighbourhoods.

Purpose

The study aims to investigate the concept of strategy-as-practice in construction management literature has been investigated. The focus is on the link between strategizing practices and project management.

Design/Methodology/Approach

An exploratory literature review is carried out based on fifteen journal articles on strategizing practices in the construction industry.

Findings

The analysis shows how strategy-as-practice questions and contradicts project management practices as depicted in the dominant deterministic perspective. Strategy-as-practice has a focus on reacting and adapting to a chaotic and changing environment, while project management is concerned with creating and maintaining a stable working environment. The findings point to the necessity of considering the organizational and institutional context of project management practices, and hence the values the strategy-as-practice lens, when considering new avenues for improving the industry.

Research Limitations/Implications

As the study is based on an exploratory literature review of only 15 articles, generalizations should be made with caution. The identified literature is restricted by search words and choice of database.

Practical Implications

The differences between strategizing and project management practices are very clear, and a focus on both may offer insights into how the construction industry could improve its productivity by developing more robust management practices.

Originality/Value

The paper illustrates the benefit of applying a strategizing perspective, which hitherto has been under-investigated in construction management research.

BUILDING INFORMATION, DATA AND DIGITALIZATION

Purpose

Building Information Modelling (BIM) education promises new and exciting opportunities for more integrated learning experiences, multidisciplinary collaboration and greater synthesis between the learning environment and real-world projects. This paper aims to report the findings of a systematic review of the BIM education literature aimed at understanding the current state of the art of BIM-enabled education.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The systematic review methodology adopted borrows from the approach developed and widely deployed in evidence-based practice within the medical research field.

Findings

A total of 330 relevant articles were identified and analysed. Reported instances of BIM-enabled education were identified and analysed. It was found that these can be categorised into two groups: BIM as a learning tool and BIM as a learning environment.

Research Limitations/Implications

This review was limited to the academic literature published in English from 2007 until January 2018.

Practical Implications

BIM as a learning environment represents a new paradigm for AEC education, which emphasises integration, multidisciplinary collaboration, simulation, real life scenarios and application of learning concepts.

Originality/Value

The concept of BIM as a learning environment requires further elaboration, after which it can be used to enhance AEC education.

Purpose

Creating a BIM-enabled learning space that spans both higher education and industry offers the possibility of immersive and integrated learning on the basis of real, up-to-date project data for a new generation of students who will be “BIM natives” and can “think in BIM”. This paper aims to elaborate the concept of BIM as a learning environment so that it can be produced for Architecture Engineering Construction (AEC) educational purposes.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The complementary theoretical lenses of Experiential Learning, Structuration Theory and Systems Theory are adopted for conceptualising a BIM-enabled Learning Environment (BLE).

Findings

The BLE is proposed in the form of a social system embedded within both the education system and the industry system. The BLE is described in terms of its structures and component subsystems, inputs, outputs and flows at different scales.

Research Limitations/Implications

In this initial paper, the BLE is merely outlined and its constituent structures alluded to. Further investigation is required to fully detail the BLE.

Practical Implications

By describing the identified structures in still more detail, the BLE can be understood to the extent that it can be reproduced in practice for actual learning. This is the goal and expectation going forward.

Originality/Value

The derived BLE is described in social terms and this reflects the centrality of social activity to both building and learning. Technology, processes and traditional industry roles are subordinated into supporting functions. This potentially offers opportunities for learners to reflect on all of these and to consider ways of improving them.

Purpose

The construction industry is one of the least automated industries. In the aspect of automation, the technical understanding is very dominant. Focus has mostly been on tools, robots and industrialisation. sociomaterial design shows us that what may first appear technologically deterministic can be replaced and actually call for reinvisioning the traditional focus. The purpose of this study is to introduce the agency of a sociomaterial designer in construction.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This is a conceptual paper with an empirical example. To understand the sociomaterial complexity and dynamics of automation, practice theories are applied. To test this approach, the authors give an example from a Danish (global) supplier engaged in a development project about technical aid (tools) in mounting and assembling gypsum walls.

Findings

The sociomaterial-designer can help to understand and make innovation happen when doing automation in construction; as the centre of innovation in construction processes, she works all day with practice, together with practitioners, focusing on material arrangements as located not only in practice, but also in the artefacts. She can help the supplier of construction materials in understanding different professional practices and the transformation to use smarter tools.

Research Limitations/Implications

This research is within a new practice domain “sociomaterial-design” and it has to follow up with an empirical study that covers a development project with a sociomaterial-design approach.

Practical Implications

Developing competences (agency) as a sociomaterial-designer when linking the sociotechnical understanding of Automation with practice.

Originality/Value

This research showcases how sociomaterial perspectives can inform automation in construction.

Purpose

This paper aims to explore smart facilities services in the context of university campus by aiming to understand how the service development processes can be classified.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The qualitative study is based on literature review about smart facilities services and a case study about developing visualisation, data and smart service in one building in Finnish campus. The case study data were gathered by diverse methods and analysed by content analysis.

Findings

Three smart facilities service processes were identified: experience processes for users, data-based service processes and technology processes. All the processes require more than only technocratic approach.

Research Limitations/Implications

Single case study without longitudinal data gathering is not strong in terms of generalisation.

Practical Implications

The process classification can help different stakeholders to identify their role and tasks in smart facilities service development.

Originality/Value

The research aims to understand how to develop smart services in addition to more investigated topic what the services include.

Purpose

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a revolutionary innovation in the construction industry to virtually design and mange projects throughout the building lifecycle. Although Estonia is one of the foremost countries in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, BIM adoption in the Estonian construction industry is still lagging behind other countries. This paper is part of doctoral research that aims to determine the barriers to BIM adoption and develop a framework for effective implementation of BIM in the Estonian construction industry. The purpose of this paper is to examine the status of BIM adoption, BIM benefits and common barriers to BIM adoption in the construction industry worldwide.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The methodology used in this study is a literature review of journal articles, conference proceedings and published reports from various sources.

Findings

This study showed BIM benefits through building lifecycle phases and explored the BIM adoption rate in the construction industry of various countries. Eighteen barriers to BIM adoption were also identified.

Research Limitations/Implications

The study presented is limited to a literature review – some related literature may have been missed.

Practical Implications

The main practical significance of this study is that the findings can be used to inform a further survey to model the barriers to BIM adoption in the Estonian construction industry.

Originality/Value

This study offers information on BIM adoption in the construction industry and will form the basis of further research.

Purpose

BIM education for construction professionals has tended to lag industry developments. This investigation initiates doctoral research into the use of BIM for construction education. The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of existing examples of BIM education, their characteristics, the challenges faced in their implementation and any clear trends to focus the doctoral research effort.

Design/Methodology/Approach

A systematic search of peer-reviewed BIM education literature was carried out. From the articles captured, 51 specific cases of BIM education were identified and analysed.

Findings

Most cases are from the USA with a more global spread from 2013. A tendency towards interdisciplinary collaboration was apparent though single discipline courses remain important. BIM software in education is dominated by Autodesk products. Most cases were found to be BIM-focused with few examples of BIM-enabled education. This was consistent with the most significant BIM education challenges that were found to relate to the skill levels of students, time and the availability of technical support.

Research Limitations/Implications

This is an initial study. It is based on only 51 cases of BIM education, which were partially described in peer reviewed conference and journal papers available in international databases.

Practical Implications

The investigation has shed some light on existing examples of BIM education and these are useful in designing BIM education initiatives as well as directing further research efforts.

Originality/Value

The study offers an original perspective on global BIM education. It also represents the commencement of doctoral research.

Purpose

This article’s purpose is to develop The Model for Smart, Self-learning and Adaptive Resilience Building (SARB).

Design/Methodology/Approach

Products and patents of methods and systems analysis was carried out in the fields of BIM application, Smart, Self-learning and Adaptive Resilience Building. Based on other researchers’ findings, The SARB Model was proposed.

Findings

Analysis of the literature showed that traditional decisions on the informational modelling do not satisfy all the needs of smart building technologies owing to their static nature. The SARB Model was developed to take care of its efficiency from the brief stage to the end of its service life.

Research Limitations/Implications

The SARB Model was developed to take care of its efficiency from the brief stage to the end of its service life. The SARB Model does have some limitations: (1) the processes followed require the collection of much unstructured and semi-structured data from many sources, along with their analyses to support stakeholders in decision-making; (2) stakeholders need to be aware of the broader context of decision-making and (3) the proposal is process-oriented, which can be a disadvantage during the model’s implementation.

Practical Implications

Two directions can be identified for the practical implications of the SARB Model. The initial expectation is the widespread installation of SARB Model within real estate and construction organisations. Furthermore, development of the SARB Model will be used to implement the ERASMUS+ project, “Advancing Skill Creation to ENhance Transformation—ASCENT” Project No. 561712-EPP-1-2015-UK-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP.

Originality/Value

The practical implications of this paper are valuable.

Purpose

This study aims to initiate an investigation into the drop-out rate from building information modelling (BIM) courses.

Design/Methodology/Approach

During 2017-2018, BIM courses (16 weeks) have been developed as active learning modules. Peer instruction was used to engage students and improve the overall student’s performance. Students’ activity data were captured and analysed based on study groups and suggested study module completion dates.

Findings

By mapping students’ activity data against suggested completion date at various assessment milestones revealed a possible degradation of motivation throughout the course which, in turn, may have been a possible cause of drop-out.

Research Limitations/Implications

This paper presents ongoing research and a preliminary understanding about peer instruction effectiveness in BIM-related subjects as high intensity courses. It investigates whether a student’s active participation can improve their motivation to acquire a subject’s learning outcomes and reduce the drop-out.

Practical Implications

The peer instruction methodology that is used here is quite universal and can be successfully applied to various other subjects to increase the student’s involvement in the course.

Originality/Value

Results are drawn based on students’ involvement at the high intensity course and show the gradual increase of a learner’s motivation once they get continuous support from fellow learners and a teacher.

INNOVATIONS IN THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS

Purpose

It’s a global challenge to make cities and communities become an age-friendly society. This paper aims to discuss how to develop good concepts for senior residences in Norway and aim to study what the challenges are in the early planning phase, searching the answer to the following research questions: (1) What makes a senior housing attractive? (2) What are the challenges that hinder future concept development? (3) Suggest actions in order to obtain a sustainable development.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This research uses a descriptive and explorative approach describing the phenomena by (I) a short literature review describing existing concepts and challenges, (II) “Walk-through”-methodology with informal dialogue on site and (II) semi-structured interviews of property developers, architects or contractors, politicians, care providers or planners in the municipality involved in seven pilot projects in Kristiansand and Stavanger.

Findings

The authors find that new and diverse concepts need to be developed to meet the demand of the seniors. The new concepts should be developed in collaboration with both public and private actors as well as developing a communication platform to meet the needs of the seniors in terms understanding the possibilities of alternative housings, incentives to move and how to influence and get involved in the planning.

Research Limitations/Implications

There is a limited no. of informants among the public stakeholders. Only three of the seven pilot projects are accomplished. There is an advantage if the rest of the projects are evaluated when accomplished.

Practical Implications

Develop participation models and PPP models at the local level.

Originality/Value

The value lies in the evaluation of the seven pilot projects.

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the introduction of 3D-printing of concrete in the construction sector.

Design/Methodology/Approach

A survey was conducted to collect professional view on ongoing innovations in the construction sector, including 3D-printing. Participants were selected among the members of Norwegian networks for project and construction management research.

Findings

The survey highlighted effective leadership, collaboration with partners and industry-academia collaboration as primary enablers of innovation. Few of the respondents to the survey have used 3D-printing technologies.

Research Limitations/Implications

It is difficult to obtain representative samples in this type of research, including this study. The study can be seen as a snapshot of attitudes in the sector.

Practical Implications

3D-printing appear as a potentially interesting technology, especially for unstandardized construction components. Further work is needed to materialise the expectation for technological development in the construction sector.

Originality/Value

Most research on 3D-printing has focused on demonstrating technical potential. This study adds a practitioners’ perspective, with a large dose of pragmatism.

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to investigate the alignment between current product and manufacturing systems and how it could be achieved.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Case study research method was chosen for the collection and analysis of empirical data. The data was of qualitative nature and was collected using research techniques such as observations through video recordings of processes, documents and open and semi-structured interviews.

Findings

The variation of outer side sub-element of the exterior wall element was found to not be aligned with its corresponding assembly. A hybrid assembly of outer side sub-elements characterised by flexibility and reconfigurability can be developed.

Research Limitations/Implications

The study is limited to the exterior wall element and corresponding manufacturing system.

Practical Implications

The presented approach was formulated with the aim to be used both for the analysis of existing products and manufacturing systems as well as for the design of new manufacturing systems.

Originality/Value

So far, this is the first study in the context of timber house building where the alignment between product and manufacturing systems was investigated by considering product variety and flexibility of manufacturing systems.

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to open the black box of prescriptive requirements by analysing their role in shaping interests and decisions on accessibility, and discuss the consequences hereof for a future move to a performance-based accessibility model based on Universal Design principles.

Design/Methodology/Approach

A single case study based on 15 qualitative interviews with clients about their approach to accessibility and Universal Design is analysed by using actor-network theory (ANT) as the theoretical framework.

Findings

It is shown that the prescriptive requirements in the Danish building regulations constitute a black box, which is decisive in defining the clients’ perception of the users and their level of ambition for accessibility by inscribing specific expectations, actions and ways of knowing about accessibility.

Research Limitations/Implications

The study is based on a qualitative single case study. We argue that analytical generalisations nevertheless can be drawn.

Practical Implications

Performance-based regulations can be a source of innovation but also entail negative consequences for the quality of the built environment if treated in an isolated manner alone.

Originality/Value

The paper contributes to the discussions on Universal Design and the implementation of performance-based accessibility regulation by illustrating how current prescriptive requirements are not mere “matters of fact” but play an active role in mobilising and shaping a network of users, technologies, norms and practices, which the introduction of performance-based requirements will radically alter.

Purpose

The aim of this research is to increase the understanding of how strategic and long-term innovation efforts can be organised, operated and co-created within a project-based organisational setting.

Design/Methodology/Approach

A case study with a qualitative approach was chosen, showing a critical case with powerful examples rather than representative samples, to draw conclusions from. The analysis builds on the concept of absorptive capacity, which provides a multidimensional perspective on innovation activities in organisations.

Findings

The difficulties in orchestrating an interplay between innovation processes and the construction process in itself is presented. The study identifies effects from introducing new “innovation roles” as well as comprehending implications of collaborative contract forms for innovation.

Research Limitations/Implications

Based on a single case study, and being an in-depth empirical study, a rich description of innovation processes is provided which contributes to generalisation on processes rather than outcomes. The use of the absorptive capacity construct also contributes to a theoretically informed research on innovation in construction.

Practical Implications

The study provides valuable insights regarding how to conduct collaborative innovation in within the frame of construction projects.

Originality/Value

The study of a novel organisational setup, where multiple innovation processes is integrated in a construction project with a partnering contract, provides an understanding on how a construction client can manage the interplay between innovation processes and the construction process in itself. Furthermore, flows of knowledge and effects from introducing new innovation roles are unfolded.

SUSTAINABILITY AND RESOURCE EFFICIENCY

Purpose

The aim of this study is to develop a framework that incorporates social aspects of housing refurbishment when evaluating the sustainability of refurbishment projects. The research examined whether the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) certification yields a holistic approach to social sustainability.

Approach

A framework for social sustainability was established from values identified through reviews of certification systems, published literature and from interviews. The target is to better assess and value holistic and soft parameters like social sustainability when assessing the overall value creation of projects.

Findings

The result was a more transparent and systematic structure, which revealed that the DGNB certification had shortcomings in a holistic approach to social sustainability. Counteractions for these shortcomings are discussed.

Research Limitations

Researchers are still discussing how to include more soft aspects like social aspects with the more hard measures like energy consumption and initial cost in the same equation for addressing sustainability in a more holistic framework. This research contributes to this.

Practical Implications

Considering the current climate situation and the amount and the state of existing European building stock, sustainable renovation is inevitable. In Europe, the DGNB certification is one of the most applied certification systems of sustainability. It approaches all parts of sustainability. Yet, social sustainability has been criticised for being neglected.

Originality/Value

A review of literature concerning the concept suggests that it is a concept in chaos. There have been a number of attempts to impose some order to this; however, the attempts have all been made differently and with limited success.

Purpose

This paper aims to explore what is known in the body of literature on sustainability professionals in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry to support the formulation of research questions for future studies.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This was done through a systematic literature review in Scopus and Web of Science. In the literature search, 22 journal papers were selected to be included in the review because of their relevance to sustainability professionals, professional roles and environmental practices in the AEC industry.

Findings

Key characteristics of the papers such as methodology and theory are mapped, followed by main findings on how the sustainability profession and sustainability professionals’ roles are studied within the body of literature. The review shows that the topic of sustainability professionals in the AEC industry is currently under-researched and under-theorised. Specifically, there is a lack of in-depth studies on sustainability professionals’ roles and agency.

Research Limitations/Implications

By providing an overview of the current literature on sustainability professionals in the AEC industry, it is possible to identify research gaps to formulate research questions for future studies.

Practical Implications

This is important as collaboration between professions, including sustainability professionals, is believed to be the key for a successful shift towards sustainability; furthering the understanding of sustainability professionals’ role is, therefore, central.

Originality/Value

This paper is the first systematic literature review on sustainability professionals in the AEC industry.

Purpose

The paper aims to investigate the emergence the Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Methods (HK BEAM) certification scheme and starts to explore the impact of BEAMs on the building industry and the potential emergence and stabilisation of a green building field.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The research presented draws upon content analysis of all 19 versions of the HK BEAM scheme(s) as well as 94 policy reports. This is complemented by an investigation and collation of the participating companies in 100 HK BEAM certified projects. The theoretical framework of Strategic Action Fields is applied to explore the emergence of a potential green building field.

Findings

The findings are tentative, but they point out that a green building field is yet to emerge in Hong Kong.

Research Limitations/Implications

The research is still ongoing and parts of the analysis are yet to be finalised. Therefore, only tentative conclusions are drawn.

Practical implications:

From a practical perspective, the findings point towards a correlation between the memberships in the working committees charged with deciding on the content of the BEAMs and their content.

Originality/Value

So far, very little is known about how exactly BEAMs have come into being. Furthermore, their impact on working practices outside of “certified” projects has received little research attention. This research project is an attempt to rectify this.

STAKEHOLDERS OF CONSTRUCTION AND REAL ESTATE

Purpose

This research subscribes to the on-going process school of construction project briefing. Stakeholders underrepresented in the literature are engaged with by focussing on Formula 1 motor racing circuits. Attention is given to the rationales through which stakeholders define construction projects at such venues. The aim of this paper is to understand the realities experienced by stakeholders and how these resonate with the rhetoric of briefing literatures.

Design/Methodology/Approach

A single case-based research approach, encouraged for studying informality and emergence, was used to study a heritage oriented construction project at Silverstone Formula 1 Circuit, UK. Data included field-notes, interviews and strategy documents. Stakeholder interests cannot be directly accessed; however, language used when defining projects can be. Analysis focussed on how project rationales drawn directly from data could be grouped into interpretative repertoires. These repertoires are linguistic resources, drawn upon by stakeholders, formed partly from sets of rationales oriented around a common interest.

Findings

The priorities given to competing rationales are found to fluctuate through time and depending on audience. Project advocates mobilise these conflicting rationales, from different repertoires, to different audiences simultaneously when strategically defining the heritage project. Discursive definitions emerged during analysis through studying both formal and informal briefing practices.

Research Limitations/Implications

Conflict among stakeholders with competing agendas during briefing is widely recognised however references to discursivity are currently scant.

Practical Implications

Coping with discursivity during briefing poses significant challenges for construction professionals.

Originality/Value

By interpreting strategic briefing as an on-going and discursive process of project definition, researchers and practitioners can better empathise with realities experienced by stakeholders.

Purpose

This paper will examine the unsafe work practices that are plaguing the construction industry. Statistics show that four out of five of all workplace accidents are attributed to unsafe behaviour. Research studies have sought to understand worker self-protection. For example, it is difficult to make predictions of conditions that influenced worker’s behaviour to act unsafely or safely in a given work situation. It is evident there is a gap in the literature in this area of research, most notably failing to understand the underlying “why” factors. The aim of the study is to identify and examine the proximate set of contributing factors most likely to have an influence on workers’ decisions about participation in unsafe behaviour.

Design/Methodology/Approach

To perform the study, questionnaires were adopted, and 225 construction workers from 9 construction companies participated in the study.

Findings

Results showed that both underlying organisational factors and individual factors could affect the risk aversion among construction workers. The paper also highlights measures to create a safe work environment to minimise unsafe behaviour among construction workers. Results from the study are important to help organisation to systematically plan for a good working environment.

Research limitations

As the results were based only from the questionnaires, a deeper understanding behind the workers’ responses was not probed.

Practical implications

Construction companies should work at several organisational levels at the same time. It is necessary to include levels such as individual, group, workplace and management levels, thus taking a system perspective on risk behaviour and safety.

Purpose

User-driven innovation has been proven to successfully increase the value of products and services in companies with direct linkages to the end-user. The construction industry demonstrates low productivity and innovation performance. In refurbishment the end-users are very visible and can either be seen as an innovation potential or burden. The purpose of this study was (1) examine the level of UDI in refurbishment, (2) develop UDI framework suitable for refurbishment and (3) mapping of UDI enablers.

Method

The research design is a case study of renovation within social housing associations, and where user involvement processes have been the primary scope of analysis. The data analysis consisted of the mapping of user-related activities regarding the level of involvement and the extent of power allocated to the end-user in influencing the end product. Additionally, a literature review on UDI has been carried out.

Findings

This research validated a possible theoretical implementation of UDI on refurbishment projects. In addition, the research identified present barriers related to the current form of procurement and incentive structures.

Limitations

The research was only based on Danish refurbishment projects.

Implications

This exploratory research has resulted in the development of a potential new paradigm of applying UDI in the construction industry. This research takes the initial steps towards creating a body of knowledge within UDI in the context of refurbishment projects.

Value

This research is pointing towards higher degree of user-driven innovation in refurbishment and in the construction industry in general.

Purpose

The study purpose is to outline a conceptual starting point for an empirical analysis of the characteristic epistemic conditions of the AEC industry today – in its wide, multidisciplinary, industrial sense. This approach addresses a fundamental insight concerning adding value, notably that an actor only can add value to a project if his knowledge contribution is successfully integrated with other actors.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This study conducts a conceptual analysis of the knowledge management practises in the contemporary Norwegian AEC industry. This analysis draws on the conceptual distinction between logic-in-use and a reconstructed logic, allowing us to distinguish an important commonality between the current approaches.

Findings

Currently, a formalisation of the working principles of the Norwegian Building industry appears to be lacking in both research and practise. Most research is directed towards improving the industry’s many practical challenges. The approach suggested here is a reconstruction of certain integrative aspects of current Industry’s logic-in-use, contributing towards the development of a foundational methodology of the AEC-industry as a unified knowledge space.

Research Limitations/Implications

Several promising studies applying new information taxonomies have already been conducted (e.g. Skatland & Lohne, 2016; Skatland et al., 2018). All these indicate that the modal aspect of building information – whether a given unit of information represents a conceived necessity or a valuable possibility – has a significant effect on the entire project organisation.

Originality/Value

There is value potential limited by the level of integration between different knowledge traditions/agencies within a project organisation. Reconstructing the integrative aspect of current logic-in-use will provide new insights that could be applied strategically in project knowledge management.

Purpose

The paper aims to investigate the prevailing institutional logics that underpin the organisational behaviours of Chinese contractors and the institutional complexity they face across several strategic areas when they undertake projects abroad.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The paper draws mainly on industry literature, reports and government websites to develop a typology of two ideal types of institutional logics that prevail among Chinese international contractors. The configurations of institutional complexity in different strategic areas are analysed through pattern-matching.

Findings

Two main logics are identified, namely, construction and investment logics. These logics in turn lead to patterns of volatile complexity in the strategic areas of business, technology, human resources and marketing; patterns of aligned complexity in operational and information technology strategic areas; and patterns of segregated complexity in financial strategic area.

Research Limitations/Implications

The paper presents an ongoing doctoral research. It provides a preliminary understanding of the institutional logics affecting Chinese international contractors and sets out the first step to understand the relationship between complex institutional environments and organisational responses.

Practical Implications

Chinese international contractors commonly face resistance, and at times resentment, from the local industries in the countries they operate. The findings of this paper are a first step towards a better understanding of why this is the case and what can be done to rectify the situation and improve long and short-term project performance.

Originality/Value

This paper provides practical implications for Chinese contractors to understand their internal context of institutional complexity and provides the basis for further understanding of Chinese contractors’ strategic responses.

BUILT ENVIRONMENTS

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce and discuss potential applications of emerging Building Information Model (BIM) and related technologies as applied to healthcare facilities. The paper presents example of applications of digital tools enabled by BIM that support more integrated outcomes for complex healthcare projects.

Approach

Paper formulation by a transdisciplinary author group with ideas and approaches developed through discussions and writing to explore future research directions. Initial ideas are supplemented by a literature review with examples introduced where relevant.

Findings

BIM as a front-end construction engineering tool is quite mature. Application of BIM and related tools to support complex healthcare at the precinct scale, for facilities management (FM), including improved user experience (UX) has been limited but shows great promise to support complex healthcare projects.

Research Limitations/Implications

The research presented is limited and exploratory as it represents the first step by this group to investigate an integrated approach to digital healthcare design and FM.

Practical Implications

The paper introduces the considerable benefits of BIM models, and related tools for FM and/or UX (both staff and patients) to save time, money and improves efficiency and accuracy in healthcare facilities.

Originality/Value

The transdisciplinary author group brought broad perspectives to the potential benefits of combining accurate data-rich legacy building models with other digital tools for increased integration and co-ordination at all life stages of a healthcare precinct.

Purpose

Existing old building stock needs retrofit of structures and performance upgrading. Retrofit is often neglected, either lacking understanding of maintenance importance or to keep living costs low. Retrofit is inevitable. Depending on a buildings geographical location, condition or expected time of use; demolition of building or increment space is worth considering. This study looks at the economics about which is the best option: renovation and energy efficient upgrading of existing building or replacement of existing building.

Design

Research method is case study. The same case building – size, age, existing performance as well as renovation and new performance – studied at different regions. These are (1) growing city, (2) stable city and (3) shrinking city. Life cycle cost analysis bases on payback periods. The most important input data are the rent and occupancy rate on each area.

Findings

In growing cities, both renovation and replacement of existing buildings are feasible options. In other two areas, payback periods of renovations are rather long and acceptable only if building is in own use. Often retrofit is necessary because of the poor condition of the building.

Research Implications

This study looks at the subject only from building owners economical point of view and ties building to its location. Life cycle assessment (energy use and greenhouse gas emissions) has analysed earlier (Nippala and Heljo, 2010).

Practical Implications

Analysis gives the most feasible option to different regions.

Originality

This study raises the debate on how realistic it is to expect the building stock to meet the EU’s energy saving and greenhouse cut targets.

CONSTRUCTION EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

Purpose

The construction industry is considered worldwide to be a dangerous industry because of its high rate of fatal accidents and serious injuries. This study aims to find ways to improve this situation by focusing on how to improve competence on health and safety (H&S) among newly graduated construction engineers in Norway.

Design/Methodology/Approach

In Norway, the regional safety representatives (RSRs) are considered to be cornerstones in ensuring H&S in the construction industry. Information in this study was gathered by conducting semi-structured in-depth interviews with 15 RSRs.

Findings

The results show that RSRs believe that while construction engineers have sufficient theoretical competence on H&S; however, many seem to lack the practical competence needed to ensure and implement H&S measures. The informants underline the importance of work practice on construction sites as part of the education as key to improve H&S competence among graduates.

Research Limitations/Implications

Input on possible improvements is collected from only one group of stakeholders in the industry. Other stakeholders might have valuable input that should be considered before concluding what improvements in the education are most effective.

Practical Implications

The findings may help to decide upon and implement improvements in the education of construction engineers and, thus, contribute to a safer and healthier industry in the future.

Originality/Value

The stakeholder perspective of RSRs on education of construction engineers has not been considered in earlier research despite the fact that they represent vital competence on H&S in the construction industry. This study aims to fill some of this gap.

Purpose

A comprehensive intervention test platform, Valla Coach, including quantitative and qualitative methods to measure and improve work flows on site and promote coaching and collective learning has been developed jointly by researchers and practitioner. The study aims to describe the methodological underpinning of the platform, and discusses the preliminary results and implications.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Expansive Learning Theory grounded in a cultural–historical perspective underpins the conceptual realisation of the test platform. The viability of the platform was tested in four contextually different construction sites (and contractors), combining established and new measurement tools, qualitative intervention approaches and coaching according to the production challenges at hand.

Findings

Valla Coach created a space on site where researchers-as-coaches and operatives converged to co-construct (new) knowledge and learn together. The knowledge that emerged from the interactions gained legitimacy through its situatedness and practical value for the operatives.

Research Limitations/Implications

Valla Coach provides opportunities for researchers and practitioners to probe the taken-for-granted. Moreover, a variety of methods and tools are tested in different contexts. The interventions prompt questioning of assumptions and make contradictions visible. Valla Coach remains work-in-progress and needs further evaluation and validation.

Practical Implications

We contribute insights from negotiating socio-technical complexities, evaluating digital measurement tools and technologies and experiences of operatives. Tensions at the interface between the organisation and project are rendered visible.

Originality/Value

A bottom–up approach that is a combination of practice-based tools and methods and of theories of learning and sustainable and continuous improvements where the operators are the main actors that enable productive activity.

Cover of 10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
DOI
10.1108/S2516-2853201902
Publication date
2019-05-01
Book series
Emerald Reach Proceedings Series
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
eISBN
978-1-83867-051-1
Book series ISSN
2516-2853