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Riitta Katila, Raymond E. Levitt and Dana Sheffer

The authors provide new quantitative evidence of the relationship between technologies and organizational design in the context of complex one-off products. The systems…

Abstract

The authors provide new quantitative evidence of the relationship between technologies and organizational design in the context of complex one-off products. The systems that produce complex, one-off products in mature, fragmented industries such as construction lack many of the typical organizational features that researchers have deemed critical to product development success (e.g., team familiarity, frequent communication, and strong leadership). In contrast, the complexity of these products requires a diverse knowledge base that is rarely found within a single firm. The one-off nature of construction’s products further requires improvization and development by a distributed network of highly specialized teams. And because the product is complex, significant innovations in the end product require systemic shifts in the product architecture. Riitta Katila, Raymond E. Levitt and Dana Sheffer use an original, hand-collected dataset of the design and construction of 112 energy-efficient “green” buildings in the United States, combined with in-depth fieldwork, to study these questions. A key conclusion is that the mature US construction industry, with its particularly fragmented supply chain, is not well suited to implementing “systemic innovations” that require coordination across trades or stages of the project. However, project integration across specialists with the highest levels of interdependence (i.e., craft, contract integration) mitigates the knowledge and coordination problems. There are implications for research on how technology shapes organizations (and particularly how organizations shape technology), and on the supply chain configuration strategies of firms in the construction industry as well as building owners who are seeking to build the best buildings possible within their budgets.

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Article

Bo Jørgensen and Stephen Emmitt

Better integration of project processes has often been identified as the key issue regarding construction performance improvement. In some countries lean construction has…

Abstract

Purpose

Better integration of project processes has often been identified as the key issue regarding construction performance improvement. In some countries lean construction has become well‐established, although there appears to be considerable diversity in the interpretation of the concept. Lean construction initially focused on production aspects, but gradually design issues have started to receive more attention and integrating construction design and production processes from a lean perspective are beginning to be addressed. The purpose of this paper is to identify some of the practical challenges underlying the implementation of approaches promoted as “lean” and compare this with published research/theory.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an extensive review of the literature, a multiple case‐strategy approach was used to explore the practical application of lean approaches to design and construction integration in an organisational setting. Summaries of the case studies, one from the USA and two from Denmark, help to highlight a number of pertinent issues facing practitioners and researchers.

Findings

Findings suggest that it is possible to identify a number of aspects that (in theory as well as in practice) both influence and, to various extents, limit the applicability of the lean philosophy to construction. Findings also help to emphasise the importance of a number of interdependent factors for achieving better integration, namely: value identification/specification; an appropriate project delivery framework; structuring and planning of delivery processes; transparency; management and leadership; learning; and the importance of local context.

Originality/value

The findings provide an original contribution to the integration of design and construction activities from a lean perspective. The findings are generic and could be practically applied in a variety of contexts.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article

NABIL A. KARTAM

The architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry is epitomized by a wide range of project business lines, different project scopes, unique client…

Abstract

The architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry is epitomized by a wide range of project business lines, different project scopes, unique client requirements, and a rapidly changing automation technology. This current scenario requires a constant transfer of project data among the various professionals representing different specializations, project phases and interests. The implementation of improved computer techniques such as object‐oriented programming and CAD reduces fragmentation and enhances the efficiency of integrating project data through all stages of generation, sharing, maintaining, and updating. This reduced fragmentation will assist in bridging the gaps between and within the project phases, thereby increasing the competitiveness of the AEC industry. This paper presents different issues related to the existing fragmentation in the AEC industry and the challenges and approaches to achieve a meaningful and smooth integration. The paper describes the development of ODCSI—an object‐oriented design/construction system for integrating CAD and construction software applications. The system architecture captures design data in an object‐oriented project model and acts as an intelligent CAD interface. In the hierarchy of object‐oriented classes and subclasses, the design data are inherited; hence all functional, geometrical, structural, construction management, and construction engineering functions are shared across class boundaries. These design data are used as the input to various computer‐based construction software applications, hence providing seamless project integration.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

ALI JAAFARI and KITSANA MANIVONG

The focus of this paper is on life‐cycle objective‐based project management systems in general, and SPMIS in particular. SPMIS (short for Smart Project Management…

Abstract

The focus of this paper is on life‐cycle objective‐based project management systems in general, and SPMIS in particular. SPMIS (short for Smart Project Management Information System), has been designed: (a) to facilitate the employment of life‐cycle objective‐based project management approaches; and (b) to support concurrent engineering and construction, thus promoting greater integration of the processes under which projects are proposed and implemented. In order to validate the functions designed for SPMIS the authors undertook a detailed case study of a large capital project. The actual project management functions employed by the project team on the case project were researched and charted using the best current PM practices as the guide. While this field research shed light on the actual needs and requirements, the design of the SPMIS functions was approached from first principles in order to incorporate the basic shift from the traditional objectives of cost, time, and quality to life‐cycle objective functions, such as return on investment, facility operability, and life‐cycle integration. This paper describes the fundamental philosophy and framework for the development of life‐cycle objective function‐based project management systems in general, and contrasts these with the existing PM methods.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

MUSTAFA ALSHAWI and JASON UNDERWOOD

This study aims at improving the constructability of design solutions by inte grating site construction problems, which are related to the design, with the design's main…

Abstract

This study aims at improving the constructability of design solutions by inte grating site construction problems, which are related to the design, with the design's main functions. A full process analysis was carried out on the design functions of concrete framed office buildings whereby site problems were traced back to the relevant design stages. Design processes that significantly contribute to these problems were highlighted, along with their data flows. An object‐oriented analysis (OOA) method was then applied to model those processes. Proceedings through the five major activities of Coad & Yourdon's OOA method, a complete OOA model was developed. This technique has proved to be very effective in producing a well structured data model with the consequence of being easily mapped into an object‐oriented development environment. An integrated object‐oriented system was also developed, which attempts to use essential design information, at an early stage of the design process, to improve the constructability of the design.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 3 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

Alberto Casado Lordsleem Jr and Silvio Burrattino Melhado

The design for production of wall partitions (DPWP) offers high potential for improving the design process of building in Brazil. However, one of the problems worth…

Abstract

Purpose

The design for production of wall partitions (DPWP) offers high potential for improving the design process of building in Brazil. However, one of the problems worth mentioning is the lack of accurate definition of scope which leads to doubts about what, when and how it should be prepared, developed and delivered by the designers. The purpose of this paper is to assess the application of the Brazilian Association of Design Managers and Coordinators (AGESC) handbook scopes of DPWP in building construction.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study involving a field investigation of eight construction organisations and DPWP designers in the cities of Recife and Sao Paulo in Brazil.

Findings

The results obtained have shown that conformity (with specification) – the reference scope adopted AGESC handbook DPWP – was not entirely fulfilled by the companies, while the agreement (personal opinion on the appropriateness of the specification) with the scope was even lower among them. The major difference was found between conformity and agreement among the construction companies.

Originality/value

Guidelines concerning how to use the AGESC handbook for DPWP, description of potential uses and amplifying of the contributions to greater integration between expectations and resulting products, call for rational design and execution of non-loadbearing masonry in the Brazilian construction industry.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article

D. Bouchlaghem, A.G. Kimmance and C.J. Anumba

Collaborative working in construction projects is becoming very important as many activities are usually performed involving actors based in different geographical…

Abstract

Collaborative working in construction projects is becoming very important as many activities are usually performed involving actors based in different geographical locations. Recent years have seen the emergence and development of a plethora of visual software modelling tools, modelling standards, methods for wide enterprise concurrent engineering, and techniques for exchanging and sharing construction information between software applications. This paper describes an integrated product and process information modelling system developed to manage information essential to construction managers. The integrated conceptual model is based on information and functional requirements and was developed to model both product and process information in a hierarchical manner. The also shows how the model relates to practice, and presents the benefits that are gained from structuring information using this approach.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 104 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article

Mary Hardie

The purpose of this paper is to identify the major influences on innovation delivery in the context of small Australian construction businesses.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the major influences on innovation delivery in the context of small Australian construction businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

An analysis was undertaken of peer‐reviewed journal articles published between 1998 and 2008. Historical background to the current circumstances was included by reference to influential government reports and to literature on the economic theory underpinning the concept of innovation.

Findings

The findings suggest that despite the recent trend to more cooperative business arrangements, the ingrained culture of aggressively competitive relations on a building project remains in place. This is particularly evident at the small and sub‐contractor level. Such companies tend to operate with little spare capacity and can be restricted from participation in the benefits of the innovation strategies unless they receive outside assistance.

Research limitations/implications

The need for an attitudinal change is described and critical factors which restrict the involvement of small businesses in innovative practice are identified. The potential for industry bodies and government organizations to foster innovative capacity is identified as an area for future research.

Practical implications

A focus on lifting technical innovation rates for the efficient delivery of projects is described and the case for a renewed research effort on the needs of small construction businesses is made.

Originality/value

The need for the translation of innovation theory to an industry which tends to see itself as a special case and has traditionally avoided the adoption of economic theory from other sectors.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article

Dennis F.X. Mathaisel

Increasing global competition, free trade agreements, low cost foreign labor, and customer expectations are causing manufacturing enterprises to implement aggressive…

Abstract

Purpose

Increasing global competition, free trade agreements, low cost foreign labor, and customer expectations are causing manufacturing enterprises to implement aggressive transformation plans. Should these transformations be incremental or enterprise‐wide? This paper aims to address the question by developing a Lean Enterprise Architecture (LEA) concept for an enterprise‐wide transformation.

Design/methodology/approach

The LEA is an architectural framework for enterprise reengineering in the design, construction, integration, and implementation of a lean enterprise using systems engineering methods. The architecture uses a multiphase approach structured on the transformation life cycle phases.

Findings

Viewing lean implementation across the entire enterprise minimizes the possibility of overlooking opportunities for further performance improvement. A silo view of lean implementation may allow gaps in performance to persist, with no one assuming responsibility for the entire enterprise. Employing the principles of the LEA will help improve enterprise‐wide quality, on‐time delivery, and customer satisfaction by eliminating waste in the entire organization and supply chain.

Research limitations/implications

Applications and benefits are cited in the paper, but additional case studies are needed to benchmark the performance of the LEA against incremental lean implementations.

Practical implications

The LEA was created for the US military aerospace industry, but it is now being adopted in other commercial sectors for major transformation designs.

Originality/value

The LEA is the first known integration of lean thinking, enterprise architectures, and systems engineering principles in a design framework for the transformation of an enterprise.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 54 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article

Majid Parchami Jalal, Tayebe Yavari Roushan, Esmatullah Noorzai and Maryam Alizadeh

This study aims at introducing a claim management model based on building information modeling (BIM) for claims that can be visualized in BIM models.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at introducing a claim management model based on building information modeling (BIM) for claims that can be visualized in BIM models.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the results of a questionnaire survey, 10 claims were identified as claims that can be visualized in BIM models (named hard claims in this study). Then, a BIM-based claim management model was developed and used in a case study.

Findings

A BIM-based claim management model is represented. The claim management process through this model consists of four steps: (1) extracting project information, identifying conditions prone to claim and storing them into a relational database, (2) automatically connecting the database to building information model, (3) simulation of the claims in building information model and (4) final calculations and report.

Practical implications

The proposed model can provide benefits to parties involved in a claim, such as early identification of potential claims, large space for data storage, facilitated claim management processes, information consistency and improved collaboration.

Originality/value

There are a few studies on providing solutions to claim management based on BIM process. Hence, the original contribution of this paper is the attempt to set a link between BIM and claim management processes.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

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