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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2021

Mohamed Kasbar, Sheryl Staub-French, Angelique Pilon, Erik Poirier, Zahra Teshnizi and Thomas Froese

The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of the impact of mass timber construction methods on construction performance through the successful delivery of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of the impact of mass timber construction methods on construction performance through the successful delivery of the first-of-a-kind tall wood building, Brock Commons Tallwood House (Tallwood House). This paper is one of a set of papers examining the project; companion papers describe innovations used during the mass timber design and construction processes.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-method, longitudinal case study approach was used in this research project to investigate and document the Tallwood House project. Quantitative data were collected to perform the following analysis: hook time, the variability of productivity and schedule reliability. Members of the research team observed construction progress, meetings and decision-making, conducted periodic interviews and reviewed project artifacts.

Findings

The research presented in this paper is the culmination of a longitudinal study aimed at studying the innovation process on a project where radical innovations of structural systems were developed. Prefabrication, combined with the use of a virtual design and construction (VDC) model for planning and fabrication and early collaboration with trades, construction managers and consultants, increased the labor productivity of the on-site erection of the mass timber structural components and envelope panels and expedited the construction schedule.

Originality/value

This paper details an in-depth investigation into the construction productivity for a unique building project and lessons learned. The case study chosen is the construction of Tallwood House at the University of British Columbia. Tallwood House was the tallest mass-timber hybrid building in the world at the time of its construction.

Article
Publication date: 3 August 2021

Erik Poirier, Sheryl Staub-French, Angelique Pilon, Azadeh Fallahi, Zahra Teshnizi, Thomas Tannert and Thomas Froese

The purpose of this paper is to study the design process innovations that enabled the successful delivery of a hybrid, mass-timber high-rise building in Canada, the Brock…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the design process innovations that enabled the successful delivery of a hybrid, mass-timber high-rise building in Canada, the Brock Commons Tallwood House at the University of British Columbia. It is one of a set of papers examining the project, including companion papers that describe innovations used during the mass timber construction process and the impact of these innovations on construction performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-method, longitudinal case study approach was used in this research project to investigate and document the Tallwood House project over a three-year period. Both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis techniques were used. Graduate student researchers were embedded within the project team to observe meetings and decision-making and to conduct periodic interviews.

Findings

The research highlights a case of a balanced triple-helix system that provided a context for the successful “clustering” of product and process innovation, which were developed and implemented to flow throughout the project’s lifecycle and across its supply chain to provide benefits at each stage. Four significant process-based innovations were implemented at the design phase of the building project to support radical product innovation: an integrated design process, virtual design and construction, designing for manufacturing and assembling and a rigorous quality control and quality assurance process. The product innovations developed through these process innovations were the structural system and the prefabricated envelope system. The context of innovation was seen to allow this “clustering,” which is believed to be a key condition of success and enabled the efficient and successful delivery of the project. Generally, the approach was successful; however, some factors including the number of stakeholders and good-faith collaboration may limit the replicability of these strategies.

Originality/value

This paper presents an in-depth investigation into the instantiation of an innovation system, identified as a balanced triple-helix system, which enabled and facilitated the design and decision-making process for a radical product innovation. Moreover, this paper describes the deployment of a “cluster” of process innovations that flowed throughout the project’s lifecycle and across the project supply chain. This was seen as a key factor in ensuring the successful delivery of the project.

Article
Publication date: 25 January 2021

Sheryl Staub-French, Angelique Pilon, Erik Poirier, Azadeh Fallahi, Mohamed Kasbar, Francisco Calderon, Zahra Teshnizi and Thomas Froese

The purpose of this paper is to present the construction process innovations that enabled the successful delivery of the hybrid mass timber high-rise building in Canada…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the construction process innovations that enabled the successful delivery of the hybrid mass timber high-rise building in Canada, the Brock Commons Tallwood House at the University of British Columbia. It is one of a set of papers examining the project, including companion papers that describe innovations in the mass timber design process and the impact of these innovations on construction performance. The focus of this paper is on innovation in the construction phase and its relationship to innovations implemented in previous project phases.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-method, longitudinal case study approach was used in this research project to investigate and document the Tallwood House project over a three-year period. Both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis techniques were used. Members of the research team observed prefabrication and construction, conducted periodic interviews and reviewed project artefacts.

Findings

The research identified three innovation “clusters,” including the use of innovative tools, techniques and strategies in the design and construction processes and the role they played in delivering the project. The “clusters” were further characterized according to the type of “connectivity” they afforded, either facilitation, operationalization or materialization. These two perspectives support a compounding view on innovation and help to understand how it can flow throughout a project’s life cycle and across its supply chain. Three process-based innovations were initiated during the design phase, integrated design process, building information modeling and virtual design and construction and flowed through to the construction phase. These were seen to enable the creation of connections that were crucial to the overall success of the project. These innovations were operationalized and enacted through the construction phase as design for manufacturing and assembly and prefabrication, staged construction and just-in-time delivery, integration of safety and risk management and a rigorous quality control and quality assurance process. Finally, a full-scale mock-up was produced for practice and constructability assessment, materializing the radical product innovation that was the mass timber structure. These strategies are used together for a synergistic and integrated approach to increase productivity, expedite the construction schedule and develop an innovative building product.

Originality/value

This paper details an in-depth investigation into the diffusion dynamics of multiple systemic innovations for the construction process of a unique building project, the tools and techniques used by the construction manager and team, and the challenges, solutions and lessons learned.

Article
Publication date: 6 July 2020

Soojung Kim, Erik A. Poirier and Sheryl Staub-French

As the use of building information modeling (BIM) for facilities management (FM) continues to grow, questions remain around the quality and completeness of digital assets…

Abstract

Purpose

As the use of building information modeling (BIM) for facilities management (FM) continues to grow, questions remain around the quality and completeness of digital assets to support FM practices. This paper aims to examine the current gap between digital and physical assets in the absence of formal information requirements and its impact on the handover process.

Design/methodology/approach

An action-research was carried out with a large public organization to understand the challenges of their current FM processes and the steps required in developing an asset information model (AIM) from a project information model (PIM). A mixed method approach was employed with interviews, document analysis and an exploratory pilot case study.

Findings

This paper investigates the process, the challenges and the level of effort of the information commissioning process to create a fit-for-use AIM. Four distinct steps were identified in the process as follows: analyzing the handover PIM and documents, extracting FM-specific information, populating the model with the information and attaching operations and maintenance (O&M) documents. The research highlights the significant amount of effort that is required when no specific asset information requirements are formulated at the project onset.

Practical implications

The paper presents an information commissioning process that helps to develop an AIM from a PIM. Understanding the impact of the lack of requirements on the information commissioning process can help asset owners understand the importance of defining and articulating their information requirements up front.

Originality/value

This paper provides empirical evidence of the impact of the absence of formal information requirements on the development of a fit-for-use AIM.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management , vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 November 2019

Marcella M. Bonanomi, Daniel M. Hall, Sheryl Staub-French, Aubrey Tucker and Cinzia Maria Luisa Talamo

The purpose of this paper is to understand the impact of digital technologies adoption on the forms of organization of large architecture and engineering (A/E) firms…

2343

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the impact of digital technologies adoption on the forms of organization of large architecture and engineering (A/E) firms. Network theory has attracted scholarly and managerial attention, particularly from the perspective of the changes of project organization. However, little research focuses on network theory as a lens for understanding and managing the new forms of firms’ organization. Additionally, conventional organizational analyses are hampered by the lack of methods for understanding the changes in roles and relationships due to the adoption of digital technologies and examining their impact on organizational structures.

Design/methodology/approach

To address this gap, this research adopted a mixed-method case-study approach. This approach combined interviews, regular check-ins, and document analysis with data mining and social network analysis (SNA) to capture the changes of intra-organizational roles and relationships and for understanding their impact on the firm’s organizational structure. Using the data gathered, the authors created a dendrogram that shows the formal organizational structure, a sociogram that displays the informal organizational structure and a network map that visualizes the interplay between the two structures.

Findings

From this analysis, the authors identified four main findings: informal roles – as go-to people for advice and information about digital technologies – play within A/E firms facing digital transformation; such go-to people operate through informal networked relationships and beyond their formal roles; most of these relationships do not overlap with the formal reporting relationships; the combination of both these roles and relationships create an informal social network. The authors also show how managers can use SNA to understand the changes in roles and relationships due to the adoption of digital technologies and to diagnose their impact on organizational structures.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the literature of organizational design and change management from a network perspective in the context of the digital transformation of large A/E firms. It provides a systematic data-driven approach to understanding the changes of intra-organizational roles and relationships within A/E firms facing digital transformation and to diagnosing the impact of these changes on firms’ organizational structures.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Erik Poirier, Sheryl Staub-French and Daniel Forgues

The purpose of this paper is to study the radical innovation process behind the adoption and implementation of building information modelling (BIM) for a specialty…

2340

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the radical innovation process behind the adoption and implementation of building information modelling (BIM) for a specialty contracting small or medium enterprise (SME). This paper offers two distinct perspectives on BIM adoption and implementation, which are underrepresented in the current literature: the SME perspective and the specialty contractor perspective. It also attempts to bridge the gap between the growing literature on BIM adoption and implementation and the established literature on innovation by developing the notion of embedded contexts in the innovation process.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-method, longitudinal case study approach was used in this research project to study the evolution of the innovation process and its impact on the Organisation over time. The objectives of this research were to investigate and document the different factors mediating the BIM adoption and implementation process for the Organisation across various contexts, the mechanisms put in place to facilitate this process and the perceived impact within the Organisation.

Findings

The initial transition to BIM represented a radical innovation for the Organisation. Subsequently, a series of incremental innovations took place to further advance the Organisation’s BIM capabilities. This innovation process is influenced by different layers of embedded contextual factors, which can be mitigated by, among others, a clear strategic approach towards the innovation process. Furthermore, despite a limited sphere of influence, specialty contractors can leverage BIM within their own supply chain to reap significant benefits.

Originality/value

This paper offers an in-depth study of radical innovation within a specialty contracting SME. This study discusses the influence of four embedded contexts on innovation for a specialty contracting SME: the industry context, the institutional context, the organisational context and the project context. It also offers insight into the factors, mechanisms and their impact on the innovation process.

Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Abdullahi Babatunde Saka and Daniel W.M. Chan

This paper aims to review the status of development of building information modelling (BIM), its trends and themes across the six continents of the world.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the status of development of building information modelling (BIM), its trends and themes across the six continents of the world.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 914 journal articles sought from the search engine of Web of Science (WOS) based on the country/region option of the WOS to group them into continents. A best-fit approach was then applied in selecting the suitable software programmes for the scientometric analysis and comparisons and deductions were made.

Findings

The findings revealed that there are differences in the development of BIM across the six continents of the world. South America and Africa are lagging in the BIM research and Australia and Asia are growing, whilst Europe and North America are ahead. In addition, there exist differences in the research themes and trends in these continents as against the single view presented in extant studies.

Originality/value

This study introduced a new approach to carry out a comparative and taxonomic review and has provided both academic researchers and industrial practitioners with a clear status of development of BIM research and the trend across the six continents of the world.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

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