BUILDING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT
Information Requirements for BIM to Facilitate Completed Project Life Cycle
Facilities management (FM) encompasses and requires multidisciplinary activities, and thus has extensive information requirements. While some of these needs are addressed by several existing FM information systems, building information modeling (BIM), which is becoming widely adopted by the construction industry, holds undeveloped possibilities for providing and supporting FM practices with its functionalities of visualization, analysis, control, and so on. This research explores how BIM can be a beneficial platform for supplementing FM practices. The research focuses on implementation, use and potential of BIM from the “Owner’s Perspective.” It tries to define what information is required for/from each discipline for each project phase and for facility maintenance/operations. The project investigates on why this information is needed, how it will be used, by whom and how BIM can become a platform for hosting and visualizing this information.
ITR: IT-Based Collaboration Framework for Preparing Against, Responding to, and Recovering from Disasters Involving Critical Physical Infrastructures
One of the most urgent and vital challenges confronting society today is the vulnerability of urban areas to extreme and unpredictable events such as terrorism, earthquakes and the like. For example, in 2002, a total of 608 million people across the globe were affected by disasters resulting in 24,500 deaths and damage to property and to the environment estimated at $27 billion dollars. These significant human and economical costs emphasize the urgent need to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of first responses to extreme events. The objective of this grant is to develop and to test a conceptual framework designed to improve collaboration among the key actors involved in disaster relief operations. These key actors include firefighters, police officers, medical personnel, experts, the original civil engineers and constructors involved in the construction of the affected infrastructure, and the physical and technological infrastructure itself, including sensors and systems of sensors embedded in it. Theoretically derived information technology (IT)-based solutions to prepare against, respond to and recover from disasters will be developed and tested based on the proposed framework. The research team is composed of civil engineers, computer scientists, entomologists, psychologists, communication scholars and first responder professionals. Each studies the technological and social processes of collaboration from a different viewpoint. All of these viewpoints will be represented in the conceptual framework, which will explore three phases of first response: preparation, response, and recovery.
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (Award number: 0427089)
PI: Prof.Feniosky Pena-Mora
Co-PI: Prof.Lucio Soibelman
Cross-disciplinary, Collaborative, Geographically Distributed Design & Construction
Today, classrooms are not restricted to bricks and mortar. Education is a key to improved communication and effective collaboration among Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) professionals. Currently, the industry is facing enormous technological and institutional changes and challenges. One very important instrument to such change is the use of information technology. The 21st century AEC professional must be able to deal with a rapid pace of technological change, a highly interconnected world, and complex problems that require multidisciplinary solutions. This project focuses on challenges of BIM based geographically dispersed collaborative construction management in multidisciplinary team environments. Through this project various issues are explored. First and foremost, application of various BIM and ICT tools and collaboration processes to engineering education is evaluated. In addition, issues such as interoperability, value proposition, best practices for BIM implementation and model-based collaboration are investigated.
An Assessment of Adoption, Use and Benefits of Integrated Project Delivery for AEC Industry Projects
Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is a delivery method that is relatively new to the AEC industry in the U.S. and there are many questions surrounding its potential widespread adoption by the industry at large. IPD attempts to address the problems of waste and inefficiency that have been plaguing the industry for many years by incorporating lean construction methods and, more importantly, by embracing a contractual organization that allows all parties to collaborate from the early phases of design. Various organizations have published documents that attempt to define IPD and provide information concerning the principles behind it, but limited research has been done to assess the attitudes of the potential users of this delivery method. This research project attempts to provide some hard data concerning the knowledge and experience levels of professionals in the AEC industry regarding IPD as well as their opinions concerning its usefulness as a project delivery method, in an effort to shed some light on the future of IPD use and what it will take to achieve widespread adoption by the industry.
Return on Investment (ROI) Study on Building Information Modeling (BIM)
The advent and proliferation of BIM software in the AEC industry has produced a wealth of new information and data related to all aspects of its implementation. While much of this data has yet to be gathered and complied, one in particular that has been neglected is the concept of Return on Investment (ROI). This is partially because it is difficult to define which elements of the process should be included in calculating ROI and partially because even after being identified the elements are difficult to measure. An increase in the availability of this type of fiscal information will be significant as it can guide the entire industry to more efficient and practical solutions. While examining a single project that has two phases, this study aims to measure the value of BIM investments for the owner. It aims to demonstrate (i) how larger upfront costs might be offset by the end of the process, and (ii) establish a methodology to measure both costs and benefits to the owner in monetary terms in order to replace anecdotal evidence with quantitative facts. The study defines two main components of ROI, cost and benefit, as they pertain to BIM use throughout a project and establishes which costs and which benefits are reasonably associated with the use BIM software and which are more circumstantial. Additionally, under both the cost and benefit sides, we hope to set a methodology of collecting the data and converting any non-monetary aspects to a quantitative value.
Implementation of Online Collaboration and Project Management Systems in Design and Construction
The research project focuses on the implementation of Online Collaboration and Project Management (OCPM) technology in the AEC industry. OCPM technology refers to any of the available web-based (vendor-hosted) and web-enabled (self-hosted) technologies that offer communication platforms, project management functionalities, and hosted collaboration spaces for design and construction projects. Project explores current OCPM technology implementation practices, inefficiencies and enhancement areas. The main goals are (i) to fulfill the need of research related to the developments in this field, (ii) to provide a concise, updated overview of existing implementation practices and the current situation of OCPM market, (iii) to discuss the reasons for the slow adoption of OCPM technology by the industry, and (iv) to understand the adoption and technology development patterns to forecast the future trends in this field. In an attempt to fill the need of research to explore how these tools actually interact with the organizational context, what the needs of the users are, and how this technology can be improved and commonly adopted by the industry, the research focuses on implementation practices followed by critical enhancement areas that would hasten the adoption and successful implementation of these tools.
Online Collaboration and Project Management Technology Value Assessment
The research seeks to validate and support the statement that OCPM technology positively contributes to the return on investment of the AEC industry stakeholders. It evaluates the OCPM technology benefits at the project-level as well as the benefits external to the project but internal to the organization(s). Tangible benefits are a part of the project; however, a special focus is given to identification and measurement of quasi-tangible and intangible benefits, which are difficult to quantify and often hidden but whose value to the investors is significant. The research intends to capture different perspectives including those of private and public owners, contractors, and consultants. In addition, it explores the impact of these tools on the business processes and looks for evidence of increased and new values such as increased competitive advantage, improved market access, and enhanced risk mitigation and management.