Faculty Advisor

Dr. Robert Fitzgerald

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Guillermo Salazar

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Leonardo Albano

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Tahar Elkorchi

Abstract

Modern manufacturing processes are becoming more integrated and relying on measuring performance to better identify ways of improvement. The AEC industry is now moving in this direction through IT-based Design and Construction Integration (ITDCI). ITDCI is a collaborative knowledge-based activity in which each participant continuously and timely contributes and shares his/her knowledge to realize a specific goal, bonded by a unified and cohesive culture with the use of the supportive IT-tools. Executing the project in an ITDCI fashion requires the satisfaction of these conditions. This research developed a formal model that consists of 75 ITDCI mechanisms distributed over the different phases of the facility development process within colleges and universities to enable the knowledge transfer process and achieve the highest level of integration. The level of ITDCI involved in a particular project can be then measured by quantifying the number of ITDCI mechanisms introduced. The research methodology included the following activities: reviewing the related literature, developing and validating a scenario for the facility development process within typical colleges and universities through literature review and interviews, providing a definition for each phase of the process to be executed in an ITDCI fashion and finally identifying actions or mechanisms that have to be activated to obtain the highest level of ITDCI. The model was validated through an online survey that targeted the members of the Society of Colleges and Universities (SCUP) and a case study. WPI's new East Hall residence facility was used as a case study to validate the model. This model is a significant contribution to the construction industry because it acts as a measuring tool to assess the corresponding level of ITDCI in the facility development process. It also helps to develop a common understanding among industry practitioners on what is required to achieve a desired level of ITDCI in their project. This comprehension would guide them to a better recognition of the benefits and consequences of each specific level of IT-based integration on their project outcomes. It will also enable them to execute more accurate cost/benefit analyses and eventually opt for the optimum ITDCI level. For future work, the model could be expanded to include other types of facilities, such as residential, healthcare and commercial facilities to achieve wider adoption within the AEC industry.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name

PhD

Department

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Project Type

Dissertation

Date Accepted

2009-05-04

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Subjects

online collaboration project management, IT-based design and construction integration, design and construction integration, building information modeling, integration mechanisms, measuring integration

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