Predicting the actual cost and duration in construction projects concern a continuous and existing problem for the construction sector. This paper addresses this problem with modern methods and data available from past public construction projects. 39 bridge projects, constructed in Greece, with a similar type of available data were examined. Considering each project’s attributes with the actual cost and the actual duration, correlation analysis is performed and the most appropriate predictive project variables are defined. Additionally, the most efficient subgroup of variables is selected with the use of the WEKA application, through its attribute selection function. The selected variables are used as input neurons for neural network models through correlation analysis. For constructing neural network models, the application FANN Tool is used. The optimum neural network model, for predicting the actual cost, produced a mean squared error with a value of 3.84886e-05 and it was based on the budgeted cost and the quantity of deck concrete. The optimum neural network model, for predicting the actual duration, produced a mean squared error with a value of 5.89463e-05 and it also was based on the budgeted cost and the amount of deck concrete.
Meeting project deadlines is a major challenge for most construction projects. In this study, perceptions of contractors, clients, and consultants are compared relative to a list of factors derived from the review of the extant literature on project delay. 59 causes (categorized into 8 groups) of project delays were identified from the literature. A survey was devised to get insights and ranking of these factors from clients, consultants & contractors in the Australian construction industry. Findings showed that project delays in the Australian construction industry are mainly the result of skill shortages, interference in execution, and poor coordination and communication between the project stakeholders.
In general, Covid-19 created many financial and non-financial damages to the economy and community. Level and severity of covid-19 as pandemic case varies over the region and due to different types of the projects. Covid-19 virus emerged as one of the most imperative risk management factors word-wide recently. Therefore, as part of portfolio management assessment, it is essential to evaluate severity of such risk on the project and program in portfolio management level to avoid any risky portfolio. Covid-19 appeared very effectively in South America, part of Europe and Middle East. Such pandemic infection affected the whole universe, due to lock down, interruption in supply chain management, health and safety requirements, transportations and commercial impacts. Therefore, this research proposes Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to analyze and assess such pandemic case like Covid-19 and its impacts on the construction projects. The AHP technique uses four sub-criteria: Health and safety, commercial risk, completion risk and contractual risk to evaluate the project and program. The result will provide the decision makers with information which project has higher or lower risk in case of Covid-19 and pandemic scenario. Therefore, the decision makers can have most feasible solution based on effective weighted criteria for project selection within their portfolio to match with the organization’s strategies.
Building information modelling (BIM) is a new technology to enhance the efficiency of project management in the construction industry. In addition to the potential benefits of this useful technology, there are various risks and obstacles to applying it in construction projects. In this study, a decision making approach is presented for risk assessment in BIM adoption in construction projects. Various risk factors of exerting BIM during different phases of the project lifecycle are identified with the help of Delphi method, experts’ opinions and related literature. Afterward, Shannon’s entropy and Fuzzy TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Situation) are applied to derive priorities of the identified risk factors. Results indicated that lack of knowledge between professional engineers about workflows in BIM and conflict of opinions between different stakeholders are the risk factors with the highest priority.
This study examined and identified the inconsistencies, relationships, gaps and recurring themes in literature regarding the relationship between procurement strategies employed in the construction projects for sustainable buildings and realization of sustainability goals. A systematic literature review of studies on the relationship between various procurement strategies and attainment of sustainability outcomes was conducted. Using specific terms, papers published between 2002 and 2018 were identified and screened according to an inclusion and exclusion criteria. Current findings reveal that, although the attainment of sustainability goals is achievable with both traditional and contemporary procurement strategies, only projects delivered using modern procurement strategies are capable of meeting and exceeding targeted sustainability objectives. However, traditional procurement strategy remains the preferred method for most green building construction projects. The results suggest implications for decision makers in considering the impact of selected procurement strategies on targeted sustainability goals, in the early stages of sustainable building construction projects. The study shows that there is a gap between the reported appropriate procurement strategies and what is being practiced currently. Theoretically, the study expands on the literature on adoption and diffusion of contemporary procurement strategies, by consolidating existing studies to highlight the current gaps. While the study is at the literature review stage, deductions will serve as basis for field work involving empirical data.
Mega construction projects create buildings and major infrastructure to respond to work and life requirements while playing a vital role in promoting any nation’s economy. However, the industry is often criticised for not balancing economic, environmental and social dimensions of their projects, with emphasis typically on one aspect to the detriment of the others. This has resulted in many negative impacts including environmental pollution, waste throughout the project lifecycle, low productivity, and avoidable accidents. The identification of comprehensive Social Responsibility (SR) indicators, which combine social, environmental and economic aspects, is urgently needed. This is particularly the case in the context of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which often has mega public construction projects. The aim of this paper is to develop a set of wide-ranging SR indicators which encompass social, economic and environmental aspects unique to the KSA. A qualitative approach was applied to explore relevant indicators through a review of the existing literature, international standards and reports. A list of appropriate indicators was developed, and its comprehensiveness was corroborated by interviews with experts on mega construction projects working with SR concepts in the KSA. The findings present 39 indicators and their metrics, covering 10 economic, 12 environmental and 17 social aspects of SR mapped against their references. These indicators are a valuable reference for decision-makers and academics in the KSA to understand factors related to SR in mega construction projects. The indicators are related to mega construction projects within the KSA and require validation in a real case scenario or within a different industry to demonstrate their generalisability.
Construction industry plays a significant role in fulfilling the major requirements of the human being. It is one of the major constituents of every developed country. Although the construction industry of both the developing and developed countries encompasses a major part of the economy, and millions of rupees are utilized every year on various kinds of construction projects. But, this industry is facing numerous hurdles in terms of its budget and timely completion. Construction projects generally consist of several phases like planning, designing, execution, and finishing. This research study aims to determine the significant factors of time overrun in pre-construction planning (PCP) phase of construction projects in Pakistan. Questionnaires were distributed by various means and responses of respondents were compiled and collected data were then analyzed through a statistical technique using SPSS version 24. Major causes of time overrun in pre-construction planning phase; which is an extremely important phase of construction projects, were revealed. The research conclusion will provide a pathway for stakeholders to pay attention to the mentioned causes to overcome the major issue of time overrun.
Delays in the construction industry are a global phenomenon. Many construction projects experience extensive delays exceeding the initially estimated completion time. The main purpose of this study is to identify construction projects typical behaviors in order to develop a prognosis and management tool. Being able to know a construction projects schedule tendency will enable evidence-based decision-making to allow resolutions to be made before delays occur. This study presents an innovative approach that uses Cluster Analysis Method to support predictions during Earned Value Analyses. A clustering analysis was used to predict future scheduling, Earned Value Management (EVM), and Earned Schedule (ES) principal Indexes behaviors in construction projects. The analysis was made using a database with 90 different construction projects. It was validated with additional data extracted from literature and with another 15 contrasting projects. For all projects, planned and executed schedules were collected and the EVM and ES principal indexes were calculated. A complete linkage classification method was used. In this way, the cluster analysis made considers that the distance (or similarity) between two clusters must be measured by its most disparate elements, i.e. that the distance is given by the maximum span among its components. Finally, through the use of EVM and ES Indexes and Tukey and Fisher Pairwise Comparisons, the statistical dissimilarity was verified and four clusters were obtained. It can be said that construction projects show an average delay of 35% of its planned completion time. Furthermore, four typical behaviors were found and for each of the obtained clusters, the interim milestones and the necessary rhythms of construction were identified. In general, detected typical behaviors are: (1) Projects that perform a 5% of work advance in the first two tenths and maintain a constant rhythm until completion (greater than 10% for each remaining tenth), being able to finish on the initially estimated time. (2) Projects that start with an adequate construction rate but suffer minor delays culminating with a total delay of almost 27% of the planned time. (3) Projects which start with a performance below the planned rate and end up with an average delay of 64%, and (4) projects that begin with a poor performance, suffer great delays and end up with an average delay of a 120% of the planned completion time. The obtained clusters compose a tool to identify the behavior of new construction projects by comparing their current work performance to the validated database, thus allowing the correction of initial estimations towards more accurate completion schedules.
The advancement in various concrete ingredients like plasticizers, additives and fibers, etc. has enabled concrete technologists to develop many viable varieties of special concretes in recent decades. Such various varieties of concrete have significant enhancement in green as well as hardened properties of concrete. A prudent selection of appropriate type of concrete can resolve many design and application issues in construction projects. This paper focuses on usage of self-compacting concrete, high early strength concrete, structural lightweight concrete, fiber reinforced concrete, high performance concrete and ultra-high strength concrete in the structures. The modified properties of strength at various ages, flowability, porosity, equilibrium density, flexural strength, elasticity, permeability etc. need to be carefully studied and incorporated into the design of the structures. The paper demonstrates various mixture combinations and the concrete properties that can be leveraged. The selection of such products based on the end use of structures has been proposed in order to efficiently utilize the modified characteristics of these concrete varieties. The study involves mapping the characteristics with benefits and savings for the structure from design perspective. Self-compacting concrete in the structure is characterized by high shuttering loads, better finish, and feasibility of closer reinforcement spacing. The structural design procedures can be modified to specify higher formwork strength, height of vertical members, cover reduction and increased ductility. The transverse reinforcement can be spaced at closer intervals compared to regular structural concrete. It allows structural lightweight concrete structures to be designed for reduced dead load, increased insulation properties. Member dimensions and steel requirement can be reduced proportionate to about 25 to 35 percent reduction in the dead load due to self-weight of concrete. Steel fiber reinforced concrete can be used to design grade slabs without primary reinforcement because of 70 to 100 percent higher tensile strength. The design procedures incorporate reduction in thickness and joint spacing. High performance concrete employs increase in the life of the structures by improvement in paste characteristics and durability by incorporating supplementary cementitious materials. Often, these are also designed for slower heat generation in the initial phase of hydration. The structural designer can incorporate the slow development of strength in the design and specify 56 or 90 days strength requirement. For designing high rise building structures, creep and elasticity properties of such concrete also need to be considered. Lastly, certain structures require a performance under loading conditions much earlier than final maturity of concrete. High early strength concrete has been designed to cater to a variety of usages at various ages as early as 8 to 12 hours. Therefore, an understanding of concrete performance specifications for special concrete is a definite door towards a superior structural design approach.
An aspect of client expenditure management that requires attention is the level of accuracy achievable in design-stage elemental cost planning. This has been a major concern for construction clients and practitioners in New Zealand (NZ). Pre-tender estimating inaccuracies are significantly influenced by the level of risk information available to estimators. Proper cost planning activities should ensure the production of a project’s likely construction costs (initial and final), and subsequent cost control activities should prevent unpleasant consequences of cost overruns, disputes and project abandonment. If risks were properly identified and priced at the design stage, observed variance between design-stage elemental cost plans (ECPs) and final tender sums (FTS) (initial contract sums) could be reduced. This study investigates the variations between design-stage ECPs and FTS of construction projects, with a view to identifying risk factors that are responsible for the observed variance. Data were sourced through interviews, and risk factors were identified by using thematic analysis. Access was obtained to project files from the records of study participants (consultant quantity surveyors), and document analysis was employed in complementing the responses from the interviews. Study findings revealed the discrepancies between ECPs and FTS in the region of -14% and +16%. It is opined in this study that the identified risk factors were responsible for the variability observed. The values obtained from the analysis would enable greater accuracy in the forecast of FTS by Quantity Surveyors. Further, whilst inherent risks in construction project developments are observed globally, these findings have important ramifications for construction projects by expanding existing knowledge on what is needed for reasonable budgetary performance and successful delivery of construction projects. The findings contribute significantly to the study by providing quantitative confirmation to justify the theoretical conclusions generated in the literature from around the world. This therefore adds to and consolidates existing knowledge.
Construction industry mainly focuses on the superstructure, infrastructure, and oil and gas industry. The development of infrastructure projects in developing countries attracted a lot of foreign construction contractors, consultants, suppliers and diversified workforce to interfere and to be evolved in such huge investment. Reducing worksite delays in such projects require knowledge and attention. Therefore, it is important to identify the influencing delay attributes affecting construction projects. The significant project factors affecting construction delays were investigated. Data collection was carried out through an online web survey system to capture significant factors. Significant factors were determined with importance index and relevant recommendations are made. The output of the data analysis would lead the industry experts better assess the impact of construction delays on construction projects.
In order to be capable of dealing with uncertainties, subjectivities, including vagueness arising in building construction projects, the application of fuzzy reasoning technique based on fuzzy set theory is proposed. This study contributes significantly to the development of a fuzzy reasoning safety risk assessment model for building construction projects that could be employed to assess the risk magnitude of each hazardous event identified during construction, and a third parameter of probability of consequence is incorporated in the model. By using the proposed safety risk analysis methodology, more reliable and less ambiguities, which provide the safety risk management project team for decision-making purposes.
A knowledge-based expert system with the acronym RASPE is developed as an application tool to help decision makers in construction companies make informed decisions about managing risks in pipeline construction projects. Choosing to use expert systems from all available artificial intelligence techniques is due to the fact that an expert system is more suited to representing a domain’s knowledge and the reasoning behind domain-specific decisions. The knowledge-based expert system can capture the knowledge in the form of conditional rules which represent various project scenarios and potential risk mitigation/response actions. The built knowledge in RASPE is utilized through the underlying inference engine that allows the firing of rules relevant to a project scenario into consideration. Paper provides an overview of the knowledge acquisition process and goes about describing the knowledge structure which is divided up into four major modules. The paper shows one module in full detail for illustration purposes and concludes with insightful remarks.
The sub-task pattern in terms of deviations and defects should be identified and understood in order to improve the quality of practices in construction projects. Therefore, sub-task susceptibility to exposure to deviations and defects has been evaluated and classified via six classifications proposed in this study. Thirty-four case studies of specific sub-tasks (from compression members in constructed concrete structures) were collected from seven construction projects in order to examine the study’s proposed classifications. The study revealed that the sub-task has a high sensitivity to deviation, where 91% of the cases were recorded as deviations; however, only 19% of cases were recorded as defects. Other findings were that the actual work during the execution process is a high source of deviation for this sub-task (74%), while only 26% of the source of deviation was due to both design documentation and the actual work. These findings significantly imply that the study’s proposed classifications could be used to determine the pattern of each sub-task and develop proactive actions to overcome issues of sub-task deviations and defects.
An appropriate project delivery system (PDS) is crucial to the success of a construction projects. Case-based Reasoning (CBR) is a useful support for PDS selection. However, the traditional CBR approach represents cases as attribute-value vectors without taking relations among attributes into consideration, and could not calculate the similarity when the structures of cases are not strictly same. Therefore, this paper solves this problem by adopting the Relational Case-based Reasoning (RCBR) approach for PDS selection, considering both the structural similarity and feature similarity. To develop the feature terms of the construction projects, the criteria and factors governing PDS selection process are first identified. Then feature terms for the construction projects are developed. Finally, the mechanism of similarity calculation and a case study indicate how RCBR works for PDS selection. The adoption of RCBR in PDS selection expands the scope of application of traditional CBR method and improves the accuracy of the PDS selection system.
Optimal design of structure has a main role in reduction of material usage which leads to deduction in the final cost of construction projects. Evolutionary approaches are found to be more successful techniques for solving size and shape structural optimization problem since it uses a stochastic random search instead of a gradient search. By reviewing the recent literature works the problem found was the optimization of weight. A new meta-heuristic algorithm called as Cuckoo Search (CS) Algorithm has used for the optimization of the total weight of the truss structures. This paper has used set of 10 bars and 25 bars trusses for the testing purpose. The main objective of this work is to reduce the number of iterations, weight and the total time consumption. In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the present method, minimum weight design of truss structures is performed and the results of the CS are compared with other algorithms.
Preference for different conflict resolution styles is influenced by cultural background and power distance of two parties involving in conflict. This research put forward 7 hypotheses and tested the preference differences of the five conflict resolution styles between Chinese owner and contractor as well as the preference differences concerning the same style between two parties. The research sample includes 202 practitioners from construction enterprises in mainland China. Research result found that theories concerning conflict resolution styles could be applied in the Chinese construction industry. Some results of this research were not in line with former research, and this research also gave explanation to the differences from the characteristics of construction projects. Based on the findings, certain suggestions were made to serve as a guidance for managers to choose appropriate conflict resolution styles for a better handling of conflict.
Project management process starts from the planning stage up to the stage of completion (handover of buildings, preparation of the final accounts and the closing balance). Seeing as this process is not easy to be implemented efficiently and effectively, the issue of unsuccessful delivery as per contract in construction has become a major problem for construction projects. These issues have been blamed mainly on inefficient traditional construction practices that continue to dominate the current industry. This is due to several factors, such as environments of construction technology, sophisticated design and customer demand, that are constantly changing and influencing, either directly or indirectly, to the practice of management. Among the identified influences are physical environment, social environment, information environment, political and moral atmosphere. Therefore, this paper is emerged to determine the fundamental variables in the final account closing success in construction project. This aim can be achieved via its objectives of identifying the key constraints to the closing of final accounts in construction projects in Malaysia, investigating solutions to the identified constraints and analysing the relative levels of impact of the identified constraints. It is expected that this paper provides effective measures to avoid or at least reduce the problems in final account closing to the optimum level. It is also anticipated that the finding or outcome reported in this paper could address the unsuccessful contributors in final account closing and define tools for their mitigation for the better development of construction project.
Object-oriented simulation is considered one of the most sophisticated techniques that has been widely used in planning, designing, executing and maintaining construction projects. This technique enables the modeler to focus on objects which is extremely important for thorough understanding of a system. Thus, identifying an object is an essential point of building a successful simulation model. In a maintenance process an object is a maintenance work order (MWO). This study demonstrates a maintenance simulation model for the building maintenance division of Saudi Consolidated Electric Company (SCECO) in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. The model focused on both types of maintenance processes namely: (1) preventive maintenance (PM) and (2) corrective maintenance (CM). It is apparent from the findings that object-oriented simulation is a good diagnostic and experimental tool. This is because problems, limitations, bottlenecks and so forth are easily identified. These features are very difficult to obtain when using other tools.
Time-Cost Optimization "TCO" is one of the greatest challenges in construction project planning and control, since the optimization of either time or cost, would usually be at the expense of the other. Since there is a hidden trade-off relationship between project and cost, it might be difficult to predict whether the total cost would increase or decrease as a result of the schedule compression. Recently third dimension in trade-off analysis is taken into consideration that is quality of the projects. Few of the existing algorithms are applied in a case of construction project with threedimensional trade-off analysis, Time-Cost-Quality relationships. The objective of this paper is to presents the development of a practical software system; that named Automatic Multi-objective Typical Construction Resource Optimization System "AMTCROS". This system incorporates the basic concepts of Line Of Balance "LOB" and Critical Path Method "CPM" in a multi-objective Genetic Algorithms "GAs" model. The main objective of this system is to provide a practical support for typical construction planners who need to optimize resource utilization in order to minimize project cost and duration while maximizing its quality simultaneously. The application of these research developments in planning the typical construction projects holds a strong promise to: 1) Increase the efficiency of resource use in typical construction projects; 2) Reduce construction duration period; 3) Minimize construction cost (direct cost plus indirect cost); and 4) Improve the quality of newly construction projects. A general description of the proposed software for the Time-Cost-Quality Trade-Off "TCQTO" is presented. The main inputs and outputs of the proposed software are outlined. The main subroutines and the inference engine of this software are detailed. The complexity analysis of the software is discussed. In addition, the verification, and complexity of the proposed software are proved and tested using a real case study.