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Developing a construction management system based on lean construction and building information modelling

Dave, BA 2013, Developing a construction management system based on lean construction and building information modelling , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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This research aims at improving construction management through simultaneous implementation of Lean Construction and Building Information Modelling. Specifically, the area of production management and control is addressed by developing a prototype software system that supports Lean Construction processes and provides a visual interface through Building Information Modelling. The research addresses a practically relevant problem, and follows the Design Science Research method. The first stage of the research explores the problem area through the author’s own observation of industrial practice, and also through a literature review. At the broad level, a two-fold problem is identified; first the problems with the production management process itself, and second the problems with visualisation and management of the product model and its integration with the production management. At the fundamental level, it is found that many of these problems are linked with the deficient theory behind production, which is predominantly based on the “Transformation” view of production. Additionally, it is found that the previous attempts at solving the problems of construction management through information systems have only met with limited success as they mostly address the peripheral processes rather than the core area of production management. The second stage of the research explores and puts forward potential solutions to overcome the problems of production management. Lean Construction is identified as a partial solution to the production planning and control process. Specifically, the Last Planner SystemTM of production control is found to improve the productivity and efficiency of the production process by reducing variability, improving reliability and collaboration and introducing continuous improvement. At the same time, it is found that Building Information Modelling helps overcome many of the problems found with the traditional product management techniques (such as 2D and 3D CAD), by providing an object oriented, parametric and visual representation of the product. It is also found that the application of Building Information Modelling is relevant to all aspects of the construction process. Through a conceptual analysis, significant synergies between Lean Construction and Building Information Modelling are identified, with applications also spanning the entire construction lifecycle. Specific benefits to the production management process are also found, backed by empirical evidence. However, it is also found that the current Building Information Modelling systems do not fully support an integrated implementation of production management. This particular aspect of an integrated and visual system, which would support the core production management process, is identified as a potential solution area. The third stage of the research is dedicated to the design and development of a software system called VisiLean, which provides a collaborative planning and control platform, which is integrated with the Building Information Modelling platform, and which supports the production management process. A prototype system is developed through an iterative and incremental process, through simultaneous feedback, evaluation and review. The fourth stage of the research includes the evaluation of the VisiLean prototype through a demonstration and feedback process. At this stage, the design, development and evaluation process is analyzed and discussed. Finally, the contributions to the theory and the body of knowledge are identified, along with the suggestions for future development.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lean Construction, Building Information Modelling, Visual Management, Production Management, Process Improvement, The Last Planner System
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Built Environment Sustainability and Transformation (BEST)
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: BA Dave
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 17:46
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 01:13

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