Al Ahbabi, MSM
Process protocol for the implementation of integrated project delivery in the UAE: A client perspective
, PhD thesis, University of Salford.
The design, construction and commissioning of construction projects have been repeatedly mentioned as fragmented and inefficient. Much of the waste that is generated throughout the lifecycle of a building is mainly related to project stakeholders not having access to information that others have created. Most recently, there has been a focus on creating and reusing digital project information, throughout the lifecycle, to facilitate the exchange of information, which includes Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). The “low hanging fruit” advantage of BIM models is based on the production of coordinated and clash- free designs along which provide the ability to visualise building information in 3D. However, greater benefits can be achieved if organisations embrace BIM development into their work practices that can lead to higher levels of collaboration between project stakeholders. This can only be achieved through client-led initiatives, supported by clear and effective management tools, to manage change throughout the design and construction process.
The aim of this research is to develop a process protocol for the successful implementation of IPD in client organisations using BIM as the main vehicle to control and manage the integration process. The research focuses on the identification of high level processes and their inter-relationships, which could provide guidance to client organisations on how to implement and manage IPD effectively.
Three multi-storey buildings, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), were selected as case studies. The first case was used as an exploratory study to validate the suitability of the proposed process protocol for the UAE’s local experiences and conditions, which has suffered from long delays and high cost overrun. As a “control case”, the study aimed to discover and investigate the real reasons behind the delays, their causes and how they could have been addressed adequately if BIM and IPD had been adopted. Case studies two and three involved on-going projects that implemented BIM from the early stages of the design phases but with different level of collaboration among the project stakeholders and were selected to ensure that the proposed process protocol is effective and can be implemented at different levels of collaboration, particularly in competitive tendering environments. Questionnaires were developed and semi-structured interviews were conducted with the client’s representatives, consultants and contractors focused on validating the various components of the process protocol throughout a project’s lifecycle.
The study shows that there is a lack of collaborative environment between various project stakeholders. Although the use of BIM has proven to be an effective tool, the success of collaboration can only be achieved with strong client leadership, trust and shared risk and rewards. However, local culture and contractual frameworks were found to be a major hurdle in achieving this aim. Client’s Legal Department can create and approve new type of contracts with the assistance of specially created BIM Office and Project Department. Client can take the driving seat by setting up a client committee to continuously review and monitor the project progress and to ensure that the proposed client’s requirements, plans and BIM strategy are accommodated in the project brief. With the presence of BIM, identifying BIM capabilities at early stage of the project are very important where the existence BIM management services were found to add a significant value to the successful implementation of BIM/IPD. Based on the University of Salford’s process protocol, this research produced a seven-phase process protocol, starting from strategy setting to operation (FM), to help client organisations to successfully adopt BIM/IPD. The process protocol is found to be the easiest tool, among others, to communicate the various roles and responsibilities to project stakeholders and ensures a strong client leadership is exercised throughout the design and construction process.
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