BIM-enabled recommendations for digital handover process in the highways sector

Bayar, MS 2019, BIM-enabled recommendations for digital handover process in the highways sector , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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An efficient maintenance of the UK’s highways network is of critical importance to the country’s economy and among the top priorities of the government and public agencies (e.g. Highways England). The public highways agencies have huge data sets related to asset management and maintenance. However, those data sets are usually held in disparate platforms and have been historically developed using multiple standards and formats. As a result, full value of such data is often not fully realized. The highways construction sector is having major issues related to information losses, duplication of work and unreliable asset information due to disparate formats and archives. Effective management of asset data and availability of reliable information as and when needed could bring in key benefits for effective management of the highways network.

Hence, timely mandate of UK Government’s BIM Level 2 use in all the public construction projects is targeting to ensure smoother transition of information from project design and construction to maintenance and operation phases of highways infrastructure assets. Implementation of Building Information Modelling can streamline asset management by enabling evaluation of overall sustainability (i.e. economic, social and environmental) of projects, and assisting facility managers to make informed decisions about the facility by providing accurate up-to-date life cycle information.

Although the concept of BIM has been around for years, its integration into the Highways sector has been relatively slow when compared to Building sector. This study investigates the current status of Building Information Modelling implementation within the Highways development projects with an intention to identify areas of issues and challenges to inform future projects for improved data management for asset handover. Current literature highlights that there is little research has been done in the highways sector in terms of newly adopted BIM workflows. The role of clients is crucial to lead the projects. They have to understand the adopted process with its dynamics hence they need clear guidance on how to effectively lead the projects. Therefore, this research aimed at developing BIM- enabled recommendations to improve data management in highways civil infrastructure handover practices for highways sector clients in the UK.

To achieve this aim, a critical review of the literature on highways construction industry, data handover practices and BIM was undertaken. The researcher explored the current barriers in the highways industry relating to asset maintenance and data management, as well as data handover challenges, effects and relevance of BIM implementation to manage the asset lifecycle. The research adopts multi-case study approach within the highways construction development projects in the UK. The research acquires qualitative approach to have an in depth understanding of state-of-the-art in practice. The research took an interpretivist and value-laden approach and conducted 15 semi-structured interviews to collect data from the case studies as well as document analysis and observation. By applying so, the researcher investigated major causes of loss of data, as well as maturity levels of BIM and its benefits, and challenges for its implementation.

The collected data from the qualitative study was analysed, a cross-case study analysis was provided as well as the individual case study analysis. The critical aspects affecting the highways schemes were identified. To achieve the product of the research, the challenges of data handover in the highways construction industry further categorized into four main groups namely process, people, commercial/contractual and data/knowledge transfer. Further, to validate the developed recommendations the researcher conducted a focus group discussion with 12 built environment experts. The recommendations were validated and enriched with the expert views.

The research concluded that there is a meaningful relationship between BIM maturity and the success of the data management process in the highways construction. That means, the success of the data management mainly relies on the effective implementation of BIM.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Aziz, ZUH (Supervisor) and Biscaya, S (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Depositing User: MS Bayar
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2019 12:51
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 09:20

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