1B: New Tech and New Teams: Industry trends in working together with data

Building Information Models, Energy Modeling, and Life Cycle Analysis: design, construction and operational practices are awash in new ways to develop and analyze new construction and renovations.  Model information and data are distributed across the project team, requiring teams to collaborate in new ways and develop new decision-making processes that rely upon complex and sophisticated understanding of these tools and the analysis they produce. This session grapples with tensions between historical team organizational norms and the current information needs of these new analytical tools.  This session will investigate how owners can help firms efficiently and effectively integrate new information sharing technologies into the workplace, how AEC teams know what information is important to share with owners and make it meaningful and

Panel Lead

Carrie Sturts Dossick is a Professor of Construction Management at the University of Washington, College of Built Environment and Executive Director, Center for Education and Research in Construction (CERC). Dr. Dossick has over a decade of research and teaching experience primarily focused on emerging collaboration methods and technologies such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM). She is an active member of both the National Institute of Building Sciences and buildingSMART Alliance. Current research projects include technology and collaboration strategies for green building design and construction; global team collaboration with Virtual Reality; operations applications of BIM and facilities data in maintenance management and life cycle planning; and rebaselining BIM and asset data for existing buildings.


Implementing Digital Visualization Technology within Construction Education: A Pedagogical Intervention
Kacie Shull, Colorado State University

Construction continues to evolve educational practice through advances in digital visualization (DV) technology. Research has shown that DV impacts users by facilitating productive and efficient communication between stakeholders in the built environment.  DV tools give AEC professionals and building end-users more accessible information while promoting 3D configuration rather than multiple 2D drawings.  Developing 3D visualization skills in construction poses a challenge for instructors at all levels of AEC education.  This is particularly true for workforce development programs comprised of nontraditional students and displaced workers.  This research describes the pedagogical approach for implementing DV technology to enhance 3D reasoning.  A series of train-the-trainer sessions were held at four community colleges in Florida to empower workforce development instructors with the digital visualization tools required to teach 3D reasoning.

Mental Models Approach for Stakeholder Decision Making in Emergency Response Construction
Heta Kosonen, University of Washington

Emergency response construction typically occurs in dynamic conditions, where project stakeholders need to make fast decisions with limited project data. This presentation will discuss findings from a NSF-funded field study on wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) construction in the Azraq refugee camp, Jordan. The research group interviewed stakeholders in various project phases and used a mental model approach to investigate the external and internal factors that impacted their decision-making. The findings of the exploratory study indicate that interruptions and delays in data transfer between the remote construction site and stakeholder offices both in Jordan and abroad were contributing largely to the late completion of the Azraq WWTP. The researchers suggest that future emergency response efforts would benefit from more flexible decision-making and less hierarchical communication structures, and believe that increased application of  mobile inspection and project communication technologies would facilitate emergency response project delivery.

BIM to Facilities Management: A Workflow for Information Exchange
Alireza Borhani, University of Washington

Large institutional owners face a daunting task of assessing the condition of their facilities and forecasting maintenance and replacement costs of these assets. Computerized systems, generally known as Asset Management Systems (AMS) are emerging in the market that provide maintenance budget forecasts based on building inventory data and conditions assessment. The main challenge that large institutional owners face is known to be how to efficiently develop asset inventories that form the basis for AMS calculations. In response, the research team developed a workflow for Building Information Modeling (BIM) data transfer to AMS used for facility management (FM). This work provides a way for owners to leverage legacy BIM data to create building inventories or to specify BIM deliverables that will provide asset data for their intended AMS. This study presents applied experimental research that developed a BIM to FM-AMS workflow as a proven practice that leads to sustainable facility management. The study results indicate that information exchange should require classification systems to utilize a consistent language between BIM systems. In addition, this research presents a workflow for understanding factors that impact BIM interoperability and for taking steps required for a successful BIM information exchange. The study results are expected to support owners and facility managers to understand the logic behind BIM information exchange practices so that they can adopt the best practice that fits the needs and goals of their organization.

Record Modeling Process and Specification
Bita Astaneh Asl, University of Washington

Record Models represent the physical as-built conditions of a project used mainly for facility management and future renovation. Record Models are used in the industry for the high value it delivers to the owner, as it can be kept live to reflect the current conditions and be linked to the facility management system. The University of Washington (UW) team at the Center for Education and Research in Construction Management (CERC) was contracted to conduct research to establish Record Model criteria and develop Record Modeling process based on the needs of Sound Transit, the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority. The UW team conducted a literature review to investigate current industry Record Modeling practices and reviewed the current As-built process at Sound Transit, completing the project with drafted template contract language for Record Modeling. This presentation will summarize the UW team’s effort and their research results, highlighting Record Modeling challenges.

Speaker Bios

Kacie Shull has a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a concentration in interior design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and is pursuing a Masters degree in construction management at Colorado State University. Kacie is also a graduate researcher for a grant called TRAMCON. Working with TRAMCON, her responsibilities include making Revit 3D models of pre-fab homes and presenting them in a way to help future learning in the higher education curriculum.


Heta Kosonen is a construction engineering PhD student at University of Washington. She received her BS and MS from Aalto University in Finland and has a professional background in water and wastewater engineering. Her dissertation research looks into the construction and operation of wastewater treatment facilities during emergency response and aims to identify external and internal factors that impact expert decisions during crisis.




Ali Borhani is a research analyst at the department of Construction Management, University of Washington. Ali’s research interests are in 1. Building Information Modeling (BIM) implementations and data interoperability as well as 2. Sustainability including energy efficiency and high performance buildings. His specialty is in developing guidelines and workflows for industry organizations to achieve smart practices. Ali graduated with a JBSc. degree in civil engineering from the Bergische University Wuppertal (BUW), Germany and a MSc. degree in construction management from the University of Washington (UW), USA. During the past years, he has participated in R&D projects with different organizations such as Skanska, USA Inc., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and UW Capital Projects Office.

Bita Astaneh Asl is a Ph.D. candidate in construction engineering at the department of Civil Engineering, and works as a research assistant at the Construction Management department, University of Washington. Bita’s research interests are in 1. Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie) implementation, 2. Utilization of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in AEC industry, 3. Studying visualization impact on team collaboration and decision making. Bita graduated with a BSc. degree in civil engineering from K.N. Toosi University of Technology (KNTU), Iran. She has a MSc. degree in geotechnical engineering from KNTU, Iran and a MSc. degree in construction engineering from the University of Washington (UW), USA. During the past years, she has participated in research projects with different organizations such as UW Capital Projects Office, Sound Transit, and PEER, and worked in construction industry to gain practical skills and knowledge.