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Slow and steady wins the safety race!

This animation recreates the real-life story of a roofer who ruptured his Achilles tendon while maneuvering a heavily loaded cart.  Three solutions are recommended with embedded scientific evidence showing that even a simple solution like team pulling could have prevented this injury.  The moral of the Tortoise and the Hare is embedded in the animation to remind audiences to pay attention to the danger of ergonomic hazards.

National Academy of Construction: Ask Me Anything series

National Academy of Construction Logo

The National Academy of Construction (NAC) will hold three Ask Me Anything (AMA) webinars for high school and college students with interest in the design & construction industry. Each AMA features one NAC member who will discuss their careers and answer questions from students. Students who submit a question are eligible to win one of three $500 scholarships.

Faculty: Please register your class using the NAC AMA Class Registration Form.
Students: Please register using the NAC AMA Student Registration Form.

Dynamic production scheduling model under due date uncertainty in precast concrete construction.

Journal of Cleaner Production 257, 120527

Abstract: Precast concrete structures (PCs) are widely used in the construction industry to reduce project delivery times and improve quality. On-time delivery of PCs is critical for successful project completion because the processes involving precast concrete are the critical paths in most cases. However, existing models for scheduling PC production are not adequate for use in dynamic environments where construction projects have uncertain construction schedules because of various reasons such as poor labor productivity, inadequate equipment, and poor weather. This research proposes a dynamic model for PC production scheduling by adopting a discrete-time simulation method to respond to due date changes in real time and by using a new dispatching rule that considers the uncertainty of the due dates to minimize tardiness.

Authored by:  Taehoon Kim, Yong-Woo Kim, and Hunhee Cho

Impact of Empowering Front-Line Managers on Planning Reliability & Project Schedule Performance

Journal of Management in Engineering 36 (3), 04020004

Abstract: This study applies empowerment theory to production planning at the level of frontline managers in a construction project. Using structural equation modeling, we investigate how empowering frontline managers impacts their planning performance. In contrast to prior studies, we find that although psychological empowerment of frontline managers has no direct effect on their production planning reliability or scheduling performance, it has an indirect effect on planning reliability and scheduling performance, as long as the organization supports empowerment structurally during production planning. This implies that a project manager should provide frontline managers at the operational level with proper formal and informal authority over workflow development, shielding, and resource allocation when planning production in order to enhance job performance through psychological empowerment.

Authored by:  Yong-Woo Kim and Byong-Duk Rhee

Impact of Make-Ready Process on Project Cost Performance in Heavy Civil

Production Planning & Control 30 (13), 1064-1071

Abstract:  The research investigates the relationship between the production plan reliability and the project cost performance using project data in the heavy civil construction sector.  The research also investigates the attributes of a make-ready process using statistical analysis.  This study shows that production planning reliability (i.e. Per cent Constraint Removal (PCR) and Per cent Plan Complete (PPC)) and project cost performance (CPI) are significantly correlated in the heavy construction projects.  The findings show that there is a more significant correlation between production planning reliability and project cost performance in project-scaled data than in monthly scaled data.  They suggest that there is a time-lag between when the variance of workflow occurs and when the workflow variance impacts on the project cost performance.

Authored by:  Yong-Woo Kim

Funding:  This study was supported by P. D. Koon Endowed Fund and Construction Industry Institute under Grant RT-271.

Prevention through Design (PtD) for Solar-Ready Houses

Supported by CPWR–The Center for Construction Research and Training (, a UW CM research team recently completed a funded study regarding Prevention through Design (PtD) for Solar.  The team consisted of Prof. Hyun Woo “Chris” Lee (PI), Prof. John Gambatese (Co-PI, Oregon State University), and Yohan Min (UW PhD student researcher).  The study aims to support designers to apply PtD to new solar-ready houses by providing an easy-to-use PtD design checklist and BIM models.
This study was developed based on a 2017 CPWR study (, aimed at applying PtD to solar systems on existing houses. Combined together, the results of the two studies are expected to provide:
  1. A proof-of-concept for designer-involved PtD practice that supports the design of green buildings, and
  2. A comprehensive set of guidance documents for worker safety related to solar power in residential construction.

Preview Key Findings Here

Professor Dossick receives Pathfinder Award

The Engineering Project Organization Society presented Prof. Carrie Dossick with the Pathfinder Award on June 27, 2019, at their annual conference in Vail, Colorado. This is the highest honor of the society, and it is in recognition of work with high impact and influence. Professor Dossick reflects that, “It was very meaningful for me to get this recognition. I hold this community in very high regard and they push me to do my best scholarship.  They have also given me to courage to work on the perimeter of engineering research and do work that is very much outside of the mainstream with a focus on design, construction, and operations of buildings and infrastructure. I accepted this award with heartfelt gratitude for the community and am very honored to be recognized as a pathfinder that may be an inspiration for others.”

EPOS is a society of scholars who combine engineering and social science methods to address the challenges that face project managers in the built environment. Academics and practitioners in this society address national and international projects through the lenses of governance, organization, project management and technology. The journal of this community is now online with Messy Talk and Clean Technology being one of Prof. Dossick’s recognized articles. Congratulations Prof. Dossick on this achievement and recognition!

Digital Fabrication for Concrete Formwork

Project Funded by:  Turner Construction
CERC Applied Research Fellowship
Faculty Advisor:  Carrie Sturts Dossick
Ph.D. Canddiate:  Sadra Fardhosseini
Turner Partners:  Renzo DiFuria, Sean Beatty

“Digital fabrication is an emerging approach to transforming design to physical products. While a number of studies have been carried out to highlight the use of digital technologies in construction, there is still a dearth of studies focused on design-to-fabrication workflows for concrete formwork in construction projects. In response, the overarching goal of this study is to develop a design-to-fabrication workflow using digital models and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines with a focus on formwork fabrication. The specific objectives are to (1) develop a detailed workflow from the design phase of formwork to the fabrication phase, and (2) develop automated procedures to support the workflow without extensive manual intervention. This workflow integrates Virtual Design and Construction (VDC), trade coordination, parametric modeling, software customization, tool path development, and CNC routing in order to produce precise prefabricated formwork components. To test and validate the workflow, the research team will use a case study for the prefabrication of cast-in-place concrete structural and architectural elements. The case study shows that the use of the workflow for CNC machines supports craftsmanship to improve labor productivity, safety, and fabrication quality. The results demonstrate the advantages of using this workflow over the traditional approach to support project teams’ productivity and enable them to make informed decisions for their implementation of digital fabrication.”

Lean and Safety Manual

On June 6, Professor Chris Lee presented a “Lean and Safety Manual” to AGC (Associated General Contractors) member companies at the AGC-WA Building. Funded by WA State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), the manual is the final product of his research project, entitled “Develop a Lean Practice Manual for Improving the Safety of Electrical Construction Workers”. This project specifically aimed to identify best practices when implementing lean construction techniques and tools to improve worker safety, as applicable to electrical contractors.

View the manual here

Construction Industry Advisory Council

Jeff Arviso, Kiewit
Sam Baker, Jr., Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker
Mike Bell, Sound Transit
Kurt Boyd, Valley Electric
Tamara Butler, MCA of Western Washington
Gary Chubb, Swinerton
John Claeys, Parker, Smith & Feek
Brice Cobean, Valley Electric
Jamie Creek, ABC/Rafn Company
Shanna Dennis, Sellen Construction
Kevin Eng, GLY Construction
Bruce Eskeberg, Exxel Pacific
Sonja Forster, AGC of Washington
Tara Harrington, Howard S Wright
Rick Hermanson, Hermanson Construction
Mike Holmes, Holmes Electric
Andrew Johnson, Lydig
Brian Jones, Sequoyah Electric
Eric Jones, Foushee
Ian Klein, Turner Construction
Steve Klimek, Redhawk Group
Diane Kocer, AGC Education Foundation
Phil Lovell, Retired
Dan Peyovich, Howard S Wright
Tristan Rynning, MacDonald-Miller
Barry Sherman, NECA Puget Sound Chapter
Tristie Tajima, Skanska USA
Bill Thordarson, Bain Associates
Bob Vincent, Hoffman Construction
George Ward, Aldrich + Associates
Rob Warnaca, Mortenson
Evanne Webster, Lease Crutcher Lewis
Mark Webster, MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions