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Through the study of visualizations, virtual worlds, and information exchange, our research reveals the complex connections between technology and the work of design and construction. Our studies focused on architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) teams as they grappled with adapting work practices to new technologies and the opportunities these technologies promise. Over the past decade, as new information technologies have been introduced to the AEC industry, they have been in tension with established norms of practice, including those set up by contractual standards and case law (e.g., the separation of design intent from construction means and methods) as well as social and organizational norms that frame team member expectations about how they should engage with others on a project. We argue that technology alone does not change practice. People who modify practices with and through technology create innovation.
In this talk we will touch on three lines of research. First, in studying the emergent use of technologies such as Building Information Modeling and Energy Modeling, we found that these new analytical tools required experts to come together in dialog to both create meaningful output and to understand the ramifications of the results that guided decision-making in design and construction teams. When we studied distributed AEC teams, we found that new visualization tools are additional ways of seeing design ideas and communicating analysis. These tools are not replacing traditional forms of representation (2D drawings) and interaction (sketching), but adding to the multiplicity of media available for design and construction work. Furthermore, sketching and gestures are essential practices to support productive AEC team interaction. These interactions are where team members discover and explain problems and vet new design proposals with multiple disciplines. Third and finally, we explore the processes of repair and breakdown in the context of information exchange. As we have studied the efforts to exchange data from Building Information Modeling to facilities management databases (e.g., computerized maintenance management systems or enterprise asset management systems), we have discovered the work that is required to get the data to “work.” This confirms emerging understanding from the broader area of critical data studies: Data are not absolute; they are constructed. Data have their own logic and structure. Whether it is a BIM manager looking to consolidate subcontractor’s models, an energy modeler seeking to improve building performance, or an operations engineer looking to use design documents, it takes reflection, creativity, patience, and expertise to make tools work and create new ways of working that leverage technology for more effective and innovative collaboration and communication.
Dr. Carrie Sturts Dossick, P.E. and Dr. Laura Osburn
In this report, we introduce rebaselining as a workflow for collecting and verifying data for existing assets based on evolving or emerging data needs or changes in the status of assets. We conducted two action research projects in two public owner organizations in the U.S. to explore the rebaselining tasks that owners need to define and the decisions they need to make t o mitigate the challenges of collecting data for existing assets. This study frames rebaselining in four phases: 1) preparing technology enablers, 2) collecting asset data from existing documents, 3) field verification, and 4) updating asset management databases. The results of this work set the foundation for implementing rebaselining workflows and technologies by (1) mapping rebaselining business processes in each phase, (2) listing technological affordances required in these processes, and (3) showing how practitioners can customize and leverage conventional information modeling platforms to implement rebaselining workflows.
Hamid Abdirad, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Construction Management
Carrie Sturts Dossick, Ph.D. P.E.
This PowerPoint presentation was created for the WSBA Construction Law Section–Annual Dinner and CLE. Learning objectives include:
- BIM definition
- BIM history
- Common current uses
- BIM Execution Planning
- Contracts and Data Requirement Specifications
- Hands on Demonstrations
Project cost estimating is an important part of construction project management. Traditionally, estimators use project drawings and specifications to create quantity takeoffs (QTO) and subsequently calculate sub/total costs based on their judgments and historical cost information.During the past decade, BIM practitioners in academia and industry have aimed to leverage BIM capabilities for cost estimating to overcome the current challenges. The result is BIM-enabled methods for QTO and cost estimation also known as Model-Based Estimating (MBEst). However, the effectiveness of MBEst has been limited mainly due to a lack of standard MBEst workflows and a lack of integration between design development and cost estimating processes. In response, the intent of this technical report is to make a comprehensive review of model-based QTO/estimating and to provide a standard method for BIM experts to adopt and implement MBEst.
This report is a product of a study led by Prof. Carrie Sturts Dossick, Director of the Center for Education and Research in Construction (CERC) and Faculty lead in the Communication Technology and Organizational Practices Research Group (CTOP) at the University of Washington and Assistant Professor Hyun Woo Lee in the Department of Construction Management. The research team included Alireza Borhani (Research Analyst, University of Washington), and Dr. Laura Osburn (CERC Research Scientist, University of Washington).
This technical report presents a review of current Record Modeling practices in the building sector of the construction industry. Our Center for Education and Research in Construction (CERC) research team collected and reviewed Record Modeling specifications from large public and private institutional owners from across the U.S. These specification documents consisted of published Building Information Modeling (BIM) guidelines, contract specifications, and BIM Project Execution Planning documents. This report summarizes the results of our findings and online resources to Record Model BIM guides used for Design-Intent Record Models and As-built Construction Record Models.
This report is a product of a study led by Prof. Carrie Sturts Dossick, Director of the Center for Education and Research in Construction (CERC) and Faculty lead in the Communication Technology and Organizational Practices Research Group (CTOP) at the University of Washington. The research team included Bita Astaneh Asl (PhD, University of Washington), and Dr. Laura Osburn (CERC, University of Washington).
This report features an applied research consortia project that analyzed the potential value of VR for operations staff training. To accomplish this task, the project team developed a Virtual Environment (VE) for the West Campus Utility Plant on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus. We used this VE to compare conventional switchgear training with VR switchgear training, observing an operator’s interactions and movement in VR and through a questionnaire. We report our findings and recommendations for future research.
This report is a product of a an applied research consortia project at the Center for Education and Research in Construction and Mortenson Construction. Project collaborators included Devarshi Patel (MA, University of Washington), Marc Kinsman (Mortenson), Ryan Trickett (Mortenson), John Baker (Mortenson), and Prof. Carrie Sturts Dossick, Director of the Center for Education and Research in Construction (CERC) and Faculty lead in the Communication Technology and Organizational Practices Research Group (CTOP) at the University of Washington.
This report is the culmination of several years of research about collaboration with BIM and integrated design and construction teams, as well as a synthesis of best practices from Skanska professionals.
Our study focused on construction management and owner/developer perspectives; however, many of the collaborative techniques are relevant to all parties in an integrated project—those who lead teams as well as those who are on these teams. For collaboration to improve between designers and builders, it is important to help the team see the value of collaboration and the purpose for information exchange. When a project is risky, open communication through a collaborative culture drives clarity and certainty, where teams develop a better understanding of the project process at all levels.
We provide a series of guidelines and tested practices as to how to:
- collaborate effectively with owner representatives, designers, and contractors
- create a project team culture that supports information exchange
- lead an integrated project in the AEC industry
This guideline is a product of a study conducted with the support of a 2014-2015 Skanska Innovation Grant Award. This effort was led by Prof. Carrie Sturts Dossick, Director of the Center for Education and Research in Construction (CERC) and Faculty lead in the Communication Technology and Organizational Practices Research Group (CTOP) at the University of Washington. The research team included Omid Parsaei (MS, University of Washington), Dr. Laura Osburn (CERC, University of Washington) and Prof. Renee Cheng (University of Minnesota).