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Development of the project definition rating index (PDRI) for small industrial projects

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Project teams expend substantial effort to develop scope definition during the front end planning phase of large, complex projects, but oftentimes neglect to sufficiently plan for small projects. An industry survey administered by the author showed that small projects make

Project teams expend substantial effort to develop scope definition during the front end planning phase of large, complex projects, but oftentimes neglect to sufficiently plan for small projects. An industry survey administered by the author showed that small projects make up 70-90 percent (by count) of all projects in the industrial construction sector, the planning of these project varies greatly, and that a consistent definition of “small industrial project” did not exist. This dissertation summarizes the motivations and efforts to develop a non-proprietary front end planning tool specifically for small industrial projects, namely the Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) for Small Industrial Projects. The author was a member of Construction Industry Institute (CII) Research Team 314, who was tasked with developing the tool in May of 2013. The author, together with the research team, reviewed, scrutinized and adapted an existing industrial-focused FEP tool, the PDRI for Industrial Projects, and other resources to develop a set of 41 specific elements relevant to the planning of small industrial projects. The author supported the facilitation of five separate industry workshops where 65 industry professionals evaluated the element descriptions, and provided element prioritization data that was statistically analyzed and used to develop a weighted score sheet that corresponds to the element descriptions. The tool was tested on 54 completed and in-progress projects, the author’s analysis of which showed that small industrial projects with greater scope definition (based on the tool’s scoring scheme) outperformed projects with lesser scope definition regarding cost performance, schedule performance, change performance, financial performance, and customer satisfaction. Moreover, the author found that users of the tool on in-progress projects overwhelmingly agreed that the tool added value to their projects in a timeframe and manner consistent with their needs, and that they would continue using the tool in the future. The author also developed an index-based selection guide to aid PDRI users in choosing the appropriate tool for use on an industrial project based on distinguishing project size with indicators of project complexity. The final results of the author’s research provide several contributions to the front end planning, small projects, and project complexity bodies of knowledge.

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Date Created
2015

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Analysis of the state of practice and best practices for alternative project delivery methods in the transportation design and construction industry

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Alternative Project Delivery Methods (APDMs), namely Design Build (DB) and Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), grew out of the need to find a more efficient project delivery approach than the traditional Design Bid Build (DBB) form of delivery. After decades

Alternative Project Delivery Methods (APDMs), namely Design Build (DB) and Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), grew out of the need to find a more efficient project delivery approach than the traditional Design Bid Build (DBB) form of delivery. After decades of extensive APDM use, there have been many studies focused on the use of APDMs and project outcomes. Few of these studies have reached a level of statistical significance to make conclusive observations about APDMs. This research effort completes a comprehensive study for use in the horizontal transportation construction market, providing a better basis for decisions on project delivery method selection, improving understanding of best practices for APDM use, and reporting outcomes from the largest collection of APDM project data to date. The study is the result of an online survey of project owners and design teams from 17 states representing 83 projects nationally. Project data collected represents almost six billion US dollars. The study performs an analysis of the transportation APDM market and answers questions dealing with national APDM usage, motivators for APDM selection, the relation of APDM to pre-construction services, and the use of industry best practices. Top motivators for delivery method selection: the project schedule or the urgency of the project, the ability to predict and control cost, and finding the best method to allocate risk, as well as other factors were identified and analyzed. Analysis of project data was used to compare to commonly held assumptions about the project delivery methods, confirming some assumptions and refuting others. Project data showed that APDM projects had the lowest overall cost growth. DB projects had higher schedule growth. CMAR projects had low design schedule growth but high construction schedule growth. DBB showed very little schedule growth and the highest cost growth of the delivery methods studied. Best practices in project delivery were studied: team alignment, front end planning, and risk assessment were identified as practices most critical to project success. The study contributes and improves on existing research on APDM project selection and outcomes and fills many of the gaps in research identified by previous research efforts and industry leaders.

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Date Created
2014

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Performance of the construction manager at risk (CMAR) delivery method applied to pipeline construction projects

Description

Much of the water and wastewater lines in the United States are nearing the end of their useful life. A significant reinvestment is needed in the upcoming decades to replace or rehabilitate the water and wastewater infrastructure. Currently, the traditional

Much of the water and wastewater lines in the United States are nearing the end of their useful life. A significant reinvestment is needed in the upcoming decades to replace or rehabilitate the water and wastewater infrastructure. Currently, the traditional method for delivering water and wastewater pipeline engineering and construction projects is design-bid-build (DBB). The traditional DBB delivery system is a sequential low-integration process and can lead to inefficiencies and adverse relationships between stakeholders. Alternative project delivery methods (APDM) such as Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) have been introduced to increase stakeholder integration and ultimately enhance project performance. CMAR project performance impacts have been studied in the horizontal and vertical construction industries. However, the performance of CMAR projects in the pipeline engineering and construction industry has not been quantitatively studied.

The dissertation fills this gap in knowledge by performing the first quantitative analysis of CMAR performance on pipeline engineering and construction projects. This study’s two research objectives are:

(1) Develop a CMAR baseline of commonly measured project performance metrics

(2) Statistically compare the cost and schedule performance of CMAR to that of the traditional DBB delivery method

A thorough literature review led to the development of a data collection survey used in conjunction with structured interviews to gather qualitative and quantitative performance data from 66 completed water and wastewater pipeline projects. Performance data analysis was conducted to provide performance benchmarks for CMAR projects and to compare the performance of CMAR and DBB.

This study provides the first CMAR performance benchmark for pipeline engineering and construction projects. The results span across seven metrics in four performance areas (cost, schedule, project change, and communication). Pipeline projects delivered using CMAR have a median cost and schedule growth of -5% and 5.10%, respectively. These results are significantly improved from DBB baseline performance shown in other industries. To verify this, a statistical analysis was done to compare the cost and schedule performance of CMAR to similar DBB pipeline projects. The results show that CMAR pipeline projects are being delivered with 6.5% less cost growth and with 12.5% less schedule growth than similar DBB projects, providing owners with increased certainty when delivering their pipeline projects.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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Quantifying the impact of incentives on cost and schedule performance of construction projects in United States

Description

In today's era a lot of the construction projects suffer from time delay, cost overrun and quality defect. Incentive provisions are found to be a contracting strategy to address this potential problem. During last decade incentive mechanisms have gained importance,

In today's era a lot of the construction projects suffer from time delay, cost overrun and quality defect. Incentive provisions are found to be a contracting strategy to address this potential problem. During last decade incentive mechanisms have gained importance, and they are starting to become adopted in the construction projects. Most of the previous research done in this area was purely qualitative, with a few quantitative studies. This study aims to quantify the performance of incentives in construction by collecting the data from more than 30 projects in United States through a questionnaire survey. First, literature review addresses the previous research work related to incentive types, incentives in construction industry, incentives in other industry and benefits of incentives. Second, the collected data is analyzed with statistical methods to test the significance of observed changes between two data sets i.e. incentive projects and non-incentive projects. Finally, the analysis results provide evidence for the significant impact of having incentives; reduced the cost and schedule growth in construction projects in United States.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015