Matching Items (26)

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33 Buckets: Distributing Clean Water in Bangladesh

Description

Bangladesh is facing one of the largest mass poisonings in human history with over 77 million people affected by contaminated water each and every day. Over the last few years,

Bangladesh is facing one of the largest mass poisonings in human history with over 77 million people affected by contaminated water each and every day. Over the last few years, the 33 Buckets team has come together to help fulfill this clean water need through filtration, education, and an innovative distribution system to inspire and empower people in Bangladesh and across the world. To start this process, we are working with the Rahima Hoque Girls' school in the rural area of Raipura, Bangladesh to give girls access to clean water where they spend the most time. Through our assessment trip in May 2012, we were able to acquire technical data, community input, and partnerships necessary to move our project forward. Additionally, we realized that in many cases, including the Rahima Hoque school, water problems are not caused by a lack of technology, but rather a lack of utilization and maintenance long-term. To remedy this, 33 Buckets has identified a local filter to have installed at the school, and has designed a small-scale business focused on selling clean water in bulk to the surrounding community. Our price point and association with the Rahima Hoque Girls' school makes our solution sustainable. Plus, with the success of our first site, we see the potential to scale. We already have five nearby schools interested in working to implement similar water projects, and with over 100,000 schools in Bangladesh, many of which lack access to the right water systems, we have a huge opportunity to impact millions of lives. This thesis project describes our journey through this process. First, an introduction to our work prior to the assessment trip and through the ASU EPICS program is given. Second, we include quantitative and qualitative details regarding our May 2012 assessment trip to the Rahima Hoque school and Dhaka. Third, we recount some of the experiences we were able to participate in following the trip to Bangladesh, including the Dell Social Innovation Challenge. Fourth, we examine the technical filtration methods, business model development, and educational materials that will be used to implement our solution this summer. Finally, we include an Appendix with a variety of social venture competitions and applications that we have submitted over the past two years, in addition to other supplementary materials. These are excellent examples of our diligence and provide unique insight into the growth of our project.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Analyzing Arizona OSHA Injury Reports Using Unsupervised Machine Learning

Description

As the construction continue to be a leading industry in the number of injuries and fatalities annually, several organizations and agencies are working avidly to ensure the number of injuries

As the construction continue to be a leading industry in the number of injuries and fatalities annually, several organizations and agencies are working avidly to ensure the number of injuries and fatalities is minimized. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is one such effort to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. Given the large databases of OSHA historical events and reports, a manual analysis of the fatality and catastrophe investigations content is a time consuming and expensive process. This paper aims to evaluate the strength of unsupervised machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) in supporting safety inspections and reorganizing accidents database on a state level. After collecting construction accident reports from the OSHA Arizona office, the methodology consists of preprocessing the accident reports and weighting terms in order to apply a data-driven unsupervised K-Means-based clustering approach. The proposed method classifies the collected reports in four clusters, each reporting a type of accident. The results show the construction accidents in the state of Arizona to be caused by falls (42.9%), struck by objects (34.3%), electrocutions (12.5%), and trenches collapse (10.3%). The findings of this research empower state and local agencies with a customized presentation of the accidents fitting their regulations and weather conditions. What is applicable to one climate might not be suitable for another; therefore, such rearrangement of the accidents database on a state based level is a necessary prerequisite to enhance the local safety applications and standards.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05-20

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Are Building Occupants Satisfied With Indoor Environmental Quality of Higher Education Facilities?

Description

Balancing energy performance and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) performance has become a conventional tradeoff in sustainable building design. In recognition of the impact IEQ performance has on the occupants of

Balancing energy performance and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) performance has become a conventional tradeoff in sustainable building design. In recognition of the impact IEQ performance has on the occupants of educational facilities, universities are increasingly interested in tracking the performance of their buildings. This paper highlights and quantifies several key factors that affect the occupant satisfaction of higher education facilities by comparing building performance of two campuses located in two different countries and environments. A total of 320 occupants participated in IEQ occupant satisfaction surveys, split evenly between the two campuses, to investigate their satisfaction with the space layout, space furniture, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, lighting level, acoustic quality, water efficiency, cleanliness and maintenance of the facilities they occupy. The difference in IEQ performance across the two campuses was around 17% which lays the foundation for a future study to explore the reasons behind this noticeable variation.

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Date Created
  • 2014-07-24

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Experimental Measurements of Power Output of a Cu/Cu2+ Thermogalvanic Brick using Effective Electrode Surface Area Alterations

Description

The research analyzes the transformation of wasted thermal energy into a usable form through thermogalvanic devices. This technology helps mitigate international growing energy demands. Building energy efficiency is a critical

The research analyzes the transformation of wasted thermal energy into a usable form through thermogalvanic devices. This technology helps mitigate international growing energy demands. Building energy efficiency is a critical research topic, since the loads account for 40% of all energy demand in developed nations, and 30% in less developed nations. A significant portion of the energy consumed for heating and cooling, where a majority is dissipated to the ambient as waste heat. This research answers how much power output (µW·cm-2) can the thermogalvanic brick experimentally produce from an induced temperature gradient? While there are multiple avenues for the initial and optimized prototype design, one key area of interest relating to thermogalvanic devices is the effective surface area of the electrodes. This report highlights the experimental power output measurements of a Cu/Cu2+ thermogalvanic brick by manipulating the effective surface area of the electrodes. Across three meshes, the maximum power output normalized for temperature was found to be between 2.13-2.87 x 10-3 μWcm-2K-2. The highest normalized power output corresponded to the mesh with the highest effective surface area, which was classified as the fine mesh. This intuitively aligned with the theoretical understanding of surface area and maximum power output, where decreasing the activation resistance also reduces the internal resistance, which increases the theoretical maximum power.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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The rigor of negotiation: why public private partnerships are effective

Description

Public Private Partnerships (PPP) have been in use for years in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and for a shorter time here in the United States. Typical PPP infrastructure projects

Public Private Partnerships (PPP) have been in use for years in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and for a shorter time here in the United States. Typical PPP infrastructure projects include a multi-year term of operation in addition to constructing the structural features to be used. Early studies are proving PPP delivery methods to be effective at construction cost containment. An examination of the key elements that constitute the early stage negotiation reveal that there is room for negotiation created by the governing documentation while maintaining a competitive environment that brings the best value available to the Public entity. This paper will examine why PPP's are effective during this critical construction period of the facilities life cycle. It is the intent of this study to examine why the features and outcomes of more or less negotiation and the degree of rigor associated with it.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Instantaneous project controls: current status, state of the art, benefits, and strategies

Description

Despite advancements in construction and construction-related technology, capital project performance deviations, typically overruns, remain endemic within the capital projects industry. Currently, management is generally unaware of the current status

Despite advancements in construction and construction-related technology, capital project performance deviations, typically overruns, remain endemic within the capital projects industry. Currently, management is generally unaware of the current status of their projects, and thus monitoring and control of projects are not achieved effectively. In an ever-increasing competitive industry landscape, the need to deliver projects within technical, budgetary, and schedule requirements becomes imperative to sustain a healthy return on investment for the project stakeholders. The fact that information lags within the capital projects industry has motivated this research to find practices and solutions that facilitate Instantaneous Project Controls (IPC).

The author hypothesized that there are specific practices that, if properly implemented, can lead to instantaneous controls of capital projects. It is also hypothesized that instantaneous project controls pose benefits to project performance. This research aims to find practices and identify benefits and barriers to achieving a real-time mode of control. To achieve these objectives, several lines of inquiry had to be pursued. A panel of 13 industry professionals and three academics collaborated on this research project. Two surveys were completed to map the current state of project control practices and to identify state-of-the-art or ideal processes. Ten case studies were conducted within and outside of the capital projects industry to identify practices for achieving real-time project controls. Also, statistical analyses were completed on retrospective data for completed capital projects in order to quantify the benefits of IPC. In conclusion, this research presents a framework for implementing IPC across the capital projects industry. The ultimate output from this research is procedures and recommendations that improve project controls processes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Developing a decision-making framework for market entry in the sheet metal construction industry

Description

Entering a new market in the construction industry is a complex task. Although many contractors have experienced the benefits of expanding their market offerings, many more have had unsuccessful

Entering a new market in the construction industry is a complex task. Although many contractors have experienced the benefits of expanding their market offerings, many more have had unsuccessful experiences causing hardship for the entire organization. Standardized decision-making processes can help to increase the likelihood of success, but few specialty contractors have taken the time to develop a formal procedure. According to this research, only 6 percent of survey respondents and 7 percent of case study participants from the sheet metal industry have a formal decision process. Five sources of data (existing literature, industry survey, semi-structured interviews, factor prioritization workshops, and expert panel discussions) are consulted to understand the current market entry decision-making practices and needs of the sheet metal industry. The data help to accomplish three study objectives: (1) determine the current processes and best practices used for market entry decision-making in the sheet metal industry, (2) identify motivations leading to market entry by sheet metal contractors, and (3) develop a standardized decision process that improves market entry decision outcomes. Grounded in a firm understanding of industry practices, a three-phased decision-making framework is created to provide a structured approach to guide contractors to an informed decision. Four industry leaders with over 175 years of experience in construction reviewed and applied every step of the framework to ensure it is practical and easy to use for contractors.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Innovative Delivery of Water Infrastructure Projects

Description

Water utilities across the United States are facing numerous challenges, such as limited funding and increasing project complexity, in constructing and upgrading their aging infrastructure. One innovative method to overcome

Water utilities across the United States are facing numerous challenges, such as limited funding and increasing project complexity, in constructing and upgrading their aging infrastructure. One innovative method to overcome these challenges is through the use of alternative project delivery methods (APDM), such as construction management at-risk (CMAR) and design-build (DB). Previous research has shown that APDM have the potential to deliver higher performing water infrastructure projects when compared to the traditional design-bid-build (DBB) method. However, there is a need to further examine APDM practices and develop tools that may support utilities in the delivery of their APDM water infrastructure projects. This study fills the knowledge gap by conducting several studies that may support public and private utilities in improving the delivery of their APDM water infrastructure projects. First, APDM implementation practices for water infrastructure projects are identified by assessing the state of practice, particularly during project procurement and execution. Second, DB project administration best practices are determined to support utilities seeking to add DB to their organization’s project delivery toolbox. Third, a pioneering web-based project delivery method decision-support tool was developed to aid utilities in selecting the appropriate delivery method for their water project. Finally, project-specific factors and attributes that impact project delivery performance are investigated through exploratory modeling and analysis. The study collected data on 75 completed treatment plant projects, conducted interviews with ten utilities that successfully deliver their water projects using DB, and worked closely with several industry experts through industry workshops and panels. Key findings related to water infrastructure project delivery revealed in this study included: (1) guaranteed maximum price (GMP) is the preferred compensation type for APDM projects; (2) utilities statistically having the lowest comfort level with delivering CMAR projects; (3) qualifications-based procurement is an effective DB project delivery practice; (4) the identification of 13 key project delivery method selection factors; and (5) the three highest predictors that impact unit cost performance are project complexity, project team chemistry and communication, and project size.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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

Description

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

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Contract Administration Functions and Tools for Design-Build and Construction Manager/General Contractor Project Delivery in U.S. Highway Construction

Description

The demand for new highway infrastructure, the need to repair aging infrastructure, and the drive to optimize public expenditures on infrastructure have led transportation agencies toward alternative contracting methods (ACMs)

The demand for new highway infrastructure, the need to repair aging infrastructure, and the drive to optimize public expenditures on infrastructure have led transportation agencies toward alternative contracting methods (ACMs) such as design-build (DB) and construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC). U.S. transportation agencies have substantial experience with traditional design-bid-build delivery. To promote ACMs, the Federal Highway Administration and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCRHP) have published ACM guidance documents. However, the published material and research tend to focus on pre-award activities. The need for guidance on ACM post-award activities is confirmed in NCHRP’s request for a guidebook focusing on ACM contract administration (NCHRP 2016).

This dissertation fills the crucial knowledge gap in contract administration functions and tools for DB and CM/GC highway project delivery. First, this research identifies and models contract administration functions in DBB, CM/GC, and DB using integrated definition modeling (IDEF0). Second, this research identifies and analyzes DB and CM/GC tools for contract administration by conducting 30 ACM project case studies involving over 90 ACM practitioners. Recommendations on appropriate use regarding project phase, complexity, and size were gathered from 16 ACM practitioners. Third, the alternative technical concepts tool was studied. Data from 30 DB projects was analyzed to explore the timing of DB procurement and DB initial award performance in relation to the project influence curve. Types of innovations derived from ATCs are discussed. Considerable industry input at multiple stages grounds this research in professional practice.

Results indicate that the involvement of the contractor during the design phase for both DB and CM/GC delivery creates unique contract administration functions that need unique tools. Thirty-six DB and CM/GC tools for contract administration are identified with recommendations for effective implementation. While strong initial award performance is achievable in DB projects, initial award performance in this sample of projects is only loosely tied to the level of percent base design at procurement. Cost savings typically come from multiple ATCs, and innovations tend to be incremental rather than systemic, disruptive, or radical. Opportunity for innovation on DB highway projects is influenced by project characteristics and engaging the DB entity after pre-project planning.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019