Content Analysis of University Project Guidelines Identifying Project Stakeholder's Focus for the Continuous Improvement of University Project Guidelines

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Description
ABSTRACT Upon joining Arizona State University in July 2017, the author, a registered architect, inherited the oversight of the University Project Design Guidelines. During the following four years, revisions were made to the Project Design Guidelines and implemented

ABSTRACT Upon joining Arizona State University in July 2017, the author, a registered architect, inherited the oversight of the University Project Design Guidelines. During the following four years, revisions were made to the Project Design Guidelines and implemented for ongoing and future new construction and renovation work at all five Arizona State University campuses. During this time, it became evident that many projects were not following guidelines resulting in costly rework, or hastily submitted variance requests to avoid or replace the design guidelines, typically during, versus prior to, construction. Tracking of these variance requests began in Summer 2020 identifying some commonly requested variance items for discussion by the Project Guidelines Steering Committee. In June 2021, a progressive design-build solicitation was held for a new campus building. During the interview process it was evident that not all parties on the design-build team (owner, architect and general contractor) had the same understanding of the role, importance, or reasoning for project design guidelines. The confusion demonstrated during the variance and interview process made the author curious as to the overall sentiment of design standards in the industry. What areas of project guidelines are emphasized by universities? Is there a correlation between guideline information and the greatest/least amount of construction costs? Can universities be better served by focusing on a comprehensive understanding and implementation of project design guidelines that impact the greatest construction cost of the project?
Date Created
2022
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Leveraging Teamwork and Unskilled Labor in Facilities Zone Maintenance

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Description
Facilities Management is a service that should follow economic concepts of “value added” and “cost-effectiveness.” Facilities sites and campuses can be divided into geographic facilities maintenance zones to improve response time, coordination of trades, customer service, and the ownership or

Facilities Management is a service that should follow economic concepts of “value added” and “cost-effectiveness.” Facilities sites and campuses can be divided into geographic facilities maintenance zones to improve response time, coordination of trades, customer service, and the ownership or accountability of technicians. Facilities zone maintenance teams of multi-trade technicians can work together in a dynamic partnership to significantly reduce costs and do more with less. Six months of field research, case studies, and crew balance analysis of primary quantitative data was used to deductively evaluate the effectiveness of the zone maintenance model. To fill gaps in skilled labor, reduce maintenance costs, and increase available skilled labor capacity the maintenance zone implemented a strategy to better utilize and schedule the labor of unskilled entry level maintenance technicians. A teamwork approach was also used to share the collective multi-trade workload and allow the zone maintenance crew to accomplish more than individual technicians could do alone. A comprehensive literature review revealed an alarming lack of facilities management research and the vast disconnect between academic assumptions and practical real-world applications. It is evident from the case studies that more effective utilization of unskilled labor and harnessing the unique capacity of a multi-trade team are important competitive advantages of the facilities zone maintenance model. These intangible contributions and the value added to the organization can be measured and quantified through careful data collection and analysis. These studies are a reminder that significant maintenance cost savings can be achieved by eliminating labor waste and crew scheduling inefficiencies. Value can be added to the organization by reducing these and other intangible costs by focusing on continuous improvement, productivity, efficiency, and effective workflow.
Date Created
2022
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A Proactive Systematic Approach to Enhance and Preserve Users’ Tech Applications Data Privacy Awareness and Control in Smart Cities

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Description
The reality of smart cities is here and now. The issues of data privacy in tech applications are apparent in smart cities. Privacy as an issue raised by many and addressed by few remains critical for smart cities’ success. It

The reality of smart cities is here and now. The issues of data privacy in tech applications are apparent in smart cities. Privacy as an issue raised by many and addressed by few remains critical for smart cities’ success. It is the common responsibility of smart cities, tech application makers, and users to embark on the journey to solutions. Privacy is an individual problem that smart cities need to provide a collective solution for. The research focuses on understanding users’ data privacy preferences, what information they consider private, and what they need to protect. The research identifies the data security loopholes, data privacy roadblocks, and common opportunities for change to implement a proactive privacy-driven tech solution necessary to address and resolve tech-induced data privacy concerns among citizens. This dissertation aims at addressing the issue of data privacy in tech applications based on known methodologies to address the concerns they allow. Through this research, a data privacy survey on tech applications was conducted, and the results reveal users’ desires to become a part of the solution by becoming aware and taking control of their data privacy while using tech applications. So, this dissertation gives an overview of the data privacy issues in tech, discusses available data privacy basis, elaborates on the different steps needed to create a robust remedy to data privacy concerns in enabling users’ awareness and control, and proposes two privacy applications one as a data privacy awareness solution and the other as a representation of the privacy control framework to address data privacy concerns in smart cities.
Date Created
2022
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Techniques and Technologies for Reducing Fall Hazards in Use on Lebanese Building Construction Projects

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Description
In a world where everything is drifting away from the intellectual into materialistic, and where everyone is rushing on the daily basis to provide their basic needs, everything is getting more expensive except the human life’s worth. Construction sites can

In a world where everything is drifting away from the intellectual into materialistic, and where everyone is rushing on the daily basis to provide their basic needs, everything is getting more expensive except the human life’s worth. Construction sites can be some of the clearer examples that show how the technical work, the communication skills, team work and management relate to one another. However, lately, the safety of the labor is neither being prioritized nor considered an important aspect to even consider at sites. Lebanon is, unfortunately, one of the countries where most construction sites are aimed to increase production and decrease cost as much as possible, on behalf of labor safety measurements. The high occurrence of such cases are the result of the lack of government control and accountability, as well as other reasonings. Similar to the majority of countries, falls are the number one cause of fatalities and serious injuries on construction sites, especially building sites, where working on higher elevations is a must. This thesis focuses on the topic of “Techniques and technologies for reducing fall hazards in use on Lebanese building construction projects”. The main goal behind it is to shed light on whether there are any traditional, technical or modern mechanisms used for safety on the Lebanese construction sites, however statistically few they might be. On the other hand, Casting the deficiencies, weaknesses and flaws are also discussed by indicating some solutions and pointers on possible methods to improve. Hence, this thesis would demonstrate the high importance of this topic and consequently help construction managers and workers realize that safety should become a priority on all sites in the country. Researches done and interviews conducted show that fall hazards prevention/protection techniques are only implemented by large scale companies, and totally ignored by other companies which constitute the highest percentage of the active companies in the market now. Several causes are behind this and the result is one: More lives are put in danger due to lack of education, absence of audits and sanctions, and insufficient budgets
Date Created
2022
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Building Owners and Managers Organizational Maturity Self-Assessment for a Facility Condition Assessment Program

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Description
The practice of Facility Condition Assessments (FCA’s) has received academic attention with over 20 condition assessment methodologies to date, focusing on condition gradients and scale ratings. However, little attention has been brought to the life cycle of an FCA, specifically

The practice of Facility Condition Assessments (FCA’s) has received academic attention with over 20 condition assessment methodologies to date, focusing on condition gradients and scale ratings. However, little attention has been brought to the life cycle of an FCA, specifically how building owners and managers plan and conduct an FCA. FCA methodologies in academic research are complex, sophisticated and require time for implementation that a typical facility manager does not have. This work showcases the need for simpler, more practical planning variables for a facility manager to begin the process of planning for an FCA in their management of a facilities portfolio. This research is a compilation of two national studies, the creation of an FCA project lifecycle analytical framework, and the creation of an organizational FCA maturity self-assessment model. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews from facility managers and facility condition assessment service providers to gain in-depth insight and understanding of the current practice of facility condition assessments in the facility management profession. This data was used to develop national surveys for both facility owners/managers and FCA service providers. An FCA project delivery model was developed through a Delphi study, representing an FCA project lifecycle. The development of a multi-phased FCA project delivery method provides a relative position and sequence of phases representing an FCA project lifecycle. An organizational FCA maturity self-assessment model was created as the first step for organizations to measure their current state of FCA awareness, FCA practice, state of reliability, asset knowledge posture and historical capital spending. The resulting research makes two distinct contributions to the literature. The first contribution is the sequencing of FCA project phases provides an analytic framework for understanding an FCA project lifecycle, providing owners, FCA practitioners and researchers to acknowledge that an FCA project represents a lifecycle model. The second contribution is an FCA planning tool for building owners and managers that allows an organization to bring to light the current state of FCA awareness and help communicate the value proposition FCA’s can afford to an organization. Recommendations for future research on the role of an FCA are provided.
Date Created
2022
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Use of Machine Learning and Data Science on Infrastructure Transportation and Construction Projects

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Description
By the evolution of technologies and computing power, it is possible to capture and save large amounts of data and then find patterns in large and complex datasets using data science and machine learning. This dissertation introduces machine-learning models and

By the evolution of technologies and computing power, it is possible to capture and save large amounts of data and then find patterns in large and complex datasets using data science and machine learning. This dissertation introduces machine-learning models and econometric models to use in infrastructure transportation projects. Among transportation infrastructure projects, the airline industry and highways are selected to implement the models.The first topic of this dissertation focuses on using machine-learning models in highway projects. The International Roughness Index (IRI) for asphalt concrete pavement is predicted based on the 12,637 observations in the Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) dataset for 1,390 roads and highways in the 50 states of the United States and the District of Columbia from 1989 to 2018. The results show that XGBoost provides a better model fit in terms of mean absolute error and coefficient of determination than other studied models. Also, the most important factors in predicting the IRI are identified. The second topic of this dissertation aims to develop machine-learning models to predict customer dissatisfaction in the airline industry. The relationship between measures of service failure (flight delay and mishandled baggage) and customer dissatisfaction is predicted by using longitudinal data from 2003 to 2019 from the U.S. airline industry. Data was obtained from the Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) published by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Flight delay is more important in low-cost airlines, while mishandled baggage is more important in legacy airlines. Also, the effect of the train-test split ratio on each machine-learning model is examined by running each model using four train-test splits. Results indicate that the train-test split ratio could influence the selection of the best model. The third topic in this dissertation uses econometric analysis to investigate the relationship between customer dissatisfaction and two measures of service failure in the U.S. airline industry. Results are: 1) Mishandled baggage has more impact than flight delay on customer complaints. 2) The effect of an airline’s service failures on customer complaints is contingent on the category of the airline. 3) The effect of flight delay on customer complaints is lower for low-cost airlines compared to legacy airlines.
Date Created
2021
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Owner's Guideline for Project Delivery Method Selection

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Description
Many public agencies and/or private owners have no standards that help them to select the most suitable delivery method for their capital projects; hence, in some cases, this results in selecting the inappropriate project delivery method. This adversely impacts the

Many public agencies and/or private owners have no standards that help them to select the most suitable delivery method for their capital projects; hence, in some cases, this results in selecting the inappropriate project delivery method. This adversely impacts the project performance and leads to many negative consequences; starting with schedule growth, cost overrun, and may end up in an epic failure of the project. This research mainly focuses on developing a guideline to help owners make the decision on selecting the most appropriate delivery method for their capital projects. This research goes through three stages: Stage 1 - An extensive literature review of past research is conducted to conclude the selection factors considered in the decision-making process and the decision analysis technique and the project delivery methods; Stage 2 - This stage includes building up the selection model and setting out its guidelines; Stage 3 - This is the final stage of the research thread and includes the validation of the selection model through applying this model on some case study projects by industry practitioners, then evaluating the final results. The owner’s guideline for project delivery method selection, developed within this research, is designed to help owners increase the project success likelihood by selecting the suitable project delivery methods during the pre-construction phase (planning phase of the project life cycle).
Date Created
2021
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Process Improvement in Healthcare Facility Benchmarking Report Data Collection and Delivery Methods for Healthcare Facility Maintenance

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Description
ABSTRACT
Academic literature and industry benchmarking reports were reviewed to determine the way facilities benchmarking reports were perceived in the healthcare industry. Interviews were conducted through a Delphi panel of industry professionals who met experience and other

ABSTRACT
Academic literature and industry benchmarking reports were reviewed to determine the way facilities benchmarking reports were perceived in the healthcare industry. Interviews were conducted through a Delphi panel of industry professionals who met experience and other credential requirements. Two separate rounds of interviewing were conducted where each candidate was asked the same questions to determine the current views of benchmarking reports and associated data in the healthcare industry. The questions asked in the second round were developed from the answers to the first-round questions. The research showed the panel preferred changes in the data collection methods as well as changes in the way the data is presented. The need for these changes was unanimous among the members of the panel. The main recommendations among the group were:
1. An interactive method such as a member portal with the ability to customize, run scenarios, and save data is the preferred method.
2. Facilities Management (FM) teams are often not included in the data collection of the benchmark reports. Including FM groups would allow more accuracy and more detailed data resulting in more accurate and in-depth reports.
3. More consistency and “apples to apples” comparisons need to be provided in the reports. More categories and variables need to be added to the reports to offer more in depth comparisons and assessments between buildings. Identifiers to help the users compare the physical condition of their facility to others needs to be included. Suggestions are as follows:
a. Facility Condition Index (FCI)- easily available to all participants and allows an idea of the comparison of upkeep and maintenance of their facility to that of others.
b. An indicator on whether the comparison buildings are Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) accredited.
4. Gross Square Footage (GSF) is not an accurate assessment on its own. Too many variables are left unidentified to offer an accurate assessment with this method alone.
Date Created
2020
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Developing a Framework for the Budgeting of BIM and Its Integration into Estimation: A Case Study on the Practices of an Electrical Subcontractor

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Description
The applications of Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology extend beyond performing clash detection and avoiding installation issues among subcontractors. When properly budgeted and fully integrated into the pre-construction work-flow, BIM technology can improve the accuracy of estimates and reduce material

The applications of Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology extend beyond performing clash detection and avoiding installation issues among subcontractors. When properly budgeted and fully integrated into the pre-construction work-flow, BIM technology can improve the accuracy of estimates and reduce material as well as labor costs. The purpose of this paper is to analyze BIM-related budgeting practices and explore options for optimizing BIM budgeting strategy as well as integrating BIM technology into an estimating strategy. The methodology chosen was a case study. A study of an electrical contractor was conducted using BIM budgeting data based on actual and estimated figures for 245 jobs completed in the years 2015-2019. A review of literature was conducted for the purpose of researching current options with regard to the implementation of BIM as part of estimation, its associated financial cost, and the challenges faced in adapting existing frameworks to meet new demands. It was observed that the current resources allocated for BIM are under-utilized on an aggregate basis. It was also observed that the budget for these resources is sometimes exceeded for larger projects and frequently, grossly under-utilized for smaller projects. There is a strong correlation between contract value and project type, suggesting that contract value is a primary predictor of BIM requirements. The review of literature suggests what employee skills are most necessary for integrating BIM with estimating: the ability to perform accurate takeoffs from BIM models, evaluate the cost of materials that are typically not modeled or appear poorly in the model, the ability to work with a variety of BIM software, the ability to know if a model is accurate, and an understanding of how the model interacts with other aspects of the construction process. It also discusses the challenges faced when adopting BIM in estimation. This paper contributes to the field of construction management by expanding the body of research for the BIM budgeting strategy in electrical contracting; an area of research which is not well developed. The data analyzed from this single electrical contractor provides the basis for an exploratory case study that contributes to the development of a conceptual framework for accurate BIM budgeting, where no such framework had previously existed.
Date Created
2020
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A Qualitative Study of EMaaS Performance in California Schools

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Description
In recent years, many school districts, community colleges, and universities in California have implemented energy management-as-a-service (EMaaS). The purpose of this study was to analyzes how EMaaS has been realized in California schools, including how performance expectations and service guarantees

In recent years, many school districts, community colleges, and universities in California have implemented energy management-as-a-service (EMaaS). The purpose of this study was to analyzes how EMaaS has been realized in California schools, including how performance expectations and service guarantees have been met, how value is created and captured, and which trends are emerging in the pay-for-performance models. This study used a qualitative research design to identify patterns in the collected data and allow theories to be drawn from the emergent categories and themes. Ten in-depth interviews were conducted with a diverse pool of facility managers, energy practitioners, superintendents, and associate superintendents working with EMaaS. Four themes emerged (1) peak shaving overperformance, (2) low risk/reward, (3) performance exactly as expected, and (4) hope in future flexibility. This study reveals medium to high levels of performance satisfaction from the customers of cloud-enabled and battery-based EMaaS in California schools. Value has been captured primarily through peak shaving and intelligent bill management. Large campuses with higher peaks are especially good at delivering energy savings, and in some instances without pairing batteries and solar. Where demand response participation is permitted by the utility companies, the quality of demand response performance is mixed, with performance being exactly as expected to slightly less than expected. The EMaaS business model is positioned to help California schools implement and achieve many of their future sustainability goals in a cost-effective way.
Date Created
2020
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