ASC 2020:Papers with Abstracts

Abstract. The benefits of utilizing service-learning projects to facilitate student professional growth and personal development, in addition to supplementing traditional lecture and activity-based classroom education, has created a variety of new pedagogy. Typically, service-learning in Higher Education has been delivered by a capstone, senior project, or elective course providing a formalized structure for faculty to carry out their version of pedagogy. However, not all learning institutions possess the resources or have the support to offer service-learning in their curriculum. For those institutions, there appears to be a void in the available higher education literature suggesting alternative service-learning delivery systems. The purpose of the study was to determine if an all-volunteer campus-based student club managed construction project, utilizing an informal classroom setting, could be an effective alternative delivery method for providing a successful service-learning experience. A post-project student refection’s survey was conducted with an emphasis on the results of the students’ participation goals and perceived development of critical soft skills. The survey findings indicate positive student experiences with data-supported perceptions of enhanced learning and development in teamwork, communications, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. These results suggest that an informal classroom system is a viable methodology for delivering service-learning experiences.
Abstract. The construction economy is strong, and many construction management programs are experiencing record attendance. However, the coming decline within the U.S. in the number of college students (15% decline beginning in 2026) looms large. This exploratory research project seeks to illuminate the potential impact of this demographic shift in five states where a diversity of construction management and geography exists: Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Texas, and Washington. Results indicate substantial drops in enrollment for schools in Alabama and Illinois and illuminate that almost all regional universities will suffer as a result of the anticipated demographic shifts. Construction management programs should prepare for the coming shifts and increased competition for students. Options include additional emphasis on growing demographic sectors, an additional focus on gender diversity, and shifts in instructional approaches.
Abstract. A Studio-based learning model is a common instructional model in architecture, art, and design-based programs. The features of this type of learning model are attracting the attention of educators in many disciplines including construction education. However, applying this educational model in the field of construction is still new and needs more investigation and assessment. One key way to evaluate the effectiveness of this model and to inform ways of improving it is accessing students’ perceptions where it is currently being practiced. The main objective of this study was to explore how construction students perceive a studio-based model in the curriculum. A quantitative research method was designed and employed to identify challenges, potentials, and the importance of an existing studio-based model approach. A group of senior construction management students at Cal Poly, participated in this study in the Spring of 2019. The results indicated an enhanced opportunity for the class to work and learn together through teamwork, collaboration, and group discussion was a significantly positive studio-based outcome. Student perceptions were also analyzed on a studio-based models’ effectiveness, optimization, and learning. The results of this study can be used as a framework for preliminary design and implementation stages of a studio-based learning model at other universities and enhance ones currently using it.
Abstract. Construction planning and scheduling are two of the essential skills required in a construction project manager. Planning and scheduling courses are a core component of any construction program, and constitute one of the major learning outcomes to be achieved and documented by a construction program to earn and maintain its accreditation by ACCE. Many universities follow different approaches towards developing and delivering the knowledge required for these two skills. This paper investigates the current practices among different construction programs in the US, together with suggestions for the future, responding to the latest developments in the industry. The content, timing, and reason for including this content are explained through this paper, together with suggestions for the method of delivery and adjustments to be made moving forward. The paper presents the results and analysis of a survey sent to construction educators in the US related to the current practices of teaching planning and scheduling related to the content, number of courses, topics discussed, and qualifications of the instructors.
Abstract. Risk is an inherent part of the construction industry. As such, it is essential to prepare graduates of construction management programs to recognize and deal with uncertainty appropriately. One way to help meet this demand is by incorporating risk principles throughout the curriculum. Dedicating an entire course to teaching risk management is also highly valuable, especially within the graduate curriculum. As the tools, methods, and processes for managing construction risk continue to evolve within the industry, academic institutions will similarly need to adjust their teaching strategies to help meet the need for their graduates to deal with risk appropriately. The purpose of this paper is to provide a case study for the design and layout of a graduate level course on managing risk in construction, and briefly identifies the key content covered and the techniques used to teach these principles. This paper further provides student perceptions regarding their experience, and serves as a valuable example of a construction risk management course.
Abstract. ‘Education for Sustainable Development’ (ESD) drives priority to aligning education programmes for convergence of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Education agendas. This paper argues that, to this end, the importance of strategic, tactical and operational level changes and sustaining the human and material resources used to transform any kind of learning environments, should be factored into all institutional-wide strategies. In other words, this should be an integral aspect of the implementation of sustainability elements in institutional-wide activities. However, ideally, to fully establish the foundation for Sustainability, the range of activities by which ESD can be delivered should not be restricted but should be extended to building a society that values peace, equality, human rights, gender, environment and cultural diversity. This would assist furthering SDGs; however, to be effective, this approach requires the incorporation of a process like NUS Responsible Future Certification. The scope of this paper will therefore outline what whole-institution collaborative approach is, and then why it is relevant, considering how it may be used to contribute to a more sustainable future of the built environment education system. Document analysis research methodology was used to inform a theoretical conceptual framework for education system for sustainable development.
Abstract. This study evaluates the integration of Social Media (SM) as an informal pedagogical tool to support STEM, by fostering engagement and increasing interactional competency and collaborative skills. Construction engineering education has been plagued with low engagement levels partially due to its timeworn pedagogical means and ineffective use of technology. SM platforms are convenient, and effective informal educational means that encourage engagement and interactions between peers. Nowadays, construction programs are shifting to online educational forms and this research is geared to understand the interactions between student bodies within different instructional forms. This study focuses on assessing the impact of SM related activities on students’ engagement and professional skills by integration it within Construction Management (CM) courses. The novel contribution of this research is to study the benefit of integrating SM not only for increasing student engagement but also effective communication between online and face to face CM students as well as their soft skill development. This research initiative presents paired t-test and box plots with line plots from pre and post-course surveys of 75 students. Finally, this paper highlights the challenges and lessons learned along with recommendations for transferring this pedagogy to other institutions.
Abstract. There is an absence of data in the available literature on the current status of programs that offer an MBA with a technical specialization. This study addresses that absence of data with an overall discussion of MBA specializations and an investigation of MBAs that offer a technical specialization in construction management (CM) and project management (PM). Information on programs that offer CM or PM technical specializations was collected using a university’s official website, as well as, phone conversations with personnel. A total of 39 of 368 MBA programs offered the CM and/or PM technical specialization. These programs were analyzed across multiple data points such as cost, courses, and time to completion. Data collected on the availability of MBAs with a technical specialization in either CM or PM revealed that both curriculums are virtually nonexistent across academia. Universities that begin to offer PM or CM technical specializations will be filling a current knowledge gap that will benefit both students and employers alike. Further research into the degree that employers prefer technical specialization is needed. The data collected in this study indicate that there are still areas of study that MBA programs can address with the introduction of new technical specializations.
Abstract. In the construction industry, projects involve a variety of techniques to communicate the project plan and the many parts associated with successful completion. While all are important elements of the project, the construction plan is a vital part of the project’s success and how it is created, used, revised, and evaluated. Educators use various delivery methods in the classroom to teach planning and scheduling but the many intangibles out of the control of the scheduler make it difficult to convey all the concepts associated with these key elements of the project. Using active learning methods, such as a board game, engages the learner, introduces intangibles and promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills for the CM student. Results from the study will provide insight into active learning and the possibilities of developing learning tools that can assist young professionals in the field. This element of instruction is paramount to the success of the new transitional student in programs across the country. Passive learning experiences no longer mimic the active projects that are prevalent in the industry today. Using the results from this study will illuminate opportunities in the classroom using active learning as a vehicle for synthesizing knowledge.
Abstract. The International Journal of Construction Education and Research (IJCER) is an academic peer- reviewed journal supported by the Associated Schools of Construction, publishing scholarly work associated with construction education and research. One challenge the IJCER has faced since its inception is establishing itself as a high quality, scholarly impactful publication. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relative trends associated with the IJCER, including the current state of academic impact metrics, a relative comparison of papers published by author and institution, and international and collaborative efforts. The results of this research indicated that the IJCER continues to improve its academic stature through increasing impact metrics. Since the inception of the IJCER in 2004, a total of 479 unique authors, representing 158 different institutions have been associated with IJCER papers. International and collaborative efforts have also been strongly represented and continue to be one of the strengths of the journal. This information can be used to help identify similar publishing peer groups and justify relative scholarly impact for those who publish in the IJCER. This research also identifies the breadth of impact the Associated Schools of Construction is providing its membership by sponsoring an academic peer reviewed journal.
Abstract. There is a growing movement for universities to include high-impact educational practices. This study explores the implementation and efficacy of one such practice in a construction management undergraduate program. During a recent curriculum revision, faculty decided to include a required service-learning course in the curriculum to enhance both student learning and civic engagement. The course assimilates all components of the construction process. Key assessments of the course include: written proposal & preconstruction presentation to the owner, project update reports, a mid-semester site inspection, and a final presentation accompanied by a written reflection. Students and owners voluntarily completed surveys at the end of the semester to determine the elements requiring improvement, elements that should remain unchanged, and the perceived knowledge gain through the experience. The results indicate the project owners were satisfied and the students acknowledged learning benefits. Owners, students and faculty all noted major challenges/frustrations with the course and the need for improvement. The paper summarizes the data to evaluate the efficacy of the required course and highlights lessons learned to improve the course. Dissemination of the results may be useful in starting or improving service-learning courses at other institutions.
Abstract. Teaching through field trips has been very effective as students learn more when they see the objects in reality. However, it is not always feasible to take a large class to field trips due to time, safety, and cost limitations. Creating 3D Virtual Reality (VR) models and immersing students in that virtual world could provide an engaging and meaningful experience to both building science and architecture students. The aim of this research was to see if Virtual Field Trips (VFTs) can replace actual field trips in times of need. For that reason, an app was created teaching students about steel connections called the Steel Sculpture App (SSA). The SSA served as VFT and the location of physical steel sculpture model served as the actual field trip. This paper focuses on student learning assessment and experience from of VFT versus the actual field trip. Scope of this study is limited to 3rd year building science and architecture students who have attained basic knowledge of structural systems. The author used controlled group and experimental group method to analyze the learning assessment. The results indicated that the students learning from VFTs scored slightly higher than those learning from actual field trip. Although, students liked learning through the actual field trip but the VFT group was able to score better because they learnt without any distractions.
Abstract. Virtual Reality (VR) offers a method of active and interactive learning. In this research, a VR-based simulated environment is used to help students gain an understanding in the sequencing of construction activities within an undergraduate materials and methods course. The VR simulation was developed to augment traditional classroom learning methods. The sequencing simulation allows students to freely navigate through the simulation and walk through the steps of the construction for a small wood frame structure. The simulation was developed for both immersive and non-immersive desktop-based simulations. During early studies, it was found that students were receptive of the technology and perceived a benefit in understanding spatial qualities as well as components of assembly but actual effects of learning were not identified. The current study explores the actual effects of student learning when incorporating simulation into the coursework. This paper discusses the comparison of students learning from a control group where the simulation was not used to the learning of a group who utilized the desktop-based simulation in addition to traditional classroom methods.
Abstract. Construction and engineering careers place an emphasis on safety training. Although this knowledge is crucial to succeeding in one's field there is a lack of awareness with regards to the principle of safety culture. Within a psychological context, workers in a particular setting look towards others for social cues, and there are underlying social principles that determine whether social cues will be internalized, acted on, or ignored. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to provide an approach to advise trainers on underlying safety principles. The goal is for learners to internalize and act upon safe behaviors in the work environment. A pilot study was conducted interviewing four OSHA-authorized construction safety trainers. The participants were provided with a vignette activity and asked their opinion and experience. After the activity was complete, the participants rated their experience and provided suggestions for improvements. The vignettes were highly rated by the trainers and they suggested including additional vignettes, having the activity applied in various versions (group vs individual) as well as doing an at-home activity. Future research will work on improving safety behavior to be included in additional safety training.
Abstract. The BIM BOK project was a catalyst to investigate expectations and perceptions of professional BIM practices and performance outcomes. The project began in 2014 and was developed by the leadership of the Academic Interoperability Coalition (AiC). The AiC operates with the goals of improving communication and discussion concerning how academics around the world have been introducing BIM to their students (McCuen, 2014). The long-term goals of the BIM BOK project include the development of comprehensive metrics of BIM competency assessments for both industry/workforce and for academia and assists to delineate the specific tasks to roles, levels of knowledge and project phase. To date, although metrics for assessment for courses and certifications exist, there has not been a unified attempt to collect BIM competencies and requirements in one holistic framework. The AiC BIM BOK framework serves the purpose of creating a common curriculum roadmap to bridge the gap between college education outcomes and workplace performance requirements and to advance the understanding of BIM practices. Additionally, for the human resources sector, it will assist to standardize the levels of expectation for hiring practices and establish benchmarks for job task performance for emerging BIM job titles. Academics can then create the baseline performance measurement for BIM education accreditation, professional credentialing and certification. The initial phase of the BIM BOK project is complete and is now entering the next phase which includes a validation process. In an effort to summarize and market the results, the researchers have created a historical account of its development and an update on the future mission and the anticipated benefits for industry.
Abstract. The Proceedings of the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Annual International Conference include scholarly work associated with construction education and research. This conference is a resource for ASC member institutions to publish their scholarly endeavors. However, the relative impact of the annual proceedings is not well understood. The purpose of this paper is to explore the trends associated with the annual conference proceedings from 2004-2019, including a comparison of papers published by author and institution, international and collaborative efforts, and the type of research that is being published. This paper demonstrates that the demand to publish at the ASC annual conference continues to increase. Alternative and innovative solutions to accommodate this continued growth should be considered. Over the past 16 years, the annual conference proceedings have been a publishing resource for 1,212 unique authors, representing 276 different institutions. International and collaborative efforts have been reasonably strong and appear to be one of the strengths of the conference. Although the international presence seems to help validate the importance of the conference in construction related research, there also appears to be room to continue to grow this aspect of the conference.
Abstract. Students are one of the vulnerable groups of people affected by a disaster, as they suffer both physically and mentally. Concerns are rising, as educational institutions lack adequate emergency programs to prepare students for disasters. Moreover, the integration of disaster preparedness in the coursework is rarely done for students with majors such as construction. This study performs a comprehensive literature review to integrate the research related to students’ disaster preparedness and provide strategies to increase students’ disaster preparedness. To fulfill this aim, 83 of the most recent scholarly articles were collected and scrutinized. The current trends in disaster preparedness curriculums in construction programs, as well as other majors, were studied, strategies for enhancing these programs espoused by researchers were investigated, and challenges/barriers to providing disaster preparedness education were analyzed. It was concluded that the integration of hands-on practices of rescue activities into construction curriculums, along with theoretical knowledge of disasters, significantly helps students to be prepared for a disaster and for post-disaster mitigation efforts hence should be included in the disaster preparedness curriculum. Lack of resources and trained personnel is one of the major causes of insufficient integration of disaster preparedness materials in the course curriculum. This study will assist in updating the existing programs, enhancing construction students’ disaster preparedness, addressing potential challenges to the advancement of knowledge, and reducing damages.
Abstract. The need to collaborate in the Owner/Architecture/Engineering/Construction (OAEC) industry continues to grow. As owners increasingly choose alternative delivery methods for their projects, the ability of key participants to effectively work with one another is becoming a critical and defining skill. In their 2016 accreditation update, the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) decided to include a new Student Learning Outcome (SLO) specific to this growing need. ACCE SLO #9 states that students graduating from accredited institutions are expected to show the ability to “apply construction management skills as a member of a multi-disciplinary team.” This requirement poses a significant challenge to many universities. This paper provides qualitative data from multi-disciplinary courses conducted at 3 universities. Participating administration, faculty and students provided data that supports anticipated benefits of multi-disciplinary courses and enhances previous findings. Observed challenges in addition to those provided by extant literature were identified. Observations and interviews highlight the importance of differentiating between multi-disciplinary interactions and inter-disciplinary interactions. It is recommended that interested programs carefully consider program and course design as it relates to these differences and additionally identified issues as the challenge to collaborate continues.
Abstract. In the wake of a 2014 wildfire that destroyed 150 homes in Weed, CA, Great Northern Services, a non-governmental organization, reached out to Cal Poly with a constructivist-learning opportunity. In response, students were recruited into an interdisciplinary studio where teams competed to design work-force housing for a new subdivision. The winning design advanced to the detailed planning stage. A separate trio of construction management students designed their senior projects around producing shop drawings, procuring materials, organizing equipment, prefabricating the winning design’s exterior walls and shipping them to the site. This case study documents the process and the lessons learned. In the end, two indicators of experiential learning, eight indicators of discovery learning, one indicator of problem-based learning, and one indicator of spiral learning were documented. Future research initiatives could quantify the efficacy of each constructivist variant; disaggregate these learning opportunities into smaller constructs with the potential to reach more students; and contemplate means of incorporating those potentials into either traditional classes or into integrated labs.
Abstract. The construction industry is becoming more diverse and global in terms of the project workforce. There is a significant need for universities to provide educational opportunities for students in order to prepare them to operate in a global market. Currently, there are limited opportunities to gain an international experience in construction management programs in the U.S., with most being limited to a study abroad program. But the advent of the International ASC Student Competitions has opened new opportunities for students to engage in a collaborative team and gain exposure to internationalization in construction. This paper surveyed students from two such teams to determine their perceptions of the experience, with all students indicating the benefits far outweigh the challenges of being on such a team. These initial perceptions point to further study the significance of these international competition teams in terms of increasing student experiences abroad.
Abstract. Graduate education can be utilized by working professionals as an advancement to their careers. This paper presents the results of a Delphi survey sent to 31experts in the construction industry. A survey questionnaire was developed to ask the participants about their perceptions of the relevance of the current graduate-level construction management courses in developing senior-level construction managers. A curriculum analysis of 34 graduate CM programs in the United States was conducted. The resulting data from the curriculum analysis is utilized in developing the survey questionnaire. The study is part of a larger research Delphi study that aimed at identifying the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities required for senior-level managers in the construction industry. Two phases of the survey were sent to participants in this Delphi study. The results of the study indicate that the current graduate programs in construction management across the United States of America are not adequately focused on developing senior-level construction managers.
Abstract. This collaborative paper highlights the Soft Skills for Hard Hats project that is a result of a successful bid to the 2016 Call for Erasmus+KA2 – Cooperation for Innovation and Exchange of Good Practices - Strategic Partnerships for Vocational Education and Training funding grant. This project consists of partners from Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Slovenia, Italy, United State of America, and the United Kingdom. Soft skills in construction supervisors has been a growing concern in the European Union. Soft Skills for Hard Hats (SSHH) was in response to that void by creating online, semi-immersive interactive scenarios aimed at first level construction supervisors to help develop soft skills. The focus is on four different soft skills: teamwork, communication, leadership and problem solving. The units are web based vignettes of difficult situations site supervisors are tasked to solve. As the situations evolve, there are pauses for the participants to make management choices. There are multiple paths to solve each situation. Upon completion, participants are provided feedback on how they handled each scenario with short and long term affects. Each unit enables participants to undertake an individualized learning experience based on the choices they make. This paper highlights the concept, framework, scenario outcome maps, examples, assessment, lessons learned and links to the on-line program.
Abstract. The workforce shortage in construction is a serious issue. With a plethora of initiatives emerging in the past few years to attract more individuals to careers in construction, a question has arisen as to whether the initiatives reach an audience outside of those who would go to work in construction anyway. This project sought to develop an intervention that would expose a broader audience to construction topics, and related careers in construction, through a course in a construction higher education program. Students in the construction higher education program created lesson plans that would be employed in public school classrooms and fit in the required curriculum, thereby reaching all students and not just those already inclided toward a career in construction. The results suggest the course was successful in achieving its initial objectives, however long term impacts on the workforce shortage are not yet known.
Abstract. The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in stockpile calculations is becoming more common due to the time savings associated with its use. In this paper, the accuracy of drone-based volumetric surveys using nadir and oblique images were compared with traditional survey methods. Two cardboard pyramids, measuring 14 cubic yards and 5 cubic yards respectively, were used to simulate a stockpile. The pyramids were surveyed with waypoint-assisted flights at 40ft, 125ft, and 350ft altitudes. Additional oblique images were captured at both sides of the targets and field to supplement the nadir flights. The volumes of the resulting models were then computed with ContextCapture software. This study found that adding oblique images to the nadir surveys did not significantly increase the accuracy of the model volumes. Oblique images on their own also yielded similar results to the nadir images. The accuracy of the models at 125ft ranged from 0.35% to 3.03% from the measured values, while the oblique images were off by 0.44% to 8.23% of the actual values.
Abstract. The use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or Drones are being explored for a wide range of civilian applications. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently reported that “construction inspectors that use UAS are reducing inspection time, improving effectiveness, increasing safety, and lowering costs.” If the FHWA is enjoying these benefits by leveraging this technology, it stands to reason that other industries that perform similar functions would also benefit. This study explores the opportunity of using commercially available UAS and structure-from-motion software to replace an in-person inspection for a low slope roof. The goal of the study was to see how much of a traditional in-person roof inspection could be replaced with a 3D photogrammetric model created from drone imagery. In this experiment, a SME roofing inspector identified deficiencies exclusively from a 3D model. Then, the SME inspected the low-slope roof in-person using traditional practices. The SME identified 191 specific deficiencies using 3D model and 200 deficiencies from the traditional method. The defects easiest to identify were open laps, alligatoring, punctures, wrinkles on the roof membrane and damages around the edges whereas total number and square feet of blisters, damages around penetration were the most difficult to identify in the model.
Abstract. The use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs), or drones, have been widely documented with benefits for many agencies and industries that deal with construction, planning, emergency management, and public safety. Many agencies that are currently using drones have limited resources and face challenges in their deployment. This research is examining the extent of those challenges among state agencies of South Carolina and how they may better be addressed through joint initiatives, enhanced communication, networking, and research. This paper documents an initial survey used to gauge drone use of different agencies throughout the state, common challenges that were identified, and strategies that are planned to address these challenges through future collaborative efforts.
Abstract. Limited financial resources and increased demand for transportation infrastructure maintenance and rehabilitation have complicated investment decision making in recent decades. Additionally, the cascading effects of disasters on critical infrastructure combined with insufficient funding for rehabilitation projects have intensified the situation. Meanwhile, infrastructure resiliency has emerged as a major solution to this problem and research efforts are currently implementing resilience concepts in current and future transportation infrastructure projects. Individual research studies have created models to assess investment decisions related to recovery and other facets of resilience (e.g., adaptability and robustness). However, most of these efforts have been fragmented and none have been applied on a standardized basis or been applicable to fit a standard system for infrastructure resiliency measures over different infrastructure projects (e.g. transportation) around the United States. This quantitative research builds on the Envision standardized rating system’s resilience section to explore the possibilities of investment decisions influenced by adopting different resilience strategies. The novel optimization model uses mathematical modeling to assess various combinations of resilience strategies under budget constraints to find an optimal solution. The model has been successful in providing results based on user-defined priorities for cost and resilience.
Abstract. The concept of construction sustainability has been gaining traction over years now. A large number of tools has been used to assess economic and environmental impacts of the buildings. LCA and LCCA are one of the most widely used tools to evaluate the environmental and economic impacts of the buildings over their complete life cycle. The aim of this research is to develop a framework for assessing the economic and environmental impacts of precast and cast-in-place buildings constructed in United States through Open LCA software. The study will include unit processes and material flows from raw material extraction and manufacturing phase to demolition phase of a building (cradle-to-grave) over the life span of 50 years. The developed framework for LCA and LCCA could be applied to all concrete construction projects across the world and could be used as platform for conducting future LCA and LCCA studies as well. Future research could be conducted through probabilistic approach of calculating the annual cost impacts over the complete life cycle of a building.
Abstract. High-density urban areas contain large number of historical buildings whose structures and artistic values are protected by regulations. This restricts the improvements can be made to building envelope to reduce energy demand of historical buildings. Therefore, immediate urban surroundings (IUS) may play a central role on energy performance of historical buildings (EPHB). Yet, literature has provided little or no evidence, so far. To address the gap, the current experimental inquiry aims to test the significance of IUS’s influence on the EPHB. To achieve, historical structure in hot- humid climate was selected and surveyed thoroughly. Control and intervention cases were considered to measure the influence IUS. The control case corresponds to the former state of IUS; whereas the intervention described as the IUS which includes a recently built office block with reflective glass façade. The numerical result obtained from computational thermal simulations were used for comparison. Accordingly, the increase in heating demand substantially surpassed the decrease in cooling demand for the case under study. Therefore, a significant increase in total energy demand was observed in the presence of intervention. In addition, the energy performance of the individual volumes located in the lower floors presented higher fluctuations due to intervention’s shading effect.
Abstract. Automation and robotics have been widely adopted across many industries, but the construction industry has not achieved the same level of diffusion. Construction is a critical global industry that is challenged to address issues of productivity, safety, quality, and profitability. Automation and robotics have a tremendous potential impact on all these fronts. The objective of this study is to identify barriers to the adoption of automation and robotics in the construction industry as perceived by industry experts and answer the research question: What are the barriers to automation and robotics in construction? We gain understanding through exploratory interviews with industry practitioners and automation and robotics researchers. Semi-structured interviews around construction technologies, implementation and development, perceived barriers, and future trends and opportunities provide insight into those barriers. We expected to find that implementation would be related to company revenue and openness to technology as it is in countries like South Korea and Japan. We found that barriers could be categorized into culture, teams, and technical aspects. Our research contributes to the body of knowledge by addressing the topic beyond just technical aspects providing the perspective of practitioners and researchers who are engaged in innovation. The research indicates that the construction industry, educators, and owners should do more to facilitate the adoption of automation and robotics and address the barriers which are more cultural than technical.
Abstract. The UK has been in a housing crisis for many years and it has missed its house building targets by over 1.3 million houses since 2004. Something needs to change to achieve government target. Prefabricated homes could be a solution to this issue since they could bring overall construction duration down, keep the costs lower and provide higher quality homes as they are produced in a controlled factory environment rather than on site and open to other elements. However, many controlling factors such as higher initial investment, incomplete industry supply chain and public perception have had a major impact on their limited usage up to this point. The aim of this paper is to examine the public perception regarding the prefabricated housing in the UK using a mixed research methodology with the questionnaire survey. There has been limited research in this area and the majority of research has focused on the technology involved and the sustainability impact of prefabricated housing. The survey results reveal that the UK public can struggle to accept a prefabricated house due to the lack of information regarding prefabricated housing. A common belief is that the UK government needs to support this type of housing with a financing package to encourage them to buy the prefabrication houses and builders need to inject more houses in market.
Abstract. In the supply chain, information sharing is critical for facilitating decision making, accelerating the schedule, reducing costs, and enhancing the final quality of the project. However, information sharing is challenging in the construction supply chain when information asymmetry could help certain individuals avoid liability or help others maximize their profits by using substandard materials. In this environment, the stakeholders may not truly trust one another and may be reluctant to share complete information. Even though several studies have emphasized the importance of trust for information sharing, few studies have focused on promoting trust and verifying information using technology. The purpose of this paper is to examine the potential of Blockchain technology for establishing a trust-enhanced environment with distributed trust that will benefit the construction supply chain. This paper presents three logical scenarios for the application of Blockchain technology in information-sharing systems in order to demonstrate that the technology helps establish a trust-enhanced environment for reliable information sharing while eliminating counterfeiting and reducing bullwhip effect. These scenarios will demonstrate the value of Blockchain-based information sharing in the construction supply chain and possibly provide direction for future research with greater depth and specificity.
Abstract. Speed-driven projects require extensive planning and coordination for their successful execution within the specified time and cost. With an increasing demand for flash track execution, more efficient ways for project implementation is needed. Lean construction is having a profound impact on the construction industry, which is perceived to be suffering from cost and schedule overruns. This review paper investigates the use of various lean tools and principles in flash track projects and if there is any synergy between lean and flash track projects to improve productivity and schedule performance. Through rationalizations and with the help of case studies and theoretical evidence found in literature, eleven lean tools and eight lean principles have been analyzed for their synergy with flash track construction. The results indicate that all except one lean tool (Just in Time) and one lean principle (reduce inventory) facilitate successful implementation of flash track project.
Abstract. This study considers the generation of virtual, 3D point-cloud models of seven deteriorating historical, agricultural barns in Bulloch County, Georgia, USA, for preservation purposes. The work was completed as a service-learning project in a course on Terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (T-LiDAR), offered at Georgia Southern University. The resulting models and fly-through videos were donated to Bulloch County Historical Society and to the Georgia Southern Museum, to make them available to the general public and future generations. Additionally, one of the seven barns was selected to be extensively measured to estimate the relative spatial accuracy of all seven resulting 3D point-cloud models, with respect to measurements completed with a highly accurate instrument. Three accurate benchmarks were established around it for georeferencing purposes. The positions of 44 points were measured in the field via an accurate, one- second, robotic total-station (RTS) instrument. Also, the coordinates of the same points were acquired from within georeferenced and non-georeferenced point-cloud models. These points defined 259 distances. They were compared to determine their discrepancy statistics. It was observed that this process produced virtual models with an approximate maximum spatial discrepancy of one-half inch (0.5 in) with respect to measurements performed by a highly accurate RTS device. There were no substantial differences in the relative accuracies of the georeferenced and non-georeferenced models.
Abstract. Construction 4.0 is the adoption and adaptation of the Industry 4.0 framework for the construction sector. Industry 4.0 promises to revolutionize how ‘things’ are made by using physical and digital technologies in an integrated manner. Similarly, the authors envision that the Construction 4.0 framework can fundamentally change the way that assets are designed, constructed, and operated. The idea of the Construction 4.0 developed from the need of the construction sector to overcome the existing horizontal, vertical, and longitudinal fragmentation and to take a holistic approach to the improvements needed in the industry. In this study, a literature review of Industry 4.0 and its influence on the construction sector was undertaken. Based on this systematic literature review, the authors define the Construction 4.0 framework and provide its benefits and barriers to implementation. A key finding of the study is that building information modeling, and a common data environment form the key foundation for the implementation of the Construction 4.0 framework. In defining the Construction 4.0 framework, the paper described its components and how its implementation is likely to proceed. The authors envision that by adopting Construction 4.0, the industry can transform itself into a highly efficient, quality-centered, and safe industry capable of successfully delivering the demands placed on it by society.
Abstract. This paper explores using the practice of a circular economy to reduce the amount of construction and demolition (C&D) waste that is generated and going to landfills. The circular economy is a system where waste is minimized and resources are in use for as long as possible through recycling and reuse. This is in contrast to a linear economy where raw materials are extracted, used to make a product, and disposed of. This research is intended to address three issues facing the world which are increasing C&D waste due to an increase in population and urbanism, limited natural resources, and limited land available for landfills. Buildings are major consumers of resources and producers of waste. In 2015, the built environment generated two times the amount of waste than municipal solid waste in the US. The methodology includes gathering recent C&D waste statistics and researching case studies on the circular economy. The goal of this research is to reduce the amount of C&D waste sent to landfills by evaluating current waste management practices and providing recommendations to make C&D waste in line with the circular economy.
Abstract. Co-location is a process that involves bringing the constituents of a project together in a shared space with the intent of enhancing team effectiveness. When used with the design-build delivery method, formal communication barriers are circumvented. However, do all the project constituents perceive the same value from co-location? This research examines the benefits of co-location when used for a design-build project and includes the perceptions of 101 Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) design practitioners. Within the responses, communication, collaboration, and team chemistry were the most highly ranked benefits with this group. However, the open-ended feedback indicated that project size and complexity, disruptions to intra-organizational collaboration, organizational structure incompatibility for co-location, the absence of the owner and the use of technology were found to be barriers against the use of co-location. Analyzing these perceptions and the barriers shed awareness into a process that may be perceived differently among its constituents – allowing for focus on ways in which to improve co-location.
Abstract. Natural hazards cause damages to the U.S. residential housing stock every year, and reconstruction of damaged housing is essential for the long-term community resilience. Post-disaster housing reconstruction in the U.S. is a market-driven process, influenced by the availability of construction and capital resources. Previous case studies have illustrated that housing reconstruction outcomes are uneven across different disaster-affected regions of the U.S. and may be attributable to varying availability of regional construction and capital resources. However, there is a lack of quantitative studies exploring the relationships between resourcing factors and housing reconstruction outcomes across varying geographical regions of the U.S. Using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression and Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR), this study aims to: (1) quantify the relationships between pre-disaster construction and capital resource availability and post-disaster housing reconstruction outcomes at a regional scale; and (2) explore spatially varying relationships between resourcing factors and reconstruction outcomes. The Northeast census region of the U.S. is used as a case study for this research, due to unprecedented levels of residential housing disaster damages from 2011-2012. Results from the case study highlighted significant relationships between resource availability and reconstruction outcomes, and the relationships varied across the study region.
Abstract. In the United States, construction contracts require that contractors submit surety bonds, hence shifting the contractor’s risks to the sureties. In order to take on the risks of project completion, the sureties employ a complex time-consuming evaluation process that assesses several factors of a contractor that are subjective to make a surety credit recommendation. Several small and emerging contractors find it very difficult to attain bonding capacities as they do not know the factors that go into the sureties’ consideration to extend surety credit. The purpose of this study is to identify the surety bonding criterion that influences bonding decisions through a series of interviews with surety professionals possessing extensive experience in the bonding evaluation process. The outcome is a list of factors that underwriters consider in issuing a surety credit to contractors. Understanding the surety bonding criteria employed by underwriters enhances contractors’ ability to secure required bonding capacities for their future projects.
Abstract. Disputes in construction projects affect not only delay in construction progress but also its cost and potentially its quality. The construction industry of Sri Lanka contributes significantly to its economy and the cost of construction disputes can influence its economic welfare. It is important to understand the significant disputes in the Sri Lankan construction industry in order to mitigate this cost. A qualitative descriptive study has been conducted through semi-structured questionnaires analyzed using a thematic approach. The sample comprised of 10-construction industry professionals all involved in the dispute resolution process. The literature identified 7 main dispute causes as being owner related, contractor related, project related, design related, contract related, human behavior related and consultant related. The interviews identified sub themes from each, which were then ranked in order to identify those that were most significant. It was found that many of the sub themes were inter related and that one cause could be the creation of another. The lack of appropriate communication between parties and lack of team spirit were identified as the genesis of disputes in the Sri Lankan construction industry. The next stage of this research is to identify the dispute resolution methods specific to Sri Lanka in order to develop a framework for cost optimization of dispute resolution methods that link specifically with the causes of dispute as identified in this study.
Abstract. Building new Oil and Gas Pipelines (OGPs) without identifying and analyzing the Influencing Risk Factors (IRFs) could cause project delay and have a significant impact on the safety of the projects at the construction and operation stages. Hence, it is essential to assess the IRFs that are applicable to the OGP projects and manage them by quantifying their impact on the projects in an accurate way. The potential IRFs were identified via an extensive literature review, and they were analyzed using the findings of a questionnaire survey and the fuzzy logic theory. This paper aims to quantify the impact of the recorded IRFs on the project’s duration and forecast the probability of the project being completed in time. The methodology of this paper includes allocating the Risk Index (RI) values of each IRF to the work activities of the projects, applying the risk distributing methods, and calculating the impact of the IRFs on the duration of each activity of the project using Monte Carlo Simulation. This paper will be useful in providing a suitable measure for the IRFs in OGPs projects, and will aid in reducing their impact on project duration and improving the certainty of the projects delivery.
Abstract. Despite its enormous potentials for increasing efficiencies of the construction process, lean Construction (LC) has not been adopted into the majority of the construction industry yet. Furthermore, barriers and strategies for implementing LC have not been adequately studied by past and current research that can lead to the rapid uptake of LC within the construction industry. This study is to identify barriers that are hindering the construction industry to adopt LC and to further recommend suitable measures to overcome these barriers. In this study, a systematic literature review was carried out by reviewing theoretical/analytic papers, case studies and conceptual papers on the subject. After careful examination, eighty-seven (87) papers are kept for further analysis. Analysis indicated that approximately 80% of existing research studies are focused on identifying the implementation barriers only, whereas only 20%, presented barriers that hinder the adoption of LC. As a result, fifty-eight (58) barriers towards adopting LC and sixty-nine (69) strategies to overcome them were identified and classified under three population groups within the construction industry, based on their familiarity and implementation level of LC. The outcome of this study will potentially assist the construction industry in taking measures for increasing awareness and boosting the adoption rate of LC, along with the successful implementation of this innovative change management philosophy that ultimately will lead to optimized construction solutions.
Abstract. Construction project managers are continually seeking to balance the limited resources of time and money. To do this, collaborative management is critical. Most importantly, communication is the key to collaborative management. One of the most important forms of communication is the creation of a project schedule. Information on the tools and practices used by industry can help improve these practices for managers. Likewise, decision makers in the industry should understand trends to see if they align with peers, or to find justification for differences. The objectives of this study are to determine the tools used to create a project schedule, who is creating the schedule, and how often the schedule is communicated. The study is a comparison of views from the perspectives of the general contractors and that of the subcontractors. Additionally, the study examines the perceptions of general and subcontractors to determine the causes of schedule delays. This study is a report of commercial contractors performing work in the United States that provides information on the tools and practices currently used in construction scheduling. This study is valuable for industry leaders and academics seeking information about scheduling tools, practices and perceptions that can be implemented into a company scheduling culture or used for instructional purposes.
Abstract. Estimating future costs of construction is an important component to the success of any contracting company. Traditionally a cost modifier has been utilized to offset cost escalations or volatility predictions. Construction estimators and contractors have also attempted to utilize a variety of prediction models. This paper establishes a basis for reliable forecasting and explores the possibility of developing prediction models using time series Neural Networks (NN) by utilizing historic data of three accepted macro-economic composite indicators (MEI) and two accepted construction industry cost indices. The use of these macro-economic indicators for NN-based models may be used to predict cost escalations for construction. Nonlinear autoregressive NN models are constructed through using the macro-economic data and the construction cost data to determine if a reliable time-series predictive model could be established. The results of these models indicated that there is a high correlation between the macro-economic escalations, independent factors, and the construction cost escalations, dependent factors, over time. Use and knowledge of these correlations could aid in the prediction of cost escalations during construction.
Abstract. The construction industry has and will continue to see skilled labor shortages. The most critical shortage of staffing is at the building level, which is comprised of skilled construction craft workers. Societal pressures for higher education appear to exacerbate this shortage. To further understand the decrease of skilled construction labor, a pilot study of 53 high school students was conducted. The survey was conducted on 17 to 18- year-old students who will be graduating high school within the next one to two years. The results of the survey point to the societal view that higher education is of utmost importance to students and their families. Furthermore, the results showed that construction is not given positive consideration or seen as a valuable alternative to higher education. Parents and children deem the pursuit of higher education as the way to become financially successful and have a rewarding career.
Abstract. Construction field supervisors often exchange stories about how decisions they had made on previous projects have saved a substantial number of man-hours leading to improved profits. They rely on their experience-based knowledge to make day-to-day decisions in the field. The knowledge is mostly tacit in nature which is internalized over the course of experience and when asked, the supervisors are unable to codify or articulate it replicable in words. Many construction firms are incorporating knowledge management practices but still, the tacit dimension is relatively unexplored in the literature. Organizations are seeing the tacit dimension as a great competitive advantage due to its relative immobile nature. Employee retirements and knowledge loss are compelling construction firms to capture these know-hows to prepare the future workforce. The first step towards harnessing tacit knowledge is to identify it in practice. This study posits a tacit knowledge measure and identifies barriers to knowledge sharing through case studies involving specialty contactors. Findings show a clear relation between experience and tacit knowledge acquisition. Lack of time and formal procedures, and managers’ reluctance to change are identified as the key barriers to knowledge sharing. Organizations can implement the proposed methodology framework and instrument to strengthen existing knowledge harnessing strategies.
Abstract. This paper presents the results of a recent survey taken by construction management (CM) students at four U.S. Construction Management programs and the construction industry companies that recruit them. Respondents were asked to rate factors that affect the students’ employment decision. Survey results indicate that although industry has a grasp on the top-5 factors of importance there remains some misalignment of other factors of importance. Results indicate the five most important factors when considering employment with a company are: upward job movement, salary, company reputation, company culture, and company ethics. Comparisons between the two surveys are discussed.
Abstract. Despite the union’s strive for better labor life and work conditions, unionization in the U.S. construction industry has dropped to half of its 2008 levels. Measuring construction unionization, or union market share, is challenging due to the fragmented nature of the construction businesses and the high mobility of the construction workers. This paper provides a comparative assessment of four available market share metrics that have been applied in the unionized electrical construction industry. In addition, a new market share trend metric is proposed to help in developing a better understanding of the construction industry unionization dynamics.
Abstract. Building trade unions have had an instrumental role in advocating for worker welfare, training, health and safety in the U.S. construction industry. Since 1970s, the membership and market share of trade unions have dramatically declined, and there is no clear understanding and previous scholarly assessment of the drivers of such decline. This study provides a data-driven assessment of the market share controlling factors of the U.S. electrical trade unions and their signatory contractors. The study depended on collecting a large amount of data from the union electrical contractor organization, government census agencies, surveys, and interviews of electrical contractors. Union market share trends were found to be correlated to the use of higher crew ratios and the adoption of non-apprenticeship worker classifications.
Abstract. The use of fly ash in concrete has seen a steady rise in the last few decades. Several government agencies in the US have specified a minimum quantity of fly ash as a substitute for Portland cement in concrete. In recent years, the generation of fly ash has reduced due to the decreasing reliance on using coal power plants and it is necessary to start looking at alternative options. Wood ash and corn ash have been considered as potential replacements to fly ash in concrete in countries like Nigeria and India. US is the largest producer of corn with majority of the production in the Midwest. Similarly, plenty of wood waste is available in Florida with almost 2.7 million metric tons being landfilled annually. This study used the literature data on properties of corn ash and wood ash and the test results on their use in concrete to demonstrate the feasibility of using them as a substitute for fly ash in production of low strength concrete in Florida. The environmental impacts of using fly ash along with corn ash and wood ash were also calculated and compared.
Abstract. Internal curing is used to reduce shrinkage and early age cracking of poured concrete. The internal curing process depends on providing internal moisture to hardening concrete using prewetted light weight aggregates, as expanded slates and shales. The main objective of this research is to produce internally cured light-weight concrete mixes to be used in bridge deck construction. Light-weight mixes are developed by incorporating different percentages of pre-wetted expanded clays in partial replacement of mix coarse aggregates. Expanded clays will internally provide the concrete with adequate moisture to account for water evaporating during concrete hardening. Produced concrete mixes are characterized by light weight, comparable compressive strength, and reduced shrinkage and early-age cracking. Produced lightweight mixes showed comparable strength with minimized shrinkage, which will positively impact the durability of concrete
Abstract. Buildings consume nearly half of global energy each year in their construction and operation as embodied and operational energy releasing approximately 40% of global carbon emission. Embodied energy (EE) is consumed indirectly through the use of construction materials, assemblies, and equipment, and directly in construction processes and related transportation. Operational energy (OE) is consumed in building air-conditioning, heating, lighting, and powering equipment. Both EE and OE must be minimized to lower this huge energy footprint of buildings. To decrease EE, a complete and accurate EE assessment is essential, which, however, is a quite data-intensive and time-consuming process. EE is conventionally computed using process- and input-output (IO)-based methods. Hybrid approaches that combine the two methods are also used to compute EE. In an IO-based method, macroeconomic data is translated into energy flows, which indicates a potential relationship between energy and economic flows, and consequently between EE and cost. In this paper, we investigated the EE-cost relationship at the building and construction material levels and found a strong positive correlation between the EE and cost of the study buildings. The results indicate a need to further analyze this relationship through regression analysis to see if EE can be predicted from cost data.
Abstract. The effect of curing conditions, specimen type, and the use of super absorbent polymers on the Compressive Strength and Abrasion of Portland Cement Pervious Concrete was evaluated. Five different mixtures, using different water/cement ratios, and the addition of polypromancic based acid and polyacrylate based super absorbent polymers were tested. Half of the specimens were cured in a temperature-controlled room at higher temperature and lower humidity to simulate field conditions. Specimens that were cured in these harsher conditions showed reduced compressive strength in the range of 34% to 35% for cast cylinders, and 27% to 67% for cores when compared to specimens cured under ideal conditions in the lab. These samples also had 3.14 to 3.2 times the abrasion damage compared to laboratory cured samples of similar porosities.
Abstract. Recent improvements in the AEC industry, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and lean construction and sustainability, require that the design and construction process be approached from a holistic and collaborative manner. From an academic perspective, collaboration also is an important teaching and research component that allows for a well-rounded understanding of the AEC industry. However, very little research has been performed on collaboration in the AEC disciplines, specifically interdisciplinary collaboration. As a starting point, this paper focuses on academic collaboration in journal publications related to sustainability and building performance. The authors provide bibliometric and thematic analyses of three 2018 research publications related to building performance and written by faculty affiliated with construction departments. The main goal of the paper is to provide preliminary findings about which AEC disciplines were included and which themes were prevalent in collaborative publications. Preliminary findings indicated themes related to performance analysis of buildings and / or building components; indoor environmental quality; decision-making and evaluation methods; and life cycle assessment. Results can be used to identify potential areas that are conducive to collaborative work between construction and other AEC disciplines in order to stimulate more interdisciplinary collaboration within AEC research.
Abstract. This research investigated the potential of immersive Virtual Reality (VR) technology as an assistive teaching tool for construction safety and similar courses that require hands-on training. The most significant advantage of VR technology is creating real-life experiences without exposing the students to the dangers of a jobsite. Earlier studies recognized the need to develop customized VR content for construction safety courses that incorporates specific OSHA standards; hence, this study was conducted with a focus on this objective. After in-depth discussion with two construction firms, the research team identified three most needed areas for safety training namely confined space safety, scaffolding safety, and jobsite clean-up safety. A conceptual framework for VR content design, execution, and method of delivery was designed. Then a storyboard was created for each identified area to graphically depict the concept and workflow for the VR programing. Unity® gaming engine was used as the developing platform and VR modules were created for Oculus Go® head mounted display. Each module contained demonstration of the hazards and mitigation methods based on the OSHA standards. Questionnaire survey and SWOT analysis are used as tools to collect feedback and assessment data from undergraduate and graduate students and industry experts. The survey results indicate that the VR based safety education can play a positive role in improving students’ understanding, knowledge retention, and interest in the subject matter. It can help construction firms to conduct enhanced safety training without the need for physical mockups. The paper explains the strategies and lessons learned as well as provides directions for future research.
Abstract. The construction industry has high rates of accidents, but most can be prevented. To prevent accidents, researchers have demonstrated that workers must first identify workplace hazards. However, workers fail to identify most hazards in construction environments. Previous studies report several factors (i.e., safety attitude) that impact construction workers' ability to recognize hazards. However, the role of superstitious beliefs in safety performance has not been studied. This research investigates how construction workers’ superstitious beliefs impact their safety performance. To achieve the objectives, 135 construction workers participated in this study. The workers’ safety beliefs and the role of supernatural myths in accident causation perception were studied through use of a validated survey instrument. Results revealed that the greater workers’ superstitious beliefs, the more inferior their safety performance. Driven by superstitions, a worker believes that accidents are caused by supernatural powers and workers have little control over their fate resulting in inferior safety performance (i.e., hazard recognition). Poor safety performance, in turn, makes workers more vulnerable to accidents strengthening their superstitious beliefs. Results of this study highlight the role of personal superstitious beliefs in safety performance. Findings are beneficial for construction professionals and practitioners seeking long-lasting and effective interventions to improve safety performance.
Abstract. Like buildings, nonroad construction equipment with enclosed cabs have doors and windows, and heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems; thus, these machines have their own indoor air quality (IAQ) environment. Understanding the role of thermal comfort and air pollutants can help equipment operators manage in-cab environments to reduce health concerns and increase productivity. The objective of this case study was to collect and analyze IAQ data from the cabs of nonroad equipment as it performed real-world activities. Using state-of-the-art IAQ instrumentation, data were collected for in-cab pollutant concentration levels including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and respirable particulate matter. Concentrations of carbon monoxide did not exceed published exposure limits for IAQ, but they did approach the published limits. Concentrations of CO2 frequently exceeded IAQ recommended levels for adequate ventilation. Concentrations of respirable particulate matter frequently exceeded IAQ recommended levels. The case study yielded enough information to conclude that studying IAQ in nonroad equipment cabs is necessary to improve human health, safety, and productivity for equipment operators.