Improving Dynamic Knowledge Movements with a Knowledge-Based Framework during Conceptual Design of a Green Building Project

Improving Dynamic Knowledge Movements with a Knowledge-Based Framework during Conceptual Design of a Green Building Project

Zohreh Pourzolfaghar (Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia), Rahinah Ibrahim (Department of Architecture, Faculty of Design and Architecture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia), Rusli Abdullah (Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia), Nor Mariah Adam (Department of Mechanic, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia) and Abang Abdullah Abang Ali (Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/jkm.2013040104
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Many researchers believe that tacitness of knowledge contributes to incomplete knowledge flow. In this article, the authors focus on obtaining the required mechanical and electrical tacit knowledge for architectural conceptual design purpose by observing activities of a design team involved in a green building project. The authors used the case study research methodology to demonstrate how the authors could utilize Macmillan's conceptual design framework and integrate it with the structure of repertory grid technique to obtain a framework of knowledge-based conceptual design for a green building project. The contribution of this study is developing a technique for capturing tacit knowledge during the conceptual design process that leads to an improvement in knowledge movements during the architectural conceptual design stage.
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1. Introduction

Incomplete knowledge flows amongst the team members of building projects during the conceptual design stage lead to cost and time overruns in the building projects. According to Ibrahim and Nissen (2007), tacit knowledge does not flow well in complex enterprises and attenuates particularly quickly in the organizations which experience discontinuous participation in knowledge exchange by the involved team members. Ibrahim (2005) described a discontinuous membership as an organizational operational situation in which team members join and leave the organization when they are needed to perform specific roles for the workflow process to continue. Ibrahim and Nissen (2007) highlighted that the organizational design characteristics affect flow of tacit knowledge and hence work progress in the enterprise. Similarly, Shumate et al. (2010) found that discontinuity of roles — very typical in construction projects — can result in the loss of key information from knowledge teams.

Complex building projects usually involve the integration of multiple disciplines. They normally require integration of knowledge from civil, mechanical, electrical, and other engineering domains into the associated architectural designs. Ellis et al. (2002) found that concomitant to the growing concerns about the sustainability of buildings, the building designers are falling under increasing pressures of designing buildings with high standards of energy efficiency, performance, and comfort in the shortest possible time. Since the vast majority of the modern buildings are equipped with a wide variety of mechanical and electrical systems (Kue et al., 2011), many researchers such as Chow et al. (2005) expressed the need for upgrading the architectural and building designs in response to the vital need for protecting the environment using mechanical and electrical means early during the design stage. Furthermore, researchers (e.g., Lizardos, 1993; Kereider et al., 1994; Kato, 1995; Coad, 1997) maintain that mechanical and electrical considerations in modern buildings should adhere to the escalating demand on appreciably good indoor air quality and overall performance and guarantee more energy-efficient buildings than the current ones. On the other hand, the concept of this study finds roots in the views of Mohamed and AbouRizk (2005) who supported the purposeful accumulation and preservation of technical knowledge during the design process in order to eventually deliver construction projects in a successful and effective manner.

The previous literature highlighted that it is essential to consider mechanical and electrical requirements of buildings in the early architectural design process. Experienced architects know when to perform these tasks due to their familiarity with the mechanical and electrical knowledge requirements. In so doing, these experts are much successful in preventing unnecessary reworks. However, there is an increasing concern when novice architects or discontinuing members join a project team with insufficient knowledge since their limited experience may lead them to ignore the necessary knowledge requirements when needed, thus potentially causing reworking.

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