A CAD-Based Interface Management System using Building Information Modeling in Construction

A CAD-Based Interface Management System using Building Information Modeling in Construction

Yu-Cheng Lin
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-928-1.ch007
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Many interface events and problems occur in Architecture/Engineering/Construction (A/E/C) projects during the construction phase. Identifying and controlling related interface events and problems are essential to construction management. Interface management (IM) has become the most important projectmanagement strategy in construction management. Interface management is the systematic control of all communications that support an operational process. Construction IM affects cost, scheduling, and quality directly and indirectly. Despite many academic studies and considerable discussion regarding IM, information about systematic approaches for managing interface events and problems during the construction phase is lacking. Interface or changed events can be identified and traced in IM such that participants can improve construction processes, minimize mistaken rework, and reduce total duration. This study presents a novel practical methodology for tracking and managing interfaces using Building Information Modeling (BIM). When using BIM, users can obtain an overview of previous and current interfaces in a given project and implement appropriate advanced control strategies and manage interfaces and problems in A/E/C projects. This pilot study utilizes BIMs for IM to the construction/ mechanical/electrical interfaces in a building project and develops a construction CAD-based Interface Management (CBIM) system for project participants. The CBIM system is applied to a case study of a construction building project in Taiwan to verify the proposed methodology and demonstrate the effectiveness of IM.
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2 Background

Construction projects are characterized by extreme complexity and non-standardized production. Unlike manufacturing, each project differs as it is designed and executed to meet owner needs. Thus, effectively managing project interfaces is essential to construction management. The complex nature of the construction industry makes it well suited to IM, particularly for interface information sharing among participants. Without IM, poorly coordinated and controlled boundary conditions among project participants can cause interface problems such as design errors, mismatched parts, system performance failures, coordination difficulties and construction conflicts (Chen et al., 2007). Effectively tracking and managing interfaces can improve construction IM during the construction phase, thereby avoiding unnecessary mistakes. Traditional interface communication methods include face-to-face meetings and telephone calls. Normal communication between participants helps prevent delays in the progress of solving interface among participants (Al-Hammand 1993, 2000). Effective information sharing for interfaces enables project participants to identify existing interfaces and solve interface problems. However, a typical problem in traditional communication is that discussions cannot be recorded and shared with others. In the construction management, interface information can serve as a reference for enhancing interface management.

According to questionnaire survey results from 16 senior managers and engineers specialized in construction management, the primary construction interface problems during the construction phase in Taiwan are as follows: (1) insufficient platforms/functions supporting IM for construction project management; (2) failure to properly manage conflicts during the construction phase; (3) complex interface conflicts related to time, space, issues and organizations; (4) a serious lack of communication and management of interface issues; (5) few suitable platforms available for assisting participants in sharing interface information when needed; and, (6) difficulty in tracking interface events and obtaining current information regarding identified interface issues.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Interface Management: Interface management attempts to systematically control all communications that facilitate a process operation.

CAD-Based Interface Management: CAD-based interface management focuses on CAD-applications in construction projects for management purposes in interfaces.

Building Information Modeling (BIM): Building Information Modeling facilitates the integration, interoperation and collaborative activities in A/E/C.

Change Management: Change management addresses how changes within a system or project are managed and controlled manner based on a pre-defined strategy with acceptable modifications.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS): RSS easily distributes headlines and updated information to a large number of computer users through software programs that organize promulgated information for easy reading.

Web-Based Information Management: A web-based information management coordinates information via a web browser over the Internet or a company intranet. Software applications coded in a browser-supported language, e.g., HTML, JavaScript, and Java, and dependent on a web browser to execute related applications are also involved.

Cad-base Mapping: Cad-base mapping schematically and graphically represents relationships between interfaces and attributes of 2D and 3D CAD presentation.

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