Journal of Construction Engineering The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Communities’ Satisfaction towards Housing Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program after September 30, 2009, Earthquake in West Sumatra Wed, 13 Apr 2016 14:02:55 +0000 The government of Indonesia had provided the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (RR) assistance to 194,636 houses for communities after September 30, 2009, earthquake in West Sumatra. The community-based development model was adopted in this housing program aid. This study aims to explore people’s satisfaction towards the RR program and to identify the difference of satisfaction level between urban area and rural area. The research was carried out by conducting a questionnaire survey to 200 communities. The beneficiaries were invited to determine their satisfaction level based on 5 Likert scale from 1 as “not satisfied at all” to 5 as “absolutely satisfied.” The satisfaction level was assessed by two factors, process of reconstruction and result of reconstruction. It was found that the level of communities’ satisfaction is at average level. The satisfaction level of urban communities is 2.75, while the satisfaction level of rural communities is slightly higher at 2.88. The satisfaction levels of urban and rural communities with the reconstruction process are at 2.63 and 2.75, respectively, while the satisfaction level with the results of the program is at 2.84 and at 2.95, respectively. Communities’ satisfaction with the result of reconstruction is higher than that with the process of reconstruction. Bambang Istijono, Taufika Ophiyandri, Diah Chairisna, and Ade Tadzkia Copyright © 2016 Bambang Istijono et al. All rights reserved. Using the Network Metaphor to Design, Deliver, and Maintain a Construction Management Curriculum Thu, 03 Dec 2015 11:55:44 +0000 Construction management programs accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) are responding to new standards for accreditation, as the accreditation process itself is being changed to primarily focus on learning outcomes. These changes offer an opportunity and a challenge for existing programs to readjust and restructure to meet the increasingly changing expectations within the construction market. Using a network metaphor, with a critical path consisting of critical activities, activity codes, and constraints, can be a successful methodology to develop/align a construction management curriculum. As with any network, this approach can be used as both planning and control tool, being revisited regularly for further fine-tuning responding to the feedback resulting from assessment efforts to “close the loop.” The resulting network can be presented in both tabular and/or graphical format highlighting the critical path and particular critical activities (learning concepts) within that path. Different resources can be applied to the schedule reflecting their commitment and availability limits (space, labs, computers, etc.). Ihab M. H. Saad Copyright © 2015 Ihab M. H. Saad. All rights reserved. Nature of Communication Ineffectiveness Inherent in the Procurement Systems on Mass Housing Projects Mon, 23 Nov 2015 14:04:27 +0000 Mass housing projects (MHPs) are deemed to exhibit unique procurement systems which consequently induce communication ineffectiveness that continues to dominate the challenges among mass housing project teams. However, this acknowledged communication ineffectiveness inherent in the unique procurement system features of mass housing project among the project team remains to be empirically examined. This study seeks to investigate the influence of procurement system (PS) features of MHPs to communication ineffectiveness among the mass housing project team. By adopting a quantitative method design, a structured questionnaire survey on project team leaders managing MHPs in Ghana was used in collecting empirical data. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to explore the communication problems inherent in the PS features of mass housing projects. The results revealed moderate to high effects of communication ineffectiveness in information flow and information composition inherent in the unique PS features of MHPs. The results further revealed misunderstanding, inaccuracies, barriers, and information dissemination challenges as the major communication ineffectiveness induced by the PS features of MHPs. By gaining knowledge and understanding into the communication ineffectiveness associated with these features of MHPs, practitioners are well positioned to plan communication and management strategies to engender success in mass housing delivery. Titus Ebenezer Kwofie, Emmanuel Adinyira, and Frank Fugar Copyright © 2015 Titus Ebenezer Kwofie et al. All rights reserved. An Integrated BIM System to Track the Time and Cost of Construction Projects: A Case Study Mon, 16 Nov 2015 14:09:39 +0000 Many construction projects suffer from poor design and from inconsistent time and cost management. This situation has led to rethinking of the industry’s performance and how it could be improved. Technology is breaking through design and management practices. Earned value management (EVM) enables better management of time and cost constraints. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is recognized to improve the planning and realization of a construction project. The present paper proposes an integrated time and cost management system (ITCMS), where an EVM platform is used in a virtual environment during the planning and construction phases of a project. The ITCMS enables early involvement and project integration plus thorough time and cost management. The system consists of four modules and 13 different processes. The ITCMS is beneficial at the design stage; construction professionals are able to synchronize the building model with time and cost parameters as well as optimize it through a clash detection process that results in budget and schedule compressions early on. The ITCMS is a useful tool for construction and engineering managers that strive to increase projects’ performance. The authors demonstrate in this paper the validity of using the ITCMS through an actual project. Ahmad Jrade and Julien Lessard Copyright © 2015 Ahmad Jrade and Julien Lessard. All rights reserved. Identification of Risks Pertaining to Abandoned Housing Projects in Malaysia Tue, 10 Nov 2015 14:23:22 +0000 Housing industry is one of the most dynamic, risky, and challenging industries. In Malaysia, this industry has a poor reputation for managing risks, with many major projects failing to be completed within the allotted time. Due to the inherent risks involved in construction projects, it is essential to recognize the risks that cause problems associated with abandoned housing projects. Therefore, this study aims to identify the risks that contribute to issues of abandoned housing projects and to propose mitigation strategies. The methodologies used in this study are combination of qualitative and quantitative methods of literature review, questionnaire survey, and interview. The results show that many risks are involved in housing project, including risks related to environmental impacts, construction, politics, law, management, finance, materials, and economy, of which the probability of risks from unexpected ground condition, project delays, bureaucracy, contractual disputes between developer and landlord, weakness in management by inexperience developer, and financial crisis is very high. It was also found that all relevant parties involved in housing industry are required to have extensive cooperation in advance and should perform systematic risk management strategies in order to mitigate the risks leading to problems associated with abandoned housing projects. Hamzah Abdul-Rahman, Chen Wang, and Nur Hamizah Ariffin Copyright © 2015 Hamzah Abdul-Rahman et al. All rights reserved. The Use of Project Time Management Processes and the Schedule Performance of Construction Projects in Mexico Thu, 15 Oct 2015 11:26:32 +0000 Delays have been frequently reported as the cause of several conflicts that affect the different parties involved in construction projects. Project Time Management (PTM) includes a number of planning and controlling processes that are recommended for complying with requirements related to project time. The study reported in this paper aimed at assessing the use of PTM processes and its relation with project schedule performance (i.e., timely completion). Seven PTM processes and seventy-seven tasks associated with them were identified from the literature that is globally relevant to project management. The study included the assessment of fourteen school construction projects executed by a public agency in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. These projects were monitored during the construction phase in order to measure two different variables: the use of processes related to PTM (i.e., schedule planning and controlling processes) and the project schedule performance. For each of these projects a Use Index was obtained for assessing the first variable, while the Schedule Performance Index and the Schedule Variance were computed to assess the second one. The results demonstrated there is statistical dependence between these two variables. Most of the projects that attained timely completion also made a greater use of the PTM processes. Rómel G. Solís-Carcaño, Gilberto A. Corona-Suárez, and Aldo J. García-Ibarra Copyright © 2015 Rómel G. Solís-Carcaño et al. All rights reserved. Risk Determination, Prioritization, and Classifying in Construction Project Case Study: Gharb Tehran Commercial-Administrative Complex Tue, 13 Oct 2015 07:26:40 +0000 Construction projects play an important role in infrastructure projects in developing countries. According to type, size, and complexity of the project, the number and importance of each risk could be different and many projects cannot reach the project goals due to exposure to multiple risks. Many papers have been published on the subject of risk management in construction projects; unfortunately most of them have not been implemented in practical conditions. The aim of this study is to identify and prioritize risks in construction projects. The classical approach used probability and impact for risk assessment, but these criteria do not sufficiently address all aspects of projects risks and there might be a relationship between different criteria. This study proposes the hierarchical dependencies between criteria. A case study of construction project is presented to illustrate performance and usage of the proposed model. Utilizing library studies and interview with experts, managers, and specialists, decision criteria were identified through brain storming. Risks were categorized by the experts into eleven risks. Important risks were evaluated based on the fuzzy ANP, fuzzy DEMATEL, and fuzzy TOPSIS methods. The proposed model is more suitable than the traditional decision-making methods in prioritizing risk concerning cost, time, and quality. Azadeh Sohrabinejad and Mehdi Rahimi Copyright © 2015 Azadeh Sohrabinejad and Mehdi Rahimi. All rights reserved. Development of the Asphalt Multi-Integrated Roller Field and Experimental Studies Thu, 17 Sep 2015 16:02:42 +0000 Asphalt pavements have been compacted using steel drum rollers for a century. However, the problems that are observed today on these pavements are universal with no solution in sight. Intensive research work has been invested to identify the mechanisms that cause these problems. A recent development was the introduction of SuperPave mix design, GP asphalt cements, and the use of reinforcing elements ranging from polymer to steel bars. Yet it seems that none of these solutions have succeeded in eliminating any of the old problems. The pavements suffer from serious distresses regardless of the geographic location of the pavements and its design, materials, traffic loads, and climate condition. This paper presents a new approach to deal with the problems facing the asphalt pavements. While the research efforts to date concentrated on materials-related solutions, this paper identifies conventional compaction equipment as the cause of many problems observed on the pavements. The paper provides the development of the new Asphalt Multi-Integrated Roller, AMIR, and discusses new developments leading to a number of commercial field trials on several Ontario highways. The paper concludes that current compactors must be replaced with soft flat plates in order to achieve the required specifications for long term performance. Abd El Halim Omar Abd El Halim, Amir Omar Abd El Halim, Moustafa Awadalla, and Mohamed Adel Hassanin Copyright © 2015 Abd El Halim Omar Abd El Halim et al. All rights reserved. A Reliable Visual Inspection Method for Vulnerability Assessment of Hyperstatic Structures Using Fuzzy Logic Analysis Tue, 04 Aug 2015 12:55:39 +0000 Fuzzy logic applied to the visual inspection of existing buildings has been proposed in relation to simple structures. Isostatic structures are characterized by a unique and known collapse mechanism, which does not vary with geometry or load change. In this paper we apply fuzzy logic to visual inspection for complex structures such as hyperstatic ones in which the collapse mechanism depends not only on the geometry but also on the size and disposition of loads. The goal of this paper is to give relevant weight, in the fuzzy analysis, not only to the single expression of degradation, due to its localization within the element, but also to the structural element itself by assigning a different resistance to the various elements. The underlying aim of the proposed method is to manage, evaluate, and process all the information coming from visual inspections in order to realize a management information system for the evaluation of the safety level of even complex structures. Maria Valeria Piras, Fausto Mistretta, Maria Luisa Fadda, and Luisa Deias Copyright © 2015 Maria Valeria Piras et al. All rights reserved. Implementation of Risk Management in Malaysian Construction Industry: Case Studies Tue, 28 Jul 2015 08:52:29 +0000 Construction industries are exposed to wide array of risks, such as financial, design, and contractual ones, which might have a direct impact on their performance toward achieving the desired objectives. Risk Management is a proactive decision-making process used to minimize and manage the risks in the most efficient and appropriate manner. However, most construction firms in Malaysia do not apply formal risk management in their projects. Thus, this study aims to identify the actual process of risk management that is being applied in the construction projects and to determine the effects of risk management implementation on the performance of the construction projects in terms of time and cost. The data were obtained from four case studies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, through semistructured interviews. It was found that the implementation of risk management process in Malaysian construction industry is still at a low level, mainly due to the fact that most of the construction employees involved in risk management are not fully aware of the available risk management techniques that can be applied in construction projects. Hamzah Abdul-Rahman, Chen Wang, and Farhanim Sheik Mohamad Copyright © 2015 Hamzah Abdul-Rahman et al. All rights reserved. Critical Factors Inhibiting Performance of Small- and Medium-Scale Contractors in Sub-Saharan Region: A Case for Malawi Wed, 01 Jul 2015 09:56:59 +0000 The construction industry is dominated by small- and medium-scale contractors (SMCs) who face an emerging trend of unique challenges in the implementation of projects. The study was aimed at examining inhibiting factors that influence performance of SMCs in terms of “quality of work,” “tender estimation,” “tender preparation,” and “timely completion of construction projects” in Malawi. A survey questionnaire was administered to 370 players in the construction industry which included public sector clients, contractors, consultants, and construction resource trainers in order to elicit data from 118 variables that were identified through a careful literature review. The inhibiting factors were generally dominated by economic issues, which was an emerging trend to what has been previously reported in the sub-Saharan region. The first highest ranked inhibiting factors were high lending interest regimes offered by financial institutions; stringent conditions to access capital; fluctuation of currency; stringent requirements for obtaining bonds; and high taxes. The research lays the foundation for further understanding of inhibitors on performance of SMCs in an evolving world which is being impacted by global factors and punctuated by sudden changes. Paul John Kulemeka, Grant Kululanga, and Danny Morton Copyright © 2015 Paul John Kulemeka et al. All rights reserved. Structural Properties of Concrete Materials Containing RoadCem Tue, 16 Jun 2015 12:16:45 +0000 This paper presents findings from a preliminary study to assess the structural and material properties of a nonstandard, concrete type mix containing RoadCem, a traditional soil stabilising additive. Two different mixes determined the effect of adding RoadCem in terms of compressive and flexural strengths, breaking strain, thermal expansion and contraction behaviour, permeability using a falling head, and Young’s modulus. RoadCem is a fine powder containing alkali metals and synthetic zeolites which are complemented with a complex activator. RoadCem modifies the dynamics and chemistry of cement hydration by enhancing the crystallisation process and forming longer needle crystalline structures. It reduces the heat of hydration with an early strength development. Varying the volume in the mix varies the viscosity and alters curing times while maintaining the water cement ratio. The results from this study have shown a modest increase in compressive strength and Young’s modulus with improvements in thermal performance, particularly at low temperatures. The flexural strength of the two mixes was similar with a much reduced permeability in the RoadCem mix. The results demonstrate the improved performance of concrete incorporating RoadCem but further improvements are possible by using a better graded aggregate and controlling the maximum dry density and moisture contents. Niall Holmes Copyright © 2015 Niall Holmes. All rights reserved. Hard-Hat Detection for Construction Safety Visualization Sun, 01 Feb 2015 08:43:43 +0000 In 2012, 775 fatalities were recorded, and many more were injured at construction sites in the United States. Of these, 415 fatalities (54%) were due to fall, slips, and trips as well as being struck by falling objects. In order to decrease fatalities at construction sites to these types of events, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides Fall Prevention and OSHA-10 trainings to construction workers. Moreover, safety personnel monitor whether the workers use personal protective equipment (PPE) properly. Data shows that construction fatalities have decreased by 2% annually since 1994; however, the owners still are not satisfied with this result. Various studies have shown that fall is the biggest contributor for construction fatalities. One study showed that half of the fall fatalities were because the workers either had not used PPEs or had not used them properly. In addition, studies showed that, with proper use of hard hats, the fatalities due to fall, slips, trips, and being struck by falling objects could be reduced. This study developed and tested a hard-hat detection tool that uses image-processing techniques to identify whether workers are wearing hard hats. The tool dispatches warning messages if the workers do not use hard hats. Kishor Shrestha, Pramen P. Shrestha, Dinesh Bajracharya, and Evangelos A. Yfantis Copyright © 2015 Kishor Shrestha et al. All rights reserved. Optimizing Traffic Operation in Designing Specific Upgrades Sun, 18 Jan 2015 14:14:15 +0000 Transport forms one of the primary needs in all categories of the population in modern society; it is of paramount concern for traffic engineers, transport planners, and policy makers to understand and evaluate the quality of service being provided by the transport facilities designed by them. This paper presents an investigation in profile geometric design and traffic flow operation on two-lane two-way highways and provides analyses that will help in a better understanding of traffic operation on these facilities to select the optimum profile configuration. The effects of influencing parameters consisting of grade, length of grade, traffic composition, and traffic volume are evaluated and finally a systematic procedure to evaluate flow rate under the base condition is presented. Finally, based on these achievements an algorithm is introduced to select optimum Finished Ground of profile view. Results show that the percentage of heavy vehicles has a contributing effect on traffic operation so that the optimum profile configuration is incredibly affected by this factor. Source data have been obtained from Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) as a pioneer document in respect of quantifying the concept of capacity for a transport facility. Ebrahim Sangsefidi, Mohammadjafar Rashidbenam, Shahab Kabiri, Hossein Amid, and Maryam Sangsefidi Copyright © 2015 Ebrahim Sangsefidi et al. All rights reserved. Experimental Heat Transfer Study on Green Roofs in a Semiarid Climate during Summer Sun, 18 Jan 2015 09:38:32 +0000 An experimental study was conducted on green roofs under the semiarid summer climatic conditions of West Texas to investigate the effect of soil type, moisture content, and the presence of a top soil grass layer on the conductive heat transfer through the roof. Two soil types were investigated: uniform sand and local silt clay. Tests were also conducted on a control roof. A dual-needle heat-pulse sensor was used to conduct thermal property tests on the soils. The tests reveal that unlike sand, the thermal conductivity of silt clay did not increase continuously with soil moisture. Better heat transfer conditions were achieved when the sand and silt clay roofs were watered to a water depth of 10 mm per day rather than double the amount of 20 mm per day. The roof with silt clay soil had the lowest fluctuation in inner temperature between daytime and nighttime. Green roofs with silt clay soil required more than twice the amount of soil moisture than green roofs with sand to achieve similar roof heat transfer rates. The best net heat flux gains for vegetated green roofs were 4.7 W/m2 for the sand roof and 7.8 W/m2 for the silt clay roof. Roy J. Issa, Kenneth Leitch, and Byungik Chang Copyright © 2015 Roy J. Issa et al. All rights reserved. An Automated BIM Model to Conceptually Design, Analyze, Simulate, and Assess Sustainable Building Projects Thu, 06 Nov 2014 12:41:56 +0000 Quantifying the environmental impacts and simulating the energy consumption of building’s components at the conceptual design stage are very helpful for designers needing to make decisions related to the selection of the best design alternative that would lead to a more energy efficient building. Building Information Modeling (BIM) offers designers the ability to assess different design alternatives at the conceptual stage of the project so that energy and life cycle assessment (LCA) strategies and systems are attained. This paper proposes an automated model that links BIM, LCA, energy analysis, and lighting simulation tools with green building certification systems. The implementation is within developing plug-ins on BIM tool capable of measuring the environmental impacts (EI) and embodied energy of building components. Using this method, designers will be provided with a new way to visualize and to identify the potential gain or loss of energy for the building as a whole and for each of its associated components. Furthermore, designers will be able to detect and evaluate the sustainability of the proposed buildings based on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. An actual building project will be used to illustrate the workability of the proposed methodology. Farzad Jalaei and Ahmad Jrade Copyright © 2014 Farzad Jalaei and Ahmad Jrade. All rights reserved. Study of the Causes and Magnitude of Wastage of Materials on Construction Sites in Jordan Wed, 29 Oct 2014 08:25:39 +0000 The research aims to study the causes and magnitude of wastage of construction materials on construction projects sites in Jordan. To achieve the research aim, the researcher had prepared a questionnaire form included questions about the causes of wastage and the estimated percentages of wastage of ten most popular kinds of materials used on construction sites in Jordan. Prior to the final formulation of the questionnaire form, a pilot survey was conducted. The form was revised in accordance with the feedback received. The number of causes adopted was 60 distributed on the six major categories. The form was distributed to 240 participants (clients, contractors, and consultants). The study revealed that the most important causes of wastage of materials on construction sites in Jordan are frequent design and client’s changes; rework due to workers mistakes; poor contract documents; wrong and lack of storage of materials; poor strategy for waste minimization; shortage and lack of experience of skilled workers; poor site conditions; damage during transportation; theft and vandalism; and mistakes in quantity surveying and over allowance. In addition the study concluded that the percentage of wastage materials is accounted for by values between 15% and 21% on Jordanian construction sites. Ghanim A. Bekr Copyright © 2014 Ghanim A. Bekr. All rights reserved. Identification and Classification of the Unique Features of Mass Housing Projects Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:12:18 +0000 Mass housing projects (MHPs) are said to differ significantly from the “one-off” traditional building projects often encountered in the construction industry and thus require unique management skills and approach in MHPs delivery. This unique nature of MHPs contributes to managerial inefficiencies that result in delivery failures when management approaches are not adapted to the project characteristics. However, understanding and knowledge of the unique attributes of MHPs are critical towards improving the organisation, planning, managerial effectiveness, and delivery success of mass housing projects. To date, extensive studies establishing the unique features of mass housing projects are lacking. This study is set out to identify what constitutes the unique features of mass housing projects by comparing mass housing projects to traditional “one-off” building projects. A questionnaire survey was used to establish mass housing practitioners’ perception of the unique characteristics of MHPs. Data analysis involving mean scores and ANOVA revealed 10 unique features of MHP. A clear and systematic understanding of these unique features of MHPs is crucial for evolving effective project management practices and critical competencies towards successful delivery of current and future MHPs. Titus Ebenezer Kwofie, Frank Fugar, Emmanuel Adinyira, and Divine Kwaku Ahadzie Copyright © 2014 Titus Ebenezer Kwofie et al. All rights reserved. Quantitative Analysis of the Sources of Construction Waste Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:20:45 +0000 The construction industry is traditionally environmentally unfriendly. The environmental impacts of construction waste include soil contamination, water contamination, and deterioration of landscape. Also, construction waste has a negative economic impact by contributing additional cost to construction due to the need to replace wasted materials. However, in order to mitigate waste, construction managers have to explore management options, which include reduction, recycling, and disposal of wastes. Reduction has the highest priority among the waste management options but efficient reduction cannot be achieved without adequate identification of the sources of waste. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to present a study that was carried out on the contribution rates of nine identified sources of construction waste. Establishing the contribution rates of different waste sources will enhance knowledge-based decision-making in developing appropriate strategy for mitigating construction waste. Quantitative research method, using survey questionnaire, was adopted in this study to assess the frequency and severity of contribution of the sources of waste. As one of the findings of the study, residual waste such as material off-cuts was identified as the highest contributor to construction waste. This study consequently demonstrated that waste has a significant contribution to the cost of construction. Olusanjo O. Fadiya, Panos Georgakis, and Ezekiel Chinyio Copyright © 2014 Olusanjo O. Fadiya et al. All rights reserved. NIDE: A Novel Improved Differential Evolution for Construction Project Crashing Optimization Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:16:40 +0000 In the field of construction management, project crashing is an approach to shortening the project duration by reducing the duration of several critical project activities to less than their normal activity duration. The goal of crashing is to shorten the project duration while minimizing the crashing cost. In this research, a novel method for construction project crashing is proposed. The method is named as novel improved differential evolution (NIDE). The proposed NIDE is developed by an integration of the differential evolution (DE) and a new probabilistic similarity-based selection operator (PSSO) that aims at improving the DE’s selection process. The PSSO has the role as a scheme for preserving the population diversity and fending off the premature convergence. The experimental result has demonstrated that the newly established NIDE can successfully escape from local optima and achieve a significantly better optimization performance. Nhat-Duc Hoang Copyright © 2014 Nhat-Duc Hoang. All rights reserved. Current State of Off-Site Manufacturing in Australian and Chinese Residential Construction Thu, 25 Sep 2014 09:26:50 +0000 Many techniques have been implemented to make construction industry more productive. The key focus is on reduction of total duration, reduction in construction cost, improvements in the quality, achieving more sustainable development, and safer construction sites. One of the techniques, which is emerging in the last two decades, is the use of off-site manufacturing (OSM) within the construction industry. Several research projects and industry initiatives have reported the benefits and challenges of implementation of OSM. The focus of this paper is Australian and Chinese residential construction industry and the uptake of the OSM concepts. The paper presents a brief review of the current state of OSM in the last five to seven years with the context of the above-mentioned two countries. The paper concludes that the construction industry, both in Australia and China, needs to start walking the talk with regard to OSM adoption. The paper also highlights some of the research gaps in the OSM area, especially within the housing and residential sector. Malik M. A. Khalfan and Tayyab Maqsood Copyright © 2014 Malik M. A. Khalfan and Tayyab Maqsood. All rights reserved. Do Building Information Modelling Applications Benefit Design Teams in Achieving BREEAM Accreditation? Mon, 22 Sep 2014 05:25:35 +0000 Using building information modelling (BIM) within a design team allows for integration of sustainability analysis such as daylighting analysis, water harvesting, and thermal assessment whilst capturing the data which can be used for BREEAM assessment. Therefore, the availability of data compared to traditional methods can be used to design teams, stakeholders, and environmental assessment bodies’ advantage. Since BIM boasts extensive building performance analysis capabilities, design teams should be provided with standard methodologies and guidance into successfully achieving certain BREEAM criteria. This paper highlights gaps in the existing theory to develop a solid understanding for further research in order to achieve BIM integrated BREEAM design team protocol. Further to this and running parallel to the protocol and guidance, an internal conceptual framework existing within BIM software could be instigated from future research. This will require detailed and innovative solutions to link the credits with the software both from an IT and from a software coding perspective; also, there is great merit into analysing design teams’ cultural and behavioural factors towards sustainable design through the BIM model. Josh Harding, Subashini Suresh, Suresh Renukappa, and Sabah Mushatat Copyright © 2014 Josh Harding et al. All rights reserved. Holistic Diagnosis of Rising Damp and Salt Attack in Two Residential Buildings in Kumasi, Ghana Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:38:53 +0000 Rising damp is one of the most severe phenomena that leads to decay and deterioration of both old and modern types of buildings. This study employed a holistic approach to dampness investigation and sought to examine the problem of rising damp in the walls of two residential apartments in Kumasi, Ghana. The study sought to determine the types of soluble salts and their concentrations in the soils and accumulated percentages in the walls over time and whether there exists any linkage between the salts in the walls and those in the ground. Results from the geotechnical survey of the building sites found that the soils on site 1 consisted of silty sandy gravel with some clay particles and those on site 2 consisted of silty sandy soil with some clay and traces of gravel. The study identified several groups of salts in the walls of the buildings, with the most damaging and dangerous being magnesium sulphate, magnesium chloride, and sodium sulphate salts. Similar salts were identified in the soil samples from the trial pits. The results therefore indicate a linkage between the salts found in the ground and those found in the walls and therefore confirm the presence of rising dampness. Kofi Agyekum, Joshua Ayarkwa, and Christian Koranteng Copyright © 2014 Kofi Agyekum et al. All rights reserved. Investigation of Contemporary Performance Measurement Systems for Production Management of Renovation Projects Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:10:42 +0000 Renovation projects exhibit complex characteristics due to the presence of constraints that lead to cost and schedule overruns. Numerous researchers have concluded that the performance of renovation projects is typically lower than that of new construction projects. This paper discusses the initial phases of a research conducted at Michigan State University, which focused on developing a framework for production management of renovation projects. The emphasis of this paper is on the findings from literature review and interviews, pertinent to performance measurement in renovation projects that led to the framework development. However, the framework development and the framework itself have not been discussed. This paper primarily addresses two questions: (1) what are the complexities of renovation projects that lead to underperformance in cost, time, and quality? and (2) what are the limitations of state-of-the-art construction performance measurement systems for managing production in renovation projects? Interviews of 10 construction companies were conducted to identify current practices of production management in renovation projects. This research observed a lack of a formal production management process in renovation projects, with a limited use of performance measurement systems. The research identified essential attributes for avoiding schedule and cost overruns on renovation projects. Yash Singh, Tariq Abdelhamid, Tim Mrozowski, and Mohamed A. El-Gafy Copyright © 2014 Yash Singh et al. All rights reserved. Perceptions on Barriers to the Use of Burnt Clay Bricks for Housing Construction Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Burnt clay bricks can be readily manufactured in Ghana as all ten regions have significant clay deposits with the Ashanti region having the highest estimated deposit of 37.1 million metric tonnes. In recent times, burnt clay bricks have been regarded as old fashioned and replaced by other perceived modern walling units within Kumasi, the metropolitan capital of Ashanti Region, despite its availability, unique advantages (aesthetics, low maintenance cost, etc.), and structural and nonstructural properties. This study involved a questionnaire survey of 85 respondents made up of architects, brick manufacturing firms, and brick house owners or occupants in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana and sought to examine their perceptions on barriers to the use of burnt clay bricks for housing construction. The findings revealed that the key factors inhibiting the use of burnt clay bricks for housing construction are low material demand, excessive cost implications, inappropriate use in construction, noncompatibility of burnt clay bricks with other materials, unreliable production, and transportation problems. The findings however provide a platform for stakeholders to address the barriers to enable the extensive use of clay bricks in housing constructions. Bernard K. Baiden, Kofi Agyekum, and Joseph K. Ofori-Kuragu Copyright © 2014 Bernard K. Baiden et al. All rights reserved. Motivating Workers in Construction Wed, 09 Jul 2014 09:04:05 +0000 The study of the motivation of construction workers is limited to a relatively small body of knowledge. Although there is considerable research available regarding motivation and productivity, few researchers have provided a comprehensive analysis on the motivation of construction workers. The research stated that productivity in construction has not improved compared to other industry sectors such as manufacturing. This trend has been echoed in publications throughout the past five decades, and suggested that motivation is one of the key factors impacting productivity. This paper offers a comprehensive review of the published work that directly links the key words—construction and motivation. The findings have been presented in five themes, that is, motivation models, environment and culture, incentives and empowerment, and worker management. This paper concludes with two methods suggested by previous researchers to improve motivation of construction workers: (1) relevant worker incentives (intrinsic or extrinsic) and (2) improved management practices, specifically regarding communication with workers. Jason E. Barg, Rajeev Ruparathna, Daylath Mendis, and Kasun N. Hewage Copyright © 2014 Jason E. Barg et al. All rights reserved. Hybrid Simulation Environment for Construction Projects: Identification of System Design Criteria Sun, 29 Jun 2014 11:39:47 +0000 Large construction projects are complex, dynamic, and unpredictable. They are subject to external and uncontrollable events that affect their schedule and financial outcomes. Project managers take decisions along the lifecycle of the projects to align with projects objectives. These decisions are data dependent where data change over time. Simulation-based modeling and experimentation of such dynamic environment are a challenge. Modeling of large projects or multiprojects is difficult and impractical for standalone computers. This paper presents the criteria required in a simulation environment suitable for modeling large and complex systems such as construction projects to support their lifecycle management. Also presented is a platform that encompasses the identified criteria. The objective of the platform is to facilitate and simplify the simulation and modeling process and enable the inclusion of complexity in simulation models. Mohamed Moussa, Janaka Y. Ruwanpura, George Jergeas, and Tamer Mohamed Copyright © 2014 Mohamed Moussa et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Resource-Leveling Approach for Construction Project Based on Differential Evolution Wed, 21 May 2014 10:41:04 +0000 In construction engineering, project schedules are commonly established by the critical path method. Nevertheless, these schedules often lead to substantial fluctuations in the resource profile that are not only impractical but also costly for the contractors to execute. Therefore, in order to smooth out the resource profile, construction managers need to perform resource-leveling procedures. This paper proposes a novel approach for resource leveling, named as resource leveling based on differential evolution (RLDE). The performance of the RLDE is compared to that of Microsoft Project software, the genetic algorithm, and the particle swarm optimization algorithm. Experiments have proved that the newly developed method can deliver the most desirable resource-leveling result. Thus, the RLDE is an effective method and it can be a useful tool for assisting managers/planners in the field of project management. Hong-Hai Tran and Nhat-Duc Hoang Copyright © 2014 Hong-Hai Tran and Nhat-Duc Hoang. All rights reserved. Feasibility of Using Palmyrah Strips as Reinforcing Material in Cost Effective Houses Mon, 14 Apr 2014 08:24:05 +0000 Construction of cost effective houses is a dilemma among the impoverished population in developing countries. The ever increasing price of traditional building materials results in high capital investments for residential buildings. Palmyrah is a significant economic resource, widely spread all over the northeast region of Sri Lanka. This research explores the technical feasibility of using heartwood of Palmyrah as a reinforcing member in lightly loaded concrete elements. Initially, mechanical properties of Palmyrah were examined through static bending, tensile, and compressive tests. Percentages of water absorption, dimensional stability, and anchorage bond strength were investigated to envisage the suitability of Palmyrah as reinforcement. Next, several short span slabs and beams reinforced with Palmyrah strips were subjected to tests. It was observed that Palmyrah reinforcement enhanced the moment capacity of the slabs and beams compared to unreinforced sections. Experimental failure loads of slabs and beams were higher than theoretically predicted values with Palmyrah reinforcement. Further, Palmyrah reinforced beams and slabs underwent flexural failures. Thus, it is concluded that heartwood of Palmyrah has the potential to be used as reinforcement in lightly loaded slabs and beams. Further research is recommended to investigate the durability and serviceability issues. K. Baskaran, H. E. Mallikarachchi, M. J. P. L. M. Jayasekara, and G. A. T. Madushanka Copyright © 2014 K. Baskaran et al. All rights reserved. An Artificial Intelligence Approach for Groutability Estimation Based on Autotuning Support Vector Machine Thu, 10 Apr 2014 09:43:06 +0000 Permeation grouting is a commonly used approach for soil improvement in construction engineering. Thus, predicting the results of grouting activities is a crucial task that needs to be carried out in the planning phase of any grouting project. In this research, a novel artificial intelligence approach—autotuning support vector machine—is proposed to forecast the result of grouting activities that employ microfine cement grouts. In the new model, the support vector machine (SVM) algorithm is utilized to classify grouting activities into two classes: success and  failure. Meanwhile, the differential evolution (DE) optimization algorithm is employed to identify the optimal tuning parameters of the SVM algorithm, namely, the penalty parameter and the kernel function parameter. The integration of the SVM and DE algorithms allows the newly established method to operate automatically without human prior knowledge or tedious processes for parameter setting. An experiment using a set of in situ data samples demonstrates that the newly established method can produce an outstanding prediction performance. Hong-Hai Tran and Nhat-Duc Hoang Copyright © 2014 Hong-Hai Tran and Nhat-Duc Hoang. All rights reserved.