UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Case study for identification and evaluation of construction innovations: the Hotel Georgia project Awuni, Roland Chiradam


Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) projects are becoming more complex in terms of client requirements, stakeholder issues, physical, budget and time constraints, and safety and environmental concerns. These constraints have spawned ad-hoc innovations in some AEC projects, without structured frameworks for their assessment, resulting in varying success for these innovations. The primary goal of the thesis is to test an existing framework for evaluating innovative design and construction technologies for high-rise buildings by way of a case-study. The case study is a48-story structure (with an 8-level sub-grade parkade) in a downtown setting with significant constraints and challenges. Unlike most other assessment frameworks which are single-issue based (financial, cost, time or risk), a holistic method that captures a broad range of critical issues at the micro and macro levels is used to screen a number of construction innovations. The process highlights the primary difficulty in balancing stakeholder issues, technical/engineering requirements and project goals in assessing the overall feasibility and net benefits of an innovation. As a useful tool, it facilitates the engineering/technical judgment of proposed innovations and provides evidence of a sufficient trade-off between incremental 'cost and benefits' to justify a detailed evaluation and possible subsequent use of a subset of the innovations that passed successfully through a tiered first stage evaluation process. A secondary objective is to propose appropriate quantitative models for a detailed evaluation of the screened technologies that not only seeks to quantify incremental cost and benefits (e.g. time, increased revenue, etc.) but also assess the level of certainty (in benefits and cost) of innovative construction technologies. An illustrative evaluation provides insights as to the level of modeling and analysis required to evaluate an innovative or novel strategy both at the 'activity/work package' and project levels. The quantum of data required at the pre-construction planning stage coupled with the lack of easy to apply evaluation models probably accounts for the non-prevalence of detailed quantitative evaluation of innovative construction technologies on AEC projects, especially in terms of impact at the project level and the degree of certainty with which net benefits are likely to be achieved.

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