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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Pre-contract procedures and design management of fast track projects Rahemtulla, Arif Ramzan


Traditional engineering procedure, in its essentials, comprises four separate but closely related stages namely, the investigation of possible solutions leading to a recommended proposal; the development of detailed design and contract documentation; the calling of tenders and construction; and finally working operation. The procedure is characterized by the sequential manner in which each phase of the project life cycle is implemented. In comparison, fast tracking involves the overlapping of design and construction which provides a mechanism for an overall reduction in project duration and costs. This method diverges significantly from conventional practice as some portion of overall design is executed simultaneously with construction. Fast tracking has been employed on a variety of projects but its theoretical benefits have not been obtained consistently, failure generally been attributed to inadequate pre-contract planning and management. Previous experience has not led to a detailed definition and documentation of fast tracking as a formal engineering procedure. This thesis presents pre-contract procedure for fast track building projects and associated management techniques required for its proper operation. Traditional engineering procedure and design practice are reviewed to set the basis from which the proposed procedures may be developed and to identify limitations of established practice. Fast track design definition is selected following an assessment of alternative design definitions for their ability to satisfy principal pre-contract and construction objectives. Pre-contract procedure is presented in the form of a project level network and defined comprehensively at the design discipline level with the aid of activity schedules. The procedure is supplemented with a commentary on fast track execution requirements. Construction commencement using a partially complete design results in greater volumes of variations and information requests. A simulation study of the operations of a design team is presented to demonstrate the disruptive effect of variations on design performance and construction implementation. Fast track design management is necessitated by the need to control the progressive release of information during construction. Procedures for information planning, scope definition and scheduling, design review and variation control are presented. Information planning focuses upon early information release systems for construction. Scheduling procedures are tailored to cater for the varying levels of design definition during pre-contract development and to match the process of construction. Emphasis in design review is on assuring completeness and accuracy for global design requirements immediately prior to information release for construction implementation. Variation control involves the identification and establishment of management plans for anticipated variations during the pre-contract stage and the procedure for processing and recording formal changes and requests for additional information. In combination, these management techniques enable design control demanded in a non-traditional scheme of working.

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