UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A proposed information system for concrete construction : a project and activity planning specification Turnham, James Richard


Current usage of construction information systems is largely confined to Critical Path Method scheduling, accounting systems, and cost control database systems. The function of activity planning is not directly addressed by any of these systems while information from all three systems is required for activity planning. Activity planning is the iterative process of selecting construction elements from the project work breakdown structure, addressing the available details from the plans and specifications, assembling existing experiential information on methods, productivities, and production rates, brainstorming for new and or appropriate existing methods, and deciding on a course of action for each item in the breakdown structure. The focus is on a construction activity planning framework to be utilized by superintendent level personnel. This thesis examines the literature and existing software to identify the technologies that are relevant to detailed activity planning. The concept of utilizing "Planning Models" to address activity planning for repetitious concrete construction is introduced. The "General Activity Planning Model" provides the functions and instructions required for detailed project and activity planning of a generic concrete construction project. "Specific Planning Models" ensue from the general model and two examples are provided to illustrate the process. The first example is of a post-tensioned concrete bridge project. The second is of a cut and cover subway tunnel project. From the two examples, the key planning system attributes of function and flexibility are demonstrated. The functions required include: 1. Project level work breakdown structure and initialization. 2. A two pass system for estimating and planning. 3. Early calculation of target activity durations from milestone constraints. 4. Activity level, continuous crew scheduling, where appropriate, prior to detail design of methods. 5. Operation level input: major resource (formwork quantity) requirements, decision variables, crew size variation to implement duration control, and equipment levelling. The flexibility of the General Planning Model is illustrated by the successful planning of two dissimilar prototype projects from one general model. Specific issues pertaining to each project are structured and solved by example. Computer system issues are discussed. A database system is identified as the software of choice for the construction planning problem. Several commercially available programs are evaluated. Integration of activity planning with other construction specialities is identified in flow chart form.

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